CNLP 448: Michael Todd on the Backstory to His Drive and Success, Lessons from Taking 103 Days Off Leadership, and How Crazy Faith Works

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Michael Todd, New York Times bestselling author and pastor of Transformation Church, takes us behind the scenes to share what he’s learned about where his drive and quest for success comes from, what taking 103 days off of leadership has done for him, and what it takes to have crazy faith.

Welcome to Episode 448 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Plus, in this episode’s Ask Me Anything About Productivity segment, Carey answers Carter’s question about using the Thrive Calendar template when you’re not the one setting your own meeting times.

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Gloo and Barna for Barna Cities

I know many church leaders like you are navigating massive shifts in culture and technology. It’s exhausting, but there’s hope.

Our friends at Barna and Gloo have been working to support pastors and church leaders through these shifts.

Last year, Barna and Gloo launched an effort to equip the Church through the “State of the Church” research and toolkits. Over 25,000 churches benefited.

This year, Barna and Gloo are launching Barna Cities. It’s a year-long journey focused specifically on what makes each city unique.

With Barna Cities, you will have access to new local research from Barna. And, you’ll get to join with other local church leaders every month to get new research and insights that Barna will put into context.

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  3. You’ll also get access to “Click to Connect.” That’s my 4-part course designed to help you connect digitally with your people and community. Also absolutely free with the Toolkit.

Barna and Gloo want you to know and move every person you serve, to connect people with your church and program that provides help and transformation.

Go to for more information. And, if you’re not in one of the active cities, sign up to hear when it becomes available.

Crazy Faith by Michael Todd

Relationship Goals by Michael Todd

Transformation Church

Transformation Church Facebook

Transformation Church Instagram

Transformation Church on YouTube

CNLP 336: Mike Todd on the Meteoric Rise of Transformation Church, Blowing Up on Social Media, and the Power of 51% Certainty in Decision Making

CNLP Bonus 22: Mike Todd Returns to Explain His Model for Online Church, Why Their Church Has Grown 10x During COVID, and How to Turn Viewers Into Engagers, Contributors, Disciples and Donors

At Your Best by Carey Nieuwhof

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Insights From Michael

1. Sometimes a “Holy Pause” makes for a golden opportunity

When a pause interrupts your organizational or personal forward-motion, it can feel like you’re losing momentum or growth, but really it can be the best thing for you. Sometimes it’s God saying, “Watch and see what I’m doing and where I’m doing it.” Margin gives time to reevaluate and calibrate.

Michael shares, “Every great thing I’ve ever done came in the margin. It never comes when I’m trying to get it. It never comes when I’m chasing after it. It’s like every great thing comes when you’re just still. A butterfly does not ever land on somebody who’s running. A butterfly lands on people who are still.”

2. Choose a pace based on your purpose, not your ego

When your organization or platform gains notoriety, realize that it’s not because of you. Let the knowledge that you’re being watched help you stay sober-minded. According to Mike, “Most people are running at a pace that has nothing to do with their purpose. They’re running at a pace that has to do with their ego. And that’s one thing I had to check in my heart as God began to do all of these things. Am I running at…the pace of grace?”

3. Maturity trumps gifting

When we identify what we’re good at, sometimes we want to run with it without taking the time to grow and mature our talents. Ineffectiveness can be the result of immaturity.

Michael also reminds us that our talents aren’t something we’ve worked for; they’re gifts from the start. “The story [of the talents] is not about what the servants did with their one, two and five. It was that what they were given was a grace gift from the beginning. None of them worked for their one, two or five.”

Quotes from Episode 448

It's only crazy until it happens. @iammiketodd Click To Tweet Most people are running at a pace that has nothing to do with their purpose. They're running at a pace that has to do with their ego. @iammiketodd Click To Tweet God doesn't bless who you pretend to be. He blesses who you really are. @iammiketodd Click To Tweet Accountability does not care about your crowns. @iammiketodd Click To Tweet Accountability is a word that people use in church but don't apply in life. @iammiketodd Click To Tweet You have to submit yourself to accountability, not invite people in when it gets bad, because then it's too late. @iammiketodd Click To Tweet God is more gracious than I am good. @iammiketodd Click To Tweet There is a drive that destroys, and then there's a drive that gets redeemed. Click To Tweet Don't let the thing that drives you destroy you. Click To Tweet Obedience is better than sacrifice. @iammiketodd Click To Tweet There's a thin line between what is crazy and what God is calling you to do. @iammiketodd Click To Tweet True vision is a collaboration between you and God. @iammiketodd Click To Tweet We need to be proactive leaders not reactive leaders. @iammiketodd Click To Tweet Your structure is only good as your foundation. @iammiketodd Click To Tweet Every great thing comes when you're just still. @iammiketodd Click To Tweet God uses the foolish things to confound the wise. @iammiketodd Click To Tweet Your body's going to rest because of tragedy or intentionality. @iammiketodd Click To Tweet Doctors and pastors are the only professions that people will praise you for abusing yourself, being available 24 hours a day, because you're always helping somebody. @iammiketodd Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 448

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Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

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Next Episode: Horst Schulze

Horst Schulze, founder of the Ritz-Carlton and Capella Hotel Group, talks about what he learned as a young leader that gave him the edge that defined his future career.

He also explains why service still matters, how hotels can compete against Airbnb, and why Millennials want personalized, customized service.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 449.

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Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof is a best-selling leadership author, speaker, podcaster, former attorney, and church planter. He hosts one of today’s most influential leadership podcasts, and his online content is accessed by leaders over 1.5 million times a month. He speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change, and personal growth.