Disciplining My Wayward Nature

We live in a world that is ME-focused and far too often I find myself falling into the trap of inconsistent practicing of some spiritual disciplines. 

Thanks to some books I have recently read including The Next Christians, by Gabe Lyons I was reminded of the following disciplines.  As I began to rank them as to what was my weakest vs best practiced discipline I began to realize how difficult it was to label my "best practiced" discipline.  That was disappointing for me because I know in my heart that consistent practicing of these restores me from my wayward tendencies.

  1. Immersed in Scripture (instead of entertainment) - TV, Talk radio, NPR, Facebook, music, film, Internet, iPhone games, video games, social activities, etc
  2. Observing the Sabbath (instead of being productive) - Ignoring yesterday and tomorrow to be present in the moment. Disengage from a highly productive culture so God can restore us.
  3. Fasting for simplicity (instead of consuming) - Discomfort from not having to give us a more thoughtful way of living that gives others a glimpse of what restoration is all about.
  4. Choosing Embodiment (instead of being divided) - "Less is more" concept in giving others our attention.  Mastering the practice of being fully present in your relationships, meetings, one on one conversations and community. 
  5. Postured by Prayer (instead of Power) - Prayer by its very nature settles the soul in a me centered world.  Reminds us that we are not in control and that we are not the ones responsible to "make it happen".  
I think we all recognize the importance of these practices.  We(I) need to rank how we are doing with these on a regular basis so was can be on the front edge of living to be the most appropriate examples of restoration.


Honoring Evelyn - a Grace Faithful

This post is in honor to Evelyn, who we lost this week to Heaven.  She was such an example to me.  I wrote this on her birthday in 2009.  

Her Funeral information is HERE

and this is the post from 2009:

I have a confession to make. 15 years ago, I was a teenager who did teenager things. My buddy Benny and I could really give adults some stress. Our actions actually helped originate the phrase, "shock and awe".
As teenagers in the youth group we came to be constant pests to Grace's faithful custodian. She learned to always worry(and rightfully so) when we were around. I am sure she grew to dislike summer when kids were off school because of us.

Some headaches we graced her with:

  • racing wheelchairs down the hallway
  • shooting water balloons off of the roof of the church
  • water fights in the hallway
  • food fights in the hallway
I know what you are thinking. What was wrong with me? Good question.

Don't worry, I think I turned out okay. As God would have it, after a long stretch in the business world - He planted me here at Grace as Director of Staff and Ministry Development AND her supervisor. (Not quite sure how she felt about that at first)
I would like to publicly say what an honor it is to learn from her and watch her service and dedication in action.

Some lessons she has graced me with:

  • What a servant of God looks like
  • What is means to be a dedicated hard worker
  • The work you do when no one is watching speaks volumes about your integrity
Happy 74th Birthday Evelyn! You are the heart and soul of Grace. Please thank Evelyn for all she does when you see her in the hallways. Over 30 years of faithful service!“Dedication is not what others expect of you, it is what you can give to others.”


New Vision Initiatives at GRACE - You in?

Hard to believe it has been a year since this transition:

And now we are into a year of new Vision Initiatives at Grace.  Derek spoke about these HERE.  Everyone has a chance to be a part of these and help move them to the next level of development.  Which one gets your attention?

Personal Vision - Helping to define your mission, vision and purpose? Check this event out for NOV 1st!

  • November 8 - Vision Initiative #1 - 3 more multi site locations.  RSVP by 11/7 to join this conversation and be notified of location. 
  • November 12 - Vision Initiative #2 - 50 local churches serving the Erie community.  RSVP by 11/11 to join this conversation and be notified of location. 
  • November 16 - Vision Initiative #3 - 2 global church to church partnerships.  RSVP by 11/15 to join this conversation and be notified of location.
Family - 936 (# of weeks from birth to 18)
  • For more information on how we are partnering with parents for 936 weeks contact Aaron. 
  • But check out THIS and THIS 
Discipleship - 212 (#boiling point)
  • To be a part of this discussion on how we are bringing the temperature of discipleship to 212 degrees, contact Aaron. 
We are so pumped about where we are being led these next few years and would love any participation you may want to have in helping to get us there. 

For a better understanding of our staff structure over the last year, check out the following


E.T. phone home

Text, Twitter, Facebook, Chat......With the latest and greatest forms of communication, have we lost the art of when it's appropriate to just make the call?

God has really been pushing me in this area. Because people matter (Thanks Mark), we need to meet them where they are at during specific times. Certain things just require a phone call and nothing else (other than in person). I have leaned too far away from phone calls and need to move back.  Phone calls mean more to people in certain situations and you will get the best response when asking something of someone.

In you ministry, business, family:
  • What times/issues do you need to be more sensitive to making a phone call and not send an email?
  • Who on your team needs your attention this week over the phone?
  • Who in your congregation or organization needs to hear from you in a different form than text?
So don't make the phone an alien form of communication.  Remind yourself to make some phone calls each week even if it may take more time.

Now, if you get a voice mail and they never call you back, that's another conversation ;-)


Hey GRACE! What about the Kids and Teens?

WE NEED YOU!  That simple.

One of the things we struggle with in a church like Grace that feels called to serve the community is finding the balance in what areas the church serves the church.  There is always much healthy debate.

One area you just can't debate is with our Family Ministry.  In a world where, children and youth are being pulled so many directions and need their church family to help with everything from changing diapers - to singing them songs - to mentoring - to teaching - to sending them onto adulthood well equipped to be ready for this world. 

We have 936 weeks with a child from birth to adulthood.  If there is a place where the church is going to band together to pour into the church, that place is GraceKids and GraceYouth.

  • It is a common misconception that we have enough people serving in these areas.  
  • Yes, this is more important that PTA and the soccer team you coach for your kids, etc.  But we also need more than just parents; this isn't an I served my time kind of area.
  • We need your help in the following areas:
    • Youth (McKean and Harborcreek)
      • Fun, energetic and outgoing adults who have a desire to work with Middle School kids (6-8th grades) and High School students 
      • Men to help plan and facilitate the game/activity time in the fall 
      • Specifically could use some strong male leaders, but are looking for female as well.
      • Contact Kristin with interest and/or questions 
    • Kids (McKean and Harborcreek)
      •  TOP NEED - Preschool and Elementary team members (worship, storyteller, skit leader, small group leaders
      • Event helpers
      • Nursery workers
      • Contact Jess in McKean and Erin in Harborcreek
Volunteering in a ministry is an important step in anyone’s faith journey.  What a way to do it impacting a child's growth into adulthood.


Let's Talk About Sex, Baby - no really let's talk.

Sunday night our youth at Grace had an interesting night to have discussions about sex, how its affects them and compare what the world tells them about it vs. what God's word says about it. 

After getting input and feedback from Kristin, our Youth Director about the night, I am still dumbfounded by what was was most shocking part of the night.

It wasn't that they asked questions about if homosexuality is a sin and how to act towards others, it wasn't that they had questions about masturbation, it wasn't that they had questions about addictions to sex; none of that, although those questions were asked.
Instead, the most shocking learning from the night was that MOST of them have not had any conversations with their parents about the subject of SEX.  What?!?

I'm not an expert in parenting as I only have 2 children under 7, but I know I need to have the tough, uncomfortable, the awkward conversations with my child or teen before they hear it on the playground, the lunch room, the Internet or at their friends house.  We have already begun this at our boys early age and I probably need to get better as well.  It is also not the church's job to completely do this "dirty work" for you.  It is our job to partner with you in this and help resource and equip you to have these conversations.

The Family Team at Grace is here to partner and equip you in this.  If you are looking for resources or want to have a conversation about this and how to talk about this at different age levels, please contact Larry Shallenberger or any of our other Family Team members. 

But by all means, talk to your children and teens about SEX or someone else will and you may find yourself talking after the fact instead of proactively.  Its a conversation not a "get it out of the way" moment.


One Day Staff Retreat

What is happening on staff at Grace you ask? Last Thursday, the staff had our one day spring retreat. It is great to get around this team and talk:

Vision: Heard from Derek on what God has been laying on his heart for the future at Grace. We talked about what excites us, what scares us, what isn't clear, what's missing and how vision guides us. We looked at Acts 20-21 and had each staff member pare down 2-3 measurable vision statements for their department that they could not be dissuaded from.

Remember, vision leaks so fill the buckets often~

Momentum Gaining and sustaining it. Sometimes coming out of a momentum filled time (like launching another campus) its easy to fall back into cruise mode. But it is key to continue to sustain momentum when working with the hearts of people in the community. We looked at Exodus 18:17-26 and the importance of having the right leaders around you to accomplish your vision for momentum on your teams, in your ministry area and how are you developing them.

Remember, If you don't learn to lead under, you probably won't have as many opportunities to lead over. (wish I could remember who said this)

Systems, Processes and TEAM'S We watched Stanley's talk on Liberating your Organization. This isn't about creating systems for people to pursue a relationship with Christ better. It's about having a quality foundation for your teams to lead and for ministry to happen effectively. Its about systems that free you and not restrict you as a leader so the day to day can be efficient and time can be spent walking with others as God changes their hearts.  Ultimately, there are so many other factors that come into this at the global church level involving hearts and the Holy Spirit.

Remember, its the staff's job to create the right environment for "things" to happen., but God still is the one moving the hearts.

So it was an awesome day, God wins every time.


Twitter "Breaking-News Juked" Brian Williams & Friends

How very clear it was that the world is moving more rapid than we sometimes are prepared for.  As bulletins began to come across to stay tuned for Obama's press conference, twitter began to light up.  Not only did it light up, but it juked the television news media and proved that it is no longer the most reliable source for the most up to date news.  Twitter now is.
At 10:25 p.m. Sunday night, while Mr. Obama was writing his speech, one particular tweet seemed to confirm it. Keith Urbahn, the chief of staff for the former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, wrote at that time, “So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden."  Then it all came out.

Brian Williams and his cronies were breaking news juked.

Check out this video on how quickly the world is changing and evaluate how your organization is managing the tension of shift vs consistency when it comes to your direction, vision and mission.

3 Questions:

1. Who is juking you? Is your ministry, business, church or organization keeping up with the quick changes is this world in communication and relevance? Do you know how to manage that tension?
2. Are you listening to those who are catalysts of innovation or to those who drop phrases like, "we always did it that way" or "but that's how we like it"?
3. As a follow-up to Question #2 - Is your organization on the rise or the dangerous slope of decline?


The Round Up - Balancing Efficiency & Trust in Ministry Staff/Volunteers

Here is the round up of a blog series where I explored the balance of getting efficiency out of those leading in ministry, pushing them (and myself) to high standards, holding them to a firm/fair/consistent working environment; while having heaps of trust in the amazing people I lead with who have skills and talents I will never have or understand - and watching them flourish into what they do so well into the gifts He has blessed them with.

As we passed another Easter season and I was brought to reflection, adoration, worship and love (as were many others) because of so many God-gifted staff members and volunteers at our different campuses, I was reminded of 2 things:

1.  I am led to this because others worship God well by serving Him within the gifts He has gifted them with.

2.  The art of balancing efficiency and trust in staff and volunteers so that God is honored is an art that needs practiced well.

Here is the round up - Click on any link to go to that post.

Balancing Efficiency & Trust in Ministry Staff/Volunteers Intro


#1 - Care for the people who care for the people. (2 of 5)


#2 - Drive the people that drive the people (3 of 5)


#3 - Serve the People that Serve the People (4 of 5)


#4 - Trust - is it achievable? (5 of 5)


TWLOHA - Does that mean anything to you?

You start by loving one.  I am sure most of you know this story, if you don't; you should. To Write Love On Her Arms

I have been intrigued with Jamie Tworkowski since the day I first heard him.  Jamie (and those like him) impress me to the core.  We were created to love God and love others. (Matthew 22:37-40)  Jamie's version of loving others started with Renee and has not ended in the least.  He is a great reminder for me that I(we) need to invest in others because everyone deserves to hear about Jesus and be loved by others no matter who they are or what their struggle is.

We are all uniquely created.
Who have you been uniquely created to love?
Who is your "Renee"?
How many "Renee's" do you pass by every day?



The Round Up - Grace Staff Teams/Volunteers

So here is the round up of the new ministry teams at Grace Church.  These are not our only teams, but for now our 5 main ones.

  • Have been blessed not only with hundreds of people who volunteer their time to serve God well in their gifts, but we have over 30 (almost 40) people in these key roles on these teams.  My highlighting of these teams does not take away from the amazing commitment from everyone who makes the church the church.
  • Are blessed and humbled by the fact that most of the over 400 volunteers spend their time being Christ outside the walls, not here at Grace.  Which, quite frankly is what matters and what we are here for other than discipleship.
  • Have so many sub teams that complement each of the champions in each of these ministry areas
  • Have central staff that has their hands in every team and campus to help support and lead in any way needed.
  • Have support staff and volunteers as well.

Staffing Structures and Team Updates (part 1 of 5)
Weekend/Creative Team Update (part 2 of 5)
Operations / Stewardship Team Update (part 3 of 5)
Family Team Update (part 4 of 5)
Next Steps/Elder Team Updates (part 5 of 5)

I love being a part of a church that worships God not only by loving Him, but by serving Him through serving others. THANK YOU TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE THIS MINISTRY HAPPEN!


Grace Church Staff Updates - Next Steps/Elder Team Updates (part 5 of 5)

(Part 5 of Grace Church Staffing Structure Update)

Finally we look at our last teams:

Next Steps Team
Live Champion, Invest Champion, Volunteer Champion, Equip Champion, Communication Strategist, Coaching Director and Care/Support Champion. Each champion has sub teams.

WHAT? – Every faith journey is different and there is no such thing as assembly-line spirituality. God is a hand-crafter, not a mass-producer. We do believe that, no matter where you are on your journey, there is always a spiritual next step to take. Part of that responsibility is with the church, through programs, classes and events. The other part is up to you. Think of it this way: "You can do it. We can help." One of the ways that we can help is through "L.I.V.E.", which are four common characteristics of growing disciples:

* LIVE in community * INVEST in others * VOLUNTEER your time * EQUIP yourself


• Create compelling growth environments
• Personalize – people over programs
• Tracking
• Synergize
• Develop sub-teams
• Communicate Next Steps options

We want to do everything we can to meet people where THEY are, not where we are. And in doing so help them find their way on their walk through coaching, care/support and these 4 values of a Christ-filled heart.

Lastly we have one of our most important teams. The Elder Team under the direction of our Senior Pastor, Derek Sanford.
This team has huge responsibilities in the vision of Grace, the care for the people of Grace and prayer and watch over this biblical community.


What Multisite Churches can learn from McDonalds

Pink's Travel Tips -- Tip #11 from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.

McDonald's reminds us (those doing multi-site churches)a little bit about the importance of knowing the environment you are going in to. Innovation becomes key to knowing what is a constant between your sites/campuses and what is site specific.

In the video, did McDonald's change the product or environment in some locations because of their values?

Where are you serving the Big Mac where you should be serving soup?


Grace Church Staff Updates - Family Team Update (part 4 of 5)

Here is an overview of our team that has experienced the biggest “makeover”

Our Family Team:
This team has really had the most adversity to overcome as they are all in new roles and ¾ of the team are new to our staff.  To put it bluntly, we unintentionally allowed our growth after the move to draw our attention to reaction to growth as opposed to being proactive with the overall vision of certain teams like the family ministry team.  

We have been very much feeling the need to connect our children’s, youth and post high school ministries by more than being in the same building.  It’s all FAMILY.  When kids move from 5th to 6th, they are not going from GraceKids to GraceYouth (although you are technically); instead we want them to feel they are just transitioning in the family ministry.    We want everyone to understand and fully live out their family role in their immediate context.  So at the same time we are equipping students, we also want to celebrate life moments (baby dedications, bible presentations, salvation/baptism, purity, etc.) and equip/partner with parents to help them lead well in their unique family and parenting situation.  All this well raising up the importance of discipleship in every role.  Students will begin to make their faith their own as we are here to help them grow.  Post high school, we will connect them to the church in accordance with their specific situation. (ie. young married, singles, college ministry, professional, etc)

WHAT? – To connect ministries and create a culture where spiritual growth is consistently transferring from Sunday mornings to the “living room” Monday through Saturday - where parents and leaders feel a partner mentality and all members of the family are chasing after Jesus.  Keeping children and youth more involved in the services (i.e. testimonies, children’s choir)

·         Equip each generation to live out the mission of Jesus in their immediate context.
·         Compelling aspects of the services
·         Celebrate with families when appropriate.

This team is ready for the challenge and are more than qualified for it.  SO PROUD OF THEM.


Grace Church Staff Updates - Operations / Stewardship Team Update (part 3 of 5)

Next we move on to our Operations/Stewardship Team:

WHO? - Operations/Administrator, Stewardship Director and Campus Operations Director

WHAT? – Create an atmosphere of warmth and personal welcome, providing a “safe” environment for people to take their next step toward Christ without any distractions from the car to the seat.  They will achieve this through teaching and practicing good stewardship, utilizing volunteers to care for people and facility need and s reacting to any budget and growth changes. 

·         Fully resource the mission of Grace while removing distractions between people and the Gospel
·         Meet the Budget – Not spend more than we have brought in while still enabling ministry to meet objectives
·         Develop volunteer teams to passionately maintain distraction free environments

This team is key to creating a culture and awareness of things we sometimes don’t like to talk about ($$) and things most don’t pay attention to unless they are in disorder.  Love the heart of this team.


Grace Church Staff Updates - Weekend/Creative Team Update (part 2 of 5)

As part of our transition, we also made a concerted effort to flatten the staff/ministry structure to allow for a team environment and prepare for future growth.   This will take some time for the staff to completely adjust to, but we have had positive success so far.

Here is an overview of our Weekend/Creative Team at Grace Church:

WHAT? – To create a spiritually charged worship environment where people are compelled to attend, inspired to fully participate and motivated to bring others.

This team has the incredible honor of creating a distraction free environment to lead themselves and others to a moment of corporate worship.  This is more than music though; this is through the sermon, the guest experience, any communication, creative videos, involvement from others in the congregation, etc. 

·         Open Source services with life stories, congregational involvement, etc.
·         Compelling aspects of the services
·         Reaching non-believers while remaining gospel centered

Looking forward to the innovation this team has brought us and will continue to in the future.
Next we will talk Family Ministry Team


Grace Church Staff Updates- Staffing Structures and Team Updates (part 1 of 5)

Wanted to repost this update from last fall for Grace Church members / attenders.  My next few posts will be breaking down what each team mentioned below will be tackling at Grace.  So excited about what is happening!

(previously posted 10.11.2010 "Thats Not My Job, its Ours...")
Recently at Grace Church we experienced a rather unique transition of leadership at the top. Our Senior Pastor, Al Detter felt called to step aside and hand over the vision and direction to our Executive Pastor, Derek Sanford. What’s unique is that as Derek became the Senior Pastor, Al is remaining on staff in a Care and Support/Campus Pastor role. For more on Al’s decision and this rare story, go here and here.

As a result of this transition, my job and our staff structure has changed. We have moved to a mostly flat staff structure compiled of ministry teams with like-minded individuals. The teams we currently have in place are:
Weekend/Creative Team - To create a spiritually charged worship environment where people are compelled to attend, inspired to fully participate and motivated to bring others.
Family Ministry Team - Stir up a spiritual fervor across generations so that each member of the family is passionate about knowing, loving and serving God.
Next Steps Team - Grace exists to make more and be better followers of Christ. This team will help take us and you there.
Operations/Stewardship - To fully resource the mission of the Gospel while removing distractions between people and the gospel.
Invest/Influence - The outreach events, mission fields, culture channels, workplace ministry, ServErie and other community outpouring where we use the example of Christ’s Love towards others.
Care and Support - Health, healing and support for our congregation through the “gifts of the Spirit” and the “love of the brethren”

As Derek intends to stay involved with our staff in the areas of vision casting, ministry planning, and evaluation, I have stepped in to help with that as well as manage the day to day decisions and ministry implementation. Along with the team changes, we implemented an up and coming concept in organizations and ministries across the nation which eliminates job titles. Apart from the clarity that job titles provide, they can also be a barrier for those who have them and for those trying to communicate with those who have them.

All that customers, congregation members and guests care about is; who do I go to for what, where can I get ________ information and how do I get an answer to my question. At Grace, we have struggled with providing an easy road map to navigate the staff and not feel distant while getting the answers and resources needed. The intention has never been, “oh that’s _____ ‘s job”, but that is often how it has been perceived. Danielle Hartland has spearheaded the effort to change that by removing the titles from our communications and replacing it with ‘what we can help you with’ and we are making a concerted effort to connect people to the appropriate staff and not direct people. 

We are so excited about these two initiatives! Here is the list:

How do you feel about this? What does your organization or ministry implement to remove these barriers?


Lebron James - is the HATE justified?

Unbelievable!  Last night the Cleveland CAVS broke their own record for the most consecutive losses in one season.  After finishing the last two season with amazing winning percentages.

While making it to the playoffs both of the preceding winning years, they eventually lost and left the playoffs. You probably already know the rest of the story. If not, read it HERE.  This is a catastrophic example of a team falling a part.  Would your team fall apart if one player was removed?  What would that do to your organization?

My biggest confusion in this whole thing is that so many people harbor anger at Lebron.  Sure, he may have left in a peculiar way - but hasn't it become evident that he is just a standout player that wants to play for an organization that isn't falling apart behind the scenes?  It is very apparent to me that the organization was not being led well from the top down.

Some lessons we could learn from this organization:
  • The Right People - a well known philosophy, yet poorly practiced.  The members of your team need to complement each others' strengths and weaknesses.  Sometimes the most obvious hire or addition doesn't make sense because it is not a fit for your culture or match well with other key players. 
  • More Than One - a team is made up of more than one person.  Putting 70% of your focus and resources towards one player will never bode well for an organization.
  • Deep Bench - in order to achieve "long term" success; every member of your team needs to be pouring into and developing those around them.  This is strategically important with future leaders of your organization.  There tends to be a fear here; "I don't want to train my replacement" seems to be a common worry.
I don't know, maybe you disagree with me and you think the bulk of the fall sits at the feet of Lebron.  But it is hard to argue with why he wanted to jump ship, whether you like how he did it or not.  All players on a team, INCLUDING yours want to be on a team that is led well.  With solid vision, clear player roles and a high level of appreciation no matter what the role is.

Would your team fall apart if it lost a key player?
Have you let any player leaving your team take "HEAT" for something your leadership was responsible for?
Agree or Disagree? 


    MLK: A time comes when silence is betrayal

    I wish I could have a long lunch with Martin Luther King Jr .  I have been so fascinated by him lately as I have been listening to and reading a selection of his sermons. 
    I listened to this one; Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence - last night and was just blown away.  You can listen to or read it HERE (don't make the mistake of not listening to it). This man has proven time and time again to be an amazing example of Christians who respond to social justice, need for peace and love for those without hope.  

    So today I ask:
    • Where can you be a light to ones without voice today?
    • In what social areas has the "Church's" silence turned to betrayal of an issue?  
    • In what areas has the "Church" been wrongly speaking out of, if any?

    He ends it so well with these suggestions:
    "If we continue, there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in Vietnam. If we do not stop our war against the people of Vietnam immediately, the world will be left with no other alternative than to see this as some horrible, clumsy, and deadly game we have decided to play. The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways. In order to atone for our sins and errors in Vietnam, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war.

    I would like to suggest five concrete things that our government should do [immediately] to begin the long and difficult process of extricating ourselves from this nightmarish conflict:
    Number one: End all bombing in North and South Vietnam.

    Number two: Declare a unilateral cease-fire in the hope that such action will create the atmosphere for negotiation.

    Three: Take immediate steps to prevent other battlegrounds in Southeast Asia by curtailing our military buildup in Thailand and our interference in Laos.

    Four: Realistically accept the fact that the National Liberation Front has substantial support in South Vietnam and must thereby play a role in any meaningful negotiations and any future Vietnam government.

    Five: Set a date that we will remove all foreign troops from Vietnam in accordance with the 1954 Geneva Agreement."


    Balancing Efficiency & Trust in Ministry Staff/Volunteers (Part 5 of 5)

    #4 Trust - is it achievable?

    a : assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something b : one in which confidence is placed 
     To gain it from those you lead you must:
    • Be fair, firm and consistent
    • Treat you leaders as equal partners
    • Provide Clarity
    • Serve them, resource them and champion the great ideas
    • Be an example of Integrity
      • Be honest, transparent and open
      • As difficult as it is, don't slander leaders to other leaders (especially when leader need to talk to you about a concern with another)
      • Be wise in what you promise; no matter what, you need to fulfill them
    To have trust in your leaders
    • HAVE THE HARD CONVERSATIONS - Don't let questions about something fester in your head.  Go seek clarity.  When you don't do this out of fear of offending, your "questions" turn to distrust.
    • UNDERSTAND THEIR REASONING - Learn how they make decisions, why they make them and what are their top priorities.
    • HAVE THE RIGHT PEOPLE ON BOARD - As hard as this seems, if you can not get to a point where you can trust, you need to remove them from the team.  Of course, you need to have taken all of the healthy steps with that person to remove the distrust.  Your ministry, vision and mission will never succeed when you have leaders you do not trust on your team.
    Andy Stanley refers to leadership as a stewardship. Most of the initiative is on you both to gain trust from those you lead and to have it in those you lead.  It falls on you.


    Balancing Efficiency & Trust in Ministry Staff/Volunteers (Part 4 of 5)

    #3 - Serve the People that Serve the People

    To lead means to be servant of all , and a servant does not look to influence but to put the needs of others first and to care for those needs.......by seeking others needs above your own you draft a new leadership arc. ~ Tim Willard

    43But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:43-45
    Some of you may feel I already covered this with the "Care for the People" post, but I feel these are similar yet separate philosophies.  Can you serve without care?  Can you care yet not serve? All throughout the Gospels we find many examples of Christ serving others from washing feet while on His knees to carrying the burden of our sin by His grace on the cross.

    The worlds view is to gain influence through wealth, power and crushing the competition.  Christ was able to gain influence over prostitutes, liars, the lonely, the heartbroken, the poor, the evil, the rich, thieves by serving, simply and humbly, serving them.  Putting their needs first.  If we want others to follow, we must earn the right to influence them - RARELY will this happen without putting the needs of those you lead first and being a humble servant to them.

    • This has to be genuine, those you lead can read through insincerity.
    • While being a servant to your team, don't neglect your own duties (find balance), as that would also lead to not serving your team well. :-)
    • Admittedly, this is probably one of my areas needing most improvement when compared to the example of Christ.  I was not that good at this outside of ministry, so how can I expect to do it well in ministry without serious attention, consistency and a genuine heart.