Is your church everything you once dreamed it would be? Every church has a compelling purpose, even if it’s been lost, derailed or delayed. We’re unpacking the stories of change at some great churches and sharing key steps to help you make make 3 BIG shifts around vision, leadership, and your discipleship pathway.
Browsing: Leadership & Management
Articles to help church leaders get unstuck.
While most pastors are preparing for Christmas Eve services, wise pastors know there’s another big day right around the corner: January 1, 2017. The start of a new year in which to make new changes, build new ministries, and ultimately reach new people. I’d venture to bet there’s a list of changes you’ve wanted to make at your church for a while. This challenge is not for the complacent or comfortable. It’s a 15-day journey to kickstart the ministry year you’ve been dreaming about, and it’s completely free.
That’s usually how blind spots work. They show up at work, at home, in our casual friendships, and in our most meaningful relationships. Everyone sees them but us. That’s why they’re called blind spots. But just because you have them, doesn’t mean you can’t bring those blind spots into focus. Here’s a couple tips to try out this week.
Your vision is not your to-do list. It’s not the event calendar. It’s not your preaching schedule. It’s not your building repairs. It’s not your most pressing need. It’s easy to reduce vision to the next thing to be done. But the action items on your list are supporting players, and though they are very important ones, they too often grow to a gargantuan size, blocking out all light from the true aim — the very reason why you have a list at all.
We had a great experience going to the game; the outcome was just disappointing. It was like the Gators were trying to phone this one in. They didn’t look like themselves. It’s like they didn’t even get off the bus! I don’t mind losing if they leave it all on the field, but they just didn’t play up to their potential. Ever been a part of a team like that? A team that doesn’t play up to their potential? Here are some of the reasons why it happens.
Pastors need a healthier scorecard for ministry. A few years ago, our team set out to help pastors get a clearer understanding of the health of their churches. We believed access to a better scorecard for ministry would show them where they were making an impact and where their churches might be stuck. What resulted was the development of Vital Signs. When you can honestly and accurately acknowledge unhealthy areas of your ministry, you can address them to move forward. That’s what this eBook is all about; bringing your leaders together around reality so you can improve it.
I’ve never met anyone who likes to be micromanaged. Unfortunately I’ve observed many church staff teams who confuse micromanagement and accountability. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a young church staff member express frustration and cry out about the injustice of being micromanaged when their supervisor was simply holding them accountable for basic results.
Ever say something you wish you could take back? Sure. Everyone has. Whether it’s something we regret saying to a spouse, to a child, to a friend, or in the workplace to a coworker. Everybody has said something they wish they could go back and say differently…or…not say at all. Many of us are not aware of how powerful our words are and how they affect the people around us. The best church leaders I’ve ever been around understand this and they exercise discipline with their words.
Is the language of the culture within your church toxic to people living in the culture outside it? What I’m not talking about is the “church people” we see in news clips holding venomous posters on the side of the road. That’s clearly toxic. What I am talking about is more subtle: church t-shirts that sell an exclusive membership. Or, rally cries intended to foster community within one church that instead suggest competition between churches. Or, insider language decorating an Instagram post without regard for how it may be interpreted in a public context. We say things outside our church walls that take on new meaning. We all need to get better at evaluating our language.
I asked my team at The Unstuck Group to share podcasts they think pastors should be listening to and why. If you’re new to podcasts, or just looking for some fresh voices to follow, here were some of our top picks.
I’ve noticed a common trait among many pastors and leaders. I’m no exception. Every one of us wants to be right.
We don’t want to waste others’ time making up for our mistakes. We’d rather not disappoint our staff, elders, and congregation. And we certainly don’t want to send our churches racing toward the wrong target. So when it comes to setting vision, we often take our time to ensure it is bold enough but not unreasonable. When it comes to clarifying our strategy, we consider every option and then create a few more, all in hopes of not missing the “right” answer.
Last week, we introduced the first episode of The Leadership Unstuck Podcast where we discussed the importance of determining the kind of person your church is trying to reach. In this episode I talk to Jerry Sweat, Lead Pastor of Beach Church in Jacksonville Beach, Florida about how to lead change effectively.