17 March 2014

Maintenance vs. Renovation -- Guest Blogger: Bryan Johnson

Guest Blogger: Bryan Johnson - Youth Pastor, Social Circle United Methodist Church

Pastor Bryan Johnson has served as the Youth Pastor of Social Circle United Methodist Church for 6 years. He and his wife Anna have been married for 5 years and they have 2 beautiful dogs - Georgia and Caroline. Bryan is a 2007 graduate of Emmanuel College School of Christian ministry program and is currently in the M.Div course at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Bryan is an avid Georgia Bulldogs fan and loves playing guitar to some of his favorite Dave Matthews Band songs or John Mayer songs. Bryan has had tons of practical experience in various leadership roles and has a heart to mentor the next generation of pastors and leaders for the Body of Christ.


Maintenance vs. Renovation

            I hate the word “maintenance.” Maintenance implies that something is broken and it needs to be “maintained.” Maintained does not mean “fixed.” To fix something means to solve the problem.  To maintain something means to rig up a temporary solution that hides or ignores the problem.  Like I said, I hate the word “maintenance.” It is a stupid word. 
            Most of us look at our lives and try to perform maintenance on our problems.  We apply a temporary “fix” to a deep and complicated problem.  Then we wonder why we keep failing again and again and again…We fail because we keep performing maintenance on a problem that requires a complete renovation.  We need brand new parts.  Slapping paint on rotten wood does not fix the problem.  Pretty rotten wood is still rotten wood. 
            Renovation does not start with the outside and work its way inward.  You do not paint the rotten wood and then remove it.  First, you replace the rotten wood with new wood.  Then the painting begins.  The same is true for spiritual formation.  We cannot change who we are by “doing” more things.  I have discovered that if I want to pray more, than I can do one of two things: I can either force myself to spend time praying (which will not last), or I can let God transform my heart and give me the desire and passion to want to pray.  Forcing ourselves to do something that our heart is not prepared to do will never last. 
Here is a spiritual truth that we all need to understand: God changes the internal to produce changes in the external. True spiritual formation starts in the heart and works its way outward.  It says in 1 Samuel 16:7—“God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” God would rather change our hearts than us change our actions.  He knows that a transformed heart is the only thing that will produce true and lasting fruit.  (I highly recommend reading Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard).
So stay away from maintenance and seek renovation.  Don’t settle for maintenance on your heart when God is willing to give you a new one. 






07 March 2014

Insecurity in Leadership


8 Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” 9 So Saul eyed David from that day forward.
1 Samuel 18.8-9
               
     Insecurity is a terrible thing. It makes us feel like we are less than perfect. It holds us hostage to unhealthy emotions and an unfair standard. Insecurity lies to us and tells us that we aren’t – when God is telling us that we are. Insecurity can ruin your leadership. It will slowly wrap around your faith and squeeze all the life out of you. There is no place in the life of a leader for insecurity.
               
     In the above passage we find Saul, the reigning king of Israel, succumbing to the lure of insecurity. He is stung by the words of the crowd and for the rest of his life lives in suspicion and jealousy of David. The ironic thing is that David would have been Saul’s greatest ally if only Saul had been able to overcome his insecurity.
               
     I wonder how many of us are chasing “David” away because of insecurity. Seriously. “David” is that new leader who has a ton of ideas. “David” is that church member that finally caught a fire for Jesus (the very passion that you have been praying she would get) and now suggests that you start new ministries. “David” is that person who you keep at arms distance because they have to “prove their faithfulness” before you let them serve in a greater capacity.

     If we are honest with ourselves we would say that “David” threatens everything that has “Saul’s” blood running through it. What I mean by that is we get comfortable with our status and position and when someone upsets the apple cart by offering fresh perspective and new ideas we can get territorial. All of a sudden we catch ourselves thinking negative thoughts about people on the team or in the church. “Why can’t he just listen to what I’m saying?” “I’m the one who has been here serving when no one else was here. She needs to chill out and just do what I said.” “He hasn’t even been a Christian for 2 months and now he wants to lead a group?!” The list goes on and on.
     
     Beware of places where insecurity has crept into your heart. Saul eventually threw spears at David trying to kill him. Actually, his overwhelming need to get rid of David was what ultimately led to his death. Like I said earlier, insecurity is a terrible thing.
     
     Here are a few observations about insecurity in Saul’s life that we might identify with:

1. He was more concerned with public opinion than with his God-given position.

     It was the singing of the town’s women that sent Saul into his insecure tizzy. They exaggerated the works of both men yet Saul was angry because the new kid on the block was given more credit than he was. I cannot tell you how many times I have been victim to this trick. In ministry it is so easy to draw our identity from the crowd. That’s why for many pastors the greatest day of the week and the worst day of the week is Sunday. On that day if the house is packed and people respond well to the sermon the soft whisper of insecurity reminds us of how great we are. However when we have lower numbers than usual or preach what we consider a “bad” sermon that same voice that once reassured us now confirms how terrible we are. “Well you bombed that one!” “I’ll be surprised if anyone comes back next week!”

     Ministry success in not defined by numbers. Period. Numbers don’t prove that you are a good leader. That day Saul placed too much emphasis on the movement of the crowd and not enough emphasis on his God-given position. Regardless of what those silly women sang as they shook their ancient tambourines that day there was still one simple truth…Saul was still the king. There song didn’t change his position. He lost track of that because he was more concerned with public opinion than with his God-given position. Don’t draw your significance from the song of the crowd. You’re better than that. If God has put you in your position celebrate His choosing of you and don’t let the jingling of the tambourines change your mind.

2. He jumped to unhealthy conclusions.

     Check this out: Saul actually took the words from a song that women were singing because they were glad the battle with the Philistines was over and in essence said, “Wow they have said David is amazing. I guess the next thing they’re going to do is kill me so that he can be the king!” Saul was displaying the classic tell-tale signs of a spiritual hypochondriac. He thought that matters were worse than they actually were.

     My wife picks on me because I tend to act like a hypochondriac at times. You know my type: a soon as I get a sore throat I go to WebMD and look at the symptoms only to realize that I have low spinal fluid, polio, and throat cancer! Stop laughing. You know how we can get! That’s what’s happening here with Saul. He hears a silly song (not from Larry) and freaks out because he thinks the sky is falling! It’s kind of like how us pastors can get when someone disagrees with a decision we make and we start looking at www.churchjobs.com for a new job. Calm down. Take a few deep breaths. Drink some cold water. It’s just a silly song. Don’t jump to conclusions. Let the younger leaders have their celebration. Heck, even celebrate with them! Don’t be so scared that the “kingdom” is on the line that you don’t enjoy the journey.

     I want to point out here that Saul was scared over a silly song that was sang in the heat of the moment. I don’t want to call the character of those young Israelite women into account here, but I want to point out that they were just making stuff up off the cuff. They didn’t put together a task force to research all of David and Saul’s military exploits. They didn’t bring in Randy Johnson from American Idol and have him coach them on the song writing process. They just opened their mouths and started singing. They were glad the war was over and that’s all. Yet the insecurity within Saul’s heart caused him to forfeit his joy over a few silly songs. Don’t let a silly song rob you of your joy.

3. He held a grudge.

     Verse 9 says, “So Saul eyed David from that day forward.” As a matter of fact on several occasions Saul tried to kill David. From that day forward all the affairs of King Saul’s administration were focused on eliminating David as a threat to the crown. Saul eventually ruined relationships with his daughter Michal and his son Jonathan because of his grudge with David. He even lost his throne over it. The one thing that he was trying to protect he ended up losing because the intoxication of his grudge clouded his judgment and hampered his effectiveness as a leader.


     That’s why we must labor to accept the Davids in our lives. Let them win every now and then. Pray for them. Ask God to surround you with Davids. Ask God to help you not be an insecure leader. If you are holding onto a grudge stop right now and let it go. Listen to me when I say you need David to help you be successful. David is not there to hurt you – he’s there to help you. Stop letting insecurity rob you of the blessing of teamwork. In ministry it really is true that we’re better together. Saul lost sight of that and it cost him dearly. Don’t make the same mistake.

04 November 2013

Keeping Your Focus

“What you focus on expands”


I just read those words in a leadership book by Dr. TimElmore.  He goes on to say, “If I tell you to focus on finding Toyota Camrys on the road, you will notice these cars everywhere.  Why?  Because what you focus on expands.” 
How true is this statement for leaders!  If we focus on people-pleasing or doing a multitude of tasks that pull our focus away from the vision of the organization we will ultimately find ourselves doing everything yet doing nothing at the same time.  I must confess I struggle with this a lot.  My personality is very people/event driven.  I tend to want to sample the “flavor of the month” on a daily basis.  I like change.  I don’t want to be locked into something for too long.  Now that kind of temperament has its strengths.  For example, I tend to be very forward thinking and don’t get bogged down in routines too often.  It has its weaknesses too.  I find myself struggling to stick with tasks that I no longer find interesting.  I have gauged that the average “shelf life” of a good idea in my mind is about 2-3 months.  After that I’m ready to move on.  My focus shifts and because I am the main leader of ForwardChurch.me inevitably the focus of our ministry shifts also.  I have to discipline myself to “keep the main thing the main thing.”


Our main thing is bringing people to Jesus.  In every event we want to constantly be bringing people to Jesus.  Every worship service.  Every small group.  Every outreach.  Everything we do has to revolve around bringing people to Jesus.  We have to answer the question: How will this help us bring people to Jesus? If we can’t give a clearly defined, trackable answer to that question chances are the event in question will cloud our focus and pull us off the course of our vision as a church.


Here are a few things to help you keep your focus:


1) Keep the main thing the main thing.  This is the heartbeat of your organization.  The “Why” behind everything you do.  Remember why you exist as an organization and steer every activity to that end.  Fill in the remainder of this sentence: Our organization/ministry/family/group exists to _____________.  When you answer that honestly then you have a healthy grid to funnel everything through.  You may have to do some research if your organization has been around a long time, but it’s worth the work.  Maybe your group has lost their reason for existence or God is reshaping you into a new thing – that’s fine just find the main thing and make it the main thing!


2) Clearly define what a “win” is.  I can’t overstate how huge this is.  I first heard this concept from Andy Stanley several years ago and it has helped me countless times.  When you and your team clearly understand what success looks like for your organization you can tell if you are “winning” or not.  Everyone knows that in baseball you score by rounding all the bases and coming home.  It’s not ambiguous.  The managers and umpires don’t “pray and hope that they get it.”  It’s clearly defined.  As a matter of fact, it’s so clearly defined that if you are reading this blog and have never even seen a baseball game I’m completely certain that you understand that to score you have to round the bases and come home!  Many organizations, churches in particular, don’t have a clearly defined win so that people know if they are succeeding in the mission.  At ForwardChurch.me our main thing is bringing people to Jesus.  We clearly define a win by how many hands go up during the message when I ask people to give their hearts to Jesus.  If hands go up, we have a win – if hands don’t go up we don’t have a win.  That gives us time to celebrate and also time to stop and evaluate.  We celebrate the win and we evaluate what stops us from having a win.  

This is huge.  Let me explain a little deeper what our process looks like.  The win is the hands raised for salvation.  In order to have a hand raised means that we have to have non-churched people in our building on Sunday mornings.  In order to have non-churched people in our building on Sunday mornings we have to have an effective marketing system in place to introduce them to our church.  In order to have an effective marketing system in place we have to know what works in our area.  We also place a huge emphasis on inviting non-churched friends to ForwardChurch.me so if no one is inviting people (bringing people to Jesus) we must evaluate why.  So you can see that since we have clearly defined a “win” as a hand raised to ask Jesus into their heart we now have a framework to see if we are focused or not.  It’s so much more than just “having church.”  We can now trace the results and see what is working and what is not so that we can stay focused on our mission.


3) Be prepared to say “no.”  This is a tough one for many people.  Chances are there are a handful of people in your organization that always have a “good idea” or “something we should get involved with.”  They are well-meaning people and genuinely want to see the organization or church bearing fruit on many different trees.  Unfortunately what many people don’t see is that everything you do as an organization will cost you precious momentum.  As a leader you only have so much organizational momentum at your fingertips so use it wisely.  Simply put, you can’t do everything and you will have to say “no” more often than you say “yes.” 

I recently had dinner with a ministry leader friend of mine who serves as a campus pastor for a large multi-site church.  He was sharing with me how in one of their campuses he has to constantly tell people “no.”  People constantly bring ideas to the table that are outside of the parameters of the vision of the church so he has to be the bearer of bad news and constantly say “no.”  He jokingly said that he can’t wait to be able to say “yes” to an idea that lines up with the vision of the church!

That’s how leading a ministry is.  24/7.  People will always have ideas and you must be prepared to say “no.”  Take the time to emotionally prepare yourself for that.  It’s not easy having to look at people and say “no.”  It’s not easy to have to constantly guard the vision of the church while at the same time empowering people to be creative and lead.  And quite frankly, some people will accuse you of not loving them or of being controlling when you tell them “no.”  You must be prepared to whether the emotional storms that come with keeping the vision focused.  I remind myself all the time that the pain of saying “no” to the wrong things is far better than the pain of being ineffective at accomplishing our vision.  I love how Craig Groeschel puts it, “We need to have tough skin and a soft heart.”  In regards to saying “no” to people – amen!!



Those are just a handful of things that will help keep you and your organization focused on your mission.  There are plenty more tips and principles out there to help.  What would you add to the list???

12 August 2013

The Little Things


Recently I had a wonderful lunch conversation with a friend who is a very successful pastor. He was sharing with me a few leadership principles that he had learned in nearly 30 years of ministry. One thing he said that really caught my attention was, "Don't forget the little things." The little things are hand written thank you cards when someone gives you a gift or taking someone out to lunch and spending time listening to their stories or dropping a card in the mail letting someone know you are praying for them. 

I know it sounds simple and maybe even "old school," but this is really the heart of pastoring. Leadership guru John Maxwell says, "Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand." The little things make sure you continue to touch the hearts of those you are privileged to lead. 

In ministry it's very easy to forget the little things. If we were honest we would all say that at times we focus on connecting with new guests and prospective leaders at first and then eventually dial back our intentionality with them. After all, when the new guests come back 5 or 6 weeks in a row they are now part of the church and we are off to the next new guest. And thus the cycle continues. Think about it this way, when I first met my wife I went out of my way to impress her. I bought flowers and clothes and chocolates and perfume. Whatever it took to get the job done. Fast forward 5 years and 2 kids later and I am ashamed to confess that I can't remember the last time I randomly bought her flowers or perfume. In essence I forgot the little things. 

**author's note: At the time of this writing I am preparing to leave and buy a surprise gift for my wife :)

What would your ministry look like if you took 2 hours a week and focused on the little things? Maybe you are the Michael Phelps of the little things...I bet you can improve! Maybe you are like me and aren't the best at executing the little things - just start small a d work toward improvement. Hey, here's a great idea -- find one of those Michael Phelps characters we mentioned earlier and have them help mentor you along. Wayne Cordeiro recently said during his session at the Exponential conference, "You can start small, but you have to start now!" That's how we watch the little things improve and become the big things in our ministry. 

Here are a few tips to improve our effectiveness with the little things:

1) Schedule it. If we don't schedule our time someone will! Don't expect it to just happen. You don't expect dinner to just happen. You don't expect your kids to just magically appear at school. You schedule what matters. Schedule time to give attention to the little things. My current schedule is an hour on Mondays and an hour on Thursdays. It's not a lot of time but it's time devoted solely to the little things. 

2) Decide what you will do. Are you going to send postcards or hand-written letters? Both? What about emails and social media follow up? Will you take someone out for lunch or visit with someone at their home? Don't overlook this step. Decide in advance what your gameplan is going to be and then make it happen. 

3) Switch it up. You want consistency, but you don't want fake, obligatory, oh-that's-just-a-letter-from-the-preacher thing either. Don't get caught in a rut. If you always send postcards on Mondays eventually people will think you are just performing a task on your to-do list. Don't settle in on the same thing just for the sake if doing something. Imagine how boring it would be if every night you ate a ham and cheese sandwich with a few potato chips. You'd get pretty tired of the ham sandwich. My guess is before the week ended you'd be finding a new meal! The same is true in our pastoral connections with those we serve. Switch it up. Get creative. 

4) Be genuine. No one likes a fake. If you are doing the little things as a gimmick people will quickly see right through you. If you don't love people you can't lead them. I would go so far as to say maybe you don't have a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ. Love God, love people. It's simple. Pray for them. Encourage them. Get specific. Don't fall for the cheap "I'm glad you come to church with us" line. Affirm what God is doing in their life. Mention specific things that you appreciate about them. Don't get lazy here. Learn to love people. Chose to give them love even when you don't think they "deserve" it. Remember, Christ loved us even when we didn't measure up or deserve it. 

I'm sure there are at least 50 more things that will help add value to our ministry of little things, but these should get us started. You will see how people begin to love and trust you more as you find creative ways to serve them. After 1 or 2 years of little things you'll see how big it really is. And if the little things become the big things in 1-2 years imagine the dividends after 10 or 15 or even 20 years of ministry in the same place! 

I leave you today with an old saying that sums up the ministry of little things: people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. 

08 July 2013

Overcoming Fear



“Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the LORD…”
Ezra 3.3 NIV

                All of us have had moments in life where fear has stopped us from doing what we felt God was calling us to do.  Even the greatest leaders who accomplish amazing things deal with fear.  Fear has the potential to cripple all forward progress and leave us feeling inadequate and insecure.  As a leader we must learn to face our fears and continue to drive onward.  We need to harness the spirit of the great cowboy John Wayne: “Courage is being scared to death, and saddling up anyway.”
                During the reforms of Ezra’s day fear was a constant reality.  The Jewish people were prisoners of war.  They were captive in a foreign land and forced to endure life as glorified servants of their new masters the Persians.  Eventually God touched the heart of Cyrus the Persian king causing him to let the Jews return to Jerusalem to rebuild the broken down city with its temple to Yahweh.  The people banded together and journeyed back to their homeland determined to pick up the pieces of their former lives.  They faced opposition.  People weren’t exactly kind to them nor were they supportive of their rebuilding efforts.  Yet the people still worked.  They faced their fears head on and continued to rebuild.  As a matter of fact, the verse above says that they worked “despite their fear.”
                As leaders we will constantly face the challenge of working despite our fears.  Any time you try to step out and do something new you will face fears.  I think that it is a natural human tendency to think of all the ways that our new endeavor will not work instead of thinking of all the ways that it will work.  We rehearse all the possible setbacks and heartbreaks.  We hear the voice of our friends and family telling us why we shouldn’t do it.  We remember the last time we tried to lead something in a big way only to fall flat on our face.  Eventually all of that thinking breathes life to our fears and paralyzes us from action.
                So I say to you today – NO MORE!!!  If God is calling you to do it…do it!  Embrace your fears, yes that’s right – embrace them.  Trust God even though it feels like you are setting yourself up for failure or embarrassment.  Breathe deeply and move forward.  Like the people of Ezra’s day, lead big despite your fear.

THREE THINGS TO DO WHEN FEAR STOPS YOU

1) Admit that you’re scared.
                For many this is a hard pill to swallow.  It is natural for us to feel the need to cover up all of our shortcomings.  There are always things that only you and Jesus know – and your specific fear may be one of those things – what I am saying here is stop lying to yourself.  Don’t deny it and try to white knuckle your way through it.  Confront the fact that you have fear or insecurity or a hard time trusting God to bring you through this.  You are a bigger leader than you fear.  Confront what is confronting you and begin the journey to push forward despite your fear.

2) Build one brick at a time.
                Craig Walker, Lead Pastor of Upward Church, recently said, “A brick wall is just the same old boring brick over and over again.”  That statement rocked me.  If I want to build something big it is the result of consistently doing the same things over and over again.  How do you overcome fear?  Build one small brick at a time.  It won’t look like much when you get started, but after a few more bricks you’ll begin to see progress.  Take small steps to defeat the fear that is threatening to stop you from fulfilling God’s mission for your life.  With each step forward you are just (cheesy Pink Floyd reference coming) putting “another brick in the wall.”

3) Communicate with those closest to you.
                I promise you that someone in your close circle of friends has dealt with a fear similar to the one that is staring you face-to-face right now.  They may even be fighting at this very moment.  Share the load.  Talk with them about it.  I have a few close friends who I stay in close contact with who help me when I am dealing with fear (or anything else).  Proverbs 27.17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” (NLT).  Let people into your life who can keep you sharp.  Pick up the phone, Skype, Facebook, send a Tweet, whatever you have to do…do it!  You’ll see that having someone to face your fears with in prayer is invaluable.  I am convinced that one of the primary ways that the devil stops our progress is by making us believe the lie that “Nobody else deals with this.”  That is simply not true.  Don’t let that lie force you into living and leading alone.  Communicate clearly and communicate often. 


These are just a few observations pertaining to how we can effectively deal with fear.  What are your thoughts?

12 March 2013

The Turnaround

                Hello, my name is Brian and I’m an Atlanta Falcons fan.  Wait a minute…this isn’t Football Fans Anonymous!! Sorry!!  I bring up my fanhood today to discuss a very crucial part of church ministry in general and revitalization is particular: The Turnaround.  Being a Falcons fan I’ve learned what a good turnaround looks like.  Atlanta’s head coach, Mike Smith (Smitty as the Falcons faithful refer to him), has led the once hapless team of misfits to becoming a relevant franchise in the National Football League.  We still have our hurdles to jump (like winning consistently in the post season), but thank God we aren’t what we used to be!!
                Coach Smith has led the turnaround in at least 4 ways that are helpful for us as ministry leaders to take notice of:
1.       Place key people in powerful positions – A few key people on in the Atlanta Falcon’s turnaround are quarterback Matt Ryan, Running Back Michael Turner, and Wide Receiver duo Roddy White and Julio Jones.  Smith’s first year as coach of the Falcons was on the heels of the Michael Vick debacle and the “rebuilding” year that resulted in what many refer to as “The Lost Year.”  Despite all the turmoil around the franchise, Coach Smith (and general manager Thomas Dimitroff) aggressively went after new leaders and assembled a great team of talent that would become the new face(s) of the team.  They understood the value of placing key people in powerful positions. 
             The same is true for your ministry.  Regardless of past defeats make your mind up to     aggressively go after great key leaders.  Remember: proper people placement prevents problems.
2.       Remember the small picture – Smith has a mantra that all of his players can repeat easier than they can repeat their address, “One game at a time.”  In the week-to-week world of the NFL it’s easy to overlook an opponent because the team is looking too far down the schedule.  Smith keeps his team focused on the goal by reminding them that it is one game at a time.  He is intentional about the small picture. 
                Keep your team focused on the task at hand in ministry by celebrating small wins.  Don’t be so caught up in where you are going that you don’t see where you have been or where you are at.  Slow down.  Dig in for the long haul.  Enjoy the small things.  Keep your leadership focused on “one game at a time.”
3.       Honor your players in public – I love watching Coach Smith in interviews.  He is always the consummate professional in the face of harsh criticism and jovial success.  What draws me to him the most is his attitude toward his players especially following a loss.  Smith addresses the fact of the loss, but validates the truth that his players are great and capable of winning big.  He never throws a player under the bus.  Smitty accepts the responsibility of the defeat and gives all the credit for the win to his players and staff.  Now that’s good leadership. 
                Make it a habit to publicly praise your team.  Don’t just encourage them in the hallways, do it from the stage too.  And never, never, never, never blame someone for a “loss!”
4.       Learn from defeat – This is the hardest of these keys for me to write because I am a fan of the team.  Prior to Coach Smith’s tenure with the Falcons the team had never had back-to-back winning seasons.  They’ve never won a Super Bowl and the post season record isn’t exactly bragging material.  Smith breathed new life into a dead franchise.  In 5 years he has become the winningest head coach in the team’s history.  He has never had a losing season and has hosted the NFC division championship game in Atlanta.  But…against all of that success Smith has never won the “big game.”  Atlanta has had some bitter defeats in the Smith Era and none more crushing than this year’s NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers.  Atlanta had home field advantage and jumped out to a huge lead in the game only to let go of the lead and watch the 49ers march through the Georgia Dome on the way to the Super Bowl in New Orleans. 
After the biggest loss of his coaching career Coach Smith responded by saying, “When you start the season you have your goals and your expectations and I’ll say our goals and our expectations were much higher than just playing in this game yesterday as a team. You never know when you’re going to have that opportunity to have that situation arise again. The only thing you can do is try and take advantage of it. We didn’t take advantage of it yesterday, so now we have to regroup and talk about moving forward. Moving forward for us and our football team is getting prepared for the 2013 season.” 
He acknowledged defeat and focused on looking forward.  In ministry, we will have those moments of “defeat.”  The key is to learn from them and move on.  Don’t dwell on the mistakes or let downs.  Accept the fact that sometimes things don’t go as planned and learn to “roll with the punches.”  It will make your leadership journey a lot better!
 
                There are several other areas that Coach Smith can teach us about our leadership.  These are just a few to ponder and see how they fit into your particular context. 

18 December 2012

10 Things Every Pastor Must Know About Team Ministry

  1. Other people on your team have the idea that you've been waiting for. 
  2. You don't have it all figured out -- get over yourself. 
  3. Team members rise to the expectation of the leader that is willing to empower them. 
  4. Spend time laughing while you are leading -- part of the mission is enjoying the mission. 
  5. Invest personal time with each team member -- don't just see the group, see individuals. 
  6. Celebrate other's success regularly and publicly. 
  7. Restate the vision constantly - teams thrive with a constant big goal in front of them. 
  8. Apologize in front of the entire team when you get it wrong. 
  9. Share the praise/credit with the team publicly. 
  10. Take the blame publicly - never pass the buck!