Tag Archives: leadership

Who Cares How Much Leadership Experience You Have?


Pegs – coloured – concepts  by Ruth LIvingstone


And I mean it!

I recently realized something really simple that I can’t believe it eluded me for so long.

While I have been leading for many years…

While I was a youth pastor with a thriving youth ministry for over a decade…

While I have plenty of skills, understanding, and knowledge about how to lead a church…

While I have read multiple books on leadership…

None of that means that those I lead are at the same leadership level as I am.

So what does this require of me?


I realized that I have constantly expected people to operate at the same level that I am at.  To do the things that I do.  To understand everything I understand.

Notice that inherent in that belief is the thought that I know better than everyone else.


But, even if I do, I cannot expect people to learn overnight what it has taken me years upon years to learn.

This would be nice in a fantasy world, but not in reality.

To see people understand what I understand and do what I can do, it takes…






And, with all of that in mind, I remember this:

We will grow together.

While those I lead are growing under my leadership, I must continue to grow too.  And, much of my growth will come from things that they teach me.

The people I lead don’t care how much leadership knowledge I have.  They care about whether I’ll walk with them in this journey of growth.

I’m ready.

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Posted by on September 18, 2013 in CityLife Church, Leadership, Life, Uncategorized


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The Spotlight


Hey everyone!

Here is some good Friday reading for all of you.  These are stories and blogs I’ve picked up from different places.  Enjoy!

1.Mega-Church Central Christian Bringing Jesus to Sin City 

This article is about a great church, pastored by Jud Wilhite, that is being used by God to bring transformation in area of Las Vegas.  I have heard him speak multiple times and have been impacted by him.  I love it when secular news sources talk about what the church is doing!

2. Massive Submerged Structure Stumps Israeli Archaeologists

Check out this interesting story about something that has been submerged in the Sea of Galilee for thousands of years.  It will be interesting to see what it is, whenever they get a chance to find out!

3. I Want to Answer Your Leadership Questions by John Maxwell

John Maxwell is a leadership genius.  He is writing a new book.  He needs to know your questions on leadership.  Visit and submit!

4. People’s Church in Oklahoma

Here is a church that is working to help people in the midst of the storm that passed through Oklahoma.  There are many churches who are helping.  Here’s one!

5. The Single Defining Characteristic of a Manipulator by Donald Miller

A great read on people who are manipulators.  He recommends a strong course of action with them.

6. Yesterday, a bridge collapsed in Washington

Thank God no one died.  When the bridge collapsed, cars (and people) fell into the water below.  Interesting story.

7. Boy Scouts Approve Plan to Accept Openly Gay Boys

This issue has been front and center in our country for quite a few years now.  Many people have had a stake in the game regarding this policy with the Boy Scouts.  It will be interesting to see what happens with their membership as a result.


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Learn As You Go

2013-02-23 10.36.11

My two oldest kids had their first baseball game this last Saturday.

Sofia (pictured) is playing t-ball.  I’m happy to report that she hit the ball and ran to the right bases.  Success!

I realized that while they did have a training event, most of them forgot everything they learned.  All of them had to be told at multiple points what to do.

“Run to first base!  No…don’t walk, run!  The base is in that direction!”

“Throw the ball to first!  No…not home plate!  First!  Turn around!  Throw it over here!”

And, no, I wasn’t the dad on the sidelines shouting all those things…well, maybe just a few of them!

Here’s what it showed me:

Most people live on a “need-to-know” basis.

If they’re not doing it, they usually don’t consider the information important.  But, once a person is thrown into the “fire” of the moment, they will have the desire to learn what’s necessary in order to accomplish what they want.

As leaders, this should put our focus into two main areas:

1. Don’t spend a lot of time teaching up-front information, before the person has actually done something.  Most people will forget what they have been taught, because they have no action connected to that teaching.  I’ve realized that what people consider to be my best teachings on a Sunday morning vary widely…it depends on what they are going through in their lives and whether what I taught connected to their lives in a real way.

This should lead us to spend the time before a person acts in giving them only the necessary information to get started.  Everything else can be learned while doing.

2. Most people will be much more motivated to learn once they see the need for that learning to take place.  And yes, I already mentioned this before, but it bears repeating.  You see, most of the time we give people a bunch of information that is considered useless to them, then we get frustrated that they aren’t using what we’ve given to them.

If we get people involved in activity quickly, all of a sudden the information becomes useful to them.  In the church world (this is the world I deal with), I like to get people involved in something as quickly as possible…picking up trash, being a greeter on a Sunday morning, opening up their home for a group meeting, being a part of our teams that serve the community, etc.  If we get a person active, they will want to know more.

Here’s an important equation to remember:

Knowledge + Action = Growth

A person who solely has knowledge ends up with a big head, but doesn’t make much progress.

A person who solely takes action ends up spinning their wheels in the same mistakes, and doesn’t make much progress.

But, a person committed to DOING and LEARNING while doing it, will advance much farther.

In your organization/business/church, how long does it take for you to get people involved?

Do they need to jump through a lot of hoops first?  Do they need to attend a bunch of classes first?

I encourage you to simplify.  Give people the small amount of information they need up front, then get them busy!


Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Leadership, Life, Ministry, Uncategorized


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The Currency of Leadership

Everything we do on earth requires currency.  Transactions are made all of the time.  The most common form of currency is money.  We use it for almost everything: food, gifts, cars, etc.

As I have heard it said many times, “You get what you pay for”.

So, what is the currency of leadership?

If we want people to follow us, listen to us, respond to us, or jump on board with us (and to do all of that willingly), how do we complete that transaction?  What is the currency we need to use in order to have that type of response?

Or, what do we need to pay in order to get something back?

The currency of leadership is TRUST.

In relationships, trust is what is traded on.

Money doesn’t buy willing devotion.  Things can’t cause people to joyfully follow.  Benefits don’t get people excited about a vision.

Sometimes those things are just cover ups, due to our inability to invest in such a way that trust gets built.

When people trust you, they will WILLINGLY follow you.

What have you done to build trust with those you lead?  What are you currently doing to build trust?

Let me know!


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Just Wait!

“Leaders are learners and learners are leaders.”

I’ve heard that phrase many times.  And, it’s true!  If you’re a leader who isn’t learning, then you will damage your leadership capacity.  Just refer to John Maxwell’s book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” and read his chapter on the “Law of the Lid”.

But, there is also another truth.  Sometimes, we as leaders fill ourselves with so much knowledge/ideas/dreams/vision/etc that we lack the TIME to put it into action.

Sometimes we “outlearn” our ability to produce.  I’m not saying to stop learning.  But, what I am saying is that if we learn A LOT but put A LITTLE into practice, we will become more of an armchair quarterback than an effective leader.  We will be spewing out tons of information, but there will not be much transformation.

Leadership grows over time in small increments.  The ones who are successful today have made small decisions day after day that have led them to where they are.  Read this post by Donald Miller that shares some good wisdom on this subject.

I’ve made a personal decision for a time to not attend every conference that I can get to, because I haven’t effectively put into place what I learned in the last one.  By making this personal commitment, it is forcing me to put into practice what I learned, before I go on to learn more.

So, the question is this: Are you putting into place effective strategies and systems to implement the things you are learning?  If not, do so today!

Thinking doesn’t change anything…doing does!

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Posted by on December 6, 2012 in Business, Leadership, Ministry, Uncategorized


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What is Your Filter?

I love reading the Bible.  I learn and I grow.  I’m challenged and I’m instructed.

All of us, no matter who we are, carry certain filters when we read the Bible.  The person who says that they read the Bible just for what it says are mistaken.  There is no such thing!

Our Bible reading is influenced by cultural ideas, theological beliefs taught by our churches, and might even be influenced by whether we’re hot or cold on a given day!

The question is not whether we have filters or lenses through which we read the Bible, but rather what are the filters we use when reading.

For example, if we believe that women should or shouldn’t be pastors of churches, that filter might influence how we interpret certain texts of the Bible.  We will begin to view every related verse according to that belief.

Today, I would like to get a little more basic.

One of my filters is leadership.  I love to study, talk about and learn about leadership.  As a result, when I’m reading the Bible, many of the verses that “jump” out at me are ones that have to do with leadership lessons.

This filter is based more on what I’m interested in or going through in a particular stage of life.  This isn’t so much a certain belief about something as it is an idea that captures my attention constantly.

Another one of these recent filters has been grace.  As I’ve been reading through the Old Testament recently, I have been amazed by the continuous grace of God.  Over and over again he shows His amazing grace when His people least deserve it.

I’ve been transformed by it!

Three recommendations today:

1.   Know your filters…don’t ignore them.  Be aware of them when you’re reading.

2.   Try the filter of “grace”.  It’s Biblical and it will do you a lot of good as you learn to live in His grace and offer it to others.

3.   Post a comment…what are some of the filters you use when you read the Bible?

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Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Life, Uncategorized


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List of blogs I read

What is so amazing about the world we live in is that we have easy and quick access to information available at the touch of a button!

I love to read and I love to buy books.  But, for those of us who may not have a large amount of funds available to buy books, there are many great authors, pastors, leaders, etc. who write on a regular basis.  And the bast part is this: you can read from them for free!

Here is a list of blogs that I read:

Big Is The New Small – Scott Williams has great insights on church, leadership, and culture.

Ed Stetzer – Ed is a pastor and a researcher with LifeWay research.  He does tons of research and has incredibly valuable information about churches and about trends in culture, especially here in the U.S.

Seth Godin – He’s a genius.  Enough said.

Doug Fields – Doug is one of the United States’ most experienced and well known youth pastors.  He’s got incredible thoughts and resources.

Matthew Paul Turner – Also called “Jesus Needs New PR”.  A great sight with interesting finds in the world of Christianity.

Michael Hyatt – A well known author who has worked in the publishing world.  He writes a lot about that and about leadership in general.  Great insights!

Jon Acuff – Also known as “Stuff Christians Like”.  He.  Is.  Hilarious.  Read it!

Tony Morgan Live – He writes on leadership, church marketing, church staffing, and more.  Great thoughts!

Ragamuffin Soul – Carlos Whittaker has great insights into family, life, culture, church, and so much more.  It’s a little bit of everything and a whole lot of good stuff!

Storyline Blog – Donald Miller (plus some friends) have some incredible posts on a variety of topics.  He’s a great author, very creative, and has good insights into the creative and writing process.  You’ll also find a post by my friend John Sowers there.

There’s a few more that I read…but if you haven’t read many before, the above list is a good beginning.

Let me know what you think!


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