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Posts Tagged "Vision"

Inspiring a Shared Vision 1

Inspiring a Shared Vision

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in Leadership

Leaders inspire a shared vision.  …visions seen only by leaders are insufficient to create an organized movement or a significant change in a company.  A person with no constituents is not a leader, and people will not follow until they accept a vision as their own.  Leaders cannot command commitment, only inspire it.  

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.
Proverbs 29:18 

Read any leadership book today and within the first few pages you’ll hear about the critical function of vision in your organization.  To lead effectively without a shared vision is simply not possible.  But sharing the vision takes skill.  And sewing vision into the hearts of those I lead is a skill I continue to refine.

In the coming weeks the fpKIDS team is working together to craft 5-6 simple, vision-driven phrases.  Why?  Because our greatest opportunity to connect with volunteers and parents is on the weekend… amidst the hustle and bustle of church services.  In that context we don’t always have 10 minutes to unpack the vision behind why we do what we do.

So my goal is to be able to communicate vision in 30 seconds or less.  One simple phrase that I can communicate that sums up the answer to the question, “Why?”.

Why do we ask volunteers to serve so often?

Why not VBS or MDO?

Isn’t it just babysitting?

There is typically more to explain and not enough time to explain it.  Vision phrases serve you well in these moments.   Succinct statements that get right to the point.  If all I have is 30 seconds, then I’ve leveraged that moment to point that volunteer &/or parent in the right direction.  If I get more than 30 seconds… well, that’s just bonus.

Do you use vision phrases to communicate vision in your ministry? 

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Perspective: a leader’s best friend

Posted by on Nov 6, 2011 in Leadership, Ministry

perspectiveLast night I was reading in 1 Kings 12 as part of my daily reading plan.  This pivotal moment in a new king’s reign is interesting to investigate.  I mean, we knew based upon a warning God gives to Solomon, that the better part of the kingdom would be removed from the hands of his son.  But how it happened is intriguing to me.

In the latter part of Solomon’s life, his great wisdom was not on display.  In fact, I would argue that in the season his son, Rehoboam, was growing up Solomon’s focus was on experiencing the pleasures of life.  Although I’m sure Rehoboam learned how to throw a crazy shin-dig, I don’t think Solomon was focused on raising his successor to understand how to lead a kingdom with wisdom.  And we see this play out soon after Rehoboam takes the throne.

In 1Kings 12, Jeroboam comes before Rehoboam representing all of Israel.  He has one question.  Will you work us as hard as your dad?  Because if you do… we won’t serve you.  But if you don’t… we will.

“Your father made us carry a heavy burden. Reduce the hard work and lighten the heavy burden he put on us, and we will serve you.”

Rehoboam had a critical decision to make.  And it had nothing to do with what kind of party he would host.  It had everything to do with whether or not he could create a following.  Rehoboam first went to some of the older leaders that served his father.  He asked them for guidance in his response to Jeroboam.  Then Rehoboam consulted his buddies.

The problem is… Rehoboam had no trust invested in the older leaders that served his father.  Who knows what his perception of them might have been.  It’s likely that he was familiar with them since they were part of Solomon’s court.  However, we don’t know what kind of relationship Rehoboam had with them.  We only know that he disregarded the advice of the leadership in favor of the advice of his buddies.

It’s a great leadership reminder for me today.  Seeking guidance and advice from seasoned leaders is a wise move.  They can see things I can’t see.  They’ve experienced things I haven’t experienced.  Their perspective is better than mine.

Ultimately the decision still falls with the leader.  So you’ve got to be prepared to stand behind it.  But when you gather advice & input, make sure your source is rooted in wisdom.

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Illuminate – Austin

Posted by on Nov 2, 2011 in Leadership, Ministry

Next week I had out to Austin, TX for the 2nd annual Illuminate Conference hosted at Gateway Church.  My friend, Kenny Conley, is the NextGen Pastor at Gateway and last year he and his team put together a kidmin conference geared specifically to volunteers.

With kidmin leaders like Sam Luce, Jonathan Cliff, Cathy Harwick, Matt McKee and Jim Wideman pouring their knowledge, vision and passion into hundreds of local volunteers, the even was sure to be a hit.  And it was.

This year is sure to be just as awesome.  Volunteers will hear from Jim Wideman, Michael Chanley, Jonathan Cliff, Amy Fenton Lee, Sam Luce, Matt McKee, Dan Scott, Cathy Harwick, Corey Schwarz & Kenny Conley himself.

Kenny knows how to put together a team and a great conference.  I’m taking a team of volunteers to Illuminate – Nashville in February 2012 and simply can’t wait.  To have a budget-friendly conference to take my volunteers where they can be invested in, loved on and equipped to do better ministry… it’s a gift.

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Lead a horse to water…

Posted by on Nov 8, 2009 in Ministry, My Life

Many have heard the familiar adage

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

True. But you can give him a salt lick and make him thirsty.

If your a #kidmin leader, you’re very familiar with the helpful tools you provide to parents every week. Tools designed to help parents continue the conversation after their weekend fun in your ministry. Tools intended to equip parents to teach their kids how to navigate the bible, to internalize scripture, and to grow as a follower of Christ.

But we also know that if mom and dad don’t see those tools as valuable they aren’t likely to use them. So how do we provoke parents to put these tools to use?

Create a thirst.

Consider this… in my community it doesn’t take much to see what families value. Good schools & good sports programs. Why? Because they develop valuable skills and create opportunity for kids as they grow into adulthood.

Many parents I encounter have a vision for their child’s educational success. Which is why they enroll their kids in a specialized school, pay for private tutoring and pay close attention to their progress as a student. Success in academics opens doors for success professionally. So when a teacher sends homework, study tools and other materials home… parents utilize them. Why?


There is an end goal in mind that includes a mortar board, a long, black robe and pomp & circumstance.

If mom and dad do not have a vision for their child’s spiritual development… if their goal is not centered upon raising a child that loves God with everything in them, then they will not see the value in the tools we place in their hands. They will not see the value in they’re child learning to navigate the bible on their own… they won’t encourage the discipline of internalizing scripture… they won’t teach the art of articulating their faith.

So, how do we create a thirst? Turn them on to a bigger vision for their family. Help them see there is a greater goal for their child. Give them a glimpse of the impact they can have on the faith of successive generations.

Parents want to be effective. But many times they just don’t know how. What do we (the church) have in place that will teach them how?

Some friends of mine have an amazing ministry that equips families in ways I’ve never seen before. If there is anything to consider for your #kidmin ministry in 2010, take a close look at Family ID. Check out the video below then visit their website to see how you can bring Family ID to your families.

FAMiLY-iD from FAMiLY iD on Vimeo.

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