I just left the Catalyst 2008 conference sponsored by Pastor Andy Stanley’s North Point Church in Alpharetta, GA. There were over 12,000 people from all over North America attending with standing room only. The music was great for those of us who think under 40, which includes me. It was LOUD, inspiring, and did I say LOUD? Pastor Andy Stanley presented a prophetic message from Nehemiah on authentic leadership specifically having to do with Moral Authority. Read the fifth chapter of Nehemiah and you will find that the Jews in Israel at that time were living on the edge. They were living from pay day to pay day, they had leveraged their land and homes with high interest loans from Gentiles, and they had even leveraged their children and wives for needed money to survive. Then their own leaders began the same deplorable practice. Sound familiar? Pastor Andy was rather prophetic as the conference material and his message was pre-printed several weeks before the current economic crisis.
The featured speaker of the morning session was Jim Collins author of Good to Great. Remember that he was speaking to over 12K church leaders, but he did a very good job of making his leadership principles relevant to all of us. You have probably read his books but I thought I would share his thoughts as best I can with some of my own expounding. His comment precedes mine in the following recap.
- “Good is the enemy of great.” Most of our churches are not great because they are good, and content being so. This is not a commentary on the God we serve because he is indeed GREAT. However, as I have observed in my other blogs, most churches are satisfied with the status quo. Note that I did not say that most pastors are content with it. Like me they serve underachieving congregations, but we keep trying to increase expectations.
- “Greatness has nothing to do with circumstances.” I take this to mean that every church has the potential to become great; reference my previous article (http://drthomreece.wordpress.com/2008/10/09/turnaround-churches-an-untapped-source/) Even we as pastors sometimes do the blame game as to why our churches are not great…yet. Jim Collins rightly suggested that circumstances are not the problem. Of course he promoted the concepts of strong leadership that that the right people are in the right seats on the bus, and this is a result of…
- “It is a function of a culture of discipline and right choices.” Like Collins, I am a student of shaping culture in a positive manner which requires both discipline and right choices. Shaping culture in this manner is not something that occurs quickly. William Young, the author of The Shack was also a speaker at Catalyst. He said that he is about fifty years old and could not have written his book two years ago, since it was the product of time, maturing faith, and experiences. Those dimensions did not come to fruition until recently. We all sometimes wish we could be younger but with our present culmination of wisdom and experiences. Of course it is not possible. Then there is Collin’s illustration of…
- “The flywheel- successes are the result of many years of discipline and right choices.” Picture your ministry or career as a flywheel that you constantly turn with great effort. Once it is spinning with some velocity (success and greatness), ask yourself which program or effort made it spin. Of course it took many years and pushes to get it going. Many pastors and church leaders make the mistake of looking for that one program that will get the flywheel moving and keep it moving. IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY! Simple Discipleship by the way is a flywheel process! Using SD will not create rapid results without great effort!
- “The great fall when they over reach.” (When Collins said this I immediately thought he was talking about—a lack of humility, and he was.) “When you compromise on having the right people in the right seats you will fall. ‘Who‘ is all important. Don’t hire the wrong who simply because you are too impatient to find the right who. Who is more important than what until you get the right who. The G2G leaders were Level 5 leaders. The signature characteristic of Level 5 leaders is HUMILITY. Connecting values with deeds. L5 is not about charisma or personality. The test of a leader is how well the organization does when you—the leader—are not there. Flywheel of the faith is Christ, but the flywheel of the church is the pastor.” WOW! There is a lot in there. I was taking notes and adlibbing so fast that I’m not sure which thoughts are his and which are my own. The issue of humility is important to me as I have also discovered his concept to be true. In fact it is a part of the Simple Discipleship Leadership Training Model (http://drthomreece.wordpress.com/2008/08/22/the-power-of-coaching/) Then there is Collin’s “Hedgehog” concept…
- “The Hedgehog concept includes a focus on three essential things: 1) what you are deeply passionate about; 2) what drives your economic engine; and 3) what you can be best at in the world. The hedgehog is about disciplined action.” Now let’s apply Collin’s concept to the church. Many church leaders think their church is deeply passionate about knowing Christ and making him known, but they some are just going through the motions. The economic engine of the church is not the offerings as some mistake; it is the people! And for number three, most churches have never tried to discover what they are best at in their own contextual ministry.
- Then Collins said something I found to be profound: “Leaders should have a to-do list and a to-stop-doing list.” He suggested it is like balancing both sides of the accounting ledger and is a function of discipline.
- Finally, Collins reminded the audience: “and…what never changes. We confuse values with practices. Denominations are practices but the faith is values. Every generation must create its own practices that cut across generations and transgress time. He stated that each leader must discover their own BHAGG (BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOD-SIZED GOAL). Many churches never seek to know their BHAGG. They assume it is simply gathering to hear the Great Commission, but they rarely set a GOAL.
Collins listed several succinct points for leaders to consider:
- How many key seats are on the bus? How many have the right people?
- Build a personal board of directors. Get young people in your face. Get out of the way for the next generation.
- When filling a position, What job is the wrong question. Who is more important.
- Use your council by asking them questions. Spend as much time listening to them as you do talking to them.
- Take time to think. Turn off the electronics. (Quiet time)
- Level 5 leaders are so committed to their cause that they are also willing to go through the pain to succeed. (Most are not willing to struggle, suffer, and fail several times to get it right.)
- WE ARE NOT IMPRISONED BY OUR MISTAKES- UNLESS WE CHOOSE THAT RESULT.
- “Statues are perfected on all sides- even the sides that will not be seen.” Attention to detail and discipline.
- The right people don’t need to be managed. Sometimes you have the right person on the bus but they are in the wrong seat. The moment you have to tightly manage someone you probably made a hiring mistake.
- Everyone should be able to articulate their job purpose and function without a reference to their title.
- If you have more than three priorities, you have no priorities.
I thoroughly enjoyed the morning at Catalyst 2008.
Dr. Tom Cocklereece
This post has already been read 1352 times!
We honor copyright laws on print material as well as photos. We take or make many of our own photos and buy some as well. We never use images from others that have copyright markings. We remove any material or photo that is questioned as soon as we become aware of it. If you believe we have posted copyrighted material please inform us and we will evaluate it: tom@simplediscipleship.
The Leadership Chair
Follow Simple Discipleship
THE LAWS OF DISCIPLESHIP
THE LAWS OF DISCIPLESHIP PROJECTBe a part of The Laws of Discipleship Project! Each law of discipleship reflects the light of Christ like a facet of a diamond. Tom Cocklereece is currently writing the manuscript for this upcoming discipleship resource. You are invited to participate. If you are interested, email tom@ simplediscipleship.com
Disciple-Maker’s Toolkit- Leader & Learner Editions
Free Discipleship Plan pdf
Ministry Leadership Ad
SD Online Guests
Most Read Posts
- NAME YOUR GREMLIN: Denial (37,295)
- ARE WE “SLAVES” OR “SERVANTS” OF CHRIST? A DISCUSSION ABOUT BIBLE TRANSLATION AND THE HCSB (35,495)
- Diabesity - A Reversible Epidemic: Guest Blog by Mark Hyman, MD for RENEW WELLNESS (14,125)
- 6 REASONS TO MONITOR YOUR BLOOD SUGAR: A RENEW Wellness Diabetes Testimony (7,406)
- THE RED PILL OR THE BLUE PILL? (6,318)
- GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY! (5,819)
- DISCIPLESHIP BEST PRACTICES: #13 – PROCESS DISCIPLESHIP (5,449)
- MAKE YOUR OWN "MINISTRY COMPETENCY WORD CLOUD" (5,009)
- EXPONENTIAL 2012: ARE YOU BEING SIFTED? (4,818)
- 11 WAYS A STAFF CHRISTIAN COACH CAN GROW YOUR CHURCH (4,816)
- VISION IS VIRAL BUT STRATEGY IS STATIC (4,488)
- SO, YOUR CHURCH IS SEARCHING FOR A PASTOR (4,161)
- DISCIPLESHIP BEST PRACTICES: 7- PROGRAM DISCIPLESHIP (4,100)
- WHY DON’T SMART PEOPLE GET JESUS? (REMIX) Guest Post by Rachael Fox (3,812)
- BASIC CHRISTIAN COMPETENCIES (3,787)
- NAME YOUR GREMLIN: Scaredy Gremlin (3,652)
- WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF DISCIPLESHIP? (3,559)
- FIVE ELEMENTS OF A BOOK REVIEW (3,449)
- THE LAWS OF DISCIPLESHIP PROJECT (3,347)
- SUNDAY SCHOOL THAT REALLY RESPONDS by Steve Parr: AN UNSOLICITED REVIEW (3,344)
- EVERY CHRISTIAN A DISCIPLE-MAKER (3,247)
- WHY EVANGELISM ISN’T WORKING (3,221)
- SECRET CHURCH REFLECTIONS (3,155)
- COUNTER-CULTURAL CHRISTIANITY: THE WAY IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE (2,978)
- BREAKING THE EVANGELISM CODE by Victor H. Benavides (2,907)
- A SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE LESSON (2,897)
- THE DARK KNIGHT vs THE BRIGHT KNIGHT (2,823)
- SIMPLE DISCIPLESHIP AND SPIRITUAL GIFTS (2,821)
- SO, YOU ARE SEARCHING FOR A NEW CHURCH OR MINISTRY (2,705)
- A JOURNEY TO THE DARK SIDE (2,618)
- A 10-POINT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT PROCESS (2,578)
- DISCIPLESHIP BEST PRACTICES: #11 – PROFICIENCY DISCIPLESHIP (2,572)
- GREMLINS AND GUARDIANS – STAY ON THE RIGHT PATH (2,523)
- RUB A DUB DUB, PLUNGE AND SCRUB (2,519)
- HOW TO GET RID OF YOUR GREMLINS: Blamer (2,405)
- ONLINE MASTERMIND: DISCIPLESHIP BEST PRACTICES (2,304)
- PREVENTING SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE CHURCH (2,270)
- NAME YOUR GREMLIN: PRIDE AND ARROGANCE (2,232)
- TRANSFORMATIONAL LOVE: 1 CORINTHIANS 13 (2,192)
- PREPARE FOR DEFINING MOMENTS (2,174)
- DISCIPLESHIP IS CHRISTIAN CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT (2,116)
- 30 Coaching Questions to Create your Ministry Leadership Development Plan (2,063)
- THE FIVE MISSIONAL MOVEMENTS OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS (2,033)
- MINISTRY COMPETENCY LEADERSHIP COACHING (2,019)
- MISCONCEPTIONS OF LEADERSHIP (1,954)
- THE IMPACT OF SIMPLE DISCIPLESHIP (1,926)
- LIVING THE DREAM OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (1,798)
- TRANSFORMATIONAL DISCIPLESHIP: A REVIEW (1,792)
- BORN INTO WAR: SPIRITUAL WARFARE AND DISCIPLESHIP (1,777)
- ANYONE CAN BE A SERVANT OF GOD (1,714)