Saturday, October 22, 2016

8 Warning Signs Your Church Staff Has A Toxic Team Environment

No one wants to lead or work in a toxic team environment.  It is frustrating along with being mentally and physically exhausting.  So it is critical for leaders to identify toxicity and solve these cultural issues.
Church staffing expert William Vanderbloemen has some great advice in this area that I want to make available to you.  In this free video from William, he shares a checklist of the 8 major warning signs of people problems in your church or staff.
To recap, the following are the 8 Warning Signs Your Church Staff Has A Toxic Team Environment:
  1. You hire the wrong people.  Are you hiring for talent or hiring for a team?
  2. There a tumor in the body everyone is ignoring.  Someone doesn’t belong on your team but no one is saying anything about it.
  3. Gossip is toxic.  There too many “prayer concerns” about others being shared on your staff?
  4. There is no clear matrix for communication in your church.
  5. There is no clear on-boarding process.  New hires naturally do not know what to do for their first six months at your church.
  6. There is no standardized review process.
  7. There is a generation gap.  There is no understanding of the generations.
  8. People cannot bring problems to their supervisor without there being fear of repercussion.
Did you catch the vital lesson William Vanderbloemen shared in a previous video on the biggest mistake he made as a pastor? If not, click HERE and learn from his life and leadership.
What are other mistakes or challenges you or your staff members have faced? I guarantee you; they all boil down to people problems.
Click HERE or on the image to the left and as a free gift for subscribing to this site, you can receive my new Ebook 1269 Leadership Quotes: Timeless Truths From 2016’s Top Christian Leadership Conferences.  Featured are the Johnny Hunt Mens Conference, ReThink Leadership, Orange and Leadercast Conferences among others.  If applied, these insights will make you an exponentially better leader.  Enjoy!!!

27 Leadership Quotes And Lessons From I’m Not Ashamed The Movie

If you only see one movie this year, go see I’m Not Ashamed.  In fact, every pastor and especially youth pastor, should take their entire church to see this incredible film.  I’m Not Ashamed was created from the journals of Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of the horrific Columbine High School massacre.
Anyone old enough to remember April 20th, 1999 will never forget the images we saw as two gunmen brutally murdered 12 students and one brave coach.  This event forever changed the way we would view school safety and the lives of our students.  However, in the midst of this tragedy, the Christian witness of Rachel has impacted the lives of millions of people.
Much of the film’s dialogue is taken directly from her actual journals.  Rachel’s mother, Beth Nimmo, also contributed much of the context and perspective of the storyline.  Like any teenager, Rachel, played wonderfully by Masey McLain, struggles with young adult issues like peer pressure, self-worth, relationships, and where is God in the midst of life’s challenges.
However, her incredible faith in Christ and strong witness impacted many but also made her a target.  Many died that day because of issues stemming from bullying.  Though the media does not widely report it, Rachel was martyred because of her relationship with Jesus Christ.
The following are 27 Leadership Quotes And Lessons From I’m Not Ashamed, the must-see movie of 2016.  All quotes are from Rachel unless otherwise noted.
  1. One Of Greatest Gifts God Gives Leaders Is Vision – In the opening scene, Rachel wrote the following words on the back of her chest of drawers, “These hands belong to Rachel Joy Scott and will someday touch millions of people’s lives.”
  2. Divorce Has Devastating Results – I was shocked by how many teenagers in the movie were from broken and dysfunctional homes.  Each of these situations had a ripple effect which resulted in much destructive behavior.  Rachel later acknowledge her own father’s abandonment “leaves a hole inside.”
  3. Parents Should Model What It Means To Follow Jesus – There was a moving scene early in the movie when Rachel’s now-single mom rallied her four children together and prayed for gas money.  This reliance on God would prove foundational throughout Rachel’s life.
  4. Living For Jesus Requires Both A Vertical And Horizontal Relationship – Being a Christian means being right with God, which in turn makes you want to be right with others.  Rachel said, “I just want to live my life for Jesus and care about people.”
  5. Christian Leaders Must Have Perseverance – “I want to be a light but it feels so dark.”
  6. Bad Company Corrupts Good Morales – In her desire to fit in and have normal teenage relationships, Rachel acknowledge, “I want a guy to see me for what I am.”
  7. Living For Jesus Brings You Peace – Rachel’s cousin Charity, played by Sadie Robertson, said, “This is about living your life for Jesus and then you’ll have this sense of peace.”
  8. God Does Not Waste Your Pain – Rachel’s Aunt Bea, played by Corie Robertson, said, “God does not waste anything, even if it’s hard.”
  9. Godly Leaders Don’t Desire Position.  Godly Leaders Desire Influence And Impact – “I want to change the world.”
  10. Nothing Worth Having Is Ever Easy – “Living for Jesus is not always easy but it’s always right.”
  11. Great Leaders Are Great Bridge Builders – Rachel showed compassion to a homeless individual named Nathan, played by Ben Davies, who would ultimately become her best friend and “big brother”.
  12. Christian Leaders Need To Have A Biblical Worldview When It Comes To Decision-Making – “We seek truth in a world full of lives.”
  13. Being A Christian Often Means Being Unpopular – Much of the Western presentation of what it means to follow Jesus omits the price needed to follow Him.  Rachel was ostracized and made fun of by her closest friends because of her faith.
  14. We Exist For The Applause Of Nail Scarred Hands –  We live first and foremost for the approval of Jesus Christ.  Our lives are to be lived to bring Him glory and honor.  Rachel said, “I just want to live my for Jesus and let people take from that what they want.”
  15. Church Should Be The Most Welcoming Place In The World – Rachel’s small group was outstanding at including people like Nathan and made sure all his needs were met.
  16. Christians Should Never Apologize For Their Faith – Rachel reached an “enough is enough” moment and put a stake in the ground regarding her faith.  She proclaimed, “I’m not going to apologize for speaking the name of Jesus.”
  17. Christian Leaders Will Be Known By Their Fruit – After breaking up with her boyfriend because he was making out with her best friend, Rachel acknowledged, “Being betrayed by your best friend sucks but the worst part was he didn’t know I was a Christian.”  Business leaders, if your customers, vendors, and employees do not know about your faith in Jesus, something is wrong.
  18. “Compassion is the greatest form of love humans have to offer.”
  19. Compassion Is Contagious – “I have a theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, it might start a chain reaction.”
  20. Jesus Is The Greatest Leader Who Ever Lived – “Jesus gave His life for me and I’ll give my life to Him.”
  21. “Forgiveness is one of the things that can change the world.”
  22. Christian Leaders Should Always Sense And Seize Opportunity – “Tomorrow’s not a promise.  But it’s a chance.  You just might start a chain reaction.”
  23. God Is Always In Control – Nathan reminded Rachel, “Life’s going to be hard sometimes but He’s there.  As hard as that is to grasp, He’s in control.”
  24. Christians Should Always Be Kind And Gracious But Never Doormats – “I am not going to hide the light that God has put into me.”
  25. Christian Leaders Are Reconcilers – Just prior to her death Rachel reconciled with her former best friend for her betrayal.
  26. You Die Like You Lived – Rachel was killed while counseling a young man from a broken home.  She was showing him compassion, providing hope, and sharing the love of Christ when she died.
  27. “You Know I Do.” – When asked by her eventual killer, “Do you still believe in God?”, Rachel last words on this planet were, “You know I do.”  May all our last words be the same.
Once again, I cannot stress enough you see this movie.  Few movies I have ever seen will impact you like this one.
Click HERE or on the image to the left and as a free gift for subscribing to this site, you can receive my new Ebook 1269 Leadership Quotes: Timeless Truths From 2016’s Top Christian Leadership Conferences.  Featured are the Johnny Hunt Mens Conference, ReThink Leadership, Orange and Leadercast Conferences among others.  If applied, these insights will make you an exponentially better leader.  Enjoy!!!

Rejection: How if Affects Leaders

Rejection: How if Affects Leaders

Disapproval and rejection can sting and wound. We’ve all felt it. What do we do when important people in our lives (or even those that we don’t deem important) reject us? How do we respond as did Jesus when he was rejected and scorned? In this post I unpack this painful thing called rejection.
One depressed person stands lonely, apart from the group
Years ago I experienced deep disapproval and rejection from some key church leaders in the church I was in. Essentially they told me that I wasn’t a good leader nor could I inspire people when I preached God’s Word. I was devastated and the effects lingered for months. At the time I didn’t process this rejection well. In retrospect, however, I now understand why this hurt so much and what to do about it.
God created our bodies and our mental command and control center, our brains, with two overall systems that profoundly impact how we think and feel. Our refleXive system (think X-system) is the one that acts without thinking. When it controls, our emotions often take over. The other system, our refleCtive system (think C-system) is the one that helps us think clearly and biblically when our emotions want us to do otherwise. When our X-system controls, we become highly emotional and reactive which dampens our C-system’s ability to think clearly and objectively. However, when we submit our C-system to the Holy Spirit, we are able to think more in line with the Apostle Paul’s command in Philippeans 4.8.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.
Because I failed to appropriately filter their disapproval with the mind of Christ (His thoughts and perspective), my response prompted my brain to release neurochemicals, called catecholamines, that revved up my X-system. This in turn further diminished my ability to think and lead effectively in these three ways.
  • Mental exhaustion: My brain’s check engine light was always on. One part of our brain (the anterior cingulate cortex) senses inconsistencies we detect in verbal or non-verbal messages we get from others. Because those leaders often gave me mixed messages about my performance (you are a great guy… you don’t inspire people), that part of my brain was constantly ‘on.’ I become mentally exhausted which bred even more anxiety about the situation.
  • Easily defensive: My brain’s impulse control brake pads wore thin. I’m usually able to control my emotions and avoid defensiveness. However, because the stress had tired my brain and body, the part of my brain that helps control impulses and emotions (the ventral lateral pre-frontal cortex) had little ‘brake pad’ left. As a result, I was not able to carry on objective conversations about their perspective, which would have helped. Instead, I became defensive, didn’t listen well to their viewpoints, and reacted to small irritations at home.
  • Inability to concentrate: My brain’s mental etch-a-sketch could not hold a creative thought long without losing it. An important part of the brain (the dorsal lateral pre-frontal cortex) gives us the ability to plan, hold items in memory, and think abstractly. However, I could barely concentrate which impacted my ability to think creatively when preparing a sermon or when planning a new initiative. My brain felt like an etch-a-sketch constantly being shaken causing the picture on it to quickly dissolve. I often defaulted to mindless activities such as looking at Facebook several times daily rather than focusing on the more important mind-taxing tasks ministry demanded.
When leaders feel rejected, these internal processes will occur unless with the Spirit’s power we proactively take action to counter them. In my next post I discuss how we can counter these tendencies when we feel rejected.
When others have rejected you, what negative consequences have you seen in your leadership?

An Alternative Theory on the Dones

An Alternative Theory on the Dones

Oct 21, 2016 09:39 am | Mike Glenn

We’re told Generation Z, more than any other generation in a long time, is focused on doing good in the world. They just don’t do it in the church.
photo-1461874759164-52a4ea8bdf59 We’re told Senior Adults, more than another other generation before them, are healthier, wealthier, and eager to stay engaged in the world around them. They just don’t do it in the church.
We see friends fight community hunger, sex-trafficking, illness, and water issues through a variety of non-profits—many they’ve started themselves. They just don’t do it in the church.
Through social media, ease of travel, and the digital empowerment of the individual, people are making a difference in all kinds of ways in all kinds of places. They just aren’t making that difference in and through church.
After a long discussion about the “Nones,” researchers have discovered another category of people leaving the church—the “Dones.” While the Nones are those who claim no religious faith at all, the Dones are those who still claim faith in Christ, but are no longer engaged in the life of local church. They’re DONE. The Dones tell researchers they’re just done with church. They say there’s too much bureaucracy, too much judgment and/or hypocrisy. A lot of the time, these individuals were deeply involved in their church, but after their kids graduated high school or after one of the couple retired, they started doing other things on the weekends.
But going to church is not one of them.
I have a theory. Yes, I know. Everyone has a theory. Church is out of touch. Church is too this or too that, but I think all of these other theories are wrong. Here’s my theory.
I think a lot of people stop coming to church because we never ask them to do anything great. We never call them to a vision that will demand everything from them. We never tell them to sell everything they have and go follow Jesus. We never tell them to head to the far reaches of the world and carry their casket with them because we don’t expect them to come back. We never tell them to leave everything and everyone they love to go start a church in some third world inner city slum.
We simply ask them to come to church and sit quietly. We ask them to give their money, sing reverently, but sit quietly.
Most of us want more, not less, from our faith, and if church can’t help us get there, we’ll get that “more we need” from somewhere else.
No one wants to come to church and sit.
Why would they? It’s just more comfortable sitting at home.
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11 Leadership Quotes And Lessons From Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Two movies are opening this weekend.
  • One movie has a major movie star.  The other movie has people no one has ever heard of.
  • One movie is widely publicized.  The other movie has little to no promotion.
  • One movie is playing everywhere.  The other movie you have to find.
  • One movie has a big budget.  The other movie has a small budget.
  • One movie has some bad language.  The other movie has no language.
  • One movie will be in theaters for months.  The other movie may only be in theaters this weekend.
  • One movie is not bad.  The other movie will change your life.
  • One movie has 11 leadership lessons.  The other movie has 27 leadership lessons.
  • One movie is Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.  The other movie is I’m Not Ashamed.
If you can only go to one movie this weekend, go see I’m Not Ashamed, the story of Rachel Joy Scott.  Rachel was the first person killed in the Columbine High School massacre in 1999.  For more thoughts on this movie read 27 Leadership Quotes And Lessons From I’m Not Ashamed The Movie.
With that said, the following are 11 Leadership Quotes And Lessons From Jack Reacher: Never Go Back:
  1. Pay Whatever Price Is Necessary To Acquire A Great Leader – If this movie starred a no-name actor it would make little to no impact in the marketplace.  But by securing Tom Cruise to play the lead role, it ensured the film will generate hundreds of millions of dollars globally.  Whatever the studio is paying him is worth it.  Great leaders are worth every penny you pay them.  Never go cheap on leadership.
  2. You Never Have To Recover From A Good Start – The movie opens in impression fashion with Reacher arresting an officer who was participating in illegal immigration activities.
  3. It Is Important To Develop A Set Of Skills – Reacher has incredible combat and reasoning skills.  These skills allow him to be successful in whatever situation he is placed in.
  4. Successful Leaders Are Reliable And Dependable – Before being arrested the sheriff asked, “Who are you?”  To which Reacher responds, “The guy you didn’t count on.”
  5. Leaders Must Be Willing To Change – When asked why he retired from active military work, Reacher said, “I woke up one morning and the uniform didn’t fit.”
  6. Successful Leaders Are Clear Communicators And Provide Clear Direction – Reacher told Major Turner, played by Colbie Smulders, “The job is about giving orders.”
  7. Successful Leaders Take Action And Make Things Happen – They are not passive.  Reacher said, “It’s time we stop running and start hunting.”
  8. Successful Leaders Know When To Use Discretion – Reacher told four contractors who followed him into an abandoned building to kill him, “You followed me in here.  That was a mistake.”
  9. Strong Leaders Protect Others – Samantha, a young girl Reacher was protecting throughout the movie, said, “Strong guys don’t hurt you.  Weak guys do.  Strong guys have little sisters or want one.”
  10. Trust Your Training – During the climatic fight scene, Samantha used her limited training to escape death.
  11. Not Having A Father Leaves A Hole In Your Heart – Samantha was abandoned by her father at a young age.  When she discovered Reacher was not her father, the disappointment was sad to watch.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is not a bad movie.  In fact, you should go see it next weekend.  I just recommend you see I’m Not Ashamed.
For more this series of films, click 13 Leadership Movie Quotes And Principles From Jack Reacher.
Click HERE or on the image to the left and as a free gift for subscribing to this site, you can receive my new Ebook 1269 Leadership Quotes: Timeless Truths From 2016’s Top Christian Leadership Conferences.  Featured are the Johnny Hunt Mens Conference, ReThink Leadership, Orange and Leadercast Conferences among others.  If applied, these insights will make you an exponentially better leader.  Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The 7 C’s of Great Ministry Leaders

The 7 C’s of Great Ministry Leaders

I recently read a great article by Brad Powell on the 7 C’s of great ministry leaders. I’ve heard of the three C’s before, but his 7 captured the essence of great leaders. Here are his 7 C’s.
Leadership concept
  1. Calling: we must have a sense of God’s call where we currently serve
  2. Character: perhaps the most important, there is no substitute for integrity and a pure heart
  3. Competence: we need the right gifts and abilities to match the needs in our ministry
  4. Confidence: our confidence in the Lord gives us what we need to lead without hesitation
  5. Courage: we must be willing to take unpopular stands sometimes and remind ourselves that we play to an audience of One
  6. Commitment: if we are going to last for the long haul we must be ‘all in’
  7. Continuous growth: a good leader must constantly be learning and growing
What C’s for great leaders would you add (or any other qualities that don’t begin with C)?
Related posts:

12 Benefits Of Having Leaders Who Know How To Celebrate Success

A leader who does not know how to celebrate is a leader not worth following.  Celebration is the payoff for all the hard work you have done.  If your team has just accomplished something significant, you can always evaluate and improve tomorrow.  Take a moment today and celebrate.  Celebration is also the motivation for your team to keep working hard.
When it comes to celebration, few scenes top what took place in the locker room at Syracuse University this past Saturday.  Though they were over 20-point underdogs, the Orangemen defeated the 17th-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies 31-17.  It was then that head coach Dino Babers gave the victory speech you see above.
As I watched the video, I gleaned 12 Benefits Of Having Leaders Who Know How To Celebrate Success:  
  1. Leaders Who Know How To Celebrate Acknowledge Achievement – Not to overstate the obvious, this type of celebration only comes after a victory.
  2. Leaders Who Know How To Celebrate Prioritize Times Of Celebration – Coach Babers brought his entire team together in the locker room immediately after the game.  He did not wait until some time in future.
  3. Leaders Who Know How To Celebrate Acknowledge The Price Their Team Paid – Nothing great happens outside of hard work.  Coach Babers said, “People don’t know what we went through.”
  4. Leaders Who Know How To Celebrate Build A Sense Of Community – Celebrations are just better when other people are involved.  Coach Babers pointed out, “We are together!”
  5. Leaders Who Know How To Celebrate Acknowledge The Contributions Of Everyone – Leaders are always giving credit away.  He said, “We play as one.  We win as one.”
  6. Leaders Who Know How To Celebrate Build A Culture Of Celebration – Coach Babers went on, “Off the field, on the field, picnics to the classroom, we are together.”
  7. Leaders Who Know How To Celebrate Create An Environment Of Transparency – At the :35 second mark, Coach Babers literally bent over with emotion because of his team’s performance.
  8. Leaders Who Know How To Celebrate Make People Feel Valued – Coach Babers defiantly proclaimed, “They thought they were going to come in here and just have an easy game.  Somebody in Vegas told them they were going to win by 20 to 23 points.”
  9. Leaders Who Know How To Celebrate Create A Sense Of Connection With Their Teams – Successful leaders own the result.  He proclaimed, “They didn’t look into your heart.  They didn’t look into your heart.  They didn’t look into my heart.”
  10. Leaders Who Know How To Celebrate Establish Times And Places For Celebration – Coach Babers said, “Because they come into whose house?”
  11. Leaders Who Know How To Celebrate Communicate What Is Worth Celebrating Over And Over Again – Coach Babers screamed the question, “Whose house?” 14 times.
  12. Leaders Who Know How To Celebrate Receive Great Loyalty From Their Teams – You get the sense the Orangemen would do anything for their coach.
And your team will do anything for a leader who knows how to celebrate.
Click HERE or on the image to the left and as a free gift for subscribing to this site, you can receive my new Ebook 1269 Leadership Quotes: Timeless Truths From 2016’s Top Christian Leadership Conferences.  Featured are the Johnny Hunt Mens Conference, ReThink Leadership, Orange and Leadercast Conferences among others.  If applied, these insights will make you an exponentially better leader.  Enjoy!!!