Archives For Leadership

MinistryHere it is:

Ministry takes place when divine resources meet human needs through loving channels to the glory of God.

– Warren Wiersbe, On Being a Servant of God

According to Warren Wiersbe, one of America’s long-term leading thinkers on ministry issues, this definition consists of four vital parts. Our church staff just walked through his definition of ministry this morning, which includes…

  1. Getting to know the divine resources God has made available,
  2. Compassionately seeing the real needs of people,
  3. Being a willing channel of God’s resources to people in need, so that
  4. God alone is ultimately glorified.

And Wiersbe also points out a prime scriptural example of this definition in action:

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer–at three in the afternoon. Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then…

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Thoughtful LeadershipLet’s face it: Leadership in the church is stressful. Very stressful. Every day, we as church leaders are called upon to make decisions that impact people’s lives. With every decision we make, people become happy, angry, or undecided about the decision. And, as we all know, you can’t please everyone. Because of the intense amount of stress, it’s easy to become burned out quickly. Every time someone grumbles about your leadership call, or becomes angry you didn’t do what they wanted, it’s easy to shut down, retreat, and play it safe. But God has called us to lead. There is no getting out of that.

You can see into the heart of Jesus’ plan for the church in Matthew 16. In verse 18, Jesus makes a statement to the Apostles: “I will build My Church…” Jesus promised He would build His church. The building of the church began at Pentecost in Acts 2, and still continues today. Jesus’ plan for the church has always been progression and growth, not tearing down or stagnation.

With this concept in mind, every leadership decision we make should involve progression and growth. But how can we…

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You Are BeautifulWe affirm people when we treat them with dignity, knowing that they matter to God. If you want to stand out in your leadership, one secret puts you head and shoulders above everybody else – be an encourager. Encouragement is very difficult to find today.  The Bible says, “Encourage each other and build each other up.”

In America, we live in a very negative culture.  Most people get far more jeers than cheers, far more pokes than strokes.  We live in a society where the number one form of humor is put downs.  People are put down, criticized, maligned.

God calls us to do the exact opposite.  God says, as believers and especially as Pastors and church leaders, we are to value everybody.  When you look around at people — even people who are insulting you and putting you down, you must realize that God died for them.  He sent His Son for them and they matter greatly to God.  When you appreciate people, you raise their value.  Appreciation means to raise in value.  If you have bought or sold real estate in these last few years, you know the meaning…

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31. Trust God from the bottom of your heart.

I know that seems like a ‘nah duh’ kind of statement  especially for those of us that are called to lead Christ’s Church. The truth is, though, that it can be tough as a leader to REALLY trust at times. When it feels like it’s all on us and we’re waiting for God to show up and do what we know we heard him say He’d do, it can be tough to trust. Trust anyway. He’s trustworthy for sure!

2. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go

Are you desperate to hear from God? If not, you’re gonna find yourself in some really tough spots. He’s the one who will keep you on track in your leadership journey. He’ll let you know when your walking in pride, when you need to step out and move, and when you need to turn the ship in a certain direction. Don’t assume that you know it all. Listen for him. Get on your face and beg for his guidance.

3. Honor God with everything you own

It’s all his anyway. That place you’re leading. Those people you’re…

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A few weeks ago, I ran across an interesting post from Seth Godin with the simple title, “How to Listen.” In the post, Seth explains that the listener has as heavy an obligation in a conversation as the speaker. After all, no idea is truly communicated if the person being spoken to is not listening. Listening is hard work and needs to be practiced.

Being a good listener is one of the most important skills you can master if you want to advance your career and build meaningful relationships. Whether you’re an employee, employer, husband, wife, father, mother, or friend, when you truly listen, you demonstrate your interest in what is being said, and you show respect for the individual saying it. Listening is a magnetic force that draws people to us.

If you want to become a better listener, here are three techniques to use in every conversation:

1. Be quiet.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from Stephen Covey: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” If you want to be a better listener, be quiet. Don’t simply listen…

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Vision+44One of your most important roles as a pastor is as vision caster. Sharing the vision of your church can’t be a one-time event.

The Bible says, “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves.” (Proverbs 29:18, MSG)

As the leader, God has called you to help your congregation see what God is doing in your midst.

That’s why you must continually put the vision of your church before your congregation—at least every 26 days. That’s the Nehemiah Principle.

In Nehemiah’s story of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, halfway through the project people got discouraged and wanted to give up. Like many churches, they lost their sense of purpose and, as a result, became overwhelmed with fatigue, frustration and fear.  Nehemiah rallied the people back to work by reorganizing the project and recasting the vision.  He reminded them of the importance of their work and reassured them that God would help them fulfill his purpose (Neh. 4:6-15).

Although the wall took only 52 days to complete, the people became discouraged at the halfway point: just 26 days into the project! Nehemiah had to renew their vision.

You’ve got to…

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The concept of “Team Leadership” is popular right now, and many business and nonprofit leaders are moving toward that model. I think there are many advantages to team leadership, but I’m seeing one area where far too many organizations get it wrong. While teams are great for brainstorming, research, and execution, teams don’t make decisions, leaders do. That principle was highlighted in an recent quote from Patrick Lencioni, author of “The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business:”

“If your people don’t weigh in on a decision, they’re not going to buy into it either. That doesn’t mean you’re seeking consensus. The leader’s job is to listen to everybody, and then say, “OK, based on what I just heard, here is how we are going to go.”

If you are using a team model in your organization, then great. Teams are very helpful in generating enthusiasm and helping employees buy into ideas. But don’t make the mistake of leading by consensus.  Don’t farm out important decisions to your team.

If you’re the leader.  You make the decision.

“Caveman Chuck” Coker

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Pastors, there are many benefits of taking a few days away from your ministry. In my younger years, I wondered if I could afford to be away. But the longer I am in the ministry, the more I know that my body, my family, and my church need me to take a few days away from the ministry. It is profitable for all parties.

When we first started out in ministry, our time away from the church was mainly spent with our families. It seemed like when we arrived at Jeana’s family home, six hours away, or at my parents’ home, 11 hours away, we were on a retreat. Our families played with and cared for our boys while we rested and slept. It was not about where we went, but being away was always profitable.

Since today’s blog is directed towards pastors and church leaders, let me share a few of the benefits I have found in taking time away:

Benefit #1: Diversion relaxes the mind

Regardless of where you may go to be away from your ministry — it is a diversion. This diversion relaxes the mind. Stepping away from the daily grind…

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Some churches tend to be bad about celebrating wins with their team. This is probably because there is always so much to be done and so little time to accomplish our goals. We feel like we should just keep pressing forward. When we have a Kingdom mindset, we always feel the urge to do more.

But if you never stop to celebrate the good things happening in your community, you run the risk of burn out — both for you and the other members of your team. Celebrating “wins” is a great way to pass the baton of ownership and vision, raise the level of energy and moral, and offer momentum to make progress to move forward.

It is for that reason Scott Wilson developed this five step strategy to teach our team to celebrate wins well. I thought I would share them with you.

Story

When we celebrate wins they should always be attached to a story. Stories help “wins” to feel more tangible and make them easy to communicate. If someone stopped you in the grocery store and said, “How are things going at church?” You wouldn’t just say, “They’re going great!” You…

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TransitionIf your church has plateaued in its growth for a while or shows signs of being unhealthy, things may need to change, and the Pastor is the point person to produce positive change in any church’s culture. Having said that, leading a church through change is difficult, and sometimes can be detrimental if you don’t consider some important questions before starting the process.

Three aspects of change you should evaluate before shaking things up are:

Location

  • Is this church in the right place for growth?
  • Are there more people around this church that we should be reaching?
  • Does this church actually need to die and be reborn somewhere else?
  • Is there a more receptive area where we could reach more people?
  • Could I be a more effective leader somewhere else?
  • What is the realistic potential if the church is renewed successfully?

Leadership

  • Am I the right Pastor to lead this change?
  • Is this the kind of church I should be pastoring?
  • Do I match the congregation? Do I match the community?
  • Is the existing leadership likely to support me in change?

Longevity

The final question you need to wrestle with is, Am I willing to give the rest of my life to this church? If you…

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InfluenceSaul was made king 3 times! But only after proving himself was he truly embraced as their leader.

Here are 3 things that happened to Saul that helped him grow in influence and be embraced as the leader…

1 – Anointed of God

This may seem like a no brainier, but many try to put themselves in a place of influence because they are gifted or asked to stand in such a place. When it comes down to it, though, I’ve seen “leaders” that can draw a crowd and work a group, but can’t lead. The thing that they are missing is the anointing of God. Don’t under-estimate the importance of God’s anointing. This is critical! Once you have it, guard it. Be sure you’re walking blameless and in favor with God… don’t lose it! It’s the central spring of your influence.

2 – Confirmed by Leaders and Influencers

“The prophet is subject to the prophets.” An anointed leader of God will be seen by other leaders as such. It’s not a popularity contest, it’s just that leaders seem to have a way of knowing who the other leaders in the room are. When the people that are already…

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Ever watched a really good idea crash and burn? Me too.

Here’s some brutal honesty… entire movements have gone down in flames because of boneheaded approaches to good ideas. This isn’t to say we can’t afford to make mistakes. In fact, the only way to know we’re taking risks is to make mistakes. We can’t afford not to make them. But we also can’t afford to ignore timeless principles of leadership effectiveness.

In honor of our most fatal leadership mistakes, here are my “from the hip” ways to kill great ideas (warning: sarcasm ahead)…

  • Form a committee. In this way, you’ll be able to devote more time to keeping minutes and electing officers and less time to solving problems. Also, we’ll be able to prevent a single great leader from running with the idea without feeling the need to check with several people with different opinions before proceeding.
  • Be sure to control it. Before you even start executing a good idea, be sure to write plenty of rules and parameters so that no one feels the freedom to run too fast with it. Freedom is the enemy when we’re trying…

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