Inside MyVictory Podcasts

Are You Willing to Change?

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Proving Ground - Part 2

In order to reach the next level in your life, change is inevitable. We can't progress if we are stuck in our old ways. If you want to reach the next level, it's time that you implement some healthy habits into your routine.

We are picking up where we left off last week with our Proving Ground series. Here's a recap of the first two tests Kevin Gerald discusses in the book:

  1. The Test of Small Things - This test comes to prove a leader’s potential for greater opportunities.

  2. The Motivation Test - You could be doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, so this test challenges the why behind what you do.

Let's dive into the next two!

3. The Credibility Test

This test will prove that you maintain integrity, refusing to compromise ethics and morals in pressured circumstances.

Credibility is a combination of what you do, who you are, and how others view you. Gaining and maintaining credibility is what opens the door to a leader's next opportunity. Even Jesus had to build credibility.

Earning credibility requires competence, including the skills needed for the role you're playing as well as the appropriate knowledge and the right kind of habits. Competence is credibility based on what a leader can do today. So how can today's leaders maintain competence for tomorrow?

More than ever before, it is vital that today's leaders are good self-developers. You have to equip yourself so that you can remain competent. Yesterday's success may be applauded, respected, or honoured, but competence is credibility based on what you can do today. This credibility is earned by performance, not respect, love, honesty, courage, or other important virtues.

Leaders commonly fall into the negativity trap, seeing only problems and not solutions. In Proving Ground, Gerald lists six questions a leader can ask themselves to avoid negativity:

  1. What do I think about the most?

  2. How do I respond to problems or difficulties?

  3. What do I do when I hear negative feedback?

  4. How comfortable am I with failure or defeat?

  5. What kind of people do I get along well with?

  6. How do I respond to positive information?

Our sphere of influence is enlarged when we pass the credibility test.

4. The Wilderness Test

When you’re in a drought or dry season, this test will prove your potential to make the changes necessary to enter the level of maturity and prosperity in your life.

One strong characteristic of the wilderness is a lifestyle of routine. The way out of the wilderness requires change and breaking the status quo. Our tendency as leaders is to shrink back from making the necessary changes because it is easier to become comfortable with habits of routine.

We cannot have progress without change. Not all changes lead to progress, but all progress requires change. We have to push past the fear of change and learn to embrace change as a positive thing.

Just like a desert lacks the resources to provide life and vitality, a dry mind and spirit lack the ability to provide those things that bring growth. I have to personally worship God. I have to read the Bible to feed my faith. I have to pray and connect with God. I have to feed my mind with knowledge by reading books and listening to podcasts.

The church at Pentecost had to change in order to move forward. What motivated them was a strong faith in the future. In Philippians 3, Paul says, "But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

"Pressing on" is the key to getting out of the wilderness. Paul's motivation for pressing on was the prize of doing God's calling; the vision to bring Jesus to a hopeless world. To build His church. Because the church is the hope of the world and we have 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.

We would highly encourage all of our listeners to purchase their own copy of Proving Ground as we discuss this book together. If you'd like to purchase one, you can find them here.

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

Are You Prepared For the Next Level?

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Proving Ground - Part 1

Testing always precedes promotion. We aren't able to move to the next level that God has for us without experiencing some degree of a trial. Are you prepared for the tests that are coming your way?

Recently we were introduced to a book by Pastor Kevin Gerald called Proving Ground. This book has been very timely for us and, while simple in its approach, it is a great reminder of the fact that testing precedes promotion.

There is a big difference between God testing us and the devil tempting us. The purpose of a test is to prove a product or to prove what you have already learned. Sin, on the other hand, is a device used to cause you to stumble and sin.

James 1:13 says, "no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil nor does He tempt anyone." When God tests you, it is always for your benefit. When you battle temptation it is always for your destruction.

God will sometimes allow temptation and use it as a test to prove us, much like what happened in the wilderness when the devil tempted Jesus. God used this to prove and propel Jesus into His ministry.

Let's start discussing the tests described in Proving Ground.

1. The Test of Small Things

This test comes to prove a leader's potential for greater opportunities.

In the book, Gerald says, "We cannot get to where we want to go tomorrow if we are always trying to bypass our today." We all have the tendency to want to bypass practice for game-day, but you don't become the champion in the ring; you become a champion in the gym. It's how you prepare that makes a difference.

Sometimes I test my leaders myself by giving them small tasks just to see how they will react and what their attitude will reveal. How they react will show me whether or not they are ready for something bigger.

If you as a leader are disciplined in growing yourself, it is inevitable that you will outgrow what you are leading right now. What you are overseeing now will suddenly feel too small and you will be in search of something bigger. Raise up leaders, grow your team, and invest in them even when you are tempted to begin investing elsewhere. Having the patience to finish well will better prepare you for what's next.

2. The Motivation Test

You could be doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, so this test challenges the why behind what you do.

Jesus taught us that there are two ways to see what is within a person's heart:

a) By the words they speak (Matthew 12:34).

b) By the way they spend their money (Matthew 6:21).

Both of these things help us to determine the motives of others as well as the motives of ourselves.

Motives are tested when we don't feel appreciated or wanted. One of the most common motives for a leader is the desire to please people. However, a leader who seeks only to please his followers will compromise the organization's goals to keep the peace and the organization will stop growing. It's a fine line, but Solomon said it this way in Proverbs 29:25, "Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe." In other words, our ultimate motivation should be to please God, not man.

There are seasons where we find ourselves giving more than we are receiving. In order to get through these times, begin asking yourself a series of motives questions; What are you doing this for? Who are you doing this for? Why did you start doing this in the first place? When you started, did you expect it to be easy?

The best way to keep a check on your motives is through prayer. If we constantly cast all of our cares on God and lean into Him, He will make our paths straight.

I like what Gerald said in his book; "the definition of a motive is the compelling force behind our actions." For me, the compelling force behind my actions is Jesus. What He did for me personally causes me to want to share that hope with others. What He commanded me to do - to go into all the world and preach the gospel - gives me a lifelong mission to fight for.

I have seen the effect He has on my life and it keeps me going - regardless of opposition - because the church is the hope of the world, and we have a vision to reach every available person, at every available time, bu every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.

We would highly encourage all of our listeners to purchase their own copy of Proving Ground as we discuss this book together. If you'd like to purchase one, you can find them here.

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

What I've Learned From Past Projects

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Project Management - Part 5

We hope you have enjoyed this past series on Project Management! To wrap things up, I am sharing some of my personal experiences when it comes to managing projects and goals. My team and I have accomplished some great things but we have also learned some tough lessons along the way.

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

4 Deadly Project Killers

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Project Management - Part 3

Projects can be messy. We set ambitious goals and work with a variety of people with different personalities to achieve our objectives, so something is bound to go sideways. How can you prepare yourself to avoid giving up?

So far, we have discussed firstly, being specific and clear in defining the project with yourself and then with your team. Secondly, we talked about setting goals, which is the "what" you want to accomplish by "when", and then working with the right people on your team to define objectives. It's important to delegate the tasks to the right people and set a deadline for each. Let's pick up with point number 6!

6. Beware of any Project Killers

There are a lot of things that can sideline a project. For me, I have found that I can categorize my project killers into the 4 D's.

Distractions

A great question to ask yourself when opportunities arise is, "Will this opportunity benefit the big picture of the organization and its vision, or is it a distraction?"

Discouragement

Every leader is going to battle discouragement. It's inevitable. Usually, it happens when we are disappointed over a failed expectation.

Divisions

It is very rare that a project doesn't involve conflict. Recognize the symptoms and take the time you and your team need to rest, recreate, refuel, and refire with the vision.

Disengagement

If I feel myself or the team disengaging from God, people, or the vision, I know that there is a problem most likely due to losing focus.

Avoiding the Deadly D's

Visions leaks so it is important to continually reiterate the vision throughout the project, not just at the beginning or when the 4 D's raise their ugly heads.

I tell my team all of the time to not just bring me problems, but also solutions. We want to be solution focused, not just problem focused.

I think there are two main areas of responsibility for a project manager:

  1. Resource your team with everything they will need to get the job done.

  2. Learn to communicate with your team. A project manager's primary function is to communicate and bridge the communication between all the different personalities involved.

Spiritually, we must keep our heads in the game and our hearts pliable towards the Lord in the multiple projects and diversity of team players day to day. As a pastor, I remind myself often that Christ is the head of the church and that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church. I must surrender daily to God's lead, rely on His strength, seek His wisdom from the Word, and cast all my cares on Him because He cares for me. I also remind myself that the church is the hope of the world, and Jesus gave us 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.

2 Crucial Components to Accomplishing Your Projects

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Project Management - Part 2

So, you are ready to begin planning and executing your big project. But who are you going to work on it with? When are you going to have it finished by? These questions are vital to the progress of any mission. Today we are diving into the necessities of these questions.

Last week we talked about goals and objectives of our projects. Goals are generally set by the leader and are what we want to accomplish. Objectives are then how we will go about accomplishing the goal and it's a good idea to involve your team in setting these. Now, let's pick up on point number 4.

4. Build your team.

It is important to position the right people in the right places. Last week we talked about involving your team in the process of setting objectives but it is important to note that the effectiveness of this process is based on the people you select. As Jim Collins said in his book, Good to Great, you need the right people in the right seats on the bus.

Not everyone needs to be in the discussions on objectives for your goal. In fact, meetings of that nature tend to be more effective with fewer people.

Once you have identified your project and defined your goals, you need to determine the "right people." These people aren't necessarily going to follow your Org Chart or be your best friends. The right people are the most qualified because of skill, experience, and a proven track record of success in the area in which you have set your goals.

It is important to choose your people as early as possible. The more notice you can give your team, the more time they can invest in doing the project in the right way.

Intentionally Broadening Your Leadership Base

If a leader can be intentional about where they are going and with whom they are going with, they can be more effective. Without planning ahead, we as leaders can often forfeit great opportunities.

In order to build a great team, you need to train them and involve them on every level. Leaders can only follow leaders who know where they are going and you can only be confident in where you are going if you intentionally plan ahead. Plan for tomorrow's projects and train tomorrow's leaders today.

5. Create a Deadline

It's amazing how many times we talk through a project, get clarity on the expectations, but then fail to set a due date. This can lead to enormous frustrations due to failed expectations.

I think one of the best ways to help your team see the effectiveness of deadlines it to break down the tasks into stages and set deadlines for each stage. Knowing how long each stage takes to complete will assist you in keeping the project on track and keeps your team motivated as well.

Team Huddles

To improve communication between team members, I would suggest holding frequent "huddles" as opposed to long meetings. Call your team together and brief them on updates to keep everyone involved and maintain forward movement. It also creates accountability with deadlines because each person is accountable to the group, not just the leader or themselves.

Now, you might be a bit overwhelmed with the responsibilities that come with team management. But just keep at it. We all learn best by doing and you will learn the dynamics of yourself as a leader and of your team if you keep moving forward. When something isn't working, tweak it. We have discussed general principles so adjust them to what suits you and your team best. Project management is important for us as leaders, because the church is the hope of the world, and we are 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.