Archives For Lead

Our systems will determine how broad our reach will be and how deep our roots will go.

I love what Nelson Searcy coined an acronym describing what a system does for you. A system:
Saves
You
Stress
Time
Energy &
Money

I was talking with Steve Colin, who is starting the church here in Port Elizabeth with me, and we were discussing the importance of a system. In this conversation, I mentioned 3 things a system does for you:

  1. A System Maximizes the employee’s/volunteer’s time and strength.
  2. A System Minimizes the effort.
  3. A System Multiplies the effect.

Today, our team discussed the questions below. I haven’t found them in a book yet. If you know the book I can find the answers in, then comment and let me know. Seriously!… I’ve been thinking about them for the last week.

We want to maximize our volunteer’s time and strengths. Minimize their effort. And we definitely want to multiply our effectiveness.

Questions we’re answering:

What systems do we currently have as a church?
What systems do we need to immediately implement?
Which systems will limit our growth?

 

There’s nothing like having conversations with the people you are reaching. It’s motivating, inspiring, heartbreaking, encouraging, challenging, time-consuming, but also rewarding.

Follow-up to a weekend service is critical to any church or organization, especially after your first introduction.

Here are a couple benefits I’m discovering about the follow-up system we have:

  • It keeps us focussed on the people and not just numbers.
  • It keeps you grounded to what the people need and not what you think they need to hear.
  • It helps them have another opportunity to connect. People with stay with the organization they connect with.
  • It’s to add value to the person you are following up with. It let’s them know you care when you make it about them and not what your agenda is.
  • It motivates to be better.
  • It helps you identify and celebrate the wins.
  • It gives you fuel to do it all over again.

What have you learned as you have developed your follow-up system in your organization?

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Here is an encouraging word as I look at the sun rise again:

We rest in this hope we’ve been given-the hope that we will live forever with our God-the hope that He proclaimed ages and ages ago (even before time began). And our God is no liar; He is not even capable of uttering lies. So we can be sure that it is in His exact right time that He released His word into the world-through the preaching that God our Savior has commanded into my care.
Titus1:2-3

What an opportunity Sundays give us to declare the hope of God. I’m not saying that we don’t declare this hope Monday through Saturday, it’s just that Sundays give us a platform to do two things:

  • Remind us to rest in the hope God our Savior has given us.
  • Carry on the mission our God has entrusted to us.

Today, I get the privilege to teach at Westside and share this hope 4 times.

I’m excited and honored to do this again.

You can join us live at 8:30, 9:45, 11am, or 5pm.

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Perry Noble posted this today and it was too good to not pass along.

Read the full post here.

ONE We are answer­ing ques­tions that no one else is ask­ing.

TWO We call lazi­ness “authen­tic­i­ty!”

THREE We use “dis­ci­ple­ship” as an excuse to not do evan­ge­lism.

FOUR We are becom­ing polit­i­cal and neglect­ing the prophet­ic.

We’ve all either been the person or listened to the person who waxed eloquently, speaking in lofting terms while trying to explain something to you but the reality was they were talking over your head and you left saying “wha?”

A myth in church and with some academics is that complexity is married to depth. While the opposite is true and is summarized by someone much wiser than I: The most complex things are the simplest.

In Nehemiah 8, the Israelites just finished building a wall and they were all gathered to celebrate their amazing accomplishment that was in the face of strong criticism. The leaders took out the scriptures they had and began to read it to the people. But they didn’t just read it, they began to explain it to them.

They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage.
Nehemiah 8:8

They “clearly explained the meaning… helping the people understand.”

You will know you are explaining something clearly when those who you are explaining it to, understand.

Most of the time, the deepest waters are the clearest. To aspire to be deep. Aim to be clear.

Distinctions between a coach and a critic.

1// Coaches care about you. Critics care for themselves or their own agenda.

A coach’s desire is for you to do you best and to maximize the skillset you have. Critics don’t care for you. They care for their own platform and prestige. They feel they make themselves superior when they criticize you.

2// Coaches come from those close to you. Critics come from the crowd.

Coaches always come from the circle of people closest to you. They live with you, work with you, have fun with you and they are the ones who even are put on the line when you are on the line. Coaches are in the game with you. They see the reasons you make the decisions, call the audible or the time out. They are in the situation with you.

Critics, most of the time, are in the cheap-seats. Their perspective is skewed because of the distance between themselves and the playing field. They don’t see the size of the problem or hear the conversation from the defense. Critics say “someone said” as they never were there in the situation to see it unfold.

3// Coaches criticize by creating.  Critics criticize by deflating.

Coaches will criticize but they create a new play or give a new approach as to handle the situation or problem. They do the extra work of providing a solution for you to consider when in the situation again.

Critics criticize and all it is air leaving the lungs. Nothing productive or constructive. Their purpose is destructive as the only thing they want to build is their own image.

The world is full of critics – be a coach.

All dreams and goals get resistance. The bigger the dream the greater the resistance.

From Joseph, in the Bible, to Thomas Edison – both of them pushed against resistance to their dreams.

Joseph – despite his brothers and parents making fun of his dream, still held to it and saw it unfold.

Thomas Edison – persisted through 1,000’s of failed experiments. Every failed attempt was just fuel for him to push forward and create the light bulb.

If you have a dream, when you feel the urge to resist – it’s time to persist.

There will always be people there to discourage you. Negative Nancy’s always camp out on the porch of dreamers.

Things will always not go as planned. People won’t see what you see. Doors will close.  It is only those who ignore the resistance and pursue their picture of what could be who see it turn into what will be.

To turn a could be into a would be means:

  • Seeing the need.
  • Picturing what could be
  • Identifying the resources that are available.
  • Push through the resistance in pursuit of what will be.
You are either a resistor or a persister. Your dream. Your choice.
What dreams of yours are facing resistance? What resources are available for you to move forward?
What dreams in others are you resisting? Are you playing devils advocate? (Which is more accurate without the “advocate” – just saying 😉

Change is necessary when a discrepancy occurs between an actual set of events-something that is happening right now-and a desired set of events-what you would like to happen.
– From “Leading From a Higher Level” by Ken Blanchard

We all hate change, but change is imperative if we are to grow in our relationships, our business success, as leaders, as parents, and as Christ-Followers.

Have you asked yourself:

  • Am I where I want to be in 5 years?
  • Am I the type of parent or spouse I need to be?
  • Is my business where it should be?
  • Am I the type of Christ-follower God wants me to be?
  • Am I in the physical or emotional shape I need to be?
If your answer to these questions are “no,” then change is in your future. That’s not a comforting thought, because as humans, we don’t like change because change causes friction and discomfort. But change is necessary to get us from where we are to where we want to be or where God wants us to be.
When you apply change at an organizational level, the reverb of that change can be devastating on how a leader goes about leading the change.  Your organization could be a company of people you lead or it could be your family or school committee. Most all of us will be in a position to lead others through change.
In the book “Leading From a Higher Level,” the Blanchard team addresses 15 Reasons why change efforts fail. Here they are as they are listed in the book.
  1. People leading the change think that announcing the change is the same as implementing it.
  2. People’s concerns with change are not surfaced or addressed.
  3. Those being asked to change are not involved in planning the change.
  4. There is no compelling reason to change. The business case is not communicated.
  5. A compelling vision that excites people about the future has not been developed and communicated.
  6. The change leadership team does not include early adopters, resisters, or informal leaders.
  7. The change is not piloted, so the organization does not learn what is needed to support the change.
  8. Organizational systems and other initiatives are not aligned with the change.
  9. Leaders lose focus or fail to prioritize, causing “death by 1,000 initiatives.”
  10. People are not enabled or encouraged to build new skills.
  11. Those leading the change are not credible. They under communicate, give mixed messages, and do not model the behaviors the change requires.
  12. Progress is not measured, and/or no one recognizes the changes that people have worked hard to make.
  13. People are not held accountable for implementing the change.
  14. People leading the change fail to respect the power of the culture to kill the change.
  15. Possibilities and options are not explored before a specific change is chosen.

Response

The response of someone from the paradigm of one who change is being implemented on will look at these change killers and say “yep…seen those reasons for change not happening in my world.”
Someone who is the role as the change agent might look at this list and feel overwhelmed.
The Blanchard team says that if you can effectively address the first 3 reasons the rest will follow suit.
As Andy Stanley put it: Direction, not intention determines your destination. In life, our direction will have to change in order to arrive to our desired destination. When we are not on a path to take us to that destination, change is necessary.

This morning I was able to have some time to reflect on Easter. It’s crazy, I know, we just had 4 Easter services and just now I’m starting to think about it… it’s what happens when you are focussed on preparing 8 services… which were awesome.

As I began to reflect on what Jesus did for us, I began to think about the reason Jesus came.

Why did Jesus come?

Did He come to earth to prove He was the Son of God? No, he could have done that in so many different ways. So why did he come?

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:27

Jesus came to this earth, not in a Kingly fashion (as He rightfully deserved), with parades and pomp and circumstance. He came in the form of a human being and took it one step further, He came as our servant.

He illustrated his purpose for coming to His disciples the night before he was to be taken into custody by the governing officials.

4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.

6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”

8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
John 13:4-8 (NLT)

Jesus didn’t take a crown of gold or a kingly garment to illustrate the purpose of his trip to earth. Instead, he used a robe and a towel to show the disciples why he was about to endure the cross.

Jesus died to serve us. Jesus died so we could belong to Him.

Jesus didn’t die to  show us He was God’s Son, although He did prove that. Jesus died to serve us. By giving up His life, He made it so we could have life.

The power of the cross is in the purpose of the towel.

Now we are to do the same. Pick up the towel this week.

1 Samuel 10:1-7

Samuel tells Saul three thing that will happen to him on his way back home. Not only was this to confirm the call the be king but to prepare him, in a fast-track way.

God doesn’t call us without sending us. And He doesn’t send us without preparing us.

The things God has called you to do, He is equipping you with what you need to do it.

When He tells you it’s time to step out, be confident in His work through you and obey His leading and let Him be responsible for the outcome.