As I write this I’m leaving tomorrow to go on a trip. I know where I’m starting and where I’m heading so it is easy for me to put the information into my GPS. I wish things were that easy as a leader in getting from point A to point B.
Dr Ike Reighard recently said to our staff, “The number 1 job of a leader is to define the present reality.”
I bet if you surveyed a hundred leaders you would get a pretty healthy list of things as their number 1 priority before they said something similar to defining the present reality, but it makes sense doesn’t it?
I can cast all the vision I want and tell everyone where I think we are headed. But if we don’t have a clear understanding of where we are, we don’t have a starting point as we set out for our destination. Let me give you a practical example.
Suppose I’m pastoring a church that averages 50 in attendance on Sunday mornings, but because of “pastor math” I “know” we are a church of 90 people because I can always think of 6-8 families I don’t see on any given Sunday. Now suppose I have a goal of growing our average to 100 people. We don’t need 10 people...we need to double our church! That’s a different endeavor altogether....read more
You know that person who recently hurt you? I’m talking about the one who said hurtful things about you, or didn’t include you in something. The person who you’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about lately, trying to figure out why they don’t like you, or why they want to hurt you. Let me let in you in on a little secret…
You’re giving them way too much credit! They're not that smart or strategic, and they don't think about you as much as you think they do.
While you’ve been racking your brain trying to figure out what their motives or agenda are, you’ve been making a mistake by assuming they have one. While it is true there are some nasty people in the world who want to hurt you, I don’t believe the person you are thinking about right now is one them. Here is the truth, people have conflict because people have personalities.
The reason I know they probably didn’t mean to hurt you is because I hurt people all the time, and I don’t mean to, just like you do.
If they voiced their opinion, it was because they felt like they were right. If they ignored you it was because they were focused on something else. If you heard they talked about you to someone else it was...read more
Leaders are a rare breed; we are never content with the present. We always see a future that’s “out there,’ and try to gather as many people as we can and take them along with us towards what we see. The problem is we don’t always know how to verbalize what we see. Sometimes what we feel and see can’t be added up with pen and paper or charted on a graph. The best leaders learn how to balance what adds up on paper and the instinct that whispers in our gut.
The hardest thing to do as a leader is make a move before you need to but not sooner than you should.
God has hard wired leaders to be looking for the next mountaintop while everyone else is celebrating the arrival to the current one. That means as leaders we feel in our gut that decisions have to be made, but everyone else around us doesn’t understand why we would want to change anything that got us to where we are. After all, where we are is the best it’s ever been, but true leaders can’t settle for where they are, we stay up at night wondering if we should pull the trigger on the next move that has to be made in order to get us to our next peak. There’s no doubt many leaders have foiled these types of decisions....read more
As communicators the biggest challenge we face is creating relevant and creative messages 52 weeks a year. The pressure is on. All eyes are on you waiting for you to create content. We’ve all done it; it’s Friday or Saturday and you need a message for Sunday. Chances are you pulled it off, but how amazing would it feel to get ahead? To know what you were going to preach in 2 weeks, 6 weeks, or 6 months? What if you were able to be strategic about what you communicated and when you communicated it? What if you took Sundays off at the right times, and preached your best sermons on your biggest weekends? It’s possible!
I’ve provided a sample 2014 preaching calendar as a free download at the bottom of this article. I want you to download it, sit down with your team, or just yourself, and think through all 52 weekends of 2014, and figure out the best way to communicate throughout the year. Here are a few tips to help you make a plan:
1. Use broad strokes
You don’t have to know specifics about your sermons right now, but you can know topics or themes you want to address. Don’t get caught up in the details, take a zoomed out view.
2. Be strategic
Your church has a rhythm to it,
Make no mistake, I made a lot more than 5 mistakes over the last 5 years but I think there were a few of more consequence to the progress of our church than others.
1. I processed potential decisions by myself instead of with my team
I get a lot done when I’m by myself, and that includes making decisions. The problem is I walk into meeting and inform my team of a decision instead allowing us to process a potential decision together. Even in the times when I would throw out an idea and want feedback, my team can tell when I’ve already made up my mind and am just giving them a courtesy. I’m learning that once you have the right team around you, you need more debate and more passionate conversations to make the right decisions, and more importantly get more buy in.
2. I prioritized perfection over development
I am a perfectionist, especially when it comes to church programming. I made the mistake of only putting the best or most talented people on the stage instead of developing future talent and future leaders. I was convinced that any drop in quality would hurt the churches momentum, but I’m learning the momentum created by people being developed and finding a place in
The movement of God is always forward. We have been made to soar and to embrace our future as God sees it. Forwardleadership is designed to engage leaders who have tomorrow in their hearts. Thank you for visiting.