culture

The 6 Major Areas of Church Recovery

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Sometimes a church, through moral failure, neglect of appropriate leadership or the absence of vision, finds themselves in a “ground zero” condition.  The damage done is so destructive that recovery seems insurmountable. Even when new leadership comes in with recovery as the immediate vision, it is not automatic nor guaranteed. Everything is on the line and it is a complicated endeavour. 

The recovery process can be broken down into 6 major areas:

1. Legal Requirements

Each church is registered with the government as a charity and therefore has to abide by bylaws and constitutions. In an emergency situation, the constitution states a process that must be followed as to who is responsible for what and how the next leader is to be selected. It also covers the process for removing the senior leader, should it come to that.

All of these processes must be followed and documented. This protects the church from any legal backlash and makes clear who is responsible for what.

Document everything. It is important that each church board review their bylaws and constitution at least annually. They must then either abide by them or follow the proper procedure to change the bylaws that are outdated or encumbering.  

2. Financial Requirements

Start with planning. No one likes to plan for the worst-case scenarios, but it is absolutely vital. The board must have a plan in place to protect itself against an emergency that could destroy the church.

Financially, this might mean setting aside a portion of your monthly income into savings until you have at least three months of expenses in your savings account for those emergency situations.

Some might argue that they can't afford that, but the truth is, I don’t think you can afford not to. It starts with a discussion at the board level as to what the emergency backup plan is.

3. Spiritual Basics

Spiritually, I think it is important for every church to have a mature team in place that knows how to handle spiritual warfare. Make no mistake, the devil is active and loves nothing more than to destroy churches. 

Put into place a mature prayer team. I look for individuals who know how to pray, who can grab onto something in prayer and not let go until the answer presents itself. I look for people who are discreet and honour people with a high level of confidentiality. I want someone who will, in private, wrestle something to the ground in prayer.

In emergencies, our team knows that our first call is to the prayer team to get them on it. Prayer is key in every move we take in the recovery process. 

4. Cultural Transformation 

Culture trumps vision every time. It is important for the pastor – the outgoing one and especially the incoming one – along with the board to know, understand, and implement the desired culture.

If you are looking for a new pastor, it is vital to first understand what your culture is and then find someone who matches that culture. Do not hire someone who is gifted but has a different culture. They will destroy what you have built faster than you could ever imagine. I would highly recommend Dr. Sam Chand’s book “Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code” to learn more about the culture of a church.

5. Succession Plan

I think one of the most important essentials is an emergency succession plan. As John Maxwell says, everything rises and falls on leadership, and I believe he is absolutely right. A church can be thrown into major crisis if something happens to their leader. It is crucial that the current pastor and board have a discussion on succession. Who will replace the current leader? We break it down into 3 categories:

  1. What is the emergency succession plan?
  2. What is the 5-10 year succession plan?
  3. What is the 15-20 year succession plan?

It’s all about being prepared.

6. Emotional Health and Well Being

Through it all, the pastor must also maintain the emotional stability and health of the church body in the turbulence of recovery. Often times as pastors we are asked to comfort and lead in situations in which we are hurting too. Many are unable to carry that weight. It becomes too much and they make irreconcilable mistakes that damage the organization and put it into a more vulnerable position than it already is.

So what’s the answer? I think King David gave us the greatest example of how a leader should lead through a crisis in 1 Samuel 30. In verse 6, in the midst of his pain, it says “He strengthened himself in the Lord.” That’s the key. As leaders, we need to draw our strength from God and lead, even when we are hurting. From that strength, we can lead others to strengthen and maintain the emotional stability within the whole organization.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Church recovery from a ground zero situation can seem like a minefield of explosive issues. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Think through every possible scenario and have a plan in place. If you prepare and nothing happens, great! But if you don’t prepare and something does happen, you will be left scrambling.

While I think this preparation must be done by the lead pastor, even more importantly it must be done by the board of directors. Write it down and make sure everyone is aware of where it is. 

Often times a crisis will distract us from our mission and vision. But the best and fastest way to recover is to get back to the mission. We need to stay the course and show the world that Jesus is the answer and that the church is the hope of the world, and we’re on a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.

If you have questions you would like answered in an upcoming podcast, please email leadership@myvictory.ca

5 Strategies for Effective Collaboration

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Have you ever spent time in seemingly unending meetings? Meetings where the collaboration among departments or team members felt limited to the opinion of the heavy hitters and usually prove little long-term value, but plenty of short-term frustration? When you end up frustrated because the “collaboration” is poorly facilitated, what can you do? These 5 Strategies for Effective Collaboration are a good place to start. 

1. Train Your Team for the Future

Not all those that begin as a part of a church plant team will remain for the entire process. However, those that do stick with you are the ones you should invest in the most. Train them in the culture, vision, mission, and best practices of your movement. Today's volunteers could very well be tomorrow's staff so treat them as such. Don't train them for today's problems but for those of the future.

[bctt tweet="Don’t train your staff for today’s problems, train them for those of the future." #leadership username="kellystickel"]

2. Create A Culture of Change

As the church grows, the systems that once worked become less and less effective. When this occurs, a change must be made. This could be removing people from their position or moving them into another position. If you create a culture of change, your leaders will embrace it and look forward to mixing things up. Don't train someone for just one role; train them to be a leader that could take on any role or department. We want leaders, not specialists. I have found that shifting leaders around can often have huge benefits for the organization as a whole. Fresh ideas are expressed and renewed energy breathes new life into that department.

[bctt tweet="Train leaders, not specialists." #leadership username="kellystickel"]

3. Establish a Clear Why

Sometimes organizations or churches try to coordinate an event for the common good of their community.  The players come together initially but further into the project, they back out or become distracted by their obligations at their home base. Sometimes, it ends with the event becoming a one-person show. Where did it go wrong?

In my opinion, it’s all about the “why” of the event. The stronger and clearer the why, the stronger the buy-in from those participating. There has to be a clear-cut benefit for the whole, not just for one or two participants. The why is often connected to the benefits and the benefits are most keenly understood by those who originally birthed the idea for the event. In the end, they are usually the ones committed to seeing it through. But if they have the ability to clearly communicate the benefits of the event to everyone involved, everyone is more likely to remain until completion.

4. Know Your Team Strengths

There are so many tools out there to help leaders find the right people for their team. I’d recommend personality tests like 16 Personalities (which is a Meyers-Briggs test), the Strengths Finder test or DISC tests to discover people’s natural tendencies. Without such tools, leaders are left with only their instincts to determine where best to place team member. But don't be afraid to experiment. If someone is not fit for a position, don’t be afraid to move them to a different one until you find their perfect spot—both for them and for the team as a whole.

5. Invest in Your Leaders

The collaboration of talents, experience and vision is vital to the mission of most organizations. We must follow the example of Jesus. He modelled it best for us. He both invested in His leaders, training the 12 intensely for three years, while at the same time remained true to the gospel by ministering to those who had need. I think we can do the same. We can best train our future leaders by involving them as participants in today’s ministry. We have to keep raising leaders and we have to stay true to the mandate of the gospel because the church is the hope of the world and we’re on a mission to reach every available person at every available time by every available means with the Gospel of Jesus Christ by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.

If you have questions you would like answered in an upcoming podcast, please email leadership@myvictory.ca.

Good to Great

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The book Good to Great, by Jim Collins, explores why good companies do not make the leap to great. Today, we are going to take a look at what moves a good church to become a great church.

A Good Church vs. A Great Church

Collins defines a great company as one that has a “financial performance several multiples better than the market average over a sustained period.” I think a great church the would be one that has sustained numerical growth, namely through the attraction of unchurched people, better than the average in the same area.

Looking at the evidence and observations of churches that have moved from just being good to becoming great, there are two variables; qualitative and quantitative analysis. By qualitative, we are looking at the quality of ministry, while by quantitative we are measuring the quantity of their effectiveness in numerous areas.

I agree with Collins when it comes to the number one contributing factor to the greats. He said it all starts with leadership. John Maxwell says that “everything rises and falls on leadership” and I absolutely believe that to be true. So, the great churches usually have great leaders at the helm. And, just like Collins discovered, the best leaders are the ones that have a blend of personal humility and professional will. The sustainable great churches aren’t led by the celebrity type pastors, but often by self-effacing, quiet, reserved, even shy leaders who build great leaders around them - but they have an insatiable drive to get better and reach their communities.

A strong leader must be surrounded by strong team members leading their ministries. I have found that it takes more than just a great preacher to grow a church; it also takes great music, great children’s ministry, great pastoral care, and great administration just to name a few. One leader is just not capable of doing all of that on their own, therefore they need a great team around them.

I also believe that great churches are not afraid to confront the brutal facts. What I mean by this is that they have an incredible faith that they will prevail and grow as well as an incredible discipline to confront the most brutal facts of their current reality and adjust accordingly. Great churches also have a clear vision and narrow focus. They know where they are going and they refuse to clutter that vision with busyness and complex programs. 

Another differentiation of great churches is that they continually mess with the methods and move with times without compromising the message. They know that the methods are there to serve the message, not the other way around. So, they will continue to use whatever means necessary to get the gospel out to the world in an understandable way and they don’t get married to their methods. If it’s not working, they are willing to change.

I’ve noticed that churches that attract people from other churches and mainly grow through transfer growth are ones that may have a quick boost in growth, but it often isn’t sustainable. This is because if people switched churches once, they are likely to transfer again when something bigger or better comes to town. In contrast, people that grow in unchurched people and lead them to Jesus are more likely to sustain their growth because people are more likely to stay in the church where they became born again. They are also the group that is most likely to invite their unchurched friends and family to the church which keeps multiplying the growth and is much more sustainable.

Collins breaks down the transformation of companies that go from good to great into 3 broad stages; disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined actions. There is no doubt that these 3 stages translate into the church world.

Disciplined People

When it comes to disciplined people, it is important that the leader leads the way and that the leadership team follows suit; discipline has to flow from the top down. I think this is even more important because the church is largely a volunteer-led organization. Disciplined people is all about having the right people on the right bus - first who, and then what. This is so vital.

I often talk to pastors who say they just don’t have any leaders in their church. I have found that leaders don’t just show up, they are created. What I mean is that the leader (the senior pastor) has to invest in growing his team to become what the church needs. In the process of growing people, you will learn who you have on the bus and what seat they should be sitting in. This process is invaluable to the development of having disciplined people.

I have always set aside time each week and each month to train and develop my leadership team. To me, this might be the most important activity I do as a lead pastor. Paul said in Ephesians that the job of a pastor is to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry.” Equip means skill develop. So, my role as the pastor is to skill develop people in my church to carry out the work of the ministry. It doesn’t happen by default; it happens by being very intentional about training and developing a team. When you do this intentionally, you will develop the right people on the bus, as opposed to just waiting for the right people to show up. I’ve tried that and I soon ran out of patience waiting for the right people. I’ve found it better to develop the right people from within.

Disciplined Thought

Disciplined thought is about marrying both faith for a big future and the ability to confront the brutal facts of today’s reality. That is a juggling act and requires great discipline. I have discovered that great churches do this really, really well. That is what makes them the best.

I can recall an example of when I’ve had to face the brutal facts. We were getting hundreds saved every year but we were not seeing that translate into disciples. When we studied it, we discovered that we were seeing under 5% retention on our new converts. Grossly dissatisfied, we decided to do something about it. That’s where the My Victory Starts Here book and discipleship plan came from. Last year, we were able to retain 48% of our converts. We still want to improve on that, but that was a drastic increase and greatly grew our church because we were willing to face the brutal facts.

Disciplined Action

Disciplined action is about going to work every day to create the church you envision. This is rolling up your sleeves and working hard. It’s about creating a culture within your organization that will allow the vision to move forward. It’s about being willing to mess with the methods and change what needs to be changed in order to move forward. It really is all about a dogged determination to not settle for anything less than the best.

Level 5 Leadership

In chapter 2, Collins describes a Level 5 Leader as one who “builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will.” Former U.S. President Harry S. Truman said this: “You can accomplish anything in life provided you do not mind who gets the credit.” I believe this is so important to sustainability. We need to refrain from the celebrity pastor led church model. Firstly, it is not biblical, and secondly, it can be very short lived. A prime example of this happened just a couple years ago when Mark Driscoll was fired from his church in Seattle. At the time, his church average was 14,000 in attendance. Within a few short months of his leaving, the church no longer existed. It completely disappeared, which is tragic. I believe great churches are led by leaders who don’t care who gets the credit and they operate with incredible humility. In my mind, a positive example of this is Brian Houston. For years, I had no idea who the senior pastor of Hillsong Church was. All I knew was that Darlene Zchech led worship. The music team was more famous, and probably still is more famous, than the lead pastor. I think Brian has done a great job of leading in such a way that it doesn’t matter who gets the credit, and Hillsong Church has truly accomplished much in the process.

Level 4 Leadership

A Level 4 Leader is described as committed to the vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision and higher performance standards. Level 5 Leaders have these Level 4 leadership qualities as well as the ones we previously discussed. I think the biggest battle for all of us “driven” types is the art of delegation and letting go. We do things ourselves because we know we will do it well and it is hard to release a task to someone who may not do as good of a job as we would. However, it is crucial to delegate and release the work to others. They will inevitably make mistakes, but that’s how they will learn. Let them have success and get the credit because what matters, in the end, is not who gets the credit but that the vision is accomplished. So, my recommendation for Level 4 Leaders is to let go and be willing to release.

Good to Great Leaders

At one point, Collins describes a Level 5 Leader as “ordinary people quietly producing extraordinary results.” The traditional mindset of a great leader often depicts a person with a high-profile image and a charismatic personality. But, Collins goes on to describe the top leadership characteristics of a leader who has taken a good company to become a great company as “quiet, humble, modest, reserved, shy, gracious, mild-mannered, self-effacing, understated…” There was a day when these characteristics were not true of major players in the church world, especially in North America. I think there has been a subtle transition over the past couple of decades. Churches that are built to last have been led by no-name leaders. I think this is important because if a church is built on a personality, it will only last as long as that individual lasts in ministry. But, if the church is not built solely on a personality, it can navigate the troubled waters of transition and survive generation to generation. It is amazing when that happens. I think in the next 5 to 10 years we are going to see this become more evident than ever before because most of the celebrity pastors are going to retire and then we will see what happens to their churches. Depending on the outcome, we will know whether these pastors were great leaders who built their church on a team and a vision, or if they were just good leaders who built a mega church on a personality.

Good church leaders may look for someone or something to blame for stagnate growth. They may blame the economy, community layoffs, lack of funds, inadequate facilities, their history, the list goes on. Level 5 Leaders look at similar situations and must move forward without placing blame on external factors. I often say that excuses strip you of your power to change. The moment we place blame elsewhere, we remove our ability to solve the problem. We have to be willing to confront the brutal facts, take ownership of the mistakes, and be willing to change the methods. If we can’t do these three things, we will be overcome by the obstacles to growth and will stagnate, or even disappear. It’s vital to observe and act. I think the Level 5 Leaders face just as much adversity as everyone else, however, they respond differently. They hit the realities of their situations head-on and as a result, emerge from the adversity even stronger.

The Law of Velocity

In Chapter 3, Collins made about called Practical Discipline #3 which says, “Put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems.” This really stood out to me when I re-read the book a couple of weeks ago. This is about the law of velocity; hitch your wagon to something that is already moving to make it move even faster, rather than trying to kickstart something that isn’t moving at all. I would love it if we in the church world could grasp this concept. The reason I say that is because there are a ton of really great pastors out there who are killing themselves trying to jumpstart a dead or dying church when they could be way more effective in the kingdom if they just attached to churches that have great momentum. There are other pastors who are leading nearly dead congregations in large beautiful buildings. At the same time, there are churches in the same community that are growing in temporary rented facilities or outgrowing their current locations and are in danger of having their lack of facilities inhibit their momentum. What if we were kingdom minded in our communities and married the great facilities with the great churches? What could happen?

Brutal Facts

I am always surprised when I hear a pastor say “numbers don’t matter,” or “it’s not just about the numbers.” When I hear that said, I know their church is struggling numerically. It think it is amazing that pastors make excuses for why their church isn’t growing, or worse yet, they refuse to ask questions as to why it has stopped growing or is declining. Numbers matter! Numbers represent souls and we are all in it for souls. Number mattered to Jesus; He counted everything. We know how many people attended almost every meeting Jesus ever had. The 5000, the 120, the 70, and so on. We need to be willing to count and observe the trends, confront the brutal facts if necessary, and then ask the hard questions to get the proper solution. It’s all about simply refusing to settle for average.

I think the major takeaway from this week's podcast is to start with the determination to push beyond "good" and "good enough". Our nation and our world have no need for good churches; they need great churches. Great churches led by leaders who are determined to make their church grow and are fixed on reaching the unchurched in their community for Jesus. We need great leaders who are determined to be great leaders, who invest in growing themselves and in growing their teams. We need great leaders who are willing to confront the brutal facts and change if necessary. Why? Because the church is the hope of the world and we’ve been given a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.

 

Episode Resources:

If you have questions you would like answered in an upcoming podcast, please email leadership@myvictory.ca.

Marginal Gains

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There is always room for improvement within any church or organization. Today, we are taking a look at where to begin, the steps to be taken, and ultimately how to achieve your greatest goals!

This month, we are discussing our topic from the last All Staff meeting we held. We looked at how we can improve using the idea of marginal gains, and what this meant for our teams. Let’s get into it!

Be Honest with Where You Are

Be realistic about where you currently are. That sounds so simple. But leaders tend to think they are being realistic when they focus on what’s not working or on where they’re failing. William Arthur Ward said, “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” I am continually adjusting my sails. As a leader, you have to be a constant analyst.

Critiquing vs. Being Critical

One of the things that I had to input into our culture was the skill of honestly critiquing everything. Now, there’s a big difference between being critical and critiquing. Being critical focuses on the negative, while critiquing focuses on what could be improved. We critique everything we do because we know others will do it for us if we don’t do it ourselves. Therefore, we regularly analyze everything we do and ask, “Could we do it better?” We don’t always keep that analysis positive. Our tendency is to try to avoid conflict and keep everything positive, but sometimes it’s okay to allow a little bit of conflict or negative talk. This can help to dig out the real issues. If you don’t allow it in a controlled meeting, it will happen on the outside, so it’s best to discuss it while in private. My only stipulation is that if we address a problem, we must also focus on a solution to that problem. That’s how you keep things positive and moving forward.

Count Everything

If we see a slump in one area or another, we ask if we are missing something or if we need to change it. We never allow ourselves to make excuses for poor results because excuses remove our power to do anything about it. I can make excuses or I can make progress, but I can never do both. I think counting everything and analyzing the data is vital because you can’t manage what you don’t measure. When you get the data, you have a choice as to what you can do with it. You can make an excuse as to why the number is lower than expected, or you can make the necessary adjustment and set your sails accordingly.

[bctt tweet="Excuses remove our power to do anything about poor results. #leadership #marginalgains" username="kellystickel"]

Self-talk

Self-talk is a game-changer. We often tend to believe more of what we hear ourselves say than what we hear others say. Self-talk is not only a powerful business and ministry tool but an effective lifestyle tool if done constructively. I once heard someone define thinking as self-talk. I like that because all of us do it, whether we are aware of it or not. Once I became aware of that, I began to realize that I should consciously guard my self-talk and guide it with positive, forward-moving talk. Good self-talk doesn’t ignore the obstacle or difficulty in front of you but instead focuses you on being solution oriented instead of problem focused.

A good example of this is the difference between the 10 spies in Numbers 13, and Joshua and Caleb. The 10 spies' self-talk was focused on how big the enemy was and how strongly fortified their cities were. They were problem focused whereas Joshua and Caleb said, “We are well able” and, “God will make a way.” The two men didn’t ignore the enemy or their fortified cities, they just chose to focus their attention and talk on the solutions that would enable them to overcome those obstacles.

Think Big, Start Small

I once heard a quote from Seth Godin that read, “The thing is, incremental daily progress (negative or positive) is what actually causes transformation. A figurative drip, drip, drip. Showing up, every single day, gaining in strength, organizing for the long haul, building connection, laying track — this subtle but difficult work is how culture changes.”  The truth is, we as leaders often like to go from peak to peak, focusing on the outcomes instead of the journey. It’s our tendency to continually focus on big thinking and forget that it takes day-to-day, roll-up-your-sleeves hard work, and small steps to get there. For me, the key to continuing to think big, but at the same time starting small, has been to celebrate the little things along the way. This keeps myself, as well as my team, motivated in the mundane daily work. If I set smaller progressive goals along the way to our big destination, and then celebrate once we get there, it keeps us focused and moving forward until we reach the ultimate, big-thinking goal. Celebrate the journey every step of the way.

Focus On The Process Not The Results

Leaders have been taught for years to be results focused. Consequently, leaders tend to allow the big picture obsession to downplay the power of the process. As leaders, we are typically the visionaries or big picture thinkers, but we need to realize that most of our team is not. That means they don’t often see the end result like we do.  When we paint a picture for them of what that result will look like, they often view it as an immediate outcome, and that we will be there quickly. I know I have made this mistake many times as a leader. I see a big goal for the organization and share it with everyone prematurely which makes for disappointment when we don’t reach it quickly. Peter Drucker said, “People often overestimate what they can accomplish in one year. But they greatly underestimate what they could accomplish in five years.” With this being the case, it’s important for us as leaders to be wise in what we share and when we share it. It is wiser as a leader to focus on the process and celebrate the little steps rather than just on the big picture. This keeps the team focused and motivated to move forward.

Small Improvements Add Up to Massive Differences

Recently, I heard a story from my friend Rex Crain about the 1986 Los Angeles Lakers basketball team. They were heralded as the best team ever assembled but, ended up losing in the semi-finals that year. It was a major disappointment and you can imagine how their coach, Pat Riley, felt. In the offseason, he decided to do something about it. Instead of relying just on motivating the team as a whole to do better, he instead decided to work with each individual player on making marginal gains in their own development. He recorded every player's performance from each game the previous year and built a formula to calculate an overall personal score. Then he challenged each one to improve by just one percent in the next season. Of course, each player agreed because one percent was doable and they went to work on making their marginal gain. Then, Coach Riley used the same formula throughout the next season so that each player could see how they were progressing. It worked! Every player improved. The lowest level of improvement was 5% and the overall average was a 12% improvement. The team went on to win 2 straight championships and appeared in 4 of the next 5 NBA championships. So at All Staff, I told this story and then asked our team to work on areas in their own departments and with their own team in which they could get just one percent better. I believe if each team member and each department got just one percent better, the overall effect on the organization would be astronomical.

Progress Is In Your Control

Like I said before, we can make excuses or we can make progress, but we can’t do both. This reminds me of when I first began working with our worship team. We began with how they practiced. I attended each practice and had the team focus on how they would rehearse each song. Then, we worked on each player and vocalist and had them prepare individually for their part. We got rid of the “just wing it” mentality and had them rehearse a specific part. Then, we worked on the presentation of the songs they were learning and had each member watch videos of themselves alongside videos of other worship leaders to compare where they could make improvements.

This whole process happened over the course of 3 to 4 years. We made little steps like removing worship stands from the stage. The team was now individually rehearsed and prepared and in watching videos of themselves, they realized how much of a barrier these stands created between them and the congregation. After learning their parts, we focused on their tones because music is just a sum of sounds blended together. The better the sounds and blend, the better the song is received overall. Now, here we are 6 years into the process and we are not only better, but are now writing, producing, and releasing our own worship songs! I saw this as a goal years ago, but if I would have cast that vision from the beginning, we would have skipped a number of valuable steps along the way or would have given up in the process and settled with where we were. This way, we celebrated each step along the way and are now seeing the fruit of that progression.

Daily Investments

Small daily investments are the way to produce big changes. The secret here seems to be that in the patience of daily investments, momentum begins, though momentum at times seems nearly invisible. I challenge our leaders to listen to podcasts daily, read books weekly, and to attend conferences yearly. I encourage them to grow themselves first, and then monthly I train them in leadership at our All-Staffs as well. Each one doesn’t make a noticeable difference, but over time, these behaviours have made a huge improvement in our organization and on the individuals who have invested in themselves this way.

[bctt tweet="Small daily investments are the way to produce big changes. #marginalgains" username="kellystickel"]

As a leader myself, I continually listen to leadership podcasts, read books and leadership blogs, meet with mentors and ask them lots of questions, and attend conferences at churches much bigger than mine. I am constantly working on bettering myself as a leader because I know that if I stop growing, I will stop leading and my organization will stop growing. I take that very seriously.

What I love about the marginal gains concept is that it will work for anyone, anywhere, at any time, regardless of the size or scope of their ministry or business. The fact is, once you are realistic about where you currently are and you focus on making marginal gains in each area you are involved in, you will advance forward. You don’t build Rome in a day, but you will grow and eventually get to where you want to be. Imagine if every church leader made marginal gains this year. Imagine if every church grew by one percent. That might not seem like much for the church of 100 people. But, if every church in the world did that, there would be millions of more people in the Kingdom this time next year. So, let’s do it! Why? Because the church is the hope of the world, on a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.

If you have questions you would like answered in an upcoming podcast, please email leadership@myvictory.ca.

The Outside Focused Church Part 4

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In our shift to becoming an outside focused church, we received amazing results, but also some pushback. Today, Pastor Ralph Molyneux, our Lethbridge Campus Pastor, shares his experiences throughout the shift.

Pastor Ralph was on staff in Lethbridge when I first arrived over 6 years ago. In fact, he was one of the people that encouraged me the most in my move to the city. He shared the same heart and passion for the church and the unchurched as I did. He too was tired of keeping insiders happy and craved change.

Today, we have Pastor Ralph on the podcast to discuss the shift to becoming an outside focused church. Although it wasn't always easy, he passionately pursued the vision along with me. Listen in as he explains how to manage complaints, the changes the church went through, and much more.

If you have questions you would like answered in an upcoming podcast, please email leadership@myvictory.ca