Next Gen Pastor Webcast: Show #14

In this episode I highlight the philosophy and strategy that guides my approach to developing the leaders in my department.


Next Gen Pastor Webcast: Show #13

In this episode, I talk about some ways that I/we have forged relationships with the schools in our community and how your team can do that too.

Goal Setting – are your goals worth pursuing?

I am a goal setter.  I take some time at the beginning of each year and write out both personal and professional goals.  I have been doing this exercise for quite a few years now, and it dawned on me last year, “how do I know if the goals that I am going after are WORTH PURSUING?”  I had no litmus test that would help me evaluate if these goals  were even the right goals to be setting and achieving.  So I developed one.  Here is the chart that I use with 5 tests to see if my goals are worth pursuing:

GOALS graph-01

I ask myself these 5 questions about my goals before I put them down as goals I want to pursue.

are they…


Are these goals going to push me?  Are they going to take me out of my comfort zone?  I can’t just write my routine down on a piece of paper and call it a goal.  I want goals that are going to stretch me and make me work to attain them.


My goals need to be challenging… but they need to be reachable as well.  The difference between a goal and a dream is attainability.

Your dream may be to play baseball professionally… but what makes that a goal is the likelihood of you attaining it.  For a very small percentage of people, that would be a goal.  For the rest of us… it’s just a dream.  What would be a goal, if you played baseball for a season, is to hit a certain average, steal a certain amount of bases, increase your on-base percentage, make fewer than 5 errors, etc…

I work in a church.  In a church setting, the difference between a dream and a goal might look something like this:  DREAM: we want to triple our attendance this year!  (now, if you have 3 people… that might be attainable.  But if you have 100… going to 300 in a year might be unreachable.  GOAL: we want to increase attendance by 30% this year.  A 30% increase is definitely challenging, but it is reachable.

A goal is not only challenging… it has to be attainable.


If a goal is worth pursuing, there needs to be a way that you can evaluate whether or not you are accomplishing it.  Goals that can’t be measured can’t be managed.  Whenever I set a goal, I also ask myself, “How am I going to know if I am succeeding in this goal?”  Some goals are easy to measure [finish this project, plan this event, etc…] but others will take some time and brainpower to figure out.  But any goal that is worth pursuing has to be worth measuring.


I find that goals that are worth pursuing are the ones that I can successfully repeat more than once.  This may be a personal preference, but I’m not a fan (unless it is a building project or something to that equivalent] of goals that are one-and-done type of goals.  I want my goals to grow me, so I ask myself, “Is this something that I will be able to repeat over the long haul?”


There needs to be something about the goal that will make you want to accomplish it.  Does the outcome of the goal inspire you to keep going even when it gets very trying and difficult to do so?  A great way to see if your goal is inspiring is to ask yourself, “What about this goal made me want to pursue it in the first place?”  It will be THAT THING that will inspire you to keep on going after your goal.

your goals… are they challenging, attainable, measurable, sustainable, & inspiring?

The Ideal Team Player – a book overview

If you have been following this blog for any length of time… or if you know me at all, then you will undoubtably know that I am a big fan of Patrick Lencioni and his books on leadership, staff, and teams.  About a year ago I read Lencioni’s book The Ideal Team Player and absolutely LOVED IT.  I am a big “team” guy.  I think that anything worth doing needs to involve the people around you.  So I am always looking for how to surround myself with Ideal Team Players and how to develop them.  This book broke it down into very simple terms:  Humble, Hungry, & Smart.

Here is a great chart I found that shows how it works:



“Humility is the single greatest and most indispensable attribute of a team player.”

We’ve all been around arrogant teammates.  We may have been **gasp** that arrogant teammate.  Arrogance RUINS teams.  Arrogance says “My way is the best way” or “I am always right.”  Nothing kills a team more than a teammate who can’t be wrong.

Look for teammates who are humble, & challenge teammates who are arrogant.  And, as the leader of the team… model HUMILITY.


“Hungry people almost never have to be pushed by a manager to work harder because they are self-motivated and diligent.”

I was listening to a podcast the other day by one of my favorite pastors, Andy Stanley, and he was talking about how to build high-performance teams.  One of the things he said was that high-performance teams are almost always made up of “doers.”  Thinkers are important to have… but you can’t completely surround yourself with thinkers and expect to get anything done.  He then said this… that completely resonated with me: “It’s much easier to educate a doer than it is to activate a thinker.”

Hungry people are doers.  They are go getters.  They are self motivated activators.  They want to get stuff done.  They aren’t sitting around waiting to be told what to do… they create stuff to do.  Go after these types on your team.  And, as the leader, show the VALUE of being HUNGRY.


“Smart people tend to know what is happening in a group situation and how to deal with others in the most effective way.”

I love the way that Lencioni uses the word smart.  He isn’t talking about IQ… he’s talking about EQ.  Being smart is the ability to read the room, read the situation, and know how to respond or react accordingly.  Teammates who are smart have a high level of social awareness.  Teammates who aren’t smart often say or do things that offend everyone around them… most of the time unknowingly.  It can be overlooked a couple of times… but after a while, it becomes a detriment to the team.  Smart EQ people are GREAT for the team, because they can read the room.  They know when to speak and when to keep quiet.  They know when to escalate a situation to get results and when to de-escalate a situation to keep the peace.  Some of the best teammates I have had in my ministries have been high EQ people.  As leaders, we need to develop this in ourselves and model it to our teams.  Don’t be OK with low EQ on your team.  Look for team players that are SMART.

You may have any assortment of these three on your team… but the ideal team player displays all three of these things.  Look for these three traits in your hires and your current team members and pump value into them.  Show them off!  Reward them for these attributes.  Why?  Because you REWARD what you want REPEATED.  Your team will, over time, understand that these are the values that matter on the team… and they will either begin to play by the rules… or play for another team.  Don’t settle for less than the IDEAL TEAM PLAYER.