Leadership Reboot

Leadership Reboot

Summer is almost over and for churches across the country, this means it’s time to kick things into gear! Fall is a natural time for a reboot within your church as over the summer people have been busy with traveling and summer activities. They may have missed services or felt out of touch with their church community and disengaged from their spiritual development. As fall rolls around, your leaders are ready to fall back into a routine. The last two blogs we discussed relational and spiritual reboots, but what does a leadership reboot look like? 

Engaging Your Leaders

  • Do you have enough leaders to launch small groups, classes, youth ministries, etc.?  
  • Has your volunteer pool dropped over the summer? 
  • How are you encouraging your leaders to re-engage?  

Create a Leadership Community

You may already have a gathering of leaders that meet regularly or you may have a group you have worked with in the past that has taken a break over summer. Right now is a great time to regroup and bring them together to cast vision for the fall. During these meetings, a great way to inspire and engage leaders is to carefully prepare and plan for a Leadership Community. There are three elements of an impactful Leadership Community that can be explained using the acrostic VHS:

VISION: Gather all your leaders together and share the larger vision and goals of your church for the near future. Lead off this portion of the Leadership Community with a time of worship to connect with God and set the tone – listening to God. Remind everyone the work that needs to be done and why it matters. 

HUDDLE: Provide a meal and enjoy each other. Break down into smaller ministry teams to allow people to connect, care for each other, and pray together. This allows personal relationships to flourish.

SKILL: Spend time training your leaders in a new skill that will relate to everyone regardless of their context, like asking powerful questions. It does not need to be in depth or last too long. Make it doable and meaningful.

Engage Your Staff 

It is important to have a clear plan for the fall. Everyone on staff needs to understand the vision, know what will be the focus and the goal of the upcoming season and what their role will be in completing the goal(s). Use this opportunity to make certain everyone is pulling in the same direction. For example, it’s a good idea to meet with the entire staff at least once a quarter and to use this time to identify an area of focus with a goal behind each area, allowing that trickle down into the rest of the church.  

Coaching Tip: 

Challenge those leaders you coach to start and build gradually. One simple goal at the beginning will prove the value of a singular focus once real progress has been made. Once you have a successful experience, build on that and add a second goal, and a third when you are really building momentum, and perhaps a fourth after that. Beyond 3-4 goals, you risk becoming too scattered as a team and losing momentum.

A few points to keep in mind:

  • Take into consideration the ramp-up time for your staff staff to recruit, train and mobilize volunteers. 
  • Establish coaching rhythms with staff (groups and individuals).
  • Incorporate regular opportunities to celebrate “wins”.

Practical Questions a leader could ask to reboot their team members:

  • When was the last time you met with your leaders to celebrate progress toward their goals?
  • What are the urgent areas that you need to address leading up to the fall within your leadership?
  • What is the best way to empower your specific leaders? 
  • What can you do between now and the fall so that you launch strong?
  • Who are the most critical people you need to empower before the fall? 
  • Who are the leaders you need to care for the most? (Who is out of the loop or struggling? 
  • How can you celebrate the work that has been done and launch the leaders for the fall? 

See our Leadership Coaching Resources to develop the leaders around you below:

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Reconnecting with God

Reconnecting with God

It’s a full season of life for so many of us. Between work, vacations and frequent social gatherings, it’s common to feel less connected to God when our schedules are full. However, once life slows down and you find yourself back in your usual routines, it is easier to discover your spiritual rhythm as well. The more grace we can offer ourselves, the more we may find greater peace and joy when we come to the Lord.

How do you help your community reconnect to God?

3 Spaces help your people reboot their connection with God

  1. Personal – time alone with God
  2. Group – time together in a group
  3. Crowd – one of many

Are all three spaces necessary all the time?

Not necessarily. In fact, there are seasons when you might do well to hit on one of these while the other two are non-existent. In the best of times, however, people need at least two of the three and in the worst of times – all three.  

Rebooting the Church’s Corporate Spirituality

You are constantly thinking of ways to support and cultivate the spiritual growth within your congregation. Here are three ways to nurture the corporate gathering.

  • Engaging sermons that transform.
  • Inspiring worship that fosters connection with a loving Father.
  • Powerful prayer to seek the Spirit’s guidance, receive forgiveness and healing.

Rebooting Small Groups for Spiritual growth & nurture

If you drew a continuum for small group models – with a Bible Study on one end and on the other end a fellowship group – you would find that most all groups have some aspect of the following Love-Learn-Decide-Do.  

  • Love – grow in love for God and your neighbor through the Holy Spirit
  • Learn – grow in your ability to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit
  • Decide – grow in your faith by making a commitment to apply what you learn
  • Do – grow in your obedience  

Rebooting Your Personal Relationship with God

An individual’s relationship with God is the cornerstone of their spirituality. Without this, a person is simply going through the motions, likely with a feeling of obligation and guilt but without the love and trust that comes from a deep connection. There are two things you can do to reboot your connection with God: encourage those around you to nurture this connection, and secondly, nurture your own relationship with God. 

Here are four ways to reboot your personal relationship with God:

  • Make time for God
    • You may want to spend meaningful time with God everyday, but this rarely happens naturally. Though it may feel forced at first, most people have to intentionally block out time for their spiritual formation. Whether it is three mornings a week, or thirty minutes before bed every evening… make sure you are setting aside specific time for God. 
  • Make space for God
    • Some people feel closer to God outdoors. Some prefer a quiet room. Some want some gentle music. However you like to spend the time, make sure you have a place where you can focus without distractions. 
  • Make a plan
    • To use this time well, most people prefer to have some sort of guide. It could be a book that directs you to daily readings and provides thought-provoking questions, or a faith based Bible reading app (Bible in One Year, You BIble, to name a few).
  • Make a friend
    • Find a person who is on the same journey as you (either in the same place or a step ahead). This can help you stay accountable and offers you both a confidante to share the joys and hardships of life and faith. 

Do you want to take your team on the disciple-making journey together? The Discipleship Collective helps you mobilize other disciple makers. Take the Disciple Maker Quiz to discover the habits in which you are excelling and the growth points on which you need to focus. Then invite other members of your team to join you. It’s FREE and you can use it as often as you like! 

 If you want your team to be better equipped to make disciples consider the DISCIPLESHIP COLLECTIVE.

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Reconnecting for the fall!

Reconnecting for the fall!

Fall is around the corner and with that comes a natural desire to revamp and reboot!  How can you help your people get back into the rhythm of things? This usually begins with thinking about how to help people reconnect relationally after the summer. 

Summer is a disruptive season for most congregations – people travel, families are in and out of town, others are simply too busy with work and the extra social events that the summer invites. In the midst of the fun, a person’s church participation and spiritual community can often suffer. Church attendance nearly always goes down in the summertime, small groups take a break, and events slow down. But it all picks back up in the fall! 

Many churches are still recovering their numbers from the pandemic as people slowly make their way back to church. All this time away from the church can cause a person to question their place in the community. So how can you help people re-engage relationally? What do people need? What are they looking for from your church community? 

People who want to re-engage with their church community are looking to discover the place where they belong and feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. If they have children, they want to get their kids involved in some kind of Christian education. People are searching for meaningful ways to use their gifts and passions for the Kingdom of God through their church community. 

Relaunch your church community and help people get off to a fresh start. 

Events are a good way to get everyone together:

  • Movies in the park 
  • Sports
  • Sharing meals together

This is a casual way to allow everyone to reconnect with friends and get to know visitors or other congregation members they haven’t spent much time with. 

Small groups 

  • Launch a small-group campaign: post important dates on the church calendar. 
  • Make small groups visible – post with details about each group 
  • Make small groups accessible – create an easy sign-up system  

*Do the same for family ministries including children, youth, young adult, etc.

Service opportunities

  • Invite church members to take a spiritual gift assessment by appointment. 
  • Communicate various ways to serve inside and outside the walls of the church. 
  • Help people discover what they are passionate about and the best fit for them within the Body. 

Your church will do things YOUR way. The size and environment of your church will change how you reach out, and what kind of services you offer. 

3 important steps to  engage your congregation:

  1. Map out the process to involve people
  2. Clearly communicate the vision
  3. Make the sign up and onboarding process easy
  4. Create a very healthy culture in all your teams and ministries so that people have an amazing experience
  5. Share stories of how people’s lives are changed to the congregation

MOST IMPORTANT: Make sure that the people representing these events, ministries and groups are warm, welcoming and helpful!

How are YOU fostering new rhythms and relationships this fall? Share with us in the comment section!

Do you want to take your team on the disciple-making journey together? The Discipleship Collective helps you mobilize other disciple makers. Take the Disciple Maker Quiz to discover the habits in which you are excelling and the growth points on which you need to focus. Then invite other members of your team to join you. It’s FREE and you can use it as often as you like! 

 If you want your team to be better equipped to make disciples consider the DISCIPLESHIP COLLECTIVE.

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The Art of Hiring

The Art of Hiring

One of the most important decisions you will make as a leader is who to bring onto your team.  The wrong hire can cause conflict and inefficiency, whereas the right hire can multiply the fruit for your ministry!

How to make the right hire for your team

  • Be clear on your values
  • Be aware of what you are looking for in your team members
  • Be committed to what you don’t want
  • Be unwavering in your convictions of the essentials
  • Be patient

I have followed and studied football (American soccer) for the better part of four decades.  Today the game is so sophisticated and the advent of sports science so evolved that they are able to track every move of the athletes. There are statistics on the number of kilometers run, the number of successful passess made, the number of tackles, and on and on. What interests me is when you have a player who is a high performer at one club, but is moved to another top club and does not excel like you might expect. They are not scoring like they have in the past, their movements are not in sync with their teammates, or their persona is not as confident.

How is it possible that a player will look out of place with one team and at ease in another team? The problem – poor analysis!

The decision-makers made a choice based on the data they collected, but likely without understanding how this player would interact with his/her teammates. Now they are now stuck with a player they probably paid a lot of money for that doesn’t work as well with the team. One of the highest paid athletes in the US is Loinel Messi who arrived in FC Miami for $60 million plus a percentage of sales on new Apple TV subscriptions and Adidas purchases. The point here – the team management took a bold step to bring in arguably the best player to ever walk on the planet and match his potential impact with a package that would be commensurate with the impact on the club. This was a very clear cut deal – if you get Messi, you win!

Any new hires you make will parallel this scenario on the scale at which you operate in your church or ministry. Finding the best talent for your team can be challenging and it often takes longer than you expect. But the effort is well worth the investment in time and resources.

  • Be objective when vetting prospective new hires; be really, really objective when hiring a friend or previous partner (be aware of your motivations, or feelings of obligations, when hiring any person) 
  • Allow the information you collect to speak for itself; you might have a great match on skills while reading a resume, but once you interview in person, you see they have poor people skills
  • Do your homework before you start taking applications: have a clear job description, know the budget (or budget range) and be clear on qualifications. 
  • Have an exit strategy in mind if this doesn’t work out. Communicate clearly about what you wish to see after they are hired. It’s often wise to have a 90-day trial before committing to hiring someone. 
  • Be upfront with the disqualifiers; talk about what happens if lines are crossed, etc.

Questions for reflection:

  • What are the lessons you’ve learned in the past when I’ve hired well?
  • What lessons have you learned when you haven’t hired well?
  • Who do you know that has hired well you could learn from?
  • What changes do you need to make to your hiring process?
  • What tools can you utilize to assess prospective new employees?

Here is a tool that might help you hire well in the futureCLICK HERE

Do you want to take your team on the disciple-making journey together? The Discipleship Collective helps you mobilize other disciple makers. Take the Disciple Maker Quiz to discover the habits in which you are excelling and the growth points on which you need to focus. Then invite other members of your team to join you. It’s FREE and you can use it as often as you like! 

 If you want your team to be better equipped to make disciples consider the DISCIPLESHIP COLLECTIVE.

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Coaching on Succession Planning

Coaching on Succession Planning

Have you ever heard an athlete or an actor publicly declare that they are retiring –  only to change their mind? “Just kidding!” Suddenly they are back in their field, as if nothing ever happened. This happens quite often, and this fickle attitude is confusing and frustrating for the fans, even though it doesn’t affect them personally. However, a sudden change of career plans is not a practice isolated to the athletic or entertainment industries; it also happens frequently in ministry…and the results have a great impact on the congregation. 

You may have worked with a church whose beloved pastor gave an inclination that a change is in the near future or a date is set for retirement, and then they change their mind. There can be panic, confusion, joy, etc. from the church body! I hate when a leader announces their plan prematurely because it can wreak havoc for the leadership, the church body, and ultimately the pastor and his/her family. “Why?” – you might ask; “Isn’t honesty the best policy!” 

I grew-up in a church that did succession planning really, really well! (Read Skyline Wesleyan’s Story here.) Each pastor served for a  season – a particular stage in the life-cycle of the church for which they were uniquely suited. Not surprisingly, Skyline continues to thrive today. During my time there I experienced one transition from the founding pastor to that pastor’s successor. What I remember most was how the successor honored the previous pastor’s leadership. Every year on the church’s anniversary was a highlight for me. Periodically I still visit Skyline (my dad served on the board for the first three of the four pastorates during its 80-year history). Each pastor was brought up one-by-one to the stage and honored by the congregation as they greeted each other with a big smile and embrace, stood side-by-side as they applauded their successor and worshiped God for His faithfulness. When a pastor realized it was time to move to a new mission, it was always handled with great care and never announced before the pastor was certain it was the right move, and they were ready to take the leap. 

Unfortunately, this is not always how pastoral transitions occur. A plan to leave a church can easily be derailed or second-guessed, leading to much confusion. Here are some ways for you to coach a pastor if they are contemplating moving on:

Here is a common scenario:

  • Pre-Transition: The first stage of a transition is really about making the decision. Do they really want to (or feel led to) leave, or is it a pattern of dissatisfaction every few years, only for the feeling to dissipate after a while? A good indicator of whether the pastor is seriously considering moving on if they have told, or are thinking of telling, their family and the church board. Who should they speak to first? Who should they refrain from speaking to until the wheels are in motion? As soon as they make their declaration public, the transition has begun. 
  • Transition: The board, the staff, and the decision makers have been informed. As soon as this happens, minds are moving in the direction of, “Now what?” They are now focused on the future. This is a good time to bring in a successor. An overlap of three to nine months can be a helpful transition phase to ease the successor into their position before the pastor leaves. Most importantly, it’s essential to understand that there is an exit plan for both the pastor and the church. 
  • Post-Transition: As a coach, you want to make sure that your client is ready for what happens after they leave their occupation. There are a few things to consider with your client: 1) Can they provide for their family immediately? 2) Are they going to find a place where they can maximize their gifts? A move this serious should be a lateral move, if not a move closer to their mission/passion. Your client might also need support through a transition to a new job or phase of life. Sometimes a change is expected to yield immediate results, and when it doesn’t there is a knee-jerk reaction to return to a comfortable status-quo. However, all changes require adjustments and time. 

Things to avoid:

  • Emotional Reactions: Some clients will want to inform their board, but it might be far too early or before they are set in their decision. 
  • Temporary Urges: Some clients are reacting to a season of frustration, anger or destitution (the frustration of Covid, for example, had many pastors wondering if it was their time to move on).
  • Avoid asserting your agenda: This goes for your client and their next steps. As a coach, you are there to guide and advise, but you are not there to dictate their next move. 

Principles to Guide the Succession Conversation

Succession is a process, not an event. Decisions of this magnitude have ramifications for a lot of people, and it will have a myriad of responses. Be prepared for the blow back and surprises that come out of this. For example, some people might even be happy the pastor is leaving, which your client might not have expected. When preparing, consider all the possibilities and how to prepare for them. 

Questions for Your Reflection as the Coach

  • How does this fit with what you believe God is doing in your client’s life and ministry? 
  • What has contributed to this decision? 
  • In your mind, is this a wise move?
  • What does God want to do through you? 

Questions to process with your client

  • How long have you been sitting on this? 
  • Who have you shared this with and what was their reaction? 
  • Have you shared it with your spouse? What was their reaction? 
  • What is the motivation to want a change? 

Do you want to take your team on the disciple-making journey together? The Discipleship Collective helps you mobilize other disciple makers. Take the Disciple Maker Quiz to discover the habits in which you are excelling and the growth points on which you need to focus. Then invite other members of your team to join you. It’s FREE and you can use it as often as you like! 

 If you want your team to be better equipped to make disciples consider the DISCIPLESHIP COLLECTIVE.

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