Welcome to a fantastic week in Church Leader Insights. Be blessed!
One of the ironies of leadership – whether you’re a worship leader, a senior pastor or in any kind of position where you are leading people – is that success typically results in complexity not simplicity.
A worship leader grows their worship team and now has to manage scheduling multiple worship leaders and multiple worship teams. More complex, not more simple.
A senior pastor whose church is growing has to sustain new ministry programs, multiple worship services and perhaps launching new sites. More complex, not more simple.
Success isn’t wrong and complexity isn’t necessarily bad but unchecked complexity will quickly be the downfall of what was once success.
Success leads to complexity. Complexity undermines success.
As leaders, how do we push and pray for success while at the same time remaining focused on the key things God has called us to in our ministry? How do we raise up new leaders while personally maintaining visionary direction over the areas we have been tasked with leading? How do I as an individual stay close to Jesus and connected to the source of my leadership and my effectiveness so that I don’t burn out?
I’ve been thinking about this and working on this in my own leadership over the last year. Here are three strategies I’ve put in place in my life to help me do less as a way to effectively have more impact in my life and my leadership.
Temptation. We all face it. And, we’ve all lost the battle many times.
Here are some ways, though, to fight this battle and win:
1. Run to God in prayer. Literally, stop everything. Find a quiet place in your heart. Plead for God’s help. Ask Him to help you see Him as more significant to you than anything you get from the sin. Ask Him to deliver you from the evil one. He’s the one who told us to pray this way (Matt. 6:13), so He’ll hear you.
2. Remember His Word. Today, my devotional reading includes this text from Ecclesiastes 12:13-14—“When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is this: fear God and keep his commands, because this is for all humanity. For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil.” When I read and believe these words, it’s much easier for me to say “no” to temptation.
3. Remember your guilt. You’ve been there. I’ve been there. We knew that if we crossed the sin line, guilt and conviction would set in. It would be a pounding, painful ache of the heart, knowing we had displeased God. We sinned anyway, though – and what we thought would happen did happen. We hurt. We cringed. We wept. We felt shame. We learned again that the temporary pleasure of sin is not worth the agony of Holy Spirit conviction and breaking. It’s really not.
I want to share with you some of the ‘golden rules’ that I try to live by when I’ve been leading social media for my church. Some of you may call them principles, but I like the idea of golden rule as it reminds me of the golden rule.
For all you Bible scholars and pastors, before you leave a comment like, “Hey Steve the Bible says it’s really about ‘Treating others how we want to be treated.’
No, I know it’s not that. But there is some of that in there. I could have used commandments too, but then I’d be in serious trouble.
I also thought about guidelines too. But I wanted us all to lift our eyes to a higher ideal. Where these golden rules were so built into our rhythm that it becomes second nature.
Here are the seven golden rules:
Rule #1 Give your audience a voice
So many churches are stuck in broadcast mode. They aren’t interested in the reality of social media. Giving your audience an opportunity to respond means that when they let their voice be heard on your feed their friends see what they say. You immediately widen the circle of influence. As well as actually using the platforms in the way they were designed.
Rule #2 Create Interesting Content
There is nothing worse than just making your social media channel an online church bulletin. Ask yourself this essential question then watch your reach and influence expand. Here are some of the best examples of interesting posts you can create on Facebook.
As leaders, we all want to limit the risk in the hard decisions we make. Personally, whenever we are about to make a major change or launch some new initiative, I want our team to think through things which could go wrong. I want to know who is going to be upset with the change. We try to figure out some of the worse-case scenarios which could keep us from being successful. And, then we build into our plan some natural reactors to things we know could go wrong. A good portion of time is dedicated to risk management. I think it’s important.
But, I have seen some leaders who want to get to 100% risk elimination before they move forward with any change. And, if that’s your goal, I have a few thoughts to consider.
Here are 4 risks of attempting risk-free change
You’re risking how expensive it will be – It’s not cheap to eliminate every thing which could go wrong. You have to determine how much you’re putting into attempting to eliminate risk is being taken from actually implementing change – especially change which has direct impact on people. And, context matters here. Attempting to eliminate risk in equipment to perform surgery or in building airplanes is different than trying to eliminate risk in organizational planning.