Category : Leadership

All, Leadership
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3 Great Tools to Jump Start a New Reading Habit

facts-figures-reading

Have you ever heard this quote, “Leaders are readers and readers are leaders.”? I have many, many times. It’s true. If your goal is to lead others then you have to make a habit of constantly trying to absorb knowledge. This can come in many forms: books, magazines, blogs, etc. No matter what you do it, constantly learning is a great way to increase your leadership level.

If you will absorb knowledge, life experience will turn it into wisdom as well as help you sift through the unusable info as well.

In this blog post we’ll focus on getting your book reading stream of knowledge going.

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All, Leadership
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What I wish I Could Tell Every Leader? PART 2: Every Leader Deals With Insecurity

A word that all leaders know but act like effects everyone but them is.. Insecurity.
However every leader I know has dealt with insecurity at some point.

Leaders wonder

  • whether our upcoming decision is the right one.
  • whether the decision we just made was the right one.
  • if we’re strong enough for the job.
  • if we’re pleasing the right people.
  • whether we’re being successful.
  • whether we’re the right person for the job.

Leaders say

  • It’s too tough
  • I’m too busy
  • People aren’t responding
  • I still have so much in my life I need to work on
  • I don’t know enough
  • I haven’t experienced enough
  • I’m in over my head
  • There are better leaders out there
  • I’m not the best leader available
  • Do you know my past?

If all leaders, at some level, struggle with insecurity, then all leaders need to hear these words spoken to them:

You can do this. I believe in you.

FROM THE BIBLE>>>

Moses told Joshua that he believed in him. He believed that Joshua was the man for the job. He believed that Joshua had what it took to get the job done. Not on his own, of course…”it is the Lord who goes before you.” (Deuteronomy 31:8) In fact, this was so important that Moses affirmed Joshua “in the presence of all Israel.” Joshua needed this encouragement and affirmation.

One of the key verses that I’ve had to rely on during my most insecure moments is Philippians 1:6, that IF HE BROUGHT ME TO IT THEN HE WILL LEAD ME THROUGH IT!!!  Insecure moments should not cause us to feel less secure about who we are but rather more secure in who God is!!!  If He is with us (Isaiah 41:10) then we should lead and live like it.

ACTION STEP>>>

1. Realize if you ever deal with feelings of insecurity you have are just as normal as the rest of us. Actually feeling insecure about your decisions means you are taking them seriously.

2. Read verses like Philippians 1:6 and Romans 8:28 in the morning before beginning your work. It will help you realize that God has ability to use our imperfections for His glory.

3. Encourage another leader around you. Everyone needs to hear “I believe in you” from someone they respect. Pay it forward.

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All, Leadership
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What I wish I Could Tell Every Leader? PART 1: Every Leader Has Doubts

There are so many misconceptions when it comes to leaders.
Most leaders are afraid to reach out for help. Others are afraid to reveal they don’t have it all figured out. Still others realize they have issues but afraid they are all alone and don’t want to loose the confidence of others by admitting their weaknesses.
That’s why I’ve decided to make this series, “What I Wish I Could Tell Every Leader”. There aren’t many people more lonely than leaders. It shouldn’t be the case but it is. So, for all the leaders who are out there trying to make a difference in the lives of others while at the same time deal with your glaring humanity, this is for you.

Hey Leader!… EVERY LEADER HAS DOUBTS.

Scripture: Exodus 1:15

Moses was an awesome leader. His resume is simply unrivaled.
I mean come on. The guy spent so much time in the very presence of God he had to put a balaclava on so people could even look at him. You know you’re a special slice of awesome when no one can look at you cause it’s like looking at a flashlight every time you pray. Even to this day, Moses is thought of as the greatest leader in Israel’s history outside of David.

Even with all this awesome surrounding him, Moses still had doubts. If you look through his story he doubted in three main areas:

1. Moses doubted Himself.

Moses put together a strong case as to why God should use someone else to be the mouthpiece of freedom for the Israelite nation. Maybe you have felt you weren’t up to the task before. You don’t have the skills someone else does. You don’t have the background. You don’t have the education. You don’t have the resources. If you’ve ever felt that way, you’re not alone.

2. Moses doubted God.

Moses became so angry with the people at one point, he disobeyed God. The first time he needed to find water, God asked him to strike a rock and it worked. The second time he needed water, God asked him to speak to the rock. That takes a little extra faith. “What, you don’t want me to touch it?” So, instead of trusting God to do a new thing, he went with what he worked before. Have you ever felt like God has it all wrong? Maybe you’ve said, “I can’t do this. It’s never been done that way.” or “I think it would be safer to do it this way.”
Then you feel guilty because you haven’t had complete trust in God. If so, you’re in good company.

3. Moses doubted His mission.

In Exodus 5, Moses actually complains to God about what he’s been asked to do. He’s basically telling God it’s not working. “You sent me to Egypt. I came. You told me what to say. I did. Now, not only did Pharaoh NOT let Israel go BUT he’s made life worse for them.”

Have you ever thought, “I’m doing the best I can. I made the commitment to do something for God. Now, not only is it not working but my life is worse because of it. I don’t need this. Life was better without all this.”?

If you have ever said that. You are among the greats.

There’s nothing wrong with doubting from time to time. God isn’t offended by us asking, why. The main thing to remember is you’re not alone. Don’t give up.

What to do about it?

So now that we admit we have all had those doubts before, what now? How can we move forward?

Give yourself a break.

Most leaders take themselves way too seriously. Great leaders are not made overnight. Great leaders are made over a lifetime. So take your current situation in stride. It’s almost never as bad as it looks or seems.

Stay committed to the process of developing your gifts.

Do you have a clearly defined process for developing yourself as a leader? Do you have a way to measure it?
If so, be patient and don’t be too quick to think something’s not working. Think crock-pot not microwave. If you don’t have a clear way to measure your progress, why not start that? You’re probably moving further faster than you realize.

Just be you and quit comparing.

Doubting your effectiveness. You aren’t called to be everything to all people at all times. You are called to make a difference with the gifts you’ve been given. If you try to measure yourself to others you will always be lacking because it’s an improper measuring stick. We don’t need another George Washington. He was awesome but he did his job. We need you to be you.

ENDING: So if you are a leader and you’ve ever had doubts, you are in the company of the greats. The main thing to never forget is feelings change like the wind. Leaders aren’t made over night. Leaders are made over a lifetime. Doubt let doubt stop you from moving forward.

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All, Leadership, Life Groups
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I love Life Groups Because…

Young_Adult_LifeGroup-16-56I love Life Groups because…

I recently read an article which said these were the top ten reasons why people love Life Groups:

  1. I love getting beyond just saying “hey” to other people on Sunday mornings. Going to church can be hard when you feel like you don’t really know anyone well.
  2. Seeing people talk about what God is doing in their life has challenged and encouraged my faith!
  3. It’s amazing to see that everyone in my LifeGroup has the same challenges my family does. I’ve realized we’re not all alone.
  4. The support my group provides me is invaluable. Through births and deaths, as a group we’ve always been there for each other.
  5. I love seeing people make a breakthrough in their understanding of Jesus and take one step closer to him.
  6. I experience God’s presence among others in a very powerful way.
  7. My LifeGroup has become like a family to me. I don’t have extended family around here, so I can’t tell you how much it means to me.
  8. I finally have deep friendships where I can discuss my life and my faith.
  9. I’ve enjoyed the accountability–having others push me to the next level.
  10. Watching people become Christians and grow as Christians in a LifeGroup makes it all worthwhile.

My Personal List:

>>> I love realizing I’m not the only one to NOT have life figured out.

>>> I love being a part of gatherings where we make memories.

>>> I love having a close relationships that become my second family.

>>> I love getting past the simple hello and goodbye of Sunday morning.

>>> I love hearing someone say, “How was your week?” and they are actually curious.

>>> I love having someone I can tell my funny story to or someone I can cry with.

>>> I love knowing someone is praying for me everyday.

>>> I love being around people who see the best in me and try to help me achieve it not just see the worst in me and expect it.

>>> I love realizing I’m not alone.

Here’s my list, what’s yours?
It’s for all these reasons and more that we will always be passionate about Life Groups. I truly believe true discipleship happens in the context of relationship. When we get together we grow, we become, we feel at home. That’s Life Groups.
That’s Real Life Church.

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A Letter to RLC, All, Leadership
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I Surrender- Favorite Worship Song Right Now

This song has become my anthem lately.

Hope it’s speaks what’s in your heart as does mine.

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All, Church Planting Resources, Leadership
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Two great leadership resources

Just discovered two great resources for pastors/leaders to continue growing and becoming.

 

 

MINISTRYHANGOUTS_MAINSLIDEThe First is called Ministry Hangout.
This is a vidcast hosted by Senior Pastor Greg Surratt. He invites various leaders to come on a talk about their varied areas of expertise. It’s an amazing resource which I highly recommend.

Here’s the link.

 

 

advance

The Second is called Advance One Day.

This resource is from Next Level Church who seems to have really gone to the next level recently in offering so many great leadership resources. These leadership talks are good not just for pastors but for any CEO, entrepreneur, and is even applicable on a personal level. Highly recommended.

Here’s the link. (Click on ‘free videos’)

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All, Church Planting Resources, Leadership
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Leadership Styles Under Stress

Stress

We all have some areas of leadership.
You may not be leading a company but you may be leading your family, your department, your class, and especially yourself.

Overtime I’ve learned there are two things constant about leadership that are always constant: growth and conflict.
They also usually play off each other. One of the best things about leadership development is your ability to assess where you are. It’s impossible to get better on purpose if you don’t know where you need improvement.

What is your leadership style when things are good?
What is your leadership style when things get a little fast-paced?
What is your leadership style when things get stressful?

We can have a pretty good idea about the first two but almost always get the last one wrong.  Below is an excerpt from a website which talks about Leadership Under Stress. There’s also a link to where you can take a Style Under Stress Assessment Test. It’s great.

Here you go:

When the stakes are high, emotions run strong, and opinions differ, we all struggle to stay cool. But more often than not, we clam up for fear that speaking up will make things worse; or, we blow up because we haven’t a clue how to express ourselves honestly and respectfully.

But there’s a better way. The skills taught in our bestselling book and training course, Crucial Conversations, can teach you how to have effective dialogue in even the most crucial of circumstances.

Take the first step to improving your crucial conversations skills by learning your Style Under Stress™. This 33-question quiz reveals your natural tendencies to move toward silence (masking, avoiding, or withdrawing) or violence (controlling, labeling, or attacking) as well as the dialogue skills you use well or need to improve.

  • Identify a Relationship. Before you begin, think about the relationship you want to explore with your boss, coworker, direct report, friend, or family member.
  • Identify a Circumstance. Next, think of a tough circumstance—one where you either stay silent or perhaps lash out with anger, a raised voice, sarcasm, etc…
  • Apply. With that relationship and circumstance in mind, respond to the following statements.

>>>TAKE THE ASSESSMENT<<<

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All, Church Planting Resources, Leadership
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ALL ACCESS RECAP

This year at ALL ACCESS was probably the best I’ve attended.

The facility was amazing at Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Fl.
The app sessions were amazing. The guest speakers were amazing. It was a wonderful investment of time, finances, and energy.
I was also honored to be part of the first group of pastors to hear from Rick Warren since the tragic death of his son. What a true man of God!
His legacy grows with each year.
Truly a modern apostle fathering a generation of pastors.

There was really so many good things it’s hard to pick one take-away. Instead I’ve listed some of my favorite quotes from the sessions below.

One of the main prevailing themes for the conference was “LIVING WELL” physically, spiritually, emotionally, and relationally. That really speaks to me.
I’m a workaholic by nature and it’s so valuable to be reminded to keep the first things first.

Thank you so much to the ARC Staff, Lead Team, and army of volunteers/interns for making this year’s ALL ACCESS something I’ll glean from for quite a while.

Tweet-able quotes I caught this year:

“Unless the church is WELL LEAD and WELL FED it will never reach its potential.” Bill Hybels

“God doesn’t start with details. He starts with obedience.” Herbert Cooper

“Your only a healthy pastor if you have a healthy marriage.” Matt Fry

“Don’t be afraid to be who you are. God made you the way you are for a reason.” -Matt Fry

“Right where you are afraid is usually where you have the most anointing.” Rick Bezet

“God will help you with a lot if things but he cannot stand hypocrisy.” Rob Ketterling

“It’s not your love for that city that’s caused God to send you there. It’s your assignment.”Jo Champion

“Need to make sure you are living in order, living well.” -Jo Champion

“The enemy will send problems in church to see who owns the church.” Jo Champion

“When you make an investment in the kids of your church it pays you back.” Willie George

“You define how you are treated.  If people are not treating you right. Guess who’s fault that is? You define how you can serve people.” -Willie George

“God has sent you to a city to reach people who are tuned to the same pitch as you.  If people leave that’s okay. They’re not your people. They’re someone else’s people.

Your people won’t leave you.” -Willie George

“Building the church isn’t about a building but its about building people and growing their relationships.” Christine Caine

“Just because it doesn’t work the first time doesn’t mean it’s time to quit.” Greg Surratt

“Three things your called to steward: 1. Your time, 2. Your energy, 3. Your money” Stovall Weems

“USE WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN YOU AND HE WILL GIVE YOU MORE.” -Stovall Weems

“Our churches should be a leadership factory.” -Mike Murphy

 

The Recap Video below is actually from last year but the same excitement and impartation was around this year as well.

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All, Books, Leadership
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Book Review: Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

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Book 18 of 5o in my quest to read 50 books in 52 weeks. (2013)

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (by: Stephen Covey)

Link to this book

This is just one of those books. You read it and immediately begin re-reading it. So much good, applicable information. I love Stephen’s honesty as well as his process in teaching hisreaders to become the best they can be.

I love how it’s also not a quick fix. It’s a lifestyle of habits which have to be learned. The best things in life may be free but they’re not always easy.

Every leader should read this at least seven times.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

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