Carey Nieuwhof https://careynieuwhof.com Helping you lead like never before. Thu, 22 Jun 2017 15:11:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Helping you lead like never before. Carey Nieuwhof © 2017 Carey Nieuwhof Helping you lead like never before. Carey Nieuwhof https://careynieuwhof.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/CN_Podcast_New_Logo_Small1.jpg https://careynieuwhof.com Toronto, Ontario, Canada Weekly 70679918 5 Ways To Lead When You Have No Money or Team https://careynieuwhof.com/5-ways-to-lead-when-you-have-no-money-or-people/ https://careynieuwhof.com/5-ways-to-lead-when-you-have-no-money-or-people/#comments Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:23:37 +0000 https://careynieuwhof.com/?p=43823 I recently surveyed over 1400 pastors of small to mid-sized churches to find out what they struggled with. I ran the survey to collect input for a new online course I’m releasing this fall called Breaking 200 Without Breaking You, all about breaking the 200 attendance barrier, something 85% of churches never do.  (You can sign…

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no money

I recently surveyed over 1400 pastors of small to mid-sized churches to find out what they struggled with.

I ran the survey to collect input for a new online course I’m releasing this fall called Breaking 200 Without Breaking You, all about breaking the 200 attendance barrier, something 85% of churches never do.  (You can sign up to get on the inside track for the course release here.)

Man, I learned a ton from that survey.

One of the common refrains leaders voiced was uncertainty about how to lead when they didn’t have much money or the right team.

After all, most of us visit mega-churches and think if I only had a tenth of their money and their people, it would instantly solve my problems.  And then we go back to our own context and get almost instantly depressed.

So when you have almost no money for ministry and you clearly haven’t got the right kind of people in the room, where do you start?

Believe it or not, neither condition is fatal to your cause. In fact, almost every great movement, church or organization you admire started with no money and no people.

So how can you lead when resources are scarce to non-existent?

There are at least five things you can do to help you find traction.


Almost every great organization or movement you admire began with no money and no people.
Click To Tweet


 1. Cast a Big Vision

Of course you know that one of the principal roles of the leader is to cast vision.

But what do you do when you have almost nothing other than vision?

Well, you cast a big vision.

Vision creates something out of nothing. It turns impossibility into reality.

It startles people out of their complacency, stops them from settling for less and moves them to action they wouldn’t otherwise take except for the vision of what could be.


Vision creates something out of nothing.
Click To Tweet


Too many leaders forget that vision precedes money and people. Why? Because vision always precedes resources. Sometimes all you have is a vision…and that’s enough to get started.

And remember, resources follow vision. They never precede it.

If you want to attract a team and resources, cast a big, clear and compelling vision.


Resources follow vision, but never precede it.
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2. Raise Your Passion Level

Does passion really matter? You bet it does. More than you think.

Passion is different than hype. Hype attempts to manufacture something that doesn’t quite ring true.

Passion runs deep. It’s authentic. It resonates. And it’s contagious.

No amount of money can ever substitute for a lack of passion.


No amount of money can ever substitute for a lack of passion.
Click To Tweet


Your team will never be more passionate about the mission than you are. If you’re disturbed by the lack of passion in your team, look in the mirror.   If you’re not fogging mirrors, they never will.


If you’re disturbed by the lack of passion in your team, look in the mirror.
Click To Tweet


3. Start with Who You Have

Sure, you don’t have your dream team. Dream teams don’t randomly assemble. They’re built.

But leaders who wait forever for a dream team to appear eventually have nightmares.


Dream teams don’t randomly assemble. They’re built.
Click To Tweet


So what do you do instead? You start with who you have.

Yes, I know you don’t have the team you want. And yes, everyone else seems to have a better team.

You need to realize, however, that’s where most leaders begin. When I started ministry at three tiny, stagnant churches over 20 years ago, the buildings weren’t exactly teeming with high capacity leaders.

So, start with the best leaders you can find. If you begin by working with the best people you have in the room, eventually higher capacity leaders will fill the room.

Want more on building a high performing team from scratch? Listen to Episode 39 of my leadership podcast with Chris Lema. You can subscribe to my podcast for free here or listen below.


Leaders who wait forever for a dream team to appear eventually have nightmares.
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4. Focus on what you CAN do

It’s so easy to be negative. In fact, it takes zero work. It’s the default of the human condition.

As a result, it’s easy to complain about everything you lack and what seems impossible.

Leaders who focus on what they can’t do, always miss what they can do.


Leaders who focus on what they can’t do, always miss what they can do.
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Plus, you end up setting a negative tone for the organization when you always talk about what’s not possible.

What CAN you do? Answer that and go do it.

Keep doing it, and eventually you’ll be accomplishing far more than you ever thought.

5. Believe This Is Only the Beginning

Often as a leader you can grow so discouraged that you think of your current lack of whatever as the end.

Your attitude leaks.

When a leader loses confidence, so does the team.

When a leader is bored, the team grows bored.

And when a leader is passionless, well it doesn’t take long for a group to lose any sense of enthusiasm.

We leaders are dealers in hope. And hope in the mission of the local church is never misplaced. After all, the church was Jesus’ idea, not ours.

So don’t look at your current lack of resources as the end, look at it as the beginning.


We leaders are dealers in hope. And hope in the mission of the local church is never misplaced.
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Want More?

If you want more ideas on how to generate the kind of momentum you need to reach your community, I wrote about it in detail in my latest book, Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Can Help Your Church Grow. In that book, I tackle 7 critical issues every church needs to address if it wants to make an impact in today’s culture.

I also created a team edition companion video series so you can work through the ideas with your elder board, key volunteers or staff. You can get that here.

In the meantime, what helps you make progress when you feel like you don’t have the money or the people you’d love to have?

Scroll down and leave a comment.

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CNLP 145: Regi Campbell on Radically Mentorship For Men that Transforms their Leadership and Families https://careynieuwhof.com/episode145/ https://careynieuwhof.com/episode145/#respond Tue, 20 Jun 2017 05:01:03 +0000 https://careynieuwhof.com/?p=43563 Mentoring is a buzz word these days…but how do you do it well? Regi Campbell, a serial entrepreneur who has founded 15 companies and serves as CEO in four, has devoted this phase of his life to creating a mentoring approach that produces incredible leaders and deep discipleship. He explains what radical mentoring is and…

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Mentoring is a buzz word these days…but how do you do it well?

Regi Campbell, a serial entrepreneur who has founded 15 companies and serves as CEO in four, has devoted this phase of his life to creating a mentoring approach that produces incredible leaders and deep discipleship. He explains what radical mentoring is and how it’s changing lives.

Welcome to Episode 145 of the podcast.

Guest Links

Radical Mentoring

Radical Mentoring on Twitter

Radical Mentoring on Facebook

Radical Mentoring on Instagram

Mentor Like Jesus: His Radical Approach to Building the Church by Regi Campbell

About My Father’s Business: Taking Your Faith to Work by Regi Campbell

What Radical Husbands Do by Regi Campbell

For Women: Titus 2 Mentoring Women

Links Mentioned

Orange Tour + Deep and Wide Tour

TrainedUp.church

The Harvard Negotiation Project: Case Examples

3 Insights from This Episode

1. Radical Mentoring is intentionality

What does radical mentoring mean? Jesus mentored 12 men, and those 12 are arguably are the way we ended up with 2 billion Christians. Pretty radical, right?

Regi has mentored over a 180 men. If each of those men invested in 10 other men over the course of their lives, that’s almost 2,000 people. When we’re intentional about committing to consistently and steadily investing in the lives of people who are younger than us, the numbers get bigger and bigger.

2. God did it best

Regi pointed out an important distinction between mentoring and training: Training is teaching someone how to do something, mentoring is about teaching someone how to be something. It’s not about telling people what to do, but modeling it with your own actions.

God did this when he sent his son, Jesus Christ. Jesus was the embodiment of God on Earth who showed us how to be. He modeled the way to live and serve God while mentoring and investing in his 12. 2,000 years later, people’s lives are still being changed because of what Jesus did on Earth. That’s the power of Biblical mentorship.

3. Couple Scripture with a problem

When you’re mentoring someone, the Bible is the best guidebook to have. Resist the urge to choose a passage and just speak it or teach it to the person you’re mentoring. Listen to them, hear their story, find out what they’re struggling with, look for areas they need help and encouragement. Then, bring God into the fold. Answer their problems with Scripture. Making Scripture relevant to someone’s life is the best way to make someone care about Scripture.

Quotes from This Episode


Jesus mentored 12 men, and now there’s 2 billion Christians. – @RadicalMentors
Click To Tweet



Nobody ever makes an unreasonable decision. – @RadicalMentors
Click To Tweet



In leadership, more is caught than taught. – @RadicalMentors
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Become a High Impact Leader – Join the Waitlist

High Impact Leader

I don’t know where you’re at, but my heart is for every leader to get out of the trap of being busy but not productive, of working long hours but producing less than hoped for.

While we just closed registration for the High Impact Leader, you can join the wait list for the next release./

That’s what the High Impact Leader Course is all about: it’s about getting time, energy and priorities working in your favour. It’s about getting your life and leadership back.

If you took part of last week’s launch—thank you! The course is temporarily closed, but you can join the waitlist to know when it becomes available again. Join the waitlist now. I’ll also send a free 3 part email-based productivity course to everyone on the waiting list, plus some other tips and bonuses.

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning.

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Sue Miller, Kara Powell, Chuck Swindoll, Greg McKeown, Jon Acuff and many others.

Subscribe via

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher

TuneIn Radio

Plus, I host a second podcast every month called the Canadian Church Leaders Podcast. If you’re Canadian, or just interested in ministry in a post-Christian culture, you can subscribe for free as well at:

iTunes

Google Play

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 on iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place 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: Rodney Cox

Self-awareness is huge for any leader. But how do you find it? And how do you move your whole team to a place where everyone has greater awareness of strengths and weaknesses. Rodney Cox and Carey Nieuwhof look at how ministry assessments changed the game for Carey and his team, and what it might do for yours.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 145.

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https://careynieuwhof.com/episode145/feed/ 0 Mentoring is a buzz word these days…but how do you do it well? Regi Campbell, a serial entrepreneur who has founded 15 companies and serves as CEO in four, has devoted this phase of his life to creating a mentoring approach that produces incredible lea... Mentoring is a buzz word these days…but how do you do it well? Regi Campbell, a serial entrepreneur who has founded 15 companies and serves as CEO in four, has devoted this phase of his life to creating a mentoring approach that produces incredible leaders and deep discipleship. He explains what radical mentoring is and… Carey Nieuwhof 1:00:10 43563
How to Stop Saying I’m Sorry To Your Family https://careynieuwhof.com/how-to-stop-saying-im-sorry-to-your-family/ https://careynieuwhof.com/how-to-stop-saying-im-sorry-to-your-family/#comments Mon, 19 Jun 2017 12:48:20 +0000 https://careynieuwhof.com/?p=42360 Today’s post is a guest post from my good friend, Frank Bealer. Frank is executive director of Leadership Development at The reThink Group (also known as Orange) and the CEO of Phase Family Centers. Before joining Orange, he was family pastor at Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is driven to helping leaders develop to…

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Today’s post is a guest post from my good friend, Frank Bealer. Frank is executive director of Leadership Development at The reThink Group (also known as Orange) and the CEO of Phase Family Centers. Before joining Orange, he was family pastor at Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is driven to helping leaders develop to their full potential. Frank and his wife, Jess, have four children.

I have several friends from Canada and whenever we get together I’ve noticed they tend to apologize for everything.

They say sorry even when the fault is clearly not their own. It’s unnecessary if you ask me, but it could explain why our neighbors to the north have a much lower crime rate than we do here in the US.

They say “I’m sorry,” and everyone else feels a release of tension and pressure.

There’s a sense that someone’s taken ownership of the mistake and those two little words make everyone feel better. And that’s a good thing…isn’t it?

If it’s such a good thing, you may think I would suggest we apologize more. While I do feel our society would experience a greater sense of peace if we could learn to own up to our mistakes, wouldn’t it be better to simply avoid pitfalls and missteps altogether, especially as it relates to our family, friends, and loved ones?

What if we could say sorry less because we succeed more?


What if leaders could say sorry less because we succeed more? @fbealer
Click To Tweet


How Does Sorry Happen?

I couldn’t begin to tackle the multitude of bad decisions you and I have made over the years that left a stain on our reputation.

However, I do believe there is a formula that can help us manage our busy schedules in a way that prioritizes the relationships that matter most.

Too often in ministry we have to apologize to family, friends, and co-workers because we fail to control our schedule. Instead, we allow our calendar to dictate our priorities.

When we lose control over our time, those closest to us suffer. In order for that to change, we must first dissect our schedule.


When we lose control over our time, those closest to us suffer. @fbealer
Click To Tweet


So how does sorry happen? Well, everything on our calendar falls into one of the following three categories:

  1. Routine—commonplace tasks, chores, or responsibilities that must be completed regularly or at specified intervals; typical or everyday activity
  2. Sporadic—appearing or happening at irregular intervals in time
  3. Unexpected—not expected; unforeseen; surprising

There are plenty of blog posts, books, and apps that can help with the routine.

The unexpected is…well, unexpected. There is little we can do to plan for genuine surprises.

However, I’ve found much can be done in preparation for the sporadic.

Oftentimes we treat the sporadic as if it’s unexpected, the occasional as though it’s a complete shocker. We put the longer-than-expected staff meeting in the same category as the lighting strike that took out the city’s cell phone towers. We are caught unaware every time these irregular instances occur.

What If You Had a Plan?

I believe we can plan for these times. We can prepare those closest to us for these occurrences by adjusting our mindset and embracing a tried-and-true strategy.

What if you could stop saying sorry and start saying, “I’ve got a plan”?


What if you could stop saying sorry and start saying, “I’ve got a plan”? @fbealer
Click To Tweet


That plan is actually a formula we call When This, Then That. This formula can challenge each of us to consider how to handle the sporadic before the sporadic handles us.

The key to this formula is found in “This” and “That”. When This (the sporadic event), Then That (our planned response to the sporadic).

There’s a lot that goes into creating formulas like this that will help us succeed but shifting the way we think about the sporadic changes everything.

So What Does This Actually Look Like?

So what does this look like, in real life?

Well, exceptions can become incredible opportunities.

Over the years, I had the incredible privilege of interviewing people looking to join the staff at Elevation Church. This required my wife and I to go to dinner with prospective couples. Great for the interview process, but it was challenging to tie up another night away from the kids. We knew that getting out of the office environment to a nice restaurant was the best way to hear what people were thinking and to answer any questions that they may have.

Some seasons involved more interviews than others, but about two years ago it started to get crazy. The church was growing radically and there were so many candidates to meet. This required flexibility and therefore led to a multitude of unplanned exceptions.

I found that when I would call home to tell my kids that I wouldn’t be home because I had an interview, it would be met with massive disappointment but then a sweet little smile saying, “We love you Daddy. It’s okay. I was just really hoping we could play a board game tonight.” My heart would break.

We needed a plan. This is where “When This Then That” comes into play.

The interviews weren’t going to stop. And my kids weren’t going anywhere.

So, we made a shift. When I had an opportunity to do another interview for the church, I would call home to say we have an interview (same as before), but instead of this meaning Mom and Dad wouldn’t be home, it meant an adventure for the kids. We created a new When This Then That solution. WHEN we have an interview, THEN the kids get to eat at the restaurant (at a separate table) with an appetizer and dessert.

“If you have kids, you know this is a really big deal. I don’t know about you but when we take our family to a restaurant, we try to be extremely efficient. We get in. We get out. Before the chaos ensues. We don’t order appetizers. We order our drinks and meal at the exact same time and we rarely order dessert. After all, how can we ask our kids to behave when we give them tons of sugar and then keep them trapped in a booth?

Can you imagine the change this made for our family? Instead of sadness, our phone calls were met with jubilee.

You can see how we were able to turn something that used to be a negative, another ‘I’m sorry’ into something that our whole family gets excited about. In fact, sometimes my kids ask when the next interview is so they can dine out “fancy” again.”

It’s a simple change, but it’s a profound change.

What if you changed everything so exceptions became opportunities?


What if you saw every schedule-crunching exception as an opportunity? @fbealer
Click To Tweet


WANT MORE?

For more on thriving in the tension of ministry, work, and life (and a simple approach to gaining more control over your calendar), check out Frank’s new book, The Myth of Balance. It will help you craft your own formulas and figure out how to quit saying sorry. Just visit MythofBalance.com.

In the meantime, what puts you into a time crunch? What are you doing about?

Scroll down and leave a comment!

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CNLP 144: Barnabas Piper on How Curious Leaders Gain a Distinct Advantage https://careynieuwhof.com/episode144/ https://careynieuwhof.com/episode144/#comments Tue, 13 Jun 2017 05:01:13 +0000 https://careynieuwhof.com/?p=42576 Faith brings certainty, right? Well, yes, but it’s bigger than that. In a wide-ranging conversation with Carey Nieuwhof, Barnabas Piper, explains how his parents, John and Noel Piper, encouraged curiosity and how he came to view it not as the enemy of faith, but as its friend. Welcome to Episode 144 of the podcast. Guest…

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Faith brings certainty, right? Well, yes, but it’s bigger than that.

In a wide-ranging conversation with Carey Nieuwhof, Barnabas Piper, explains how his parents, John and Noel Piper, encouraged curiosity and how he came to view it not as the enemy of faith, but as its friend.

Welcome to Episode 144 of the podcast.

Barnabas Piper on the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast

Guest Links

Barnabas on Episode 050 and Bonus Episode 015

BarnabasPiper.com

Curious Christian Book

The Happy Rant Podcast

The 5LQ Podcast

Barnabas on Twitter

The Blazing Center

Links Mentioned

Orange Tour + Deep and Wide Tour

TrainedUp.church

John Piper

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

3 Insights from This Episode

1. A faith without curiosity is stagnant

If you’ve lost curiosity in your own faith, your faith will shrivel up. If you’ve settled on knowing the truth, then you don’t know the truth. Certainty has become idolatry.

We don’t know a fraction of the awe and amazement that is Christ. If we stop being curious, and think that we currently know all that God is, we put a limit on a limitless God.

Being curious also helps us fulfill the Great Commission. When we ask questions about other faiths and cultures and belief systems, we get a glimpse into how non-Christians think and what they value. How can you explain the wonder, awe and freedom of Christ to a Mormon or a Muslim, if you don’t know what they believe?

2. Great leaders are curious leaders

Curious leaders ask curious questions. They listen to the people on their team and the people they serve.

They listen to what’s happening in their field and look at what others are doing. They listen to what’s happening outside of their industry and world.

Curiosity makes you empathetic, and you need empathy to be a good leader. Leadership isn’t just about solutions, its about developing people, too — being curious is how you can do that.

3. There’s a difference between asking questions and being curious

Questions are the currency of curiosity—but true curiosity only happens when the questions are honest and humble. Not questions that are challenges, or accusations or ones that you already know the answer to. Questions that are used as a tool to share your opinion or establish authority aren’t curious questions.

Curiosity can only thrive when you are humble. It’s an acknowledgement that you don’t know everything. It’s a question that says “I have so much more to discover.”

Quotes from This Episode


Curiosity breeds curiosity. – @BarnabasPiper
Click To Tweet



If you have settled on knowing the truth, you don’t know the truth. – @BarnabasPiper
Click To Tweet



I’m skeptical of any leader whose only interest is leadership. – @BarnabasPiper
Click To Tweet


Become a High Impact Leader – Join the Waitlist

High Impact Leader

I don’t know where you’re at, but my heart is for every leader to get out of the trap of being busy but not productive, of working long hours but producing less than hoped for.

While we just closed registration for the High Impact Leader, you can join the wait list for the next release./

That’s what the High Impact Leader Course is all about: it’s about getting time, energy and priorities working in your favour. It’s about getting your life and leadership back.

If you took part of last week’s launch—thank you! The course is temporarily closed, but you can join the waitlist to know when it becomes available again. Join the waitlist now. I’ll also send a free 3 part email-based productivity course to everyone on the waiting list, plus some other tips and bonuses.

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning.

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Sue Miller, Kara Powell, Chuck Swindoll, Greg McKeown, Jon Acuff and many others.

Subscribe via

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher

TuneIn Radio

Plus, I host a second podcast every month called the Canadian Church Leaders Podcast. If you’re Canadian, or just interested in ministry in a post-Christian culture, you can subscribe for free as well at:

iTunes

Google Play

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 on iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place 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: Regi Campbell

Mentoring is a buzz word these days…but how do you do it well. Regi Campbell, a serial entrepreneur, has devoted this phase of his life to creating a mentoring approach that produces incredible leaders and deep discipleship. He explains what radical mentoring is and how it’s changing lives.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 145.

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https://careynieuwhof.com/episode144/feed/ 1 Faith brings certainty, right? Well, yes, but it’s bigger than that. In a wide-ranging conversation with Carey Nieuwhof, Barnabas Piper, explains how his parents, John and Noel Piper, encouraged curiosity and how he came to view it not as the enemy of ... Faith brings certainty, right? Well, yes, but it’s bigger than that. In a wide-ranging conversation with Carey Nieuwhof, Barnabas Piper, explains how his parents, John and Noel Piper, encouraged curiosity and how he came to view it not as the enemy of faith, but as its friend. Welcome to Episode 144 of the podcast. Guest… Carey Nieuwhof 56:48 42576
3 Truths About The Accelerating Pace of Change and Leadership https://careynieuwhof.com/3-truths-about-the-accelerating-pace-of-change-and-leadership/ https://careynieuwhof.com/3-truths-about-the-accelerating-pace-of-change-and-leadership/#comments Mon, 12 Jun 2017 12:34:34 +0000 https://careynieuwhof.com/?p=42784 When was the last time you had a productive conversation about the pace of change? In many businesses, that conversation happens all the time. In church world….it rarely happens. Instead, church leaders will talk about how hard it is to change and how slow the pace of change is. Other they bemoan the reality that their…

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accelerating change

When was the last time you had a productive conversation about the pace of change?

In many businesses, that conversation happens all the time. In church world….it rarely happens.

Instead, church leaders will talk about how hard it is to change and how slow the pace of change is. Other they bemoan the reality that their church will never change (here are 7 signs that’s likely the case at your church).

What if there’s far more at stake in the conversation around change than you think?

Like irrelevance, for starters.

What’s the fastest path to irrelevance? Simple. Don’t change.

Why are change and relevance connected? It has everything to do with speed and currency.

Rick Warren said it well in his Tedx Talk: when the speed of change around an organization is faster than the speed of change within the organization, the organization becomes irrelevant.


The fastest path to irrelevance? Simple. Don’t change.
Click To Tweet


Here are 3 truths about the accelerating pace of change and church leadership.

1. Culture never asks permission to change. It just changes.

Ever notice that culture never asks permission to change? It just changes.

In the last decade and a bit, think about the change we’ve seen.

Long distance calls used to cost money. Now they don’t.  Weekday minutes were expensive.  Evening and weekend minutes were cheap. Remember telling your friends you’d call them after 6 p.m. or on Saturday? Now that’s irrelevant.

Payphones are gone. So are video stores. Record stores are almost extinct except for vintage vinyl places. Ditto with phone books, and even calling 411 (anyone remember when you used to call a number for information?).

What do all of these changes have in common? None of these changes asked for anyone’s permission…they just happened.

One of the reasons change will continue to be hard is because culture never asks permission to change. It just changes.


Culture never asks permission to change. It just changes.
Click To Tweet


2. Culture will change faster than you

So let me ask you…what’s changing faster, the culture or the church?

Exactly.

The pace of cultural change has accelerated significantly in the last few decades for at least one key reason: everyone moved online and all delay was taken out of communication.

Social media has accelerated the pace of change even further, because trends catch on almost instantly now.

Think of fashion and design. Trends come and go faster than you post a selfie.

But it’s more than just preferences that are changing. Netflix killed video stores. Uber and Lyft have disrupted the taxi industry. Amazon and online shopping are making retail malls look like ghost towns.

As a result, culture is changing faster than many organizations, let alone churches.

So what’s the point here? Great question.

It’s simple: self-awareness.

Many churches have implemented some level of change and proudly proclaim themselves as up to date and current.

The truth is, the church might no longer feel like 1968. Instead, it feels like 1996 or 2004.

The church is contemporary compared to what it used to be, but it’s not at all current with the culture.

Add to that the reality that the change was painful enough that the leaders don’t want to change any more.

Want a quick test to see how current your church is? Check the copyright dates on the songs you sing most. Many ‘contemporary’ churches are at least a decade behind.

Then check the average age of your musicians and worship leaders.

I know, not a fun exercise. But it simply reveals this: what you think is contemporary isn’t.


What many churches think is contemporary, isn’t.
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Why am I picking on music?

Two reasons. First, it’s a universal language. It’s an incredible bridge to culture or a barrier against it.

And second, you spend somewhere between 30-50% of your Sunday morning services on music.

In all likelihood, if your music is out of date, so is your church.


In all likelihood, if your music is out of date, so is your church.
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3. Leaders who don’t understand the culture will never be able to speak into it

I fully understand that more than a few readers of this post will feel their blood pressure rising and anger growing.

After all, what’s the goal of this all? To mimic culture? Aren’t we supposed to be in the world but not of it? And isn’t the church an alternative to culture.

Well, the goal of the church is not to mimic culture. Our goal is to lead people into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

But those people live in a culture that we often don’t understand.

And here’s the hard news: leaders who don’t understand the culture will never be able to speak into it.


Leaders who don’t understand the culture will never be able to speak into it.
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You become like the older adult who can’t communicate with anyone under 40 because you only call people, never text, don’t do social media and think all of that is unnecessary.

Or you become like the carriage maker in the age of the Model T who can’t understand why no one wants to hitch wagons to their horses anymore.

Leaders who lose touch with the culture won’t be able to reach it.


Leaders who lose touch with the culture won’t be able to reach it.
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So What Do You Do?

So what do you do if you find both you and your church out of touch and ineffective at speaking into the lives of people living in 2017?

A few things.

1. Become a student of culture

My personal musical tastes don’t exactly run as current or mainstream as a 25 year old any more. But every month I’ll jump on Apple Music or Spotify and listen to a current Top 40 playlist to listen just to hear what others are listening to.

Ditto with film and TV. Staying on top of culture by growing sites like Entertainment Weekly or even People can help you stay on top of what’s current. Sure, they’re not exactly the literature of champions, but if you don’t understand the culture, you’ll have a harder time reaching it.

2. Surround yourself with younger leaders

Wise older leaders surround themselves with younger leaders. Personally, I love being around young leaders. They bring a fresh energy, perspective and joy to life and leadership that I value so much.

In addition, people under 30 are cultural natives. They get trends because they make them.

Having young thinkers, dreamers and leaders around your table in leadership and having them a part of your life will keep you fresh and in tune with what’s happening.

Better yet…let them lead.


Young leaders understand trends because they make them.
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3. Don’t freeze

The biggest challenge with change is most of us think at some point we’ll be done.

That’s just not true.

Most churches stop changing at some point. Walking into a church, you can usually smell a year. Some churches smell like 1977, some like 1989, others like 2010. You smell like the year you stopped changing. Churches freeze in particular years because the leaders stopped innovating.

So…don’t freeze. Keep morphing. Keep changing. Stay current, and you’ll always be able to speak to the culture.


Every church starts to smell like the year in which it stopped changing.
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What Helps You Stay Current?

Want more on change?

I wrote about how to lead change in my book, Leading Change Without Losing It.

I wrote about the cultural and strategic issues churches need to engage to grow in my latest book, Lasting Impact: Seven Powerful Conversations That Can Help Your Church Grow. I even created a Team Edition video series for Lasting Impact so you could discuss it with your staff, board or team.

So…what helps you stay current?

Scroll down and leave a comment!

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The Ultimate Character Test Any Great Leader Passes https://careynieuwhof.com/ultimate-character-tests-leader/ https://careynieuwhof.com/ultimate-character-tests-leader/#comments Thu, 08 Jun 2017 10:38:14 +0000 https://careynieuwhof.com/?p=42438 The longer I lead and the more I see, the more I’m convinced that character ultimately determines a leader’s true success. Moral failure takes out more leaders than it should. But real success is deeper than just avoiding the ditch. So where does the deepest level of leadership success come from? Ultimately it doesn’t come from a…

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The longer I lead and the more I see, the more I’m convinced that character ultimately determines a leader’s true success.

Moral failure takes out more leaders than it should. But real success is deeper than just avoiding the ditch.

So where does the deepest level of leadership success come from? Ultimately it doesn’t come from a leader’s skill set; it comes from a leader’s character.

Your character determines your true capacity.

Why is that?

Character—far more than skill set—determines how deeply and passionately people follow you. A leader with character is a leader worth following.

A leader who lacks integrity may have followers, but he’ll never gain their full trust or their hearts.

After all, we all know highly skilled leaders who are never truly embraced; they’re merely tolerated.

Character, more than anything else, draws the hearts of people to your leadership.

The greatest leaders are highly skilled people whom other people love to be around. They’re people others admire, not just because they’re smart, but because they’re the kind of person other people want to become.


Lifetime success ultimately doesn’t come from a leader’s skill set; it comes from a leader’s…
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So how do you know whether your character passes the test?

In my view, the greatest leaders I know pass all five of these character tests many others fail.

1. Handling success

Often people will ask you how you handled your last failure. And that’s not an entirely bad question.

But how you handle your success is a far greater test.

Failure is, by nature, humiliating. It crushes pride.

Success does the opposite. It naturally inflates a leader’s pride. It’s intoxicating.

It takes both great self-awareness and great self-control to handle success. To not let the reports of your own brilliance or accomplishments go to your head.

The very best leaders remain humble, grounded and even self-deprecating. They don’t claim every perk of office and regularly help people who can’t help them back.

They avoid the gravitational pull of self-focus and, instead, stay focused on the mission before them and before everyone.

The ultimate test of a leader’s character is not failure, it’s success.


The ultimate test of a leader’s character is not failure, it’s success.
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2. Being misunderstood

At some point, every leader will be misunderstood.

People will say things about you behind your back (or to your face) that aren’t true. People will judge your motives and get it wrong.

Sometimes you’ll only be allowed to say certain things in public, not because you’re being secretive, but because revealing all the information would make others look bad or would be breaking confidence. So instead, you look bad.

That’s just the territory of leadership.

Leadership is a bit like parenting. You have to do the right thing even if it’s not the popular thing. I’ve been there many times as a leader (and as a parent).

Great leaders have forged enough character to overcome the incessant desire to be liked. (Here are 3 hard but powerful truths about likability and leadership).

They are prepared to be misunderstood for a season, knowing that usually the truth comes out in the end.

And even if the truth doesn’t emerge in a particular instance, great leaders know that the overall track record of their leadership and character will speak for itself over time.


Leadership is like parenting. You have to do the right thing even if it’s not the popular thing.
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3. How it’s going at home

Success is intoxicating. And leadership is rewarding.

People generally do what you ask them to do. Results can be measured. And progress is steady. Sometimes its even exponential.

If only it was that easy to home.

Many leaders who are successes at work end up being failures at home, and that’s not success.


Many leaders who are successes at work end up being failures at home, and that’s not success.
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Your spouse isn’t impressed with your stats. Your kids don’t care about your awards.

They just need you.

They simply want you.

Too many leaders impose the high standards they carry at work on their family at home.

Your family doesn’t work for you.

They love you (or at least they used to). And they want you to love them.


Leaders, your family doesn’t work for you. They love you. And they want you to love them.
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4. Who you are when no one’s looking

What is character?

It’s who you are when the spotlight’s not on you.

The best leaders are the same on stage or in the boardroom as they are in a private meeting.

They’re the same when they’re with one person as they are when they’re with a thousand.

And the truly great ones are the same when absolutely no one is around.

As John Wooden famously said, he true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.


“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” John Wooden
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5. Helping people who can’t help you back

If you’re not careful, the more successful you become, the more likely you will be to spend time only with those who can help you get to the next stage of whatever you’re trying to do.

You almost naturally become a social climber.

The greatest leaders will resist this pull. It’s not that they won’t spend time with other people who are as successful or more successful than they are. It’s that they will still spend time with people who aren’t.

The greatest leaders regularly find time to help people who can’t help them back.

And not just as a charity project…but because it’s just who they are.

They’re not so impressed by themselves that they can’t spend time with people who might not be impressed with them.

They’re not so caught up in what’s next that they can’t spend meaningful time with someone who isn’t on the same journey.

Sure…they’re still strategic with their time, but they have a deep sense of grounding that reminds them that life is indeed about others, not just about them.


The greatest leaders regularly help those who can’t return the favor.
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What Would You Add?

The great leaders I know pass all five of these character tests.

What are you seeing? Is there another character test you’d add to this list?

Scroll down and leave a comment!

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CNLP 143: David Platt on Overcoming the Struggles of His First Decade of Leadership https://careynieuwhof.com/episode143/ https://careynieuwhof.com/episode143/#respond Tue, 06 Jun 2017 05:01:27 +0000 https://careynieuwhof.com/?p=42013 It’s easy to think the journey of leaders you admire to be easy. But that’s not always the truth. In a wide ranging interview about his time as a young mega-church pastor to his current role as President of the IMB, David Platt talks honestly and openly about his struggles as a young leader and…

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It’s easy to think the journey of leaders you admire to be easy. But that’s not always the truth. In a wide ranging interview about his time as a young mega-church pastor to his current role as President of the IMB, David Platt talks honestly and openly about his struggles as a young leader and how he overcame them.

In a wide ranging interview about his time as a young mega-church pastor to his current role as President of the IMB, David Platt talks honestly and openly about his struggles as a young leader and how he overcame them.

Welcome to Episode 143 of the podcast.

David Platt

Guest Links

David on Twitter

David’s website

Counter Culture by David Platt

Radical.net

Radical – Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream by David Platt

Links Mentioned

Deep and Wide Tour

Register for both the Deep and Wide and the Orange Tour on June 8th to take advantage of a one-day-only discount

TrainedUp.org

3 Insights from This Episode

1. You need structures and systems to support where the Word is leading you to go. 

David shared a story about how he gave a sermon and challenged the church to support the mission field. At the end, he asked the people who were committed to serving the nations to come forward.

He didn’t anticipate that most of the church would walk to the front… in every single service.

Suddenly, they had willing volunteers who wanted to serve on a mission trip, but they didn’t have the systems in place to know what to do with them. It caused a year of chaos and challenges.

However, the lesson David learned from that is one that every young leader can learn from: It’s not just about igniting an idea, it’s about figuring out a way to sustain it.

2. There’s hope after restructuring. 

Restructuring is a painful process no matter what. But through the pain, God provides hope.

You’ll be surprised and amazed at how God leads people to new positions and new assignments in wonderful ways. A restructure can also make you better organizationally. I can bring you to a better, stable place. The changed process can prompt a paradigm shift that you and your organization need.

The lesson from restructuring: God really does hold all things together.

3. The Lord is the one who sustains us. 

David had written a successful book and was traveling and speaking and, by all outsider perspective accounts, was in a major personal and professional stride of success.

However, David openly and honestly shared that during this season, his time with the Lord was minimal at best. It took a wakeup call from his wife to realize that he needed to get back on track with his quiet times and spiritual health.

From David’s story, young leaders can learn: No matter how successful you get, God is still the spring from which all good things flow.

Quotes from This Episode


You need structures and systems to support where the Word is leading you to go. – @plattdavid
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Changed process can prompt a paradigm shift. – @plattdavid
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Time with the Lord is the spring from which all things flow. – @plattdavid
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Become a High Impact Leader – Join the Waitlist

High Impact Leader

I don’t know where you’re at, but my heart is for every leader to get out of the trap of being busy but not productive, of working long hours but producing less than hoped for.

While we just closed registration for the High Impact Leader, you can join the wait list for the next release./

That’s what the High Impact Leader Course is all about: it’s about getting time, energy and priorities working in your favour. It’s about getting your life and leadership back.

If you took part of last week’s launch—thank you! The course is temporarily closed, but you can join the waitlist to know when it becomes available again. Join the waitlist now. I’ll also send a free 3 part email-based productivity course to everyone on the waiting list, plus some other tips and bonuses.

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning.

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Sue Miller, Kara Powell, Chuck Swindoll, Greg McKeown, Jon Acuff and many others.

Subscribe via

iTunes

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Plus, I host a second podcast every month called the Canadian Church Leaders Podcast. If you’re Canadian, or just interested in ministry in a post-Christian culture, you can subscribe for free as well at:

iTunes

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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 on iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place 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: Barnabas Piper

Faith brings certainty, right? Well, yes, but it’s bigger than that. In a wide-ranging conversation with Carey Nieuwhof, Barnabas Piper, explains how his parents, John and Noel Piper, encouraged curiosity and how he came to view it not as the enemy of faith, but as its friend.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 143.

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https://careynieuwhof.com/episode143/feed/ 0 It’s easy to think the journey of leaders you admire to be easy. But that’s not always the truth. In a wide ranging interview about his time as a young mega-church pastor to his current role as President of the IMB, It’s easy to think the journey of leaders you admire to be easy. But that’s not always the truth. In a wide ranging interview about his time as a young mega-church pastor to his current role as President of the IMB, David Platt talks honestly and openly about his struggles as a young leader and… Carey Nieuwhof 59:11 42013
Why Every Pastor Doesn’t Need a Platform https://careynieuwhof.com/why-every-pastor-doesnt-need-a-platform/ https://careynieuwhof.com/why-every-pastor-doesnt-need-a-platform/#comments Mon, 05 Jun 2017 15:49:44 +0000 https://careynieuwhof.com/?p=41849 A few years ago I started getting a particular question lobbed my way again and again. It’s usually, but not exclusively, from young leaders. The question goes something like this: I’m a full-time pastor at X church. I’m wondering whether I need a platform. Almost everyone seems to have a blog, podcast, book or platform…

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Platform

A few years ago I started getting a particular question lobbed my way again and again. It’s usually, but not exclusively, from young leaders.

The question goes something like this:

I’m a full-time pastor at X church. I’m wondering whether I need a platform. Almost everyone seems to have a blog, podcast, book or platform going. Or even a large social media following. Do you think I need one?

At first, I was actually a little surprised by the question. I didn’t really think of building a platform as something that you would specifically set out to build.

I’m not sure you can really build a platform, at least not a lasting one.

So why do some leaders end up with platforms?

Here’s my theory. It just kind of gets built for you as you go about doing other things.

Leaders will often ask me what my platform looked like when I was 30.

The truth is, I didn’t have one and I had no idea what a platform was. I was working hard to turn around 3 old, dying churches so that we could see a new generation come to faith.

As we started to grow, people started to ask me to come talk to their church. In the 90s, that meant getting into my car and driving to the next town to talk to 10 leaders in a meeting room. That was about the size of my platform.  And often the people I was talking to would tell me I was wrong, that what I was saying wouldn’t work in their context.  So I’d finish up, drive home and head back to work.

I kept focusing on what I was called to do: build a local church. As we grew, the inquiries became more frequent and persistent.

It’s only in the last decade I’ve written and spoken about leadership more widely.

Which leads me back to my advice for young leaders.

What do I think young leaders should do?

Focus on doing the work God has called you to do. Pursue it wholeheartedly, passionately and with abandon.

Great platforms arise out of great stories. So focus on the story God is writing.

Sometimes people want platforms more than they want stories. With no story, there’s no sustainable platform. Go write a great story and let the platform take care of itself.

The Apostle Paul didn’t set out to become the greatest church leader of the first century. He became the greatest church leader of the first century because he set out to build churches.


Great platforms arise out of great stories. So focus on the story God is writing.
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So does every pastor need a platform?

My answer? Every leader should have an online presence, but not every leader needs a platform.

Let me explain.

Presence v. Platform

First, there’s a difference between having an online platform and having an online presence.

I think unless there’s a good reason not to, it’s a best practice for ministry leaders to have an online presence. This is 2017 after all.

Your presence online allows people to get to know you, see behind the scenes and connect with you in a way that they just can’t on a Sunday or mid-week and encourage and help people.

I shared a few guidlines to a deveoping a leader’s online presence here. Bottom line? Let people connect with you, see your heart, see your family. Be playful, be honest, be yourself.

Presence is one thing, and it’s almost a good thing unless you’re creating a bully pulpit.

But what if you feel like you should build a platform?

Some thoughts.

1. Check Your Motives

Of all the things you will want to check when if you launch a platform, your motives should be first on your list.

Why you do what you do matters more than what you do.

Some of you will no doubt point out that I have a platform. That’s probably why people ask me the question a lot. It’s still surprising to me (okay, shocking to me) that this blog and my podcast get read and listened to so many people.

Are my motives 100% pure 100% of the time? Absolutely not. I’m a sin-stained human.

But I try to wrestle my motives down, daily. I want to make sure I’m doing what I’m doing for the right reasons.

Ironically, my goal was never to build a platform. It was to help leaders.

After four years of serious blogging and almost 3 years of podcasting, I’m increasingly convinced that when it comes to keeping your motives pure, your desire to help should always be greater than your desire to be known.

And over the long haul, I think all serious content creators create not because they want to, but because they have to.

If your desire to help is greater than your desire to be known, you’ll stay healthy.


If your desire to help is greater than your desire to be known, you’ll stay healthy.
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A few other reminders also help.

Frist, your platform isn’t yours.

First, your platform isn’t yours. It’s God’s. It’s not your church or your organization—it’s His.

You don’t have a ministry, but God does (and out of his grace he chooses to use you).

The more I remind myself of these things, the healthier I am.


Your platform isn’t yours. It’s God’s.
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Second, it’s a platform, not a pedestal. There is a world of difference between a platform and a pedestal.

Pedestals are about ego and adulation.

Platforms are designed to be shared and used for the benefit of others.

I try to keep that in front of me, daily.


Your platform isn’t a pedestal.
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2. Practice Being Secure

Platforms can bring out the best in you and they can bring out the beast in you.

If you struggle with insecurity, platforms can easily plunge you into the quicksand of comparison.

As you find your voice as a writer, speaker or podcast, you also realize what you’re not. I had to come to terms with the fact that I’ll  never be funny like Jon Acuff. I’m not ingeniously creative like Reggie Joiner. And I know I’ll simply fail if I try to mimic Andy Stanley or Jud Wilhite.

A platform eventually reveals who you are.

If you stick with it long enough, go at it regularly enough, you have to push past the spin…and you end up putting the most vulnerable thing you can put out there—you, with all your flaws. People will see you on your good days, on your bad days. They’ll see you every day.

Which means you have to get comfortable with yourself and honest with God and others.

That is the ultimate journey of all leaders anyway, isn’t it?

I love this conversation Josh Gagnon and I had on struggling with insecurity as a leader.

3. Give Your Platform Over to God (Continually)

If you have a platform and find it growing, give it over to God…continually.

You prayed a lot when you were struggling. You need to pray even more when you are successful.

I know in those moments where I experience any level of success, I need to pray. Remember: it came from God, and its deepest purpose is only revealed when it’s used to glorify him.


You prayed a lot when you were struggling. Pray even more when you are successful.
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4. Figure out how to help people with it

Pedestals miss the central Christian idea that power and influence are to be used to benefit others,not the person with power or influence.

Ask yourself: how can I use what God has given me to benefit others?

That question applies to position, knowledge and money.

5. Share it

Platforms are shared. Pedestals aren’t.

Push other people into the spotlight.  Don’t make it about you. Make it about God and others.


When you have the spotlight, use it to push other people into the light.
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6. Hold it loosely

What is given can also be taken away. It isn’t yours.

It never was.

One day people will stop calling, stop listening, stop reading and stop messaging you.

And God doesn’t love you any less.


What is given can also be taken away. It isn’t yours. It never was.
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What Do You Think?

Any thoughts on platform and leadership?

Scroll down and leave a comment!

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7 Things That Get Harder as Your Church Grows https://careynieuwhof.com/7-things-that-get-harder-as-your-church-grows/ https://careynieuwhof.com/7-things-that-get-harder-as-your-church-grows/#comments Thu, 01 Jun 2017 11:44:23 +0000 https://careynieuwhof.com/?p=41612 Ever think that growth will solve all your problems? It’s tempting to believe that. I know, because I still fall into that line of thinking unless I stop myself. I’d be the first to admit that I’d rather be part of something that’s growing than something that’s stuck or dying, but growth doesn’t mean your…

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Ever think that growth will solve all your problems?

It’s tempting to believe that. I know, because I still fall into that line of thinking unless I stop myself.

I’d be the first to admit that I’d rather be part of something that’s growing than something that’s stuck or dying, but growth doesn’t mean your issues disappear.

In fact, leaders of growing organizations just sign up for a new set of problems. While I’ll take those problems any day, they’re still problems.

Having started ministry in very small churches, I can relate to each of these struggles personally.

As our church has grown from a handful of people to 1,200 people who now attend and 2,500 people who call our church home, we’ve navigated all of these challenges. So has almost every growing church.

What’s true in church is true in any organization or business. We’re even working through rapid growth issues associated with this blog, my writing, and my podcast. You hope and pray people show up, but when they do, you get a whole new set of challenges. As things grow, everything gets more complicated.  It’s the leader’s job to create simplicity in the midst of it all.

Bottom line? Your struggles as a leader or as a church don’t go away when your church or organization starts to grow. They simply change.

Here are 7 things every leader of a growing church or organization struggles with.


Your struggles as a leader don’t go away when your church grows. They simply change.
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1. The senior leader being less available

I began ministry in a church of 6 people (and that was a normal Sunday…a bad Sunday was 2 people). When your church is really small, you’re pretty much available to do anything anyone needs. How can you argue you’re not available when you lead a tiny church?

But as your church grows, you need to begin a transition away from being available all the time. If you don’t, you will implode or your church will stop growing.

You can be generally available to 20 people.

You will wear yourself out trying to be consistently available for 200 people.

You’ll die trying to be available to 2000 people. Frankly, you’ll never even serve that many people because it’s humanly impossible, even if you worked 7 days a week, 20 hours a day. People will just walk away, their calls unanswered and their needs unmet.

As my friend Reggie Joiner says, the problem with needs-based ministry is there’s no end to human need.

Your church will struggle with the pastor being less available as it grows.  But it will struggle even more if you don’t restructure to grow bigger.

To reach more people, you need to be available to fewer people.

I wrote more about scaling your ministry through different stages in my new book, Lasting Impact: Seven Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow, available here.


In order to reach more people you need to be available to fewer people.
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2. The leader not doing everything

A companion of being less available as a church grows is the reality that a pastor can’t do everything.

Many pastors of small churches start out as jacks of all trades: preacher, pastor, chaplain, wedding officiant, funeral officiant, bible study leader, team leader, curriculum designer and even friend who drops by.

When your church is small, it’s natural for the pastor to do almost all the work, because it seems there is no one else available to do it, and no money to outsource it or to hire anyone else.

When I started in ministry, in addition to preaching, teaching and vision casting (my primary gifitings) I also designed and printed the bulletins, created any computer graphics, performed weddings and funerals, visited in hospital, led the church bible study and was actively involved in our kids ministry. I was only mediocre at most things on that list, and terrible at a few.

As our church has grown, my role has become narrower and narrower.

At 200 Pastoral care became a groups and congregational responsibility. So did bible study (which became small groups instead).

At 400, I let go of graphics and design entirely (thankfully).  I also go out of direct involvement in student and children’s ministry as we hired people (I still share the the vision, but no longer own the responsibility).

At 800, I stepped back from leading and attending most meetings and almost everything else to focus on preaching, teaching, vision casting and senior leadership.

The struggle here is dual: you will struggle with letting go, and people will struggle with you letting go.

If you want to grow, you have to let go.

And, of course, as Andy Stanley says, by doing less you’ll accomplish more. Far more.

This sounds like a small thing, but it’s a big thing.


If you want to grow, you have to let go.
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3. Not knowing everyone’s name

People who are part of a small church panic about not knowing everyone’s name as a church grows.

Time to challenge that assumption. Why panic?

Truthfully most people don’t know everyone, even in a church of 50.

Human reality dictates we can only truly know about 5 people deeply and about 20 people well.

Which again leads to small groups and serving teams. You can (and should) organize hundreds and even thousands of people to be known in smaller circles of groups and teams.

The point or church is not for everyone to know everyone. The point is for everyone to be known.


The point of church is not for everyone to know everyone. It’s for everyone to be known.
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I think I have a personal capacity to know between 1,500 to 2,000 people by name and then my mind fries. Our church (and my life) has grown beyond that. At one point I tried to know all of our volunteers by name, but even now, I get stumped (the volunteer name tags really help me).

If you’re leading a growing church, embrace that. Create a church where everyone who wants to be known…is.

You will reach far more people if you do.


Create a church where everyone who wants to be known…is.
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4. Shifting from leading people to leading leaders

If you’re going to lead a growing church effectively, you have to begin leading leaders instead of leading people.

That’s a hard shift for many people, including church staff.

There’s a temptation to want to be known and recognized by everyone you’re leading. The truly great leaders are prepared not to do that.

They realize that their greatest success will be found in leading staff and volunteers who can, in turn, lead others.

Which also means sometimes they get the credit rather than you. Which again, is fine if you’re committed to becoming an effective leader.

If you’re not fine with others receiving the credit, you’ll eventually stunt the church’s growth to the level of your insecurity.

If you struggle with insecurity, by the way, this is an amazing conversation with Josh Gagnon, who leads a top 5 fastest growing church in America and has had to battle his own insecurities in doing so.

But you must shift from leading people to leading leaders if you hope to reach more people.

5. Adding systems

This is a hard one for any entrepreneurial leader (like myself). I love freedom and even spontaneity.

But for your church to ever sustainably pass 500 in attendance, let alone 1000, you have to have systems.

Many entrepreneurial leaders are afraid of systems and structure because they think it means the creation of a bureaucracy.

Bureaucracy stifles mission. Great systems fuel it.


Bureaucracy stifles mission. Great systems fuel it.
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Like an office tower designed to house thousands of people, great systems and structure support the goals of the organization with lean but solid processes around finances, management, discipleship and even the weekend services a church offers.

Without structure, freedom collapses into chaos and disorganization.

The novice leader values freedom from structure. The mature leader values freedom in structure.

Without great systems that foster care for people, you won’t care for people.


Without great systems that foster care for people, you won’t care for people.
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6. Saying no

‘Yes’ gets you to initial growth; ‘No’ gets you to sustained growth.

Many pastoral leaders are people pleasers. As I argue here, that can be deadly.

Most great organizations become effective not just because they decided what they are, but fundamentally because they decided what they are not.


‘Yes’ gets you to initial growth; ‘No’ gets you to sustained growth.
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As you grow, more and more people will show up with ideas about how to make things better.

It’s much easier to say no when you have a clearly defined mission, vision, strategy and culture.

The leader who says yes to everything ultimately says yes to nothing.


The leader who says yes to everything ultimately says yes to nothing.
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7. Dealing with critics

So once you start growing, all the critics will disappear, correct?

Sorry to break the news…but just the opposite. They’ll line up.

You’ll have internal critics who want things to be the way they used to be. After all, the people heading for the Promised Land always want to go back to Egypt.


The people heading for the Promised Land always want to go back to Egypt.
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But the critics are not just internal, growth attracts a growing number of external critics.

Our generation seems to specialize in encouraging leaders and organizations to grow and then criticizing them when they do.

And before you accuse others, there’s a 99% chance you’ve thought or said something negative about a large church pastor you resent.

Growth attracts critics. It just always does.

So how do you process the criticism when you’re the one being criticized?

The best way to process what your critics have to say is to understand why they say it.

First, take whatever good there might in what they said and reflect on it. You’re not perfect. You can learn and develop from it.

But then process why the critics are often so mean-spirited.

What usually fuels a critics’ animosity toward success and growth? Three things:

Jealousy

A need to justify their own lack of progress

Sin

Once you understand that a critic’s arguments are often less about you than they are about them, you’re free to show compassion and even concern for them.


We encourage leaders and organizations to grow and then criticize them when they do.
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Want More?

I wrote more about the issues the stop and fuel growth in my book Lasting Impact.

I also walk your staff, elders or leadership team through the issues I write about in the book in Lasting Impact Team Edition , a video companion piece to the book which will help steer your team through 7 of the biggest cultural and structural issues facing the church today.

And I’d love to hear from you. What other struggles have you seen or experienced in growing churches?  Scroll down and leave a comment.

The post 7 Things That Get Harder as Your Church Grows appeared first on Carey Nieuwhof.

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CNLP 142: Lance Witt on What Takes Pastors Out of Ministry and How to Guard Against It https://careynieuwhof.com/episode142/ https://careynieuwhof.com/episode142/#respond Tue, 30 May 2017 05:01:59 +0000 https://careynieuwhof.com/?p=41192 So many leaders end up leading well at work but not leading well in life and at home. How does that happen? Does doing the work of God have to corrode your soul? Carey talks with former Executive Pastor and Teaching Pastor who now leads Replenish ministries and helps leaders get their soul back. Carey…

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So many leaders end up leading well at work but not leading well in life and at home. How does that happen? Does doing the work of God have to corrode your soul? Carey talks with former Executive Pastor and Teaching Pastor who now leads Replenish ministries and helps leaders get their soul back.

Carey talks with a former Executive Pastor and Teaching Pastor who now leads Replenish ministries and helps leaders get their soul back.

Welcome to Episode 142 of the podcast.

Lance Witt on the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast

Guest Links

Lance on Twitter

Replenish Ministry on Twitter

Replenish Ministry on Facebook

Replenish Ministry: Helping people live and lead from a healthy soul

Lancewitt.com

Replenish: Leading from a Healthy Soul by Lance Witt

Links Mentioned

The High Impact Leader Course: Thank you for being part of last week’s launch! Join the waitlist to be the first to know when it’s back. Learn more at TheHighImpactLeader.com

TrainedUp.org

Tony Morgan and the UnStuck Groups

Boundaries for Leaders by Dr. Henry Cloud

3 Insights from This Episode

1. Maybe the biggest problem facing ministry isn’t a vision problem, maybe it’s how we care for our souls. 

There’s always a reason or a season to justify why you aren’t being who you can be. But maybe it’s not about your vision or lack of ideas… maybe it’s because you’re drifting into unhealthy habits. Maybe you’re not doing things now to safeguard you from burnout later. Maybe you’re in burnout now.

It’s so tempting to make the church our life and identity. When the numbers are going up and to the right, we let the success validate us. When numbers are down, we let it tell us that we’re inadequate. When our identity is in the success of the church and not God, it changes how we lead our ministry.

You are the keeper to the stream of your soul. The path to health begins with you.

2. The statistics tell a story: Pastors are not exempt from being unhealthy.  

If you think that self-care doesn’t matter, that it’s just for a hand-full of pastors who are weak, or that it won’t ever be relevant for you… consider these jarring, but important, statistics that Lance shared:

  • 1,500 pastors walk away from ministry each month
  • 70% of pastors say that they don’t have a real, close friend
  • 50% of pastors’ wives say that their husband entering ministry was destructive to their family
  • 1 of out ever 10 ministers who start in ministry retire in ministry
  • 75% of pastors report that they either sometimes or frequently struggle with mental and emotional exhaustion
  • One third of pastors report that they engaged in an affair or one-time encounter with a parishioner

3. Self-care is not selfish, it’s good stewardship. 

You are a better leader, spouse, parent and friend when you make time for self-care.

It’s so vital to have something outside of church. Something that gives you joy and refuels your soul. Making time to enjoy your hobby or days off isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.

This might mean you have to go to your elders and tell them that you need to enforce boundaries. Tell them that it’s going to be hard, but you need their help in keeping you accountable. It takes a while, but making these changes and having these conversations can change the DNA of staff life at your church.

Quotes from This Episode


A season of blessing can be a starting place for burnout. – @lance_witt
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What do you have outside of ministry that puts life back into your soul? – @lance_witt
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Pastors are not exempt from the temptations in our world’s culture. -@lance_witt
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For many pastors, the success of their church defines their value. – @lancewitt
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You are a better leader, spouse, parent and friend when you make time for self-care.
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Become a High Impact Leader – Join the Waitlist

High Impact Leader

I don’t know where you’re at, but my heart is for every leader to get out of the trap of being busy but not productive, of working long hours but producing less than hoped for.

While we just closed registration for the High Impact Leader, you can join the wait list for the next release./

That’s what the High Impact Leader Course is all about: it’s about getting time, energy and priorities working in your favour. It’s about getting your life and leadership back.

If you took part of last week’s launch—thank you! The course is temporarily closed, but you can join the waitlist to know when it becomes available again. Join the waitlist now. I’ll also send a free 3 part email-based productivity course to everyone on the waiting list, plus some other tips and bonuses.

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning.

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Sue Miller, Kara Powell, Chuck Swindoll, Greg McKeown, Jon Acuff and many others.

Subscribe via

iTunes

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Plus, I host a second podcast every month called the Canadian Church Leaders Podcast. If you’re Canadian, or just interested in ministry in a post-Christian culture, you can subscribe for free as well at:

iTunes

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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 on iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place 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: David Platt

It’s easy to think the journey of leaders you admire to be easy. But that’s not always the truth. In a wide ranging interview about his time as a young mega-church pastor to his current role as President of the IMB, David Platt talks honestly and openly about his struggles as a young leader and how he overcame them.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 143.

The post CNLP 142: Lance Witt on What Takes Pastors Out of Ministry and How to Guard Against It appeared first on Carey Nieuwhof.

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https://careynieuwhof.com/episode142/feed/ 0 So many leaders end up leading well at work but not leading well in life and at home. How does that happen? Does doing the work of God have to corrode your soul? Carey talks with former Executive Pastor and Teaching Pastor who now leads Replenish minis... So many leaders end up leading well at work but not leading well in life and at home. How does that happen? Does doing the work of God have to corrode your soul? Carey talks with former Executive Pastor and Teaching Pastor who now leads Replenish ministries and helps leaders get their soul back. Carey… Carey Nieuwhof 1:09:09 41192