Archives For Artie Davis

SecretsHave you ever heard that statement? It applies not only to leaders but to the organizations we lead.

One example is Penn State University. As early as 1998 people were aware that assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, had dark issues. But no one took significant action, so they all became part of the problem. Sandusky did not fail alone. The community around him failed miserably to be his safe community. The leaders were sick — the organization was sick. How sick? As sick as their secrets.

A healthy, productive leader is needed for a healthy, productive organizational culture – and we need safe people around us to become that healthy leader. I need people who have the courage to ask the tough questions – and people who I feel safe to tell all.

Here are 5 ways safe people help us  . . .

1) Preemptive Protection. Secrets may not be “sin” in the early stages but they can lead you there. A lot of people will suffer the consequences of my secrets, so someone safe needs to hear exactly what I am thinking. And they do not need to be…

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It’s called being a skilled communicator.

My wife and I (Georgie) have been married almost thirty years and it still amazes me how hard we have to work to keep passion in our relationship. Yeah we do all the “right” things…

– We go on date nights

– We are very affectionate toward one another

– Each supports and encourages the other in their dreams

– You know the rest…Blah, Blah, Blah…


It reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13, we can do this list like Jedi-Marriage-Masters and still fail. I tell you the truth, if all those things are done with out skilled communication, it will not work to it’s potential. You will find yourself tired and worn out!

Skilled communication takes decades to master, years of being a practitioner and many lost pints of blood on the sacred ground of marriage!


It’s worth it! knowing how to communicate in transparency, honesty with love and grace will take your relationship to unexplored heights spiritually, emotionally and yes sexually.

If you want to improve your marriage in ANY area, begin learning and improving your skills at communication, it works every time.

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“It’s time to make time count”

That’s the place we’re in as a church. I’m not getting any younger, and it seems we are losing Kingdom ground on a national and international level. The only answer to reversing that is building and growing Kingdom and mission minded leaders who will do the same.

I feel a great sense of urgency that we have to equip and empower an entire new army of leaders, younger leaders that have incredible passion for the mission of the church to multiply. In response to that, we have revamped our leadership development process.

At its core our new process has 4-Parts…

1 -A Pre-Process

It’s important that potential leaders know you are serious about multiplying leaders. That it’s not just another “program” they can sign up for. Make your leadership process by invitation only, and where some pretty high standards must be met prior to being allowed in.

2- A Basic Beginning

Start all at the same point. It’s important that all those with you know the vision, passion and direction of your church. Don’t make any assumptions! Remember what they used to say, “Assumption is the mother…

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Gotta tell ya, pastors say some of the stupidest things! Now, I am a BIG pastor fan (I am one), but… sometimes in the name of Jesus, church, God or love the craziest things pass over their vocal cords while bypassing the brain.

Now I recall some of those here for your notes, that meaning, if you are a pastor or not, in the name of Jesus, the church, God and for the sake of love, never say these…

1- I’m glad I don’t have any homosexuals coming to my church

2- It won’t really help or change anything, but you need to pray

3- I know my church will die when I leave, but that’s OK, we can plant another one

4- The church doesn’t have to be diverse in order to reach the city

5- I don’t make friends with any of our staff

6- I love to preach, I just don’t like people

7- I don’t want my church to grow, I’m satisfied with my salary

8- My kids hate our church…But I’m OK with that

9- I’m careful with who I let lead, I don’t want someone to take my job

10-I will…

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MomentumAt times momentum can be an illusive goal. It seems to come when least expected, and dissipates when we feel it should be present. In the church world, it seems even more illusive.

I’ve found there are four vital pillars that must be in place in order to hold any momentum that begins or maintained.


Mission is the “What” your church should be doing. In the Bible, we would recognize this is our commission or the great commandment. “God and make followers of all people.”

No matter where you are, that is your mission. Don’t let any “method” drive or steer your mission. The mission must drive the method.


What’s the vehicle that will drive the mission. Again this may seem a little elementary, but the simple things are the ones that seem to end up being ignored or forgotten, and the latest get big quick plan becomes the flavor of the year.

The Mechanism we have to accomplish our mission is the Church. The church is the only vehicle ordained by God to carry out and grow the Kingdom. And the church has three parts:

  • Me (The individual)
  • We (The circle or group)
  • Us (The Congregation)
All of these are…

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  1. Team Engagement – Your team will follow and love the leader that loves and engages them. Keep an open door policy and make your team and their concerns a real priority.
  2. Empowerment – Everybody likes a chance to shine, to be the best they can be. That means no micro-managing allowed! Don’t expect someone or anyone to do it like you or as good as you. Help them be the best THEY can be. Not a “mini-me.”
  3. Big Vision – The team has to see a vision so big that it takes God Himself to pull it off. The days of the “Celeb” leader is over. Tomorrow’s greatest leaders will only follow a true humble servant leader.
  4. Clear Systems and Processes – What’s next? How do we get there, and who’s responsible for what? Those are questions that your team needs to know to be on the same page. Don’t make them fly without a radar. Establish clear systems that empower and yet guide.
  5. Flexible Schedules – It’s been proven that workers are more productive and happy in a position that embraces flexibility rather than stringent time…

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Hope you know what I’m saying…”Sick” is the new word for “awesome.” So if you are a leader or pastor in a small city…

A- You ARE Awesome!

B- You gotta have some “sick skills” to succeed where you are

I am a small city boy, born and raised. And I love small city leaders and pastors that don’t get the head-line but they get the bottom-line…Growing the Kingdom of God where they are.

Having planted, and grown a multi-site church in a small city or “The Sticks” I’ve had to learn a few “sick skills” myself. As we continue to grow and help others, some of these “sick skills” stand out more than others.

So if you are small-city Jedi with “Sick Skills”, this is you…

1- You see the potential others would discard

Small city means a smaller pool of volunteers and leaders. But that doesn’t stop the leader with sick skills! You pray, watch and listen for God to add gifts, calling and anointing. You know and expect God to raise up all that is necessary for building and growing His church where you are.

2- You know the needs…

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SermonsIn the process of wrestling with God over Mission, Vision and Direction, I “fell into” a new sermon outline that has proved to be extremely helpful to me. And I love its simplicity. It goes like this…

  1. Story-Opened
    • Open with a story that has enough weight to carry the entire sermon. It can be the context of Scripture you are preaching, but doesn’t have to be. But the story must be “heavy” enough to thread through the entire sermon.
  2. Head
    • This is what some are thinking  now. The wrong frame of thinking in their heads that is producing the wrong beliefs and wrong actions.
  3. Heart
    • This is that God says we should be thinking and believing. The real Truth that will bring transformation to those who receive it.
  4. Hand
    • This is what we should do with this new revelation of Truth
    • Many times I will break this up
    • A challenge to those Outside
    • A challenge to this Inside the Kingdom
  5. Story-Closed
    • I like to go back and tie a knot in the thread of the story that has been woven through out the sermon. And end it in a way that adds an urgency to the previous challenge.

I’ve been using this for…

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The greatest and highest calling of a leader is to replace themselves.

The Lord said to Elijah…anoint Elisha to succeed you as prophet. So Elijah went from there and found Elisha… Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him.

Then he left to follow and assist Elijah. ~1 Kings 19

  • Listen for God’s voice to know who you should choose to invest in
  • Confirm your commitment of investment
  • Take them with you as much as possible
  • Let them watch what you do
  • Let them help you, and you watch them
  • Let them do what you do, and you praise them
  • Help them do what you do…Better than you do!

The Kingdom must have leaders that produce greater leaders. “Greater things than these will you do.”

This is what Jesus did.

Do you have anyone you are doing this with now?
Have you listened to hear God speak a name, or two…or twelve?
What step are you in now?

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True MissionWhat are you REALLY trying to do? What is your true mission…

 “Your true Mission – is what Motivates you”

What moves you? What gets you all excited when it really happens, when you see it coming into reality. Along the way there are several things we can use to test our heart. We may say one thing, but in reality be pursuing something totally different.

What Do I Measure?

What do you measure that gets you excited when it’s good, or it discourages you when it’s not quite what you wanted?

  • Attendance
  • Salvations
  • Baptisms
  • Service
  • Groups
  • Other_______________

Where is my Win?

This is different than measurement. This is more like the finishing of a race you have trained hard for, and you win it! What is gonna cause you to raise your hands and the do the “Victory Dance?”

  • Having the biggest church in town?
  • Replacing yourself?
  • Starting a new Campus or Church?
  • Quitting?
  • Seeing your “haters” go away?

Who’s Next?

“When a student is fully trained he will be like his teacher.” We must train, love and multiply others than can do what we have been doing, and do it better! Jesus had that mind-set, and that’s what He did…”Greater things will you do.”