4 Indispensable Leadership Investments

This is the golden age of “The Conference.”

It seems like there is a new conference every week.  I’m finding it hard to keep up with all of the options…huge gatherings with dynamic speakers, experts in the field sharing meaningful insights, live streaming if I can’t attend.  Digital media to download, tweets to read and write, blogs to scour, books, free and otherwise, to pour over…all of it for some golden insight that will propel me forward…

What are your favorites?

Who are your favorite speakers?

I’m pretty sure it is possible for today’s ministry leader to completely fill his/her schedule by attending the conference circuit.  It is also probable that your favorite speakers can spend their year, full-time, on the conference circuit.

With all of the conferences, video streaming, digital media, and books there is really no need to DO anything. I suppose their are ministry leaders today who actually think they are making a difference by attending conferences.  (Side comment:  perhaps that is one of the reasons why Christians today in America actually think they are making a difference by attending church.  They follow our lead.)

Don’t get me wrong, I have been a recipient of the gift of wisdom/insight by attending conferences.  Yet, there came a time in my ministry leadership that I needed the wisdom and transformation that came by executing what I already knew.  The conferences kept adding to my pool of knowledge, but assisted my internal resistance to act. Real learning for me has been caught more than taught.  I caught it by integrating the ideas into my living…struggling, succeeding, reevaluating, and trying again.

Check out Jesus’ pattern of multiplication in Luke 9 & 10.  Gathering and sending and checking-in…

So, in place of conferences, I have been learning to adopt that “gathering/sending/checking-in” pattern into my life.

Here are the 4 indispensable leadership investments that have helped me do that. Spending money and time here has brought about a great return on investment.

Collegial Friendships

The networking and immersion in thoughts and ideas largely delivered TO ME at conferences was beneficial at some level.  However, it was the mutual consideration of those ideas in my local mission context WITH the support of brothers and sisters that actually inspired me to try and encouraged me to keep going.

Focused-support (coaching)

To have someone who is devoted to my goals, to my ideas, to my effectiveness as a leader has been invaluable.  To have someone who has no agenda for me, but my agenda for me, has been empowering.  To have someone willing to hold my feet to the fire and challenge my assumptions and push me to DO what I said I would DO has been crucial.

Applying new ways of being does not happen simply through exposure to content in a classroom setting.  The learning process is accelerated when people can test new ideas in their own lives, share their successes and challenges in a circle of supportive colleagues, support and learn from others, and recommit to their goals with renewed enthusiasm and new strategies.

Coaching provides an environment in which people can reflect openly about how their thoughts and emotions keep them stuck in old patterns.  When people are clear about what they want, and what’s in the way, only then can they focus their energy on removing or reducing these obstacles.  Coaching provides more clarity, more accountability, more community.  The outcome is the reaching of goals more efficiently, with less floundering and more focus.

Clarity

While Conferences and books have given me some great ideas and stimulated my thinking and dreaming, there comes a time for execution.  And in order to execute, I needed to do the hard work of figuring out how all of the disconnected ideas fit together in my local context where my leadership was needed.

Getting clear about me; about the personal “what”, “why”, “how”, “when”, and “where” has freed me.

And, getting clear about us; about the corporate “what”, “why”, “how”, “when”, and “where” has ignited us.

Strategic Outsiders who Became Friends

I have never been afraid to ask for help.  I have never been unwilling to make an investment to surround myself with those who could bring to me/us what we needed.  And, God is timely.  Whether it was Norb Oesch or Steve Wagner from PLI, Lynn Schoener, or my teammates at Auxano, Jim Galvin, or Les Stroh, God has always placed interested participants to guide me and encourage me.  These friends have meant everything.

 

As you think about your journey as a ministry leader, are you open to asking for help from a strategic outsider?  Are you prepared to do the hard work of clarity?  Are you vulnerable enough to allow someone to provide focused-support?  Are you ready for deeper friendship and collegiality?

What are your indispensable leadership investments?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Meyer

Jeff Meyer

I am Jeff Meyer, and I start fires. Ever since that basketball game in college when I came off the bench and lit a spark for my team, I have carried the nickname "Fire Meyer." (Until that point in my career my jersey #22 never saw the floor in an actual game. Perhaps the #22 was a symbol of my life calling: 2 Timothy 2:2?) I live to see sparks ignited and connections made. I long to see the church wake up and live. I long to see Jesus-followers display passionate commitment to Jesus. Jesus' invitation to follow Him was an adventure of epic proportions. Can we recapture that today? I long to see communities transformed into healthy places of wholeness. I believe that communities are transformed when Jesus-followers are stoked and respond. Perhaps you've heard it said that the church is the hope of the world. I believe that a responsive Jesus-follower is the hope of the world. "Igniting connections" is my way of setting off some inspirational sparks; sparks that ignite a passionate response to the call of Jesus.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 
A great question! Unfortunately, the Church Unique Kit is no longer available in print form. We are working on revising it and updating it into an online experience, but that project is at least six months out. An alternative is to come to an upcoming certification class. There is one May 15-18 in Houston, and October 23-26 in Atlanta.
 
— VRcurator
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.