My Week: Wednesday

Been a really good couple of days at the Learning Community event, talking vision and strategies for growth. Also opportunity to hear what other churches have a real desire to build is inspirational. 

(Not sure about the 6.30am alarm call each day or the 9-5.30 schedule and the drive home from Peterborough. But glad we went). 

The process for discussion was very useful and I will pinch it for use with ministry teams within Xcel. 

Planning is great but we were reminded to always keep God in everything we do and as a systems type person this is an important reminder. 

Loved what Pastor Chris Hodges said at the end by looking at the responsibility of the Levite tribe to carry the poles, the tent and the furniture (Numbers 3:17). 

The poles represent the structure. It’s not the focal point but without it a building would fall. Same for church. 

The tent represents the systems. The how we do what we do. Everything has a system and it’s often what we interact with. 

The furniture is the spiritual. And while the tribes were given oxen and carts to help with carrying the poles and the tent, the furniture had to be carried personally. (Numbers 7:1-7)

You can delegate some stuff but not the spiritual. That’s ours to carry personally and no one else’s. It’s our responsibility. 

Excited about what can happen in Xcel as we work purposefully toward the 2020 vision. Each of us playing our part ~ connected to God, free in Christ, discovering our purpose and making a difference. 

Are you ready?

My Week: Monday

Conference weekend was AMAZING. So much to think about so why not relax, chill and think about all that God has been saying. 

Or not.

Maybe head off to a 3 day Learning Community with 49 other churches to share and learn together about how to grow church. 

I’m looking forward to gleaning some wisdom, some ideas and some inspiration. My desire as Exec Pastor had always been to do the best I can, so times like these, though tiring are really beneficial. I’ll share some thoughts as we go through. 

Leaders Keep Learning

Great leaders look for ways to keep on learning.

These last couple of days in Berlin with church leaders who do what I do has been really good for that.

Everyone has shared something on a variety of topics ~ time management, structure, honouring your Pastor, loyalty, what you have learned from difficult moments and so much more.

It’s been a sharing of ideas and thoughts, it’s not been a competition.

There has been a willingness to be honest and be able to chat about those things that challenge or frustrate.

It’s been about learning from others on the same journey, just in a different setting.

It has been really encouraging with lots of great conversations over coffee and food. It has reminded me of the importance of people being confident in their role, empowered to build the local church and how communicating this is essential.

Finally, it has reminded me of the privilege I have, to do what I do every day, to never settle but to keep on learning so I do it the best I possibly can.

The Apprentice Rule

I was reminded about this recently from a number of different sources ~ who is my apprentice? Who am I investing my life in to, pouring my life in, spending time with so that they can learn from me. Not just words, books or articles but through experience and opportunity to.

When we write our story too often we want to be the protagonist, the main character, the hero. Instead we should place ourselves in the role of the guide, the one that this character looks for, the one to learn from, the one who can help make sense and bring order from the chaos.

Play this role. Find someone who can be the hero, the one who has the potential to go beyond your own achievements, that certain individual who just needs the right voice, challenge and encouragement to help see that potential fulfilled.

So question yourself. Who is my apprentice? Who is the learner in my world? Then ask yourself, when was the last time you purposefully sat with them and spoke any words of wisdom to them? When was the last time you included them?

If we all did this for one we would soon have a sea of champions, not just willing but ready and able to bring the change, the dream, the vision, their adventure to fruition. What a privilege to help make this happen.

Who are you doing this for? Who did/does this for you?

How to Be a ‘Get Out of the Way’ Leader

Been thinking about this recently and how difficult I find this. I don’t think I’m alone either in finding this essential aspect of leadership such a challenge. Empowering others is the only way to bring about all that we want to see but that doesn’t make it easy though.

Here are some quick thoughts ~ why we don’t ‘get out of the way’, then why and how we should…

WHY WE DON’T…

We like control. We like to be in charge, to know what’s going on.
We don’t trust others. No one can do it like we do it.
There isn’t anyone to ‘get out of the way’ for. Or at least that’s what we convince ourselves.
We are scared of change. They will do it differently to how we have done it.
We will have nothing to do. We could become outdated, unwanted, or redundant.
What if they get it wrong. It’s just not worth the risk.

What if they get it right. What we were doing might come in to question.

WHY WE SHOULD…

We wont achieve the vision. The bigger the vision the more we need others to help us. One person can only do so much.
We stifle growth. Other peoples, maybe even our own and definitely the organisations.
Be willing to challenge the process. Just because its always been done ‘that way’ doesn’t mean it should continue to be. Sometimes we need that ‘upstart’ to say ‘Why not?’
New people can bring fresh energy. This is in turn can bring life to the organisation.

They may leave if we don’t. If people cannot see that they will ever be included, then they will probably go to a place where they will be.

HOW WE SHOULD DO IT…

On purpose not haphazardly. Have a plan on how responsibility will be given. Create a programme with a clear pathway, so those who are getting involved know what to expect.
Through coaching and not just through teaching. You can’t really ‘have a go’ without being given the opportunity to ‘have a go’. Hands on experience alongside some teaching can work really well. John Maxwell would teach us ~ know the way, go the way, show the way.
Let go. The first time is the hardest but if you have invested in them well then it’s not the challenge you really fear.
Be an inspiring leader. Spend your leadership being the kind of leader that others would want to be like. Inspire with vision, with attitude, with integrity, with your work ethic, with communication, with encouragement and every facet of your leadership.

Resource them. Just keep passing on everything you know, everything you have learned. Talk all the time about the why behind what you have asked them to do.

It’s a challenge but the rewards mean all that we are building can outlast us. If we make it all about us then what we are doing may well die when we do. If we make it about others then what we are building can last for generations to come.

What would you add to this?

Mixed Day

Mondays come round fast. After a great Sunday I was ready and full of faith for the week ahead. 

Today has been full of a bunch of different things ~ PAIS team, making my laptop work properly, some finance stuff, catch up with people and then tonight XFL. 

Loved that in XFL we got some of our future leaders to think more strategically and understand more about how church works, the process of an idea and what it actually takes to make it happen. Some great ideas too from them all that can help achieve our 2020 vision. 

I love that my role is so varied and that I get to help others on their leadership journey too.