My church is exploding! We are one of those crazy churches that plants new campuses because people are driving from far away. Last night, we announced three new church campus plants. (FYI Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach and Greenwood all in SC) One of the things that is often asked of our senior pastor and the leadership team is, “What is your system?” While there is no doubt that a ton of planning goes into every service and every series, there isn’t a “system” for explosive growth in the church. Well, there is one and it is quite simple. Do whatever God tells you to do. That’s it. Do whatever God tells you to do. There is no guarantee that your ministry will suddenly have thousands of people just because you follow that, but I will guarantee you that if you do whatever God tells you to do, you won’t be wrong. When you stand before the Lord having done what He told you to, having shown as many people as possible the way to a relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ, it will be a good thing.
Archive for the 'Christian Leadership' Category
I have a facebook friend. One of about two or three people on my friend list that isn’t someone I have a connection with somehow in real life. His name is Brian and he is a devout atheist. He is an incredible guy! We have had many discussions about religion, formation of the world, politics, and he has never resorted to a ad hominem attack! He has strong and sincere beliefs that science and math have, or will come up with the answers for everything. In talking with Brian, it has made me find answers to my own faith. It hasn’t weakened it, but strengthened it. While I do sincerely pray that someday he finds the path to redemption through Jesus Christ, I am thrilled to have someone in my life who expects me to back up my faith with facts and just quoting a Bible verse isn’t enough. Do you have someone in your life who challenges your faith?
U2 recently played a concert in Nashville, and at the end of the concert, Bono noticed a blind fan who wanted to play a song for his wife. The video below is what happened. While this has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity on the surface. From a leadership standpoint, this is inspiring! Bono had no reason to take a risk on the guy and let him come up and play with him, but he did. Sometimes, we have to take a risk on others and give them the moment of their lives! Introducing them to Jesus is better than letting them play guitar while you sing, but that is what he does here.
Jesus had a lot of people around Him at times. When he was performing miracles and preaching, sometimes He had thousands around Him. What happened to those who didn’t choose to give up everything and follow Him? We know what happened to the twelve disciples. Most of them died horrible deaths but we know what happened because they affected the rest of history with the passion with which they followed their and our leader! We don’t have a clue what happened to the 273rd man who got served the bread and fish on the hillside the day Jesus multiplied the fish and chips happy meal. In order to lead, followers are important! Not just occasional hang out with you type, but diehard, passionate about the cause, kill for you, die for you (or at least your mission) type followers. Where do you get them? I can tell you this, I love reading blogs and blogging, but I wouldn’t lay down my life or kill for any of my favorite bloggers. It takes being willing to lay down your own life for those who follow. Jesus gave us that example too! If you are here to be served, you end up looking like the spoiled rich kid. If you are here to serve others, you will have people willing to help you and maybe even take a bullet for you! Are there people or a cause in your life you would be willing to die for? It is easy to say Jesus, He died for us. Are there others? None of mine are famous, but to me they are. Other than my wife, parents, inlaws and some close friends, there is another category of people that I love to death – my college students. Even when I have to fail them, it is because I love them and want to see them succeed in the long run. Who are in your group of people you would die for?
My father and I are working on my house while I am off from my teaching duties. One of the jobs on the list was to re-do the mortar between the bricks on the porch column supports. As we jumped into the job we saw how it had been repaired the previous time. Someone back in the history of the house had noticed that the mortar was coming out from between the bricks as we had, but instead of buying mortar mix, they had packed dirt into the cracks and then painted over it. The paint held the dirt in for quite a few years, but now, it is making a bigger job for us. Doing the unseen work is important. For a long time, nobody knew that under the paint was just dirt, but eventually the truth came out. While the person who did it is unknown and will never be in trouble for the shoddy job, it is known to me now. In this case, it can be fixed and no one has been hurt. When we skip out on the unseen work in our leadership roles, it may or may not come to light immediately, but eventually it will. As Christian leaders, that means spending time each day with our Savior in prayer and reading HIS Word. Make sure you take care of the unseen before it becomes seen!
I know that a lot of you who read this blog have some great ideas of your own! If you have been reading the Christian Leadership blog for a while and have something burning inside you that you think would be great to share with our readers. Send me an e-mail (email@example.com) with your post of less than 500 words. (As you can see from my posts, people who want pages of text tend to read another blog.) If it is something that I think the readers would appreciate, I will happily post it with full credit given to you. Feel free to include a link to your own blog or webpage if you have one. If possible, this could become a once a week feature. Thanks in advance!
As a leader, do you know the meaning of the word “vacation”? Many leaders fail to truly take time off for themselves. It is important that we recharge, spend time with God and our families alone without the pressures of our daily lives. You might think that you can’t afford to or that your organization would crumble without you. The truth is, if your church or organization would fall apart without you, it isn’t going to stay working with you either. While any organization needs leadership, is can function for a week or two without one person. Take the time and get away. You can’t afford not to. Burn out is a very real phenomenon that attacks leaders who don’t take time off. Take a vacation!
There is an expression, “It is lonely at the top.” and that saying rings very true in the leadership world. We have many friends, but do we have lots of friends who are there for you through thick and thin, and who can call on you when things are tough, or it is time to celebrate? Don’t forget to make time for the meaningful friendships. That often takes intentionality to maintain those connections, but when you hit that moment when you aren’t on top of your game and you need help, it pays off! We were never meant to go through life alone!
It is great to be able to lead, but knowing how to be a great follower, being able to give encouragement when others are leading is important as well. Make time in your life to learn from other leaders as you follow them.
There are certain people that I learn from and admire in life. Some are personal friends, others I only know through their books or hearing them speak in conferences. Ultimately, our guidance must come from God. We know him by spending time with him, just as we know our friends by spending time with them. HE often uses people in my life to show me the truths that HE is trying to show me. Are we looking to the right people to get those truths? God proved HE can use a donkey to get our attention. (Balaam…poor man, remembered throughout history as the man who was saved by his talking donkey. Imagine the first time he shared that story with someone!) So God can and will use anyone or anything to get our attention. In general however, it is best that we look to those who we know to have a great relationship with God when we look for advice. Who are you looking up to?