All posts tagged: leadership

Alex-Church-Resources1Church Resources for this week: for some reason I was doing a lot of reading on “the workplace” this week. Below are three of my favorite articles that deal with work. First culture  – how you are creating either a positive or negative culture. And second, two articles on staffing. I believe that we (churches) can learn a lot from business and vice-versa. You can find a lot of biblical principals in these types of articles. Our organizations should be smart, honest and well run, while creating positive, life giving cultures that encourage the best “work”.

#1 Why You Hate Work

If your employees feel more energized, valued, focused and purposeful, do they perform better? Not surprisingly, the answer is almost always “Yes.” Next we ask, “So how much do you invest in meeting those needs?” An uncomfortable silence typically ensues.

I really like this article – however the title is a little of a turn off. If you are a leader in your church or organization and you don’t take some time to think about the health of those who work or serve with you, you should. I think this article points out some really great areas that you can spend some focus time on.

#2 How and When to Hire Staff for Your Church Plant

So that’s kind of the litmus test of bringing someone onto the team. It’s a simple principle I learned from Chris Hodges. He said, “Don’t ever hire promises.”People are great at painting a picture of what they COULD do if you would just hire them. But the truth is, most people, if they’re willing to make the sacrifices FOR A SEASON, can produce those promises within your church without being on full-time paid staff.”

I think this article should just be titled, “Read Before You Hire” because it’s packed full of little nuggets of wisdom on hiring, leadership, what leaders are looking for, how to get a job in a church, and more. Of course no method is perfect, but this is some great insight. Read the whole article here.

#3 Hire Slow, Fire Fast

To “hire slow, fire fast,” start by being absurdly selective in who you hire. Mark Adams, the Managing Director at Vitsoe, the worldwide licensee of Dieter Ram’s furniture collection, approaches hiring with incredible selectivity. What he wants to discover is who is a natural fit. In addition to multiple interviews, he and his team have prospective employees come and work with them for a day. No commitment has been made on either side; it’s just a chance for each side to see each other as naturally as possible.

This is one of those leadership concepts that just makes total sense, yet is so hard to live into. We all have stories of how our heads knew what to do, but our hearts just couldn’t. Or tradition or bureaucracy got in the way of progress when staffing was concerned. This article lays out some very simple ideas for smart, patient hiring, and quick, humane and decisive firing. If you’re a leader of a church or organization – this is a great read.  Check out the article here.

Alex-Church-Resources1Here’s this week’s Church Resources. Each week I spend time reading through emails, links, blogs, Facebook, etc. and I try and pull out some of my favorite resources for people in the church. These are great, short little resources that can spark ideas and conversations in your spheres of influence. If you find something good, please leave a comment – I’d love to see what you’re reading!

#1 The Good News About Marriage

Have you ever quoted the facts about the 50% divorce rate?

Yeah? So have I.

Have you ever lamented the fact that the divorce rate was the same in the church? Or that most marriages are just hanging in there, not vibrant and happy?

Have you seen or shared the sobering statistic that most second marriages don’t make it? Or talked about marriage being hard?

If you are married, considering marriage, or working with married people, you must read this article.

#2 Seven Habits of Outwardly Focused Churches

Over time, most of the resources of time, money, and ministries have shifted more toward the members. Churches are now gathering in holy huddles with little intention of breaking out into a world of lostness and loneliness.

Of course not all churches fall into the “holy huddle” category, but from experience, I would say that it’s easy to slip towards focusing more and more attention inwards rather than outwards. You have to be intentional about reaching out and this article has some good insights on that – might spark some good conversations in your staff meetings, small groups, or networks. Go read the article today.

#3 What Makes a Leader?

Lastly, this article from on leadership. This is a little deeper, but what I really liked was the content in the diagram, titled “5 Components of  Emotional Intelligence at Work”. It’s quite a mouthful, but the content is really right on. See the graphic below, then go check out the article.

Alex-Church-Resources1Getting back into the blogging world, or maybe I should just say writing/resourcing world… Anyway, for those interested, I’m going to attempt to boil down some of what I’m reading and finding to one post a week of “Church Resources”. These are articles, tools, ideas, hacks and other stuff that you might find useful if you’re involved in the Church – as a staffer or volunteer, or just in the family and interested in how things work and/or culture. So here goes:

  1. Relevant Magazine’s 5 Things Christians Should Stop Saying – super quick read that could help tweak your culture to be a little more authentic.
  2. Do you listen to Podcasts? You really should – at least once a week. I’ve found they pull me out of the world I’m in and shed light on new/fresh ideas and perspectives. It really is a way to keep learning, which should be a life-long goal. My favorite go-to podcast is Andy Stanley’s Leadership Podcast. It’s seriously 20 minutes a month of an investment that you’ll get addicted to. Go subscribe and listen today.
  3. Ted Talks – I’m so surprised that so many are not aware of this amazing resource. You could spend days, weeks, months watching or listening to these powerful presentations. These are not (necessarily) pastors or church leaders. These are anyone from CEO’s of major corporations, to school teachers, to engineers, to social workers, etc. Why is this a “Church Resource”? Well, for me, it really gets my mind and heart in the stream of what is important to the world – what are they talking about? How do they feel about things? I should be interested in those things and be able to join in that conversation – and I might learn something new in the process…

That’s all for this week. Hope to see you again next week!

Find something cool worth sharing? Feel free to leave a comment.


In this series I’m sharing thoughts on what I believe I’d say to young worship leaders – what kinds of things I would pour into them. It stems from me thinking about how I’m going to mentor up and coming worship leaders in our church – so I’m kind of testing the waters with my thoughts.

I think to begin, it’s important to look for, and recognize young talent, passion & heart, when it comes to continuing to grow as a church in worship. I also think it’s important that young people know that there’s opportunity for them to use and develop those skills & passions. So before we create a list of things to tell young worship leaders, we need to have great opportunities for them to participate in worship leading. For many churches these opportunities are youth groups, small groups, worship events (concerts, etc.), and in some cases main worship services.

I think the question for church leaders (myself included) is “are you clearly communicating your desire to develop young worship leaders?”

Assuming we’ve got some good opportunities for young people to lead, and we’re building life-giving relationships with them (meaning you’re not simply taking from them, but you’re building into them), then we’re ready to talk about what kinds of advice, challenges, and encouragements we should be giving them – that’s what this series will cover, from my point of view.

Next, Part 1: “Love the Ministry, not the Music”

Bob KauflinI’m trying something new. It may or may not catch on, but seeing as I lead worship leaders, I want to always have fresh resources for them to help them grow, learn, and add practical skills to their toolboxes. So I’m going to start creating a library of stuff I find around the web – stuff that I think is important for leading and developing a worship culture.

Bob Kauflin wrote this post titled “What I Learned from Aristotle about Leading Congregational Worship”:

Specifically, I haven’t learned anything from Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) about leading congregational worship that I didn’t learn first in Scripture.

But in his day, Aristotle sought to help speakers be more persuasive by identifying three crucial areas to keep in mind. He called them logos, ethos, and pathos.

Bob goes on to talk about how important these three elements are to leading a congregation in worship. There’s some really good advice and conversation starters in the article.

Read the rest of the article here and follow Bob Kauflin on Twitter here.