Are You Growing?

I am currently reading Master Leaders by George Barna and it has me hooked after the first few chapters. If you are in a leadership position in any capacity you should read this book. It is a conversation with 30 top leaders covering sixteen keys that suggest successful leadership throughout your team. I am usually skeptical regarding “steps to leadership” material, but this reads more like a straight up conversation jumping back and forth between each leaders thoughts on each topic. Anyways, I will post a review once it is done but for now I am re-posting a couple of old articles that got deleted when I switched from Mobile Me to WordPress a couple of months ago. These posts are from this past year’s Leadership Summit.

“When a leader stops learning they should stop leading” – Bill Hybels 

This statement summed up the main goal behind these two days for me: What can I learn and implement into my life and ministry roles to grow my leadership qualities? The two day long Global Leadership Summit was quite possible the best two days of teaching that I have ever got out of any conference that I have attended. The blending of practical leadership strategies, challenges to creative thought processes and spiritual enrichment with a blending of encouragement is what set these two days apart.

The first session was a practical leadership assessment talk from Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church. I think the quote above cannot be more true for today’s leaders. As a leader it is our responsibility to always be on the lookout for ways to make our ministries more dynamic, more efficient towards our vision and always seeking relevance. My favorite way to do this is by reading and learning from those that challenge, encourage and sometimes I disagree with. I was extremely challenged when I visited Willow in the summer and sat in their Jr. HIgh auditorium and just took in the space. However, when I returned I felt more energetic and driven to give more to Jr. High Ministry. Do I want to copy what Willow does in their Elevate Ministry? No, that isn’t possible in my context, but I learned what I could do with space and ideas for small group breakdowns. I learned from a ministry that challenges me ministry wise. Leaders lose touch with their tribe (see Seth Godin’s book Tribes), when they stop learning. Meaning, that leaders lose track of the vision, goals and relevance of the ministries they are leading if they stop learning. How can you lead a tribe if you lose track of changes in culture, context and the creative possibilities that are available for your ministry. The only way to keep up to speed is to be continually learning, reading about how to grow as a leader.

I have included my notes and questions from Bill Hybels’ opening address at this years #GLSCDN (This link will take you to the Twitter feed from the event and it stands for Global Leadership Summit Canada).

1) What is your current leadership challenge level at work?

a) Under Challenged

b) Dangerously Over-Challenged

c) Appropriately Challenged

If you are under challenged, what can you add that gets you into the “Optimized Zone?” 

If you are “Dangerously Over-Challenged” what can you take away to get you into the “Optimized Zone?”

 The “Optimized Zone” is found slightly above “Appropriately Challenged,” but below “Dangerously Over-Challenged.” 

The Discipline of Replenishment 

What are you doing to replenish your leadership bucket?

How are you growing as a leader?

Who do you look to for mentorship, or advice to grow your ministry?

Are you revisiting your vision statement?

We must take our leadership positions and replenish our tired visions and goals and replenish them when we feel burned out. How do you replenish yourself when you get burned out?

What are you doing to find out where your departments see themselves on the chart?

What do under-challenged people do?

       They leave. 

2) What is your plan for dealing with challenging people in your organization?

– how do you figure out who your challenging people are?

The line exercise

– put the people in order on a line of who you would keep

– the people at the end of the line – are they pulling their weight

Are we avoiding tough questions and conversations with the people at the end of the line?

Field and develop a team of fantastic people to serve a fantastic God

     You need to attract and develop these people. 

Types of Challenging People

Fantastic Fred – pain

   Lost his joy and is spreading his displeasure

   How long would you give them in your organization? – 30 days (Bill Hybels’ Suggestion)

“Your first bad day is your last day.” – Interesting concept

How hard is it to personally pull yourself away from that pain without being coached through it?

Start the conversation with your team member when you see a habit forming.

How do you handle under-performers?

Are they worth their hire?

Start the conversation at the beginning of the pattern

3 month conversation

Agony – Growth of the organization requires someone greater in that department for growth. They don’t have the talent elasticity for the growth.

No one challenges anyone over a values decision.

With this challenging person the perception of change by outside people becomes even more of a challenge. They aren’t bad people they just can’t grow into the leadership role you need them to take.

6-12 month conversation (move departments is a possibility)

If you don’t deal with people with challenges you drag down the rest of the team. 

Challenging people are deep down not happy people. 

How do you foster good culture in your workplace?

3) Are you naming, facing, and resolving the problems that your organization is facing?

Nothing rocks forever.”

Acts 2-4 – Are we open to changing our ways after evaluating our current state?

Peter said, “Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is targeted to you and your children, but also to all who are far away—whomever, in fact, our Master God invites.” (Acts 2:38-39 The Message)

Now it’s time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins, pour out showers of blessing to refresh you, and send you the Messiah he prepared for you, namely, Jesus. For the time being he must remain out of sight in heaven until everything is restored to order again just the way God, through the preaching of his holy prophets of old, said it would be. Moses, for instance, said, ‘Your God will raise up for you a prophet just like me from your family. Listen to every word he speaks to you. Every last living soul who refuses to listen to that prophet will be wiped out from the people.’ (Acts 3:19-23)

If you are evaluating your ministry to see if it is rocking, or tanking try to put the following ministry areas on the following image?




Student Ministry?



Justice and Social Issues?


Where would those topics end up on your ministry chart?

What can you do to get these in a better lifecycle position?

What other ministry areas can you put into the chart?

4) When was the last time you re-examined the core of the ministry?

The churches core is changing people towards a biblical worldview.

They are in the business of Human Transformation.

This is a great way to evaluate your ministry vision. This will also work as a way to see how your team sees the vision of the ministry you are involved in.


Draw a circle and in the circle write five words that represent the core of your ministry. There can be no hyphenated words either.


What best describes the good news of Jesus Christ?

What best describes the core of your ministry, or organization?


These are the examples for representing the Gospel.

i) love

ii) evil – it’s easy to discern evil out there,but what about in your heart?

iii) rescue

iv) choice

v) restore


5)Have you had your leadership bell rung recently?


Leaders usually don’t read, or learn without having their world rocked. 

Are you making excuses instead of moving forward. 

“I need my boldness back.”

Do you want your next five years to be your best years?

    Our group had a great talk on this idea of the five years. What if you did this for other areas of your life?


Raising our children, etc.

What would our lives look like if we always strived for the best five years of our life?



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