Catalyst One Day Chicago: Craig Groeschel Creating Personal Spiritual Momentum

Craig Groeschel began his second talk at Catalyst One Day Chicago with two questions.  I posted those questions HERE.  Those questions offered a springboard for challenging leaders to create personal spiritual momentum.

Craig’s primary challenge was for all of us to commit that:

I will do TODAY what I can do, to enable me to do TOMORROW what I can’t do TODAY.

Then he shared four things to do today:

Do something everyday to defeat your dark side. Every person has something that keeps him or her from being all that God wants him or her to be.  It could be pride, or laziness, or insecurity, or a desire for approval, but identifying that trait is vital to defeating your “dark side”.

Most leaders (in ministry especially) will never really be done with their work.  One of the biggest problems with ministers today is that we never really feel finished.  Creating artificial deadlines to make decisions forces leaders to complete something, make decisions, and take risks and allows freedom to plan, dream and be with family.

Delegate what someone else can do. In the ministry world, we have a hard time saying no to requests for more of our time.  If another person can do a task 70% as well as you can do it, let him or her have the authority over the task.

Don’t delegate responsibilities; delegate authority. Delegating responsibility develops followers.  Delegating authority develops leaders.

Do something only you can do. You’re the only one that can truly rest for your soul.  “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened…” (Matt 11:28)  You are the only one who can truly let your soul be fed by God.  Take time to maintain your spiritual momentum.

Wow!  I needed this…do you?

Catalyst One Day Chicago: Two Powerful Questions by Craig Groeschel

Craig’s second talk will be a two-poster…because he asked two powerful questions to begin his talk that merit placing in a separate post.


How many of you often feel overwhelmed with the sense of burden and responsibility that comes with leadership?

How many of you would say there’s a time in your life when you were closer to God than you are right now?


How would you answer those questions?  Do you see the correlation?

(BTW, I raised my hand to both.  I’m a continual work in progress.)

I’m thankful for Craig’s transparency…stay tuned.

Catalyst One Day Chicago Session Two: Craig Groeschel on Mindset Changes

In the second session of Catalyst One Day Chicago, Craig Groeshchel spoke about “Busting Barriers with Mindset Changes” building from Romans 12:2.  His opening statement was that one of the major momentum killers is an improper mindset.

Craig is a great storyteller.  Here is some of what I learned from Craig in session two:

Think differently about your church culture. Every church is different and needs a different mindset.  As the church grows and changes, its mindset must be willing to change.

We all have those phrases “Our people won’t __________”  (Come to the early service, volunteer all month, give sacrificially…etc.)  Instead of saying that, we need to change our mindset to say “We haven’t led our people to _________”

Think differently about people leaving the church. The church can actually grow when people leave.  Churches need more confidence in the church God has called them to be.  Sometimes people are in the church for the wrong reasons and churches shouldn’t strive as hard to keep them.  There may be a church, which better meets what they are looking for in a church.

Think differently about limitations. Often the truth is “we CAN’T because we don’t.”

We don’t necessarily need more money.  We may need to learn how to do more with less.  Sometimes God doesn’t give us what we want for a reason.

Craig ended his talk with three assignments for the audience.

  1. 1. Find someone one or two steps ahead of you and learn how they think, not what they do.
  1. 2. Identify one wrong mindset you currently have and ask God to renew your mind with truth.
  1. 3. Identify one painful decision you’ve been avoiding and commit to make the decision no matter what the short-term pain.

There was much more to this session that what I can share.  This is another reason you need the CD’s from Catalyst One Day Chicago.

What are your thoughts?  What limitations have you placed on your church, because you aren’t trusting in God’s power or strength?

Catalyst One Day Chicago Session One: Andy Stanley on Momentum

Andy Stanley led the opening session from Catalyst One Day Chicago.  He shared a few introductory thoughts to his talk:

  • Businesses immediately respond when momentum decreases, but for some reason the church will ignore momentum declines for years as long as the bills are being paid.
  • Momentum is always disruptive, so it scares some churches.
  • Momentum is all about moving forward, which is why leaders like momentum.
  • If you lack momentum and you don’t understand these principles, you are one dumb decision away from losing it all.

Three components of sustained momentum:

New – Anything new, negative or positive, triggers momentum…

Organizational momentum is often triggered by one of these three things:

  • New leadership
  • New direction
  • New product

New doesn’t guarantee sustained momentum, but new is an essential trigger for momentum.

Improved – The new must be a noticeable improvement over the old.

Improving – Momentum is sustained through continuous improvement.  This improvement must be continually evaluated.

Andy walked us through the local supermarket to see how businesses do this everyday.  Andy explains these principles, including how he applies these principles directly to the church.  It was a very helpful talk.

What is your church or organization doing to offer new, improved and improving sustained momentum?

Catalyst One Day Chicago: Opening Thoughts

I’m excited to be a part of the excitement at Catalyst One Day Chicago.  This is the first time in Chicago for Catalyst.  We are at Willow Creek Community Church.  This is my first trip here, and as I was warned, I’m blown away by this facility.

Today we will hear from Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel…in fact…they just walked on stage.  We are talking about momentum, but they are also doing a Q & A session.  We have just prayed that God would speak to us today with fresh ideas, renewed vision, and a greater hope.  That’s my prayer too!

I’m curious, if you had 5 minutes with either of these two great leaders, what would you like to say to them or ask them?

4 Benefits of Empowering Leaders for the Organization

I recently posted on the need for leaders to delegate and some steps to doing so. (Read those posts HERE and HERE) Following this post, I asked a supposed leader in an organization for a decision from his organization. It appeared to be a minor decision. It certainly would be in our organization. I have held leadership positions in larger organizations, and it would have been a minor decision in either of those places. This leader, however, had to pass the decision up a chain of command. We eventually received a yes answer, but it took a great deal of time through several layers of people to get there. By the time we got the answer, I didn’t need it anymore. (True story.)

It reminded me of the benefits of empowering leaders in an organization.

Giving leaders the power to make a decision does four things:

1. It expedites good service for the customer.
2. It encourages leadership development within the organization.
3. It increases the productivity of the organization.
4. It keeps from frustrating customers/clients like me.

Does your organization need to release power to other leaders?What benefits do you see from doing so?

10 Questions with Leader Dave Ferguson – Community Christian Church

Dave Ferguson is a pastor and mentor to hundreds of church planters around the globe, including me. He is the visionary for New Thing Network, a church planting network.  His church, Community Christian Church, is a pioneer in the multi-site movement.  Dave is an influencer, a teacher, and a visionary leader.  I appreciate his responsiveness to those of us that desire to learn from him.  I also appreciate his commitment to his family. The one meeting I had schedule with him had to be canceled because of a school program for one of his children. I admired that in him. He has befriended my son in Chicago. I previously wrote about that HERE.

Dave’s new book written with his brother Jon, Exponential:  How You and Your Friends Can Start a Missional Church Movement, will debut at the Exponential Conference next month. (A great conference!)  You can follow Dave on Twitter HERE.

Here are 10 questions with leader Dave Ferguson:

When you were growing up, is this what you thought you would be doing vocationally?  If not, what did you want to do?

Of course not!  I was supposed to be 6’5” and a professional basketball player.  And since I never got drafted….

What’s the most different job you’ve had from what you are doing now and how did that job help you with what you are doing now?

When I was in high school, I drove an ice cream truck.  True!  You know, the small white trucks driving around your neighborhood with the music playing loudly to get kids attention (and their money!). First, I learned basic business principles, which have been helpful in the corporate side of running a church. Selling ice cream was like having my own business because I paid a small fee for the truck and then bought the ice cream from corporate and then sold it at a mark up.  Secondly, I learned to be creative with no resources.  I made every Thursday “FREE ICE CREAM DAY”.  On that day which ever kid got to my truck first would get something free of his/her choice.  Of course it brought whole bunch more kids running and I made a lot more sales.  I did other creative things and on July 4th I broke the record for single-day sales of any ice cream salesman in Sam’s Ice Cream history. If I ever look for another job that is definitely going on my resume!

Who is one person, besides Christ, who most helped to shape your leadership and how did they help you?

I think it has to be my parents.  Before I understood that God believed in me, they believed in me.  And before I ever felt grace, they were gracious to me.  Something that is unique about COMMUNITY and the culture of NewThing is that we assume that you can do it and we believe in you implicitly.  I didn’t know how unique that was until later on in life.  I think Jon and I got that from my parents and we have passed it on.

Besides the Bible, what is one book that has most helped to shape your thought process in life and ministry?

I will name two.  First, Victor Frankel’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” is a great story and philosophical work that reminds us that what people need most is hope.  Secondly, Carl George’s “Prepare Your Church for the Future” gave us the foundation to become a reproducing church and dream of a reproducing movement.

What are three words other people would use to describe your work style/ethic?




What is your greatest strength in leadership?

According to Strengthfinders my #1 strength is “Futuristic”.

What is your greatest weakness in leadership?

I have to be careful because there are times my vision can outstretch our finances and I need people around me to make sure that we don’t commit to more than we can handle financially.

What is the hardest thing you have to do in leadership?

When you have to help someone find another place to lead or serve and they don’t see it the same way as you – that is really hard.

What is one misconception about your work you think people may have?

Some people have a misconception that COMMUNITY is a typical multi-site mega-church with a large facility that has lots of “bells and whistles” as the hub.  Not true.  We are a reproducing church with eleven locations in all kinds of spaces with some sites as large as 2500 in average attendance and other sites as small as 150 in attendance.

If you could give one piece of advice to young leaders from what you’ve learned by experience, what would it be?

Do a leadership residency.  Find a church or a leader that is doing what you one day want to do (or as close as you can find) and do whatever it takes (even if you have to pay them!) to spend 6 months to a year doing a leadership residency in that place with that leader.  That kind of apprenticeship is invaluable!

What inspires you about Dave and his influence on the church?

Saturday Dream Stretch: Local Church Vision

I have enjoyed the dream series the past few Saturdays. Thank you to all those that have participated in these posts.

Today I have a fun dream stretch. I am curious what some of these dreams will be. At my church, Grace Community Church, we are seeing God do amazing things. This post was inspired a result of that activity of God.  Somehow, I believe we have only scratched the surface of all God dreams for us to do.  (I’d love our people to participate in this dream stretch, as well as other churches.) This dream is more specific than last week’s world problem dream stretch. I want to hear your dream for the local church.

Here is today’s Saturday Dream Stretch:

If money, time, or volunteers were no limitation, what would you have your church be able to do? What dream do you have for your local church?

Go ahead….DREAM BIG! I don’t believe for a second you can out dream God.  As with previous dream stretches, please comment here on the blog, rather than to me through Facebook or Twitter, so everyone can read your response.

Are there any other dreams you’d like me to consider for a Saturday post?

You can still participate in past posts with the related posts links below this one.

10 Questions With Leader Jenni Catron – Crosspoint Church

I consider Jenni Catron a friend and ministry partner. Jenni serves as the Executive Director at Crosspoint Church in Nashville.  The church’s proximity to our church helps me learn from their success.  Jenni is a hard-working, genuine leader.  I love the transparency she shares through her blog and the intentionality she brings to her ministry.  I am fully convinced that much of the success of Crosspoint is due to Jenni’s leadership.  You can follow Jenni on Twitter also.

Here are 10 questions with leader Jenni Catron:

When you were growing up, is this what you thought you would be doing vocationally?  If not, what did you want to do?

I grew up attending very small rural churches so the idea of a role like the one I serve in now never even occurred to me.  I thought people who worked in church were either pastors or secretaries.  While I was very involved as a volunteer doing everything from leading worship to running the children’s ministry to speaking at youth group, it didn’t occur to me to pursue ministry vocationally.

I actually had my sights set on the music business.  I think somewhere around middle school I learned about the Christian music business and I started pursuing a career in that industry.

What’s the most different job you’ve had from what you are doing now and how did that job help you with what you are doing now?

When I was 15 I applied for my very first job at our local ice cream shop.  The owner of the store really took me under her wing and gave me huge opportunities and responsibilities.  By 16 I was named manager of the store and directly managed 3 other employees.  Little did I know the leadership and management lessons I was learning with that opportunity.  I’m incredibly grateful to Bonnie who invested in me in a huge way!

Who is one person, besides Christ, who most helped to shape your leadership and how did they help you?

I’ve been privileged to work with some amazing leaders both in the music business and in my role at Cross Point, but one of the greatest leadership influences for me has been my friend Kat.  Kat and I were in our early twenties working together at ForeFront Records.  Both of us recognized our need to develop as leaders and so we started meeting every Friday for lunch to read and discuss various leadership books.  Those lunches were instrumental in helping me process my leadership strengths and weaknesses.

Besides the Bible, what is one book that has most helped to shape your thought process in life and ministry?

The first book that Kat and I discussed together was John C. Maxwell’s book “The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader’s Day”.  This book is still one of my favorite leadership books.

What are three words other people would use to describe your work style/ethic?


What is your greatest strength in leadership?

Oh man, this is a tough one.  I think my strength in leadership is in my ability to “put feet to vision”.  I’m a second chair leader.  I think I’m at my best when I’m working alongside a visionary leader and helping that person put structure and plan around the vision.

What is your greatest weakness in leadership?

My greatest weakness is my impatience.  My driven/focused nature causes me to move fast – oftentimes so fast that I forget to engage the people around me.  I can easily put task before people and I have to constantly evaluate how I’m doing in this area.

What is the hardest thing you have to do in leadership?

The hardest thing I have to do in leadership is self-management.  There is always another email to respond to, another task on the to do list, another conversation to have, another blog post to write, another event to plan, etc.  Giving myself permission to disconnect and rejuvenate is very difficult for me.

What is one misconception about your position you think people in your church may have?

That’s a great question.  I think sometimes people assume I only care about numbers, systems, details – the business of the church.  I love ministry.  I love seeing life change.  I love knowing that by helping us steward our resources, people, facilities, etc I’m helping to create environments that allow ministry and life change to happen.

If you could give one piece of advice to young leaders from what you’ve learned by experience, what would it be?

I would encourage young leaders to seize the moment, whatever situation you are in.  If you don’t feel like you have the leadership responsibilities that you would like, take the time to evaluate, study and learn from the leaders around you.  Take notes on every leadership situation you observe.  Someday you’ll be in the same situation.  Leadership is a journey.  Make it a point to learn every step of the way!

Thanks Jenni for your work and ministry and for sharing from your experience.

Who else should I attempt to interview?

4 “Easy” Steps To Delegating

Yesterday I posted about the principle that letting go of responsibilities, even for the control freak leader like me, actually improves the organization.  You can read that post HERE.

Obviously, when you address the principle of letting go, which could also be called delegation, it opens a huge question for those wired as completers.  The question is: HOW? How do you let go of responsibility when you are wired so heavily towards not doing so?

With that question in mind, here are 4 “Easy” Steps to Delegation:

Identify – Find something that would be better delegated, either because you aren’t as skilled as others, don’t have adequate time to commit to it, or have lost interest.

Match – Find the right person/s for the responsibility based on passion, experience, and follow through capabilities.  This can be volunteer or paid, but pick people that will do what they say they will do and that you trust, otherwise you will constantly be looking over their shoulder. (Please don’t say there is no one to trust in your organization. If that’s the case, you either need to change organizations or change the leader…just saying.)

Release – This is the “letting go” part. Few leaders really do this well.  Knowing this is the difficult part, you should read THIS POST and THIS POST and THIS POST for more on this process.  You must give up your right to control.

Follow Up – If you are the overall leader, even when you delegate you have some responsibility.  Set a reminder on your calendar to periodically follow up with the person, but stay out of their way as they complete the assignment.

I realize it’s not easy for some to let go of (delegate) responsibility.  It comes with discipline and practice.   One way to improve at this is to consider the overall purposes and goals of the organization, recognizing that they can better be attained through delegation, and allow accomplishing them to be the leader’s principal responsibility.  When the drive towards completing is aimed towards a bigger vision goal that includes delegating, letting go to achieve greater success receives more motivation.

How are you at delegating?  What tips do you have to be better at letting others take over some of your responsibility?