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By Carey

Carey Nieuwhof is founding pastor of Connexus Church and is author of several best-selling books, including his latest #1 best-selling work, Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow.

Carey speaks to church leaders around the world about leadership, change and personal growth. In addition to writing one of the mostly widely read Christian leadership blogs in the world, Carey hosts the top-rated Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast where he interviews some of today’s best leaders.

rethink leadership

CNLP 074: The Future Church, Reaching Millennials and Our Biggest Mistakes in Leadership. A Candid Conversation with Geoff Surratt, Brad Lomenick and Carey Nieuwhof

Sometimes the best conversations cover a range of topics, and that’s exactly what happens as Carey Nieuwhof sits down backstage with Geoff Surratt and Brad Lomenick to talk about the future of the church, who’s really reaching the next generation and ask each leader what their biggest mistakes in leadership were.

While this backstage conversation can speak to you right now, there’s more.

You’re invited to have conversations like this one at the Rethink Leadership event in Atlanta on April 27-29th. It’s a special gathering for senior leaders hosted by senior leaders.

Plus, listen to the end for your chance to attend a VIP reception with Carey, Geoff, Brad and other leaders.

But in the meantime, get ready to hear what Geoff, Brad and Carey share about Millennials, the future church and their leadership mistakes.

Welcome to Episode 74 of the Podcast.

reaching millennials

 

Guest Links from this Episode

Carey Nieuwhof

Geoff Surratt; Episode 40

Brad Lomenick; Episode 55

Catalyst

Blinc Consulting

Ravi Zacharias; Episode 53

Brad on Twitter

Geoff on Twitter

Links Mentioned in this Episode

Perry Noble; Episode 2

John Stickl; Episode 29

Dave Travis from Leadership Network

3 Things You Can Do Right Away

If you’re going to be affective in the future, what’s it going to take? Carey, Geoff and Brad talk about what they’ve learned in their experience in leadership, take a look at what they would have done differently and break down how to reach the under 35 crowd.

  1. Encourage collaboration among generations. Not only do millennials want to be part of the conversation, they want to be part of the decision-making. While younger leaders have been undermined in the past, more experienced leaders are taking the time to notice what millennials have to offer to the longevity of their ministries. Sometimes this is difficult for senior leaders because they think they’re the only ones with good ideas.
  2. Be aware of the pace of change. Technology has enhanced the pace of change, and it’s easy to get caught up in what’s popular in the moment. But trends can be deceiving, so don’t confuse today’s methods with the future of your mission.
  3. Never stop asking questions. Curious leaders have an appetite to want to learn more from others, and they’re not shy about asking questions, even if they’re looking to the younger generation for guidance. Maintain a humble heart, and find confidence in knowing that you don’t always have to have a good answer, but you can always ask a good question.

Quotes from this Episode

Register now for the ReThink Leadership Conference!

Join some of the biggest influencers in church leadership at the inaugural ReThink Leadership Conference this spring! Hear from Andy Stanley, Jon Acuff, Reggie Joiner and many others as they discuss their experience and practical insight for high-capacity leadership. Enrollment is limited, so make sure you reserve your spot today!

Available online now! Get your copy of Lasting Impact today! 

My latest book is available now. It’s designed especially of church leaders and their teams.

Lasting Impact frames 7 pivotal conversations every church team needs to have, covering subject like declining church attendance, team health, creating a culture volunteers love and how to engineer change in your church.

Order on Amazon, or visit LastingImpactBook.com!

A New Episode Every Week…Just Subscribe

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning.

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from great leaders such as  Jon Acuff, Mark Batterson, Pete Wilson, David Kinnaman, Caleb Kaltenbach, Kara Powell, Casey Graham, Perry Noble, and Andy Stanley.

Subscribe via

iTunes

Stitcher

TuneIn Radio

Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast in iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your rating and review helps gets the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Jonathan Pearson

So what are the strengths and weaknesses of leaders under 35? Jonathan Pearson has written a book for Millennials and, at age 29, leads a campus of 1400 for a large church. He offers some honest, humble insights about his generation and how to work with them.

future mission

3 Things That Are Sabotaging the Church’s Future

Without a doubt, you’ve already realized it’s more complex to be a church leader today than it was even a few decades ago.

With the vast majority of churches struggling in some way, it’s time to rethink our future mission.

Attendance at most churches is stagnant or dropping and even whole denominations are being redefined, because, as I outlined in this blog series, even Christians who are attending church are attending less often.

Add to this the reality that the culture is changing faster than ever, and our response becomes even more critical and the change we need to make becomes more urgent. (Two issues I address in my new book, Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow.)

In many ways, what the church is going through is reflected in other industries like what’s been happening in the newspaper and photography businesses.

Some companies have sabotaged their own future by confusing the issues they were facing. Others have adopted and thrived.

As always in leadership, just a few key perspective shifts can be the difference between thriving and surviving, or between thriving and surviving at all.

futureKodak, Newspapers and the Church

Four years ago, the company that was synonymous with photography declared bankruptcy as Kodak went under, having failed to effectively respond to digital photography.

In many ways, Kodak sabotaged its future by refusing to respond to the massive changes in culture (this Forbes article gives a decent account of how it happened).

Kodak bet too much of its future on the past (film photography). It lost.

Newspapers are also facing epic struggles, with papers shutting down regularly and even iconic newspapers like the Toronto Star struggling to stay afloat.

While the jury is still out on how the news industry will look in five years, the issues are not that different from what the photography industry faced or what the church is facing.

In each case, the risk of self-sabotage by established organizations is huge and the church is not exempt.

What I see happening in Kodak and in some newspapers is something I also see among church leaders.

Here’s are three ways church leaders end up sabotaging the future mission of the church.

By identifying the issues and tackling three key issues now, church leaders can position their churches for a much better future.

1. Confusing the method with the mission

Too many leaders mix up method and mission. That’s one of the things that happened to Kodak and that’s happening in journalism.

It’s also an epidemic in the church world.

This mistake is so easy to make in leadership.

A method is a current approach that helps you accomplish the mission. It’s how you do what you do.

The mission is why you exist.

The problem in most churches is people (including leaders) get very fond of their methods.

You get rewarded for great methods…like the kind of church service you offer, or the programming your church does, or whatever else you’ve become good at. You get rewarded by results and sometimes by becoming known for how well you do things.

Nobody was better at film photography for almost a century than Kodak. No one has a more prestigious paper than the New York Times.

Chances are the people you lead love your methods. Otherwise they wouldn’t be there.

Which is also why its so difficult to change them.

Change the music you’re known for and prepare to be unpopular for a long time. Maybe even prepare to get fired.

Change the programming people love and get ready for the backlash.

That’s because when people confuse the method with the mission, they see the methods as sacred. Not the mission.

And sometimes, because your methods have made you successful, you come to see them as sacred and are reluctant to change.

But methods are never sacred. Particularly in church.

The mission–and only the mission—is sacred.

The only reason your church claims to have ‘biblical’ worship is because you probably don’t know what biblical worship actually is.  If you were actually transported back to the first century, you wouldn’t recognize how the church worshipped.

Our worship and our programming has always been an adaptation of the mission for the current generation and time.

Are there more-faithful and less-faithful expressions of the mission? Of course.

But often those who protest change the most have confused the mission with the method.

And when you refuse to change the method, you eventually kill the mission.

Just ask Kodak.

This post that outlines 9 things that used to work in the church a decade ago, but don’t today, provides some examples of what happens when church leaders confuse method and mission.

2. Failure to clarify what the real mission is

Imagine what might have happened if someone at Kodak had asked:

Are we in the film business, or the photography business?

If Kodak was in the film business, the future would be dim.

But if Kodak has decided it was in the photography business, the future could have been very different.

Instead, Facebook decided it was in the photography business when it bought Instagram. And Apple decided it was in the photography business when it developed the iPhone.

If you were in the newspaper business today, a great question to ask is this:

Are we in the newspaper business, or the news business?

Again, the future changes when you start asking questions that clarify the real mission.

So as a church leader, what question are you asking?

At Connexus Church, where I serve, we’ve decided that we’re in the business of leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus. That’s our mission.

Our mission isn’t holding services. It’s not music. It’s not even preaching. Nor is it programming. It’s not launching an online campus or doing social media well. Or having an awesome kids ministry. (Even though we’re invested in ALL of these.)

We can change because we’re committed to doing whatever it takes to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus.

Our methods—the way we facilitate our services, our kids ministry, our programming, the way we do groups, how we serve—are all designed to support our mission.

If you don’t know what your true mission is, you’ll never find the right method to accomplish it.

3. Unwillingness to change methods to support the real mission

Far too many church leaders are afraid to change their methods.

But once you clarify your real mission, change becomes so much easier.

Think about it. If you have a clear sense of what you are called to do, then:

When you see potential gain ahead, you’ll change your methods to advance your mission.

When you see a chance to reach more people, you’ll change your services and programming to advance your mission.

And of course, when you fail at your mission, you won’t stubbornly cling to ineffective methods.  You’ll gladly embrace new methods to advance your mission.

Once you understand your real mission, it becomes so much easier to change your methods.

Clarifying your mission can also mean your whole attitude toward change is transformed.

You’ll embrace social media and church online because you’re not nearly as worried about who might stay home as you are who you might reach.

You’ll study change and culture and be anxious to try new things to reach people.

Why? Because leaders who understand their real mission see opportunities where others see only obstacles. 

Imagine a day when your team thinks this way.

The Future is At Stake

So can you just ignore all of this and hope it goes away?

Well, that’s kind of what Kodak did.

And just realize…when you become more wedded to the methods than the mission, the good leaders leave.

That’s what’s happening in dying industries. People who work for Instagram would not want to work for Kodak. And reporters for Mashable may never be comfortable at a print daily.

The church has a better mission than any other organization on the planet.

The challenge for this generation of church leaders is to keep the methods fluid and the mission sacred.  The more we do that, the more effective we’ll be.

Want More?

If you want more on the future church, I outlined 10 predictions about the future church and attendance patterns in this post.

I’ve also written about what the church can learn from the rise of Uber and Netflix.

Finally, I take a comprehensive look at the changes the church needs to make in my book Lasting Impact, and outline how to navigate change in the face of opposition in my book Leading Change Without Losing It.

I also speak to church leaders every week about leadership on my free leadership podcast.  You can subscribe on iTunes here.

I hope these resources help.

In the meantime, what are some things you think are hurting the church as we navigate change?

Any other parallels you see between changes in other industries and in the church?

Scroll down and leave a comment.

rise of uber

What The Church Can Learn From the Astounding Rise of Uber

What can you learn as a church leader from the astounding rise of Uber, the ride-hail company born in San Francisco just a few years ago?

Quite a bit actually.

Uber has disrupted a century-old industry (taxi cabs) in a little over 5 years. The City of Toronto has seen a major battle emerge between cab drivers who want Uber banned, the city and Uber itself.

Ditto in New York City and many other cities.

At the heart of Uber’s story (and the controversy around it) is the massive change an industry can undergo in such a short span of time, and how rapid change can spin old models into almost immediate chaos.

If there’s one thing too many church leaders struggle with, it’s change.

There are at least 6 things you can learn as a church leader from the recent rise of Uber.

rise of uber

1. Owning a great taxi cab is no longer enough

In an age where everyone used taxis, having a clean cab, or a slightly less expensive cab, or a larger fleet of cabs that provided quick service was a competitive advantage.

Not so when an industry gets disrupted.

Uber uses ordinary people’s cars and allows users to rate drivers for their friendliness and cooperation. And they offer price that’s meaningfully below a typical cab ride.

In the age of Uber, you can have the best taxi cab in town and still be out of business.

What can church leaders learn from this?

Polishing a current model of ministry to make it better often comes at the expense of true innovation.

And, as I indicated in this post outlining 5 disruptive church trends for 2016, church online will continue to morph into an advance of the church’s mission rather than just a supplement to what we’re already doing.

2. Innovation doesn’t ask for approval

Uber innovated in three primary areas that the taxi industry never did: they lowered the price, enlisted anyone who wanted to drive as a driver and gave consumers the ability to instantly call a car via their phones.

Are there problems with Uber? Sure…many think Uber needs some regulation.

But that’s not the point.

The point is they already won real marketshare before most people even knew what was happening.

Uber is a great example of how innovation changes things rapidly.

Cities and the taxi industry are catching up with Uber long after the love affair between many consumers and Uber began.

This is a note to denominations and even churches with large bureaucracies.

Innovation doesn’t ask for approval.

It just happens—much to the annoyance of existing power structures, which tend to be about preserving what has been.

3. Fighting change doesn’t stop change

It’s rather surprising to see how angry and opposed taxi cab owners have become in their opposition to Uber.

Their opposition has even spilled to violence on the streets.

This is nothing new. The Luddites famously fought the invention of motorized textile looms, smashing and burning the new technology.

They lost.

Fighting change doesn’t stop change.

The best leaders see change and adapt to it, never compromising the mission but reinventing the methods (which is exactly what Uber is doing).

Complaining about change doesn’t change anything either.

What change are you uselessly fighting?

(By the way, here are 7 signs your church will never change.)

4. When you confuse method with mission, you lose

Taxi cabs have been a method of temporary transportation for a century.

But the mission behind the taxi industry is transportation.

Uber never mistook the method for the mission. It appears that the taxi industry has done just that.

We all get wedded to our methods.

As I outlined in more detail in this post, the church is seriously in danger of confusing method with mission.

The cab industry could have become innovative and pioneered Uber-like service and innovation. But it didn’t.

When someone came along with a more popular method, they grew defensive.

Now it looks like the cab industry is far more wedded to their method than they are to their mission.

Know any churches like that?

5. Your past success is no guarantee of your future success

Having the best cab fleet of the 21 century may not matter as much as it did 5 years ago.

Your past success is no guarantee of your future success. Not in the face of innovation and disruption.

The best way to ensure future success is to keep experimenting and keep innovating.

When was the last time your church innovated?

6. Innovation spawns more innovation, while defensiveness spawns death

Very little has changed in the cab industry in the last few decades. Sure, payments have become mobile and now there are TVs in some cabs (but again, TV is hardly a new invention).

Uber was only an idea as recently as 2009. It launched its first service in 2010.

But as young as Uber is, it has introduced black car services, car pooling, transit and is experimenting with fresh food delivery, package delivery and so much more.

That’s because an innovative culture spawns more innovation.

Meanwhile, as outlined above, the taxi industry’s main response is not innovation, but a demand that Uber go away.

Uber isn’t going away any time soon.

And even if Uber disappears, innovation won’t.

Church leaders, take note.

Innovation spawns more innovation. Defensiveness spawns death.

So start innovating.

7. Self-interest will inevitably lose to public interest

The church should be the least self-interested organization in the world.

When we behave this way, the mission will grow.

If you watch the taxi industry’s response to Uber, you can’t help but conclude that the stance they’ve taken seems self-interested. I realize these are people who need jobs and money to feed their families, but their arguments come across as self-motivated.

Ever notice that selfishness and defensiveness are only attractive to the person being selfish and defensive?

Through lower prices, friendly service and convenience, Uber’s winning the PR war because it feels like it’s on the consumer’s side.

Uber has problems for sure (its drivers have already gone on strike), but the difference between the vibe Uber emits and the vibe the cab industry emits is significant.

Self-interest will always lose to the public interested.

Ask yourself: does your church come across as self-interested?

See Anything Else?

I wrote more about the changes the church needs to make in my recent book, Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow.

If you want more on how to navigate the change around us, you can download a free chapter of Lasting Impact here or pick up a copy here.

In the meantime, what is the sudden rise of Uber teaching you?

Scroll down and leave a comment.

Jarrett Stevens

CNLP 073: Jarrett Stevens on How to Say No in Leadership, City Ministry and Understanding Scripture

Jarrett Stevens worked at mega-churches, but six years ago went Chicago to plant Soul City Church in the heart of the Chicago.

Carey and Jared talk about how to say no in a growing ministry (it’s so hard!), the unique challenges of city ministry and about Jarrett’s new book on how to teach people scripture.

Welcome to Episode 73 of the Podcast.

 

Jarrett Stevens

Guest Links: Jarrett Stevens

JarrettStevens.Com 

Soul City Church

Four Small Words: A Simple Way to Understand the Bible

Jeanne Stevens; Episode 44

Links Mentioned in this Episode

Willow Creek Church

North Point Community Church

Louie Giglio; Episode 65

How Pastoral Care Stunts the Growth of Most Churches

Bill Hybels 

Andy Stanley; Episode 1 

Jon Acuff; Episode 64

The Barna Group

3 Things You Can Do Right Away

There were some incredible takeaways in my conversation with Jarrett in this episode, including some serendipitous pieces of advice from setting boundaries to leading his church to a greater understanding in their relationship with God.

  1. Set clear expectations. It would be great if there were enough hours in the day (or week) to spend quality time with everyone who would like to meet with you. But the reality is, you’ve probably wished you could duplicate yourself. As you church grows, start leveraging your team members and learn to say no with a sincere heart. Create a culture of honoring the skills and talents of your team so that they can share the responsibility of caring for the church and preserving the ministry.
  2. Give brief context. While turning to a story in the Bible during a sermon, Jarrett emphasizes that the background information to a scripture should be brief. Your goal is to relate the information to the relationship with God. Just because it’s helpful doesn’t mean it’s true. “I can give great advice, but is it really rooted in God’s principal,” Jarrett says. “You want people to know God and grow in their relationship with Him.”
  3. Bring people to understanding. Jarrett isn’t interested in raising Biblical literacy, but rather, to understand and integrate scripture into God’s relationship with us. In his new book, “Four Small Words,” Jarrett describes how four simple words connect us in our relationship with God throughout the Bible.
    Of: Derived from the story of creation, it’s a good place to start to understand the story of god because we’re created in His image. Your identity is rooted in God, and you were created for a relationship with Him.
    Between: It’s the sin between us and God. When sin comes between that relationship, it changes the story and gets in our way. But God keeps stepping between you and sin with a covenant.
    With: The gospels are telling us that this is what life with God is like. Who does Jesus choose to surround himself with, who do you surround yourself with, and do those two things align?
    In: God is in us, and the entire New Testament is a study of what God is like when God is in you. You don’t have to earn your relationship with Him because there’s nothing between it, and He will be in you.

Quotes from Jarrett


Register now for the ReThink Leadership Conference!

Join some of the biggest influencers in church leadership at the inaugural ReThink Leadership Conference this spring! Hear from Andy Stanley, Jon Acuff, Reggie Joiner and many others as they discuss their experience and practical insight for high-capacity leadership. Enrollment is limited, so make sure you reserve your spot today!

Available online now! Get your copy of Lasting Impact today! 

My latest book is available now. It’s designed especially of church leaders and their teams.

Lasting Impact frames 7 pivotal conversations every church team needs to have, covering subject like declining church attendance, team health, creating a culture volunteers love and how to engineer change in your church.

Order on Amazon, or visit LastingImpactBook.com!

A New Episode Every Week…Just Subscribe

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning.

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from great leaders such as  Jon Acuff, Mark Batterson, Pete Wilson, David Kinnaman, Caleb Kaltenbach, Kara Powell, Casey Graham, Perry Noble, and Andy Stanley.

Subscribe via

iTunes

Stitcher

TuneIn Radio

Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast in iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your rating and review helps gets the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Geoff Surratt, Brad Lomenick and Carey Nieuwhof

Sometimes the best conversations cover a range of topics, and that’s exactly what happens as Carey Nieuwhof sits down backstage at the Next Conference with Geoff Surratt and Brad Lomenick to talk about the future of the church, who’s really reaching the next generation and ask each leader what their biggest mistakes in leadership were.

You’re not alone in leadership.

Plus, listen to the end for your chance to attend a VIP reception with Carey, Geoff, Brad and other leaders.

Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 74

 

quirky things

5 Quirky Things That Are Way Too True About Church Life

Did you know you’re twice as likely to be killed by a vending machine than you are by a shark?

Apparently, that’s true.

I’m guessing you’ve never thought about being killed by a vending machine, even though you see them all the time and maybe even use them regularly.

You likely have thought about shark attacks, even though odds are you’ve never seen a shark in the wild while swimming.

Life’s weird like that.

And so is church life.

But once you know something quirky is true, you can better deal with it (like making sure you don’t shake that vending machine trying to get your chocolate bar out).

There is nothing I am more committed to in leadership than the mission of the local church.

I love the local church. And the local church hands down has the most important mission on the planet.

But we don’t always help ourselves. Sometimes we tolerate things we just shouldn’t because we don’t know how to deal with them.

In an earlier post, I wrote about 5 stupid things the church does that interfere with our mission.

Weird and the quirky things don’t help us advance the mission either. Some of them are things we do…some of them are things we encounter as leaders.

Hopefully by being able to recognize them and even—are you ready?—smile at them, we can move through them and make some progress.

quirky things

1. The more off-tune someone is, the more they really, really want to be on the music team

I wish this wasn’t true, but it is. Just ask any worship leader.

Why do worship leaders always need to be the people who tell someone the one thing no one else in a person’s life has ever had the courage to tell them?

Faced with crushing an aspiring musician’s heart, many church leaders decide instead to ignore the tough conversation and instead tell the sound guy to ‘just turn down his microphone.’

I outlined some solutions to this dilemma in this post on why “just turn down his microphone’ is a really bad strategy.

But in a nutshell, the best way to have these conversations is to affirm the intention but refocus the direction.

If you do that, the conversation will sound something like “I’m so glad you want to serve. I’m not sure this is going to be the place for you. Let me help you find a great fit.”

2. The more adjectives in a church name, the stranger the church

Adjectives aren’t inherently bad.

They can be an interesting feature on a dinner menu. When something is hand-fed, organic, locally sourced and maple-infused, two things are true: it will likely be awesome and it will likely be expensive. Apart from the cost, the more adjectives the better when it comes to dining.

But a good thing on the dinner menu can be a bad thing at church.

If you are the First Episcopal Baptist Freestyle Church of the Holiness of the Tabernacle of God, there’s a significantly disproportionate chance unchurched people aren’t going to check out your church.

If you need that many adjectives to explain how different you are from everyone else, everyone else may feel excluded. It just sounds too weird, however awesome your adjectives might sound to you.

A simple church name communicates welcome better than the 12 adjective special from days gone by.

Want to communicate that you’re a welcoming church? Drop some adjectives from your name.

Same goes for a pastor’s title, by the way. If you need to be the Reverend Doctor Brother Pastor X, you’re putting up a wall between you and the people you serve.

3. The longer an email and the fewer paragraphs and spaces it contains, the worse it is

So that single-paragraph, 3 page email with no spaces you got was awful, wasn’t it?

It’s like there’s this secret angry-person email rule book that says the angrier and less helpful you are, the longer you should write and the less space you should put in this document. 

How do you deal with a long, unhelpful email?

Give a short but empathetic reply. Something like “I’m so sorry you feel that way. I’ll take your views into consideration. Thanks, Carey.”

Kills the trolls every time without you being a jerk.

I know what you’re saying…but what if that email is from a key leader that makes a great contribution to our church?

Simple. Key leaders that make great contributions to your church never write emails like that. Ever.

And in the off chance one does…call that leader and schedule a lunch right away. It will probably take less time than a full reply anyway.

For everything else, short, honest, empathetic replies to long emails almost always improve the dynamic.

4. The more mature a person claims to be, the less awesome they are to be around

Ever notice the people who claim to the be the most spiritually mature often are the quickest to judge insiders, outsiders and leaders who don’t think act and behave like they do?

They’re even quick to tell you what God thinks and point out how wrong you are.

Here’s the question that bothers me: Why do the people who claim to speak for God seem to be nothing like Jesus?

Meanwhile, there are people in your church who quietly read the scriptures daily, pray deeply, serve humbly and invite their friends regularly who exhibit all kinds of signs of real spiritual maturity but who never claim to be mature.

I think we have misdefined what spiritual maturity is in the church today. I wrote about that here.

Sometimes it’s best as a leader to ignore the people who claim to be mature and instead, build your church on the people who actually are mature.

Here’s how to tell, by the way, if your church is actually producing disciples.

5. The people who complain the most contribute the least

Too often in church life, the people who complain the most contribute the least.

If you actually had access to the giving records of the people who complain the most, you will often find that lack of charity in their words is matched by the lack of charity in their finances (and deeds).

You can’t advance the mission of the church church on criticism. You can only advance the mission through contribution.

But criticism is always easier than contribution, which is why some people stop there.

Don’t let critics derail the future of your church. Think about what they really contribute…and move on.

Here are 5 healthy ways to deal with your critics. And if you need a little more therapy, here’s a letter I wrote to the person who complains a lot about everything.

Any Other Quirks You See?

Any other quirks you see that you think the church needs to address to get better?

Scroll down and leave a comment.

waste time

5 Things That Are a Total Waste of Time in Leadership

You know the scenario.

You get to the end of a meeting, an experience or a project and say to yourself “That was a total waste of time.”

What’s scary is how often you and I end up saying it.

So how do you eliminate things that are a total waste of time as a leader?

I think the best way is to rule out things categorically.

How do you do that? Just look at the patterns you see that waste your time and simply decide I’m not doing that anymore.

The key is to identify what ‘that’ is.

So here are 5 things that are a total waste of time for any leader.

waste of time

1. Worry

Worry.

So many leaders struggle with it.

And it is almost wholly unproductive.

It’s understandable that leaders have a lot they could worry about.

As I’ve told my team many times, our job is basically to help solve the problems nobody else has been able to solve. That’s why you’re a leader.

Consequently, leadership can be a breeding ground for worry.

But you should do everything in your power to eliminate it.

There’s a world of difference between thinking about a problem and worrying about a problem.

Thinking about a problem will lead you to a solution.

Worrying about a problem leads you nowhere.

Plus, most of what you worry about will never transpires.

As 16th Century French philosopher Michel de Montaigne put it, “My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.”

Leaders should think about problems, but not worry about them.

If you’re stuck in worry, how do you get out?

Although I’m not an innate worrier, when I do worry, this has helped me immensely: I make my logic trump my emotions.

If that’s not working, I take it to a group of leaders I trust and lay out the problem for them and get their insight.

Worry hates the light of day.

Once I’ve thought about it and even shared it with others, then I do one more thing:

I focus on what I know to be true rather than what I feel is true.

In a season of worry, feelings are your enemy.

Logic and community are your friends.

So to beat worry, focus on what you KNOW is true, not what you FEEL is true.

2. Meeting with someone who doesn’t need to meet with you

When someone asks you to meet with you, my guess is your default is to say yes.

So is mine.

But play that out. As your church or organization grows, that means you would spend all week every week meeting with people—many of whom didn’t really need to meet at all and most of whom don’t need to meet with you in particular.

Deciding who you need to meet with in advance helps.

My priorities are (in order) our senior staff leaders, our elders, our staff team…and a few key people beyond that. That’s it.

Most leaders waste time meeting with people who don’t need to meet with them.

Do I meet with other people? Yes, but only after those key people have the time they need and after my other priorities are done, which means I do say no a lot (I still hate that, but it’s necessary).

I outline more about meeting people in this post I called Why You Can’t Have Five Minutes of My Time.

While it may sound harsh, it’s liberating and you will get more done. Plus, your church or organization will be positioned to grow as a result. And here’s a primer on how to say no nicely.

And finally, are you addicted to meetings? I wrote this post outlining 5 reasons most leaders spend way too much time in meetings.

3. Over-managing things that don’t need managing

The start-up phase is wonderful and crazy in any venture.

When you’re starting up, everything happens in a frenzy and making it to your next weekend or next milestone is itself a victory.

You don’t have time to manage well because you’re so busy creating.

But eventually, every organization gets out of start-up phase. Which means you have more time for managing.

But too many leaders end up not just managing, but over-managing.

Great management adds value. Over-managing sucks value (and life) out of an organization.

You know those dead-end meetings where you spent forever talking about something that truly deserved 5 minutes? That’s over-managing.

Stop that.

If you can manage something in 5 minutes, manage it in 5 minutes, not 50 minutes.

What should you do with the rest of your time?

Create something new that will lead your church or organization to the next opportunity. Start leading…stop managing the things that will manage themselves.

Over-management, by the way, is one of the reasons so many organizations plateau.

Leadership builds something new. Management organizes what’s already built.

So go build something new.

4. Inefficient email

Email is the currency of business communication today. Spend as little of this currency as you can.

It’s amazing how many hours each day disappear answering mostly pointless emails.

How do you know email is mostly pointless, you ask?

Great question.

Think about the last time you went on vacation and put your auto-responder on.

Yes, there were X hundred emails waiting for you when you got back.

But after attacking your inbox for an hour, you realized you only needed to reply to about 10-20% of them. True?

The world moved on without you.

Why not make that dynamic a reality every day?

Here are some tips to make your email less of a waste of time:

Eliminate reply-alls unless absolutely necessary

Skim read and only reply if you’re adding value to the conversation

Move conversations to face-to-face meetings. Instead of answering 90 emails on a subject, you can clarify the issue in about 9 minutes in a meeting.

Answer long emails with short replies. (This almost always brings an out of control conversation back into line.)

Nobody gets points in heaven for saying “I answered email all day long.”

Let the truly mission-advancing emails get your attention. Minimize everything else.

5. Working when you’re exhausted

A lot of us have more control over our lives than we realize.

If you work in an office setting that doesn’t have fixed hours, exert some control over your workflow.

When you’re exhausted, take a nap. Or go for a walk. Or go home. Or call it a day.

Sure, once in a while, you need to push yourself well past your personal reserves.

But too many leaders try to do this every day.

They show up exhausted. They work exhausted. And they go home exhausted.

Stop that.

Why?

Your brain doesn’t even work properly when you’re exhausted.

What took you 3 hours to do at 7 p.m. might actually take you only 30 minutes at 7 a.m. after you wake up from 8 hours sleep.

That problem you couldn’t figure out all day yesterday finally solved itself in your mind when you went on a walk or took that bike ride.

The next time you find yourself staring at a blank computer screen, walk away. And come back when you’re fresh.

A key ingredient in all this is sleep. I outlined 7 reasons why sleep is a leader’s secret weapon in this post.

Remember this: a rested you is a better you.

Don’t just show up to work. Bring your best to work.

In great organizations, nobody gets paid for showing up.

What About You?

What do you think qualifies as a complete waste of time for you as a leader?

Scroll down and leave a comment!

Matt Keller

CNLP 072: Matt Keller on the Key to Everything That Too Many Leaders Lack

Is there a key to everything?

Matt Keller thinks there is. And many leaders lack it.

The good news is, the key can be acquired. Matt and I spend our time today unpacking the one thing that could change everything in your leadership.

Welcome to Episode 72 of the Podcast.

Matt_Keller

Guest Links: Matt Keller

MattKellerOnline.Com

The Key to Everything: Unlocking the Secret to Why Some People Succeed and Others Don’t

Next Level Church

Twitter

Links Mentioned in this Episode

Josh Gagnon; Episode 61

Andy Stanley; Episode 1

Leading on Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion by Wayne Cordeiro

5 Roadblocks that Prevent Teachability

Matt believes that teachability is the key to everything. It’s the desire to learn multiplied by a willingness to change. If you have a desire to learn, but no willingness to change, you’re going to struggle. If you have no desire, but high willingness, you’re still going to struggle. In his latest book, Matt discusses the five roadblocks that hinder teachability and what leaders can do improve their influence.

Pride: Pride always leads to presumption. You have to be aware of prideful moments where we think rules don’t apply. It will cause you to settle for good instead of waiting for God’s best. Put away your sense of entitlement. You want to make it easy to receive feedback from your team, because when you reach out for their help, it keeps you humble and grounded.

Fear: As a leader grows, you’re going to have to give up control. It can really grip a leader’s heart as you start to empower others to take on responsibility you once had. Leaders who are increasing their capacity face a series of skillsets, disciplines, priorities and temptations as they reach new levels. But to get through the hurdles, you have to build in layers. When you start to hand off those former responsibilities to a team, there’s a sober-mindedness you can grow from.

Insecurity: It presents an inferiority that makes you feel as though you don’t belong or that you’re faking it. Insecurity becomes crippling when you don’t think you’re good enough, and you let it hinder your personal progress because it keeps you from learning and reaching your full potential. Find strength within your vulnerabilities because you’ll miss God-given opportunities when you try to play it safe.

Pain: When painful things happen to us from our past, it’s like laying bricks in front of us. If we don’t knock down the bricks while the cement is wet, eventually the wall gets so high that we can’t step over it, so we start to paint a new reality on the inside of it, and we become disconnected from reality. Allow yourself to take time for self-care through healthy avenues.

Pace: There is an unhealthy pace in leadership today that promotes the mentality that when your pace increases, your teachability decreases. It’s impossible to learn and grow when you’re behind the wheel driving forward. So many leaders become so focus on the next goal, they don’t process what’s in front of them, and they’re no deep learning. We have to create a space where we can process what’s happening in our life and our spirit in our own time, or the pace of our own culture devours us.

Quotes from Matt

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Available online now! Get your copy of Lasting Impact today! 

My latest book is available now. It’s designed especially of church leaders and their teams.

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Order on Amazon, or visit LastingImpactBook.com!

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Next Episode: Jarrett Stevens

Jarrett Stevens worked at mega-churches, but six years ago went Chicago to plant Soul City Church in the heart of the Chicago. Carey and Jared talk about how to say no in a growing ministry (it’s so hard!), the unique challenges of city ministry and about Jarrett’s new book on how to teach people scripture.

Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 73.

In the meantime, got a question?

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eagles

10 Quotes from The Eagles That Will Challenge Every Leader

Music is the fuel for so much in life and even in leadership.

When I was a kid, Eagles’ music was all over the radio, and thanks to the birth of the classic rock format in music, their music never really disappeared.

While I always liked them, they weren’t one of my go-to bands until I rediscovered them a few summers ago while writing a book. I downloaded one of their albums, then more, and was amazed not only by their musicianship but by their lyrics.

Over the last few years, I’ve not only enjoyed their music in a fresh way, but their lyrics inspired me to think through some of the deeper issues of life and leadership.

Last summer I watched the History of the Eagles documentary—a fascinating study in leadership and human dynamics as the band pretty honestly talks about the tension of being a band and the ups and downs that came with it. It’s actually an intriguing study for anyone who leads a team. And the music is pretty amazing.

Glenn Frey’s recent death not only saddened me, but made me reflect back on his writing. Don Henley and Glenn Frey had a way of capturing life in their lyrics that is both accurate and little too true.

If you’re like me, you’ll agree that leaders can learn from anywhere.

Their lyrics have actually helped me become a better leader; some of their insights really jump out at me.

eagles

I realize songs can be personal things, and no one really knows what the band meant anyway, right?

But each of these phrases have come to mean something to me as a leader and as a Christian (even though the band themselves would not call themselves Christian).

The lyrics below are Ecclesiastes-like observations on life that make me think…again and again.

With poignant honesty, the lyrics reflect the reality of life, ambition, relationships, success and disappointment.

Here are 10 Eagles lyrics that challenge me as a person and leader every time I hear them:

1. Don’t let the sound of your own wheels make you crazy

That happens, doesn’t it?

It’s so easy for leaders to become self-absorbed.

Often, you end up having conversations with yourself that never end, that loop in your mind again and again. You think about what you’re leading day in and day out.

When that happens, you almost end up taking yourself too seriously.

Eventually, if you’re not careful, leadership can make you obsessed until you’re no longer fun to be around.

Leaders who take themselves too seriously ultimately get taken less seriously by others.

As Glenn Frey sang in Take It Easy: don’t let the sound of your own wheels make you crazy.

2. You only want the ones you can’t get

All driven, A-type people, listen up.

These lines from Desperado so encapsulate the struggle so many leaders feel, especially when some measure of success comes your way:

Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the ones that you can’t get

Way too true, isn’t it?

What is it that drives us to want less of what we have and more of what we don’t?

There’s a discontent that drives every successful leader that can ultimately prove destructive.

Don’t let the discontent that drives you destroy you.

3. We never even know we have the key

Every leader faces lids. You do. I do.

If you’re the leader, you’re the lid.

Is there a solution?

Well, yes. As the Eagles put it:

So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key

This makes me ask the question: do I actually hold the key to an area in which I’m stuck and don’t realize it?

This can happen spiritually (God is willing to do more than you’ve realized), and it can happen in day-to-day leadership.

I outline three ways to break through leadership lids here.

You may be holding a key you don’t even realize. (The lyric is from Already Gone.)

4. You see it your way. I see it mine. But we both see it slipping away.

Stalemates.

They happen happen all the time.

Best of My Love is a song about relationships, but I’ve seen this happen way too often in leadership.

Competing agendas create a stalemate, and neither side wants to engage to the point of breakthrough.

As a result, the mission suffers or even collapses.

You see it your way
And I see it mine
But we both see it slippin’ away

You’ve taken your position on an issue.

I’ve taken mine.

Neither of us is motivated to get past where we stand.

It’s a recipe for collapse.

Here’s what every leader needs to remember: never let your position jeopardize the mission.

5. If it all fell to pieces tomorrow…

A quote from Take It To the Limit:

If it all fell to pieces tomorrow
Would you still be mine?

Leadership and success are intoxicating. This lyric drives at the heart of what matters most.

It’s too easy to sacrifice relationship and even faith amidst the relentless drive of leadership.

If your job disappeared tomorrow, what would be left of:

Your family?

Your faith?

Your personal sense of worth?

Relationships matter more than anything (with God, with each other), but it’s so easy to forget that.

Ask yourself: if you weren’t in ministry tomorrow, what would be left of your faith, your family, yourself?

6. Half the distance takes you twice as long…after the thrill is gone

Too many leaders lose passion.

The cynicism mounts. The hurts pile up.

As a result, too many leaders fade out or burnout before they’re done.

This lyric from After the Thrill is Gone says it so well:

Time passes and you must move on,
Half the distance takes you twice as long
So you keep on singing for the sake of the song
After the thrill is gone

It’s hard to admit out loud that the thrill is gone.

Pride pushes you to think you can handle anything.

Fear keeps you from telling anyone you can’t.

I went through a season of burnout where the thrill was gone, but came back. Here are 7 truths about burnout and leadership.

7. They’ll never forget you ’til somebody new comes along

If there’s one thing social media and 24/7 connection has done it’s this: it’s driven our insecurities sky high.

You actually have a shot a being better known than at any time in history, thanks to our friend the internet.

And sometimes the minor celebrity that comes along with leadership today goes to a leader’s head.

New Kid in Town contains an amazing reminder of how temporary our place is:

They will never forget you ’til somebody new comes along

That is so so true.

Success is temporary.

Influence is always given by God for a higher purpose (to serve Him and help others, not to serve you).

A final observation about leadership and significance: Often the people who aren’t seeking to be remembered are the ones we remember.

8. You know I don’t understand why you don’t treat yourself better

By now, you can see dealing with success and fame was a huge issue for the Eagles. Sometimes they handled it well, sometimes it was a huge struggle.

The ability to handle all the fortune and fame was a major contributing factor to the band’s breaking up.

In The Long Run—their last studio album before their breakup—Don Henley sang:

You know I don’t understand why you don’t treat yourself better
do the crazy things that you do
‘Cause all the debutantes in Houston, baby,
couldn’t hold a candle to you
Did you do it for love?
Did you do it for money?
Did you do it for spite?
Did you think you had to, honey?
Who is gonna make it?
We’ll find out in the long run

So…leader…why don’t you treat yourself better?

I’m not talking about perks—I’m talking about you: your heart…your soul.

Often the motive that drives us in leadership needs sifting (even in the church).

Josh Gagnon, pastor of the rapidly growing Next Level Church, and I have an honest conversation about our own insecurities, the emptiness of success and how to take care of yourself as a leader in this episode of my Leadership Podcast. You can listen on iTunes or here.

Leaders who pay attention to the inner journey make it in the long run.

9. One day he crossed some line

Technically, New York Minute is a Don Henley song but the band has performed it together since reuniting in 1994.

Henley captures the story of a man who was gaining the world but lost his soul. As he put it:

But men get lost sometimes
As years unfurl
One day he crossed some line
And he was too much in this world
But I guess it doesn’t matter anymore

How do you avoid crossing a line?

Whether that’s a moral or ethical line, a relational line or a decisional line from which there’s no return?

You develop an inner circle of people who will tell you the truth.

I outlined how I put mine together in this post.

10. We are all just prisoners here, of our own device

When you start out in leadership, you think all the obstacles you’ll face are external:

Your title or position

Your boss or team

A limited budget

Finite resources

Constraints imposed by your organization or denominiation

But eventually you realize the biggest obstacles you face are not around you; they’re within you.

As the Eagles sang in Hotel California, we are all just prisoners here, of our own device.

For me, nothing challenges me more than my need to break through the personal barriers I find within myself: spiritual, emotional, relational and mental.

I believe this is an intensely spiritual pursuit.

Few analyzed their inner barriers as openly and transparently than Henri Nouwen did in The Genesee Diary—his inner journey from 7 months in a Trappist monastery in upstate New York. One of my all time favourite books.

Worth a read if you care about your soul.

What About You?

Got any Eagle’s lyrics that have helped you think through life and leadership differently?

Share them below in the comments!

communicator

5 Sure-fire Ways To Get Better As A Communicator When You Plateau

So you really want to get better as a communicator. Great.

But how do you do it? Especially when you plateau?

In the early days as a preacher, speaker or communicator, it’s almost impossible not to get better.

After all, you’re actively learning every time you step behind the mic or podium. You learn a lot quickly and fairly easily.

But eventually, all of us plateau. It might take a year or a decade, but all of us reach the point where we don’t know how to get better.

What makes it more difficult is that most people aren’t public speakers. As a result, there’s a point at which they can no longer give you a meaningful critique.

Ask your best friend, colleague or even spouse what they thought and often you get “That was good” or “That wasn’t your best.”

But the problem is they can’t tell you why.

And if you don’t know why you were good or bad, then you won’t know what made it that way and you clearly won’t know how to make it better.

Knowing something was good or bad but not knowing why is exactly why all of us get stuck.

As a result, you can’t grow.

How do you break through that lid?

I’ve been communicating in public since I was 16 years old. It started in radio, moved to courtrooms (I spent a bit of time in law), then into the church where I’ve been delivering messages for over 25 years, and in the last 15 years into conferences and keynotes and most recently, podcasting.

But I’ve also gotten stuck. For seasons, I’ve not been able to break through to the next level.

So what’s helped me get better?

And more importantly, what can help you?

communicator

If you want to drill down on points 1-3 (below), I recently gave a 15 minute talk to over 20,000 communicators who participated at the recent Preach Better Sermons online conference.

You can watch my talk here. The talk gives much more detail than I can include in this post. But I’ve added two extra tips I didn’t include in my talk…which you can read here.

I’ve learned a lot in the last three years from Preaching Rocket who hosted the Preach Better Sermons event.

Their coaching has made me a much better communicator.

If you want to try out Preaching Rocket, they have a seven day free trial you can access here (affiliate link).

Here are five things that have helped me get better as a communicator every time I’ve gotten stuck.

1. Include a clear call to action to every talk

I know…you’re thinking, a call to action makes you a better communicator? Come on.

But it does.

It’s only in the last 5 years that I’ve realized how critical it is to have a call to action in every talk, largely to the coaching I’ve received from my Preaching Rocket friends.

Why does a call to action make all the difference?

Easy. If people actually do something as a result of your talk, they remember it.

And if you’re a preacher and your call to action is tied to applying God’s word, you actually help them put God’s word into practice and grow in their faith.

Many communicators struggle with making their messages memorable.

Sometimes your messages can be clear and you can even used a prop or visual aid, but they’re still not memorable because nobody did anything different as a result of hearing the message.

If people aren’t different on Wednesday because of what you said on Sunday, change what you say on Sunday.

For example, when I was talking to people at Connexus recently about living in a way today that will help them thrive tomorrow, I had to figure out how to make something vague “pursue health” very specific and actionable.

I walked them through how to set up a fixed calendar that helps them program family, rest and time for God into every week (you can watch the message, called Pursue Health, here. It’s part of the Doing Time series).  It was a hyper practical action step that got a lot of response from people, particularly men. Numerous business people decided to implement a fixed calendar in their life. (I blogged about my fixed calendar practice in this post.)

Don’t blame people for doing nothing after your talk if you never showed them something to do.

It’s amazing how often you can communicate without asking anyone to do anything.

Knowing isn’t the point. It’s what you do with what you know that counts.

So include a call to action every time you speak.

Will everyone respond to each call?

No. But that’s not important.

Over time, many people will take action. And their lives will be different as a result.

2. Solicit user input

We live in an interactive era.

Fifteen years ago, who would have guessed that one of the top websites in the world would feature mostly user-generated content?

Take a lesson from YouTube. Start soliciting user generated input for your next talk, series or message.

User input does three things:

First, It makes sure you’re answering questions people are actually asking. It stops you from guessing. When you know what your audience is thinking and struggling with, you can directly address their challenges.

Second, it creates an instant bond with your audience. They have skin in the game. They’re anticipating your next talk or message because they helped create it and they know you’re going to address issues they’re actually struggling with.

Third, it takes you into places as a communicator you wouldn’t naturally go. We all have ruts and pet topics. Finding out what people are actually dealing with will take you in directions you never would have gone. As a result, you’ll grow.

Want more on user input?

I explain five specific ways to generate user input in this 15 minute Preaching Rocket talk which you can watch here and share some stories about how it’s powerfully changing our message interaction at Connexus where I serve.

Bottom line? When listeners help shape your next message, they can’t wait to hear your next message.

3. Watch or listen to yourself (because everyone else has to)

I admit—watching myself on video is one of the most painful things I do in this life. Perhaps slowly pulling off my fingernails would be worse, but not by much.

And we all hate the sound of our own voice. I still don’t like mine, even though I’m a professional communicator.

Because all but the most narcissistic among us truly hate listening to and watching ourselves communicate, most of us don’t do it.

But that’s a mistake.

You should listen to your messages or talks.

And even if your church or the event you’re speaking at doesn’t record video, you should have a friend shoot your talk on a phone.

And then you should watch it.

And after you’ve watched it, you should watch it again with a friend who loves you enough to tell you the truth.

It will be one of the most awkward things you ever do in your life, but you’ll get better.

You’ll eliminate nervous ticks, speech patterns that don’t help, and awkward body language that distracts.

The reason you want to watch it with a friend is because you’re also a terrible judge of what’s working and what’s not working.

You’ll want to cut out something you do and your friend will say “Don’t do that. That’s the very thing that makes you so endearing/compelling/creative.”

And at other times you’ll say “I think that was pretty good” and your friend will say “Look man, I love you, but that’s got to go.”

You are the worst judge of what you do best. And you’re the worst judge of what you do worst. So pull in an honest friend.

You will be tempted to skip this exercise because it’s so painful.

Don’t.

Make yourself watch yourself. Why? Because everybody else has to.

4. Work ahead

Life is busy, and chances are communicating is something you do in addition to everything else you do.

Preparing for your next talk is also likely the last thing anyone every asks you to do.

They’ll ask you to have lunch, schedule a meeting, pick your brain or go play golf. But they’ll never ask you to work harder on your next talk.

Which is why you need to schedule time in to work on your talk.

And—better yet—work far ahead on it.

I tend to work 1-3 months ahead on my talks. Why?

Because writing a talk is like preparing a stew. The longer it has to simmer, the better it is.

The longer you live with an idea, the more deeply you will own it.

And when you own your ideas, when they live in you, you’ll be a far better speaker.

So work ahead on your next talk.

Your talk will be so much better than the last Saturday night scramble.

Want more, I share some other communicator secrets in this post on how I work ahead.

5. Preach less content more often

For those of us who preach in a local church, this can be challenging, but you should do what you can to preach less content more often.

Let me explain.

There was a day when a preacher used to preach up to 150 messages a year—creating a fresh sermon for Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night.

The challenge of course, is that it’s almost impossible to create 150 highly impactful messages in 52 weeks.

In communicating, quantity and quality compete.

One of the current (and welcome) trends in ministry is for preachers to preach less often. With Wednesday night and Sunday night services either disappearing or being shared among a communication team, preachers are preaching less often, which as I outlined in this post on church trends for 2016, is generally a good trend.

Preaching fewer messages translates into preaching better messages for most communicators.

But take it one step further. Preach the same message more than once in multiple venues.

I do that from time to time as a conference speaker. I will re-use ideas and even complete talks and give them in different places.

What does that do? It allows me to polish my talks better.

When you repeat a talk in a fresh venue at a different time, it helps you understand (even better) what worked, what didn’t, and why.

As a result, you grow.

Don’t speak at conferences?

Just take one of your recent messages and see if you can guest preach it at another church. Or present the ideas at a local community group.

Basically, the next time you are asked to speak somewhere, don’t write a new talk. Bring an old talk, polish it and see what you learn.

You’ll learn a ton.

Then take the principles you learned and apply them to writing your next talk.

What About You?

If you want more, you can try the Preaching Rocket free trial for 7 days. Even if you’re a communicator who never ‘preaches,’ I think you’ll get better.

In the meantime, I’d love to learn from you.

What makes you better when you plateau?

Scroll down and leave a comment!

Jenni Catron

CNLP 071: Jenni Catron on Becoming an Extraordinary Leader

What make a leader extraordinary?

Jenni Catron joins me to talk about the four dimensions of leadership that move a leader from ordinary to become the best at what they do.

Welcome to Episode 71 of the Podcast.

Jenni Catron

Guest Links: Jenni Catron 

The Four Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership: The Power of Leading from Your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength

Episode 25

JenniCatron.com

CLOUT: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence

Twitter 

Links Mentioned in this Episode

The ReThink Leadership Conference

Leading Change Without Losing It: Five Strategies That Can Revolutionize How You Lead Change When Facing Opposition

The Church Leader’s Podcast interview with Jenni Catron

Jeff Henderson

Bill Hybels

Andy Stanley; Episode 1  

Perry Noble; Episode 2

Ravi Zacharias; Episode 53

Craig Groeschel; Episode 52

David Kinnaman; Episode 24

Will Mancini; Episode 23 

Mark Batterson; Episode 32

Kara Powell; Episode 4

Pete Wilson; Episode 11

Jenni’s Four Dimensions of Leadership

How do you know if you’re using your influence in leadership for good, and how do you know if your influence is taking a negative turn? In her latest book, Jenni discusses the different arenas of leadership and how you can use your strengths to make the biggest impact.

  1. Mind: For someone who’s strong in mind, it’s about strategy, practices and operational tasks. Someone strong in mind has an eye for details and almost always has a call-to-action. This is the person who’s planning and thinking ahead, the one who’s hyper about policies and procedures. The bad side of this is that someone who’s strong in this dimension doesn’t slow down to see people and how they’re impacted by decisions. They’ll miss out on how people are feeling, and they may overlook how they’re feeling.
  1. Strength: This is your visionary leader. When you can provide the vision, you provide hope. This is someone who knows where they want to go, although they may not tactically get there. They see the possibility, and they have ideas. On the downside, they have a new idea every day, and this can be exhausting to the rest of the team. They need to be able to discern God’s calling and discipline themselves to follow it.
  1. Heart: Heart people think of people first, and they’re aware of how others are impacted. They’re the people, who, when a new initiative is made, will be more concerned about how everyone feels about it. They’ll be aware and sensitive to how the team is affected. Unfortunately, this is the person who may be at odds with the visionary, and they are likely to get bogged down in the fear of taking on everyone’s feelings, and it’s easy to get stuck there.
  1. Soul: Soul is the spiritual component of leadership. It’s about our prayer life as leaders, and it keeps up rightly balanced to the reality that our accomplishments belong to God. This person has an understanding that we lead because of His provision. This is the one who is praying for your team and praying for wisdom. The only down side is that if you work in the business world, this person may not be able to pray openly at work, but they’re still able to pray for jobs, relationships and the families of those they work with on a personal level.

Quotes from Jenni

Available online now! Get your copy of Lasting Impact today! 

My latest book is available now. It’s designed especially of church leaders and their teams.

Lasting Impact frames 7 pivotal conversations every church team needs to have, covering subject like declining church attendance, team health, creating a culture volunteers love and how to engineer change in your church.

Order on Amazon, or visit LastingImpactBook.com!

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Next Episode: Matt Keller 

Is there a key to everything? Matt Keller thinks there is. And many leaders lack it. The good news is, the key can be acquired. Matt and I spend our time today unpacking the one thing that could change everything in your leadership.

Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 72.

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