Archive for May, 2010

Leadership Influence that Lasts

According to many students of leadership, leadership is about influence.  Dr. John Maxwell, New York Times best selling author and President of Injoy, says “everything rises and falls on leadership”.  If that is true, and I believe it is, then leadership is about influencing others.  BUT, I don’t just want to influence people today (which a person can do by force, by bribery, by manipulation, etc.), I want to influence people for life!  So, who are we influencing right now?  Who are we investing our lives in?

A helpful exercise has encouraged me to think through this issue is to ask the question, “What will they write or say in my eulogy?”.  When you are gone from this planet, what will your friends and family say about your contribution to them? Writing your own eulogy is a sobering exercise.  It certainly brings focus to life!  Stephen Covey says the one of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to “begin with the end in mind”.  What are you doing today that will affect what is said in your obituary or put on your tombstone?  Who will you build into for the future?

Take it a step further…who will carry a part of you…your heartbeat, your hopes, your dreams, into the future?  Recently, I revised my life mission statement to read as follows:  “I am a Kingdom Impact Person.  Therefore, I will invest my life for the cause of Christ in Kingdom Impact making people and organizations”.  At the end of my life then, I want my eulogy to say, “John loved his Lord, his family, and his friends.  John fulfilled his life mission and was a Kingdom Impact Person”.

Join me in being a leader.  Influence your family, your friends, your co-workers, your world.  Influence the relational world that God has placed you in.  Influence that world for now in time AND for all eternity.

May 31, 2010 at 9:50 am Leave a comment

Mass Customization

Mass Customization

Mass Customization….Do you know your story well?

Mass customization is a practice in retail where the manufacturer develops practices to produce mass quantities and the sales efforts are aimed at personalizing the approach to each individual customer.  Any application to your work as a Thriving Church Leader? You betcha!

Each ministry has a “story” that needs to be “mass customized”.  The “mass” part of your story needs to be understood, told, told again, and re-told.  Each ministry has a “creation story” (the dream that brought you into existence, what was the birthing process like, the obstacles you overcame), a “redemption story” (times you failed, ways that you saw God working to redeem what seemed to be hopeless efforts), and a “vision story” (the view you have of the future, how you see God moving you into tomorrow, and what the impact of a fulfilled vision would look like in your community).  Thriving Church Leaders must have compelling stories that can be told over and over again.  Stories of changed lives are the fuel of visions that mobilize people to work together for change in a community.

The “customization” part of the work is to insure that each time the stories are told, that there are linkages to individual men and women.  When you tell the story, share the dream, cast the vision you are providing an “on-ramp” for men and women to connect with the dream.  See each story as a time where you are participating in a “holy moment”….where God can connect the heart of the individual to the dream…then there is the possibility of them becoming part of God’s dream team!  The customizing part of thriving church leader work is about sharing and shaping dreams so that people can make their individual story part of THE story of God at work in your community.

May 29, 2010 at 11:06 pm Leave a comment

Your Creation Story

Your ministry or project has a variety of stories.  You have a “creation story” (the dream that brought you into existence, what was the birthing process like, the obstacles you overcame), a “redemption story” (times you failed, ways that you saw God working to redeem what seemed to be hopeless efforts), and a “vision story” (the view you have of the future, how you see God moving you into tomorrow, and what the impact of a fulfilled vision would look like in your community).  Thriving Church Leaders tell compelling stories over and over again because stories of changed lives are the fuel of visions that mobilize people to work together for change in a community.

What is your creation story?  What was the vision that brought you into being?  What significant obstacles did you overcome and how did it build your faith and confidence in the vision and dream? Regardless of whether you are a brand new ministry or project, or whether you’ve been “around the block” for a while….you have a creation story.  The details, the passion, and the personal sacrifices of that story must be told and retold throughout the life of your ministry or project.  The creation story of yesterday must be connected to the life changes that are taking place today in order to build respect for the sacrifices of the past and the power of the vision in the present.

Telling your creation story is all about finding the transformational aspect of your ministry or project.  Think for a moment about how what you do today impacts the lives of those who participate.  What about the creation story of your organization still lives on today?  What is the “thread” of changed lives that you can link from your early days to the experience of right now?  Answering those questions well positions you to help people recognize their debt to the past and the continuity of the mission from the beginning to the present.  Thriving Church Leaders learn to master their creation story and present it in compelling ways for each new generation of participants.

I have heard Ray Johnston, Founding Pastor of Bayside Church (www.baysideonline.com) tell the story of how God spoke to him in a prayer meeting about becoming the pastor of a new church in CA.  I’ve probably heard him tell the story 25 times.  But I never tire of it.  Why?  Because it is a compelling creation story that moves me to committment.  What is your creation story?

May 29, 2010 at 10:48 pm Leave a comment

Your Redemption Story

We have been learning about the variety of stories that we have in our ministries or projects.  Every ministry or project has a creation story (the dream brought you into existence), a redemption story (how God worked in the midst of failures), and a vision story (your view of the future in God’s economy).  In this post, I’d like to focus us on your “redemption story”.  Think for a moment about one of more significant failures that you have had since beginning your ministry or project (if you have never failed then you aren’t aiming high enough!).  What did that failure teach you?  What are the lessons that you bring into today that you learned from yesterday?  Are the failures that you experienced yesterday being positively converted into life lessons affecting tomorrow?

We started a church about thirteen years ago and had a number of huge and visible successes.  What has not been as visible was the 13 week radio advertising campaign that we did in the beginning…with NO response.  If you attended that church (www.lifepointnv.com)  today, you wouldn’t know about the times in the beginning when we disappointed people and were unable to fulfill their expectations for spiritual growth.  Today, you wouldn’t guess that we’ve actually experienced such great pain at times that we wanted to quit…

So why tell these stories?  The truth is, we learn more from our failures than we do from our successes.  Perfect people only want stories of success.  Real people want to know that failure is not fatal.  Failure is an experience of life that moves us from theory into reality.  People want to know that your story is one of growth and redemption…that you serve a God who can take people, organizations, and relationships and put them back on track.

Thriving Church Leaders are people of dreams.  Thriving Church Leaders are people of hope.  Thriving Church Leaders know that failure is not fatal….

May 29, 2010 at 10:43 pm Leave a comment

Your Vision Story

vision story

Continue Reading May 29, 2010 at 10:39 pm Leave a comment

Should your church use a Secret Shopper?

I know..kind of a weird question. Who would think of using a Secret Shopper? I admit the idea was a little bracing the first time I considered it. But since then, we have used secret shoppers in our church in Nevada (www.lifepointnv.com) and we recently used one at our church in Sacramento, CA (www.baysideonline.com)

If you are interested in why you should consider using a Secret Shopper, check out this link: http://www.gregatkinson.com

Here is an article on the same subject by Greg Atkinson who we recently used at Bayside Church:

Lessons from a Secret Shopper

May 26, 2010 at 11:00 pm Leave a comment

Launching a Church: First Teaching Series?

Teaching Series that launched a High Impact Church

Continue Reading May 17, 2010 at 11:03 pm Leave a comment

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