#665 - A SIMPLE BUT PROFOUND LEADERSHIP SHIFT

Developing Leaders > Recruiting Volunteers

Recruiting Volunteers is an event.
Developing Leaders is a process.

Recruiting Volunteers requires management.
Developing Leaders requires leadership.

Recruiting Volunteers takes care of the present.
Developing Leaders prepares you for the future.

Recruiting Volunteers is more about the organization's need.
Developing Leaders is more about a person's potential.

Recruiting Volunteers is much needed.
Developing Leaders is more necessary.

#663 - THE BENEFITS OF NOT PREACHING

Due to someone else preaching this Sunday, a cancelled service next Sunday, and the week after that me being out of town to officiate a wedding, I am not going to be preaching for the next 3 weeks. 

Though I absolutely love to preach, four days into the week, I'm already starting to see the benefits of getting a preaching break. Here are a few:

  1. I can focus my thinking and work on other aspects of pastoral ministry. During any given week my thoughts and energies are on my upcoming message for at least 30 hours. I am so grateful that this week I am going to be able to spend many of those 30 hours thinking through and working on our leadership development process - another very key element of growing a healthy church! If I didn't take a preaching break, where would I have found the time to put this much intentional thought into such a critical piece of the pastoral leadership pie!
  2. I can give others who are gifted and called to preach the opportunity to do so. Though it may seem obvious, it must be stated: If I don't ever take a break, when will others get the opportunity to take a turn?! I love that taking a preaching break doesn't only give me rest, but it also frees up the platform for others to step up and into what God has called them to do!
  3. I can experience a Sunday from the vantage point of someone who attends. This Sunday I look forward to sitting in our service to experience and enjoy it without the thought of preaching on my mind. I look forward to singing without worrying about preaching. I look forward to interacting with the others who attend. I look forward to receiving from the preaching. It's gonna' be great!

I praise God for the blessing of serving alongside other gifted communicators of God's Word! Not every pastor has the luxury of feeling comfortable with other people in their church preaching on a Sunday, but that's not me! I. AM. BLESSED!

#660 - A PRAYER PREACHERS SHOULD PRAY

Heavenly Father, please give those of us who have the honor and privilege of preaching your Word insight beyond our intellect, anointing beyond our ability, and power beyond our preparation. A move of YOUR Spirit is what we long for!

A few thoughts on why you should pray this prayer...

Pray for insight beyond your intellect because interpretation of the Scriptures is a spiritual endeavor. Our intellect is physical, therefore it is limited. Insight from above can transcend what our intellect can't comprehend. 

Pray for anointing beyond your ability because like intellect, ability is physical, therefore it is also limited. Anointing on the other hand, can cause ears to be opened that otherwise wouldn't be. Anointing can cause walls to be broken that otherwise couldn't be. Anointing can cause miracles to take place that otherwise shouldn't be!

Pray for power beyond your preparation because no matter how thorough you are in your preparation, preaching void of the power of the Holy Spirit is merely a speech. Both believers and unbelievers alike don't need another well put together talk, they need a powerful one!

#657 - FLEE

Pastor, leader, husband...this is for you. This is for me. This is for us.

When certain temptations come your way (you know what it is for you), you shouldn't "hang around." You shouldn't "wait and see." You shouldn't "stay just 10 more minutes." You shouldn't "be nice." You shouldn't "try not to be rude." 

YOU SHOULD FLEE. IMMEDIATELY. 

Get in your car and leave. Ask for a ride home. Leave. Run. Get out of there.

Staying, could cost you everything. 

#656 - GRACE AND GRIT

Ministry requires so much grace.

Grace to forgive. Grace to love. Grace to lead. Grace to discern. Grace to preach. Grace to confront. Grace to ignore. Grace to promote. Grace to decrease.  

But it also requires a helluva lot of grit. 

Grit to persevere. Grit to push-through. Grit to overcome. Grit to endure. Grit to last. Grit to show up even when you don't feel like showing up. Grit to engage even when you don't have the emotional energy to engage. Grit to lead even when you don't know where you should be leading!

For me to do a 30 year run (which is my goal) as the Lead Pastor of theMOVEMENT Church in Oakland, I am convinced...

GOD'S GRACE MUST BE PRESENT, AND MY GRIT CAN'T BE ABSENT.

But as daunting and exhausting as that may seem, I am also thankful of this:

Even my grit is a gift bestowed upon me because of His grace!

So in the end, it's ALL grace.

#654 - A FRESH PERSPECTIVE ON GOD'S LOVE

God loves you.

Just like anything else, when you hear something over and over again, it can tend to not have the same effect on you that it once had.

But the other day, as we were talking about the holiness of God in our prayer meeting, a few thoughts about God's love dawned on me that has given me a much deeper appreciation for the love that God has for me!

God’s LOVE for you isn’t just a by-product of His GRACE, it’s an extension of His HOLINESS. In other words,

GOD'S LOVE FOR YOU ISN'T PITY, IT'S PERFECT. 

God loving you isn’t the NICE thing for Him to do, it is the RIGHTEOUS thing for Him to do.

This is key in our understanding of God’s love for us because it has a direct impact on our ability to respond to His love. Remember, NICE love doesn’t cast out fear, PERFECT love does!

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:18

#646 - SHOW UP

Leader, show up.

You never know who is going to benefit. You never know who is going to be impacted. You never know who is going to be blessed by what you bring to the table.

SHOW UP.

Even when you don't want to. Even when attendance has been down. Even when you don't know who is going to respond.

SHOW UP.

One is worth it. Because to the one, you being there, is everything to them. Your ego may believe you are worthy of more than one, but the moment one becomes too small of a number, you have forgotten why you started doing what you do in the first place. 

SHOW UP. 

Because even if no one else does, showing up builds something inside of you that would not have been built if you had chosen to stay home.

#644 - THE TEMPTATION A PREACHER MUST NOT FALL INTO

You can't preach what you want the text to say.
You can't preach what the people want the text to say.
You can't preach what you think the text says.
You can't preach what others have said the text says.

You must preach what the text actually says.

No matter how difficult.
No matter what the cost.
No matter how inconvenient.
No matter how seemingly irrelevant.
No matter how hard it makes your study.

GOD DID NOT CALL YOU TO EASY PREACHING. HE CALLED YOU TO RIGHT HANDLING.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 TIMOTHY 2:15

#623 - THE WARRIORS TAUGHT ME THIS

Today, the 2018 NBA Playoffs began. Though the Golden State Warriorsare the defending champions, unfortunately, in the month leading up to the playoffs, they have been playing "uninspired" to say the least. So much so that many people, me included, have been concerned with whether or not they have what it takes to repeat as champs.

But how I feel about their chances of winning the championship drastically changed after watching them beat the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 today.

They played hard. They played inspired. They played together. They played enthusiastically. They played intensely. They played aggressively. And they won...convincingly.

And I couldn't help but think as I watched them play,

HAVING SOMETHING TO PLAY FOR, CHANGES THE WAY YOU PLAY.

Because the Warriors are now playing playoff games. Because if they lose this series their season will be over. Because a chance to win 3 championships in 4 years doesn't come around often. Because they know that making it to the playoffs the next year is never guaranteed. Because they realize that every team and every player's "window" to be great is very small, It is changing everything about their approach to the game. For the first time in a long time, it looks like they are actually trying to play to their potential. 

And this got me thinking about what I think is a very important leadership lesson:

CLARITY OF PURPOSE IMPACTS INTENSITY OF PERFORMANCE.

The more clear a leader can be on what is "at stake" in their leadership, the more likely they are to lead with passion and commitment. The more clear a leader is on what can be "lost" if they don't perform well, the more likely they will perform well. The more clear a leader can be on what they can possibly "win" if they lead with everything they have, the more likely they will lead accordingly. 

The Scriptures teach us that, "For the joy set before Him, Christ endured the cross."

Christ was "playing" for our salvation. Christ was "playing" for obedience to His Father. Christ was "playing" for completing the very last detail what He was sent here to do. And that type of crystal clear clarity led Him to commit the most selfless act in the history of mankind. 

Motivations matter. 

WHAT ARE YOU "PLAYING" FOR? 

#621 - WHERE I NEED TO GET BETTER

I wish it dawned on me earlier. I wish I would've had the humility to take this seriously sooner. Unfortunately, I didn't. It was not a priority of mine to get better in this area of my life.

And I think it wasn't a priority because it was and is an area that I believe I do well in. It is an area of my life that I take a lot of pride in. Actually, it is probably the thing that others would say I'm best at. And therein lies the problem. 

VERY RARELY DO WE CONSIDER STRENGTHENING OUR STRENGTHS.

I need to become a better preacher of God's Word. I need to become much better. More skilled. More proficient. More effective.

I need to interpret the text more deeply. I need to speak to the implications of the text more thoroughly. I need to apply the text more broadly. I need to do a better job of speaking both to the head, the heart, and the hands.  

I need to read more books about preaching. I need to watch and listen to effective preachers preach. I need to solicit more constructive feedback for my preaching. I need to, once again, make effective preaching a study.

Plainly stated: I need to become a better preacher.

I need to do this because I am convinced (and so was Marcus Buckingham!):

WE HAVE THE GREATEST POTENTIAL TO GET BETTER IN THE THING WE DO BEST.

Or stated another way,

WE CAN GROW MOST EXPONENTIALLY IN THE AREA WHERE WE ARE GIFTED MOST SUPERNATURALLY. 

Sure, there are certain weaknesses that deserve our attention. Yes, there are certain weaknesses in which we have to grow. 

But, I think we are missing out on experiencing our full potential in our areas of gifting if we "coast." The embarrassing truth is, that because I have been gifted to preach and communicate, it is also the area that I have placed the least amount of energy and effort into developing. That's poor stewardship. That's not stewardship.

The parable of the talents was all about stewarding what you have been given. It wasn't about maximizing what you haven't been given. The person who had one talent wasn't responsible for multiplying five talents. He was responsible for multiplying one

With that in mind, there are gifts that you and I have been given to steward. The question that we have to answer is, how are we maximizing and multiplying our gifts for the glory of God?

Grow your giftedness.
Strengthen your strengths. 

Don't you want to see how much you can develop what God has divinely placed in your hands?

I know I do!

#620 - 100 DAYS IN A ROW

For the first time in my life, I have done something for 100 days in a row! (Other than eating and going to the restroom!)

Unfortunately, I have not read my Bible for 100 days in a row, I have not brushed my teeth for 100 days in a row, I have not told my wife I love her for 100 days in a row, I have not exercised for 100 days in a row, and I have not done many other things which I probably should have done, by this point in my life, for 100 days in a row. But, I have done this:

I HAVE PUBLISHED A BLOG POST FOR 100 DAYS STRAIGHT.

Being that my "word of the year" is routine, this is a very big deal. But, instead of just celebrating the accomplishment, I want to reflect upon it as well. Here are 10 things I've learned as I have published a blog post to this website, everyday, for the last 100 days.

  1. Doing something for 100 days straight is possible.
  2. Writing everyday is a possibility when learning everyday is a priority.
  3. Writing to be responsible is a stronger motivation than writing to be read.
  4. Quality comes from quantity.
  5. To become prolific I must abandon perfection.
  6. Having written is 100x more fulfilling than thinking about writing. 
  7. Everyday, either my resolve muscle or my neglect muscle is being exercised. There are no neutral days.  
  8. My pacesetter (Seth Godin) set the bar for my potential
  9. Thinking critically precedes writing clearly
  10. Milestones motivate.

I hope you have been served well over these last 100 days!

On to the next 100!

 

#616 - HOW TO RE-IGNITE INTIMACY

After nearly 14 years of marriage and after counseling a countless number of marriages throughout my years as a pastor, I have discovered a very simple "fix" for re-igniting relational, emotional, and sexual intimacy between you and your spouse...

MAKE OUT.

Unfortunately, I have discovered that many married couples no longer kiss for extended periods of time. They may kiss each other on the cheek or lips before going to work and when seeing each other when they arrive home, but they don't make out anymore. 

Somewhere along the way, they just stopped. They don't know when. They don't know why. But, kissing ceased.

This doesn't work all the time. I don't want to over-simplify. Sometimes, the problems go a lot deeper, and cannot be fixed in this way. 

But, other times, kissing can actually be the remedy for a marriage that has lost its "sizzle."

SO KISS. FOR A LONG TIME. WITH TONGUE. 

The magic in your marriage may just be one make-out session away!

#615 - I MUST WORK FOR THIS

Fridays are supposed to be my day of rest. The one day during the week that for a 24-hour period of time I do not do anything work related. 

The problem is, this rest day will not happen on its own. Though I know it should happen. Though I know it needs to happen. Though my staff knows that this is when my day of rest is, unless I fight for my rest, rest will not take place. In other words,

I MUST WORK FOR MY REST.

Work to protect it. Work to take it. Work to ignore everything else. Work to be ok with disappointing people. Work to allow emails to go unreturned. Work to sleep and not feel guilty. I must work for my rest. Because the unfortunate reality is this:

IF I DON'T WORK FOR MY REST, I'LL NEVER REST FROM MY WORK.

And neither will you.

#605 - THE GAME I LOVE TO LOSE

Being the super competitive guy that I am, I absolutely hate to lose. Many who know me might even consider me a "sore loser." But there is one game, I cannot win no matter how hard I try, and it is a game that I've actually come to love to lose. The game is - trying to outgive God.

In the last couple of months, I have been blessed to see God, in some very tangible and practical ways, crush me in this game time and time again! I am convinced.

YOU CAN'T OUTGIVE GOD.

And it's not just financially. You can't outgive God in any area of your life.

Time. Energy. Emotions. Love. Influence. Opportunities. Resources. Encouragement. Affirmation.  

WHEN YOU GIVE, HE TAKES WHAT YOU GAVE AND MULTIPLIES IT BACK INTO YOUR LIFE.  

He takes what you put into His hands and places something more fulfilling, more satisfying, more enjoyable, more valuable, more precious, and more glorifying to Him into your hands.

WHEN IT COMES TO GIFT GIVING, GOD WILL ONE-UP YOU EVERY SINGLE TIME!

You will give resources to others, but the way He will give resources to you will be bigger. You will give opportunities to others, but the way He will give opportunities to you will be better. You will give love to others, but the way He will give love to you will be deeper. You will give of yourself to others, but the way He will give of Himself to you will be grander.

I encourage you, play this game with God. 

Attempt to outgive Him. Attempt to out-love Him. Attempt to out-sacrifice Him.

YOU WILL LOSE, AND YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID!

Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Luke 6:38 (MSG)

#604 - 5 CONSEQUENCES OF BEING A "BALL HOG"

If you played sports of any sort, you hated the "ball hog." You hated the teammate that took all the shots. You despised the teammate who didn't pass. You were the most frustrated by the teammate who didn't give the other players on the team the opportunity to shine.

Leader, if the "ball hog" got on your nerves in sports, the "ball hog" needs to get on our nerves in leadership. 

Leader, let someone else lead. Let someone else run the meeting. Let someone else facilitate the discussion. Let some else make the decision. Let someone else answer the question. Let someone else come up with the plan. Let someone else do the thing you usually do. Let another leader lead.

I know they don't do it like you.
I know you think you do it better than they do.
I know you're convinced they're not ready.

I know it's hard.
I know it's uncomfortable.
I know it might even feel irresponsible. 

But, I also know this (and I only know this about you, because I know it about me!)...

You're insecure - you think that by letting someone else lead you may lose your influence. You're fearful - you think the way someone else will lead might "mess things up." You're prideful - you think the way you lead is most effective. 

And though some of these things may be true, you need to let someone else lead anyway. If you're not yet convinced, here are 5 consequences of not delegating leadership opportunities:

A SHORTENED LEADERSHIP LIFESPAN 

If you don't delegate leadership opportunities, you will get burned out. You will get fatigued. You will not have the strength to lead for the long haul. 

UNDEVELOPED LEADERS WON'T BE DEVELOPED

If you don't delegate leadership opportunities, the people in your organization with leadership potential will never grow in their abilities. Without leadership experience how can one gain leadership experience? If never given the chance to get better, how will they get better?

DEVELOPED LEADERS WILL LEAVE

If you don't delegate leadership opportunities, people who can lead well will find somewhere else where their leadership gifts can be utilized. It's only a matter of time before they will leave you. And, you know this to be true, because you, as a leader, if you found yourself in a similar position, would do the same thing!

YOUR FOLLOWERS WILL GET "LEADER FATIGUE"

If you don't delegate leadership opportunities, those that follow you will begin to become numb to your voice. Your style, your tone, and your method will become like "white noise" in the ears of those in your organization. Utilizing other leaders will keep your voice relevant. 

A SHORTENED ORGANIZATIONAL LIFESPAN

If you don't delegate leadership opportunities, your organization, ministry, business, group, or team will only last as long as you do. When you delegate leadership opportunities and develop leaders, what you lead will have the potential to live way beyond your life. 

Leader, pass the ball. You have teammates that are ready and waiting to "score." 

#599 - LEADERS GO FIRST

LEADERS GO FIRST.

They try first
They attempt first..
They fail first.

LEADERS GO FIRST.

They risk first.
They commit first.
They sacrifice first.

LEADERS GO FIRST.

They adapt first.
They innovate first.
They experiment first.

LEADERS GO FIRST.

They post first.
They launch first.
They release first.

LEADERS GO FIRST.

They care first.
They serve first.
They listen first.

LEADERS GO FIRST.

They pray first.
They repent first.
They believe first.

LEADERS GO FIRST.

They ask first.
They forgive first.  
They apologize first.

The simple idea is this:
If you're not ready to go first,
you're not ready to be a leader.