Tag Archive - young leader

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Why the Sky is NOT the Limit for Young Church Leaders

The sky is not the limit for your church leaders, it’s just not. And we do them a disservice to feed them lines and fill their heads with ideas that just aren’t true. It’s one thing to tell a young leader that you believe in them and encourage them, it’s another to just lie to them. Sometimes in our attempts to encourage young leaders we move past encouragement into falsehood. In doing so we set them up for disappointment and sometimes failure.

In Proverbs 13:12 the Bible teaches us that, “Hope deferred makes the heart grow sick.” In other words, hope that doesn’t end in real results can destroy someone. So we need be careful what direction and expectations we set on young leaders, because if it doesn’t come to fruition we can ruin them.

We’d be better off to encourage them to understand that their limit is their limit and go have fun testing their limits. When young leaders find their limits and live within what Jesus has wired them up to do they’ll experience more peace and produce more fruit!

Truth is, the sky is not the limit for young leaders, there are real limiting factors that they are or will experience, here are just a few.

1. Gifting

The Scriptures are clear that not everyone gets the same gift (and leadership is clearly defined as a spiritual gift in the Bible that not everyone gets). There are different gifts, God seemingly loves diversity and has created a system that pushes us towards one another instead of away. For the Church to be its best we need to bring our best together and lean into each other’s areas of gifting and brilliance!

2. Capacity

The Scriptures are also clear that not everyone gets the same measure of gifts. Some have a greater capacity than others. It’s possible that two people may have a teaching gift, but one may have a great measure of that gift. You get how this works.

3. Approach

Now this is something that young leaders can actually control. They can control the approach they take. They can decide if they are going to have a great attitude or not, they can choose how much effort they are going to put forth, they can choose to submit to those in authority over them or not, and they can choose be teachable or not. They can choose their approach.

4. Opportunity

I’ve heard it said that luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation. You can call it providence and blame all of your opportunities or lack of opportunities on God or you can take personal ownership of your life and go make your own opportunities. Now I’m not a “demon behind every bush” kind of guy, but I don’t want to not give credit to God when it’s due either. Some opportunities are self-made while others are God given. Whichever come your way take advantage of them because not everyone gets the same opportunities.

5. Resources

Some young leaders simply have greater resources at their disposal. These resources give them a disproportional leg up over their peers. Some have access to greater preparation, development and coaching. Some have access to more finances which allow them greater margin. Still others have access to deeper personnel bench to deploy. Recourses are a limiting factor for growing leaders.


Posted in Spiritual Formation, Staffing

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5 Steps Young Leaders can take to Advance their Leadership

Most churches struggle to attract and develop young leaders. There are a lot of reasons for that. But instead of writing a blog post encouraging the church to take ground in this area (like I’ve done before) I wanted to take a different angle and speak to the young leaders who might be reading this. Not sure this is actually going to be super popular with younger leaders but if you take this advice to heart I promise you it will help you get where you want to go. So at the risk of sounding like a grumpy old codger (not sure that’s really a word) here are a couple of things that will help young leaders advance in their leadership.

#1 Come to Work on Time

This may sound a little elementary, but I’m telling you, if you show up on time or better yet, get into work before your supervisor gets there things will go well for you.

#2 Follow Through

Again this isn’t rocket science. But if you do what you say you’re going to do you, when you say you will do it, you’ll stand out. Consistency and follow through are rare in the workforce among young leaders and this will differentiate you from your peers.

#3 Over Deliver

The old adage is still true today, “Under promise and over deliver.” Do this, and you’ll turn heads. People will begin to learn that they can count on you to get stuff done.

#4 Learn New Things

Don’t be afraid to ask your supervisors for help or input. Offer to take other more experienced leaders in your organization out for coffee or lunch (on your dime) and ask them good questions about what they’ve learned over the years (write the questions you want answered down ahead of time).

#5 Push Yourself

Jump into the deep end of the pool. The best way to learn to lead isn’t in a classroom but by leading. Sink your teeth into something big and see what you can do. Don’t be afraid to fail. Ask your supervisor for extra work and side projects that you can help with.

At the end of the day as a young leader you’ve got to build trust with those in authority over you. Do these five things and you’ll be well on your way!

Interested in learning more about developing young leaders in the church? Check out these “10 Articles that will Help Your Church Develop Young Leaders.”


Posted in Leadership, Staffing

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5 Articles that will Help Your Church Make Vision Real

Thank you for making August a great month here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real! It’s great staying connected with you through social media and hearing about how helpful different articles have been. So, thank you for connecting with me through the content on this blog! You made these the top 5 Posts from this last month. If you missed out on any of them, here they are all in one place for your convenience!

1. A Large Multisite Church in Phoenix is Hiring a Preteen Pastor

I’m pleased to announce a new Staff Search. Sun Valley Community Church, the church I have the honor of serving at, is beginning a national search for a Preteen Pastor to lead the ministry to 5th & 6th grade students on our Gilbert Campus. Sun Valley began as a church plant in 1990 in Chandler, Arizona. Over the years Sun Valley has grown into a large mult-site church in the Phoenix metro area. Currently there are three campuses located in Gilbert, Tempe and Casa Grande with a total weekend attendance of over 5,000 people. Sun Valley was recently named by Outreach Magazine as one of the top 10 fastest growing churches in America. The Gilbert Campus is the original and largest campus with well over 3,500 in weekly average attendance. Sun Valley was recently featured in a new book by Leadership Network about church mergers: Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work. To learn more about that story click here Part-1 and Part-2.

2. 5 Reasons I Would Never Hire You

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to hire a lot of people. Student Ministry Pastors, Campus Pastors, Children’s Pastors, Worship Pastors, Executive level roles and Administrative roles. I’ve run the searches myself and used an Executive Search Firm. I’ve even had the opportunity as a consultant to help other churches find their right next hire. Hire the right person and the whole team benefits. When you invite the right person to join your team not only is there is an infusion of new talent, but also new ideas, fresh eyes, and a new well of experiences to go to. One new hire can make the entire team better. On the other hand, hire the wrong person and you can pay a price you weren’t prepared to pay. While at first pass this post may come off as negative, the goal I can assure you, is to be helpful. I’ve had to say no to more people than I’ve said yes to. My hope is that this post will help move you in the direction where you’d hear me, or someone else, say yes to you in the near future.

3. How to Identify Young Leaders in the Church

Do a quick Google Search and you’ll find volumes written about this next generation entering the workforce. Much of it is written from a negative perspective. The search will tell you that this generation is entitled, lazy, they don’t follow through and they can’t be trusted with real responsibility. This trend has great implications for the modern day church. And while the researchers might be right, I still believe that there are great up and coming leaders in the next generation taking their place in the church today. Two reasons stand out and have convinced me.

4. The Art of Difficult Conversations

If you lead a team long enough, eventually there are going to be some difficult conversations that are going to happen. No one wants to have difficult conversations, there’s nothing fun about them. But if you care about the team and if you care about your teammates then eventually someone is going to need to be confronted. It could be poor work ethic, breaking organizational values, underperformance, misrepresenting the organization, or it could even be a moral or ethical problem just to name a few. But who is the right person to have that difficult conversation when it needs to happen?

5. Leading Through Change: What Game is Your Church Playing?

On a regular basis at Sun Valley Community Church (the church I have the honor of serving at) we get the staff together from all three campuses for leadership development and training. This past week one of our Lead Pastors, Chad Moore, shared about the different games that churches play. I thought I’d share with you some of the key take-aways and learnings. Do you know what game your church is playing? Follow this link to learn more about the “4 Stages of a Church Staff Team.”


Posted in Leadership