Excellence is not obtained through having more, but by being a steward by what you have already been given!
Many times we’re not willing to change because we can’t stand the feeling of changing what we are used to despite how unhealthy it may be.
As leaders we must make decisions that impact the entire organization not just the select few!
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As leaders we honor what we treasure!
To be an effective leader you have to have resolve…grit… fortitude or you will give up when it counts the most! As leaders of organizations that are leading the way we will face obstacles that few face. We will face challenges that are far greater than we could have imagined and if we do not have that resolve, that deep inner desire to take action and find the solution to keep our team moving forward, we will crumble to the circumstance.
James said… “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1:2-3
That we should actually find joy in these crazy circumstances that we face not because it is fun going through stressful moments, but because it is refining ourselves as leaders and our organizations. That is why he continues with this statement…
“And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:4
That as we develop resolve or steadfastness we become perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. That these situations pull out the best in us and we start walking in the fullness of our potential. When the balls in our hands and there is a few seconds left on the clock we act. The more we act the more natural those situations become, though still not easy, and the more confident our organization becomes. If you fear challenges to the point of inaction then you are greatly limiting your potential.
So where does this resolve come from? Well James goes on to explain…
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5
Resolve comes from Godly wisdom. That we serve a God that moves in the practical just as much as He moves in the spiritual yet many of us never seek Godly wisdom. The Holy Spirit connects with our spirit and gives us wisdom, counsel, knowledge, and understanding if we just ask. Great leaders are leaders that lead through prayer and understand that God speaks and guides His people. However, it doesn’t just end in prayer there must be a response of action that follows the guidance.
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:6-8
Godly wisdom is only complete when we trust the guidance, will, and promises of God. If we waiver like the waves in the sea back and forth then we will not receive anything from God. Resolve is not double-minded in that it does not bounce from trusting God to trusting this rational world. That this audacious resolve trusts fully the nature, the will, and the promises of God. That God always has our best intentions at heart and when He tells us to take steps of faith we will respond with obedience. Even when the answer is bigger than ourselves we trust a God that is bigger than our circumstances.
“The lord will guarantee a blessing on everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain. The lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.” Deuteronomy 28:8
Have the confidence that God is guaranteeing success in your life when you are trusting the wisdom He gives you and responding to His promises. Your storehouses will be filled and blessings will come with every new opportunity. So build the resolve to fight through the temporary to experience your destiny.
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I would probably say that the #1 question most pastors or church planters ask me is “how do I get the word out about our church?” or “how do we get more people to come to our church?” and for good reasons. Marketing your organization or product is a huge priority for any business and that includes for the church because if people don’t know you exist it doesn’t matter how great your services are…They aren’t coming!
We have to spread the word about what we are doing and we should want to because we should be excited about what we are a part of. The problem is most people go about marketing all the wrong ways and spend WAY TOO MUCH money on advertising that just simply doesn’t have the ROI for the capital it costs.
Nine years ago, the world changed when apple literally took a computer and put it in your pocket in the form of a phone. Never in a million years did we think it would be possible this soon to have a computer with internet connection carrying around with you where ever you go. In this moment the death of traditional advertising started to happen. Advertising and marketing had always been very costly and with this new creation, why spend it on those means anymore? Radio? What is that— we have Spotify, Pandora, and Podcasts. Newspapers, ummm, we get our news online… Billboards, who even looks up from their phones these days? The world has changed and we must understand this shift or we will be spinning our wheels and watching our organizations continue to plateau and decline.
So where should we sit in this new world of connections and what should be our focus? The answer is easy, but the response is something that takes much more effort. We live in an ecosystem that no longer wants to be sold, but connected and inspired and this is the beauty of social networks. They are platforms thats soul purpose is to connect and give you, the organization, the ability say whatever you want. Now, that can be dangerous or empowering and it is completely up to you which of those paths you take. You have the ability to connect with people; that would be impossible before. You have that ability to add value to their life in ways that were much more difficult a decade ago. Coming from a Pastors stand point, our job is not to gather large crowds, but to see lives changed for Jesus and that means we should use any tool at our disposal to add value to people. The great thing is when you connect with people, add value, share your story, and inspire then you also see the growth in your physical location following the growth that is taking place online.
My next posts I want to talk about “HOW” we do social media effectively, but today I just wanted to discuss “WHY” we need to have an online presence.
So some “Next Steps” for you to work on until our next posts…
- If you haven’t already, create accounts on the different social networks. For most churches the two I tell everyone to focus on are Facebook and Instagram. There are several you can choose from, but I would rather be really effective on a few platforms than “okay” on several platforms. Also these two platforms have the widest reach for your community. Build a business Facebook page, not a personal Facebook page for your organization. Facebook is the largest social media site and hits the most age demographics. Next create an Instagram profile. Instagram is great for organizations because most people are very visually driven and in doing so we digest the content more. Instagram allows all posts to be seen by its followers unlike the Facebook algorithms. Instagram also has created features that look a feel like Snapchat in many ways and unlike Snapchat it is much easier to search for profiles which make finding your page much more accessible.
- Now you need to make sure your information is up to date on all your platforms. The right profile pictures, web addresses, physical addresses, and service times. It is a big turn off when information is not updated or incorrect.
- Make sure your branding stays consistent. Your branding, your design look, needs to be the same at your physical location, on your website, and on all your social sites. It is extremely confusing when these things do not line up because people question whether it is the same organization, and if it is, then they start wondering why there is no harmony. I am going to dive into this more on the next posts, but don’t brand yourself online what you are not in person. BE YOU because if you try to act like you are something online that you are not really in person then when they visit they will immediately have red flags go up and completely miss your heart.
Guess what? Overnight success is a BIG FAT LIE. It is a myth and does not exist! Success only happens when we do the right things consistently over an extended period of time… If you have ever read Jim Collin’s book “Good to Great” he calls this the Flywheel concept. That at first it is extremely difficult to push the lever and get the flywheel moving, but if you keep pushing soon momentum will take over.
I am convinced most people never live their dreams because they don’t have the grit to stay committed to the process. Commitment without a time limit leads to a Dream without a height limit. Most people have great ideas and great dreams, but most people never see those ideas and dreams manifest into reality because they don’t have the resolve to see them through. Dreams and ideas are easy. Everyone has dreams. Yet very few people actually live their dreams. Why? Because very few people are willing to stay consistent long enough to see results. A farmer doesn’t plant seeds and then after a week gets mad because they haven’t sprouted immediately so he ignores them and then goes and plants something else. No he understands it takes time for things to grow and during that process he waters them, fertilizes them, and is constantly removing the weeds so those plants can flourish. We must do that with our dreams, ideas, and our organizations.
Is it hard? You better believe it is hard. You have to hustle in those moments of waiting, you have to have faith, and you must be disciplined to stay committed to the process. Dreams without discipline are just fantasies and too many people are living fantasies when we were intended to turn those dreams into realities.
So how do we stay committed during the process?
1. Know where you want to end up.
It is important to picture what your dream would look like completed. Picture the end result… If the book was completed what would the cover look like, if the storefront was up and running how would it be laid out with all its products, if the website was running how would it function, what would your logo be, how would your week run if you were working your dream Full Time, design the house you want to build, or what is your perfect clothing size? Whatever your dream is start picturing the dream completed so that you have a target in mind.
2. Set Goals.
Goals are meant to be steps that lead to your dreams. Now that you know where you are heading start figuring out your first steps and give yourself a deadline to accomplish them. Create a list of 5 or so goals and give yourself 4 to 8 weeks to accomplish them. When you start attacking your goals in small chunks and in short spurts of time you become less overwhelmed and you naturally create momentum for yourself.
3. Figure out where you need to grow.
There are certain areas you will need to grow in to see your goals accomplished. Be honest with yourself and come up with a few things you need to develop to fulfill your goals you just set for yourself. Maybe you need to develop discipline to stay focused and use your time wisely, maybe you need to recruit a team and you need to work on vision casting, or maybe you need work on being more organized so you can accomplish your tasks with everything else you are working on. Do an honest assessment of yourself every time you set new goals and watch your goals get accomplished and leadership increase.
4. Do NOT Quit.
Just make the commitment now that you are committed to the process. Quiting is NOT an option and you ARE going to stay committed to the process.
Do the right things, the right way, consistently, and watch the growth happen in your organization and your life!
MP3 Version at the bottom
I get asked by many pastors and leaders a lot the “HOW” question. How are you growing? How do you get more people to attend your church? How do you grow your client base? How do you grow your organization?
With Leaders we are obsessed with the “HOW” because we want that next level, we want that growth, we want that expansion, but that CANNOT be our first question we ask!
The first question that has to be answered is the “WHY”. Why do you do what you do? What is going to separate you from every other organization? What is your vision? What does this look like?
You cannot just have a blanket statement or a generic answer like “Well I am called to pastor a Church”. Ok that is great, but what does that Church look like? Having a generic answer without being able to answer the why is like someone saying they want to be a writer. Thats great but what are you going to write about? Are you going to write biographies, teaching materials, or romance novels? Are you going to write books or blog posts?
You have to get more specific with your calling. There is so much uniqueness with people and you have the ability to impact those people that will connect with your heart, but first you have to ask the “WHY” question because that’s your Vision.
3 Questions that help you discover your Vision
1. What am I just naturally good at?
Ask yourself what are you or what is your organization just naturally good at? Now this question is not answered by what you think you should be good at? See many times we find ourselves playing the clone game where we look at other organizations and try to be carbon copies. It doesn’t work that way.
So ask yourself what are we gifted at? Where are we excellent or heading that way?
2. What am I passionate about?
You have to enjoy what you are doing or you’re wasting what is already precious time in a very short life. Do NOT pursue something because it is a good idea, but pursue something because you’re passionate about it! Good ideas will never fulfill you and they will never give you the resolve to be successful. John Maxwell said perfectly “Passion provides the fuel in a person’s life to keep them going!”. If you are not passionate about something you will burn out and quit!
3. What will work?
Now I know you may think that is the million dollar answer, but you should know the demographic or market well enough that you can see where the needs are not currently being met. If you don’t have that understanding you have not put in the due diligence to succeed because success takes a TON OF WORK. Understand the people you are trying to reach and see where their needs are not being met and thats how you reach a group of people who are not currently getting their needs mets.
When these three answers come together it is like magic. That is the vision!
Like the Bible says “Without vision the people will perish” or as other translations say “run wild”. If you do not answer the “WHY” your organization will run away from you and you will be left picking up the pieces.
You MUST answer the “WHY” before the “HOW”!