More condensed takeaways and supplemental resources from the conference at this web page.
Leadership Code book - as much as 70% of leadership is transferrable from one leadership realm to another.
“The church is the only organization who exists for those who are not yet her members.” - quote from someone else
You have to be average at all of these. The higher you go in the organization, the more you have to excel at all of these.
The one of these that most leaders struggle with is Human Capital Developer.
If there is one thing that we as Christian leaders should excel at, it is Human Capital Developer.
There are three things that help us do this:
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel.
There is a rhythm earlier in the text of Moses preparing Joshua.
Moses had a conviction to train Joshua.
If you can’t live without it in leadership, it’s a conviction. If you can function without it, it’s not a conviction.
If someone told a preaching pastor he could have a popular ministry but he couldn’t use the Bible, he would never make that trade. It’s a conviction he can’t even imagine changing.
“Many of us have learned how to function in ministry without developing other people.” Eric Geiger
8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110 years. 9 And they buried him within the boundaries of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash. 10 And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.
Joshua didn’t have the conviction that Moses had. There is no instance where Joshua is actively developing other people.
Told story from perspective of child of how Israelites got lambs, sacrificed, asked neighbors for gold, walked across sea on dry land, saw fish in the water, saw Egyptian army crushed, made a golden calf with the gold they got, God was rich in mercy and graciously provided for us even though we rebelled against him.
One generation later they didn’t know this.
Leadership development matters.
20 and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. 21 Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.
Things that we don’t just hand off to others:
We need both competence and character.
2 Timothy 2:2
And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.
Leadership development isn’t finding the able and hoping they’ll be faithful, it’s finding the faithful and teaching them to be able.
Faithful doesn’t mean perfection of the heart.
The people you place in leadership roles impacts the culture.
21 Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.”
The people were standing in line waiting for ministry to be done by one person. Sadly, that is the way ministry often still works.
Some of us actually like it that way.
Story of sound guy who always takes care of every problem last minute. Sound guys built a system for himself around himself. It’s rigged so that he’s necessary. He needs to be needed.
There’s a temptation to build a system around ourselves and for ourselves where we are always necessary.
Leadership development is saying that I don’t need to be the hero.
Ephesians 4 says that our job profile is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry.
You have one job. Your job isn’t to do, do do. Your job is to prepare other people for ministry.
Some pastors live for the shaking of the hand at the end of the service when somebody says “nobody prays for me the way you do.”
A lot of people in the church think that we pay people to do ministry.
That’s how it works in the secular world. But our kingdom is upside down from theirs.
Specifics to that role
Author of Church Unique
Jesus founded the church with a leadership pipeline.
The church is more about it’s plumbing than it’s platform.
Pipeline is radical because it’s unfamiliar but it’s core concepts.
Define the problem: The church has practically abandoned the original pipeline of Jesus.
We’ve substituted it with something culturally attractive.
Instead of developing leaders we develop programs.
We are over programmed and under discipled.
The Bible teacher has a show but discipleship doesn’t flow.
Do you spend more on light and staging than small group training?
Can you name your next three sermon series but not your next leadership competency?
Do you have a church staff but not know everyone’s name?
“We are kept from our goal not by our obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal.” - Unknown
We have gone to platforms and programs as a lesser goal with a clear path.
Adam’s note: “Choosing between what is right and what is easy.”
We teach people to come consistently and give regularly, to do ministry instead of develop leaders. It’s worked somewhat, but it’s not sustainable. The greatest trend right now is that our most committed people are coming to church less and less.
This is revealing the weakness of our platform paradigm.
Jesus often told people to keep quiet about what He had done because he didn’t want His platform to overrun His pipeline.
Jesus’ disciple-making movement was all about a pipeline, not a platform.
12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles.
Jesus chose 12 leader disciples out of the many disciples.
Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him.
Jesus bringing leaders with.
And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases,
Jesus handing off work of the ministry.
Jesus is not a ball hog.
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go.
In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said.
So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
9 And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” 10 And after looking around at them all he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored. 11 But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.
“This is when Jesus decides to pursue a leadership pipeline instead of a platform.”
Adam’s note: I’m not sure if that’s the best way to interpret that.
8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. 9 And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, 10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. 11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.
The platform was too big. People serve people, platforms don’t serve people. Ultimately, people attract people more than platforms.
Platforms won’t reach the exponential growth curve of the population but our multiplication of leaders through the leadership pipeline can.
35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Auxano helps churches determine their vision and identity
Here’s a diagram you can use to keep the vision front and center.
The frame represents five irreducible questions of clarity. Therefore, the ability to answer five questions in a clear, concise, and compelling way is the litmus test of clarity for the ministries we serve. The chart below provides an overview of the questions including the use of missional language to build a bridge between clarity and missional theology.
Willow Creek’s Vision Frame Journey
We are in desperate need of more leaders who are fully devoted to Christ.
Story about white water rafting and the different types of people on the raft. The vision is clear: get down the river with approximately the same number of people yous tarted with.
“If the mission of the church is the what, than the strategy of the church is the how.” - Unknown
If we don’t define the what, we’re in trouble.
If we don’t define the how, we’re in just as much trouble.
It’s like selling someone a car and continuing to try to sell them on it constantly without ever giving it to them and showing them how to use it.
The mission of the local church is clear: Make much of Jesus, make disciples, baptize them, train them and equip them for ministry and send them out until every tribe and language has representatives of Christ.
Leadership that doesn’t help the church understand the “how” of God’s mission, is not leadership that is leading well.
We need to clarify the what but also the how.
People get nervous about strategy in the church because they view it as a corporate construct. There is a big difference between strategy in a secular way and strategy in a God-honoring way.
Strategy is very powerful. It can be dangerous.
Like nuclear - powerful and dangerous. You can lay waste to a city or give power to that entire city.
Strategy can be dangerous but used correctly, it is powerful.
Mankind is supposed to plan and strategize. We have to plan and strategize to go get lunch.
Scriptures about strategizing:
Biblical strategy in leadership is us seeking God’s heart for how He desires us to steward His people, His resources, and His ministries that we oversee for His glory.
Resource: The Advantage by Patrick M. Lencioni
“Leadership development can’t be just another thing that you do. We have to embrace it as an essential part of our calling.” - Kevin Peck
The more leadership presence we have, the more integrated we must become.
Collaboration is not just another tool in the toolbox. It’s a culture that you create and embody in your teams. Values of connectedness and working together.
We’ve all been led by isolated leaders where we were hoping for opportunities to really contribute to the team.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.
Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.
CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources
Pastors may be great theologians or leaders but struggle with leading change.
Leaders went through three changes
Founder and Teaching Pastor at Connexus Church
What kind of change are you called to lead?
You can have an incredible leadership pipeline but what are you developing leaders for?
You can build a leadership pipeline, but is your ladder leaning against the right wall?
Discipleship is more than strategies and systems. It is about the transformation of the heart.
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Don’t live for this kingdom, you seek My kingdom.
It’s a street level war that takes place in the hallways, kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, board rooms, and vans.
It’s a war between the kingdom of self and the kingdom of God.
If you miss that, you will not have dedicated, committed, life sacrificing discipleship in your church.
An evangelism class has never produced evangelists. It can train those who have already surrendered their life to the purpose of God.
You can’t reduce discipleship down to a system, a concept, or a class.
Discipleship is about a willing, humble sacrifice of my circumstances to the greater purposes of the King.
The biblical story is a generosity story. “For God so loved the world that He gave…”
We need to be generous with our time and our money.
The move from life to ministry should be natural, not different. Our lives are ministry.
Surround yourselves with people who encourage the walk and not just the work.
In a massive survey of churches, the number one problem churches expressed was in leadership development.
The solution to the church’s leadership development problem is not content, it’s process. There is ample content out there on leadership.
The question is not, who are you reproducing yourself with but who are you developing to do what you do?
“Leadership Development: If it’s not intentional and systemized it’s not reproducible. Otherwise, it dies with you.
Not replacement, reproduction.” - Mac Lake
Told story about how angry he was and how he eventually listened to his wife and got over his anger.
12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
This passage is a warning and a call.
See to it that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving, turning away, hardened heart.
Story about being behind woman with a ton of food moving slowly then a lot of coupons and seeming surprised by needing to pay. It doesn’t take much to get us angry.
I begin to give in to subtle sins. I begin to let things into my life that I shouldn’t let in. Subtle anger, subtle lust, subtle materialism, subtle envy, subtle greed.
Then we get OK with those being a part of our lives.
When we sin, our conscience bothers us because our heart of stone has been changed to a heart of flesh.
Then we can either admit that is sin and joyfully place ourselves under the justifying mercies of God or we can create some system of self justification that will mess up our conscience.
We are all very skilled self swindlers.
We are constantly talking to ourselves and the things we say to ourselves are very important. We can argue for our righteousness instead of admitting our sin.
It’s impossible to be in ministry and not be in the midst of your own sanctification.
Self examination is a community project. God designed the body of Christ for that.
It’s unsafe for anyone in ministry to live in isolation. Separated from the essential sanctifying ministries of the body of Christ. There is no indication in the NT that a pastor or anyone else in ministry is anything but a member of the body of Christ.
There is nothing that can be exposed about us that has not been fully addressed by the work and person of Jesus Christ.
Perhaps our problem isn’t dissatisfaction but that we are all too easily satisfied.
We serve a dissatisfied Redeemer. He’s not satisfied with a little bit. He will not relent in the work of His grace until every microbe of sin is eradicated from the hearts of all His children and then He will say, “behold, all things are now ready.”
The warning is against giving into patterns of sin, excusing them in unbelief, the dynamic of turning in one’s heart so that things don’t bother you any more. I wish someone had said to me earlier it is dangerous to live in isolation.
Pastor of a new church plant in Atlanta
The best way to serve God’s world is to make disciples who love God’s Word.
Christianity is not something we do as individuals. It’s a team sport.
The common goal is Christlikeness, maturity, growth.
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds[a] and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
We do need to grow individually but that doesn’t mean that one body part should amputate itself and run off on its own.
Mature disciples make mature disciples and deformed disciples make deformed disciples.