Three Questions to Ask Leaders

Here’s three things I like to ask leaders I lead and leaders who lead me:

  1. What is your story?
    1. Getting someone to talk about themselves is the best way to tear down any walls. That’s pretty much everyone’s favorite subject to talk about anyway: themselves. If you know where someone comes from and what they’ve been through you have a better understanding of them as a person.
  2. Where do you see yourself in future?
    1. After you know where they’ve been, you can see where they are going. High capacity leaders have a  vision for themselves, their organization and their families.
  3. How can I help you get there?
    1. Lastly you connect yourself to people by asking how you can help them get to where they are going.

I don’t usually ask the questions in this format and definitely not all at once. I try to make it as natural and organic as I can. I certainly ask lots of other questions but this is the basic strategy behind how I approach helping leaders.

 

What Are Your Priorities?

I was looking through some old Evernote’s and saw one of my first notes when I came to Element Church to start my new position.That was almost two years ago now. It was a kick list of everything I needed to work on with the ministry personally. I started the list with my four “values” priorities:

  1. Love people
    1. This should never change. We are in the people business. God has called us to the people we serve.
  2. Cast vision
    1. As the Family Pastor I take the overall vision of the church and cast specific vision for each of the areas I lead.
  3. Celebrate the past
    1. When you take a new position the temptation is to come in and change everything just for the sake of change. I spent time celebrating what was done in the past rather than tearing anything down. One of the best honor moments we had was celebrating a staff person who was moving out of kids into another area. I bought flowers and had the teachers present them and pray over her in front of all the kids. This brought honor to her, my pastor and the church knew I was for them. I didn’t do everything right with this but that is maybe the one thing I did do right.
  4. Evaluate for the future
    1. Lists are a good way to think through what needs to be changed. One of the best practices is to walk around and see things through the eyes of a new person. Now I wouldn’t suggest carrying a clipboard or iPad to write those down as that can be intimidating (I made that mistake).

I thought that was a good reminder and sent those four to some of my staff. What are thoughts? How about your priorities, what are they?

 

 

It’s the end of the world as we know it!

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I love post-apocalyptic fiction. One of my favorite shows was/is Jericho (R.I.P.). It gets me thinking. If we lost electricity and all technology, how would I do kidmin? Where would I get my ideas without the Internet? Could I lead dynamic worship without flashy lights and amazing projector screens? How would I get awesome objects without amazon.com? I need Oriental Trading Company for prizes and small group supplies.

Think about it, if all the bells and whistles were gone, what would you have left? What is the foundation of our ministries? After thinking about it, I know I could be successful in children’s ministry because those things are just peripheral. As long as I had my team, we’d be good. Just like the characters in the movies and tv shows who band together to survive, we need each other. In this crazy world, community is the only way to survive and thrive.

We need each other. God made us that way. Who can you add to your circles? Who do you need to survive the “apocalypse”? Who are your mentors? Who are you mentoring? Link arms and stay on mission.

God Wants to Multiply Your Resources

You know the story of Jesus multiplying the loaves and fishes for the crowd of 5000 in Matthew 14:13-21 (NLT)

13 As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns. 14 Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

15 That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”

16 But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary—you feed them.”

17 “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered.

18 “Bring them here,” he said. 19 Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. 20 They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. 21 About 5,000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children!

Notice a few things

  • Jesus was ministering to the crowd. You are also ministering to a “crowd” every week.
  • Jesus had limited resources to minister with. I’m guessing you do to?
  • Jesus wanted to do something impossible. Again, I’m guessing you feel sometimes that He asks you also to do the impossible?

Look how Jesus made this happen.

  1. He had a vision to feed them.
  2. He took the helpers he did have and asked them to help solve the problem.
  3. He organized the people he was going to minister to by having them sit down.
  4. He identified what resources someone had (John tells us it was a little boy’s lunch).
  5. He blessed what he had.
  6. What he had was multiplied.

So think of your resource needs in ministry. Is it money? People? Space?

  1. Get a vision from God for it. You can’t spell provision without vision.
  2. Get some people involved in helping you believe for this thing and ask for ideas on how to solve it.
  3. Organize what you do have. A church consultant told me once. Get rid of your junk because when God multiplies you you don’t want it to be multiplied too.
  4. What resources do you have? Count the people you do have. Figure out how much money you really have. Take a look at your spaces. Learn to assess and  measure everything.
  5. Bless what you have. Turn it over to God. Maybe you don’t get anymore volunteers because you are so busy verbally trashing the ones you have. Instead of talking about how little money you have thank Him for what you do have. Instead of talking about how bad your facilities are, fix them up and take care of them.
  6. Watch God do the multiplying. I know I have had many years where I had $0 budget but I learned to trust God in those years. I never went without resources to do what He called me to do.

Think It, Dream It

I wanted to move on past dreams to problem solving but God won’t let me.

Here’s some questions we asked our team Sunday:

1. What is your specific purpose in life, in one sentence with no Christianese or cliches?

2. Do you have any written plans to assure you accomplish your purpose?

3. What is your greatest passion?

4. What would you do if you knew you could not fail in any way?

5. Do you believe God will let you do what you really love and want to do?

6. What would you do if you only had 6 months to live?

7. What do you want your tombstone to say?

8. What do you want your obituary to say?

9. What action gives you the greatest sense of self worth when you perform it?

10. What would you do specifically in detail with one million dollars?

11. What are the three most important things in your life?

12. What books are you reading and why?

13. What would you risk your life, reputation, and income to accomplish?

Share your answers with someone you trust.

(Questions taken from the Purpose, Destiny, Achievement Course Manual by Dr. William D. Greenman)

Taught and Caught Part 4

The fourth and final principle I believe God has called us to impart is  WALK IN LOVE.

In Ephesians 3:19 asks us to know God’s love even though we can’t fully understand it. I believe His love is something that we must experience and demonstrate to really know. In 1 Corinthians 13  says that love is more bigger than prophecy, tongues, self sacrifice, and social causes. John writes that God is love. I believe that if we could take a slice of God and look at it under a microscope we would see love in His DNA. Jesus said love would be the mark that others would know we are Christians. He defined all the commandments in four words, “love God, love others”.

Our kids need to know that God loves them and they need to reciprocate that love back to Him. Then they will take it to the world. One of my favorite books on this subject (and overall favorite books come to think of it) is Brother Hagin’s Love the Way to Victory. His stories of God bringing him to a place of victory through walking in love are a great source of encouragement to me in my ministry and personal life.

The love of God has to be our highest aim in life. His love for us is so vast because He is so vast. Our kids need to experience that love in their everyday lives and especially in our churches.