Posts Tagged: Leadership

October’s Top Posts:

Here are the top ten for the month of October. If you haven’t read/watched have a look now. Be blessed and share with a friend!

  1. Faster Pastor Episode #2 Unity in Diversity with a full month to run and the little pick-up from the blogs Spectrum & Advindicate moves up from #4 to #1.
  2. The Ordained Women Pastors of China made me cry both times I watched it!
  3. Daily Disappointment a little piece I wrote as I reflected on the great disappointment of 1844
  4. Pastor Dwight Nelson’s Sermon “A Mighty Throng of Women: A Second Look at Male Headship” our third video is #4 this month.
  5. Donkeys, Elephants, & a Lesson Learned at Chick-Fil-A last months top post remained in the top ten this month.
  6. What U2, Bon Jovi, & AC/DC Teach Us About Church I wrote this blog more than a year ago, but my readership was much less then and so I reposted it this month & I guess enough folk hadn’t read it so it made it back into my top 10.
  7. Introducing Speiro Media Ministries thankful for the many that have supported this endeavor and praying many more will jump in!
  8. I Love Dayton one of my favorite blogs I have ever written. Probaly because of the deep nostalgia associated with this city and great love I have for Ohio/the people of Ohio and all they did for me in my life!
  9. Faster Pastor Episode #3: Training Journal Apps. This one is all about running.
  10. The Pink Slip another blog I wrote almost 2 years ago that I re-released brings up the tail of the top 10 posts for the month of October.

Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive

I recently listened to the book “Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive” by Patrick Lencioni. I have previously read, “Death by Meeting” and “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” both books by Lencioni and both books I would highly recommend.  Once again, Lencioni doesn’t disappoint!  “Four Obsessions” is an excellent book and here is a quick summary of the Obsessions, to find out how to implement them get this book.

 

  1. Build and Maintain a Cohesive Leadership Team: A cohesive team trusts one another, engages in constructive conflict, commits to group decisions and holds one another accountable. Lencioni emphasized that one of the best ways to build this team is to have the culture setter/vision setter of the organization (in a business a CEO in a church the Senior Pastor) do thorough interviews of all top management and staff.  And that this individual would then have final say in hiring.  Within a church structure this would probably look like the Senior or Lead Pastor interviewing and deciding on other staff, and also Elders or other key leaders of the church.  This process would then trickle down from there, since at every level this interview process would take place with the overseers of each ministry area examining things based on the culture and vision that has been put forward. Lencioni also here talked about really knowing people on the staff. Not just information, but their personality triggers as well. I.e. the Meyers-Briggs test.
  2. Create Organizational Clarity: Healthy organizations clarify topics such as identity, core values, strategies/process, goals and roles & responsibilities. In thinking of a church it is amazing how many people have a different picture of what the church is. If 10 people have 10 different views regarding the identity of the church then there will be 10 different directions the church is working.  In the same way if there are 10 people with 10 different ultimate goals then focus is split amongst the team and growth is not achieved because each person is working toward their own goal and not for a cooperative goal and direction.
  3. Over Communicate Organizational Clarity: Healthy organizations align their employees by repetitively and comprehensively communicating all aspects of organizational clarity.  The question is can every single volunteer and staff member clearly express the organizational clarity above?  Identity? Core Values? Strategies/Process? Goals? Their role & responsibilities?  And for a church since we are a family can our members then repeat the same clarity? Lencioni wrote that in communicating, “you should feel like you’re beating a dead horse.”  In other words just because you think you’ve been clear, you really haven’t.
  4. Reinforce Organizational Clarity Through Human Systems: Organizations sustain their health by establishing simple structures around the way they make decisions, evaluate job candidates, manage performance, and reward employees. This one is the most important in mainting the other three. Everyone is reviewed quarterly.  Turning in a report of 1 page with four questions: “What did you accomplish?” “What will you accomplish next?” “How can you improve?” “Are you embracing the values?” I have to admit I love this one…in fact I love all four obsessions!

As I listened to the book it was very clear that these were not just obsessions, in fact a better word I believe would be “DISCIPLINES!” It takes discipline to operate in this way.  It takes discipline to transition into this format.  It takes discipline to stand up for a system like this that doesn’t accept status quo or people giving less than their best. It takes discipline to follow through. It takes discipline to not compromise because you “like” someone or are their “friend.”  Of course being a disciple is in part to have a disciplined life. 

I see definite areas where I as a leader need to grow in all four of the disciplines!  And where I need to challenge the team we have here at Visalia Seventh-day Adventist to rise to this level. God is the best, He gave us His best in Jesus, and He deserves our best! 

 

 

We’re Not Golfing Buddies Anymore!

The church I work for is growing!  There is a Kingdom movement happening that God is doing through the power of prayer that is just absolutely awesome to see!  In two years we’ve gone from a church of around 300 (*corrected) active members to 500 active members (attending at least once a month).  We have gone from average attendance of 200-225 (this included our children) to 350-400 each week (this doesn’t include our children whom have Children’s Church each week).  When I got here there was a staff of three, I made four, we are now six.  Our Children’s Pastor, Pastor Carron, a little over two years ago shared with me that she knew every kid’s name that attended our church. Two days ago she told me, “Chad I don’t know half the kids here. At first that made me sad, but now I love being able to share Jesus with sponges that have never heard about Him before.”!

Thus with all this growth there is change, because, “growth changes everything and everyone.”  And with change there has been a change in communication and knowledge that individuals have about what is happening or going to happen in the church, I believe this has been one of the most frustrating realities for many within our church, especially those that have been a part of the church since it was 175 members (we are now at almost 730 members). So today I heard a great analogy from Pastor Larry Osborne from North Coast Church that I thought I would share with y’all:

A small church 50-150 (maybe even 200) is like a group of buddies on a golf outing.  Everyone knows and can see exactly what is going on.  Everyone is hitting for the most part similar shots. Everyone is talking about the shots being hit, there is constant interaction with everyone.  But churches grow…

A larger church 150-350+ is like a basketball team.  On a basketball team everyone knows all the plays.  Even the people on the bench.  But only a few will know exactly what everyone is supposed to do.  Usually this is the point guard(s) (1 guard) and the coaching staff.  The coach because he/she wrote the play, the point guard because he has to know where everyone will be at the right time to deliver the ball to the correct person.  On a basketball team though most individuals have different roles.  No longer is everyone hitting the same shot and doing everything together, though everyone still has a general idea of what is going on and has the ability if they want to know exactly where everyone is and what everyone should be doing. But churches grow…

A church 400-500 and beyond becomes more like a football team. In football there is offense and there is defense.  There is the special teams unit which covers punts and there is the special teams unit which covers kickoffs.  Furthermore the defense may have a group that plays only on a cover two package or only on a nickel package; the offense may have a spread offense and guys that only are in on plays that are part of the goalline package…Are you confused?  Exactly!    Larry Osborne illustrated it like this:

“One of my friends was the fifth pick in the NFL draft back when we were in college.  We were hanging out one day and I asked him what it was like to play against, and I named a specific running back?  My friend said, ‘I don’t know.’ Come on man, is he amazing to watch?  What is it like?  You play these guys twice a year. ‘Larry I am an offensive lineman.  During the week I don’t look at any game tape of him. During the game he is not on the field when I am on the field and when I am off the field I am sitting on a bench listening to our offensive line coach and looking through photos of the last series of plays to see where we need to improve or what we did right, or how to stunt block someone.  So when I say I don’t know, I don’t know anymore than you.'”

On the football team everyone has their own unique area and very few people, if any, know everything! They all have their own assignments and their own roles, no one not even the head coach knows exactly every detail of every unit. 

At the football or basketball level not everyone can share an opinion or know every detail in a meeting or else the meetings would go ’till midnight. And not every member from church can know exactly how everything is happening or have time to share their opinion or things would bottleneck. 

Larry said that is the reality of being part of a growing church.  And a person who is a member or a leader of a church that is in the basketball or football stage that is still wanting to be a “golfing buddy” will have a very hard time!

“People who were used to being golfing buddies are often in for a “relational shock” when the church grows and the game changes.

Osborne gives two important indicators that the game has changed:

“relational overload and increased miscommunication.”

I believe our church is somewhere between the basketball team and the football team and it is a struggle!

Where are y’all at?

Seth Godin on Leading From a Position of Uniqueness

Seth Godin is a genius voice for our time.  Anyone that leads or wants to be a person of influence should spend some time gleaning insights from the things that come out of Godin’s brain.

<p>Exclusive interview with Seth Godin from GiANT Impact on Vimeo.</p>

I love that last line: “That is your opportunity to say what you believe and see who follows.” –Godin

The Pink Slip

If I ever wrote a book about church, I believe one of the chapters would be centered around the idea of how we need to fire every pastor, including me, and start all over! I think at times we as Pastors have forgotten why we are called, “to reach the lost for Jesus.” We think we are pastors to write good sermons, to visit sick people, to solve petty issues of floor color and musical styles. Maybe we have no idea why we are pastors? Which is why we should all be fired or quit and go from there. I once read, or heard, can’t remember which now, that James White’s philosophy (one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist church) on hiring ministers was that an individual would first have to show that they could raise up a church that could sustain them in ministry, and then the denomination would hire these individuals. I love this idea! It would force us as pastors to REACH the lost! I love this idea so much that when I was nearing the end of graduate school at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI., I suggested the idea to my wife Christina. I asked her what she would think of us choosing a place to live based on the need for a church to be planted and availability for her to have a job. Then we would raise-up, through God’s power, a church. And once it was established we would then see if the local Seventh-day Adventist conference was interested in coming along side and partnering with us. Since at the time I had a conference that was already ready to pay me to pastor, and she had just supported me through graduate school, the idea didn’t sit so well with her 🙂 (I still present it every now and then and I think she is softening to it). I still love the idea, not because I want to quit my job or because I don’t like to get paid for what I do. I like the idea because I would then be reminded daily of why I am a pastor, to reach the lost for Jesus Christ. I pray that I don’t ever forget that is my reason for being a pastor and if I do forget, someone please fire me!!!!

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