Monday, 19 June 2017

Getting yourself unstuck

Leaders get stuck and can’t seem to maintain forward momentum.

It happens to all of us at one time or another. How do you get “unstuck?” Here is Brad Lomenick, founder of the Catalyst movement, with some simple solutions.

Originally posted by Brad Lomenick.

Sometimes we just feel stuck. Not that anything is really wrong, but more the sense that we’re not going anywhere. That place where you sense that things are okay, but not great. Where it seems like you are just going through the motions. Dependable and reliable, yes. Consistent, absolutely.

But not necessarily bringing your A-game.

I know the feeling. For me, this usually happens after an event is over, or completing a big project. About 10 days-two weeks later. I usually just feel stuck at that point. I have a hard time being creative, being intentional, getting things done, moving the ball forward, and making decisions. I feel like I’m walking in knee deep mud at these points.

Another time of the year many of us feel stuck is mid to late summer, right about now. You feeling it right now?

If so, here are a few things to do:
1.  Get out of your “normal” routine. Break up your schedule. Go on a trip. Visit someone you’ve wanted to see for quite a while. Hang out with people you don’t know but want to learn from. The key on this is break up your “normal” with something that is out of place, out of context, or just simply breaks up the rhythm. Makes you see things from a different vantage point. For me, when I travel, it usually “unsticks” me.

2.  Go back to the Basics. Sports teams will go back to the basics to get out of a rut. In football it’s back to “blocking and tackling” or in basketball it’s back to “passing, dribbling, and shooting.” For you, this could mean a number of things, but in essence, returning to the foundations of what you do, why you do it, and how you are uniquely designed to be doing what you are doing.

3.  Jump on the Inspiration train. When I get stuck, I usually take time to find some stories of inspiration, read some emails, watch some videos, and allow myself to be re-inspired and re-energized.

4.  Talk with someone who motivates you. I also like to make sure I find some time to spend on the phone or in person with people who inspire me, because they usually can pull me out of my funk that I’m in. Make sure you have some people in your life who are motivators and inspiration icons- when you are around them it just fires you up. Could be a friend, a boss, a mentor, or someone you don’t know well. For me, I’ll call Bob Goff. If you know Bob, you know what I mean!

5.  Keep it simple stupid. Kiss. Figuratively, not literally…! Start a new to do list with no more than 5 things on it. Get those done. Then move on to the next 5 things to do. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a to do list that is unachievable and not reachable. Focus on simplicity and clarity.

6.  Hang around kids. Whether your own kids or someone else’s. Children have a way of providing inspiration because of their imagination, childlike faith, and sense of amazement at everything.

7.  Return to the core. What do you love to do? What brings you to life? Maybe it’s reading a good book, or taking a drive in the country, or playing golf, or playing guitar or singing. Reconnecting to our areas of strength and passion usually reignites the momentum.

8.  Exercise. Take a run, go swimming, work out, climb a mountain, jump on a bike, water ski, play basketball, or whatever activity fits you

Sunday, 21 May 2017

NEARLY 40% NEVER GIVE POSITIVE REINFORCEMEN

A Great post by Dan Rockwell.

For many, it’s easier to talk about what sucks than what’s great. There’s a negative voice in our heads.  Personally, you can’t speak well of yourself. Why?
  1. Humble leaders don’t brag. They talk about the strengths and successes of others.
  2. Considerate managers don’t demean others. They don’t want to make others feel inferior by outshining them.
  3. Wise leaders avoid the humble-bragging. It’s obvious, offensive, and ineffective.

A culture of beating down:

We beat down others because we often beat down ourselves.
Negative feedback feels more substantial than positive affirmations. Most leaders feel more effective when giving criticism and less effective when giving positive feedback*.
In truth, many leaders don’t give any feedback at all. No feedback also feels like beat down too.

A culture of affirmation:

Imagine a culture where affirmation exceeds correction by three times!

What concerns you?
  1. Affirmations feel frivolous or fake, especially when people have weaknesses?
  2. People might feel they’ve arrived and stop giving their best?
  3. Your status might go down if you affirm others too much?
  4. Giving too many affirmations might make you look weak and needy?
You can’t energize people and beat them down at the same time.
Affirm team members’ humanity. A leader told me that one of the simplest things she does receives the most positive feedback. She sends birthdays & anniversary cards. She sends them in the mail with hand written addresses. All are hand signed. Many use personal notes.
A culture of affirmation treats people like human beings, not tools.

3 ways to move toward a culture of affirmation:

  1. Invite team members to tell you about their accomplishments in private. Give feedback that affirms accomplishments.
  2. Have team members encourage one another in meetings. “When I see you at your best I see you…”
  3. Honor effort not just results.
How might leaders create a culture of affirmation?

When might affirmation go too far?

Monday, 15 May 2017

Investing in children’s ministry is crucial for church growth (Part 2)

Continued....
4. Invest in volunteers.
As Christians we are saved to serve. There are people around you who will have a passion to serve in children’s ministry in the many roles it can offer: set up and take down, teaching, welcome, check in, technicians, small group leaders, helpers, and so on. Invest in your volunteers all the time by training, appreciation, and events. Thank them regularly and show you value their contribution. A growing church engages and thrives on a wonderful team of volunteer.
5. Invest in your children’s buildings / rooms or area.
Give your best to creating a warm welcome, fun environment and a positive learning environment for children. Do whatever it takes and be generous! This will mean investment into good signage, backdrops, props, screens, projectors, audio equipment, lighting, musical equipment, microphones, TV’s, game consoles, games, toys, art and crafts, Bibles, a good check in system, t-shirts & food! Church should be a fun place to be for Children. The right environment and the right people are attractive, so create it!
6. Discipleship
Yes you have heard it a thousand times but I will say it again… We are not just looking after children; we are discipling children to follow Jesus. Every weekend we have the incredible opportunity to invite children into an environment where they can hear about Jesus, get to know Him better and to learn how to follow Him. Discipleship is our business as the church and we should give time to create great systems to do this effectively. Be committed to delivering age appropriate teaching that helps them to grasp God’s wonderful word.
I hear it almost every Sunday, ‘Pastor, our children love to come to church, your children’s ministry is making such a positive impact on our children’s lives’. I am always excited to hear this and it confirms that our investment at Milton Keynes Christian Centre in our children’s ministry is making a difference in families lives.
I want to encourage you if you are a church leader to INVEST in your children’s ministry and make it a priority if you want your church to grow.
A few actions you may want to consider?
1. Who should you appoint as children’s pastor and how can you empower them to succeed?
2. What resources do you need to develop this ministry? Create a wishlist… prioritise and action it.
3. Look at your venue with fresh eyes; what can you add/change to make it the best environment it can be?
4. Look at your budget again and allocate more money to children’s ministry.
5. Encourage all you team to ‘shoulder tap’ their friends, asking them to come and serve.
6. Encourage everyone to smile and BE HAPPY.
Elements Children’s Ministry Conference will equip your children’s ministry leaders and teams to build a ministry where children can discover Jesus for themselves, grow in their faith and are transformed from the inside out. For more information about times, tickets and location, visit: elementsconference.com



Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Investing in children’s ministry is crucial for church growth (Part 1)


If you’re a church leader, committed to growing a church in your local community, then you have to make investment in children’s ministry a priority! Developing a family ministry is crucial to the church and your community, and must involve your best leaders to help develop the vision. A good leader knows their role is to empower their team to develop the vision.
As a leader, it is crucial that you see the importance of children’s ministry in the growth of your church and champion its development. It is also just as important that the church knows it is important to you and see it as key building block to the future of the church.

Why INVEST in children’s ministry?


1. Children matter to Jesus; therefore they must matter to us!
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus loved children and wants them to know him and have a relationship with him. Statistics tell us that 85% of people who come to Christ do so before the age of 18 – I think that requires our attention!
Jesus also used children as key illustrations in his teaching of how God wants us all to approach him, in simplicity, faith, love and obedience. Children are part of God’s plan for His church and we are to embrace them in the same way that He has embraced us in His great love and grace. The church should be passionate about teaching children about Jesus and His purposes for their lives.
2. Begin to see children’s ministry as a major growth engine in the church.
When you reach children, you reach parents. In our Sunday services we can enjoy great worship and engaging messages, but if the children are not connecting, mum and dad won’t stay around. I once heard someone say, “There’s a reason people stand in line for hours waiting for their kids to see Santa.” Think about that! When your weekend services become a place where children want to be, families will attend and invite other families too.
3. Invest in your children’s team!
Appoint a children’s pastor as a key appointment as soon as you can to develop the ministry and invest in their personal growth and development as a leader. Provide training for them, send them to conferences, give them access to buy materials and books to help them to be creative and grow in their leadership. As a leader grows, they will be able to train others and develop and grow a team that is key to growing a vibrant children’s ministry.
We have seen the great benefit to our church and children’s ministry of an investment in practical training and conferences that gives achievable next steps for staff and volunteers. We would love to invite you to join us on Saturday 17 June, at Elements children’s ministry conference, as we share some of our learning’s and experiences to help children’s ministry leaders and teams from across the UK to grow and impact their towns and cities for Jesus.
Elements Children’s Ministry Conference will equip your children’s ministry leaders and teams to build a ministry where children can discover Jesus for themselves, grow in their faith and are transformed from the inside out. For more information about times, tickets and location, visit elementsconference.com.

To be continued......

Friday, 5 May 2017

How to daily increase your energy!


Lots of leaders are always tired and living on empty. Is there a way to increase your energy level without becoming addictive to energy drinks or talking some pill? Dan Rockwell shares ten ways to find more energy every day.
Originally posted by Dan Rockwell

10 Ways to Find More Energy Today 

1. Reject the need to be right all the time. The person who needs to be right, ends up drained by fools.
2. Say yes to activities where you make the most difference. Shoot to spend at least 70% of your time in meaningful activities. Do the stuff you hate early in the day.
3. Make fewer commitments. Regret drains energy. Learn to say no, kindly and without defensiveness. The bad feeling you have when you don’t fulfill a commitment weakens your soul.
4. Stop trying to change people. Accept your team and organization as they are. Acceptance isn’t approval or agreement.  People change themselves.
Frustration over battles you can’t win drains energy. Help people improve, when they want to improve. The frustration you feel about them, drains their energy too.
5. Surround yourself with people who aspire to be better. Look for people who know enough to know that they don’t know. Be one, too.
6. Look forward to something. Anticipation is energy. Tap into the “I just want to get this done” energy. But, be sure there’s something positive on the other side of “just getting things done.”
7. Don’t depend on people who are undependable.
8. Notice small acts of kindness. Appreciate people who hold the door open, for example.
9. Work within the framework of established authority. Only buck the system when you can make it better.
10. Look up and breathe deep. Stop looking at the ground so much. People who look down are down. Looking up doesn’t solve problems, it improves outlook.

Bonus: Deal with negative emotion, even if you can’t solve negative issues. The way you feel about a thing change you, not the thing.

Where might leaders find energy today?

Which of these 10 ways to find energy today are most useful to you?

Monday, 24 April 2017

The five top things to look for in potential leaders. Not what you'd think!

Sometimes when we are looking for future leaders (and every true leaders is always on the hunt) we are looking for the wrong things, or not the most important things. So what should you be looking for? Dan Rockwell (Leadership Freak) share with us the top five things to look for in potential leaders. You may be surprised!


THE TOP FIVE THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN POTENTIAL LEADERS
Character and skill are essential for remarkable success, but not enough. Successful leaders develop others.
But who?

The top 5 things to look for in potential leaders:

1. Stubbornness. Headstrong people may be hard to convince, but once you convince them, they’re stubborn in a good way.
  • Convince headstrong people that you’re helping them get where they want to go.
  • Gain the respect of stubborn people by standing up to them. Be respectful, but not a pushover.
2. Ego. The desire for greatness is healthy when focused on service. The more you serve, the more you enhance your worth. Healthy ego wants to make a difference. Look for people who want to matter.
Aspiration is a comfortable word for ego.
How would they make the world better if given the opportunity?

3. Frustration. The desire to change things often begins with frustration. Discontent expresses itself as aggravation. I’m not suggesting that you tolerate abuse.
Look for people with some heat in their hearts.

4. Teachability.
Know-it-alls have nowhere to go.

How do they take correction?
  • What are they currently learning?
  • What are they reading?
  • Who have they learned from in the past?
  • How have they changed their thinking?
  • What sparks their curiosity?
  • How many questions do they ask?
5. Busyness. If they aren’t busy now, you’ll end up pushing them later.

Why develop leaders:
- Successful leaders understand the power of ‘with’. 

- Self-development is the first development. But don’t shackle yourself by leading alone. Develop the people around you.

- If you’re doing leadership alone, you aren’t doing it right.

What qualities do you want in potential leaders?

Which of the five qualities listed above seem most important? Why?

Monday, 17 April 2017

Ten things you can do to re-energize demoralized teams:

1. Complain a little and move on. 

“We’ve talked about this the last three times we met. How might we move on?”

2. Become an artist. Paint a picture of a vibrant environment.
  • How might we treat each other the way we want to be treated by our leaders?
  • What have your colleagues done to encourage you in the past? How might we do that for each other now?
  • If we had a energizing culture, what would we be doing for each other? Do it!
3. Get amnesia! 
Forget about things you can’t control. It’s frustrating and draining when we try to control things out of your control.

4. Put on an apron and serve. 
Turn outward and go and serve someone or some project.

5.  When storms blow in, remember purpose fuels resolve. 
talk about Why you got into this work in the first place?  Why you do what you do, be honest!

6. Walk around
  • Notice virtues like diligence, compassion, consistency, and drive.
  • Greet people in the morning.
  • Reward achievement
  • Appreciate others.  Say, “Thank you,” before people go home.
Even though things might be bad, you can still care about the person sitting next to you!
7. Fuel up the people who believe in the cause 
Don't focus on critics and complainers encourage the people around you who are achieving good results and who are committed to the cause.

8. Communicate as much as you can  
Tough times are worse when information is scarce. Tell everyone everything you can. A series of brief conversations have more impact than one long talk.

9. Deal with negativity in private 
Don’t correct the whole team when the darkness centers on a few.

10. Look in the mirror 
Tell your team how you want to show up. Ask them to hold you to it.