Leadership lessons Archives - Church Executive


3 things “churches in the shadows” can learn from megachurches

Not every small church in the country is destined to become a megachurch, nor should it be. Nearly 90% of all churchgoers attend much smaller churches and obviously enjoy the size, fellowship and ministry they find there. Even so, here are some things we can learn from the megachurches, and which are likely to contribute to continued health and vitality, if not attendance growth.

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Why local influence is more essential than a national platform

Pastor A has a top-ranked podcast, a book deal from a well-known publisher, and 150,000 Twitter followers.

Pastor B is the secretary at the local Rotary Club, is the assistant football coach at the middle school, and recently joined a bowling league.

Both pastors have influence. Both are doing God’s will. Both enjoy their callings.

I will make a bold statement: Pastor B’s local influence is ultimately more vital to church health than Pastor A’s national platform.

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Get to the ‘why’ in ministry

Over the years, I’ve attended many training sessions. I’ve taught more than my share of them and have found that often, it is the simple ideas that can be the most profound.

In my ministry of equipping pastors and churches and sharing our vision of the Church, one of the lessons I’ve learned and teach often is the What, How and Why. All are important, but it’s the Why that matters.

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What’s more important: picking the “right” pony, or …

What’s more important: picking the “right” pony, or … … selecting, enabling, and guiding the “right” jockey and support team?

In other words, is it more important for executives to choose the “right” business strategy, or is it more important to focus on how to execute on the chosen strategy? The answer: both.

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Mission Accomplished: Lance Taylor — grace under pressure

At Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, TN, hope is not a strategy. Rather, when disaster strikes — as it has, twice — the church has been able to sustain its rapid growth and expansion with preparation and perseverance.

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5 essentials for church leadership

In my ministry in visiting, encouraging and partnering with literally hundreds of churches, there are five essential aspects of church leadership that I am committed to never forget. Here they are in a condensed form. To make it interesting, the most important is actually the last one on the list.

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Half-truths and whole lies

It seems we’ve all grown too accustomed to settling for being told ‘half-truths’ obviously designed to deceive. Politicians are likely at the top of the list of half-truth-tellers — but half-truths are also featured regularly on our nightlight news, radio ads, commercials, the Internet, and even many companies’ sales reports.

The problem with any half-truth is it’s actually a whole lie.

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The deafening witness of calm

Calm is the “unicorn” of virtues in a world gone mad.

all-is-calmSomewhere along the line, it became cool to be loud and bitter.

It became an expectation that, for us to change the world (our job, apparently), we had to become social activists. Not the good kind — the Rosa Parks type of social activist. I mean the other kind. The abrasive, snarky, shaming, Jesus-juking, share-button-hitting, constantly outraged kind of social activists.

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The over-commitment principle — 2 hats or bust!

What is your favorite type of hat?

Mine is, by far, baseball caps. I have a whole wall and more in my garage of probably 60 to 70 baseball caps. Right now, I’m wearing my Chicago Cubs hat with a Santa cap on the historic Cubs “C” — love it!

Whether or not we love to wear hats on our head, we all wear them in life. I submit to you that all of us should have no more than two hats of commitment at any one time in the major areas of our lives.

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4 reminders when you’ve blown it as a leader

I’m in the process right now of setting up the annual learning trip for our church’s leadership team. We plop down in a city for a few days and discuss the best practices of several churches.

This year, I had two churches that I had relationships with and lined them up right away. However, as I’ve been looking for a third church to meet with, I have run into three churches in a row that have had a senior leader resign in recent years due to a moral failure — again, all in one city!

Leaders blow it sometimes, don’t we?

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