Develop Your Leadership Effectiveness

Develop Your Leadership Effectiveness


Life-long learners constantly cycle through a developmental process to sharpen their leadership skills. It may be intuitive or it may be intentional. But the 6 steps are real: LEARN-EMPOWER-ASSESS-DECIDE-EVALUATE-REVIEW.

The second step in the leadership developmental process is EMPOWER. The word empower is overused in leadership conversations. It can be a catch-all term that means everything and nothing, at the same time.  In a positive sense, EMPOWER describes what transpires when an apprentice acquires the skills, gains confidence, combined with proven character to establish a team that successfully carries-out a project from inception to completion.

Leaders lead from three positions.  Each position serves a particular purpose.  The three models are progressive, meaning that the most empowering leaders aspire to lead from the Outside so that team members own the outcomes of their actions. 

Here are the three positions that leaders lead from with a description of each: 

  • Center – The Autocrat
  • Fringe – The Team Leader/Coach
  • Outside – The Enabler

As a leader, one thing you must ask is – What is my position?

Here are three questions to ask leaders about the position they lead from:

  1. What position are you currently leading?
  2. Where do you need to move?
  3. How can you make the shift?

Empowering is an important step in the Leadership Development Process. But Empowering in itself is not enough. In fact, going to a workshop, listening to a podcast or even receiving a degree in leadership does not guarantee a person can lead. I’ve found that many people have knowledge but lack the experience of actually leading a team. Applying the knowledge and learning from success as well as failure is critical in the development process.

Questions for your reflection:

  1. Who are you empowering?
  2. How are you helping them increase their capacity to lead?
  3. What possibilities are there for them to take the next step forward?

The next step in the journey to develop as a leader is – Assess. Assess team members to help them clarify “whats next”. This is where we will pick-up next week.

InFocus is responding to the need to help leaders empower their team through our Live Courses called Collectives.  Learn about the 2019 Collectives.  Each Collective will engage you in the 6 Step Leadership Development process above.

Related Leadership Development Resource:

Effective Leadership Storyboard

Happy Thanksgiving from InFocus

Happy Thanksgiving from InFocus

Wishing you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving!

As Christians, we have so many privileges to be thankful – but they can get lost in the midst of the daily grind.

Be mindful this Thanksgiving to recall all that God have given, especially the people He was surrounded you.  Remember that every human being has worth, value and significance.  That your friends, family and even those God has put in your life that might not see the world as you see it are created in His image.

This Thanksgiving, receive with a heart of gratitude, share what He has blessed you with and give thanks.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
His love and his kindness go on forever.

1 Chronicles 16:34 Living Bible (TLB)

Thank you for being a friend to InFocus,

for serving the Lord as you make disciples

and develop the leaders around you!

What does it take to see a person reproduce the character of Christ in a new apprentice of Jesus? If you’re like me you’ve seen a number of approaches, perhaps, too many to count. Some have been super fruitful, while others not so much.

Assuming the approach includes the key qualities of disciplemaking like the power of the Holy Spirit, application of Scripture, fellowship, prayer and coaching – the soil is ripe for multiplication. In the expediency of time I find many of us are troubled with the lack of reproduction even into the second, not to mention the third and fourth generation. This impatience can and will result in growth by addition – looks amazing in the short-term but malnourished in the long-term.

What can you do to move from expediency to significance?

You have probably heard about the practice of prioritizing activities into Quadrant II – Important and Not Urgent (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey). Multiplication is a Quadrant II activity. Over a three year period, one pastor I have been coaching has changed the expectations of their small groups, which his church calls Life Groups:

  • Participation: 79% of the congregation are in Life Groups
  • Growth: the number of Life Groups has more than tripled
  • Multiplication: 22% of the Life Groups have reproduced into the second generation

Here’s five lessons for your reflection, to keep your eyes on the long-term fruit of a multiplication movement and not get distracted with instant gratification.

Five Lessons to keep your attention on Multiplication

  • Lesson #1: Be willing to fail – Multiplication requires an element of to risk – which requires faith.
  • Lesson #2: Be open to learn – The best teacher is experience.
  • Lesson #3: Be clear with your vision – If you’re unclear where you’re headed, good chance you will get there!
  • Lesson #4: Be ALL about the process – The joy is in the journey.
  • Lesson #5: Be realistic with your expectations – Go slow at first so that you can go fast later.
 Missional Concept #4 – Church from Gary Reinecke on Vimeo.

Missional Concept #4 – Church from Gary Reinecke on Vimeo.

What image comes to mind when you hear the word “church”?

In a world where the Christian apologetic is under scrutiny, Andy Stanley suggests intriguing insights in his book entitled “Irresistable” on the:

  • New vs. Old Covenant
  • the Resurrection 
  • deeply held theological assumptions.

In the discussion about the church he identifies the first time the term is used in scripture. In Matthew 16:17-18 Jesus says to Peter: “… and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

The author goes on to say this is a future part of the New Covenant.

In 1522, William Tyndale began translating the Greek New Testament into English. The Greek word “ekklesia” is accurately translated as “assembly” or “gathering”. The word “church” is not a translation, but a substitution – and a misleading one at that.

Stanley says, that the term “church” should not have appeared in the text at all. Tyndale lost his battle over the term, and others; along with his life. For this reason, “ekklesia” is substituted with our word “church” and used in the scriptures more that 100 times after this.

This makes a tremendous difference in the way we coach, teach and disciple. The connotation of church is very different than the term assembly – as in a gathering of people (whether it be a civic gathering, an assembly of soldiers or an assembly of idol manufacturers as in Acts 19:28-29). What Tyndale was attempting to do was set the record straight.

Today, I imagine, if you surveyed 100 Christians and asked them how they would describe the term “church”, that description would include a building or campus, where people gather for worship. They might describe an organization vs. and organism. Or they might think of the cultural interpretation of the church; whatever that might be in their context.

Which leads me to suggest the following 5 exercise of a local church. These are intended to be broad is scope. The question is intended to help you reflect on your gathering of Jesus Followers.

5 Exercise of a Church

Exercise #1: A community of Jesus Followers loving God Together

  • How are you and your community of Jesus Followers expressing your love of God?

Exercise #2: A community of Jesus Followers loving their neighbor together

  • How are you and your community of Jesus Followers loving your neighbor?

Exercise #3: A community of Jesus Followers making Apprentices of Jesus together

  • How are you and your community of Jesus Followers making disciples together?

Exercise #4: A community of Jesus Followers collaborating with other communities to reach their city

  • How are you and your community of Jesus Followers collaborating with other gatherings of Jesus Followers to accomplish the mission of Jesus in your city?

Exercise #5: A community of Jesus Followers stewarding all their resources in God-honoring ways

  • How are you and your community of Jesus Followers stewarding all their resources in God-honoring ways?

Every leader and network of leaders will have their definition of “church”. Reflect on the core exercises Jesus had in mind when he spoke to Peter and his intention for us today. Here are three questions to help you identify how to move forward in your thinking about His community of followers that he has entrusted to your care:

  1. What exercises are you doing well?
  2. What exercises are a challenge?
  3. Which exercises do you need to address now?

Here are a few coaching resources to help you guide leaders.

Church Transition Storyboard

Obedient Discipleship Storyboard

Cultivating Multiplication Movements Coaching Guide with Storyboard

Donald McGavran cited the “professionalisation of ministry” as one of the top challenges for the ongoing cultivation of a movement (“Understanding Church Growth” pgs. 163-164). Specifically, the aspirational goal for credentialed and paid, vocational ministers and missionaries can be detrimental to the very things we need to be doing as apprentices of Jesus. Disciplemaking and church planting are oftentimes lost in the “busyness” of qualifying for, earning an income and doing ministry.

The professional minister is good and necessary – in some cases. In other situations, the pathway to credentialization, the schooling required and financial incentive that many aspire to in ministry, can detract from the making of disciples, caring for the poor and the planting of churches. I wonder how this model influences our understanding of ministry?

I believe the phrase that Neil Cole coined can be helpful: lower the bar of leadership and raise the bar of discipleship. How does this statement influence your understanding of “ministry”.  Let me suggest five characteristics of ministry to accelerate movement.

5 Characteristics of Ministry to Accelerate Movement

Characteristic #1 – Gift-based

Ephesians 4:11-12 is one of my favorites passages. You know of others, but I like to keep things simple and believe that Alan Hirsch, and others, have thoughtful arguments that suggest all apprentices of Jesus are gifted accordingly to one or more of the APEST giftings (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd, Teacher). Regardless if you agree with the APEST paradigm, the principle is to mobilize people according to their spiritual gifting.

  • Key Question: How are you mobilizing people?

Characteristic #2 – Maximizes ALL opportunities for spiritual fruit

Whether a person is crunching numbers or laying brick or serving in the home – we would be wise to connect what they do to help people take the next step on their spiritual journey. Too often we push aside what people do for the majority of their lives in the workplace or community, as non-ministry. The best place for apprentices of Jesus to reach people far from God is in their place of employment or in the community where they live.

  • Key Question: How are you helping people see their vocation or their service in the community as ministry?

Characteristic #3 – Progresses the movement forward

Movement is simply defined as disciples and churches reproducing into the third and fourth generation. With that as the filter it helps prioritize where to commit time and resources. The real challenge is when other good opportunities are presented that appear good and right but at the expense of movement-building activity.

  • Key Question: How are you progressing you movement forward?

Characteristic #4- Kingdom-focused

The Kingdom of God is not destined for a single church or denomination; it is the reign of Jesus in every nook and cranny of society. This encompasses the three primary institutions addressed in Scripture: the family, government and the local church (including para-church, mission socientes and networks or denominations). For heaven’s sake, we need participation in all sectors of society (business, education, the arts, etc) to establish the Kingdom of God!

  • Key Question: How are you helping people see that the Kingdom is bigger than the local church?

Characteristic #5 – God is glorified

In John 4: 23-24 Jesus states “…true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth“. When our acts of service are in alignment with the heart of God, it is pleasing to our Creator – this is how I would define ministry. Perhaps another way of describing ministry is to borrow John Piper’s definition of worship:

The inner essence of worship is to know God truly and then respond from the heart to that knowledge by valuing God, treasuring God, prizing God, enjoying God, being satisfied with God above all earthly things. And then that deep, restful, joyful satisfaction in God overflows in demonstrable acts of praise from the lips and demonstrable acts of love in serving others for the sake of Christ.

  • Key Question: How is God being glorified?

Once you have a moment to reflect on the five characteristics of ministry to accelerate movement., ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How do I define “ministry”?
  2. What characteristics are firmly established in my ministry?
  3. What characteristics need more attention?

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There are seven mission critical concepts that you must grapple to create a robust culture of disciplemaking + church multiplication.  Each worthy of deep reflection, prayer and adept coaching.  I’ve listed these as “concepts” along with a key question.

Here they are:

Concept 1- Discipleship:

  • What is your discipleship pathway?

Concept 2 – Fruitfulness:

  • How do you measure fruitfulness?

Concept 3 – Ministry:

  • What is your definition of ministry?

Concept 4 – Church:

  • Describe what constitutes the local church?

Concept 5 – Time:

  • What can you do to move from expediency to significance?

Concept 6 – Gospel:

  • List your Gospel imperatives?

Concept 7 – Love:

  • How do you express your love of God?
  • Who is your neighbor?

You probably aren’t surprised by these.  On the other hand, you may have others you would add to the list.  Take a moment and reflect on your experience:

  1. What concepts are you rethinking?
  2. How are these changing your approach to disciplemaking + church multiplication?

Please continue the conversation and respond below….