Thursday, 28 April 2016

Seven Pillars of Leadership (Part 2)


 3.  Decisiveness
Great leaders make decisions – even the difficult ones – even the 
unpopular ones. People are willing to follow them, because they know
 they won’t sit on the sidelines while the world passes. They aren’t 
exclusive in making decisions – great leaders encourage collaboration 
– but they won’t compromise principles either. They are firm in their 
convictions and willing to stand for them when others won’t. 

4.  Courage
Long-term, successful leaders don’t jump ship when times get difficult.
 In fact, some would say you don’t realize you need a leader until times 
are hard. These leaders confront reality head-on; leading through 
needed change to a better reality. They don’t cower to pressure to 
conform or fail to say what needs saying. Equally, they aren’t hogs 
of attention. They don’t need to receive all the credit in order to 
lead the people to victory. 

5.  People
Great leaders realize others matter. They know there is no leadership 
without people to follow. They believe in the value of those on their team
 and are willing to invest in them. They aren’t users of people, they 
are people-builders. They love people and love to see them succeed. 
They recognize and reward other people’s contributions. 

6.  Passion
It’s what gets a leader up in the morning ready to face another day. 
They believe in their call to lead. They are zealous to see it come to reality. 
They have a contagious enthusiasm. They are positive-minded and
 believe and hope in the days ahead. 

7.  Character
Great leaders are strong in what matters most – their character.
 They have integrity, high morals, and qualities others can and want 
to follow. And, they are consistent over time in protecting their 
character to be above reproach. 

Obviously, in my specific role as a pastor, these are pillars worthy of my 
quest to achieve. I certainly see them in my Savior – the best leader I know
 – Jesus. I’m striving to get there. I want to possess the pillars of leadership. 
Who’s with me?

Monday, 25 April 2016

Seven Pillars of Leadership (Part 1)

No leader ever sets out to finish his race poorly.  We all want
to hear, “Well Done” at the end of our race. What are the traits,
the attributes, of leaders who “Finish Well?”  

Here is Ron Edmondson with seven of them.
I love observing leaders. I consistently strive to be a better 
leader and the best way I know to improve is to watch and learn 
from other leaders. Whether they have more experience, have 
learned things I haven’t learned or they reinforce principles of 
leadership I know – I improve observing other leaders. 
In my observations, there are some common traits among the 
most successful, long-term leaders. It can be easy to lead for a
 season, or a special project, or even for a decade or more. But,
 leaders who last and are successful for multiple seasons, 
multiple decades – often in different environments or organizations,
 with different people – these leaders are rare. And, they have 
shared characteristics. 

I call these traits the pillars of leadership. What is a pillar? 
1.  A firm upright support for a superstructure
2.  A supporting, integral, or upstanding member or part
In my opinion, I believe you’ll find these pillars among all truly 
great leaders.

Here are 7 pillars of long-term, successful leaders I’ve observed:

1.  Vision
Great leaders believe in something bigger than today. They are going
 somewhere. And, they believe it’s a worthy enough vision they are 
willing to help others get there. They have a vocabulary around their 
vision. They know how to engage and rally people around the vision. 

2.  Commitment
Great leaders remain rock-solid in their dedication to their cause and
 their people. They stick to what they feel in their heart God has called
 them to do. They are unwavered by public opinion or the “mood of the day”.  
They aren’t only present in the good seasons, but weather the storms 
of time. Their faith keeps them grounded. 

Friday, 22 April 2016

Michael W. Smith - You Won't Let Go (Live)

Love this song!

Thank God for his love for us!  'Nothing can separate us from the love of God', let that sink in!

Jesus Christ is the anchor for my soul

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Spiritual Formation in the Mega-Church

A Great post by Dan Reiland for every church leader!
Very large churches are sometimes accused of being shallow. A mile wide and an inch deep. There is certainly truth to that potential, but I have found that many of the driving characteristics that allowed a church to become 2,000 or more people, or 10,000 or more, actually provide more discipline and depth than some mid-sized or smaller churches may possess.
Nonetheless, the risk of shallow is a real one.
Growing a local church always involves risks and trades; there is no perfect plan. But the trades are not an either/or situation. The primary and most common trade is the willingness to risk depth of discipleship (spiritual formation) for reaching more people. These two do live in tension, however, they are not mutually exclusive.

To reach more and more people risks depth and community.

To maintain closeness and intimacy risks reaching more people.

There is no perfect formula. Let’s be candid, there are small churches that are shallow and large churches that have depth. Just as there are large churches that are stuck and no longer reach new people, and many small churches that are growing like crazy by reaching new people. Ah, and when that’s true, the small church becomes larger! Then, the risk is simply swapping one trade for another.
Personally, I think generalizations are unwise, but I understand why we make them, and they often provide for provocative and productive conversations.
So for that conversation, let’s focus on the question of depth in spiritual formation within the mega-church.

1. The church will never have more depth than its leaders.

Programs don’t produce depth of spiritual maturity, leaders do. I’m privileged to serve under a leader of great wisdom, depth and discipline. Kevin Myers is the founding and senior pastor 12Stone® Church, a mega-church located in the suburbs of Atlanta.
Kevin has a strong and vibrant prayer life, chases God with a passion, and lives with great integrity. Those qualities are infused into the DNA of the church. The wisdom and insight that God grants him, whether in a board room or teaching on Sunday morning, is truly Holy Spirit driven.
Kevin would tell you, and so would I, that it is certainly more difficult to drive depth in churches that grow larger and larger, but that’s why we keep leaning in and leading! 12Stone Church has its flaws, but being shallow, easy or “all show” is not among them. Guests, including pastors, nearly always include among their first comments, the sense of spiritual intensity. It all starts with the leaders.

2. To stop reaching more people is to become shallow.

In my opinion, we don’t have a choice. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) is clear, to make disciples! But we can’t forget that includes evangelism. The Great Commission never instructed us to disciple the same people with the same programs in the same ways over and over again.
Discipleship by definition and logic must begin with evangelism. You and I are passionate about the process of spiritual formation in the life of a “disciple” of Christ. A Christ-follower. Spiritual formation begins with conversion!
Candidly, if we have the same people in the same Bible study for years on end and nothing changes, (the church or the people) maybe that is shallow. The New Testament is filled with stories of miracles, life change, and reaching people. Yes, the churches from Ephesus to Corinth were filled with flaws, but reaching people was the purpose of the gospel.
3. Speed and pressure create the tension.
The process of spiritual formation is not any easier in a smaller church, people are people. But the smaller church does not face the complexity of speed and pressure in the same way as found in mega-churches.
The forming of someone’s spiritual maturity takes time, nurture and care. These things are not absent, or less in heart and culture in a mega-church. But the finite nature of time has objective limits. The larger a church becomes, the scarcer the precious commodity of time becomes.
It is the nature of a mega-church to move fast, carry great weight and therefore time is compressed. The primary solution is raising up and developing capable volunteer leaders who have a heart for leading others in their spiritual journey.
4. Don’t confuse depth of spiritual formation with complexity.
In my earlier years I have been included among those who designed and produced a process of spiritual formation, (discipleship), that was more complex than plans to launch a Space Shuttle for weeks of orbit. It took me some time to learn that complexity didn’t equate to depth.
In fact, it is the opposite. Like preaching shorter is more difficult than preaching longer, a simple (not simplistic), process requires massive thought, experimenting and continual innovation. The best processes are seamless and easily communicated. They don’t need a chart.
At 12Stone, we focus on two things, small group life and serving. That’s it. Is there more to spiritual formation than that? Of course! But we build all these things into those two large components of Christian community.
In addition, we employ a short front-end process that includes: first-time Guest / Discover 12Stone / Salvation / and Baptism. The list is not long and we make it easy for people to find their way. More importantly, the leaders know how to point the way, take a hand and lead.
5. Maturity is difficult to measure.
We never want to stray from biblical standards, but be cautious of long lists. Well intended commitment to scripture can quickly turn into a pharisaic list of to do’s, then maturity can become works oriented. If you want a list, I recommend that you go with something as simple as prayer and evangelism for evidence of maturity, or perhaps the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5).
Another way to measure spiritual formation is from spoon fed (baby Christians) to self-led. The self-led Christian takes responsibility for their own spiritual formation. The church for them is simply the environment that resources, encourages and inspires their continued growth.
A third way to measure maturity is clean, clear and simple. It is stories of life change. After all these years and practicing all these and more, it is the one I prefer most. Capturing and telling stories of changed lives is compelling; it embodies the vision. I find it to be the most comprehensive, organic and practical approach. There is no list, and yet you have all of Scripture you can apply. Further, the idea of self-led is easily taught and incorporated.
Spiritual formation is not static. None of us ever arrive. However, scripture makes it clear that maturity can be achieved. If you are part of a mega-church or perhaps you lead a smaller church, but sense a need to strengthen your spiritual formation, I trust these are helpful to you.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016


A great post by Dan Rockwell!

Inexperience is opportunity. Learning from mistakes promotes growth and develops confidence. But making unnecessary mistakes is foolish.
Don’t learn everything from personal experience.
you grow the most at the beginning
You grow the most at the beginning. Wise leaders learn from the experience of others.

The Five Biggest Mistakes New Leaders Make:

#1. Leading an unprioritized life. Leaders with too many priorities fail at everything they do. The top three priorities for all leaders: 
  1. Priority #1: Personal development and well-being.  
  2. Priority #2: Family. 
  3. Priority #3: People development and relationships.
You’ll spend most of your time working in and on your business. Just don’t neglect your priorities.
#2. Working too hard. A bias to action – something most leaders possess – leads to low performance as time passes, unless you learn how to prioritize and rest. Learn to trust the people around you.
You can’t bring your best when you’re lost in the business.
#3. Chasing too many opportunities. Limit the sphere of your activities to the things you do well. Your first question is, “What needs to be done?” Drucker said the second question is, ““Of those things that would make a difference, which are right for me?”
#4. Neglecting feedback, both giving and receiving. Ask teammates:
  1. Based on my use of time, what are my priorities from your point of view?
  2. Based on my interactions, how am I making others feel about themselves?
  3. Based on my strengths, when am I at my best?
#5. Having all the answers. Tap into your ignorance. The practice of “not-knowing” elevates leaders more than having all the answers. 
  1. Lead with confidence while staying curious. 
  2. Ask, “What else?”
  3. Ask, “What do you think?”

Bonus mistakes new leaders make:

  1. Promoting new people too soon.
  2. Micromanaging.
  3. Under-communicating mission and vision.
  4. Assuming others know what you want.
  5. Assuming you understand people’s motivations.
What mistakes do new leaders make?
How might new leaders avoid common “new leader” mistakes?