Doug Fields - Orange Conference 2016

Doug Fields hit it out of the park on Friday! I have read so many of Doug's books over the years--Doug is a youth ministry veteran of over 30 years and had authored more than 50 books.  
  • 50% of all churched kids will leave when they graduate.
  • They become program dependent and person dependent. And when the programs and people are gone, so is their faith.
  • We can’t just teach them what to believe on Sunday. We have to teach them to serve on Monday.
  • I want them to graduate as ministers. A minister sees a need and meets it.
  • 80 minutes on Sunday is not enough. Walking with Jesus is 10,080 minutes.
  • What if changed the measuring stick from sitting on Sunday to serving on Monday?
  • We count people because that’s what we’ve always done. We count people because we’re lazy and that’s what we’ve always done. We count people because we’re insecure and we need attendance numbers to validate ourselves and give us something to tweet.
  • Attendance numbers are a crack pipe for an addict.
  • I can get distracted from my ministry calling by my ministry numbers.
  • The yardstick is those who are missing, not those who are present.
  • Attendance numbers and offering numbers are the true Alpha and Omega.
  • What if we changed our language and painted a verbal picture of what our kids could be?
  • As a leader, the language you choose to utilize are important. Words matter. Words can alter a person’s life.
  • What if we called them ministers instead of graduates?
  • What if we stopped telling children they are the future of the church? What if we told them they are the church?
  • Leadership is not being cute, fun and popular. Leadership is serving.
  • When you engage non-Christian students into serving opportunities, you ignite something in that kid.
  • What a kid does affects what a kid believes. – Reggie Joiner
  • When a kid does what they were created to do they acknowledge there might be a creator.
  • You don’t disciple kids from a stage. You disciple kids up close.
  • What if we changed our emphasis from eternal life when you die to Kingdom life when you’re alive?
  • The church has been strong on communicating the path to Heaven.
  • Kingdom living is available today.
  • Jesus never said, “Lead me.” He said, “Follow me.”
  • You’re never more like Jesus than when you serve

Gavin Adams - What I Learned From Leading At North Point - ReThink Leadership 2016

One of the breakout speakers today was Gavin Adams, Lead Pastor of Woodstock City Church, a campus of North Point Community Church.
  • I would find tooth and nail for decentralization.
  • Andy Stanley is a better leader than communicator.
  • We are an uber-collaborative organization.
  • It is unbelievable how healthy an organization is when you let leadership go.
  • Ministry and theology aren’t the same thing.
  • The church is the most important organization on the planet and we worry about things that don’t affect eternity.
  • We worry about keeping people rather than reaching people.
  • Last Sunday we had 8,000 people. Numbers matter because individuals matter to God.
  • I took everything over the first six months I was at the church.
  • I wasn’t really good at knowing when to let go of all of that.
  • About six months in I wasn’t worrying about how we’re going to grow, but a friend told me I needed to worry how I was going to grow so I didn’t become the limiting factor of the church.
  • I was not capable of doing everything that needed to be done.
  • I no longer even knew all that needed to be done.
  • I realized I didn’t add value everywhere I went. In half the places, I made things worse.
  • God made everyone to add value somewhere. He didn’t make anyone able to add value everywhere.
  • Time goes really fast and if I didn’t figure it now, it was going to be too late. I could be the one person holding us back.
  • Learning to be really good at delegation was going to be the key leadership construct to stop us from growing.
  • Delegation is giving away authority, not tasks. Giving away tasks still means you’re in authority.
  • No one of us want to be guilty of drive-by delegation.
  • Anything systematic is better than anything unsystematic.
  • The one thing I’ve watched Andy do more than anything is give away leadership.
  • We give away leadership before people are ready to take it. Giving away leadership is part of our secret to success as to why we’re so successful.
  • Andy came to the building (only) once during the whole building process. He let me and a guy on our staff run the whole process.
  • Andy preaches 35 times per year. The other weeks is the campus pastors because Andy wants us to get reps.
  • We are way better at “Let go and let God” than “Let go and let others.”
  • Our leadership strategy is we give people leadership.
  • Letting go helps us go.
  • The worst thing is delegation without expectation.
  • My first year transitioning to a campus was the worst year of my life because every campus has a culture.
  • The steepest tension for me (becoming a North Point campus) was losing autonomy in a multi-campus setting.
  • Everything has a multi-campus implication.
  • You have to have an incredible high EQ to work in a matrix organization.
  • I give away leadership to every single person I can.
  • I do less now than I’ve ever done.
  • When only had four staff members is when I learned to give things away.
  • In successful, thriving organizations everybody has fun.
  • We had 1,350 sign up to volunteer two weeks ago.
  • Everyone wants to have a significant influence in the life of their church.
  • You don’t need more staff people to make things happen. You just need to ask people.
  • Paint a picture and paint them into it and everyone will say, “Yes.”
  • We want to centralize everything where there are economies of scale. We decentralize everything else.
  • We do not want managers on our campus. We want leaders.
  • Most campus pastors are asked to be lead managers.
  • You got to weigh in to buy in.
  • We are developing leaders in a much more powerful way with decentralization.
  • We are now creating churches in dozens of communities in cities where churches were built on personality.
  • There is a healthy competition (among the campus pastors) built around making it (the church) better, not making you better.
  • Competition can be healthy if it is leveraged to make everyone better.
  • The things God uniquely gifted you to do you should not give away.
  • I’m the primary vision carrier.
  • I’m the primary thinker.
  • Every leader is unique. Every delegation is unique.
  • Level 1 Delegation is investigation. Just research.
  • Level 2 is Informed Progress. Here’s the project but I want to touch base periodically.
  • Level 3 is Informed Results. I’m available but let me know when it’s done and the results.
  • Level 4. Just make it go away. You can own this.
  • Information creates responsibility.
  • I’m reading “Hug Your Customers.” It’s OK.
  • In our church, I only meet with people who are super anti-God or super onf fire for God. Anyone else I don’t have time for.
  • I can only critique the people who work directly for me. But I should be encouraging everyone in our organization.
  • My favorite question is, “If you were me, what would you do differently?”
  • What they (staff) think they know is what they know. And what they think they know is all they think they need to know.
  • I have tried to make everyone on our staff knows they are the best in the world. And if they mess up, it’s not the end of the world…It’s the cost of doing business.

Pete Wilson - Creating a Staff Culture - ReThink Leadership 2016

Pete Wilson is the founding and senior pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee. He spoke at one of the breakouts at ReThink Leadership about what it means to create a great staff culture in your Church. Here are the notes from that session.
  • If you want me to defend something, you have to first define it.
3 Reasons why defining culture is important

  • they should be different than Church Values
  1. If you don’t define it, it’s going to get hijacked
  2. It leads to healthier hires in your organization (Character, Contempency, Chemistry and even Culture)
  3. You can create a value to strengthen a weakness (all of your leadership dysfunction is going to seep down)
3 things to keep in mind when creating Staff Values
  1. They need to be sticky.
  2. Icons help
  3. Make them visible in every staff environment
What do you think about creating a positive staff culture in your church or ministry?

Pete Wilson - Orange Conference 2016

Pete Wilson is the founding and senior pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee, a committed church community that has grown to reach more than 7,000 people each weekend through its five locations.  
  • Sometimes I forget how good it is to get together and fellowship with other pastors.
  • What is most important – winning or not looking like an idiot?
  • I’ve spent way to much of my ministry hedging on steps of faith.
  • My entire ministry comes down to winning people for Jesus or not looking like an idiot.
  • So much of my ministry has been driven by my fear of failure.
  • Regret stings a lot more than failure.
  • My fear is we’re going to spend a lot of time thinking about what we should’ve done.
  • Inside of every leader there is belief and doubt. The difference is what are you going to choose to act on?
  • I’ve not sensed any moment where I couldn’t do this.
  • I am passionate about ministry. I’m passionate about my family. I’m passionate about fun things to do. 
  • I speak live six times on Sunday. I could speak seven but my limit is six.
  • Make sure we have fun with each other and don’t lose our families in the process.
  • I like to avoid conflict.

Carey Nieuwhof - Burnout - ReThink Leadership 2016

How I Recovered From Burnout: 12 Keys to Getting Back

I had never been through anything quite as deep, or frankly, personally frightening as my burnout 10 years ago.

Burnout moves fatigue and the darkness from a place where it was in your control to place where you can simply no longer control either.

I’ve heard from more than a few of you who have let me know that you’re in the midst of burnout right now.

Gary summarized how many leaders feel when he wrote in this comment:
So I’m there now. If I were honest I would say my life and ministry are in shambles. Still going, but no one really knows except my wife, I am ready to quit.
Oh man. All I can say is I understand, and I’m pulling for you and praying for you. I told part of my story in this post along with sharing 9 signs you might be burning out.

So how do you recover from burnout?

Let me share my journey. While everyone’s recovery will be different, there were 12 keys that, in retrospect, were essential to my recovery.We need to learn these lessons on the right side of burn out.

Not an Instant Cure

And as far as time goes, for me there was no instant cure. It took about 6 months for me to move from ‘crisis’ (20% of normal) to operational (maybe 60%) It took another year to get from 60% to 80% of ‘normal’. Finally, it took another three or four years to finally feel 100% again – like myself. Even a new self.
12 Keys To Getting Back from Burnout

Along the way, these 12 things helped me immensely. And while your story might be different, I offer them in the hope they might help you even in some small way:

1. Tell someone

This was hard. I think it is for most leaders, especially guys. My guess is you will resist because of pride. But pride is probably what made you burn out. Don’t miss this: Only humility will get you out of what pride got you into. Swallow your pride and tell someone safe that you have a problem. It’s tough, but it’s the first step toward wellness. When you admit it to others, you also finally end up admitting to yourself.
2. Get help

You can’t do this alone. Really, you can’t. I went to a trained counselor and had a circle of friends who walked the walk with me. You need to talk to your doctor and to a trained Christian counselor. And you need others. I had people pray over me. My wife, Toni, was an incredible and exceptional rock. I’m not sure I would have made it without them. I’m a guy and I prefer to work through my own problems. This one was so much bigger than me. But not bigger than God or the community of love and support he provides. So get help.
3. Lean into your friends

Yes this could have been included in Point 2 but the guys would have missed it. Friends. You need them. Guys – word here. We tend not to have a lot of friends and we tend not to open up. Mistake. Lean into your friendships. Friends came to house and prayed for me. They called me. One day a friend called and simply said “I know you can’t feel it today, but the sun will rise again. It will.” I can’t tell you how much those words meant to me that day. Your friends care about you. Lean into them.
4. Keep leaning into God

Just because he seems silent doesn’t mean he’s absent. I did not feel God for months. Not when I prayed or read the bible or worshipped. But I didn’t give myself permission to quit. In these pivotal moments you will either lean away from God or into him. Lean in, hard. Even if you feel nothing. I did, and eventually, the feelings of intimacy return. Just because you can’t feel God’s love doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. Your emotions will eventually catch up to your obedience.
5. Rest

I was so physically and emotionally tired when I burnt out. I slept for about 10 hours a day for a month straight, adding naps to my daily diet on top of that. I think sleep is like money; deficits become debt. And debt needs to be paid off. I paid off my sleep debt that month and I always try now to make sure I am not running a deficit. If I do for a week or two, I pay it off with more sleep. You were designed to rest, and to rest in God. While I personally didn’t take a sabbatical or medical leave (our board offered me one), some may need to. I was too scared I’d never come back. So I took three weeks vacation and came back slowly.
6. Find something else to take your attention away from your pain

The problem with pain (or at least my pain) is when you do nothing you only have your pain to focus on. Distraction is a powerful tool to get your mind thinking about other things. Watch a movie. Go out for dinner. Go for a hike. Go to a party. Go to a concert. It’s not easy. At my worst, I would go to social settings and not want to talk to anyone, sometimes even ‘hiding’ from people behind my wife who is a foot shorter than me and 100 lbs lighter. But at least I went. One night we hosted a dinner party and I left the table early and ended up crying in my bedroom for the rest of the night. But at least we threw the party. It got my mind off the constant cycle of depression.
7. Do what you can

Again, you may need a long sabbatical. But I took three weeks off and went back to work. On my first week back in the office, it took my longer to write a three line email than it took me to write this entire blog post, but I focused on doing what I could. The first weekend I preached, those who knew the shape I was in all told me “We would have had no idea you were feeling so bad. You were amazing.” I knew how I felt inside, but it was good to know I could still be helpful to others in some way. I think for me it was important to discover what I could still do.
8. Don’t do anything drastic or stupid

Underline this. Because my illness involved my mind, I was tempted to do all kinds of things that could have ruined my life. I felt like abandoning my calling, running away from everyone I knew and everything I knew, even my wife and kids. In my worst moments, thoughts of ending it all crossed my mind. I am so thankful I didn’t succumb to any of those impulses. Some days I just said to myself “don’t do anything stupid today.” And if I didn’t, that was progress. I’m so thankful I didn’t do anything rash or irresponsible.
9. Trust again

One of the contributing factors to my crash was a few relationships (not my family) in which trust was broken. As hurt as I felt and as cynical as I was at points, I made a conscious decision to trust again. And the wonderful thing is: so many people are trustworthy. And God always is. Trusting again after your trust has been breached keeps your heart fresh and alive and – ultimately – hopeful again.
10. Closely monitor balance

I used to pride myself in being able to go at whatever I was doing longer and harder than anyone else. Pride’s not a good thing. I now closely monitor how I’m feeling, my rest and my balance between time with people and time alone. I’m hyper focused on it. Because I can’t afford not to be. I build margin into my schedule because without it, the edge of the next cliff is right around the corner.
11. Watch for the warning signs

I watch these 9 signs of burnout diligently. About a month ago I saw over half the warning signs creep back in. I told our elders immediately. I was two days into what I thought was a ‘mini burnout’, but I sounded the alarm bells. In the end, it turned out to be my frustration over a leadership issue that was producing the symptoms. As soon as I cracked the leadership issue, the symptoms disappeared almost overnight. But that kind of monitoring is for me central to staying healthy.
12. Take full responsibility for the health of your soul

Nobody else is responsible for your health. You are. Pray, read your bible, seek life giving friendships, replenish your energy, eat right, work out, love deeply. These things nourish your soul. If you don’t do them, nobody will.

Okay, I promised 12. But here’s a bonus tip. This one’s huge and you’ll be tempted to skip it.
13. Believe there’s hope

It took me almost 5 years to feel like ‘myself’ again (a new self for that matter). It was a long road back for me personally and I had to keep believing that God wasn’t done with me. 7 years later I’m so thankful. Our church has never been healthier or more effective. I am enjoying what I’m doing more than ever. And the opportunities before me have never been greater. How much of that could I see or imagine 7 years ago? Exactly 0%. But I had to not give up despite that. In those moments and days where I still don’t feel good, I cling to the hope that the sun will rise again. And it does.

So that’s my story.

I’m praying for you today and I hope that in some small way this helps those of you who are defeated, discouraged or believe it’s over.

It’s not. Our God still lives. And He loves you.
Here are some bullet point of what I learned as well...
  • Being a pastor made me a better Christian.
  • There were issues God wanted to deal with in me but I didn’t want to deal with in me.
  • I sent people to counseling. I didn’t go to counseling.
  • You need to work out. You need to eat properly. You need to sleep well.
  • You can be the smartest guy in the room but if you burn out, it’s game over.
  • Your church can always get a new pastor. But your spouse shouldn’t get a new partner. Your kids only have you.
  • God is going to build His church. You’re just going to forfeit your role in the story.
  • I have to live today that will help me thrive tomorrow.
  • The goal of leadership is not to survive. The goal of leadership is to help you thrive.
  •  The goal is for your heart to be more alive in your fourth decade of ministry than today.
  • You live with margin so you can live on mission.
  • If you’ve burned out, you lose all control.
  •  I spent August 2006 basically locked up in my room crying.
  • Ministry is a series of ungrieved losses. Life is a series of ungrieved losses.
  • If I get back to the way I was, I was going to get back to the way I was. I needed a new normal. "Am I living in a way today that will help me thrive tomorrow?" If not, the journey back is short.
  •  I just think we’re all the same. We’re just people
  • Faced with significant disappointments in life and leadership, leaders face four options.
  • The majority of people who start in ministry don’t finish in ministry.
  •  Maybe your heart has gone out but calling has not gone out.
  • Don’t quit your job. Don’t cheat on your wife. Don’t get a sports car.
  • You’ve seen your share of church leaders who are just on autopilot.
  • Leaders who thrive see life for what it actually is but keep their hearts fully engaged.
  • I want to be more fully at 50 than I was at 30 and 40.
  • Just because I had a relationship that went sideways doesn’t mean I can’t trust you.
  • What you need to change?

Carey Nieuwhof on Breaking The 200 Barrier - ReThink Leadership 2016

Carey Nieuwhof's breakout was entitled Breaking The 200 Barrier. 
  • You need to structure bigger to grow bigger.
  • 90% of all churches can’t get past the 200 barrier.
  • The reasons churches don’t grow are quite surprising.
  • The structure that you have right now is perfectly designed to sustain the church you are at.
  • Most churches behave like a mom-and-pop operation. You structure where everything is within your reach.
  • A really charismatic leader can break these rules but you cannot sustain growth breaking these rules.
  • You need to structure around pastoral care.
  • My first church had 6 people in it. I could do all the pastoral care by myself.
  • Small groups are a very good way of scaling pastoral care.
  • 98% of pastoral care is having someone who cares. It does not have to be you.
  • You need to structure care into the DNA of your church.
  • Pastoral care is the #1 killer of churches.
  • Staff that do everything vs. staff that lead leaders.
  • Do hire people to do. Hire people to lead.
  • You know they can lead when they take a vacation and the ministry runs better.
  • Get comfortable doing what God called you to do. Not what other people think God called you to do.
  • Bigger vision requires better structure.
  • If I do all the pastoral care we’ll never grow beyond 200 people.
  • When “No” becomes your default it makes people very grateful when they get a “Yes”. They also respect your time more.
  • The governance issue will kill you 500 to 600 in attendance.
  • If you spend $0.42 on children’s ministry you’ll never have a good children’s ministry.
  • The mission has moved home.
  • Volunteers can accomplish more than we think.
  • You tend to be too staff heavy when you’re not good in volunteer development.
  • Every leader has a number on his back. Some people are just going to lead churches of 50. Some are more organizational.
  • People who are in all the details can’t scale beyond 200.
  • The question is not, “Will they develop leaders?” The question is, “Are they developing leaders?”
  •  It now takes 2600 to make 1300 on the weekends. You need a bigger reach.
  • My goal is not to get people in the building. My goal is to get people to engage in the mission.
  • It’s not getting people to church to engage. It’s engaged people who attend.
  • If you’re the only person thinking about your church on a Wednesday, you’ve got an engagement issue.
  • When you have engaged people, you see your attendance surge.
  •  I’m only good at communicating, inspiring people and raising money.
  • I manage self-managed people really well.
  • If someone can do something 50-80% as well as you can do it, hand it off and do what you do well.
  • When you add a 2nd service the rule has always been you automatically grow by 20% because you give people more options.
  • Multi-site as a growth strategy, you need to be careful with that. I live in a country where 95% of the people won’t be in church this Sunday.
  • I would not add another location if you’re not growing. I would not add another location if you’re not at two or three services. I would not add another location if you don’t have momentum. Adding another location will take away momentum, not add it, if you don’t have it.
  • Great communication used to buy you more than you have today. Anybody can hear anybody. You’re now competing with every pastor in the world.
  • Good preaching will not grow your church. Bad preaching will kill your church.
  • Church culture – Is what you what worth exporting?
  • At 200-500 the Board knows exactly what’s going on. They develop bad micro-management habits.
  • Congregational leadership is a permanent lid on the growth of a church.
  • You cannot run any successful organization on a vote. The congregation needs to trust the leadership.
  • As elders, we only meet six to eight times a year.
  • Move the kids to the service you want people to attend.
  • If you get bigger you have to do less. You can’t duplicate complexity. You can only duplicate simplicity.
  • We only do a few things well. If we keep doing more, it gets increasingly complex.
  • For every 100 in worship, you should have 1 FTE. If portable or multi-site, it needs to be a little higher.

Jeff Henderson & Cheryl Bachelor - ReThink Leadership 2016

Today’s next speaker was Cheryl A. Bachelder. Cheryl is the CEO of Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. As a proponent of servant leadership, she builds highly collaborative teams with big ambitions for the enterprise, not themselves.

Jeff Henderson Introduced Cheryl Bachelor, but had a few good things to say before her talk...
  • Never tell God you’re never going to do anything.
  • Business is full-time ministry.
  • You have ministers in your church who just work in the marketplace.

Cheryl Bachelder is passionate about two things: leadership and fried chicken. The 56-year-old CEO of Atlanta, Ga.-based AFC Enterprises, franchisor of New Orleans inspired fast-food chain Popeyes, oversees 2000 restaurants in 25 countries with system-wide revenues of nearly $2 billion. Since coming to Popeyes in 2007 from rival KFC, shes helped the chain outpace competitors in the chicken segment for 18 consecutive quarters, dramatically increase its stock price and rapidly grow its footprint.
  • I love serving food for a living. Business is full-time ministry. There is tons of ministry opportunity in the workplace.
  • What are the convictions that you have about leadership that are evident to those around you?
  • Why do you work? What is the purpose of your work? 85% of people don’t have a clue why they work.
  • Why do we lead?
  • Where are you taking the people you're leading? Where are you taking the people entrusted to your care?
  • How do you think about the people you lead?
  • How do you measure the impact of your leadership?

There - Lead to a daring, bold destination.
Serve - we chose to love the people we lead.
Perform - We delivered results.
  • A leader with the courage to take people to a daring destination but the humility to care for them during the journey.
  • We chose to lead the people to a daring destination.
  • We made a Roadmap To Results.
  • We chose to love the people we lead.
  • The day we decided to love them is when the business started to turn.
  • Franchisees now rate their satisfaction with Popeye’s at 95%.
  • We had to deliver results. The results are the only reason we can talk about our convictions.
  • No one wants to hear your convictions if you don’t deliver the results.
  • There’s no serving the enterprise well if you don’t perform.
  • Leaders always think they have the biggest and best ideas.
  • Alignment is a powerful thing.
  • The big idea was a longer wait period to get to the destination but the impact was greater than we imagined.
  • Investing into an economic downturn was a big part of the turnaround because everyone retreats.
  • Part of being a servant leader is not assuming you know what is wrong and what to do.
  • Trust is the foundation of everything in business or any leadership role.
  • In turnarounds, look for people who share your values and will come alongside you.
  • Trust was a competitive advantage.
  • You have to declare that talking bad about your team is no longer allowed.
  • Every conviction I have about leadership came out of a brutal wrestling match.
  • Your convictions come from trials, not successes.
  • But only one thing matters in parenting, to bring those kids into a relationship with the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Jeff Henderson & Brad Lomenick - ReThink Leadership 2016

Today’s next speaker was Brad Limerick & Jeff Henderson.  Jeff is the campus pastor of Gwinnett Church, a campus of North Point Ministries.  

Jeff Henderson
  • Climate dictates the forecast.
  • If you show me a climate in a marriage that is cold and rainy? I can forecast that relationship.
  • The climate of a leader dictates the forecast of a team.
  • A leader sets the thermostat.
  • The team is the thermometer. They reflect it.
  • When a leader leaves the room, the climate stays in the room.
  • Everyone knows the climate of a leader except a leader. And that climate sets the lid for your leadership.
  • The primary leadership emotion is fear.
  • If you lead out of fear you are abusing the leadership role.
  • God has never spoken audibly to me. He speaks louder than that.
  • A leader who leads out of fear leads out of insecurity.
  • If you’re an emotionally healthy leader you create a climate of emotional health.
  • What’s it like to be on the other side of me?
  • When you ask that question you will get encouraging information.
  • The second thing is they will give you some surprising information.
  • The third thing is they will hurt your feelings.
  • If you don’t ask that question you forfeit the right to get better as a leader.
  • Ask it to a spouse or family member, staff person, and a friend. Then just listen.
  • Then at the end, you just say, “Thank you.”
  • “Heavenly Father, what’s it like to be on the other side of me?”
  • God is an emotionally healthy leader.
  • God can be tough but in the middle of that discipline God can be loving.
  • Your team will then ask the question themselves.

Brad Lomenick said that if we're not careful? On the outside, we can fake it. Many times what is seen publicly is not what is happening privately. We were a celebrating culture at Catalyst. As I was leading the movement I was not healthy.  “Brad, you might be all that. But you’re team knows what’s going on.”

Jim Mellado - A Healthy Soul - ReThink Leadership 2016

Jim Mellado is the President and CEO of Compassion International, a Christian child sponsorship organization dedicated to the long-term development of children living in poverty around the world. Jim Mellado previously served as President of the Willow Creek Association (WCA) in South Barrington, Illinois, from 1993 to 2013.

As Compassion International’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Jim Mellado has a deep love and passion for the beauty and potential of local churches fulfilling their Jesus-given mandate to redeem and restore this world for His name’s sake. 
  • It takes an All hands on deck approach to raise up that next generation of children. If children's ministry is a sub of something? Then it's not a priority.
  • The most important thing you can bring to your team is your healthy soul. Great gifts will take a leader to a level that cannot be sustained without a strong soul and character. Most often, when teams break up and split up, it is because your unhealthy.
  • Great gifts will take a leader to a level that they cannot sustain with an absence of a soul and character.
  • Hell is not just a destination, but a diagnosis of a soul today. The implications of a dead soul are devastating. A rotten soul never stays to itself.

“He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”
Isaiah 53:2 NIV

How irresistible is our soul to those around us for the right reasons?

Our spirit: There is a difference between a spirit or soul. Your spirit is what makes you, you. The spirit is what makes you most uniquely you. Inside your spirit, you and I have a free will. The most dangerous and unique part of your heart is free will. The will best works well when surrendered to Jesus.
Our minds. Our thoughts and our feelings. Every thought has a feeling attached to it. Patterns of thoughts get ingrained. Our minds need to be renews and transformed. Our reflexive reaction needs to be like Jesus.
Our body. The body is what the will can actually master. We often overestimate what our will can do. 95% of our behavior is automatic. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Our appetites. Habits eat willpower for breakfast. We overestimate what our flesh can do.
Our relationships. 1 in 6 pastors deal with addictions that are destroying their life. Of those that are dealing with those addictions? 20% aren't seeking any help at all.

  • The soul is the white stuff-the glue-that keeps everything together. When a soul is working right? It radiates! When a soul is working right, it radiates.

  • Definition of the Latin word diabolical is to fragment and to compartmentalize. Their life of falling apart. Disintegration and oblivion. Sin and our blind spots. When someone says, “It feels like my life is falling apart”, that is actually what is happen
  • Life in leadership is hard. Life in leadership alone is impossible.
  • If anyone is suffering alone, don’t go there. 

So before you work on your team skills? Work on your soul.

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”
Matthew 16:26 NIV

Josh Gagnon - 4 Tires that Drive Multi-Site - ReThink Leadership 2016

Is this God-inspired? Before you go multisite, plant a church, or do anything, you must ask that question. Don't do it because it is trendy or because everyone else it. Do what you do because it came from God.

A good idea isn't always a God idea. Are you living in a God-inspired dream or are you borrowing everyone else's dream and trying to make it into yours?

Four Tires that Drive Multi-site

1. A clear Focus. Know who are you are, and know and who are you not.
Tensions to answer:
  • Will you have high control (identical everywhere) or low control (connected churches) 
  • What's a win for size of a location?
  • Will you use video teaching, live, or both?
  • Will you launch locations by "planting" or by "cannibalization"? Are you going to have a strategy model of church planting, or you going to cannibalize from a campus?
2. Faculty. Multi-site is just multiplying what you're already doing. Multi-site isn't a fix; Multisite multiplies the bad just as much as the good. You just multiply what you're already doing. 
When and where? 
Now is the question: who? Develop a development plan. How will you develop leaders? (You can see the NLC Leadership Development Plan here). Develop the who's before the where and the when. Who do you need?Who is essential to launch a location?
3. Facilities. Is this the best place we can go for a year or two? To this the best place we can go now? Is this the best place we can go or just the best place we can go right now?

4. Finances. Finances - launch from a place of strength, not weakness!
Tier 1: Doesn't cover it's own fixed operating costs - supported by central
Tier 2: Covers it's own operating costs & a % of central expenses equal to its % of total attendance
Tier 3: Contributes to central over and above - supports other tier 1 locations
Q&A takeaways and references

  • Always find the who before the when and where. Native or knowing? Is it better to have someone who is a native, or someone who knows the culture? Know the culture well enough so that you can respond to it.
  • Don't focus on the immediate, but focus on a lifetime of faithfulness.
  • Better brings bigger.

Josh Gagnon - Momentum - ReThink Leadership 2016

Joshua Gagnon is the founding and lead pastor of Next Level Church, one church with multiple locations throughout New England and the surrounding region. His session was about momentum.
  • We have 5,470 people on Easter (in NH). Only 3% claim they are Christian. It is the most unchurched location in our country. We started with $200 and 12 people.
  • You will always go through seasons of higher momentum and lower momentum. Why don’t we ever define our ministries in the greatest moments of momentum? The worst thing you can do is define your ministry by the lowest points of momentum. @joshgagnon #OC16 #RL16
  • When we stay true to who we are we gain momentum.
  • A success story is usually 15 years old, so stay consistent.
  • As a leader you have to have seasons where you’re not running 100 miles per hour. If you do this, your people will not have it in the bank when they need to run 100 miles per hour.
  • We circle dates on the calendar which are momentum builders.
  • Focus on the need and communicate the “Why” behind the need to generate momentum.
  • It’s not our job to look at culture and try to change it. It’s our job to live in it.
  • You did it for nothing. You would have done it for one. Why are you now disappointed with not getting what you think you want? #RL16
  • Never launch new locations out of a position of weakness but of momentum and strength.
  • You have to a culture of change, a culture of openness.
  • You’re teachable and willing to change that helps us keep momentum.
  • We used to hire out of need.
  • Instead of asking “when” and “where”, ask “who?”
  • We understand where we live.
  • 100-200 takes shepherding. To go beyond that takes the gift of leadership.
  • Transition can always be messy. Transition must be done wisely but no seat on the bus is sacred.
  • We’re not delegating tasks. We’re empowering people.
  • This isn’t about you. This is about doing what God has called us to do in this area. #RL16
  • The conversation needs to change from What does a lifetime of faithfulness look like vs. what does a lifetime of fruitfulness look like. The conversation needs to be more about more about faithfulness above fruitfulness. @joshgagnon 

Andy Stanley - Saved By The Church - Orange Conference 2016

  • I am more excited about the local church than Ive been in my life. The church really is the hope of the world! The church saved my life.
  • Treat people the way you would want to be treated and Fear not pretty much covers everything.
  • I Grew up with a fear of sin. Preventative.  The church didnt just save me from hell. The church saved me from me.
  • If you grew up in church, imagine if every single influence of the local church- the knowledge, influence, songs and people--imagine if it was all sucked out of your life--imagine how different your life would be?
  • The church and the influence of the church prevented me of having to experience pain. You are preventing more than you can ever imagine in students. 
  • The church prevented me from experiencing so much pain from me and sin.
  • The church informed my conscience in my formative years. "You dare not live with bitterness because bitterness will destroy. It was the church where I learned to forgive." "It was in the church where I learned purity paves the way to intimacy."
  • The church installed in me a sense of purpose. I was created on purpose for a purpose. Don't miss it. A sense of destiny and purpose for me.  God has a plan for your life. Do not settle for second best.  I was created on purpose for a purpose. Dont allow the mundane to pull your eyes down to your current circumstances.
  • My first journal entry in the 11th grade was “If I ever have a son Im going to tell him God has a plan for his life. This has guided me through some of my greatest temptations.”  If you know God has a purpose for your life, you will make better decisions.
  • It was in the church where I learned friendship. The church provided the context for lifelong friendships. Without the local church, I would not know my friends. Because of the local church, you will have friends that will last the rest of your life.
  • Don't attend a church that teaches your children to hate church.
  • The church served as a window for God's activity all over the world.
  • The church taught me how to be generous. Rich people aren't generous. Generous people are generous.
  • You are connecting many kids who will be friends for life.
  • Youre not just dealing in content. Youre dealing in relationship.
    When kids connect to one another, they want to go to church.
    When kids connect to a small group leader, they want to go to church.
    We are all acceptance magnets. We do not necessarily gravitate to environments of great content.
Following Jesus will make your life better, and make you better at life.

  • Invite people to follow Jesus before they believe.
  • The church provides the strongest argument for the dignity for individuals and human rights. Everyone has interim is value because they are made in the image of God. 

“Church history has seen many activists who take on causes such as slavery, racism, war, poverty, and womens rights. Gradually, like the melting of a glacier, change takes place and what first seemed subversive becomes an accepted feature of the landscape. A post-Christian society is quick to remind us of our faults, which we should humbly acknowledge. Yet wherever the gospel has taken root, it has borne fruit. Much that we value in the modern world — ​freedom, democracy, education, healthcare, human rights, social justice — ​traces back to a Christian origin. The smallest seed in the garden has become a great tree in which the birds of the air come to nest.”
Yancey, Philip. Vanishing Grace
  • Jesus brought dignity to women. Jesus brought dignity to children.
  • The church inspires us to embrace the one mandate that could change everything.
  • The government describes how low we can go before getting locked up. It is designed to protect us from the worst of the worst.
  • Love your neighbor as yourself. Treat people the way you want to be treated.
  • Outside of your family, the greatest investment you will ever make is in the local church.

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