Maximization: The church and its ministers and ministries operate at optimal levels of effectiveness and efficiency

The Church Needs Less Precept And More Concept And Percept Thinking

There is a fundamental difference between ancient indigenous peoples, ancient Greeks, and modern Americans that provides timely insight for today’s church leaders. Today we are people of precept. We are rule and law driven society that relies on documents such as the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and laws passed by elected officials to bring order to our lives. We... Continue Reading

The Curse Of Familiarity

I find it ironic that familiarity often leads to complacency. This is true in relationships, in our work, and even in our spiritual journey. When we are familiar with something we often lose the energy, mystery, meaning, and excitement of it. Through familiarity we can easily become numb to our homes, where we live, our friendships, jobs, and even our... Continue Reading

Leaders Don’t Reward Irresponsible Behavior

There is a sobering story for leaders in Victor Hugo’s novel, Ninety-Three. The story concerns a young ensign on a wooden military sailing ship who is given the responsibility of caring for a large rolling cannon. One of his jobs was to keep the cannon lashed securely to the deck to prevent it from rolling around and causing damage that... Continue Reading

Are You More Goal Or Role Oriented?

In determining one’s life calling and truest self, many questions should be addressed. But maybe none as important as the question, “are you a more goal oriented, or a more role oriented person?” How you answer that question will impact critical decisions throughout your life. Goal and Role Definitions For purposes of this discussion, let’s take a closer look at... Continue Reading

Preparing To Provide Feedback

“Most people want to hear the truth, even if it is unpalatable. There is something within us that responds deeply to people who will level with us.” – Susan Scott, author of Fierce Conversations Brain researchers found that people experience a similar physiological response to feedback as they do to physical threats. Even though we want honest feedback, our hearts... Continue Reading

The Less Is More Principle

In a recent post we cited Acts 6 as an example of the early church leaders’ willingness to place the good of the entire church over the good of a small special interest group. Acts 6 is also an excellent illustration of the principle “less is more.” Out of the myriad of responsibilities the 12 Disciples had in organizing and... Continue Reading

Church Leader, Your Congregation Expects You To Make These Decisions

In Acts 6, the Twelve Disciples faced a difficult decision, whether or not to get personally engaged in the food distribution dispute between the Greek and Hebrew widows of the Church of Jerusalem. They faced a classic leadership decision, whether or not to put the good of the whole before the good of a few. Ultimately, they determined to assign... Continue Reading

Where Can You Find Acres of Diamonds?

In the late 1800’s Russell Conwell became famous for his lecture in which he encouraged listeners to find the “acres of diamonds” in their own backyards. Conwell was a Baptist minister, the first president of Temple University, and a captain during the Civil War. At the ten year reunion of his troops, he delivered the Acres of Diamonds speech. Thereafter,... Continue Reading

My Greatest Leadership Lesson: I Am The Problem!

I know of no other profession where it is more tempting to play victim than in ministry. It’s so easy. After all, why be responsible when I can blame so many other people and circumstances for my troubles? The congregation, the staff, the church leaders, the culture…..they are the problem. It’s especially easy for the senior leadership of the church... Continue Reading

Problem Prevention: An Essential Practice of Effective Leaders 

Rarely in an interview have I asked an applicant if they are an effective problem solver. Yet, at some point in virtually every interview the applicant mentions they are good problem solvers or enjoys solving problems. I surmise most people feel problem solving is a desirable attribute and may want to make certain the interviewer is aware that is a... Continue Reading

Maximizing Missions Mobilization

The mobilization of members in an Acts 1:8 model of local, national, and international missions engagement is a goal of most churches. Yet, many churches fail to maximize member mobilization because of a limited strategy. Broad based participation in hands on mission experiences requires providing options that appeal to a variety of demographics, passions, and abilities and offer a range... Continue Reading

Big Rocks – A Powerful Prioritization Parable

Jesus illustrated the power of a parable in communicating complex truths in simple terms. A parable is nothing more than a short allegorical story that demonstrates a truth or lesson in a manner that enhances understanding and comprehension. Steven Covey in his classic book, First Things First, shares a parable on prioritization that spawned the widely used term “big rocks.”... Continue Reading