Leaders, pastors and church planters are facing challenges like never before. Some are being hit from both sides of THE DEBATE. The debate might vary from one moment to the next; but today, at unprecedented levels, leaders are having their values tested in ways like never before. A common theme that I’ve heard in conversations with several leaders, is the issue of in-person vs. remote gatherings. Most of you reading this blog have been at the center of that debate. This is just one of several hot topics today. There are others that I could mention that are just as volatile or moreso, but that is not the point I am trying to make.
The point is, leaders are dealing with issues that were not even on their radar 6-9 months ago. I do not want to suggest to know the right answer. What I do know is that leaders are seeking authentic, responsible and collaborative support to clarify, strengthen and hold to their values. One leader I spoke to recently shared (and I summarize):
The upheaval in our world, and that I am facing right now, has undercut the rhythms of life and ministry…
…for him AND I might add, for so many others in ministry just like him.
It is encouraging to see places where leaders are seeking innovative solutions to address challenging circumstances impacting disciplemaking. Clusters of pastors and church planters gathering to encourage, support and brainstorm solutions. And new ways of doing discipleship are emerging from these encounters.
A few weeks ago I was speaking with my colleague, Micah Dodson of Thrive Church Planting. And we discussed the question, what can we do? That is how we came up with the Leadership Collective – MISSIONAL DISCIPLESHIP TIMELINE.
It is our response to help a select group of leaders, pastors and church planters support and encourage one another to clarify their values. Plain and simple. We are using the SYMBOL TIMELINE as the tool to help leaders process these together and individually beginning October 2 from 10-10:55am PST.
Here is the plan moving forward. We will meet for 4 sessions over ZOOM on Fridays from 10-10:55am PST. Below is the flow of the 4 sessions:
- October 2: ORIENTATION TO THE MISSIONAL DISCIPLESHIP SYMBOL TIMELINE
- October 9: TRANSITIONS & BOUNDARIES
- October 16: SHARING YOUR TIMELINE
- October 23: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Suggested Reading: We are purposefully NOT requiring any resource costs for this exercise. However, if you would like to learn more about the timeline – especially Transitions & Boundaries, let us suggest a wonderful companion book entitled: “STUCK! Navigating the Transition of Life and Leadership”, by Terry Walling.
We will be accepting participants until October 1 @ 5pm PST. Please CLICK HERE to let us know you are interested in participating by entering your:
- E-mail address
- Paste MISSIONAL DISCIPLESHIP TIMELINE (in the Message box).
We are excited to get started. We hope you can join us. And bring a friend.
Gary Reinecke & Micah Dodson
- Are you stuck in a ministry rut?
- Are you struggling to forge new relationships to make disciples?
- Are you tired of getting the same results, unsure what adjustments you need to make?
Before we begin the Leadership Community for Missional Discipleship we are hosting an online cohort to help you clarify your values. We’ll do that by facilitating a group through the Symbol Timeline Exercise together.
- Read more about the Symbol Timeline Exercise, please – CLICK HERE.
This will be the first time me and Micah Dodson have offered this FREE cohort to help you synthesize your values. The process officially begins October 1 and runs for 4 weeks. We will be limiting the group to 15 participants; sign-ups are on a first come, first serve basis.
- If you would like to participate in the FREE online cohort, please – CLICK HERE.
By joining the FREE online cohort you are NOT obligated to participate in the year-long Leadership Collective for Missional Discipleship process, please – CLICK TO WATCH VIDEO HERE. However, this serves as a clarifying, stand-alone exercise and can be an extremely helpful pre-cursor to the Leadership Collective for Missional Discipleship.
You are invited to participate in the FREE online cohort please – CLICK HERE.
Any questions? Please e-mail me – CLICK HERE.
Why is it important to know your values?
- Values serve as guide rails for leaders and organizations
- Values provide guidelines for appropriate behavior
- Values accelerate personal development
I like to say that values are the things leaders argue for when the values are challenged. Vision, as others suggest is…
Vision is a picture of the preferred future from God’s perspective.
A leader without a clear set of values is like a ship without a rudder. The ship is afloat, but not going anywhere in particular.
Do you know your values?
Take a moment to reflect on those things that are important to you.
Perhaps it is taking a walk or hike, getting to know your neighbors or spending a day at the beach with your immediate family. Maybe it is reading a good book, making stuff with your hands or cooking. Whatever those things are – you will find a way to do those activities you value.
During challenging seasons, it is natural to examine and discover what is important to us, often as a function of those things no longer being available or accessible because of extenuating circumstances. Travel, time with friends, sporting events, concerts, creating, connecting and establishing relationships – the list goes on and our priorities are distilled down to the essentials when life twists and turns. If we allow it, our human resilience rises up and we find ways to create opportunities to fulfill our deepest desires and highest priorities.
What are the values of a disciple coach?
Let me suggest that disciple coaches value certain behaviors. Disciple coaches understand the importance of connecting with pre-Christians, helping new disciples grow in their faith, challenge disciples to move from “consumer” to “contributor” to serve members of their community and reproduce themselves into the lives of other new followers of Christ.
Here are those values again, taken from the Making Disciples Storyboard:
How can you clarify your values?
I was talking with a young, emerging leader recently who stated his desire to identify his values. Those things that are near to his heart, as a part of his maturing process moving into adulthood. This is what we did.
I asked him to take a look back and find the consistent themes that emerged from positive and negative experiences throughout his life:
- Influential people
- Circumstances that shaped him
- Events that encouraged new ways of think and behaving
From that list I asked him to identify lessons he learned. One lesson was – “be true to myself”.
From those lessons, he identified values. For instance – from “be true to myself”, he arrived at Authenticity.
Personal Timeline Exercise
In my final year of seminary I came encountered a class on leadership development and was intrigued by topic. The paradigm was developed by Dr. Robert Clinton in his dissertation entitled “Leadership Emergence Patterns”
and identified 6 stages of a leader’s development based on case studies of over 300 biblical and historical leaders from his research. That course was transformational for me as I learned about the challenges leader’s face as they encounter boundaries that either stifle development or challenge leader’s to move forward.
We were instructed to go through an exhaustive and lengthy recollection of our leadership journey to-date. As I journaled my story the professor, Dr. Gordon Klenck, instructed us to lay-out our life in a timeline, identify the various “process items” Clinton describes in his material and roughly construct the phases of development. To give you an idea how long ago this was, I still have my final paper which was typed on a word processor.
Since then, Clinton has written a more concise explanation of his work in “The Making of a Leader”. I have taken many individuals and groups through this exercise using a resource that popularized the process in a weekend retreat setting called “Focused Living” by Terry Walling. A wonderful companion book entitled “STUCK! Navigating the Transition of Life and Leadership” is also available, by Terry Walling, and introduces the timeline in a user-friendly style.
For those that want to explore your values but want a simplified version of the Personal Timeline process, I would suggest a “Symbol Timeline”. We initially used this exercise as a primer for the more expanded version of the Personal Timeline -see above. It will serve the purpose of identifying your values. Follow the steps below; but instead of listing the people, events and circumstances – draw them out like in the image at the top of this blog.
Remember, the goal of the Symbol Timeline is to use symbols to illustrate the major milestones in your life and distill the lessons you learned, so that you can identify your values.
5 STEPS TO CREATE YOUR SYMBOL TIMELINE
Take a look back and find the consistent themes that emerge from positive and negative: influential people in your life, circumstances that shaped you, events that encouraged new ways of think and behaving. That lightening bolt in my timeline above represents a health issue that altered the trajectory of my life.
Draw symbols to represent the most important items in your development as a leader. See that soccer ball in the image above – guess what my favorite sport was growing up?
Identify lessons learned. One lesson I learned was based on a statemnt my mom made every morning when I left the house with my brothers and sister – “remember who you are and who you represent”.
Identify values. For instance – from “remember who you are and who you represent”, I arrived at Integrity.
To take this to a more pragmatic context, let’s compare and contrast your values to that of a disciple coach. Here is a brief list of those values taken from the Making Disciples Storyboard;
If you would like to participate in a cohort that will be going through this process together please join the Leadership Collective for Missional Discipleship online learning community – CLICK HERE. This will be the first time me and Micah Dodson of Thrive Church Planting have offered this FREE cohort to help you synthesize your values. The process officially begins October 1 and runs for 4 weeks. We will be limiting the group to 15 participants; sign-ups are on a first come, first serve basis.
By joining the Leadership Collective for Missional Discipleship online learning community you are NOT obligated to participate in the year-long process we outlined in last week’s blog – CLICK HERE. However, this serves as a clarifying, stand-alone exercise and can be a tremendous pre-cursor to the Leadership Collective for Missional Discipleship.
If you are interested in participating in the FREE Leadership Collective for Missional Discipleship online learning community – CLICK HERE.
As you know I am always looking for ways to enhance my coaching effectiveness to create life-changing results for pastors, church planters and missionaries quickly and consistently. When I come across quality opportunities I share them with my tribe of coaches. Specifically I want to encourage you to catch the FREE Keys To Breakthrough Coaching Masterclass featuring former ICF President Marcia Reynolds.
One lesson I learned early on in my development is to get comfortable having uncomfortable conversations and asking difficult questions!red your spot?
Can you relate?
Secure your seat for the FREE masterclass here
This is your chance to learn live from 1 of the coaching industry’s greatest thought leaders. Marcia is passionate about helping new and experienced coaches alike create more powerful breakthroughs in thinking that lead to lasting change.
In this complimentary masterclass, you’ll learn how to:
- Elevate the impact of your coaching to get the transformational results clients expect – every single time
- Eliminate fear and worry around not being able to get results
- Never get stuck in your head backtracking conversations, or asking generic questions that have little impact
- Feel confident knowing exactly what to say and do
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, going deep, and asking tough questions
- Predictably facilitate deep, tangible, long-lasting transformation
- Avoid the pitfalls and “limiting coaching beliefs” the average coach remains stuck in
- Create more fulfilling and satisfying sessions that ensure progress
If you’re ready to create radical change in the leaders you coach, join me at this session.
Register for the Keys To Breakthrough Coaching FREE Masterclass here
Excited to see you there!
Have you been listening to the topic of conversations among leaders in the local church lately? Some have to do with what is going on in society (pandemic, moving online, racial justice). Other conversations get granular as tensions rise within our government. Many leaders in pastoral and church planting ministries that I speak to express the stress, challenges and difficult times we are all facing. These are very real – see Six Reasons Your Pastor Is About to Quit by Tom Rainer.
Most encouraging though are the interactions I have with leaders about the unprecedented opportunity they see, as difficult as it is at this pivotal moment in time, to move the mission of Jesus forward. I would venture to say that if we could capture this moment and raise the bar on discipleship, apprentices of Jesus will have the capacity to overcome many of the social injustices we face in our society. How can we take advantage of this unique situation and re-introduce the commission Jesus entrusted us with His disciples: to make disciples, who make disciples and who in turn, make disciples.
The conversation today, revolves around discipleship – how can we make more and better disciples in our current cultural moment, given the opportunities certain restrictions have imposed on our ministries?
I was speaking to a regional leader just this week and he mentioned that the 30-40 churches he overseas are asking this very question. Because of the restrictions placed on large and mid-size group gatherings, congregations that do not have small group ministries have been forced to create smaller, more manageable, disciplemaking groups. Those that are unable to pivot quickly and do so will cease to exist. This is the harsh reality of the season we find ourselves. However, those that are able to see the wisdom and leverage this opportunity are innovating new ways to make disciples.
Here are two practical insights that he shared:
- The strongest churches are focused on small home groups.
- The younger families are participating at a higher level via Zoom groups.
For you, disciplemaking may have been the primary driver for your ministry. For other leaders, this pivotal moment in time has afforded you the opportunity to reflect. You are are discovering for the first time or rediscovering the essence of ministry and the absolute necessity of disciplemaking. This gives me hope, motivation and energy for the future!
Last week I did a quick fly-by on the Leadership Collective for Missional Discipleship that is designed to help you:
- Discover ways to incorporate disciple coach values in your life and ministry.
- Connect with like-minded leaders on this same journey.in meaningful ways.
- Create a comprehensive discipleship pathway that suits your context.
- Equip other disciples coaches on your team to Connect, Grow, Serve and Reproduce.
One of the reasons Micah Dodson and I are compelled to offer this now is because of the conversations we are having with leaders about this very issue. Below is more information with a call to action at the very bottom of the page.
We have established a by-invitation-only, private network for you to LEARN about the Missional Discipleship Collective, CONNECT with like-minded leaders on a similar journey and INTERACT on relevant issues. We pray that you will consider this important issue. Will you take the next step and join the network?
Kick-off Event: Nov 15-17, 2020
LARGE GROUP – limited to 15 participants
2-day Retreat – La Jolla, CA: November 15-17, 2020
- Bring your spouse to the 2-day, kick-off event in La Jolla, CA – at no additional cost, except for travel.
Three ZOOM sessions as a full group for 2-hours each.
- Session #1: February 8, 2021
- Session #2: May 3, 2021
- Session #3: July 26, 2021
All times are: Mondays @ 9am PST (10am MST/11am CST/noon EST)
Seven, 60-minute Triad Sessions
LEARN MORE BY JOINING OUR
“BY-INVITATION-ONLY” COMMUNITY BY CLICKING THIS LINK.
InFocus will do everything within our ability to meet and exceed regulations so people are safe, remain healthy and have a peace of mind. If we are unable to secure the meeting facilities needed by no later than February 1 we will move the live, face-to-face event in La Jolla to a virtual Zoom event. We will communicate the adjusted cost and the modified agenda with all interested participants.