Who Should Lead Your Teams

You don’t have to look far to see how the church is losing its respect and priority in people’s lives. Just this morning two articles came into my news aggregator.

“19 Numbers Which Prove That America is Turning Away From Christianity”
“The Inevitable Collapse of Organized Religion in America”

I see articles like this every day. A couple of weeks ago I asked the question
“What Happened?”
There is no silver bullet but I would like to begin answering that question today from my perspective.

The church is dead, dying, and irrelevant partly because we have promoted high capacity doers over equippers.

Let me explain by using a football analogy.

We’ll use football, mostly because I love it, but also because stats are easy to get and evaluate.

After a very quick Google search I found:

There are just over 1 million high school football players in America.
About 67,000 of them go on to play in college.
There are currently 1,696 players in the NFL.
.166% of high school players will go on to play in the NFL.
.003% of high school players will go on to be head coaches in the NFL.

These 32 coaches must be pretty talented football players right? Let’s take a look.

Of the 32 coaches only 9 played in the NFL. The top 15 have a winning percentage over .500 and only 3 of them played a single snap in the NFL and only 5 played at a division one level. The old adage “if you can’t play coach” is true but for different reasons than we thought.

Leading/equipping and doing are different skillsets. There are a very few who can do both. Art Shell and Mike Ditka are among the 100 greatest football players of all time and were also pretty good coaches but they are the only two in the top 100.

When you’re looking for leaders do you go looking for the best “doers” or the best “equippers”? Do you look for Tom Brady or Bill Belichick? We definitely want Tom Brady on our staff but we want Bill Belichick to lead the team.

More on this later but today I leave you with this.

If we want the church to become vibrant again there are many things we need to focus on however; from a leadership perspective a top priority must be to put equippers in places of leadership.

Your thoughts?

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Posted by Gary in Church Growth, Discipleship, Leadership

The Sheep Are Not At Fault

The sheep are getting a bad rap. Articles and conversations everywhere talk about a lack of commitment from church people.

Recently a friend called and said “I’ve been asked to sign a contract to be on the worship team”. A conversation on a social networking site was titled “How do I get commitment from my worship team?” One solution was to “fire” them and make them re-audition every year.

The sheep are accused of not having the proper priorities or they don’t have a heart for the lost or they’re too materialistic or have a consumer mentality. Though these things may be true on some level please consider this:

We have the church we’ve planted.

I believe every problem on earth is a leadership problem. I don’t believe it’s a heart issue for most pastors and leaders. I’m confident of your desire to see the saints equipped and the world changed. What I’m suggesting is a re-evaluation of the process we have embraced as a church to get there.

People will prepare themselves to the level of their perceived opportunity.

I’ll never forget the first time I came early to a men’s meeting in Bible College. When I arrived the Men’s pastor met me at the door and asked if I would give a quick encouraging word to the leaders. I immediately began to scramble for something relevant and encouraging to share. I promise you I never came unprepared again. Knowing I had an opportunity to bless and encourage those leaders caused me to always come prepared to share.

We must create a culture of opportunity for people to serve and flourish in their gifts. We must be actively looking for the gifting in those entrusted to us and give them opportunities to step out in a safe place where they have the freedom to fail. It’s critical then to let them know how they did and how to improve. Encouragement goes a long way.

The quickest way to get people planted is to get them serving in their gifting. Not using people to meet needs and serve events but allowing them to operate in their gifting.

I have much more to say on this. That’s enough for today. What are your thoughts?

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Posted by Gary in Church Growth, Discipleship, Leadership


According to lots of people it is of the highest importance.

Not that I disagree. Our ability to influence, persuade, is very important.

What kind of influence do we want? How do we attain it? Once we have it how do we use it?

Carlos Whittaker nailed this idea last week when he said:

Jesus did not set out to become an influential leader by getting other influential leaders to fall in love with him.
He set out to see people rescued from the grip of death.
And lives changed was the base of his influence.
Not the words of another.

I have fallen into this trap from time to time. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to be around some really amazing people. People who are having a huge Kingdom impact on the world. Looking back I can see how, instead of relying on God to fulfill His call and promise in my life, I have served the man of God well hoping the man of God would launch me into my calling.

It wasn’t a conscious thing and I am aware of how serving another mans vision shows me faithful to carry my own call. David laid down his life for sheep he would never inherit. It’s a subtle shift with  huge implications. We must be faithful servers and stewards and look only to God for what He has for us.

In the last several years I have had the enormous privilege of mentoring dozens of amazing young men who will be world changers. I’m happy to have my influence in the hands of those God has entrusted to me.

Contentment is watching someone you have walked with over several years making good choices, loving his wife, and serving with joy and passion.

Who has God entrusted to you? Pour into them and watch them step into the fullness of their calling. Zig Ziglar  said years ago the way to fulfill your dreams is to help others fulfill theirs. A truth that rings true in my heart today more than ever.

Don’t waste time on superficial temporary fame. Make sure your influence will last.


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Posted by Gary in Church Growth, Practical