Archive for the ‘leadership’ Category

Suppose you have a teenage son…

Just read this.

Read this excerpt from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

“Suppose you have a teenage son and your normal conversation is something like, ‘Clean your room. Button your shirt. Turn down the radio. Go get a haircut. And don’t forget to take out the garbage!’ Over a period of time, the withdrawals (from your emotional bank account) far exceed the deposits.

Now suppose this son is in the process of making some important decisions that will affect the rest of his life. But the trust level is so low and the communication process so closed, mechanical, and unsatisfying that he simply will not be open to your counsel. You may have the wisdom and the knowledge to help him, but because your account is so overdrawn, he will end up making his decisions from a short-range emotional perspective, which may well result in many negative long-range consequences.

You need a balance to communicate on these tender issues.”

(pg 189)

We know it’s true…yet how many of us ignore these facts? Sometimes we forget and we take the short, easy, yet not effective route.

It’s obvious isn’t it? We need to build a relationship strong enough to bear the weight of truth.


A Fictional, Yet Plausible Story

A man walks into a church looking for something he hasn’t had his entire life. He’s not real sure what it is exactly, but he’s been trying to find “it” for two years now. Life is crappy. His marriage died. His kids are living in Rhode Island with his ex-wife and his parents both died in a car accident 1 year ago. He’s broken. And now he’s gone against everything he was raised to believe and decided to take a chance on this guy named Jesus. Not sure what the expect, he avoids eye contact and sits in the back of the church theater. He feels he’s successfully avoided anybody who might talk to him. He just wants to observe and he’s more interested in how genuine the people are, than the service itself.

Two seats away a woman sits. She smells a hint of alcohol, which is something that she hasn’t smelled since she quit drinking 5 years ago. It’s been a long, tough road, but with the help and support of an AA group, her family and small group at church, she’s been sober for 5 years. She sends a glance his way and realizes that this man must have already been drinking this morning. “It’s only 9:45am and he’s already drinking…wow,” she thought to herself. Under the guise of going into the lobby to use the restroom she leaves the theater and goes into another door so that she doesn’t have to sit next to or smell the man’s stench.

The man sat alone. The music was enjoyable, the people seemed to believe what they sang and the sermon hit the nail right on the head. The Pastor said, “If you feel like the whole world has turned against you, then you’re in the best place to meet God.” It did feel like the whole world had turned against him, or at least his own little world had and he knew it couldn’t be a coincidence that the Pastor seemed to be speaking directly to him. In fact he was a little taken aback by the fact that the Pastor seemed to know him and his circumstances before they ever met.

Across the room, the woman sat quietly during the sermon and listened. Thinking, “I remember when it felt like my world turned against me” and “I’m so glad Jesus took the time to pursue me through my disobedience.” But she also felt her mind starting to wander and wonder. “I feel like this is the same sermon I heard 6 1/2 year’s ago when I started my journey toward sobriety. I wonder when he (the Pastor) is going to start teaching me something with depth.”

The service ended and the man had already decided he’d take another step. He would go talk to someone, anyone, the first person who looked like they could be talked to.

The two made their way down out of the theater and from across the way, the man spotted her. She didn’t see him coming, but he noticed she had been sitting next to him as the service started. At least she was a somewhat familiar face and she looked nice enough.

He tapped her on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me.”

She turned and saw the man. “Uh, yeah?” she responded. “I couldn’t help but notice that you were sitting next to me and I just wondered…” she interrupted him, “Well, not to be rude, but I moved because you smell like you came straight from a bar.” He was shocked and when she saw the look on his face, she was shocked as well. She thought, “I thought he was wondering why I moved seats.”

He turned. He walked out. He got in his car. And he vowed to never enter the building again, at least not while he still had all his problems.


The moral of the story:

“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” – Acts 15:19

When someone enters the environment we’ve created for them to connect with Jesus Christ and they feel judged. They feel like they can’t begin a relationship with Jesus until they’re clean. Until they’ve removed every sin from their life. Let me ask you one question, “Is your judgement causing it to be difficult for the people walking in our doors to turn to God?”

Everyone needs compassion. A love that’s never-failing. Let mercy fall on me. Everyone needs forgiveness. The Kindness of a Savior. The hope of nations. My Savior, He can move the mountains. My God is mighty to save. He is mighty to save. Forever, author of Salvation. He rose and conquered the grave. Jesus conquered the grave.

There’s a difference between Accountability and Judgement.

Accountability can only happen between two parties who have agreed to a standard and agreed to help each other attempt to achieve that standard.
Judgement happens when one party has declared a standard for others and attempts to hold that person captive to that standard.

It is not our job to point out the sin in others. It’s our job to usher them into an environment where they can experience love, acceptance and the profound grace of Jesus Christ. Once that relationship begins, they will be convicted in God’s timing and moved to life-change by the power of the Holy Spirit. But that’s not our job. So, I’ll ask it again…

“Is your judgement causing it to be difficult for the people walking in our doors to turn to God?”

Student Leadership Philosophies

Last week I went to lunch with a Sonoma State University student who has been coming to New Vintage Church for a few months. He is part of the student leadership at the university and talked about a couple of leadership philosophies, that are specific to campus leadership, I hadn’t heard about. I thought I’d share them with you…

The principles of the Relational Leadership Model (RLM) are as follows

  • Purposeful – taking actions that are planned an intentional
  • Inclusive – making sure ones choices and actions are inclusive of all, regardless of race, gender, Socio-Economic Status, ability or other factors
  • Empowering – encouraging everyone in a group to participate and bring their best. Everyone has something to contribute, but this does not always come out when individuals feel that others are taking control. Individuals are more likely to enjoy or take ownership of an event or organization if they feel like they are a significant part of it.
  • Ethical – making decisions based on a positive ethical framework (of course, ethics being a larger expectation, as opposed to morals being more specific expectations, and values being what individuals personally hold to be important)
  • Process-Oriented – the journey is just as important as the end. The ideas of group process (a number of individuals coming together to discuss an issue), community (that a small group of tightly-knit individuals will stay together no matter what challenges they face), and the journey being important all fall under this umbrella.

FISH! Philosophy:

  • Be There – Be present. Don’t be on cell phones
  • Play – Remember to have fun, no matter what
  • Make Their Day – Go out of your way to make someone’s day. It will make your day.
  • Choose Your Attitude – Attitude is the thing that individuals can really control. Why go into a bad situation with bad attitude when you can go into a bad situation with a good attitude and completely change the situation?


I thought these were interesting thoughts that relate very well to student ministry and small group leaders. There’s a few overlapping themes between the philosophies above and the “5 Essentials of Effective Small Group Leaders”

  • It’s a Journey – relational ministry doesn’t happen over night, it takes months and sometimes years to gain a student’s trust
  • Time on their Turf – you’ve got to meet them where they are emotionally and spiritually…and when possible, meet them where they are literally…sporting events, birthday parties, etc.
  • Partner with the Parents – it is the primary responsibility of the parent to disciple their kids, but most just don’t know how and they are happy to have another voice in their student’s lives
  • Keep it Real – be honest, be open and don’t give “knee-jerk” answers
  • Fill up First – make sure you’ve got a growing relationship with Jesus Christ

Brazil Team (AbbaTeen) 2010 – The Video

We’ve been showing that LOVE MOVES for the past few weeks and this video tells the story.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

one sentence changed it all…

I remember going to the Drive Conference in 2006. It was the first time I had ever been to or even heard of North Point Community Church or Andy Stanley. The sentence that changed everything was this, “We should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God” (Acts 15:19). Andy Stanley was quoting Paul and Paul was fighting for the people who were new converts to Christianity. The Jewish Christians wanted the Gentiles to be circumcised before they could become Christian converts. But Paul fought for them and said that there is no reason we should force them to hold to our old traditions, they are not bound by the old law. There is a new covenant.

The church today needs to do the same thing. Fight to keep it simple and not difficult for those who are turning to God. Don’t create a bunch of hoops to jump through. Keep it simple. Because it is simple. It’s simply Jesus.

How are you making it easy?
How are you making it difficult?

random leadership stuff from leith anderson

Andy shared some leadership notes that he took while spending time with Leith Anderson a few weeks back. I thought I’d dump them on here for you to take a look at. Help me process this stuff…what do you think about it?–

  • There are chapters in a church. There are times when a Pastor needs to close a chapter in the book and open another.
  • Church surveys tend to bring up the worst and they are not always reliable.
  • Keep the same sermon to keep the same DNA in every campus.
  • Brand control is the responsibility of the Senior Pastor. It is his responsibility to define who we are.
  • The larger the church becomes, the less models there are out their to copy.
  • Staff Meetings: Everybody writes their agenda on Friday and we discuss it on Tuesday in staff meeting. Everybody submits a report about what they talked about the last week and what they want to talk about the next week.
  • Every single visitor who writes something on a communication card is given attention in the staff meeting.
  • We want to answer your questions. We want you to feel like you heard and you got a personal touch.
  • Never read unsigned letters or emails. It immediately goes into the shredder.
  • At the beginning church plants need to be based on the planting Pastor. Then it shifts as it grows into small group focused.
  • Different chapters, do different things.
  • I always hire younger.
  • In America right now, there is a major shift of older Pastors retiring. There aren’t enough young pastors to replace them.
  • An amateur says what should I say? A pro says who is my audience?
  • Discipleship is customized.
  • When do people want to grow spiritually? When they’re ready.
  • If sermons are only good 2 out of the 4, don’t expect people to invite
  • Seize an opportunity, don’t try to solve a problem
  • All of the small groups have a ministry and mission. Whenever the small groups start doing things in the community, it engages the community in a new way.
  • Staff retreats, twice a year for a couple of days and 4 times a year we go and experience something together.
  • Old people talk about yesterday, young people talk about tomorrow because we talk about what we have the most of.
  • Everything we do teaches.
  • Everybody is a member. Every person who serves, gets hired, etc…becomes a member first.
  • Breakthroughs happen when you behave like a church larger than you are.

Conference Chat with Todd Fields

Yesterday I had the opportunity to join in on a conference chat with Todd Fields. Here are some notes I took during the chat…

North Point Values for their Worship Leaders:

Servant Leadership
Preparedness (in your heart and musically)

  • People are ready to engage in singing after they’ve had fun.
  • The minute you can get someone to smile, tap their toe or laugh…you’ve got buy in.
  • Question for Openers — Is this going to be engaging? it doesn’t have to be secular or christian music.
  • Try to “shrink the gap” between the people and the stage
  • authenticity and humility are important
  • take a close look at the songs in the worship set – does song #2 or 3 hit me EMOTIONALLY
  • Write down how you connect and create a transition – tell a few seconds of your story in the intro
  • There is no magic in just singing songs
  • We WANT our environment to have EMOTION because when our hearts are stirred, it challenges and changes us

How do you transition from a GIG to the VISION?

  • A worship leader will buy into the vision when we buy into them.
  • Most of these worship leaders need pastoring way more than a pay check
  • They want to have input, they want to feel a part of the team

How does NP support their worship leaders?

  • Once a quarter, leadership (day) retreat at the church 10am-3pm
  • Connect socially, have fun and bring in a speaker to talk about one of the values
  • It pays to invest in their lives and pastor them

What does a rehearsal look like?

  • Wed night
  • Dinner together 7pm
  • Ask someone to tell their story (do something “spiritual”)
  • Go through the songs Songs

There are a lot of songs that we may be personally moved by, but at the end of the day the WIN is for the set to be the best it can be…not for my songs to be played all the time

Ask God to move people emotionally and ask Him to open their eyes to His greatness

We add 1 new song a month – with heavy repetition

What is the criteria for new songs?

  • Must be catchy, singable, and great
  • A common mistake – so many songs in a worship rotation that the people get left in the dust – we need to repeat things enough for people to know them
  • People like repetition, they like simple and they like singable
  • If you pick a great set, you can do it regularly and people will love it.

I haven’t thought through all of these notes yet and they may not make perfect sense to you, but I just wanted to throw that out there for you to digest with me. What do you think?