CNLP 104: Casey Graham on What Church Leaders Can Learn From 7 Figure CEOs

Casey Graham has interviewed dozens of CEOs of 7 figure businesses. Surprisingly, the same issues entrepreneurs face in growing their companies to beyond $200,000, $600,000 and even a million dollars in revenue are almost identical to the issues church leaders face in growing their churches past 200, 600 and 1000 weekend attendees. Carey and Casey discuss the very real similarities.

Welcome to Episode 104 of the Podcast.



Guest Links: Casey Graham

Casey on Twitter

Casey on Facebook

Links Mentioned

Donald Miller Story Podcast


Injoy Stewardship Solutions

The Orange Tour

The Rocket Company

The Giving Rocket

The Synergist Quiz 

The Right Path

Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization on the Growth Track–and Keeping It There

Ron Edmonson; Episode 10

Pete Scazzero

Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization on the Growth Track–and Keeping It There


3 Things You Can Do Right Away

Casey is chock-full of practical advice to help entrepreneurs and church leaders break the barriers of mediocrity. He imparts practical advice to ensure the difference makers in each sector reach their maximum growth potential.

  1. Get stuff off your plate. If you’re doing it all, you have to create margin to hire to your weaknesses. Don’t have the payroll? You don’t give them a year’s salary up front. Pay what you can afford and focus on getting out from behind your desk. Focus on the growth strategy now that you have the help.
  2. Get used to not being needed. When you grow, you’re less needed by everyone. One of the biggest problems with pastors is that they want to be liked, but you have to make decisions that may be a hit to your self-esteem because you have to make decisions that will fuel growth, but not everyone will agree with you.
  3. Prepare for succession. The business dies with the founder. You have to have a process in place that allows you to turn over the business when you’re finished. Part of this has to do with your hiring process. So, how do you do that? Make the application a lengthy process, conduct health assessments and don’t hire someone just because you like them as a person.

Quotes from this Episode

The Top 10 episodes of the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast

  1. CNLP 033: Growing Up with Gay Parents, An Interview with Caleb Kaltenbach
    Episode 33 Show Notes
  2. CNLP 001: An Interview with Andy Stanley
    Episode 1 Show Notes
  3. CNLP 002: An Interview with Perry Noble
    Episode 2 Show Notes
  4. CNLP 079: Mars Hill 2 Years Later: An Insider’s Account of What Happened with Justin Dean
    Episode 79 Show Notes
  5. CNLP 082: David Kinnaman on How Christians are Increasingly Perceived by the Unchurched
    Episode 82 Show Notes
  6. CNLP 023: Why People Are Attending Church Less Often and How to Respond, an Interview with Will Mancini
    Episode 23 Show Notes
  7. CNLP 083: Ravi Zacharias on How Preaching and Evangelism Need to Change to Reach the Next Generation
    Episode 83 Show Notes
  8. CNLP 098: Becoming a High Capacity Leader – Deconstructing Frank Bealer’s Habits and Schedule
    Episode 98 Show Notes
  9. CNLP 078: Perry Noble on How He’s Had to Radically Change His Approach to Leadership
    Episode 78 Show Notes
  10. CNLP 076: Raising the Dead, An Interview with Brian Wangler on How He Found New Life and Ushered in Growth in Four Stuck Dying Churches
    Episode 76 Show Notes


The Lasting Impact Team Edition


The team edition is a compilation of eight videos designed to allow the teams in your church follow along as a supplement to the book. I highlight key points from the material and discuss additional hot topics that relate to your ministry.

Get your copy of Lasting Impact today! 

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

Order on Amazon, or visit! The video team edition, featuring 8 videos where I teach through the key concepts in the book, is available now as well!


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Next Episode: Dan Reiland

Dan Reiland talks about what it’s been like to work with John Maxwell for over 30 years, about how they vritually created the role of Executive Pastor, and what he’s learning serving as the XP of one of the largest churches in the country (12 Stone). Dan even tells us the top 5 leadership lessons of all time that he learned from John Maxwell.

Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 105.

CNLP 104: Casey Graham on What Church Leaders Can Learn From 7 Figure CEOs


  1. Matt Martini on September 24, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Excellent podcast!! Casey’s enthusiasm is contagious. We are dabbling with combining entrepreneurship and ministry at our church. I am the CEO of a growing remodeling business that has just started to evolve into the lifestyle stage. And in January I took over for our worship director who was being called to other things.

    Our lead pastor is a pastor in the truest sense from a five-fold ministry perspective. I can get rather aggressive sometimes and we are struggling to find balance and not get too “business-y.” We are just getting started with this and have a long way to go but it is an exciting journey and I can’t wait to see where God takes us!

  2. Anton Lim on September 9, 2016 at 10:53 am

    The discussion about a coach resonated with me.
    How do you go about finding the right coach?
    I get the principle of actually paying for one, but I want to know how to pay the right one. There are lots of coaches out there…

    Any previous podcast or blog on this?

    What’s the difference between a mentor and a coach?

    • Justin on October 8, 2016 at 2:16 pm


      I hope you don’t mind me putting in my two cents.

      My suggestion is that before you decide who is the right coach, determine what specific results you are trying to achieve. This will help you to narrow down the pack some.

      Are you trying to improve In leadership development, personal development, scaling a business, begin an online business, time management, etc?

      Secondly, reach out for a consult with some coaches. Many coaches have a free consult to see if you are the right fit. It is important that you feel comfortable and have a connection with that person.

      That free consult is very vital. There have been coaches that may look great on paper, but once you talk with them the connection may not be there.

      As far as mentoring and coaching, I believe coaching relationships are a little more short-term.

      • Anton Lim on October 8, 2016 at 6:21 pm

        Thanks Justin, don’t mind the two cents (though in Canada that’d be rounded down now to zero :p )

        Thanks for tip about the first free consult. I’ll defintely need to think through my need and battle the desire to just go for first one I meet.

        Thanks for sharing about your experience.

  3. Justin on September 8, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    I have personally hired a coach from a executive coaching company for years. I have taken that framework to coach entrepreneurs whose companies are doing 7 and 8 figures.

    One of those guys is in my church, and he has had conversations where he is giving me ideas of alternative ways to get the word out. To be honest they are a stretch, not in an integrity way, but from the norm. The church most likely needs this.

    Earlier this week, he said it was a dream come true that he can go to a church that is business minded. I believe he meant that it was alright to discuss things in business terms.

    We have to create space where those gifted in this area can use their gifts to build God’s kingdom.

  4. PastorDow on September 7, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Check out Crossroads Church in Cincinnati Ocean’s accelerator for entrepreneurs.

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