Archives For Leadership

The Pound for Pound Church

By Kenny Luck

Sleeping Giant by Kenny LuckGreatness must involve victory over quality opposition or against significant odds.

In the boxing world I have just described Manny Pacquiao.  He has been appropriately labeled by fans of the sport, bloggers, sportswriters, and fellow boxers as the best “pound for pound” fighter in the modern era.   In other words, as a boxer who has won titles in eight lighter weight divisions, he is never going to fight for the “heavyweight” championship of the world.    That’s because he is five feet six inches and weighs in at a hundred and fifty pounds all wet in his street clothes.  He is not going to be remembered like a Muhammad Ali because his greatness in the sport is measured in different dimensions.   These include: how many weight divisions he has won, the quality of his opponents, and his skills in the ring. Add to these: hand speed, punching power, and work rate.  In this way, a “pound for pound” fighter designation gives you the greater measure of the boxer.

As pastors and members we easily confuse the measure of greatness in the local church.  We all know and admire…

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Pastor Rick Warren fields some very tough questions from Neil Cavuto in this interview, and offers comfort to the grieving, but also some challenges to the nation about some areas that deserve our attention.

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Last year on Christmas morning in front of a packed auditorium of church members and  visitors, I had a ministry meltdown.  The truth of the matter is that the breakdown had been coming for almost a year and during the previous two days I had been showing signs of a problem, but simply didn’t realize what was happening.  Up to this point, I have not spoken about the lead up to the breakdown, nor shared with anyone outside of a select group of friends and church leaders about my recovery.  But over the last several months I have had the opportunity to talk with several other Pastors and ministers about their ongoing struggles and after a great deal of prayer I’ve decided to share what I’ve learned.  Today I want to share with you the anatomy of a ministry meltdown.  Then on tomorrow’s post I will share about recovering from a ministry breakdown, and the on Friday wrap the series up with how to prevent a ministry breakdown.

Before I share about the anatomy of a ministry meltdown let me share some enlightening statistics.  According…

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Young LeadersIn 1 Samuel 10 Saul is anointed as King over Israel. As soon as he was anointed as the leader…

5 signs occurred that I see in the leaders of today (or I should say the great anointed leaders of today).

New Heart

God changed everything about him. His new heart gave him the compassion, the passion & determination to lead. He had a new found ability to control his emotions and thoughts in ways he never knew before. A new heart from God, brings new priorities & paths.

New Words

He prophesied with the prophets. He spoke about the things & plans of God with boldness and great conviction. This is certainly the characteristic of an anointed leader! He hears from God, and proclaims it with boldness. Not walking in fear of man, but in reverent fear of God!

New Followers

“Valiant” men immediately were called by God to go to his side. When you are an anointed leader, God will always send valiant men & women to surround you and hold up your arms. They will guard you, speak life into you, and also the truth-even if it hurts.

New Enemies

When you are truly an anointed leader,…

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Ways-to-LeadChristmas can be a wonderful time of year . . . or it can be a complete nightmare. How do we, as ministry leaders, enjoy the season while leading well? Here are 5 ideas:

1. Focus on people, not program. 

Christmas can be a heavily programmed time of year. Depending on your church, you may not have a choice but to drive the program during this season. But that doesn’t mean that you have to put people second. In all your interactions, planning for the programs, etc., always keep the needs & concerns of the people in mind. Always seek to invest in those involved, not just use them to to fill a spot in the Christmas play.

2. Don’t neglect your own family. 

The demands of the season can be many. I hear it all the time:

  • “But I have to be at the church…”
  • “It’s my job…”
  • “The Christmas musical would fall apart without me…”

Yep, all that might be true. But that’s no excuse for giving your family second best. I don’t offer specific ideas on how to solve this issue except this: figure it out. What is important in your life gets your time & attention….

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MarriageThis is the third post in a sixteen part series on “Marriage with a Chronically Self-Centered Spouse.” In the posts three through five we will examine the criteria and categories Scripture uses to define a severe case.

We have looked at Jim, a passive self-centered spouse, and Eddie, an aggressive self-centered spouse. But if we were talking to them instead of about them, doubtless we would hear the rebuttal, “This can’t be all me. Counselors always take the side of the crying woman. She’s not innocent. What about all the stuff that she does that upsets me? Am I supposed to let all that go, and she gets to unload on me?”

This poses a difficult question in counseling a self-centered marriage. No spouse is ever completely innocent, yet we have focused on Jim and Eddie to such a degree that we have not even given their wives’ a name. Is this counselor bias? Is it a violation of the biblical teaching on forgiveness (Matt 18:21-22)?

No, it is the direct application of Matthew 7:6 and the conclusion to Matthew 7:1-5. In this passage, Jesus is dealing with troubled relationships. In three stages,…

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Half StaffOn November 13, 1989 a thirteen year old boy came home from school to find his father home. Knowing his father was home several hours early, he instantly realized that something was up… and his father told him something that would have a significant impact on the rest of his life. That was the day that I learned my aunt had killed my three cousins before killing herself.

The impact of that day has affected our family significantly… and the memories associated with it are forever etched in my mind. Over the next few days we watched as my aunt was discussed on television, phrases like manic-depressive were thrown around, questions were asked, and tears were shed. The phrase “I should have realized” was spoken in hushed tones, and answers were sought out. During the funeral, I sat between my uncle and my grandfather… putting my arm around my grandfather to comfort him as he sobbed uncontrollably.

Since that day many explanations have been given about what went wrong, many discussions have taken place about what drives a person to kill her three sons before taking her own life, and while many of…

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Color.ofCross.pcomTIME Magazine is calling it, “The Massacre of the Innocents“. And, it was.

Yet, that phrase has another meaning that many might not know. The Gospel of Matthew recorded this:

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been outwitted by the wise men, flew into a rage. He gave orders to massacre all the male children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, in keeping with the time he had learned from the wise men. Then what was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be consoled,because they were no more” (Matthew 2:16-18).

Bible scholars think that this small village of Bethlehem had a population of about 1000, which means about 20 infant boys would have been killed by Herod’s evil command. Yes, 20 children. Though Jesus was not among the killed, the weeping was real and loud for those who experienced yet another loss. And, we know that God grieved with Rachel who weeped for her children.

Yet, outside of the Gospel of…

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iStock_000018764690Small-300x268In my last post, I raised the idea that the behind-the-scenes processes can either propel or derail the vision of your organization.  In the next few posts, I’d like to expand on that by addressing certain back-office functions and how each specifically supports your vision.

In the spotlight this week is the lonely accounting / finance department.  I say lonely because no one really likes visiting these folks (sorry, but you know it’s true!).  They hold the purse strings, ask lots of questions and sometimes tell you “no.”  I used to work in a non-profit’s accounting office, so I know of which I speak!  Your accounting personnel love your organization just as much as the front-line folks.  They just show their commitment in different ways – here are a few examples:

  • Budgeting: They’ll advocate for developing a budget for the upcoming year by department.  This supports the vision by getting your team to plan ahead, prioritize expenditures, and helps them ensure that the money will be there when you need it for that big event or new program.
  • Purchasing: They may push back on a purchase request because certain financial controls weren’t followed…

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“If our community doesn’t get better because Transformation Church exists, then we have failed.”  It’s a strong statement, but one we wholeheartedly believe.  Watch this video to see an incredible way in which God used the generosity of Transformers to change our community this past weekend.

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FeedbackFeedback exists between two parts when each affects the other. Are you affected by those you lead? Those who just watch, and those who observe from afar? Of course you are?

The question is, are you really harnessing the power of how those around you perceive you?

Perception is king! We can think we are experienced and effective leaders and completely miss our potential to lead, just by not understanding how we are perceived.

Remember this…

It’s not intention, but perception that will make impact

1) Your Leadership Circle

These are the ones closest to you. You lead and work with them on a daily and weekly basis. They know your habits and what you expect, and how you react in certain situations.

It’s vital that these closet to you have absolute freedom to speak into your life. If you don’t feel they deserve that, then either find someone else to take their place, or repent of your pride!

We have to know how people around us are perceiving our leadership! If we ignore our perception we are entrusting our leadership and it’s impact to chance at best.

2) Those on the Inside

Those inside your church also have a unique perception of you. They are…

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Two WaysYou are either CONSUMING or BEING CONSUMED

When you are Consuming, you are taking in needed energy. You are replenishing what you’ve given out to others in the name of Jesus.

When you are Being Consumed you are giving out energy. You are doing the work of leadership; of ministry.

(Note: In my experience, ministry leaders like yourself find themselves more often at the “being consumed” end of the spectrum)

You are either SUCCEEDING or FAILING

When you are Succeeding, you are seeing the fruits of your labor. Or perhaps, fruits or no fruits, you have that sense that you are still within God’s presence and faithfully pursuing His call on your life.

When you are Failing, it’s no fun. You’re dealing with the problems of ministry leadership. Peoples’ quirks, questions, and quits. You work hard just to bring yourself to ground zero. All the struggle – none of the fulfillment. You know God’s present. You just don’t sense Him.

How These Play Out

Consuming and Succeeding – a pretty sight to behold. Watch the over-consuming though. Ministry gluttony is painful in its own way.

Being Consumed and Succeeding – okay, but watch it. Your adrenalin may be intoxicating and you’ll hit the wall.


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