All posts filed under: Movement Building

Vitamins or Aspirin? Present & Future Focused Leadership

“Netflix as a DVD mailer was a vitamin. But Netflix as a late-fee vanquisher was an aspirin. It eliminated a pain.”–from a recent Fast Company article by Dan and Chip Heath, authors of Switch and Made to Stick. I struggled through this article because I like vitamins more than aspirin. I love preparing for the future in general and in ministry. But my leadership could be drastically improved by learning how to discern the aspirin of the present and connect it to the vitamin of the future! So far in my seven years in ministry more people have been interested in the present far more than the future–to the tune of 80/20 present/future (rough estimate). I will say that good leaders HAVE to own the future whether they are naturally wired towards it or not, but the majority of people that I’ve led value aspirin over vitamins. One more great quote from the article: “You’ve heard the old saying “If you invent a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door.” Don’t …

Strategy Over Worry: Great Advice from an Entrepreneur

“But it is equally critical to have a strategy that makes sense in the context of what is going on and execute it with purpose and pace. If you spend too much time looking over your shoulder, you will not execute well.”–Fred Wilson I feel like I could spend the next ten years on “a strategy that makes sense in the context of what’s going on” and be extremely effective in ministry. What a great quote! When moving my ministry from X to Y so often what other ministry’s/people factor too heavily in the execution process. Also the strategy and vision that was so fresh a month or two ago suddenly gets pushed aside in order to make sure my ministry is not “behind” on something someone else is doing. LAME! One more great quote from Wilson: “Plan, build, ship, and scale. Assess. Repeat again and again. Win.” So often what gets lost when we focus on keeping up with others is ASSESS! It’s hard enough to take the time to effectively evaluate what’s working …

Why People Leave Your Ministry

68% of customers leave a company because of the treatment they received. This is a ridiculously awesome infographic from Get Satisfaction, a company that does user generated customer service. Not completely new information but reiterates how important it is to make people new to your ministry feel welcomed (the way they understand being welcomed, not you). The best way I have seen is by getting people connected to 2-3 other involved people. There are some other great aspects of the full infographic. Click here to check them out.

Who Gets Fired In Ministry?

Starting and building a ministry requires growing your leadership team in both quantity (number of leaders) and quality (ability + spiritual maturity). Inevitably a ministry leader needs to take some risks on younger/less qualified people in order to increase the number of leaders, which ultimately grows the size (and health) of the entire ministry. But how do you determine who to take a chance on and who to fire (or more commonly who do you choose to NOT select for a leadership position)? Jack Welch shares the answer in this one minute (literally) clip. He describes four managers in relation to the amount of results they achieve and the amount of behavior that’s aligned with the values of the company: 1. Results and Behavior 2. No Results and No Behavior 3. No Results but Behavior 4. Results but No Behavior Here’s the clip: This was my takeaway: 1. Results and Behavior–Easy to Keep 2. No Results and No Behavior–Easy to Fire 3. No Results but Behavior–Hard to Keep 4. Results but No Behavior–Hard to Fire …

Guess What Makes for a Healthy Ministry?

small groups and programs worship services that mix traditional and contemporary styles with an emphasis on relevant sermons pastors who work hard on mentorship and cultivation of the laity an emphasis on effective lay leadership. The Methodists concluded a study of 32,000 of their own congregations and noted that these four were true of every healthy congregation. After reading the article it was hard for me to feel like this was money well spent–if you ask any semi-solid, 25-45 year old believer what they want at church these four would seem to come up every time. Two more interesting stats: “One (problem) is clearly economic pressure of the cost of the infrastructure, which is increasing at a rate that is greater than the giving.” “According to the data, it did not matter whether ministers held seminary degrees; whether pastoral ministry was a first or second career; or how long the minister had been engaged in pastoral ministry.” Props to the Methodists for seeking to learn about their ministry culture. Hopefully it leads to redemptive changes. …

Ministry Funnel Video-Bridging the Gap Between the Present and Future

A huge thanks to those of you who have provided feedback on the ministry funnel. It’s changed dramatically in the last few days as I have processed the feedback. The goal is simple: Create a resource to help ministry leaders diagnose their current reality and implement future-oriented, value-driven strategy and tactics. Since the funnel has many elements I wanted to share a short video that outlined the basics of the funnel. What do you like? What would you change? Can’t see the video? Click here to watch it.

The Way to A Solid Ministry Foundation Is Through…

Teaching. Every year I directed a ministry I underestimated the amount of teaching I needed to do in order to clarify the why’s of our ministry (in relation to the mission, vision, and values). Every year I also noticed that the majority of people assume something negative about the why’s if they do not understand it. As frustrating as that was for me I realize I’m similar. The best group of people to teach are what I call Laborers: They are involved but not committed. This group is characterized by their participation, and in order for them to develop they need to LEARN the why’s behind the various parts of your ministry structure. As they learn about the mission, vision, and values they become more aligned and capable for leadership. Here’s the visual of Laborers from the ministry funnel I developed: An easy mistake is to wait until people in your ministry are leaders before you start teaching them the why’s. I’ve experienced that to be extremely ineffective as it often corresponds to a low …

What Everyone Knows About A Stagnant Ministry…

Stagnant ministries always have leaders that fail to empower their followers. I love ministries that take risks on young emerging leaders and hold their core group of leaders accountable to developing and passing on what they have learned to those below them. It’s the reason I chose empower as the key word that describes the main activity of a leadership core on the ministry funnel. Student leaders can struggle with empowerment because it can feel inauthentic to share power with a social peer, or because they have been leading a short time and feel irresponsible or guilty for having others “do their job” so to speak. Regardless it’s crucial to get them to see how significant sharing and entrusting roles and responsibilities to leaders, emerging leaders, and masses–look at the ministry funnel if these terms are foreign. I found a short film on Vimeo that illustrates the failure to empower better than anything I’ve seen. It’s funny, convicting, and motivating. Hope you enjoy and would love to hear your comments on it! Can’t see the …

Strategic Service–A Plan for Developing Emerging Leaders

What do you do with students who are committed to your ministry but lack an official leadership title or role? Emerging Leaders are right in the middle of the ministry funnel. Click here to look at the entire funnel. Emerging leaders have leadership potential but lack a leadership title. They are usually young in age, or new to the ministry in some manner (an older student who transfers in is another example). Their biggest need is to be aligned not in word but in deed to the mission, vision, and values of your ministry. Before you give them a title you need to be sure that they have those things embedded in their heart. I believe they are defined by their commitment, but in order to grow need a large degree of alignment. The best way I’ve found to align them is to have them SERVE intentionally. Most ministries do a good job getting emerging leaders involved, but those ministries that thrive seem to put these emerging leaders in service situations that contribute to a …

One Word For Leaders–Multiply

I have often complicated the leadership development process by focusing too much on content and not enough on developmental experiences. The safe thing about focusing on content is that it gives me a sense of control, albeit false. But the primary function of a leader in a movement is to multiply–their faith, skills, knowledge, attitude, etc into the lives of others. I love seeing leaders poured into but helping them translate what they are learning into the lives of those they are leading offers a huge opportunity. Also any easy way to tell if your leadership team is too large is how many “leaders” are really followers with titles. The best model that I have been given is: 1. You do it (a leadership role or responsibility) and those whom you are leading watch 2. You do it together 3. They do it alone and you give them feedback 4. You NEVER do it again I’m exaggerating a bit on the “never” part but what can happen is that the leader of leaders can revert …