8.20.2014

3 Things Great Leaders Delegate


President Ronald Reagan once said, "Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don't interfere as long as the policy you've decided upon is being carried out."

But for many leaders, delegation is a real, actual struggle. So many times, we see delegation in two lights:

  •  If I delegate this, people will think I am trying to get out of work or that I'm being lazy. And no one follows a lazy leader.
  • I can't delegate this because it's too important and someone else can't do this at the same level that I can.

While there are times where these excuses might be valid, more times than not our lack of delegation is an issue with us as leaders, instead of the people, volunteers, or employees in our organization.

So if we're supposed to delegate, what should we as leaders be delegating. MOST leaders delegate tasks. They simply hand of something from their over-stuffed to-do-list to someone in the organization. But GREAT leaders delegate more than tasks. 


3 Things Great Leaders Delegate

#1: Authority. Great leaders realize that you can't just delegate a to-do list. If you want to put your people in a place to succeed, you have to delegate authority as well. A task list without the authority to accomplish the mission of the organization while completing those tasks is a recipe for disaster.

#2: Responsibility. Great leaders also understand that you must delegate responsibility. If we delegate tasks, but anytime failure is at the doorstep, we become a "run-to-the-rescue" leader, then we're not allowing the people in our organization to really grow as leaders. We have to be willing to delegate responsibility, and place that responsibility for success and failure in the hands of those who follow us.

#3: Praise. Far beyond tasks, authority, and responsibility, great leaders understand that the most important thing we can delegate as leaders is praise. When delegation takes place and the outcome is a win, great leaders are sure to pass the praise down, making sure those they lead receive credit for a job well done.

Pastor Andy Stanley puts it this way: Don’t strive to be a well-rounded leader. Instead, discover your zone and stay there. Then delegate everything else.

As leaders, we have to learn that delegation is dynamite that can explode our organizations to the next level by allowing others to take ownership. So don't just delegate "stuff"...delegate the right stuff!

8.13.2014

3 Simple Ministry Reminders



There are times when ministry and leadership in the church can be incredibly difficult. And then there are times where we as leaders make it more difficult than it actually is. With that in mind, I wanted to pass along 3 simple reminders that have helped me in the past few months to simplify my ministry leadership.

3 Simple Ministry Reminders

#1: Remember Your Mission. As a church planter, pastor or leader in the church, our mission is what should drive everything we do. And in a culture obsessed with catchy vision statements and overloaded with the next new way to convey your mission to your team, our mission really is very simple. In Luke 19:10, Jesus lays out His mission, the reason why he came and lived among us with this statement: "For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost." That's the simple, clarifying mission of Jesus. And if we're following Him, it ought to be our mission as well.

#2: Remember Your Calling. Before you were ever called to a ministry, a church, or a mission, you were called to Jesus. Our primary calling is not something to do, but something to be: Children of God. One of the fastest ways to lose sight of this calling is to begin to listen to all of the criticism and complaints about your ministry/church/program/whatever. I've heard it said that listening to what others say about you is the fastest way to forget what God thinks about you. And that simply sidetracks us from the calling God's placed on our lives. Remember who you are and whose you are.

#3: Remember Romans 12:15. In Romans 12:15, Paul simply states: "Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn." There are tons of helpful ministry tips, tricks, and tools of the trade available in our culture. The opportunity for growing in your skills and ability to minister to, lead, and reach people are endless in the Western church framework. But don't miss out on the basics. If you'll learn to practice Romans 12:15 with the families and people God gives you to steward, you'll make ministry investments that are life-changing and kingdom-impacting. It sounds simple, but it's incredibly powerful.

As church leaders, our battle is fierce and our enemy is relentless. Let's not make it more difficult by missing the basics. I'd love to hear from you, so feel free to leave a comment and share your top simple ministry reminder!


6.11.2014

3 People We Should Listen To


A few days ago I wrote a short blog titled 3 People You Need To Ignore. If you missed it, you can click here to check it out.

But that begs the question: Who are the people we should listen to? 

Jimi Hendrix once said, "Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens."It's important that we not only listen, but that we listen to the right voices. Here are some people who are helpful to listen to.

3 People We Should Listen To

#1: The Truth Teller. We all need people in our lives who will speak difficult truth to us. One of the greatest myths of our culture is that when someone confronts us about a personal shortcoming or area that needs growth, they are overstepping their bounds. Proverbs 27:6 says, "Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy." Simply put: It's better to have someone in your life who cares enough to challenge and confront you when needed, rather than people who just flatter us.

#2: The Encourager. Life is hard. Life is messy. And no matter how smooth our life might be, there will be some point where it seems like there is no way we can win. That's why we all need people who encourage us. Don't forget to listen to the people who will build you up.

#3: The Investor. When it comes to giving unsolicited advise, it seems like we all have more than we need...or want, for that matter. But we always need to consider the source. If a person is deeply investing in my life and in who I am or what I'm trying to do, I always consider what they have to say. Why? Because they're investing in making me a better person. They have "skin in the game" so their words matter.

Winston Churchill said, "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." May we all have the courage to take time to listen...and the wisdom to know which voices to listen to.


6.03.2014

3 People You Need To Ignore


Steve Jobs once said, "Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your inner voice." 

Edward Gibbon, an English historian & Parliament member from the 18th century, said "I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect." 

John, a disciple of Jesus said, "My dear friends, don't believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you." (1 John 4:1)

Jesus said it this way: "Pay close attention to what you here." (Mark 4:24)

Basically, they all agree on this: It matters who you listen to. The voices we listen to affect us. The people we regularly listen to shape our thoughts, opinions, attitudes, and life.

So who should we avoid? Here's a few suggestions.



3 Voices You Need To Ignore:

  1. The Negative Nancy. Negativity breeds negativity. It spreads like wildfire. Be careful about being around people who are consistently negative. Negativity is a virus that is quickly contagious.
  2. The Constant Complainer. These are the people who ALWAYS have something to complain about. You know these folks. The guy you could give $1,000,000 to and he'd complain that you gave it to him in $100 bills and not $20s. These people can quickly drain the joy, happiness, and hope out of your life.
  3. The Gossip. The best definition of a gossip I've ever heard is this: People who talk about you, without you. Gossip always hurts people. It never leads to good. So don't be a part of it. In fact, here's a great test of whether or not you're listening to a gossip. Do the people you listen to consistently talk about others when they're not around? If they talk about them when they're not present, you can bet that they're talking about you when you're not around.
The voices we listen to help mold us into the people we become. Guard your ears...because in doing so, you are actually guarding your heart and life.

5.13.2014

Confucius Was Wrong


I've heard this quote hundreds of times in my life: 

Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. 

The quote is credited to the uber-wise Confucius. And while I typically don't make it a habit to blatantly disagree with people considered to be some of the smartest humans to ever live, let me just say this: Confucius was wrong.

That's right. Confucius was wrong. Because here's the truth: If you choose a job that you love, that you're passionate about, that is your life's dream, you should work harder at that thing than anything else.

If you are really doing something you love, you will work your tail off because it means that what you are doing MATTERS and MEANS SOMETHING to you.

When you are doing something you love, it's not just a job. It's not just a career. You're working out your dream. You're doing something your passionate about and that you know makes a difference.

So don't buy into the lie that one day you'll stumble upon some dream job that won't take any work and you'll live the rest of your days in a state of bliss.

If a dream is really a dream, it will take work. 

If a dream is really a dream, it will be WORTH the work.

So don't just work. And don't just dream.

Work the dream.

5.07.2014

4 Things Leaders Must Be Willing To Do


I've been thinking lately a lot about leadership. To be honest, I'm striving to grow in my own leadership, as well as work through what my leadership development of others looks like.

I think leadership development is crucial in any growing, life-giving organization. As I've thought about it recently, it seems there are certain things that any given leader must be willing to do.

Here's the 4 things:
  1. Leaders must be willing to be first in the water. - I was watching Shark Week a while back and in one of the shows, a rookie crew member mistakenly left the anchor rope in the water when the motor was started. That led to the rope getting tangled in the motor in the midst of shark infested waters. There was no safe way to deal with the situation. The only solution? Dive into the water and get to work. What I noticed was in this life-or-death, crucial situation for this team, it wasn't the rookie that got thrown into the water. It was the ship's captain who jumped in. The task was crucial and deadly. So the leader went first. Leaders have to be willing to be the first in the water...especially when there are sharks!
  2. Leaders must be willing to be misunderstood. - If you lead in any way, you WILL be misunderstood. People will misunderstand your motives, your decisions, your vision, and your direction. Leading others means making hard choices, which are often misunderstood by the crowd.
  3. Leaders must be willing to make tough decisions. - Leadership requires a commitment to the good and the vision of an organization above anything else. That means, from time to time, there will be hard decisions and tough choices that must be made. A real leader is willing to DECIDE, not delegate in the toughest of situations.
  4. Leaders must be willing to act before they are comfortable. - Leadership means navigating waters that are often unexplored. Leaders often are called to act before they, or others, are comfortable in order to continue to chart a course for the vision and future of the organization.
Leading is tough. It requires a certain amount of courage to lead well. But if your willing to put it all on the line for the vision and mission of your organization, leading can help you leave a legacy far beyond your life.

4.01.2014

21 Day Fast

Hey Timber Ridgers,
If you missed our weekend worship experience last Sunday, we announced that, as a church, we're entering into a 21 day fast. You can check out the message from Sunday as well as the explanation of the fast by clicking here.

Basically, fasting is making a personal sacrifice in order to ask God to move in and on our behalf. We've decided that we're each choosing something to fast from in order to pray and ask God to move in three ways:

  1. In Us - Asking God to move in our personal lives in a new and fresh way.
  2. In Others - Asking God to use the Easter season as a tool for us to invite our friends and neighbors to Timber Ridge and for them to respond to the message of Jesus' love.
  3. In Our Church - Asking God to guide our upcoming move and to show us as individuals how we can personally be involved with investing in this new facility.
In case you didn't know, our first Sunday in our new facility is April 13th. That gives us a chance to "kick the tires" prior to Easter Sunday. Then, on Easter Sunday, we're committing to go all out in inviting our friends and neighbors to join us as we worship God together. We'll also be taking our first offering going toward our new facility that day.

I hope you'll join us in this fast as we ask God to move in us and through us in our community. To download the MAKE ROOM Fasting Guide, just click the image below. And feel free to contact me if you have any questions!