Leaders Never Stop Learning

Our capacity for learning is a part of being a human being. From birth, we are on a fast track of learning – movement, speech, understanding, and so forth. Unfortunately, many people equate “learning” with “schooling,” and when you’re done with school, you’re done with learning.

We are uniquely endowed with the capacity for learning, creating, and growing intellectually – and it doesn’t have an expiration date tied to an event, like graduation.

The practice of lifelong learning has never been more important to leaders than it is today. The necessity of expanding your knowledge through lifelong learning is critical to your success.

Take reading, for example. Many of the most successful people in today’s organizations read an average of 2-3 hours per day. No longer limited to books, reading is a lifelong learning activity that can be done online anywhere at anytime.

Learning is the minimum requirement for success as a leader. Because information and knowledge on everything is increasing every day, your knowledge must also increase to keep up.

Learning how to learn is more important than ever. Dedicate yourself to trying and learning new ideas, tasks, and skills. You don’t need to be aware of everything all the time but learning new skills faster and better – that in itself is a tough skill to master.

THE QUICK SUMMARY – Never Stop Learning by Bradley R. Statts

Keep learning, or risk becoming irrelevant.

It’s a truism in today’s economy: the only constant is change. Technological automation is making jobs less routine and more cognitively challenging. Globalization means you’re competing with workers around the world. Simultaneously, the Internet and other communication technologies have radically increased the potential impact of individual knowledge. The relentless dynamism of these forces shaping our lives has created a new imperative: we must strive to become dynamic learners. In every industry and sector, dynamic learners outperform their peers and realize higher impact and fulfillment by learning continuously and by leveraging that learning to build yet more knowledge.

In Never Stop Learning, behavioral scientist and operations expert Bradley R. Staats describes the principles and practices that comprise dynamic learning and outlines a framework to help you become more effective as a lifelong learner. The steps include:

  • Valuing failure
  • Focusing on process, not outcome, and on questions, not answers
  • Making time for reflection
  • Learning to be true to yourself by playing to your strengths
  • Pairing specialization with variety
  • Treating others as learning partners

Replete with the most recent research about how we learn as well as engaging stories that show how real learning happens, Never Stop Learning will become the operating manual for leaders, managers, and anyone who wants to keep thriving in the new world of work.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

Today, the world moves much faster than it did even five to 10 years ago, and there’s more competition than ever. A vast majority of people will inevitably find themselves feeling like they’re falling behind if they’re not constantly investing in themselves. Or they might even feel unemployable at one point or another in their careers. This is true for many professions. A feeling of staleness can encroach as new technologies continue to be developed and implemented in the workplace, and the younger generation comes in with new skills, reshaping the modern workplace.

Learning isn’t a moment in time, nor is it just about acquiring a set of skills or generalized knowledge. It’s not specific to a certain domain you function in.

To succeed in this rapidly changing environment requires continual learning – how to do existing tasks better and how to do entirely new things.

Failing to learn and adapt means being left behind. This creates meaningful risk for our organizations, ourselves, and our children. It’s not just knowledge that’s necessary – it’s using that knowledge to build more knowledge. In other words, to learn.

Key Elements to Becoming a Dynamic Learner

Valuing failure – Dynamic learners are willing to fail in order to learn.

Process rather than outcome – Dynamic learners recognize that focusing on the outcome is misguided, because we don’t know how we got there, whereas a process focus frees us to learn.

Asking questions rather than rushing to answers – Dynamic learners recognize that “I don’t know” is a fair place to start – as long as we quickly follow with a question.

Reflection and interaction – Dynamic learners fight the urge to act for the sake of acting and recognize that when the going gets tough, the tough are rested, take time to recharge, and stop to think.

Being yourself – Dynamic learners don’t try to conform; they’re willing to stand out.

Playing to strengths – Dynamic learners don’t try to fix irrelevant weaknesses; they play to their strengths.

Specialization and variety – Dynamic learners build a T-shaped portfolio of experiences – deep in one area (or more) and broad in others.

Learning from others –Dynamic learners recognize that learning is not a solo exercise.

Bradley R. Statts, Never Stop Learning

A NEXT STEP

To succeed in this new environment requires continual, lifelong learning. At its simplest, lifelong learning requires learning how to do existing tasks better and how to do entirely new things.

In order to risk becoming irrelevant, create a plan to become a lifelong learner.

Set aside some time where you can be undisturbed for at least two hours. Draw a line in the middle of four chart tablets, and write two of the key elements listed above on each half.

Without a lot of processing, proceed to list activities and ideas that you are currently practicing in each area in one color marker. Step back and reflect on what you have written.

Now, using a different color marker, list activities and ideas that you aspire to in each of the eight areas.

When you have completed this task, read what you have written down aloud. In each of the eight areas, circle two activities and ideas that you will focus on improving or developing in the next 90 days.

Before you end this time, look ahead on your calendar 90 days, and block some time out to repeat this exercise.

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 113-1, released March 2019.


 

This is part of a weekly series posting excerpts from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix book excerpts for church leaders.

SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; each solution is taken from a different book. Additionally, a practical action step is included with each solution.

As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS Remix provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Keys to Unlocking the Power of Your Leadership Energy

Some leaders seem to bring more energy to the mix than others.

Leadership energy is more about intentionality than personality. Yes, some leaders have bigger personalities than others, but there is much more to leadership than charisma, “woo” and persona. In fact, personality alone can be detrimental to enduring leadership.

Many great leaders are reserved, introspective or introverted. Again, it’s not about personality; it’s more about making something happen. Great leaders don’t just get things done, they make things happen. There is a big difference. Being a closer – that is successfully finishing what you start, is a vital part of successful leadership, but making things happen is the action that triggers momentum.

The flashing yellow caution light is about leaders who are willing to coast in the wake of other leader’s energy and effort. Those who are willing to let the rest of the team carry the weight of anything from prayer and deep thinking, to making that one extra phone call, does not help the team. In fact, over time, they hurt the team.

The Apostle Paul writes about his energy as a leader.

27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energyChrist so powerfully works in me. 

Colossians 1:27-29

Paul makes three things clear.

  1. The purpose is proclaiming Christ, and helping followers become mature.
  2. Paul gives it all he’s got. (strenuously contents, with ALL his energy)
  3. The source of energy is Jesus.

This is how we know the playing field is more equal than personality alone would reveal. It is Christ working in and through us. That is the starting place for all of us.

Then what parts are up to you and me?

What can you do to activate the fullness of the energy that God places in you?

6 questions to help you maximize your leadership energy:

1) Are you all in?

Do you love your role and responsibility as a leader? If you are on staff, are you called and passionate or is it just a job? Can those around you count on you or are you quietly holding back, watching, and letting others carry the load?

It’s impossible to maximize your effort and energy if you are not all in where you’re at. Jump in all the way, commit! If there is a risk, it’s all in your favor!

2) Are you fighting any distractions?

We all face distractions. They might be financially related, about a difficult relationship, or health oriented. The list of possibilities is long. Distractions must be intentionally battled. They never go away by themselves.

Temporary distractions are commonplace, and you can usually handle them. But long-term distractions often require help to resolve. Give the things you can’t control to God, and take action to shut down the distractions you can.

3) Are you in the right place?

Are you serving in the right place? I’m not suggesting that you make a change. But if you are uncertain that you are leading in the right environment for you, you will hold back and not leverage your full capacity.

You can’t lead with full energy if you lack confidence you are on the right team. If you are not certain, get wise counsel and decide.

4) Are you physically in shape?

You don’t need to eat Paleo, flip tires, and bench-press Buicks to be in good shape for your age and body type. But it is important to keep active. Choose something you like that is easily accessible, and stick with it. Think decades, not New Year’s resolutions.

If you are exercising regularly, great, keep it up. If you are more sedentary than you would like, do something simple. Take a walk. Just go out your front door, and keep moving. If you walk briskly for 40 minutes 4 times a week, it will have a fantastic impact on your overall well-being and energy level.

5) Is your mental attitude positive?

There is a great truth about the difference between your cup being half empty or half full. Think about it. Who do you like being around more? Negative people or positive people? Negative people are draining. But the surprising truth is that the person they drain the most is themselves.

The wonderful news here is that your attitude is a choice!

6) Is your personal life in order?

You may not be able to resolve a struggle at home quickly, but progress increases hope and thereby increases your energy for everything you do.

It may be as simple as an apology, or perhaps formal counseling is needed, or maybe it’s intentional time with your kids. Take the first step toward progress today.

> Read more from Dan.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Reiland

Dan Reiland

Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together. Dan is best known as a leader with a pastor's heart, but is often described as one of the nations most innovative church thinkers. His passion is developing leaders for the local church so that the Great Commission is advanced.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The One Undeniable Mark of a Great Leader

Procrastination has a high cost. When we cram for tests, we get lower grades. When we wait until the deadline to file taxes, we miss things and make costly mistakes. When we put off difficult conversations, we hurt people and relationships.

And the cost of procrastination in ministry can be significantly higher. For us, procrastination isn’t measured in dollars; it is measured in ministries never started, people with needs going unmet, and those who are spiritually lost never hearing the Gospel.

The Bible says in James 4:17, “Remember, it is a sin to know what you ought to do and then not to do it”(NLT). When God calls you to do something, but you don’t do it, it’s not just a bad strategy or a missed blessing. It is sin.

If God has called you to do something in your ministry and you are not doing it, do it now! Not next month, next week, or even tomorrow—do it right now.

Proverbs 27:1 says, “Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring” (NLT). None of us is guaranteed a tomorrow. You may not have the opportunity tomorrow to do what God has called you to do. You could be saying you’ll do it someday. That someday is today! One of these days is none of these days. Do it today. Start right now!

I talk to people who say they’re planning to do something in ministry. And I always want to ask, “When are you going to pull the trigger?” They’ve been taking aim for years, yet they never seem to get around to pulling the trigger.

Don’t be like that. You need to pull the trigger. These three words could change your ministry forever: Do it now!

Spend a few minutes right now and write down one thing you know God wants you to do in your ministry. Whatever it is, write it down and then put that note in a place where you can’t miss it — like on your bathroom mirror or on the refrigerator.

But don’t just write it down. Don’t just read it on your refrigerator. Do it — now! Every time you catch yourself saying you’ll do it later, it should be a warning light that says you’re procrastinating. There’s no better time than now. This is the moment of truth. There’s got to be a time in your life when you stop intending and start acting. Stop making excuses.

NASA says that getting the rocket off the launch pad requires the most amount of energy. Once the rocket is in orbit, it takes a lot less energy to keep moving forward. That’s why you need to get started now. The initial thrust will start you moving forward.

> Read more from Rick.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rick Warren

Rick Warren

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Ten Ways Reading Will Benefit Your Life and Ministry in 2020

Recently I had the chance to sit down with Auxano’s Digital Engagement Leader (and Guest Experience Navigator), Bob Adams, and talk about reading. We captured the conversation on the My Ministry Breakthrough podcast as a way to encourage other leaders in their reading. Many of us will create goals around reading in light of a New Year and, to some, a new decade of church ministry. In this episode, Bob outlines 10 Benefits of Regular Reading.

Inspired by Bob’s list, I have added some thoughts of my own and set up a personal reading goal for 2020 for each point made. Here are ten ways reading will benefit your life and ministry in 2020:

Benefit #1 – Reading builds a connection between your brain synapses. Unlike visual video media consumption, the thought required by reading forms new connections in your brain by stimulating thinking. Video media already creates the scene, moment, or location on-screen, as opposed to your mind assembling words into a picture. Read to promote brain health and growth.

2020 Goal: Read for at least 20 minutes every day.

Benefit #2 – Reading reduces stress by being a mental pressure relief valve. Reading, particularly fiction reading, takes your mind to a different place through challenging ideas or changing landscape. Reading slows your body but not your mind, in the way that Netflix watching will. Just a few minutes of reading can change your perspective and affect your emotions. Read to be a better version of yourself.

2020 Goal: Read at least one fiction or pleasurable book every quarter.

Benefit #3 – Reading increases knowledge at all levels. Reading forces you to confront new ideas and process them in light of personal experience or other reading. Reading builds your knowledge base around a particular subject allowing multiple perspectives from different authors. Even if you are only reading at an elementary level (Bob unpacks Mortimer Adler’sAdler’s levels of reading in the episode), knowledge development still takes place. Read to develop proficiency in an area or subject.

2020 Goal: Read one book on a subject or topic almost entirely unknown. 

Benefit #4 – Reading expands your vocabulary. Many books are written for a narrow scope of readers, or from a particular point of view. These books often contain a specific vernacular. Confronting and defining words you have never engaged before adds new ammunition to your conversational arsenal. New words create new worlds in your mind and your life. Read to sound and be smarter.

2020 Goal: Learn and incorporate 20 new words into everyday conversation in 2020.

Benefit #5 – Reading makes you a better writer. Everyone who communicates is, in some way, a writer. Pastors write out sermons. Managers write staff evaluations. Teachers write lesson plans. Every conversation in some way takes writing even if you never actually put words into print. Reading reinforces acceptable grammar and proficient sentence structure. Read to write better.

2020 Goal: Work on one communication piece (ebook, blog, sermon, or consulting plan) for at least one hour every week.

Benefit #6 – Reading supports the skills to be an analytical thinker. This benefit can be a challenge. Moving beyond face value in an author’s words to confront their opinion or point of view requires effort beyond consumption. You do not have to agree with every author, or every author’s position, to appreciate their book. Read to strengthen or challenge your convictions.

2020 Goal: Read one book I would ordinarily avoid because I disagree with the author or am dispassionate about the topic.

Benefit #7 – Reading builds focus. Engaging with an author creating a case or setting up a scene forces a level of commitment and concentration very different from our quick-cut video-driven culture. Books take time to understand and to process. This practice creates an ability to stay in a moment longer. Read to remain focused on the task at hand.

2020 Goal: Finish every book before starting the next one, even if I skim/seminary read it.

Benefit #8 – Reading makes you a better speaker. You don’t have to speak to large crowds to realize a benefit in your speaking from reading. Hallway conversations are impacted by reading as much as platform sermons. Regularly engaging other voices helps to grow your distinct voice, as well as bring content and perspective to just about every communication situation. Read to communicate on a higher level.

2020 Goal: Read, or re-read, one book on public speaking before my first engagement of 2020.

Benefit #9 – Reading stimulates your mind. Some authors are more mind-stretching to read than others. Nothing impacts your dreams like reading Len Sweet right before bedtime. Creativity and critical thinking walk hand-in-hand across the landscape of the reader’s mind. Taking the time to journal and challenge the author’s assumptions strengthens your resolve, or where needed, shapes a reformed view. Read to grow in thought leadership.

2020 Goal: Chronicle the reading of ten books using a journaling system/technique.

Benefit #10 – Reading doesn’t have to cost you anything. As Bob reiterated, most public library systems are not only a numerical storehouse of reading possibility, but they also have the newest titles on hand. Leveraging your local library allows you to read a few chapters of the latest titles before purchasing a copy you can mark up and annotate. It costs nothing but time to check out some library books, provided you return them on time. Read library books to save money or preview before purchasing.

2020 Goal: Make a library trip at least once a month as a family.

Here is a recap of the ten reading goals for 2020 above:

  • Read for at least 20 minutes every day.
  • Read at least one fiction or pleasurable book every quarter.
  • Read one book on a subject or topic almost wholly unknown.
  • Learn and incorporate 20 new words into everyday conversation in 2020.
  • Work on one communication piece (ebook, blog, sermon, or consulting plan) for at least one hour every week.
  • Read one book I would ordinarily avoid because I disagree with the author or am dispassionate about the topic.
  • Finish every book before starting the next one, even if I skim/seminary read it.
  • Read, or re-read, one book on public speaking before my first engagement of 2020.
  • Chronicle the reading of ten books using a journaling system/technique.
  • Make a library trip at least once a month as a family.

Will I accomplish every single one of these goals? That’s not at all likely. However, if I were to achieve only half, the way I work, rest, parent, and impact others will be marked by these reading goals. Check out the podcast episode for a masterclass on reading in this new year. 

What is one goal you have for reading in 2020?

> Read more from Bryan.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bryan Rose

Bryan Rose

As Lead Navigator for Auxano, Bryan Rose has a strong bias toward merging strategy and creativity within the vision of the local church and has had a diversity of experience in just about every ministry discipline over the last 12 years. With his experience as a multi-site strategist and campus pastor at a 3500 member multi-campus church in the Houston Metro area, Bryan has a passion to see “launch clarity” define the unique Great Commission call of developing church plants and campus, while at the same time serving established churches as they seek to clarify their individual ministry calling. Bryan has demonstrated achievement as a strategic thinker with a unique ability to infuse creativity into the visioning process while bringing a group of people to a deep sense of personal ownership and passion.

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

3 Ways Comparing Kills Focus

“Keeping up with the Jones’s.”

Everyone knows the old saying – it’s about seeing your neighbor driving something new, or living somewhere new, or wearing something new, and then feeling a compulsion to match them at worst, or go one better at best. But now, the “Jones’s” are no longer just the people who live down the street or that you see occasionally at the meeting at school. The “Jones’s” are much more widely expanded.

Thanks to social media, our “Jones’s” are anyone, anywhere, at any time. We have at our fingertips the means of comparing our lifestyles, our children, or the lighting of our framed photos with millions, the vast majority of whom we’ve never met. So while we have always had the compulsion inside us to compare ourselves to others, the difference is that we now have the ability to compare ourselves to a far greater extent than we ever have before. Not only that, but comparison is something that just sort of creeps into our consciousness; we don’t necessarily intend to gauge our self-worth or identity based on how we measure up with others – but because we are constantly surrounded with the images of the best lives of others, it’s nearly inevitable that it happens.

But what’s the big deal? I mean, you don’t read any of the laundry lists of sins in the New Testament and find the word “comparison” in them. You might even argue that comparison is a good thing – that in a true capitalistic sense, comparing ourselves to others fosters a greater degree of competition and makes us demand the absolute best out of ourselves.

It is a big deal, though. And we can really only see the bigness of the deal it is when we look at it from the outside in – that is, when we examine some of the destructive effects of comparison to our lives. In order to do that, consider with me the brief account of Jesus’ disciples that is summarized in a single verse:

An argument started among them about who was the greatest of them (Luke 9:46).

This wasn’t the only time when arguments based on comparison were raised up among the disciples. Whether it’s James and John asking for esteemed positions in Jesus’ kingdom or all the disciples squabbling over their own greatness the night of Jesus’ arrest, it was evidently a relatively common topic of conversation. And those are only the comparative thoughts that saw the light of day. Surely there were more with them, just as there are with us, that we treasure and grow in the privacy of our own hearts and minds.

Here, then, are three destructive effects that come from thoughts of comparison, whether they are expressed or unexpressed:

1. Comparison makes us lose sight of the mission.

In the case of the disciples, Jesus was tooling them up to say and do the same things He was saying and doing once He ascended into heaven. They didn’t necessarily know it all the time, but Jesus was not just teaching the disciples – He was training the disciples to be sent out on mission for the sake of the kingdom. And though we might not recognize it either, we are being trained, even as we are to be going.

It’s God’s will for all of us that we are actively engaged in His mission in the world. Our day to day lives are filled with opportunities to extend the kingdom of God both in word and in deed. When we are engaged in the practice of comparison, though, we quickly lose sight of the greater goal that overshadows our personal privilege and placement, just as the disciples did.

2. Comparison makes us lose sight of grace.

It seems that, for most of us, the longer we walk with Jesus, the greater the tendency we have to forget the depth of our own sin. We can easily start to trick ourselves into thinking that sure, we were sinners and all, but let’s be honest – it wasn’t that bad. And that kind of thinking finds a helpful and able ally in comparison.

Our sin certainly doesn’t seem “that bad” if we can find someone who has done worse. So we find that person and compare ourselves to him or her, over and over again, as a means of boosting our own egos. Comparison pushes us further and further away from a conscious realization of how in need of God’s grace we are. And part and parcel with that is the development of a greater and greater self-reliance, which is the enemy of faith itself.

3. Comparison makes us lose sight of the worth of others.

When we live in a state of comparison, it’s impossible to truly love others – that’s because we are too busy using them to actually love them. Instead of selflessly loving our neighbors, they become rungs in our ladder of self, the means by which we climb higher and higher in our own minds. This can’t be so if we are to truly and freely treat others as image-bearers worthy of respect and dignity.

Or another example – when we are constantly comparing ourselves to others, we lose sight of a person’s contribution and necessity for the body of Christ. Instead of valuing what unique set of gifts a person can bring to the body, we are too busy comparing what the “foot” can do as opposed to the “eye.”

In all these cases, comparison just makes us lose sight. We lose sight of the mission; lose sight of grace; and, maybe most ironically, lose sight of other people. In order, then, to not lose sight, we must repurpose our sight – the solution here, as with most things, is not just resolving not to compare ourselves with other people, but instead to fix our eyes on the Author and Perfecter of our faith. And when our gaze is firmly fixed there, there’s not a lot of room for comparison at all.

> Read more from Michael.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Kelley

I’m a Christ-follower, husband, dad, author and speaker. Thanks for stopping here to dialogue with me about what it means to live deeply in all the arenas of life. I live in Nashville, Tennessee, with my wife Jana who is living proof of the theory that males are far more likely to marry over their heads than females are. We have three great kids, Joshua (5) and Andi (3), and Christian (less than 1). They remind me on a daily basis how much I have to grow in being both a father and a child. I work full time for Lifeway Christian Resources, where I’m a Bible study editor. I also get out on the road some to speak in different churches, conferences and retreats.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

4 Characteristics of a Relational Leader

Very few leaders possess what I refer to as “Stadium Filling Charisma.”

You know what I mean, a personality that is larger than life and people flock to be around that person.

When they are in the lobby of the church there is always a crowd of maybe 20 — 25 – 30 people gathered around them!

I don’t have that kind of charisma, do you?

The good news is, that kind of charisma is not a qualifier for you to become a great leader.

In fact, in some cases, it can be a detriment. Organizations tied to a leader with a big personality can become dependent on that person.

That can happen even at a church campus, a ministry team, or in a small group. That isn’t always the case, of course, but the point is, don’t assume that’s the ideal.

And most importantly, don’t think you are handicapped as a leader if you don’t have a big outgoing persona.

That said, some degree of an appealing personality is necessary to lead effectively, and to that end, everyone can have what I refer to as “Relational Charisma.”

However, relational charisma is not defined by the size of your personality, but the generosity of your spirit.

Many great leaders with a high quotient of relational charisma are more subdued, thoughtful, and some have a slight bent toward introversion.

So when it comes to charisma, don’t think personality, think intentionality.

Relational charisma is a kind of personal magnetism that everyone can have. If you want it, and if you are willing to work on it intentionally, it’s yours to develop.

Relational charisma carries an authentic personal appeal that endears people to you and allows you to lead more effectively.

This is the foundational practice to develop relational charisma:

When you walk into a room,
focus on helping the people in the room to feel better about who they are,
rather than causing the people to feel better about who you are.

In other words, make it about them, not you.

In concept, it’s simple, but in practice, it can be challenging to remain consistent with this idea. We all get what it feels like to be moving fast, and under pressure with lots to do!  That truth about leadership makes it more challenging than it appears.

It’s really more of a way of life; that is often life-changing for both you and those you are around.

A quick list of 4 things that will shut down your relational charisma:

  • Insecurity – You are focused on or worried about what others think of you.
  • Lack of social-awareness – You fail to notice or be aware of what is happening in the room.
  • Pre-occupied or distracted – Your body may be in the room, but your mind and heart are elsewhere.
  • Image focused – You walk into a room, and it’s all about you. How the people see you, the impression you make, connecting only with people who can help you, and your agenda.

4 characteristics that enable you to live out a genuine sense of relational charisma consistently:

1) You genuinely love and care about people.

You know if you sincerely care about others and when you don’t. My assumption is that you do!

However, it is possible to want to care, but without gaining some ground in self-confidence and self-awareness, it is difficult to genuinely care because you are consumed with your own concerns.

This is not an indictment; it’s an encouragement to give yourself grace and work on self-confidence and self-awareness. The idea is this, when you set your needs and wants aside, and focus on others, you become a “larger” and more effective leader.

2) You have a sense that something is happening that is bigger than you are.

Have you ever walked into a room and wondered what God thinks about what’s happening in the room?

It’s a great way to approach your spiritual leadership and embrace relational charisma.

Who would Jesus want to talk with? What would he say? What would He want to see happen in the room?

When you practice that kind of thinking, you gain a sense of something larger, a glimpse of eternity. You connect with the Kingdom of God and the body of Christ in a deeper way.

3) You possess a healthy sense of self-confidence.

A healthy self-confidence means you think about yourself the way that God does, nothing more and nothing less. With that as a foundation, when you believe in yourself, you know who you are, and you like who you are, your confidence as a leader increases tremendously.

You possess a sense of personal security that allows you to make your presence in the room about others and not about yourself.

In general, you think to yourself, “I can do this.” Not out of personal bravado, but from an inner sense that God is with you.

4) You possess a strong degree of self-awareness.

If a leader walks into a room and is mostly unaware about what is going on with others, and or has little idea how he or she is perceived as a person and a leader, their social awareness is low.

Gaining a stronger sense of social-awareness begins with a healthy sense of self-awareness and personal security.

Knowing who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, abilities and capacity, etc., help you become more secure in yourself. That security creates mental and emotional margin that allows you to be more aware of others, and available to them at a heart level.

In a practical summary, relational charisma looks like this when you “walk into the room.”:

You embody a positive spirit and sense of hope about the future.
This point is about your personality. You can be an easy-going person and still be positive, hopeful, and bring some energy to the conversation.

You ask questions and listen well.
Make it about their agenda, not yours. Smile, and if you don’t know them, learn their name quickly. Approach them, don’t wait for people to find you, take the initiative.

You look for the best and believe in each person you connect with.
It’s easy to find good stuff about people when you look for it.

You encourage sincerely.
You just can’t encourage people too much. The most important element in your encouragement of others is sincerity. People see and smell surface level hot air really fast.

You add value to others.
Ultimately your role as a leader is to add value to a person’s walk with God that results in their spiritual growth as a disciple of Christ.

Adding value, however, is not limited in its scope. It includes a vast range of practical value, such as helping people to be better leaders, parents, friends, and spouses, etc. I hope you lean into relational charisma as a natural part of your life. It truly makes a life-changing difference for you and for those you lead.

> Read more from Dan.


 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Reiland

Dan Reiland

Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together. Dan is best known as a leader with a pastor's heart, but is often described as one of the nations most innovative church thinkers. His passion is developing leaders for the local church so that the Great Commission is advanced.

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COMMENTS

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The 5 Non-negotiables of Leadership

What does a leader do? The answers (and books) are endless. But there are five things every leader must do for the organization they lead, not least of which when it comes to the church.

1. Uphold Core Values

Every organization has a set of core values (At least, I hope they do). It is the leader’s job to uphold those values. To make sure they are followed, honored and embraced. If a core value is “excellence,” then that value is only as real and formative as a leader makes it by upholding it throughout the organization.

At Meck we have 10:

  • The Bible is true and the catalyst for life change.
  • Lost people matter to God and, therefore, they should matter to us.
  • We aim to be culturally relevant while remaining doctrinally pure.
  • It is normal to manifest authenticity and to grow spiritually.
  • We want to be a unified community of servants stewarding their spiritual gifts.
  • Loving relationships should permeate the life of the church.
  • Life change happens best through relationships.
  • Excellence honors God and inspires people.
  • We are to be led by leaders and structured biblically.
  • Full devotion to Christ is normal.

My job is to uphold all 10; celebrating when one is fleshed out, admonishing when one is not.

2. Cast Missional Vision

If there was one task almost universally affirmed for a leader, it is casting vision. But not just any vision – it must be the casting of missional vision. If we’re taking a hill, you need to define where the hill is and why it is worth taking.

Meaning: “Here’s the target on the wall. Here’s what we’re trying to do.”

On a more personal level, casting missional vision is helping individuals see how they are contributing to the vision in ways that expand their own vision about their investment.

It’s walking up to a person serving in the nursery and saying: “I’m so glad you’re serving. Thank you. Because of you, there’s a young couple in the service able to explore what Christ can mean for their lives. That’s what you’re doing.”

3. Create Unity

The Bible teaches that the number one requirement for becoming a pastor is leading your own personal family well. Why? Because the church is a family. Almost every organization would be served by being led as if it were a family. The question is whether it is a functional family or a dysfunctional family. The answer lies in whether the “parent” does the hard work of keeping everyone unified relationally.

A good leader works to bring parties together, work through conflict, and create open lines of communication. I’ll never forget a time when my two daughters were at a relational impasse at the tender ages of 8 and 6. Susan sat them down, brought them together and helped them talk it through. It ended, if I recall, in a time of prayer.

My wife is a good leader. My daughters are close friends to this day.

That is the goal organizationally.

4. Give Permission

Only a leader can give permission. This isn’t about control, but the privilege of turning people loose. A leader enables people to develop their gifts, chase ministry dreams, take risks and explore new ventures. In fact, the Apostle Paul wrote in the New Testament letter of Ephesians that the job of a church leader is to equip people for ministry. A leader clears the way for people to follow paths of God’s design and leading.

Going further, a good leader sees things in people and encourages them to explore things they never dreamed of for themselves. So it’s not simply permission, but provocation. It’s putting your arm around someone’s shoulders and saying, “I see you doing this,” or “I think you could make a difference here.”

5. Develop Other Leaders

I don’t know if I have ever read this statement (I can’t believe it would be original to me), but I believe it to the core of my being: “Only a leader can develop another leader.”

Which means that developing other leaders is one of the indispensable things a leader must do. At Meck, we’ve developed an entire Leadership Development Program through which we take 100 burgeoning leaders annually. It’s a one-year program that requires reading six books, attending three seminars (on leadership, mission and values, and the personal life of the leader), attending a three-day retreat (covering a course on systematic theology), cohort gatherings, engaging the annual Church & Culture Conference, and more.

Sound robust? It is.

It’s also one of the most important things I do.

So there are five things a leader must do. There are many more, of course, but these five?

All are musts.


Talk with an Auxano Navigator about leadership in your church.


> Read more from James Emery White.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James Emery White

James Emery White

James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which he also served as their fourth president. He is the founder of Serious Times and this blog was originally posted at his website www.churchandculture.org.

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COMMENTS

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Dennis Whiterock — 02/11/20 8:27 am

I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Why Seeking Jesus Makes You a Better Leader

Years ago, a sweet lady in our church handed me a little slip of paper to encourage me on my journey. I unfolded it and it read:

God doesn’t call the qualified; he qualifies the called.

I’m not sure who said it originally, but I’ve heard and repeated it many times since.

And then, as I was re-reading J. Oswald Sanders’ classic work on Spiritual Leadership, I stumbled across this paragraph…

Often truly authoritative leadership falls on someone who years earlier dedicated themselves to practice the discipline of seeking first the kingdom of God. Then, as that person matures, God confers a leadership role, and the Spirit of God goes to work through him. When God’s searching eye finds a person qualified to lead, God anoints that person with the Holy Spirit and calls him or her to a special ministry.

I think the distinction we sometimes miss is that God welcomes everyone into his family, entirely by grace and on the basis of the blood of his Son, Jesus, without respect to any qualification in us. We’re all welcome – every last broken one of us.

But when it comes to leadership, God bestows influence and authority on those who have proven to be faithful stewards of smaller responsibilities.

In other words, leaders must be prepared.

But what does that mean? What kind of preparation is pre-requisite to being used mightily by God?

  • It’s not simply a matter of education – plenty of men and women with no formal education have changed the world.
  • It’s not simply a matter of time – the Apostle Paul preached days after his conversion (though he did then go to Arabia for three years of study under Jesus).
  • It’s not simply a matter of position – leadership is influence, with or without a title.

It’s a matter of having a heart fully surrendered to God.

Notice what Sanders points to as the sign of a person ready for God’s full anointing as a leader – “someone who years earlier dedicated themselves to practice the discipline of seeking first the kingdom of God.”

God raises up and blesses and anoints those for great impact on the world those who have sought the Kingdom of God first and foremost in their lives.

I’ve been guilty, at times, of building my own little kingdom. Without realizing it, a few steps in the wrong direction spiritually places us at the center of our own universe. There, our objective becomes building a life all about our comfort and accomplishments.

But when we realize and acknowledge that King Jesus alone belongs on the throne and as loyal subjects, our prime objective must become the ushering in of the Kingdom of Jesus all around us.

If you want to lead, seek more of Jesus. And seek more for Jesus – more souls in need of him and more glory for him.

Read more from Brandon.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brandon Cox

Brandon Cox has been a Pastor for fifteen years and is currently planting a church in northwest Arkansas, a Saddleback-sponsored church. He also serves as Editor of Pastors.com and Rick Warren's Pastors' Toolbox, and authors a top 100 blog for church leaders (brandonacox.com). He's also the author of Rewired: Using Technology to Share God's Love.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Be a Better Leader By Being Story Driven

Storytelling embodies an approach that is well adapted to meet the deep challenges of leadership. Situations in which story impacts people across an organization include:

  • Persuading them to adopt an unfamiliar new idea
  • Charting a future course
  • Attracting the best talent
  • Instilling passion and discipline
  • Aligning individuals to work together
  • Calling everyone to continue believing in leadership through the unpredictable ups and downs

The underlying reason for the affinity between leadership and storytelling is simple: narrative, unlike abstraction and analysis, is inherently collaborative.

Storytelling helps leaders work with other individuals as co-participants, not merely as objects or underlings. Storytelling helps strengthen leaders’ connections with the world.

After all, isn’t this what all leaders need – a connection with people they are seeking to lead?

“The mistake people make is thinking the story is just about marketing. No, the story is the strategy. If you make your story better you make the strategy better.”

– Ben Horowitz

THE QUICK SUMMARY – Story Driven by Bernadette Jiwa

Every one of us—regardless of where we were born, how we were brought up, how many setbacks we’ve endured or privileges we’ve been afforded—has been conditioned to compete to win. Ironically, the people who create fulfilling lives and careers—the ones we respect, admire and try to emulate—choose an alternative path to success. They have a powerful sense of identity. They don’t worry about differentiating themselves from the competition or obsess about telling the right story. They tell the real story instead. Successful organizations and the people who create, build and lead them don’t feel the need to compete, because they know who they are and they’re not afraid to show us.

How about you?

What do you stand for?

Where are you headed and why?

What’s been the making of you?

What will make your career or company great?

You must be able to answer these questions if you want to build a great company, thriving entrepreneurial venture or fulfilling career. Whether you’re an individual or you’re representing an organization or a movement, a city or a country, Story Driven gives you a framework to help you consistently articulate, live and lead with your story. This book is about how to stop competing and start succeeding by being who you are, so you can do work you’re proud of and create the future you want to see.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

Story is the emotion that makes your organization come to life in the eyes of your audience.

For most of human history, we communicated through the oral tradition. A person shared something with another person, and if it was interesting enough, they passed it on to a third person. And if it wasn’t, the message died then and there. It was survival of the fittest for messages.

In this environment, there’s one type of information that passed along most effectively: stories. Stories are memorable because they are emotionally resonant, and easy to take ownership of. The storyteller adopts the story in their own image, modifying it slightly, and passing it on. Storytelling arose not as a form of entertainment, but rather as a mechanism for communicating deeply held truths across societies. We don’t tell stories because we want to — we tell stories because they are essential.

The reason online social sharing, linking, and direct messaging so quickly became a core part of society is because it taps into an ancient need for humans to tell stories to each other, without an intermediary. People are once again passing on the information they see as most valuable, and discarding that which is not.

Organizations who are looking to reach their target audiences and connect with them need only look to the ancient form of the story to understand how best to engage people today. 

By failing to also see our narrative as part of our strategy, we’re missing the opportunity to get clear on our purpose, differentiate ourselves from the competition and create affinity with the right audience.

Before you write a line of code or a word of copy, before you apply for that promotion or plan your growth strategy, and before you create your next marketing campaign or send that email, you need to understand what’s driving your story. Where are the roots that will enable you to grow healthy branches that bear fruit? How will you show, not just tell? What promises are you intending to keep?

“Story” is frequently used as a tactic to attract the attention of our audience. We agonize for weeks over perfect taglines, choosing logo designs and articulating features and benefits, often without fully understanding how or even if those tactics (the things we spend most of our time doing) are helping us to get where we want to go.

The hardest part is not only working out the mission, vision, and values that are the foundation of your business, but also intentionally living them so you can achieve your goals. You have to begin by getting clear about why your business exists. The very act of questioning your purpose forces you to dig deeper. It invites you to clarity why you wanted to make that particular promise to those particular people in the first place and to create an action plan to deliver on it.

Clarity of intention is where your story starts. Whether it’s obvious to us or not, the businesses we are loyal to understand what they’re here to do.

When your business or organization is story driven, its aspirations and strategy are underpinned by a clear philosophy that deepens employee engagement and commitment, creates momentum, and drives innovation and customer loyalty, thus leading to to a solid plan for achieving success.

Having a story-driven strategy enables you to adapt in times of change because that your story is bigger than the scene that’s playing out in the moment.

Bernadette Jiwa, Story Driven

A NEXT STEP

As Auxano Navigators spend hundreds of hours each week serving churches across the country, they spend a lot of time helping churches find vision clarity. Much of that time, as you can imagine, is spent at the big picture level, not in the week-to-week details. It’s in the midst of slogging through the details of what announcements to make and what goes in the weekly bulletin and how all our activities get communicated that clarity is most needed.

In other words, once you have clarity in your understanding of God’s preferred future for your church, how do you make sure that clarity at the big picture level filter down to the details each week?

Auxano Founder Will Mancini thinks there are four things that you must know whenever you’re communicating in order to maintain clarity and craft effective communication.

Know your audience.

Any good communicator will tell you that you have to know your audience in order to communicate well. And while that’s certainly true, in the church, this carries another level of complexity. Each specific event or program that you want to communicate about may not apply to the entire church. Your first question should always be, “How can I get as close as possible to the primary audience?” Here’s what I mean: Let’s say your church is offering a series of classes for parents on raising kids with a strong faith foundation. Should you simply put something in the weekly bulletin and make an announcement? That’s not getting very close to your target audience, and you’re going to be communicating to people (singles, grandparents, etc.) to whom the communication does not apply. Instead, hand out a flyer regarding the classes to every parent as they pick up their kids from the children’s ministry on a Sunday morning. It would be best to schedule some extra workers that morning so they could have a short conversation with each parent about the class and its importance to parenting well. Now you’re communicating well. This kind of targeted, more personal interaction is much more effective than a scatter-shot announcement or bulletin blurb.

Know your message. 

You must, of course, be crystal clear about what you want to communicate. Apart from communicating the details clearly (what, when, where), you must always communicate the why. Why does this matter? And the answer to that question should always lead you right back to your vision. With clarity on your mission, values, strategy, and measures, you should leverage that clarity in all your week-to-week communication efforts. How does this specific event or program move us toward accomplishing our mission? Where does it fit within our strategy? If you don’t connect everything back to your vision, you will end up just communicating a disjointed calendar of events that have seemingly no connection to each other.

Know your context. 

Some people may call this politics or organizational history. You may want to argue and say, “That shouldn’t enter into how and what we communicate. If we’re doing what God has called us to do, then politics shouldn’t matter.” Maybe it would be easier to think of this not in terms of politics, but in terms of relationships. Who has a vested interest in what we’re communicating? Have we brought them into the loop? Have we gotten their input? If you proceed without asking these kinds of questions, it’s like obliviously strolling through a field of land mines. You want to communicate effectively, right? You want people to hear the true message, right? Why not remove any potential misunderstandings or hurt feelings before things get started? You actually have an opportunity to get buy-in from these key players before communicating more widely. So don’t think of it as bowing to organizational politics, think of it as intentional vision-casting and inviting people to be a part of moving the church forward. Trust me, you’ll be glad you took the time to do it right.

Know your place. 

This is a special note for those of you that help to craft church communication from a seat other than the lead pastor’s chair. You need to understand that although you may be responsible for putting together the communication plan for different church initiatives, you are not the lead pastor. So don’t try to be something you’re not. If you’ve put together a strategically beautiful plan (in your humble opinion) that your lead pastor doesn’t agree with, be willing to change it. Of course, make your case as to why the plan is solid, but in the end, always defer. This is the only way for the organization to work well in the long run. I’ve seen too many communications people that try to bring about organizational change through their role in ways that only end up hurting the church.

If you keep these four things in mind, you’ll craft communication that’s much more effective in generating movement toward accomplishing your church’s mission. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

Stop and identify one leadership moment in the next five days in which you can live story-driven. Using Mancini’s four clarity pillars, answer these four questions as you prepare to lead with story:

  • Who is my primary audience?
  • What is my central message?
  • Where are the landmines of context?
  • How does my role impact this moment?

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 94-1, issued June 2018.


 

This is part of a weekly series posting excerpts from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix book excerpts for church leaders.

Each issue SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; each solution is taken from a different book. Additionally, a practical action step is included with each solution.

As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS Remix provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

> > Subscribe to SUMS Remix <<

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Three Leadership Lessons from Timothy & Paul

As leaders we cannot successfully walk through ministry alone. We must be connected to people who are ahead of us in the journey, people who are right behind us, and people who are walking alongside us.

Paul described this kind of multigenerational mentoring relationship in 2 Timothy 2:2: “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others” (NLT).

Paul and Timothy modeled three kinds of relationships all Christian leaders need in order to grow and serve effectively. Their relationship showed us that:

1. We need a spiritual father.

Paul calls Timothy “my true son in the faith” in 1 Timothy 1:2 (NLT). We first meet Timothy in Acts 16 when Paul is heading out on his second missionary journey. He stops in Lystra to pick up the young disciple who accompanies him, assists him, and serves as a sort of apprentice under him. Paul becomes a spiritual father to Timothy.

My heart hurts as I see the number of young pastors and leaders who are enthusiastically serving with big dreams but lack spiritual fathers. I’ve been fortunate: I’ve had many spiritual fathers in my life—from my biological father to other Christian leaders who have taken me under their wings. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.

I believe we can learn and be mentored from people who died long ago. For example, I recommend that at least 25% of a church leader’s reading be spent in pre-Reformation era writings and another 25% from the Reformation to the modern missionary age. Another 25% of our reading should be drawn from the generation just previous to ours, and only the remaining 25% should come from contemporary authors. We need to hear from voices that have gone on before us. Those voices connect us to centuries of church history. We must always be learning from our past.

2. We need to be a model for others.

We need to be an example of what mature ministry looks like. In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he points out that, “You, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance” (2 Timothy 3:10-11 NLT). Paul provides Timothy with a powerful example for the younger leader to emulate. Timothy knows Paul. He’s watched him. He’s seen how Paul handles the challenges of ministry. We don’t just need a “Paul” in our lives, we need to be a “Paul” to others.

3. We need a partner.

In Romans 16:21, you’ll find that Paul’s relationship with Timothy has changed. Paul writes, “Timothy, my fellow worker, sends you his greetings” (NLT). Timothy has gone from being a son to a student and now to being a colleague and a co-laborer.

We spend plenty of time desiring and praying for more laborers, but perhaps not enough time investing in those with the potential to become our partners in the mission.

Do you have partners in the mission who cheer you on? Do you have other Christian leaders that you can lean on during tough times? Timothy became that for Paul because, for years, Paul had served as a spiritual father and a model for Timothy. Maybe one of the reasons so many pastors feel so alone in ministry today is that they haven’t spent enough time investing in younger leaders.

We need to follow the examples of Timothy and Paul. We need a spiritual father, and we need to be one for the next generation. We also need to partner with others so that we can serve more effectively and finish the race.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rick Warren

Rick Warren

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

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