Archive for June, 2011



Positioning Your Church

Positioning is becoming a hot issue with growing churches. While most of the private sector has always struggled with positioning their business in the minds of consumers, churches have not given it much thought until recently. With the proliferation of interdenominational, community, or fellowship-type of churches, positioning a church clearly in their mind of the community has become a very complicated task for church leaders. Just the other day I overhead the following conversation: “Where are you going to church these days?” “Hope Community Church.” “Oh, isn’t that a Baptist church that has dropped ‘Baptist’ from its name?” “I don’t think so-people raise their hands during worship.” “It’s a charismatic church, then!” “No, I don’t think so, either. I think we’re somewhere between a Baptist and Pentecostal church.” Well, Hope Community Church is suffering from poor positioning. I’m sure the leadership of the church purposely chose a name that would…

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Managing the Decline

“She was hired to manage the decline.” I heard those words over a year ago and they have haunted me ever since. I have lived a life where advance, growth, opportunity, were the words used to describe the next idea, product or ministry. I was hired once to turn a money-losing summer day camp around and within 2 summers we had tripled the enrollment and had enough profit to cause an internal fight on how to spend the excess cash. But I could never imagine being told to manage the decline. The more I learn about people, businesses and ministry, the more I run into people who are managing the inevitable death of their organizations, product lines or even entire industries the best they can. These are not lazy or bad people. While some are smart enough to know that the end is inevitable, they are either powerless to change…

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Why I Need Balance

I struggle with finding balance in my life. I’m driven, performance oriented and competitive. Those traits don’t mix well with balance, but I understand that without balance in my life, I tend to focus on the urgent and forget to take care of the important. I’ve heard someone say recently that balance is overrated. Throw caution to the wind and, as the romantics would say, “carpe diem.” But what a balanced life ultimate offers all of us is the ability to look soberly at our circumstance as well as to where we are headed. Balance tells us that we are working too hard, or neglecting loved ones, or that we are not spending enough time and resources to those who cannot help themselves. A balanced person looks at the dashboard of his  or her life where the physical, emotional, spiritual and relational  gauges tell a complete story. It’s easy for…

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The Problem with Positional Leadership

We can distill leadership in two of its basic foundations: positional and influential. Understanding them will dictate and help you successfully navigate through leadership waters.  You can be given the position but unless you also have the influence, you are not really a leader. Positional leadership is given, while influential is earned. While they are not mutually exclusive, some never make the connection. It took me a while before I got that lesson, but once I did, I understood the power of influence. Anyone can get a job managing a person, or a group of people. My first job as a manager was as a part-time music director at a church while going through graduate school. I had to lead a choir, which I was prepared to lead; however, the choir was not the problem, Rosie, the organist, was. I remember my first day on the job when one of…

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