Leader, Strategically Keep Thy Mouth Shut

Leadership is influence, so the words a leader says are powerful…

Therefore, leaders must choose their words carefully…

I see leaders get excited, underestimate the power of their influence. fail to realize the heaviness of the moment…forget that what they are saying is being listened to closely…

and is always subject to interpretation…

So they say things they wouldn’t say if they had time to think about it.

(I must admit, I’ve been there…stuck my foot in my mouth…and regretted what I said many times.)

The real problem is that some leaders don’t think beyond the moment…they don’t think about the moments after the moment…

Great leaders train and discipline themselves to strategically think in the moment…

Sometimes that means they learn to not say anything at all until they’ve had time to plan their response.

It’s even okay to say “Let me get back to you on that”…or “I don’t know yet”…

Great leaders, learn to control their tongue in the moments…

Leader, have you had this problem before? Do you need to learn this principle?

Iron Sharpens Iron – Learn From Your Team

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

This verse has inspired me over the years, but recently I saw it in a different context for my life.  I’ve often seen this verse helpful to remind me to build accountability and mentoring into my life, which I have consistently done.  I am a wisdom seeker, so I am continually looking for nuggets of advice to help me be a better person, leader, father, husband and friend.  I think it may have even another application for me today.

One of the biggest mistakes I see leaders make is failing to learn from the people on their team.  We tend to think the best ideas are outside our organization, so we learn from many sources, but many times the best ideas for the organization are already with us.  I love to attend conferences, I read tons of books, I follow numerous blogs of great leaders, but the fact is God has surrounded me with great leaders with whom I work. I need to make sure I’m learning from them.

Here’s a gentle reminder.  If your organization hires sharp people, which I hope it does, learn from them. Allow their “iron” to sharpen your iron.

What have you learned from the people on your team?

YouVersion Changes Lives

If you have a smart phone or a computer, you never have to leave home again without your Bible!

I love what the team at LifeChurch.tv has done to encourage Bible reading through their work with YouVersion. Our church uses the live version each Sunday (sign up HERE) and it has started to catch on with people. YouVersion continues to improve their offerings for churches. Consider these additions:

Free Bible Pages

Desiring to help people from every walk of life spend time with God’s Word, they are offering “Free Bible pages” that your denomination, organization, or individual church can use to connect people to the life-transforming power of the Holy Spirit as they engage in Scripture.

For no cost, they will create two Free Bible pages: one that is optimized for mobile devices and another on YouVersion.com. Both will feature your logo and a personal message from your organization. Then, very simply, anyone can download the free Bible App and start reading the Bible, thanks to you!

Reading Plans

More than 20 Reading Plans are helping people actively engage in Scripture with YouVersion. Countless users have let us know that their lives have changed because they are spending more time reading the Bible with one of these plans. They are customizable, sharable, and free. And YouVersion allows you to share what you are reading and learning through social media connections like Twitter and Facebook.

YouVersion Live

YouVersion Live allows people to interact with church services on their phone. Using their mobile device or any computer with an Internet connection, individuals can vote on a poll and see the results live, ask questions anonymously, follow along with message outlines and take notes, see Bible verses from the sermon in context, give a tithe or offering, and request prayer.

Have you downloaded YouVersion to your phone or computer? Is it helping you read the Bible more?

Take Time for Excellence

Often it’s one revision…a second look…one additional opinion…that takes an idea or a project from “Okay” to noteworthy.

It happens for me when writing a sermon. If I take the time to finish, then sit on it 24 hours, then go back for one more critical look the message is always better than it was before.

Don’t rush excellence. There’s a balance between stalling too long and rushing through a decision.

For more thoughts on this subject read THIS POST.

Which do you lean towards…rushing through a project or stalling too long?

Top Posts This Week at RonEdmondson.com

Here are the most read blog posts this week:

Catalyst 2010 Recap
Craig Groeschel – Generational Tension
Church Growth: When Size Matters
7 Suggestions for Planting a Church in a New Community
God WILL Allow More Than You Can Bear (Alone)

Thanks for reading. I love when people read blog posts from months past. Thanks Google!

Is there a subject/issue in Christian leadership you believe I would like to see me address?

Church Growth: When Size Matters

Prior to entering ministry, my wife and I owned a small business.  It was small in the sense of how economists measure businesses, but it was a big business to us. Whenever you have to make payroll for almost 40 people (including yourself)…that seems big.  This was my second venture as an entrepreneur.  The first was extremely successful, but this one was not. An opportunity came to sell and we quickly accepted.  We learned tons of principles from that negative experience that still help us today, but it was a very challenging time for us personally.

Looking back on that experience, I realize one of the major problems we had being successful.  There were hundreds of issues, including some of our own mistakes, but one aspect of our company and where we were in the market worked against us most. I discovered that:

We were often too large to be responsive but too small to be competitive.

Have you ever been there?

We were too large to change quickly. Our processes were too set in stone.  We couldn’t react to the changing markets fast enough. We didn’t have teams that could quickly adapt.  Our pricing structure was more inflexible because of our fixed costs.

We were too small to be competitive. We couldn’t compete with the really big guys.  They could eat our lunch at the bargaining table.  We could never match their price.  They could deliver on large projects so much quicker than we could.

My guess is that this scenario can happen at several growth points in the life of a business.  Successful businesses learn to navigate through these times to protect the company and continue to grow. Had we continue as owners we would have had to figure out survival at this critical stage in the life of the business.

My question now, as a church planter/leader is: How does this principle translate to church growth?  Are there certain times during the growth process of a church where this dynamic comes into play?

Are there times the church is too large to adapt quickly to the changing needs of the community and people it is attempting to reach? Could the church be too small to meet all it needs to do, because the church can’t afford the facilities and staff to meet the opportunities?

Could it be that church leadership needs to recognize when this dynamic is in play and figure out ways to navigate through it, so the church can continue to thrive?

For those that hate applying business principles to the church world, please forgive me, but I’m just asking questions to stir discussion.  Sometimes understanding the nature of a problem is the hardest part in addressing it.  What do you think?  Have you experienced either of these scenarios?

Organizational Tip: Give Permission to Be Spontaneous

Recently I attended the Story Conference in Chicago. It was a two day conference for the creative-minded packed full of the best ideas available to communicate our story to the world.  It was a well-planned and scripted time and Ben Arment, the conference founder, is to be commended for the event.

The greatest moment for me, however, happened in a split moment.  To understand the moment you need to know that the conference venue, Park Church is strategically located in the heart of Chicago. They have a beautiful renovated building. The worship center can be made extremely dark, but there are windows in the room that face the city. At one point, we were singing a worship song about spreading the news of Jesus to the world and suddenly the curtains opened to the city of Chicago. In a split second, we had the vision that our mission was clear.  We were to take the love we have for Christ to the people outside the walls of the auditorium.

I was talking with one of the leader’s of the conference after this experience and he told me that it was a split second decision to open the curtains.  It wasn’t planned.  The greatest moment, for me at least, wasn’t scripted ahead of time.  It reminded of an important life and leadership principle.

We must always allow time and grant permission for the spontaneous moments to occur…the interruption…the unplanned bursts of genius. I’m a planner, but spontaneity can often be the spice of life.  All of us need to leave margin enough in our calendars for God-moments and times of spontaneity. 

Here’s my question:  Is that easy or difficult for you to allow margin for the unexpected to occur?

7 Most Popular Posts This Week

This was a heavy week of blogging, thanks to the opportunity to blog for Catalyst this year.  Thanks for reading.  I appreciate the links, comments and Tweets you are gracing me with these days.  I see this blog as an extension of my ministry and you are helping expand that vision by your support. Here are the posts you read the most this week:

8 Ways to Lead People Younger than You

Developing a Leadership Vocabulary

Grace Community Church Goes Multi-Site

Positional Versus Relational Authority

A Secret Your Husband Needs You to Know (But Won’t Tell You)

God Will Allow More than You Can Bear (Alone)

Andy Stanley – Tension for More

Is there a subject you wish I would cover on this blog?

Craig Groeschel – Generational Tension #Cat10

Craig Groeschel addressed the tension of the differences between generations. It was one of the most powerful messages I have ever heard on generational differences. I believe this message is desperately needed in the church today.

Craig addressed the older and the younger generations.

Advice to the older generation

  • Invest and believe in the next generation.
  • Don’t resent the next generation…invest in them…
  • Find it your calling to help the next generation succeed.
  • They aren’t the church or the future. They are the church today.
  • When you delegate tasks you create followers, when you delegate authority you create leaders.
  • Give them permission to make mistakes.
  • They are different, not wrong…
  • When we invest in the
  • Don’t try to give them the way…
  • Embrace the season that you’re in…
  • You do not have to be cool to lead the next generation just be real.
  • Don’t underestimate what God wants to do through this generation…

Advice to Younger generation

  • Honor the generation above you…
  • They know more than you think they do…
  • This is a generation that doesn’t honor well…
  • One reason God’s not doing more in the church today is that there is no faith in
  • When we truly honor God we’ll honor those in authority over us…
  • If you want to be over, learn to follow…
  • Respect is earned, but honor is freely given…
  • Be teachable…
  • We honor the men and women who have gone before us…
  • You are a little bit entitled as a generation…
  • You are the most cause-driven, mission-minded generation in recent history…
  • You crave authenticity…
  • I believe in you…
  • Don’t you dare think small…
  • Don’t insult God with safe living and small dreams…
  • If you will come under authority and be teachable you can be the greatest generation in history…

This post will not at all do justice to this important message for the church. I hope you will get this message from the Catalyst. Click HERE to get to that site.

Craig Groeschel Interviews the Devil – #Cat10

Craig Groeschel started his talk at Catalyst with a humorous, but sobering fictitious interview with the devil…

It went something like this:

Craig: So how are you hurting the church these days?

Devil:  We’re causing problems between the ages…

It’s easy to split up people by the generations…

Taking a guy who thinks he may make a difference, but tell him he doesn’t have what it takes….

Craig: What are you doing to distract the older ones?

Devil: Cause resistance to change….you know this new way of doing things…they’re all going to Hell…

Craig: What about the younger ones?

Devil: Easy…in your twenties…you think you know everything….

So we play up the cockiness….ego…

Also, I’ve got you on the calendar…maybe a little mid-life crisis…

Craig: Get behind me Satan…

It was a funny way to remind of us some important truths that 1)Satan wants to divide us by our differences and 2)We can tell Satan to flee!

Two Questions:

Do you see generational differences bringing conflict in the church?

Has Satan been messing with you?  In the name of Jesus, do you need to tell Satan to flee?