EPISODE #69 - Leading Self, Others and Team in Pursuing The Kingdom of God
Bob and Jimbo spend time breaking down one of the 6 Irreducible minimums, Pursuing the Kingdom of God via the PITO Leadership model from the Officer Development School of the US Air Force. Yeah, we know it sounds kinda well…..just give it a listen, we promise you’ll laugh and be informed.
Personally: spiritual practices that bring about the rule and reign of God in your life.
Interpersonally: making disciples in the context of relationships in everyday life.
Team: consider those with whom you led ministry, are they growing spiritually and are we functioning as the body of Christ? Are we surrendering our agenda to the Lord’s agenda?
Organizationally: are we as a church pursuing Kingdom principles and priorities rather than simply just doing the same old same.
Has this podcast been helpful to you? Be sure to leave feedback and send in your questions for future episodes. Thanks for being part of our Bootcamp crew!
Get the website help you need, connect with our great sponsor One Eighty Digital they’ll get you up and running in the right direction.
Show notes powered by Descript are an approximation of the verbal content, consult podcast audio for accuracy.
In this episode the guys talk about closing out the year and opening up 2021 with some intentionality and turn to considering what the irreducible minimums would be for leading the church in 2021. Don’t forget to drop us a line with your question or sign up for the next Replant Bootcamp black ops hat giveaway.
Here are six things that every Pastor, Replanter or Planter can focus on in the coming year. Anyone can do them, anywhere. As you consider leading your church in 2021 we recommend these six irreducible minimums.
Pursue first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness
The guys began the conversation on the 13 Characteristics of a Replanter/Revitalizer by unpacking Self-Awareness. In future episodes they will walk through the rest of the characteristics.
Of all the characteristics, Self-Awareness is foundational to pastoring whether you are a Replanter or Revitalizer.
Crisis provides a great opportunity to develop self-awareness.
He shepherded them with a pure heart
and guided them with his skillful hands. Psalm 78:72
Ministry is a work of the Holy Spirit-your skill is important but you must be aware of your ultimate dependence on the Holy Spirit.
The greater your skills and gifting the greater the challenge for you personally to rely on your abilities and not the Holy Spirit.
One of the important aspects of self-awareness is understanding that God designed you uniquely. God also places people with other gifting and strengths who will compliment your ministry. Embrace them as part of God’s design for your ministry.
Your strengths will help you be successful in an aspect of your ministry, not the entirety of your ministry.
Your home of origin impacts your life and ministry. Becoming self-aware of how that creates challenges and conflict is vitally important. Do the hard work of exploring your hope of origin dynamics. We recommend, How We Love by Milan and Kay Yurkovich.
Ministry is painful because it creates
Jimbo share this quote from Tennessee Williams: There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. When that happens, you either kill yourself or stop looking in mirrors.
Accepting how God designed you is key to embracing your role in ministry. Find a good personality test like the DISC, get the results and understand your strengths and weaknesses.
One caution-some personality tests suggest that if you are not a certain type of personality. We do not believe that to be the case. Our observational experience has revealed that any personality type can successfully replant a church-with the understanding how their strengths and weaknesses impact their leadership.
Episode #38 - Leading Well in Racial/Ethnic Tension with Dr. James Hawkins
Last week the guys talked with Dr. James Hawkins about how to lead during times of racial tension. As Replanters/Pastors understanding the perspective of our African American congregants, community members and friends is imperative.
Q: As a white pastor with a predominately white congregation how do we lead well in this time of racial tension?
Dr. Hawkins: Some of the reason why we are where we are is because of past sin-we have to understand that. Today, the lines of segregation are still evident in many of our communities even after civil rights victories. In the church, we (Black and White Christians) have not done theology together and not dealt with our shared past trauma together. We’ve also not been equipped to handle this, in many ways we were set up for this moment-the question is now, what will we do with this moment? We have to equip and disciple each other to see these ethnic moments thru the lens of scripture. Here are some helpful questions:
How has my particular ethnic group read and understand scripture related to the kingdom of heaven?
Do I know what I don’t know? (where are my blindspots)
Q: How does a pastor lead a congregation that is reluctant to explore their own biases?
Dr. Hawkins: First, we have to acknowledge that exploring the unknown is scary-we have a natural reaction to avoid what we don’t know. We have to grow to understand the importance of seeking and seeing the kingdom of God over and above ourselves. As Pastors we need to validate our congregations reluctance and defensiveness-but we also have continue to lead toward the kingdom of God. Be patient with yourself and your congregation. Honor their fear but also ask them communicate their hopes.
Q: What is healing conversations?
Dr. Hawkins: It is a gathering of churches/people to intentionally jump into the deep end in dealing with the pain and problem of racial tension in the church. We facilitate conversations so people can find healing, help and hope and move forward.
Check out these helpful resources:
Watch the Healing Conversations video mentioned in the Podcast.
Episode #28 - SPECIAL GUEST Les McKeown, Author of Predictable Success
Leader, author and business expert Les McKeown stopped by the bootcamp to share his insights regarding life cycles of organizations and churches. The guys talked to Les about we need to know as we navigate the new realities of doing and being the church during Covid19.
The Predictable Success Model is about recognizing what happens in organizations-Les added vocabulary and codified what happens in each stage.
The stages: Early Struggle, Fun, Whitewater, Predictable Success, Treadmill, The Big Rut, Death Rattle.
For new things to grow (i.e. campuses, church plants) they must go through the stages on their own-organically.
On the Treadmill stage: this is a dangerous stage-it is the last of the seven that you can do anything about. If you can challenge, push back you can move back into predictable success.
On the Big Rut stage: all the Visionaries have typically left and the Synergists are keeping everyone happy. It is a lovely place to work-but you are in danger.
In the Church world: the Visionary may stick around until they retire-leadership gets handed off to someone else without a thought about what could happen to the vision and the church begins to struggle.
When a church is in the “big rut” or “death rattle” you have to jump back to early struggle in order to restart. In the for profit world-you have to “decapitate” or completely change the leadership at the top.
What are some key characteristics of the leaders who can bring life back to an organization either in the business or the church world?
In the for profit world that individual typically has the VO (Visionary/Operator) or VP (Visionary/Processor) style.
In the not for profit or church world that individual typically has the VS (Visionary/Synergist) or OS (Operator/Synergist)
A key insight:a Synergist finds the people decisions to be very difficult. So they struggle in making the hard decisions involving people.
During a crisis or major event, the force of that event will push you down the side of the curve on which your organization finds itself.
If you just recently started something-you may want to press pause
If you are on the decline side, the force will push you down toward the Big Rut or Death.
You have to relearn to innovate.
Statement from Les: if you are one of the older established churches that has been saying that online worship is (insert negative comment) you better rethink that very quickly.
The depth of permanent behavioral change that this crisis is creating and will create is going to fundamentally change everything about the way we do what we do.
For instance: online communication via zoom will only accelerate and change the way we interact. This will impact the way people interact and do church.
If your organization is struggling you need to find and let Visionaries lead and find Operators to help them implement the vision.
Q: What is the importance of identifying Leaders/Lay Leaders in your church or organization?
Start with the Visionary: let that person select their leadership team who are Operators. This is not a true leadership team-it is a group of enablers who can make the vision happen.
During Whitewater: develop a true leadership team, you need people who possess strategic capabilities who can help you navigate the complexities of this stage. At this point you need Processors who can help the organization move forward. This is the stage where you begin to experience conflict on the team and this requires the team develop Synergist skills and stay committed to the Kingdom goals.
If you want to have fun, and stay at the mom and pop level you just need Visionaries and Operators (and a few mini-Processors to keep things legal)
If you want to scale and grow, you have to have Visionaries, Operators, Processors and Synergists working together. A VOPS model.
Episode #22 - Leading Senior Saints in Missional Engagement w/ Boots on the Ground Guest Cory Davis
Joining the guys today is Cory Davis, Pastor in Eastview Baptist Church in Kilgore Texas. He is definitely a Resourceful Generalist-he drove up to a member’s home and jumped on their internet to take the call. Thanks for joining us Cory!
Q: How do I lead our senior saints to engage our community missionally?
Remember, your senior saints are not an obstacle to ministry-they are your ministry.
As your people age, they are not able to do what they used to do in terms of ministry-they have to go about engaging the community in a different way.
Prepare the hearts of your people through biblical preaching-get them ready for the people God will bring into your church.
Help your existing members move from gathering and sending things only and explore adding personal interactions with those whom you are seeking to reach.
Explore “built-in” opportunities that already exist in your community where senior adults can have an impact. (volunteering at the hospital, library, schools etc.)
Help your people see that God has called them to demonstrate and declare the gospel-equip them to share the gospel and their faith story.
Most senior adults love to go out to eat. Encourage your people to become “regulars” at the coffee shop or diner and get to know the staff. They can offer to pray for servers, tip well, and encourage the staff.
Cast vision and build up your senior adults-they are important and needed and necessary for the body and God’s kingdom.
Help your senior saints realize their value as prayer warriors. Schedule cottage prayer gatherings during the day.
Wisdom from Jimbo: “If you can still fog a mirror, God still has a mission for you!”
Episode #7 - How NOT to Build a Lasting Elder Team
In a Replant high capacity and qualified leaders are likely to be in short supply.
Don’t let the urgent need for leaders be a primary driving process for your seeking to install Elders.
Do not confuse excitement and enthusiasm as good indicators that you may have found the right person to engage as a leader.
The past church experiences of the leaders you are considering installing as leaders matters, do not ignore conflict that occured in previous churches. Discern the circumstances, issues and let that inform your decision regarding their leadership.
An Elder process is important-develop one and stick to it.
Elders share the load and burden of ministry. It is important to develop leaders/elders who work together, especially when you as a Replanter are needing help or hurting.
Give them some weight to bear-some guys just want to give advice rather than serve.
Never give someone a position of leadership if they are not already serving.
Spend time together as families, dinners, and parties. Observe how they interact with their spouse and children.
Give them an area of ministry to lead, especially leading others.
If you have pause or question regarding an Elder candidate, stop the process.
Pray with and consult with your spouse regarding the candidates you are considering for Elders.
Don’t install an Elder unless and until you have a conflict or disagreement with them and have resolved it successfully.
In this episode Bob and JimBo start a new segment called, ‘Stupid Stuff We Did and Survived’. JimBo will share a few stories of how he unwisely led facility changes. We invite you to laugh at us and with us during this episode. Hopefully you will be encouraged and challenged as well.
Some things to consider in leading change well
Cast a vision for change, don’t just make changes. When people understand and believe in the ‘WHY’ behind changes it is easier for them to get on board.
Communicate and then communicate some more. You cannot over-communicate.
Have compassion for how change impacts people. (Jeff Iorg does a great job of talking about this in his book, ‘Leading Major Change‘).
Move to a system where everything does not have to be voted on, but you still need to give people a voice in the process.
Create a diverse team of people to help lead change in the church.
What are some of your stories of leading change that didn’t go well?
Episode #2 - Advice for Replanting Residents and Rookies (with Boots on the Ground Guest Jesse Peters)
In this episode Bob and JimBo are joined by BOOTS ON THE GROUND GUEST Jesse Peters from Ebenezer Baptist Church in Henderson, NC. Jesse is helping start a replanting residency at his church and wanted to know what advice we would have for replanting residents and rookies.
Replanting is not easy work, but it also isn’t super complicated.
Visit Everyone in the Church
Make pastoral visits a high priority in your first year to get to know everyone in the congregation. Get an understanding of where they are spiritually, hear stories of the church and their lives. You need to know the sheep in order to shepherd the sheep.
Preach the Gospel
This is about more than your sermons. One of the primary objectives for a Replanter is to align everything the church does with the gospel. We recommend ‘Gospel Driven Church‘ by Jared Wilson as a great resource on this topic.
Reach Out to the Community
Get to know your community. Build relationships with people in the community. Make a difference in the community. Effective replant pastors work hard to move their churches to have a missional focus.
Find Some Men to Disciple
In Reclaiming Glory, Mark Clifton defines success in replanting as a church that is making disciples that makes disciples that make the community noticeably better.
Evaluate the Condition of Your Church
When you walk into a dying church there a lot of things that need to change, and you can’t change them all at once. Start evaluating and making a private list in your prayer journal. Take the initiative to help the church move forward as an organization.
Don’t Forget to Celebrate
As mentioned in the last point, you need to evaluate. But be careful not to let this give you a negative outlook. Find things to celebrate and find joy in celebration. Lead with celebration and encouragement.
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Have fun!! The weight of it all can make you feel like everything is make or break. The church you are pastoring has likely been in decline for a long time – one bad Sunday under your watch won’t kill it, trust us!
Find Some Friends! Encouragers
DO NOT WALK THIS ROAD ALONE!! Replanting is gritty and glorious work. There will be plenty of discouragement, work to build some relationships with people who are encouragers. Find other pastors who are farther along than you to walk this road with you. This is one of the biggest things that helped us survive our first five years.