Stress is high these days.
You and your team may not have experienced one major thing in particular. Still, the cumulative effect of many small and unfamiliar stresses over a sustained period of time may be very real for you.
Or you may have experienced one or two significant problems, disappointments, or setbacks that sent your stress levels through the roof.
Either way, it’s very clear that stress is high these days and that impacts the morale of your team.
Here’s a shortlist of how stress can impact the morale of your team:
I pray that not many from this list are true for you and your team, but it’s almost impossible to escape all of them.
One pastor said, “Everyone I listen too and many blogs I read talk about how much ministry will change when we come back and re-open our church...
Over the years, I’ve been guilty of spending an inordinate amount of time on the front end of a task or project. Instead of simply completing the task, I’ll also create a system to make completing future tasks easier. As we’ve already discussed, automation is helpful for tasks that are going to be repeated or recurring ministry experiences. The secret to automation is creating systems! Not only do you need to document everything you do—you need to systematize it.
Earlier, I mentioned how I began to automate some recurring events, such as infant dedications. Some people with whom I’ve shared these tips think, “I don’t have time to spend 8-12 hours mapping out all of the little details that come up! That’s a waste of time!” Actually, it is a “waste of time” not to create systems. Why? Because the next time you need to prepare for the same task or event, you’ll be doubling the hours you spend working on it...
There’s something interesting that I observe many leaders doing: they’ll go to a conference, seminar, or workshop, and they’ll hang around people they know…only people they know. We all have something in us that gravitates toward comfort, and people with whom we feel at ease.
However, I have found that my life has been totally transformed and changed simply by meeting one person I did not know.
If you’re in leadership, you’ll go to a lot of meetings. When you do, seek out people you don’t know. After all, you can always meet up with your friends and catch up later. Make an effort to seek out new relationships and connections that are mutually beneficial.
Not only that, but remember that, when you meet someone, you’ll now have their information. What are you going to do with it? Personally, I like to take a few seconds to write people notes—either on physical paper, email, or text message. When I go to meetings, I look around and...
Healthy leaders understand who has helped them, who has supported them, and who got them to the victory that they are reveling in today. I seek to create teams—to build people and create processes. Interestingly enough, when I have a victory, it’s never one that I’ve won on my own. Only a fool would think such a thing. Our victories in ministry have dozens of people behind them. Ministry is not a solo event—it’s a team sport.
Think for a moment about the actress who stands up at an award ceremony after being handed a gold statue. Although it’s somewhat annoying to the rest of us, she goes on for as long as they let her, thanking everyone who was involved in making this opportunity a reality for her. The actress wins the award, but there are hundreds of people who do their part in order to make that happen. In the same way, if you sit in a position of leadership, don’t be fooled into thinking that your victories have been achieved exclusively...
2020 will go down as the year of the great disruption. Just when you and I thought this was going to be an epic beginning of a new decade, it became the year that regular church changed forever. This has challenged every leader to either adapt or to die out. It’s also created a level playing field, as the rules for church have changed. No longer do the greatest buildings and the best equipment matter. Church has been stripped back to the bare bones, like a house undergoing a renovation. For those who have yearned for more and longed for an awakening, this season has come as an unforeseen rush of fresh air. For those caught off guard, it has been more than challenging.
We are a church with 10 campuses in varied locations, including schools, universities, and large buildings, which range from 1 to 50 years old, and house congregations of 100s to 1000s. We made a decision to embrace the pain, and to see the disruption as an opportunity to focus on the three things that have...
If you’ve ever led in the midst of a crisis, no matter how large, you know that teams work together in a different way when challenges arise. Crisis times are stressful; there’s change happening at light speed; people are reevaluating responsibilities and asking questions.
As a leader, there’s one crucial element you must bring to your team during this time: a steady hand. In the midst of crisis, your people have a need for steady emotions; a steady mind; a calm demeanor. They need to know that they’re going to be okay—that you’re going to lead them through it.
It’s tempting to give into the overwhelming emotions that come with upheaval. It would be all too easy to allow anxiety and frustration to take over. As a leader, you can’t do this. You can have a breakdown later on, when the waters are calmer, and you’ve reached the other side. Right now, you’ve got to set the emotional temperature.
You see, your team members are...
You’ve probably heard me say that we all have boxes in our thinking—old paradigms and limiting ways of looking at the world. We develop these boxes as a result of the indoctrination—the messages—of our culture. We might have boxes that limit our perspective on leadership, business, ministry, family, or any other number of aspects of our lives.
You see, the way we act is a result of the way we think and the way we think is a result of how we’ve been indoctrinated. So, in order to be truly free from these paradigms, we have to somehow dismantle and destroy the box. There is a reality out there that is far greater. God wants us to gain a new perspective on life, and on our calling, because each one of us has a unique purpose—your calling is different from everybody else. By definition, nobody fits into somebody else’s category. That’s why the boxes are so detrimental—because they keep us in a mentality of comparison,...
One of the big reasons I admire athletes is that they have to perform. In front of stadiums filled with people, they have to be excellent on a schedule. To make that happen, they must be in a regular program of stretching their abilities. Pushing farther. Going beyond.
But for most of us, after high school or college, we actively avoid pushing ourselves. After that last final exam, we quietly vow we’ll never stretch quite that far again. But you’ll never achieve your best without taking the risk of embarrassment or humiliation.
What do you need to do to take your life or career to the next level? Become a confident public speaker? Learn another language? Increase your computer skills? Be comfortable speaking in front of difficult audiences?
The difference between pros and amateurs? Amateurs wait for inspiration, but pros just get to work.
Whatever it is, the time to start is now. This is your wake up call. Stretch. Take a risk. Crawl out...
Today, I want to talk to you about overcoming weakness. The reality is all of us have times in our lives where we’re not at our best. Maybe our gifts and skills aren’t operating at their fullest capacity, or we’ve suffered a personal or occupational setback. No matter the reason, every single leader (and human being) will walk through seasons of weakness.
Growth demands that we are our strongest when we feel our weakest. That's easier said than done. When we feel weak, our tendency is often to retreat—to operate at a level of “just enough.” Instead, this is the time we must make the strongest effort to press forward.
How do we do this? One major way to remain strong in the midst of weakness is by embracing the understanding that we have to live our lives based upon principle, rather than emotions. As a matter of fact, when we don't embrace principle, we become too vulnerable to our emotions.
Feelings change. Feelings lie. You’ve experienced...
If you think you’re leading, and yet no one is following, you may just be taking a walk.
Emotional intelligence is a key characteristic in any leadership role. Understanding people, and the ways they follow (or don’t follow) your leadership, is a critical role in ministry especially. A leader needs to have that intuitive, gut-level sense of whether people are with you. Are they behind you? Or are they merely tolerating you? Do people want to hear from you? Do they ask with excitement about what’s coming up next in your ministry? Or are people consistently questioning and criticizing what you are doing?
Just because you’re in a leadership position doesn’t mean you are a leader. Positional leadership is the lowest form of leadership. Emotional leadership—leading from a position of charisma and authenticity—is a higher, more effective form. If you think people are going to follow you wholeheartedly just because of your role, you’re...