Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Sin that is Most Ignored

greedy hand by johnny_automatic - The Biography of a Grizzly by Ernest Seton-Thompson (1900)  Covetousness might be called “the sin that is most ignored.”  The tenth commandment is the one that is normally skipped. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said of the thousands he had seen saved he never heard someone say they were saved from the sin of covetousness. LaSalle was a famous priest of the middle ages and he said this sin was never confessed to him.
The old Jewish saying that we are born into this world with hands grasping after everything we can obtain, but when we die our hands are wide open, with nothing in them understood the problem correctly.
A story is told of a peasant who murmured to a giant landholder of the unfairness of it all. Knowing the nature of men, the landholder promised to give the peasant all the land he could walk around in a whole day. The peasant, greedily trying to take in all the area possible, overexerted himself and dropped with a heart attack and died. He ended up with nothing.
Covetousness is a Debasing sin—it’ll turn you into someone else. (1 Timothy 6:9-10) It is a Deceiving Sin—usually the covetous person doesn’t recognize their problem. (1 Thessalonians 2:5)  It is a Damning Sin—one to take seriously! (Ephesians 5:5)

Leaders especially must beware of falling prey to the lure of the temptation this sin offers.  A leader's influence can be negated in a short time as others observe motives that are not acceptable.  Covetousness belies the pretense and the posturing of goodwill and service.  The one observing a covetous leader is soon concerned about the reason the leader may have to guide his followers in a certain direction.  Questions that come to mind include those regarding whether the vision and the mission espoused by the leader are ultimately guided by his craving desire to accumulate things which he values but which may be of no value to his followers.

What is the remedy?  Paul possibly saw that this was something of which his son in the faith should be aware when he said,  

But godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

1 Timothy 6:6-11 King James Version (KJV)

  • Is contentment another word for self-denial?
  • What would you say are some steps to withdrawal from the problem of covetousness?
  • Do you think it is possible to be content when other leaders seem to have all the latest gadgets and fashions and fads?
  • How can a leader maintain the image of success while denying himself of the luxuries some leaders see as necessities?
By Dr. Gayle Woods

Friday, April 26, 2013

Leadership Development - Bill Hybels (2000)

Never be satisfied with your level of leadership.

Read, associate with other leaders, go to seminars etc.

How do you really do it?

There are a lot of VCLI (very cool leadership ideas) out there.  Books, Bible, summits, etc have many vcli’s.

Once you have exposed your mind to these then you have to put them through a discernment filter.  Some ideas fit you and some don’t.  Sometimes the timing is not right.

Then you have to determine how many of these vcli’s that fit you, you can juggle at one time.

Delegate ideas that you can not handle to people who can handle them.

Eventually all the ideas have to find their way into the dna of the organization so that they are a part of the being of the institution.

S Curve – how an idea finds it’s useful purpose and then loses its effectiveness.

As an idea is gaining momentum you try to find another idea to start on its way up before the first idea finds its apex and heads down into ineffectiveness… and so on.

Capital Campaigns

Stewardship consultants cost save you money. 

1.     They bring experience
2.     They establish reality
3.     They force discipline
4.     They give assurance
Can you abide in Christ and abound in the work of the Lord at the same time in the same body.  Yes.

Is what we are doing – Doable Hard or Destructive Hard?

If it is Doable Hard – pray more.
If it is Destructive Hard – (relational problems, physical problems, spiritual problems… unrealistic responsibilities, pace, dysfunctional teams, etc.) – Don’t keep pushing on…Take a BIG TIMEOUT………go through a self-leadership exercise………….Why does leadership seem damaging to me.  Is it pace, scope, the team????

“The Leaders Edge -  DVD 1
Willow Creek Resources

Lessons from a Capital Campaign – Bill Hybels (2001)

The Greatest Miracle since the 2000 session

1.     Consider outside help – stewardship consultant –RSI  or  ISS the best
2.     Mobilize and focus the entire organization
3.     Work hard
4.     Go to new levels of trust and dependence upon God – prayer
a.      Teaches you to let go
b.     Teaches you the power of ownership – will gain new stakeholders
c.      Teaches you to risk for God

The Biggest Mistake since the 2000 session

Breakthrough happens when you discover your greatest point of leverage and then exploit that.

Churches don’t just naturally grow….there has to be a disproportionate emphasis on evangelism for them to grow.  If you leave them to their own devices they will dwindle and die.

The weekend services are designed as funnels to bring people into our service so we will have a chance to win them.  “As the weekend goes so goes the church.”  You must have a front door…some entry point.

Pump your leadership abilities into this opportunity.  Have weekly strategy meetings with your leadership group.  Attendance drives, etc etc etc  Make a pact with the people, “I will break my back to have effective services.”  “In turn, you (laity) you will have to bring your unsaved friends.  Take them to lunch, have them into your home, etc. just convince them to come to church.”

Think outside the box.  Be creative.

Make the weekend services sizzling, can’t miss events.

Webpages…”The IdeaNetwork” – music ideas

Promise Land curriculum – children’s ministry

How you View Your Time

Every three months or so have staff day ……..
            Idea – Invite visiting teachers to motivate staff

            Idea – 9 p.m. – 3 p.m. day of total silence
                        9 – Noon – Lunch and debriefing time
                        1 – 3 p.m. – Debriefing time

View time as offensive energy bursts.  Windows throughout your day to apply yourself to problems, or windows of opportunity, or areas that lack vision or lack of focus, brainstorming groups.  Catalyze, motivate etc.

Plan for Energy Blocks of Time

6 a.m. – 7                   7 – 10:30                    11:30 - 3                                 3 - 4
Monday          Draw near to God     Message Prep              Management teams             Followup
Tuesday          Draw near to God     ?                                  Leadership development            ?
Wed                Draw near to God     ?                                  ?                                              ?
Thursday         Draw near to God     ?                                  ?                                               ?
Friday             Draw near to God     ?                                  ?                                               ?

Move with energy toward important things during the best time of your day.

If email or problems that you have to respond to depress you don’t deal with them during your best time of the day.  It will kill your energy. 

Take leaders out to lunch to get to know them better

The Strongest Prompting from God is 2000 session

Became sensitive to racism
To be accepted by other races you must declare yourself

Books – Divided by Faith, and Across the Divide

Series:  Bridging the Great Divides
1.    Racial Divide – testimonials, interviews, sermon

Highest Risk Ministry Venture

Moving from single campus to multi campuses
People driving long distances  ….

If someone lives within 30 minutes they will be committed
If live outside of 30 minute drive it becomes a matter of logistics

Willow Creek opened up Regional Ministry centers to address this problem…not new church plant but an extension of their ministry.

Great Ministry Opportunity

Church renewal…. Also on international level
Each church needs to take a mission challenge

“The Leaders Edge -  DVD 1
Willow Creek Resources

The Leader’s Edge – Bill Hybels (2002)

90% of what a leader learns is what he learns by doing.

Leading in a crisis……

1.     In a crisis everybody in the organization take their cue from the psyche of the leader.
a.      The leader must define reality.   “What are we really dealing with?” 
b.     He has to ruthlessly deal with his own emotions, etc.  Exercise self discipline.
2.     In a crisis the leader must increase his presence.  The people need added reassurance, and consolation.
3.     In a crisis there is a wonderful opportunity for teaching moments to occur.  People are asking sincere questions and are open to honest answers.  They don’t need adult sized pacifiers.

Method to use when have to cut your staff

Determine what ministries are the highest priority
A Bucket
B Bucket
C Bucket
What is most mission critical
Have leadership people all prioritize and then see what the consensus is for the institution.

If you have to do a cut in staff don’t do it across the board but cut the low priority ministries.

Do a performance evaluation with staff.  Find out who are the A players, the B players, and the C players.

A players … exceed expectations
B players … does the job
C players …don’t necessarily live up to expectations always

Compare this information to the mission critical ministry priorities.

Put together generous severance package
Try to help them find position elsewhere

1.     It was the right thing to do
2.     The result was beneficial
3.     Ministry has grown
4.     Gratification in seeing that the people who left have benefited
5.     It helped leadership go ahead know what really was important to the ministry
6.     It helped to have a new rating system for performance

 Theory of Spiritual Formation

Beaker with flame under it.  At a certain temperature the contents change their properties.  Jesus was never interested in lukewarm stuff.  He was interested in the boil point…. Heat.

When people are fully devoted, fully surrendered ….then they can be most useful.

Going to church service a week heats me up to about 180 degrees.  Pastor think that if you have a great service you can heat people up to 212 degrees.  This is not true.  By the evening the heat dissipates.

Question:  How can we add spiritual heat/power

1.     Teach them spiritual practices……….teach them how to do these every day
2.     Add a mid-week service…to heat them a little higher
3.     Get everybody in small groups
4.     Make sure everybody knows their spiritual gifts and use them
5.     Get them in extension ministries….helping people in need.

Pastors are often out of touch because they think that the average guy leads a life like a pastor….thinking God thoughts all day, etc.

Have a plan to heat/reheat your people to the boiling point.
Church Growth stuff

Empty seats at optimal inviting hours

If we are going to grow our church with seekers we must have empty seats at optimal inviting hours.

Every time they added seats at optimal inviting hours they filled the seats.  When they tried to have services at hours that were not optimal inviting hours they were not effective. 

They discovered that early services and Saturday night services were not good times for services.  Sunday night works better than Saturday night.

Enlarge your box!  This is the only way to increase your leverage ratio.

 Umbrella of mercy……….a call to give an idea without risk of critical remarks if it is considered to be stupid.

Visual aid idea.  Drive a stake of commitment.
People  write their name on a stake and then drive it in the ground as a visual indication of their commitment to the task at hand.

 Regional Ministry Centers

One church….many campuses.   Use video simalcasts.

The purpose of starting these regional centers was not convenience.  It was so that they could invite their friends and neighbors to church without having to go a long distance.

 Bridging the Racial Divide

Hiring people of diversity
Using people of racial diversity

The celebration of diversity not the toleration of diversity is the goal.

Read – “Divided by Faith”
X       \ The speed line    /  The soul line

Are the leaders going to survive when the churches grow…..the speed increases for the leaders’ lives as the churches grow.  Speed and the Soul are not on the same line.  They go in different direction.  If the velocity of your life is too high your soul will suffer.  The best you have to offer the church, your family, you is a real soulish you………..God doesn’t just want velocity.   You are not a speed machine.  He wants to be engaged with your life….to have a relationship with you.  Lower the speed so that your soul doesn’t take a dive.  Find a daily, weekly, monthly, annually soul feeding filling time. 

“The Leaders Edge -  DVD 1
Willow Creek Resources

The 360 degree leader - Bill Hybels (2003)

We must learn how to lead better down…. supervision
We must learn how to lead better up…leading those who have authority over you.
We must learn how to lead better laterally….partnering with others.

Refer to “Courageous Leadership”

Self-leadership is the most difficult type of leadership.

Painful Questions

1.     How do I feel about the focus of my leadership passion today?
a.      Each church deserves and demand high degrees of focus from their senior leaders
b.     Acts 2 church “devoted themselves”….they were riveted on their focus
2.      How do you have enough empty seats at optimal inviting hours.  Have we decided what new growth engines will be needed to big dogs to run those engines?
a.      Incrementalism…when a new idea, service or product comes on the market everybody gets behind it and that becomes a growth engine in the market….but then it finds its settling place….then people try to get incremental growth out of the settling idea, service or product.   Can’t get enough growth and will lose best people.
b.     Churches….flattening out….plateaus on a growth curve
c.      Natural annual attrition at a church is 8-10%
d.     If you have only a 2% growth rate you are dying
e.      Great leaders don’t want to die with dignity.  They won’t stick around.
                                          i.    Do we have a leadership problem
1.    Is it a vision problem
2.    Is it an inspirational, motivational problem?
                                        ii.    Do we have a teaching problem?
1.    Quality of teaching
                                       iii.    Do we have a programmatic problem…
1.    Are we no longer creative?
                                       iv.    Do we have a low evangelistic temperature?

Do we have an incremental mindset…so that we try to fix the problem in small bits?  
We need to initiate some high growth impact growth engines

A new neighborhood strategy for small groups…
            Small groups have been reactive…
            Now they are initiating action…..
            Think about geographic regions and bring small groups into a neighborhood. 

A new family and children growth outreach
            Who is under the most pressure in demographic society?  Parents with young children ---- 28 years to 48 years old.  It takes two incomes, kids involved in many activities, etc.
If parents are under this kind of pressure….how can we best serve them in a creative way.

A new ministry to high capacity people.  People who have time, energy and resources to be plugged into ministry.

You can’t solve your plateau problems with incremental thinking.

 The S curve idea………

            When you get to the top of the S curve of the idea the idea is stale and needs to be repackaged and re-launched.  Things are sagging, etc.

When you come up with a new growth engine what leader do you put in charge?  A proven leader or a new leader?
Put your best leaders on this… has high risk factors so you don’t want to complicate the risk of putting untried leaders in charge.  You need a big dog leader for the task.

Problem assessment…..true leaders are gifted problem solvers

When it is all said and done it is the unbridled optimism of the leader that saves the day.

Self Leadership

Three gauges on the dashboard of your psyhe
1.     The spiritual gauge
2.     The physical gauge
3.     The emotional gauge

When you are good leader
1.    Your speed line will go up
2.    At a certain velocity your soul will not keep up with the speed of your life

Are you gaining or losing altitude in your relationship with
1.     God
2.     Family
3.     Ministry
4.     Recreation
5.     etc

Is my heart for people becoming radically more inclusive?

“The Leaders Edge -  DVD 2
Willow Creek Resource

What Volunteers Can Do - Bill Hybels (2004)

Leaders set the “love quotient” of whoever/whatever they lead.

Problem facing Willow:

The line of spiritual opportunity is going up (following 911)
The line of resources is flattening out
Need to take advantage of the spiritual opportunity with the  limited about of resources.
X+Y=Z (the Fruit Jesus wants to give the church)

X = Paid staff
Y = Volunteers
Z = The Fruit Jesus wants to give the church

Staff person appointed to be Volunteer Leaders
How to invite them to serve
How to offer them a first time experience
How to train volunteers
Bill Hybels wrote book about Volunteerism to inspire people to volunteer

7,000 volunteers to 11,000 volunteers as a result.

When someone steps forward to volunteer something is going on greater than what is apparent.  It catalyzes other spiritual elements… when they cross the invisible line into volunteerism they begin to pray more, give more, invite others more, etc. 

Two Case Studies:

1.     Jon – wife – three kids – lived 15 miles from church – self-employed  - 150 employees.  When asked about service he said “I don’t serve anywhere, I am not talented like the rest of you are.”  Hybels asked him . . . what do you love to do?  “I love to build things.”  Hybels – “If Willow is ever ready to build something would you be willing to help?”  “Yes.”  Later Jon is put on the building committee.  He becomes leader and constructor of most of the buildings.   “It is unbelievable that I can build something for God.”  He left a great volunteer legacy when he died.

2.     Harold – successful marketplace guy – family business – huge work ethic – highly relational – wife – five children – never missed church – loved God but never involved in church – Harold was Bill Hybel’s dad.  Church he was in used volunteers but in a very limited sense… they only did what the staff didn’t want to do.  He never volunteered his service.  He was very capable but never was asked to help.  Died at age 52 years of age without ever being a volunteer.  He never knew the thrill of being a volunteer.

Why were the two stories different?

1.      The cultures of the two churches were totally differing
a.      Jon attended Willow – with had an Eph 4 culture – the job of the clergy was to equip people for service.  Train them to be the ministers of the church. . . not just do the low level work of the church that no one wants to do. 
                                                             i.      Everyone needs to believe that it is normal for everyone in the church to know their spiritual gift
                                                           ii.      Raise the value of service in the church so they ask “How can I serve?”
                                                        iii.      Train people to realize that the church is a body and that every member should minister.
b.     Harold attended a church that had a clergy centered culture – unbiblical . . . clergy are arrogant in their practice and aire of being professionals doing things that no one else in the church can do.

We should continually work to move our church toward an Eph 4 church.

CCC_________>__________>_________>_________>  Eph 4
Where is your church on this continuum.

2.       Jon volunteered because he was ASKED to volunteer. 

What is it that we really do when we lead? 

“We cast BOLD visions and then we make BIG asks.”

3.     Ask an important question:  “Beyond your work what do you love do do?”
a.      It looks like you would be a fit for the “X” job at the church.
b.     Would you be willing to give it a try?”

Don’t just ask them to do stuff that no one wants to do.  Ask them to do things that they love to do.

The first-serve concept:  don’t violate the dignity of a first time volunteer.  They must feel accepted and important.  Put a “wrench” in their hand.  Don’t let them stand idle watching others do the work.  Don’t assume they know what needs to be done, where the tools are, etc.

4.     The Principle of Capacity
a.      High Capacity Volunteers
b.     Medium Capacity Volunteers
c.      Low Capacity Volunteers

This has nothing to do with intelligence etc.  Some just want a higher or lower challenge than others.  A low capacity person may not need any more stress in their lives.  A high capacity volunteer will not be satisfied with a low capacity job.

5.     The Principle of Community
a.      Design the task so that workers develop friendships in the work
b.     Design the work so that it is done by teams not by people working alone.
6.     Connect the volunteer work to the Vision of the church
a.      Don’t make the volunteer work just another job
b.     Connect all work to the vision

Don’t have a vision free environment at your church

7.      Commendation is important
a.      Praise is valuable
b.     Encourage, bless them, lift them up
c.      Pastors should be “Thanking Machines” – be genuine… this is not flattery.

“The Leaders Edge -  DVD 2
Willow Creek Resource