Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

200 People Will Receive Tim's Book Free

This blog has been hacked by Heather.

Wait, wait, don’t leave yet … I just have a little message I wanted to get out to readers of LeadingSmart.com or friends of Tim-- and this seemed like the best way to do it.

As you may or may not know, Tim’s newest book, Fairness is Overrated, is coming out three months from today (January 6, 2015). This book covers 52 leadership principles for both church and business leaders and is a must read for all. Our hope is that this book will get in the hands of leaders everywhere so it can have as big of an impact as possible.

Just to give you a taste of the potential impact of the book, here is what a few leaders have already said about Fairness is Overrated:

You'll feel like you're having a conversation with a leader worth following.  Because you will be.” (John Ortberg, Pastor and Author)

"Stevens dives deep into understanding the value of people and relationships and how it can make or break you as a leader." (Jason Lippert, CEO, Lippert Components Inc.)

“I recommend you get this book into the hands of every business leader in your church.” (Mark Batterson, NY Times bestselling author of The Circle Maker)

“Every page and every chapter of this book is grounded in the heart of a man who leads well every day.  Read this and become a better leader.” (Dr. John Jackson, President of William Jessup University)

I’m writing you because I need your help to spread the news.

In today’s world, just about everyone is on social media and if you’re reading this that means you fall under that category. Social media is a great thing because it allows us to stay connected with people who we may not see every day and it’s a great tool to spread ideas that may not have been discovered otherwise. In the case of this book, we’re going to use social media to do the primary marketing before the book releases.

That’s where you come in.

We’re looking for 200 men and women to help us launch this book. This means tweeting, blogging, instagramming, etc. We won’t ask you to blow up Facebook so much that all your friends hate you, we will just ask you to start a little conversation and get people excited about the upcoming sale of the book. You will get specifics from me later, and everyone involved on this team will receive a free PDF of the book (along with some other exciting surprises!).

If you’re interested, fill out this form and, after going through the responses, we’ll send you an email with more information and instructions from there.


Things You Might Need to Remember Today

Many months ago I made a list for myself of things I need to remember as I go throughout my day. I've revised it slightly for you, but here are some things you might need to remember today:

  1. You don’t need to defend yourself.
  2. Don’t say anything in the emotion of the moment.
  3. It’s not your job to convict others of what they are doing wrong.
  4. You aren’t the general manager of the universe.
  5. You are more than your job.
  6. Trust God.
  7. You don’t have to say everything you are thinking.
  8. God knows.
  9. He is in control.
  10. It doesn’t matter what someone else says, always take the high road.
  11. People will remember how you treat others far longer than they will remember what you accomplished.
  12. Breathe.
  13. Always err on the side of grace.
  14. It’s all about love. 
  15. "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35).


When Hurting Someone is Right

A good friend said to me recently, “Just because you caused someone hurt doesn't mean you did something wrong.”

Of course, we know it’s true. When the abused finally decides to end the relationship, the abuser might be hurt. When a parent disciplines a child—the time-out or loss of privileges can be painful. When a doctor sets a child’s broken bone, extreme pain is immediately felt. When I made the decision to walk away from my job after twenty years—it was right, but it was also painful for some of my closest friends.

Sometimes we hesitate too long to make the right decision because we don’t want to hurt the other person—when it is actually our delayed action that is hurting them more.

We keep someone on staff longer than we should when it isn’t a right fit for him or her. We put off an intervention with a friend who is abusing alcohol or drugs, and they don’t get the help they need to thrive. Or we keep a secret hidden that is destroying us inside, because we know that telling others and getting help will at the same time hurt or disappoint those who are closest to us.

Is there a decision or conversation you’ve been putting off? Have you considered that your delay might actually increase the pain for others? Today might just be the right day to act.

What If I Am A Narcissistic Leader?

This is the third of a three-part article on narcissistic pastors. I encourage you to read part one, “Mark Driscoll and Other Narcissistic Leaders” followed by “So I Work for a Narcissistic Leader, Now What?” before continuing.

You may have determined that you possess many of the strengths, and perhaps some of the weaknesses of a narcissistic leader. Perhaps you are the type of person that can see a future that is better than the present, you can rally a crowd to your vision, and you can tenaciously move others toward building your dream. But perhaps you also get feedback from your team about your bad listening habits, tendency to exaggerate, or excessive desire to control everything and everyone.

If this is you, here are three things you can do as you take steps toward becoming a spirit-controlled narcissistic leader:

Three things if you are a Narcissistic Leader

  1. Find people who will speak truth to you. The Bible says that “all the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirt” (Proverbs 16:2). That means you think you are right more often than you actually are. Thankfully, Proverbs also provides the antidote for this in chapter 11: “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” You need to surround yourself with people who not only believe in your vision, and not only will help accomplish your vision, but also people who will speak truth into your life. These should be people who aren’t scared about losing a paycheck or having you yell at them. They believe in you 110% and want to add value to your life by helping you when you fall to some of your weaknesses, like exaggerating, or control, or competitiveness, or pride.
  2. Work on listening. James 1 says, “Let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak.” I like the way this reads in The Message, “Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear.” Professional communicators (i.e. pastors) have a difficult time listening. They can become so accustomed to everyone wanting to hear what they have to say that they may have a difficulty caring about what others say. “Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish” (Proverbs 18:13).
  3. Walk with integrity. Listen pastors: Because of your gifting, your ability to cast vision and compel a crowd—people will say nice things about you and the danger is you might begin to believe what people say. Pride is a dangerous trap in anyone’s life, but more so in yours. As a narcissistic leader who can rally people to a cause, the stakes are much higher. Your fall will not just mess up you and your family—but it will mess up the lives of scores, perhaps hundreds, of people around you. Pride lands you flat on your face; humility prepares you for honors (I didn’t make that up, it comes straight from Proverbs).

Let me close this series of articles by saying I am grateful for the impact of narcissistic leaders. I’m grateful there are people who are visionary, who can see the world as it should be—not as it is. I’ve given my life to working with and for narcissistic leaders—using my strategic gifts to help them achieve their vision. I’m grateful there is a whole new generation of leaders who are starting churches at an unparalleled pace.

I say to you: Embrace the way God has wired you. Use your gift to raise up communities of faith all across the world. It is what the church needs. An unguarded strength can become a double weakness. Rely on wise people around you to help you stay on track and focused on a life and leadership worthy of a disciple of Jesus.

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