Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Ten Minutes After Church Rule

By Rev Bill Hutchison

One of the biggest challenges for people trying to find a new church is connecting with the people at the church. We heard this rule from our Pastor at church this last Sunday to help people who are new at your church connect with the people there:

    “Ten Minutes after church your friends will still be here. Take those ten-minutes to meet and get to know someone new or someone you have not spoken to before.”

I thought that this was a terrific rule for people of your church congregation to follow after the church service. This will help to make your church much more “seeker” friendly, and feel a lot less “cliquey” to people who are new to your church. It’s hard to feel welcome at a new church if everyone is talking with someone else and no one talks to you or gives you the time of day.

The ten minute rule can also help your congregation get to know other members of the church, rather than the same group that they always gravitate towards. This can be great in developing church unity and a greater sense of church family. People will have a much greater desire to stay a part of your church if they have that feeling of unity and family.

When looking at overall church growth we need to not only look at new people coming in, but also look at retention of current church members. The ten-minute rule can help both of these areas by providing a more inviting and friendly atmosphere for both the new and the old people at your next church service.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Don’t Send Your Ducks to Eagle School

by Jim Rohn

The first rule of management is this: don’t send your ducks to eagle school. Why? Because it won’t work. Good people are found, not changed. They can change themselves, but you can’t change them. You want good people; you have to find them. If you want motivated people, you have to find them, not motivate them.

I picked up a magazine not long ago in New York that had a full-page ad in it for a hotel chain. The first line of the ad read, “We do not teach our people to be nice.” Now that got my attention. The second line said, “We hire nice people.” I thought, “what a clever shortcut!”

Motivation is a mystery. Why are some people motivated and some are not? Why does one salesperson see his first prospect at seven in the morning while the other sees his first prospect at eleven in the morning? Why would one start at seven and the other start at eleven? I don’t know. Call it “mysteries of the mind.”

I give lectures to a thousand people at a time. One walks out and says, ‘I’m going to change my life.” Another walks out with a yawn and says, “I’ve heard all this stuff before.” Why is that?
The wealthy man says to a thousand people, “I read this book, and it started me on the road to wealth.” Guess how many of the thousand go out and get the book? Answer: very few. Isn’t that incredible? Why wouldn’t everyone go get the book? Mysteries of the mind…

To one person, you have to say, “You’d better slow down. You can’t work that many hours, do that many things, go, go, go. You’re going to have a heart attack and die.” And to another person, you have to say, “When are you going to get off the couch?” What is the difference? Why wouldn’t everyone strive to be wealthy and happy? 

Chalk it up to mysteries of the mind and don’t waste your time trying to turn ducks into eagles. Hire people who already have the motivation and drive to be eagles and then just let them soar. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

An Except from THE RIGHT TO LEAD by John C. Maxwell

By John C. Maxwell

What gives a man or woman the right to lead? It certainly isn't gained by election or appointment. Having position, title, rank or degrees doesn't qualify anyone to lead other people. And the ability doesn't come automatically from age or experience, either.

No, it would be accurate to say that no one can be given the right to lead. The right to lead can only be earned. And that takes time.

The Kind of Leader Others Want to Follow
The key to becoming an effective leader is not to focus on making other people follow, but on making yourself the kind of person they want to follow. You must become someone others can trust to take them where they want to go.

As you prepare yourself to become a better leader, use the following guidelines to help you grow:

1. Let go of your ego
The truly great leaders are not in leadership for personal gain. They lead in order to serve other people. Perhaps that is why Lawrence D. Bell remarked, "Show me a man who cannot bother to do little things, and I'll show you a man who cannot be trusted to do big things."

2. Become a good follower first
Rare is the effective leader who didn't learn to become a good follower first. That is why a leadership institution such as the United States Military Academy teaches its officers to become effective followers first - and why West Point has produced more leaders than the Harvard Business School.

3. Build positive relationships
Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. That means it is by nature relational. Today's generation of leaders seem particularly aware of this because title and position mean so little to them. They know intuitively that people go along with people they get along with.

4. Work with excellence   
No one respects and follows mediocrity. Leaders who earn the right to lead give their all to what they do. They bring into play not only their skills and talents, but also great passion and hard work They perform on the highest level of which they are capable.

5. Rely on discipline, not emotion   
Leadership is often easy during the good times. It's when everything seems to be against you - when you're out of energy, and you don't want to lead - that you earn your place as a leader. During every season of life, leaders face crucial moments when they must choose between gearing up or giving up. To make it through those times, rely on the rock of discipline, not the shifting sand of emotion.

6. Make adding value your goal   
When you look at the leaders whose names are revered long after they have finished leading, you find that they were men and women who helped people to live better lives and reach their potential. That is the highest calling of leadership - and its highest value.

7. Give your power away
One of the ironies of leadership is that you become a better leader by sharing whatever power you have, not by saving it all for yourself. You're meant to be a river, not a reservoir. If you use your power to empower others, your leadership will extend far beyond your grasp. In The Right to Lead, you will hear from and read about people who have done these same things and earned the right to lead others. Because of the courage they found and the character they displayed, other people recognized their admirable qualities and felt compelled to follow them.

The followers who looked to these leaders learned from them, and so can we. As you explore their worlds and words, remember that it takes time to become worthy of followers. Leadership isn't learned or earned in a moment.

Monday, August 8, 2011

One of the Most Dangerous Things You Can Do in Ministry?

What is one of the most dangerous things you can do in ministry?
It’s easy. 
An assumption is taking something for granted.  It’s supposing something to be a fact.
It’s deadly.
Why?  Because many of our assumptions are wrong.
I was having lunch recently with my friend Perry Noble, pastor of NewSpring Church.  He shared how he and his staff worked through some of their assumptions and came to realize they were making three huge ones – and each was wrong.
First, they were assuming that people were going to show.  This meant that they were assuming that once people became part of the church family, they would show up every week. 
In reality, a frequent attender probably averages twice a month, if that.
Second, they were assuming that people were going to know.  This meant that they were assuming that people who attended the church knew the church’s basic vision, mission and values. 
They often don’t.
Third, they were assuming that people were going to grow.  This meant that they were assuming that people were going to take the message and use it as a springboard to pursue personal development and increased intimacy with Christ on their own.
Most stopped thinking about the message by the time Sunday lunch was over and they had settled in for the kick-off of the football game.
Perry and his team are smart, and as a result, developed strategies and processes, next steps and bridges, to help people really show, know and grow - as opposed to believing the assumption that they were just going to do it on their own.
What are you assuming?  Here are a few to consider:
*your members and attenders are actually inviting their friends and family to attend
*your weekend service would engage an unchurched person
*people will take “next steps” based on making that step known through an announcement
*most people are comfortable joining a small group
*the most effective means of worship is singing, and people want to sing for long periods of time
*the people listening to you believe in the Bible’s accuracy on the principles it teaches
*an hour on Sunday, by itself, transforms the other 167 hours of the week
*that most people who say that they are Christians actually are Christians
These are just a few of the assumptions made by thousands of leaders.  Just my two cents, but I would argue that for the typical church, and for the typical person, each one is false.
And you will be a wiser leader, and build a healthier church, if you own that they’re false, too.  Then you’ll roll up your sleeves and do what’s needed in leading, developing and teaching for each assumption to be a safe one.
James Emery White
For a more fulsome list of “assumptions,” specifically related to church growth, see chapter 14 in What They Didn’t Teach You In Seminary (Baker, 2011).