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Leadership

Ministry Staff Accomplishing More

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Often in ministry, we tend to feel we don’t have as much time as we need to carry out what needs to be accomplished. The truth is, you do have enough time to do exactly what you choose to do. We have the same amount of time each day as the greatest leaders that we know or have heard of.

So why does it feel like we never get what we know needs to be done accomplished? Why is it that these great leaders we are thinking of seem to carry out so much more? They have learned to put the right people in the right seats and know what Exodus 18:21 says is true.

Exodus 18:21 it says: “But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens”.

For too long too many in the church have thrown anyone into leadership. The proof can be seen as we continue our dependency on mass recruitment from the pulpit, newsletters, bulletin inserts etc.. We also promote people out of areas of their strengths because we concern ourselves more with the positions we need to be filled over who God has made them. Then we get disappointed when they don’t live up to what we were expecting or needing. It’s not fair to them or those we put them over. We are exactly designed for the results we are getting.

Let’s re-examine who we put over what. Leaders of 10’s will lead 10’s not 50’s. Leaders of hundreds will lead hundreds not thousands.

Fewer Ministry Staff can do more if everyone is in their right places and developing their 10’s, 50’s, 100’s or 1000’s.

Some resources I have enjoyed recently and think you may too.

Carey Nieuwhof – 5 things Every leader should tell their top leaders.

Nick Blevins Family Ministry Podcast. This podcast is one that has a few that had sparked many thoughts, so I am not going to list just one or two. Click on over and subscribe to hear all of them if you work in children, youth, or family ministry.

Tony Morgan and then there is Tony’s Vital Signs book

doing more with fewer podcast.

How do you learn who should be in what seat in your ministry?
Do you have officials of 50’s and your holding them accountable for the 1000’s?

Leave your thoughts, comments and any resources you have found good to further this conversation.

Are you worth following

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Do you have what it takes to lead others, not just in the ministry that you may oversee, but lead them into being what all God has called them to be?

Why would anyone want to be led by you?

Is your leadership truly worth reproducing for today? Do you still do what you did 5 or 10 years ago, except your calling it something different?

Many today in churches want volunteers to join them in what they are doing. Many wonder and complain that others are not following them or jumping on their teams. Many are finding (maybe I should say, making up reasons) why people are not joining their teams, all the while they can see some teams thriving. Why?

For years I have trained my teams on how God is a great shepherd and not a butcher (excuse the extreme verbiage) so He will not call people to join a church or a ministry to just get hurt. His Love for us is too great. This is why I always stress that we need to prepare ourselves and be truthful for where we are now at and where God is calling us to be at, so we can shepherd His people correctly.

How do we do this?

1. Be strategic about your growth.
There are reasons you see terrible odds for people who choose to throw their money away in playing the lottery. Odds like 1 in 293 million! Because it is by CHANCE. People becoming who God is calling them to be should not and can not be put in the chance category. It cost Jesus everything, and so should at least cost us the time and effort to be purposeful in growing ourselves.

2. Attend to your prayer and Bible reading life.
If it is Gods Kingdom that we are getting the privilege to take part in growing then why do we often time either not consult Him or ask Him to join us after we have started something. Spend time with the owner and do what He wants and then we will see success in being that leader that will help others be who and what all God wants them to be.

3. Surround yourself with others who are stronger than yourself in leading.
There are always others who are around the corner from where you are or have been. They can speak into your life but usually will not unless you have made it clear they have the red carpet invite to do just this.

To help this previous suggestion, allow me to let you know that I am more than happy to help you grow into all that God has for you. I am a National Trained coach for Kidology and with Open Bible as well. You can also get me through my link on this blog of mine here. All of these are designed to help you but they go about them in different ways. Pick the one that works best for you.

These 3 suggestions should you get you going in the right direction to be a leader worth following. What others would you add to this?

You don’t have because you have not asked.

boy and girl sitting on roof

It is amazing how many parents will tell their kids, “You don’t have because you have not asked”.

This should be a phrase that is internalized by many in church leadership. We often times complain that we don’t have any volunteers. We have no help. No one cares or people are lazy.

I am not sure this is completely accurate. Here is why.

In The Volunteer Revolution, Bill Hybels says, “Despite our efforts to publicly communicate needs and ask people to serve, by far the most effective ask is the personal one—and the more personal, the better. In fact, volunteers make the best volunteer recruiters.” I love those sentences by Hybels. Many today depend on the pulpit guilt trip, bulletin ask, or mass email being sent out to all the church asking them to volunteer. That is not an “Ask”, that is a “Plea or Begging”. People are not moved or wish to answer this.

So, instead, we need to “Ask” individuals.Social media has many advantages but it can never take the place of the real thing, the meaningful conversations, and the personal invitations to join us in ministry.

Keep it simple, “Ask” people to join you in the bigger picture that God has opened the doors for you to join Him in ministry.

You have no volunteers or a lack of volunteers because you have not asked them individually.

Herm Edwards speak on leadership lessons that must be learned

The following are Leadership Lessons That Mist Be Learned according to Herm Edwards. All quotes are from Coach Edwards.

“The only thing you can control, you be ready to go…” Take Personal Responsibility For Your Preparation

There Is A Limited Amount Of Opportunity. Take Advantage Of It. – “1,900 football players are professional football players. That’s it.”

Talent Is Never Enough – “Right now they got more experience than you. Nothing you can do about that.
You might have more talent but they have more experience.”

Providing For Your Family Is A Privilege – “It’s not a right but a privilege to play and coach in the National Football League.”

Unto Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Required – “Talent, expectations, and production can sometimes be a curse. You’ve got so much talent you don’t live up to it.”

God Gave You Your Talent – “Talent, you didn’t earn it. God gave it to you.”

“You got talent but does the production equal the talent?..If you’re not a productive player then it becomes a curse.” Parable, of the talents, Matthew 25:14-30.

Don’t Waste Your Talent – “You’ve got an opportunity. Don’t waste your talent.”

“Expectations. A goal without a plan is a wish…What’s your plan to be a professional football player?” Take time now, to make a plan for your future, your career, your family.

“Nobody’s going to play for you. Nobody’s going to practice. You got to do that. You got to do all the work.” You won’t just happen to fall into your ideal future. You need to present it to God. Take time to listen to Him, ask Him what are the plans. Then prepare!

“This is where young players struggle. Priorities. Your habits create who you are.” Habits are serious. Little ones or big ones, they all shape you.

“If you’re not willing to change your habits, you’re not changing.” Be a change agent not just with your work or ministry, but with yourself.

“My priorities are real simple – My Faith. My Family. My Occupation.”

“When you leave this room today there are cameras watching you wherever you go.” You Are Always Being Watched. You are part of a larger team and we were paid for with a huge price. We are not our own. 1 Cor. 7:23

“It’s embarrassing (when a player gets in trouble).” Immature Behavior Is Embarrassing

Your Immature Behavior Affects All Of Us – “You think it only affects you. It affects everybody.”

“You think, ‘I’m all this.’ You ain’t all that.” Stay humble.

“When you get that jersey it’s rented. When you come out of the league they’re going to take your name off and give somebody else your number.” Lead and manage with an open hand.

“Everything you do on the field, and now off the field, it becomes news.” You Have More Influence Than You Know

“Nothing good happens after 12:00 o’clock…After midnight, something bad’s going to happen.” Don’t allow yourself to get into any compromising positions. Live above reproach.

“You get one girlfriend OR you get one wife. You can’t have both.” Stay faithful to your spouse.

“If you play for the Dallas Cowboys and you go to Philadelphia, you still got that one girlfriend or that one wife. Don’t screw that up.”

“You’ve been told.”

How to set goals isn’t as bad as you think

Goal setting

January has already come and gone. The year is again progressing quicker than seems possible. This quickness is the reason it is so important that we set goals for what you want to carry out. What follows will be ways that I follow when I set goals.

Start with the end in mind.
I think it is important to start with your end picture of what you want and where you are going. Once I have the end picture, I start just 5 years out. Then I move my picture to 3 years out, then 1 year out and lastly 3 months out.

Be realistic.
Be ambitious because it is a goal after all but still realistic. If you are a ministry of 30 kids or youth and set your goal to be 300 in a year, that is not realistic. Being realistic helps you during the journey to stay encouraged and fight that discouragement off that happens so easily during life and ministry.

Re-evaluate and revisit.
Just because you set your goals in January, doesn’t mean that 5-6 months down the road you won’t be swamped with life and ministry. Knowing this, I put a date in the calendar 5-6 months down the road to alert me to re-evaluate how am I doing with the goals that I wanted to carry out. I will revisit each goal to see that it is still as important to me as it was once before when I set it as a goal.

With these 3 simple steps, setting goals is not as bad as you thought. Allow me to recommend a book titled: Essentialism by Greg McKeown. I recommend this book as you prepare to set your goals is because too often people set way too many goals and never fully reach any of them but instead have a ton of half started goals.

Setting goals can be as easy as 1,2,3.

Ministry lessons learned from Undercover boss.

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Undercover Boss is one of those shows that I learn a lot more from than even the show thinks people take away from it.

I watch them early in the morning because I tivo them. I am the big nut for them and not the rest of the family. I was watching one and the usual lessons and tears started.

The format of the show goes with the boss going into disguise and visiting their employees. They learn a ton and hear a ton and then go back and change out of disguise. Then the meeting happens and the tears start for me.

Tears? Yes, tears. I tear up when the boss meets those he was under disguise around and share how they affected his life. Then he dishes out great benefits to those workers that change their lives forever. Gifts ranging from money, vacations, kids college starter money, cars and so much more.

The show ends with a caption at the end that says..”In the weeks following”..then it tells you what the employee has done since meeting the boss and getting their gifts. May not sound like it but it really can be a tear jerker.

Some quick thoughts I think about applying to my ministry, personal devotional life with Jesus.

1. What would truly be learned from me through my witness if Jesus would show up in my life as an Undercover Boss? Would I be loyal? Complain? Be grateful?

2. Do I see that I have an opportunity to speak to the Boss every day without waiting for him to show up undercover?

3. Do I recognize the gifts that He does give me and already has given me?

4. Am I as thankful to Him as those who receive from the Undercover Boss?

5. After my time spent with Him in prayer, what would be able to be said of the minutes since? Weeks since? Years since?

60 seconds does not equal 6 months

young man to hold up clock with hand

This will be a short post but one that I am learning the value of more and more each time.

Time for a confession. Often times I will have thoughts, ideas and plans percolating for months and become so excited to share these new directions or developments with my teams. Then I arrange the meeting and bring out the news! I watch the faces of those I have sprung this great stuff onto, wait for it…wait for it….Nothing?

What is going on? Maybe I need to rephrase it, so reforming the delivery of the news and still nothing. I can feel myself getting a little upset. Why are they not as excited as myself? Do these people understand how great this is? How many problems we have just solved? Why the lack of excitement?

Here is the lesson I am being reminded of…60 seconds does not equal 6 months. I have had 6 months to chew on and think through, and develop this great plan, my team has had 60 seconds.

Take your team with you. If you end up with the 6 months then when you deliver the great news, allow their seconds to grow and don’t expect more than a 60 second response.

Apple please don’t lose me anymore.

  
There have been many who have made this claim but I’m not sure they are as accurate as I am about to be with this statement: “I am a Mac-evangelist”. Yes, my name is Todd, and I am a “macaholic”. If Apple made underwear I would even wear them.

There is a change that is starting to happen with me though. I do not like it the feeling that comes with this change, but it is becoming harder to ignore all the time. Is it time to go away from Apple?

Apple has defimately changed sine Jobs is no longer around.  What is referred to as creativity is just a re-branding of old ideas, new software updates are resulting in being pushed out to quick with not enough testing so that the consumer will have a good experience. Then, when the customer does have a bad experience not enough resolve in putting people over procedures.

Let me explain a little.

I updated my iPhone to the new iOS9 and ever since then have had a terrible experience with the calendar. I cant seem to get any resolve with this issue, and have worked even with senior advisors at apple over this as well. End result is I have been told that they are now aware of it and will be coming out with a new update v3 to solve this. Until then, it is extremely cumbersome to add calendar events which is a large part of what I do by living off of my calendar.

Next, in just a matter of a couple days, I update my MacBook Pro to El Capitan to only have it crash. I’ve worked with tech support via the phone with no resolve and then had to make an appointment to take it in. The earliest apointment time was 2 days away. I then am told 1 hour to fix it and they will get back with me. All day I was the only one calling them to find out how it was going? From 11:15am-9pm I never received a call or email from them. Every call I made I knew I was going to invest a min. of 20 minutes waiting to talk to someone. The voice activated call system they had just sent me around and around to all the wrong places and when I thought I finally arrived, it was to only learn I had not.

Lessons that apply to the church as well, or so I think they do.

1. We live in a time where many people have tried the “church” thing and ended up very disappointed and hurt often times. We need to think more about our mission of connecting people to Jesus than we do about even introducing some fancy rebranded idea for a Seasonal event, starting a new ministry etc. Love our Mission first not any delivery Method. 

2. How easy do we make it to connect to the mission as people use the methods we have set up? Like with the calendar, because of an issue with it I now am frustrated everytime I use it and am reminded that it is broken. Everytime someone interacts with your ministry what are they reminded of?

3. There are a ton of options out there for people to choose to spend their time in. You are not the only show around. If you are not meeting and answering the questions people want answered or they can’t get what they want from their experince in your church, they will go elsewhere. I am for the first time exploring the same thoughts about possibly leaving Apple to go to another alternative. There are actually numerous good alternatives out there that can meet what I’m after concerning a computer experience.

There are many other lessons I am picking up over this time of being without a computer that I will write about as time goes on, but allow me to leave you with one last one. 

The longer Apple has me without my MacBook Pro, the more I become resourceful in learning what other options I have easily and affrodably at my disposal. The same with your church. The longer people feel they can get what they need from other sources, like on-line services, books, the internet etc. (all fo these are good as well) the more they will be ok in staying away from your church.

Apple, the ball is in your court. Churches, the ball is in your court as well in the minds of many in your community.

Start to finish, implementation ideas to unpack part 2

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This post idea started over here first. Go and read this post first then come back and finish this one.

Decide on the right tempo/speed or frequency.

Once volunteers are in place, it’s important to know where you want to take your volunteers. What does that look like? How often will you need to meet? How long? The key is figuring out the speed/frequency that fits you and your churches culture.

Specific examples of speed and culture.

Here at my church I am noticing that Sundays after the last service are good times for tribes of people within Take TWO Family ministries to meet because they’re already used to having a full Sunday and prefer to stay and carry out a meeting than have to come at any other time during the week.

Helpful Content

Good volunteers are always hungry for content that will help them have a greater impact in their role. They are not, however, open to giving up their time for something that seems like a waste. Helpful content is required to develop volunteers and make them want to attend training events. I enjoy recording some of my groups to use as a teaching tool with them.

Easy to Attend

Training events need to be as easy to attend as possible. You can’t appease everyone, but you can do a number of things to take away excuses people have for not attending training events.

Can’t Miss Culture

The best way to have strong participation in volunteer training is to make the events themselves have a “can’t miss” feel to them. What can you do to make those who attend feel glad they did and want to come next time?

Be on the lookout for more post along this line as I unfold these some more.
I would love to hear what you do?
What do you find successful?

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