I though I'd give blogging through Willow Creek's Leadership Summit this year. We'll see if I actually make it through the whole thing.
.:From Here to There
Getting stuck in a leadership slump
Half-a-dozen problems around Willow Creek that he just couldn't seem to resolve and right about this time, his secretary came in and dumped half-a-dozen new leadership books on his desk.
Then he started looking at the books and thinking about the problems and thought, "Maybe I've come to the end of my run."
Then had a wedding to do, and thought, "This will be good, because I know I can do weddings. Not my favorite thing to do, but I know I can do them. I've done hundreds of them."
Went through the whole wedding and everything went fine until the very end when he gave the nod to the vocalist to sing the final song, but she shook her head no.
"I can't even do a wedding right!"
He was in a slump.
Told God, "I need help. I don't know anything."
God told him, "Bill, you've been leading for 3 1/2 decades. You know a few things."
Leaders move people from Here to There.
We are HERE (current reality), but someday we are going to wind up THERE (preferred future) and we will all love life, our church will be stronger and better and more like Jesus.
He used to think the first step was to just describe "There"
But no matter how good a job he did in vision-casting, with a few hours he'd get emails that would say "We like HERE and we're not moving."
So, he would ratchet up the rhetoric of how great THERE is: "It'll be fantastic! Awesome! Bliss on a stick!"
The first play is not to make THERE sound wonderful.
The first play is to make HERE sound awful.
First move in a vision talk is to describe why keeping the status quo (HERE) is not acceptable, bad or stifling to ministry
Next move is to describe how wonderful it would be to have THERE exist and imagine how wonderful
MLKJ gave hundreds of "We can't stay HERE" speeches before giving a speech about dreaming of a wonderful THERE.
People were ready for a THERE speech because they had heard his HERE speeches.
"We must let our hearts be broken by what breaks the heart of God."
The god-given job of leaders is not to preside, pontificate or preserve, but to figure out what God wants to do in this world, find your part in it and move a group of people to where God is moving.
It takes fantastic people if you are going to move from HERE to THERE.
One of the greatest joy s of leadership is creating and joining together teams of fantastic people.
"This is one of the greatest joys of my life."
The three "C's" of team-building
I've been playing with the idea of adding another "C"
What kind of person would feel at home on our team and what kind of person would feel like an outsider even if they have the other 3 "C's"?
If your phone went off right now with news that one of your staff members resigned, you'd have one of three reactions
- Run out into the lobby and vomit because you would realize that you've lost someone who is irreplaceable.
Recently spent a day with the top leaders and asked about every WC staff member and decided on one of the three reactions for each one. Once agreement was reached, we sat down with all of the "vomit" members and told them that we would make a disproportionate investment in them and that we hoped they would never leave.
Leaders: Do you see this as a leadership fundamental?
Mile Markers and Celebrations
How do you inspire people to stay on the journey?
Refill their vision bucket
Every person's vision bucket leaks - they have real jobs, bills to pay, lawns to mow, kids to raise and when they're doing those things, they forget about vision.
You have to celebrate every mile marker you possibly can on the journey (even if you have to add them in arbitrarily)
What keeps people on the journey s the sense of hope that they will get there someday.
Most experts would say that there is a 40% differential in productivity between an inspired teammate, office worker, etc and one who isn't.
Jesus kept close track of his followers and would take them away to mountain retreats, boat rides,
When is the last time you set a party, not for the end result, but for steps along the way?
Whispers from God
John 10:27 - My sheep hear my voice and they heed it. - not just then, but now as well.
Primary way God speaks to us is through the Bible.
God also speaks to us through his spirit. Perhaps not an audible voice, but thoughts in your mind that are not your own.
A two-word whisper started all of this: "Serve Pastors"
"I could have missed all of this if I blew off that whisper."
"I believe God is trying to talk to each of us every single day."
"My question today is 'Do you think God speaks and will you do everything in your power to hear it?'"
"The smartest moves I ever made as a leader didn't come from my human wisdom, but whispers from God."
"At times when I've been at my lowest, I've heard God say, 'You are a treasure of the most-high God - don't quit.'"
"That whisper saved my ministry."
Whispers that God does a lot and might be speaking to you today:
- Don't Quit
- Step Up
- Take the Risk
- Apologize Now
- Make the Tough Decision
- Get Help
- Stop Running from God
- Slow Down
- Show Your Heart
- Let Others Lead
- Feed Your Soul
- Bless the Team
- Make the Ask
- Do Something More Impactful
- Come Clean
- Embody the Vision
- Celebrate the Victories
- Speak the Truth
- Pay the Price
- Count Your Blessings
- End the Secret
- Check Your Motives
- Set the Pace
- Give God Your Best
- Get Physically Fit
- Serve Your Spouse and Kids
- Humble Yourself
When you feel these promptings and nudgings, practice with them and I think they will be helpful to get you from HERE to THERE.