10 Transformative Takeaways from the Willow Creek Leadership Summit

Two weeks ago I attended Willow’s Leadership Summit and I’m glad I did. In my prior post I wrote about the 4 books I bought because of the Summit. In this post I list the 10 transformative insights I learned.

GLS

The insights are mostly paraphrases from each speaker’s respective talks, with their names in parentheses.

  1. MarginMake margin and Jesus will throw stuff in. (Bob Goff) Bob made me ask myself if my busyness sometimes hinders Jesus from throwing some really important stuff my way. Or, my busyness causes me to miss what He has already thrown my way.
  2. PerspectiveSee people for who they are becoming. Jesus called Peter, even with his impulsive nature, the rock upon which the Church would be built. He did not view him as a wuss. (Bob Goff)
  3. CourageYou can either choose courage or comfort. (Dr. Brene Brown) Wow, what a powerful quote.

8 Reasons Why Church Change is so Difficult

Wise leaders and pastors understand that lasting change requires individuals to change first before an organization will change. Your change won’t last or will disrupt your church unless those in your teams personally embrace the change first, at least at some level. So it behooves us to first understand why most people initially resist change.

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Photo by MMcDonough

Brain insight helps us understand hidden processes around which we can design our change initiatives. Awareness of how people’s brains work in response to change can help you craft more lasting changes. Here are eight reasons why change is hard…

5 Ways to Build Trust with your Team

Without trust, a church staff or ministry team simply won’t function at its best. In a recent Harvard Business Review blog they quoted some dismal statistics about the workplace which probably hold true in the ministry realm as well.

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Photo by Civilian Scrabble

According to the 2013 Edleman Trust Barometer,fewer than 20% of respondents believe leaders are actually telling the truth when confronted with a difficult issue in their organizations. Furthermore, a study conducted by the Human Capital Institute and Interaction Associates in 2013 found only 34% of organizations had high levels of trust in the places they work. And, a paltry 38% reported that their organizations had effective leadership running the show.

To cap off a small sliver of dismal data points, research firm Gallup found that over a twelve-year period between 2000 and 2012, the percentage of engaged employees in the workforce has shifted between 26% and 30%. That is, roughly 70% of employees in today’s organizations have spent more than a decade essentially collecting a paycheck, an almost Shakespearean spectacle of tragic ambivalence.

Wow, if only 1/3 of our church staff teams experience a high level of trust, then we have a lot of work to do. Here are five simple ways to build trust with your team…

5 Telling Questions to Ask at Your Next Staff Meeting

I’m just now reading Andy Stanley’s newest book Deep and Wide. It’s a must-read for every ministry leader.

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In one chapter he poses 5 questions that are deeply telling about a church’s direction and impact. At your next staff meeting, pose these five questions and give your staff the freedom to answer honestly. Better yet, email them a few days prior to the meeting and ask each staffer to record his or her answers and bring them to your meeting.

Ask Yourself these 7 Simple Questions to Clarify your Personal Values

Every pastor needs what I call “true north” values, core convictions we refuse to compromise even when external pressures tempt us to do so. Such values are like the difference between a compass and a gyrocompass. A simple compass points to true north because it relies on magnetic north. Unless, that is, you bring a magnet close to it.

Directions

Photo by dtwash

Even a small magnet can cause the compass to give wrong directions. Something external to it, the magnet, affects the north arrow so that it gives a false reading. Metaphorically, the magnet made it ‘compromise.’ For some so called ‘values,’ all it takes is criticism or the oppositional voice of a significant board member (an external force) to cause a leader to compromise.

In contrast to a compass, a gyrocompass best models core values. For navigation, ships use gyrocompasses, devices that combine a compass with a gyroscope. They find true north from the earth’s rotation which is navigationally more useful than magnetic north. Additionally, a gyrocompass’s strength lies in its ability to keep true north even if magnetic material is placed near it. In a parallel way, these deeply imbedded values are not those we glibly speak about. Rather, they are ones that stand up under severe external or internal circumstances that would tempt us to compromise. Daniel and his three friends best exemplify these values.