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Tag: ministry teams

Episode #30 – Leveling the Church with Micah Fries

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Episode #30 - Leveling the Church with Micah Fries

**After this episode was recorded Chattanooga TN, along with many other cities in the southeast were impacted by severe weather and tornados. Pray for the people impacted and the Church as they seek to minister grace and practical help**

Micah is the pastor of Brainerd Baptist Church part of the .EST podcast and the co-Author of Leveling the Church.

The book grew out of my experience as a first time Pastor-the pain and the learning that came from me getting over the idea “that I could do everything better than anyone else.” 

I realized that I had failed the church because I had not equipped the members of our church for ministry as Ephesians 4 speaks about.

Q: What were some of the barriers that caused you to not equip others for ministry? 

Micah: the number one barrier was pride. I felt like everything had to be exactly the way I wanted it in order for us to succeed.

The Super Pastor is an idea we often rail against but also something that we end up doing ourselves, because we love the affirmation that comes from doing ministry well.

There is a dangerous idolatry that drives us to do ministry so that we receive the information from our efforts. That keeps us from equipping others.

Ministry is not our vocational responsibility, ministry is the collective familial responsibility of everyone in the body of Christ, the church.

Our vocational responsibility, the reason why we are paid, is to equip and develop leaders to do ministry.

The idea behind Leveling the Church is not destroying it but bringing all things to a level where everyone is doing ministry.

Think through this:

Global response: leading the entire church from the platform

Strategic Equipping: training the entire church to spread out and do ministry in the church.

When we equip the church for ministry, there is a cost to us, we get a lot less credit-which is good.

In our multi-site model we are intentional about having live preaching, local leadership, this forces us to equip people for ministry.

Q: How does the pastor of a normative sized church find leaders in which to invest?

Micah: Normally we look for character (which is good) but also for people who are really good at their job.

Here’s what I would look for as the Pastor of a normative sized church:

  1. Character-do they possess godly character.
  2. Who is the best developer of others-who can equip others to do ministry best.

Focus on finding leaders who can bring others along and train them and develop them and multiply themselves.

Q: What advice would you give on building out great ministry teams? 

Micah:  I’d do the following:

  • Rethink how you spend your work hours.  I’d read the article on church size by Tim Keller and learn how to adjust my time, focus on what is required for my church at its stage and size and then order my work around that.
  • Develop relationships with others.
  • Never do ministry alone-always take someone with you.
  • Reprioritize your work-so that you can involve others in your work.
  • Proximity trumps every-time. Just having people near you is the development plan.

On doing it yourself, delegating or developing others: I’m learning that there is very little that is actually my sole responsibility. Others can do what I do, so I am responsible for developing them.

The main question is this: What are the things that only I can exclusively do?  The point is this, there is almost nothing that is solely your responsibility.

If you want to make this transition and adjust the way you lead understand this: leadership is by fractions and degrees-make small adjustments over time.

There has never been a better time to invite people into ministry than now-begin inviting them to engage and begin handing ministry to them.

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Episode #28 – SPECIAL GUEST Les McKeown, Author of Predictable Success

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Replant Bootcamp
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.


Consult the overview and glossary of terms as you listen along: Predictable Success Overview

Biblical Background: Ephesians 4:11-16


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.


Covid19 Applications 

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.

Predictable Success by Les McKeown