Our Inheritance in Christ – Matt Chandler

In Galatians 4:21-31, Paul allegorizes the story of Sara and Hagar. He speaks of those who bear children of Spirit and those who bear children of Flesh. Children of flesh are those who trust in the Law, who define their value by externals (achievement, etc.).

Some of our “kids” are born in flash: they don’t need Gods help. Some are born out of only God’s intervention.

Justification is the crown jewel of our salvation. But Justification isn’t an end in itself. Justification should lead us to Sonship/Daughterhood. As Matt pointed out,

I don’t want to go camping with a judgeContinue reading

Create High-Performance Teams – Andy Stanley

AS1 - Andy StanleyMost people in the work force don’t feel like they are part of a team. They feel like employees. ON the other hand, many leaders view themselves as team leaders and team players. Consequently, leaders are often confused when employees don’t function like a team.

Hiring a staff is not the same as developing a team. Team requires something beyond a job description, office products, and a paycheck. For those content to manage the status quo, employees will do.

But for the leader who is consumed by the desire to move the needle in his or her sphere of influence, team is an absolute necessity. Here’s why:

Synergy – when a combination of elements produces an effect greater than the sum of the individual elements.

To Create High-Performance TeamsContinue reading

Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars – Jonathan Merritt

A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars
Click to check out A Faith of Our Own on Amazon

American Christianity is experiencing head-snapping change. Specifically, Christian political engagement is changing with the emergence of the new generation. What kind of change?

The 1950s were they heyday of Christian Civil Religion. Church attendance grew from 31% in 1950 to 51% by 1957. This was the decade that saw “Under God” added to the Pledge of Allegiance and “In God We Trust” adopted as our national motto.

Then came the Shock. Beginning in the 1960s, a wide variety of cultural factors challenged American Christian Civil Religious hegemony: Vietnam, Environmentalism, Civil Rights, Feminism, Gay Rights and Biblical Criticism, to name a few.Continue reading

Start With Why – Simon Sinek

Simon SinekTo be a leader, you only need followers. A follower is someone who volunteers to go the direction you point.

There are 2 ways to get people to follow you:

  1. Manipulate (fear, peer pressure, price drop)
  2. Inspire (Apple, Harley Davidson, Southwest)

Manipulation works but those strategies don’t breed loyalty.Continue reading

Making History – Craig Groschel

Now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God. — Acts 20:22-24

4 Phases of Transition

Continue reading

Opening the Front Door, Closing the Back Door – Herbert Cooper

Seven keys to Opening the Front Door

Herbert Cooper1. Use weekend worship gatherings

Remember that every Sunday is someone’s first Sunday. The regular attendee’s perspective changes when they invite someone to a gathering.

Focus on relevant + practical teaching.

Ensure that your programming is excellent. Excellence eliminates distractions.

2. Get your people fired up to reach their friends & family

In everything you do, build trust with attendees.

Honest evaluations are vital. Every church suffers from “Insiderness“. A church’s natural gravitational pull is inward.

One of my # 1 jobs is to keep the church’s focus outward.

3. Kids and Student Ministry can be front doors

Invest in these key ministries with money and quality volunteers

4. Build a Front Door Team

This can be either Staff or Volunteers.

Focus on the Front Door before Back Door. Create some chaos, then figure out how to manage it.

5. Facilities can open the Front Door.

Facilities can facilitate momentum (Not create. If you don’t already have some momentum, a new facility will be a burden, not a boon.)

6. Adding Gatherings can open the Front Door

New gatherings create growth, excitement and momentum. Starting new gatherings on-site has huge advantages over starting a new site.

  1. Serve 1, worship 1: Multiple gatherings = opportunities serve. At People’s Church, those who worship in one gathering volunteer in Kids Church during another gathering.
  2. More gatherings means more opportunities to serve means people commit and take ownership.
  3. Financially it’s possibly more responsible to maximize what you already have.

7. Eliminate Excuses and Lead

Our job as leaders is to take them where they NEED to go moth here they WANT to go.

Don’t say, “Our people won’t _________.” The truth is, we as leaders haven’t led them to ______. One of our greatest weaknesses is that we don’t take our responsibility.

Shutting the Back Door

Catalyst Make1. Follow Up.

Follow Up starts on Sunday. It starts in the parking lot. Most people decide if they teaming back within the first 5-10 minutes of their visit.

2. Make the Next step clear

Do we know what our Next Step is?

Do our visitors know what the Next Step is?

People need to be needed & known (in other words, get new persons Serving and connected in a Small Group).

YOUR TURN: What are your church’s areas of greatest need? What can you do next?

Passing the Baton – Christine Caine

The whole team has to finish strong.
The whole team has to finish strong.

In the 2004 & 2008 Olympics Women’s Relays, the American team lost because they failed to pass the baton well. All the team’s discipline, training and diet came down to 1.9 second pass in the exchange zone.

The way we carry the baton will determine the future of the Church.

Individual performance doesn’t matter. It’s the whole team. We have to pick up and pass on the baton. We have to ask ourselves, Is this about passing the baton, or me and my ego?

Joshua brought his people into the Promised Land, but failed to pass on the baton to the next generation.

Christine CaineThe Israelites served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the leaders who outlived him– those who had seen all the great things the LORD had done for Israel. Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of 110. They buried him in the land he had been allocated… After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the LORD or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.
— Judges 2:7-10 (NLT)

We fail by either dropping the baton or hanging on too long.

I “drop” the baton by failing to equip the next generation. Because they don’t have the necessary tools of faith, they have to start over.

I “hang on” by letting my insecurities keep me from welcoming the next generation.

How to Pass the Baton

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. — Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)

1. Remember the Cloud

If you forget those who’ve gone before, you’ll forget others will come after.

2. Lay aside our “weights and sins”

Deal with ourselves so we don’t pass it on. More is caught than taught

3. Run with Perseverance

Will we run strong? Or drop the baton?
Will we run strong? Or drop the baton?

We want the glory of Leg 4 of the relay, the glory of the Finish Line. But we haven’t earned the character gained in Legs 1-3. We want to bypass the process. But the process is how God makes us into leaders. If we bypass it, then our character isn’t sufficient to endure the responsibility.

We make excuses, imagine ourselves too good for “lower” positions of responsibility. We claim that it’s not in our giftings, doesn’t play to our strengths, not communicated in our love language.

The only love language is death. Dying to self. It’s Jesus in the garden. ‘Not my will, but yours.’

Catalyst MakeWe can’t pass the baton to people who aren’t running. We need to be making disciples.

Talent and Anointing aren’t the same. It’s better to be marked by God than marketed by men.

4. Fixing our eyes on Jesus

Have we forgotten it’s the baton of faith that makers?

YOUR TURN: What are you doing to pass on the baton? What are you doing to run the race well?

Being Made Over Time – Jon Acuff

How do we not confuse making with achievement? In his (too brief) talk, Jon used the story of the Prodigal Son to explore what it looks like for God to make us.

Click here to visit Stuff Christians Like1. Remember Who You Are

You are not the things you make. Your identity isn’t wrapped up in things.

God doesn’t make things better. He makes things new.

The prodigal planned to return to his father and declare himself a slave. The prodigal could misname himself when he wasn’t in the father’s presence. But not when he fell at his father’s feet he couldn’t. Because his identity was set: he wasn’t a slave, he was a Son.

2. Remember who God is

God will not be handcuffed by your failures or handcuffed by your successes.

God solves problems by throwing parties.

The older brother missed the party because he was working in the field. The older brother insisted on being a slave. He denied his identity: he’s also a Son.

Make a Healthy Organization by Patrick Lencioni

Patrick-LencioniOrganizational health is the biggest advantage for any organization. Many organizations can’t believe something as simple as org health is so important. But it’s not beneath us. It’s too important.

To be successful:

  1. Be smart (This is stuff like strategy, marketing, finances, etc.)
  2. Be Healthy

A healthy organization has a minimal of politics or confusion, and a maximum of morale and productivity.

These two aspects of success should be 50/50, but most organizations invest time 99/1. That’s because the “Smart” side is objective and measurable. It’s easy. But “Health” is subjective and hard. The reality is, though, that Health is the multiplier of Smart.

4 Disciplines to Build Organizational Health

  1. Build and Maintain Healthy leadership. The Leadership must be behaviorally and intellectual aligned.
  2. Create Clarity (Pat offers 6 clarifying questions in his book)
  3. Over-communicate clarity
  4. Build basic human systems to reinforce clarity

How do I make a Healthy, Cohesive team?

Click to buy The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni on Amazon!
Click to buy The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni on Amazon!

1. The most essential element is Trust

This isn’t “predictive trust”, a trust based on repeated, consistent performance. That’s essentially reliability. This is Vulnerability-based Trust. It’s getting emotionally naked with the team we lead.

One person can and will poison & limit our organizations. Help them to become vulnerable or manage them off the team.

To build this trust, the Leader has to goes first.

Whatever “product issues” we see are downstream issues of lack of vulnerability. We’re tempted to try to fix them, but unless the Trust issue is addressed, nothing will get better.

People will walk through walls of fire for a leader who’s vulnerable and human.

2. Embrace Conflict

When we can’t be honest with someone, we discredit them privately, which always eventually comes out. We owe it to each other to disagree. When we don’t disagree on an idea, it ferments around a person. We end up saying, “Now we’ve crushed her spirit, but at least we didn’t disagree with her idea!”

When there is trust, conflict is nothing but the pursuit of truth. Without trust, conflict is politics.

Make sure people aren’t holding back their opinions.

3. Commitment

Force clarity and closure.

Catalyst Make4. Accountability

On great teams, peers hold each other accountable. This is not firing someone. Firing is the final act of cowardice.

If I love somebody, I owe it to them to enter the danger and hold them accountable.

5. Results

Focus on Collective Outcomes.

Follow-Up Interview with Andy Stanley

Q: How do you use this book with a Leadership Team?

A: Read the introduction quickly, then work through the rest in chunks.

Q: What’s the First Action Step?

A: Get out of the office for 1 1/2 days and workshop the book.

Choose to be vulnerable. As a leader, sometimes the people you care for will have to care for you.

What Love Does – Bob Goff

A talk based on his excellent book, Love Does. Click here for my review of the book.

I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. — Ephesians 4:1 (NLT)

We get frustrated when we don’t hear God’s voice. We think that gets in the way of perceiving our calling. But God has given us scripture & community. If God always spoke to us audibly, we’d ignore what God is teaching others.

Knowing God’s will for us is simple:

  1. We’re called to help the hurting
  2. We’re called to love extravagantly

The more extravagant we are with love the less we waste.

Bob Goff is actually this awesome IRL.How do I live a life worthy of my calling?

1. Make sure we’re listening to the right people.

Who has the microphone in your life? Who do I need to stop listening to?

Catalyst Make2. Move past the past and lean into the future.

God is a creator, not an editor. Don’t get caught up in past mistakes. Keep moving forward. We’re going to change in how we used to be for how we could be.

Everyone wants to make a difference,
but no one wants to be different.

3. Create margin

We are often too busy. We need to quit the nonessentials. If we create margin, Jesus will stuff incredible things into it

Our job is to think of creative ways to tell people they’re not who they used to be.

YOUR TURN: What is your calling? What do you need to start doing to live in your calling? What do you need to stop doing?