Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Friday Finds - Losing Staff, Pastors' Fears, & Practical Culture-Building

This week I had the privilege of leading the Executive Pastor Coaching Network, and, as always, I learned so much from the group. On one of the days, we sat under the coaching of Dave Lonsberry, executive pastor from Christ Fellowship in Miami. All in all, a busy week, but an extremely rewarding week.

Here are some articles to help you be a better leader this week:

Why You Lose Your Best Volunteers And Staff by Stephen Brewster via StephenBrewster.me

As everyone knows, people don't quit organizations, they quit people. And when talented people quit, it's almost always painful. Have you thought long and hard about the reasons you might've lost some high capacity staff members in the past? Read this great post from Stephen Brewster.

20 Fears Pastors Tell Me They Are Facing by Brian Dodd via Brian Dodd On Leadership

One of the things they don't tell you when you're young is that being a leader can be lonely. Being a church leader can be even more lonely. Pastors deal with a myriad of fears that can be difficult to confide in others. If you've dealt with any of these fears, read this blog by Brian Dodd and know that you're not alone. (If you are a senior pastor, I'd also encourage you to check out our Lead Pastor Coaching Network, where you can talk about these types of issues in a safe space.)

The Crazy Way We Work by Michael Hyatt via MichaelHyatt.com

Michael Hyatt's team has created an awesome infographic on the work habits of today's workforce. What is eating into our productivity? Check out this cool infographic and start to be more mindful about your distractions, your sleep, and your work/life boundaries.

How To Build Systems For Great Staff Culture with Katie Viscontini [Podcast] via Vanderbloemen Search Group

We've gotten a ton of listens and positive feedback for this recent podcast. How is it different from any other article or book on staff culture? Because it's insanely practical. Learn how the Vanderbloemen team (rated in the Top 5 Company Cultures nationwide by Entrepreneur two years in a row & in Houston's Best Places To Work two years in a row) has set scalable systems in place to ensure our great team culture continues to thrive.

What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments.

P.S. I'm excited to speak at the Thrive Conference in California on Mar 23. If you're in California and attending, make sure to come by and say hi! Or you can register here: https://www.thriveconference.org/leadership-southwest

Friday Finds - Pastors Being Great Bosses and Church "Meet & Greet" Time

It's already that time again - I'm gearing up to meet this spring's group in my Executive Pastor Coaching Network, which begins next week. It's going to be a great week of sharing, listening, coaching, learning, and sharpening one another. With that in mind, I've been extra focused this week on being prepared for the 18 leaders who will be joining us. (We also celebrated our team at Vanderbloemen being named #5 Top Company Culture in the nation by Entrepreneur.com - I'm grateful to work on a team with such a passion for serving the kingdom.)

Here are some articles to help you be a better leader this week:

3 Things You Can Always Do As A Leader by Taylor Snodgrass via Get4Sight.com

I've seen it in myself and I've seen it in other leaders I've mentored. "I can't do that," "I'm not good at that," "I don't have time," or "That's not my department." But, as Taylor Snodgrass wisely points out, "To be a strong and trustworthy leader, I can’t pass the buck. If I’m to be a leader worth following, then I need to come to the table with more than, 'I can’t.'" Taylor isn't just smart because he married my daughter (although, let's face it, that was a great decision). He also writes well and shares some tremendous insight in this quick-to-read article. 

Ten Ways Pastors Can Be Great Bosses by Thom Rainer via ThomRainer.com

Of all the things pastors are taught in seminary, how to be a great boss isn't usually something that's focused on. But it's so important that church leaders strive to be the best bosses they can be - what better kingdom witness than to seek to serve those on your church staff? A lot of these ten ideas that Dr. Rainer lists have to do with creating a great staff culture - a subject we love on the Vanderbloemen team.

What Happened When I Spent A Day With God by Chris Brown via Stewardship.com

Chris Brown, a member of Dave Ramsey team and host of the True Stewardship podcast, is a good friend of the Vanderbloemen team. He describes what so many leaders feel when we allow ourselves to get too busy - he even points out that extreme busyness is unbiblical. Read on...

Should Your Church Get Rid Of Your "Meet & Greet" Time? with David Fantin [Podcast] via Vanderbloemen.com

This podcast has sparked a lot of dynamic conversations and questions this week. Yes, churches need to be intentional about greeting and welcoming visitors. BUT is the one-minute-stand-and-greet-your-neighbors time the most effective way to do that? My colleague David Fantin brings up some interesting questions based on his time of visiting different churches and seeing how they welcome guests.

What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday Finds - Time Management, Benefits of Inflexibility, & Better Preaching

This week, I had the honor of meeting with the leaders of Scottsdale Bible Church in Phoenix to present them with candidates for their next Student Pastor. I'm always incredibly honored to play a part in such a holy crossroads in a church's life. The week prior, I met with LifePoint Church near Nashville--which meant I was able to stop by and spend time with my oldest daughter and her husband (and, of course, their new puppy). And last week, I was able to spend a weekend away celebrating my wife's birthday. I'm blessed to have time to spend with family despite a busy schedule.

We've pulled some articles to encourage you this week:

Time Management For The Time-Challenged by Kristi Hedges via Forbes

I always encourage my team to manage their time wisely and tell me when they are overloaded. But as much as I encourage time-management, it's up to each individual to steward their time. This insight from Kristi Hedges is extremely practical and applicable for every personality, no matter how unorganized you think you are. This is especially helpful for pastors, who are notorious for saying "yes" to too many things.

Why Teams Don't Play Up To Their Potential by Paul Alexander via TonyMorganLive.com

Do you ever feel like your staff is full of talented people yet it's not quite performing to its full potential? Every team has been there (or will be there). Paul Alexander wisely points out the various reasons why your team isn't quite dialed in yet. Keep this article in mind when you're hiring a new team member as well. Hiring a "rockstar" who isn't a team player will upset the cohesion of your team.

The Surprising Benefit Of Being Inflexible by Michael Hyatt via MichaelHyatt.com

One of the core values we have at Vanderbloemen is "Ever-Increasing Agility," and we pride ourselves on being a flexible, agile team. But don't take this article as face-value. What Hyatt is talking about is that kind of flexibility where we allow ourselves to bend on our goals or our boundaries. As he wisely points out, some of our priorities need to be "no exceptions." Read on...

How Lead Pastors Can Improve Their Teaching Team by David Whiting via Vanderbloemen.com

My colleague and friend David has such great advice for Senior Pastors (shameless plug: he's also hosting a Lead Pastor Coaching Network this fall). One of the best things that Pastors can do is build up a strong teaching team around them, so they are not having to preach more than 40 or so weekends a year. Follow these steps from David to make sure you never have to worry about your other teachers being unprepared or inexperienced.

What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday Finds - Self-Awareness, Truth Telling, & Limiting Beliefs

Last week, a group of my colleagues at Vanderbloemen took the Enneagram personality assessment. Our team tends to enjoy discussing personality theory and studying how we communicate with one another and what makes us "tick" (and honestly, it's one of the reasons we're such a cohesive team). But what really struck me is the focus on self-awareness and self-leadership that such assessments encourage. And today's Friday Finds reflect that.

I'm hoping these articles can help and encourage you this week:

The Power Of Truth Telling At Work by Skip Prichard via SkipPrichard.com

One of the personality areas that my friends kept comparing and chuckling about was one another's tendency toward embracing or avoiding confrontation. But even for those who don't shy away from confrontation, speaking the total truth in your workplace is tough. We fear the consequences of being totally honest. Especially on a church staff, we want to be liked. Read this interview between Skip Prichard and Mindy Mackenzie, author of The Courage Solution: The Power of Truth Telling with Your Boss, Peers, and Team.

Leadership Is About Emotion by Meghan M. Biro via Forbes

What are the qualities of a truly outstanding leader, one that inspires you at a gut-level? I'll give you a hint: I already discussed two of them - self-awareness & honesty. Read this great article by Meghan Biro to discover the other traits that great leaders need to inspire their team.

5 Hurdles Every Executive Pastor Has To Get Over by Kevin Lloyd via LeadBravely.org

My friend Kevin Lloyd also touches on truth-telling in this insightful post. It's all too easy for XPs to "soft pedal" the truth to their Senior Pastors. But as I wrote here, speaking truth to power is a necessary skill to cultivate in leadership. Kevin also touches on our tendency to be too high-control - another personality trait that had my teammates chuckling as they read their Enneagram results to one another.

What Story Are You Telling Yourself? by Michael Hyatt via MichaelHyatt.com

This article is subtitled, "Overcome Limiting Beliefs with These 5 Steps," and it's pure gold. One of my colleagues read that her Enneagram type has an especially harsh & constant voice of criticism inside her head, and her response was, "Wait - everyone else doesn't have that same voice all the time??" The reality is that many of us struggle with self-limiting beliefs, a voice in our heads that tells us what we're not good at. But what if you got good at tuning it out or re-writing the narrative? Don't miss this Michael Hyatt awesomeness.

What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments below.