This image has particular interest this week as part of the cathedral was burned and altered the Parisian skyline. Notre Dame de Paris or “Our Lady of Paris” was started in 1163 and was largely complete by 1345. For almost two centuries this amazing piece of architecture was under construction.
I wonder what motivated the visionaries that envisioned this house of worship.
What motivates you to do what you do? I enjoy asking this question because you can tell a lot about a person by their answer. In the case of Notre Dame was it to reach the heavens so that people could get closer to God; to honor and give glory to God; to make the cathedral the heart of Paris? Whatever the reasons, people dedicated their lives to fulfill the vision.
When asking people who are discerning how to align their lives with God’s purposes – it takes on an entirely different meaning. I remember when I was a college student studying environmental design I was asking myself this very question. It led me to explore other avenues than I had previously considered, including ministry. My dad was a businessman who was trained as an electrical engineer so ministry was unfamiliar territory. One morning as we were walking and talking, he made an observation pertaining to the internship I was doing at the church where I was raised in the Faith. He made a comment that range true for me and solidified the change I was contemplating. He admitted that he did not understand what a vocation of ministry involved; but he did notice that I was invigorated more and more by what I was doing. That helped me sort through the fog that cluttered my mind and see for the first time what I had sensed in my heart. Words matter – especially when it comes from someone you respect, love and desire to be like.
That eventually led me down the path of seminary and into coaching, to help: emerging leaders and leaders discern what God was calling them to, navigate critical issues to catalyze movements of disciples that start healthy churches that start churches and faithfully serve God in the next chapter of their life.
One of the reasons we created the Personal Calling Collective is to help you and those you coach do just that. Younger leaders have a great need for this type of support AND established leaders need it just as much. CLICK HERE for more information. Here are a couple of resources that might help you, and others, discern what God is calling you to next:
Personal Calling Coaching Guide with Storyboard
Personal Calling Storyboard
Gary empowers leaders to discover and realize their God-given potential, not by imitating others, but by striving to become the best possible version of themselves.
Rev. Russ Siders – Lead Pastor,, Sunrise Community Church
Leaders have limited time and resources to develop – we provide coaching and training to help leaders develop their effectiveness!
For three years, InFocus worked with the North Point Partners from 2008-2011 to coach the 22 lead pastors in their leadership effectiveness. One of the insights we learned was that leaders need a plan to develop their leadership. As a result, we created the Leadership Development Collective, a LIVE online course.
In three weeks I will co-facilitate the first of four group sessions with Troy Fountain who is a North Point Partner, the founding pastor of Wiregrass Church – which has grown and planted two campuses. He started and led the 1st Strategic Partnership of North Point Community Church. Troy brings years of experience to the Collective.
If you register before March 15 you will receive a $300 discount off the normal price of $997. For excellent content, 6 hours of training + 4 hours of 1-1 coaching we estimate this is a $2,500 value. We are eliminating travel, food and lodging from the equation – combined with the convenience of learning from your office!
Sign-up today – click here & use the code: infocus300 to receive the Early Bird Discount!
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 fifth step in the leadership developmental process is EVALUATE: know how and when to evaluate team member’s performance to ensure the vision, the goals and the team member’s contributions are on track.
Here are 6 things you can do to keep your team on track:
Point out the difference between the present situation and agreed upon expectations
Describe specifically the negative impact of the individual’s performance
Ask the person for their view of the situation
Ask the individual for ideas on how the situation could be corrected, and then add your own if necessary
Agree on action plan for improvement and a date for follow-up
Express confidence that the individual can correct the situation
Evaluating is an important step in the Leadership Development Process. But Evaluating 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 developmental process.
InFocus is responding to this need through Live Courses called Collectives. These “just in time” courses are designed for leaders who are in the trenches of developing the leaders around them. Each course will engage participants in the 6 Step Leadership Development process above through a combination of group interaction and 1-1 coaching. Learn more about the 2019 Collectives.
The next step in the journey to develop as a leader is – Review. Review occurs on the team as well as the individual performances of it’s members. This is where we will pick-up next week.
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:
How do I define “ministry”?
What characteristics are firmly established in my ministry?
What characteristics need more attention?
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As my kids return home later this week from their summer internships and get ready for the fall quarter at university, I’m super excited to see them and de-brief their experiences. We’ll have three weeks together to enjoy some camping, hiking, swimming, beach days, and maybe a fire-pit or two. Both of our kids had amazing summers and I love to hear how God used them in their respective areas of focus before they go back to the grind of their studies.
I trust you are finishing your summer on a “high” note and preparing for the fall.
As you’re making your plans for the fall, I wanted to remind you about our two Collectives. Registration ends September 3rd, so if you’ve been waiting to apply, now is the time.
Here are the three easy steps that make-up the Collective:
ACTIVATE your vision through individualized coaching.
ASSESS your process to cultivate leaders using a coach approach.
APPLY principles in your context.
Click here to read more and apply for the Developing Coaching Excellence Collective
Click here to read more and apply for the Church Planting Coach Collective
Group discounts of two or more people are available upon request.
If you have any questions, we’re here for you. You can reply to this email or give us a call at (951) 473-4481.