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Strategic Christian Leadership

The simple purpose of this podcast is to help Christian leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission.

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Harmony: Why Humility Is Better Than Tolerance, Part 1 (Strategic Christian Leadership #81)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 81. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help Christian leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission.

Our Bible verse for this episode is Matthew 20:25-28 which says, “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Our quote for this episode is from Colin Powell, who said, “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine books: “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs, “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning, and “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson.

Our topic today is part 1 of “Harmony: Why Humility Is Better Than “Tolerance”” from “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson. He continues as follows:

Before closing with a few “tips” on how to cultivate humility in our personal and professional dealings, I want to describe a crucial benefit of humility at the societal level. In a morally and religiously diverse culture such as ours, humility is a much-needed key to harmony.

The Danger of Conviction

The recent “new atheists”, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Den-net and Christopher Hitchens, have brought into sharp focus the pernicious effect of monopolistic religious and moral viewpoints. Hitchens speaks for many when he writes: “We believe with certainty that an ethical life can be lived without religion. And we know for a fact that the corollary holds true—that religion has caused innumerable people not just to conduct themselves no better than others, but to award themselves permission to behave in ways that would make a brothel-keeper or an ethnic cleanser raise an eyebrow. As I write these words and as you read them, people of faith are in their different ways planning your and my destruction, and the destruction of all hard-won human attainments that I have touched upon. Religion poisons everything.”

Often the answer to the harmful effects of absolute truth claims is argued to be “tolerance”. If only people would tolerate each other, the logic goes, they would get on. Tolerance in this context usually means something like agreeing that all viewpoints are equally true or valid. In an attempt to establish this concept on the world stage, the 48th UN General Assembly declared that 1995 would be the “International Year for Tolerance”.

The need for such a year was clear. “Intolerance is one of the greatest challenges confronting us on the eve of the twenty-first century,” said the UN mission statement. “Intolerance is both an ethical and political issue. It is a fact that in most societies today, many different religions, cultures and lifestyles coexist. It is essential to recall that the basic human values that unite us are stronger than the forces that pull us apart.” The supporting documentation offered a striking set of definitions of the virtue:

Tolerance is the recognition and acceptance of individual differences.
Tolerance is recognition that no individual culture, nation or religion has the monopoly of knowledge or truth.
Tolerance is a form of freedom, freedom from prejudice, freedom from dogma.
A tolerant person is master of his own opinions and actions.

What I find interesting about this definition is the way it seeks to establish harmony between people of differing views by asking them to soften convictions. Only by rejecting dogma and accepting contrary views as valid can we hope to get on with each other; that is the gist of the document. With due respect to the careful thought that went into the International Year for Tolerance, I think we can do better than to ask people of strong conviction—or even dogma—to relax their claims to knowledge and truth.

— PRAYER —

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

Multility: Keep it Cellular, Part 9 (Strategic Christian Leadership #80)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 80. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help Christian leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission.

Our Bible verse for this episode is Matthew 20:25-28 which says, “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Our quote for this episode is from Max Lucado, who said, “A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine books: “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs, “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning, and “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson.

Our topic today is part 9 of “Chapter 4: Multility: Keep it Cellular” from “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning. He continues as follows:

Yes Instead of No

The first page of the operating agreement of the Great Harvest Bread Company is emblazoned with big, bold letters that state, “Anything not expressly prohibited by the language of this agreement is allowed.”

When it comes to supporting individual ministry, there are four words in which every Deliberately Simple pastor needs to become fluent. These four words are, “Yes, sure, you bet.” “Yes,” “Sure,” and “You bet” need to be spoken frequently to make certain that we are open to God’s plans, not just our own — to guarantee that we are empowering people instead of controlling them.

Over the years, I have been amazed at how powerful these words have been to the hearer. Evidently, they are rarely spoken (or heard) in the traditional church anymore.

At CTK we value empowerment. We want to have faith not only in God but also in people. That means saying yes to what God wants to do in a person’s life. While there are a limited number of programs that we start, there are an unlimited number of ministries that our people may start. There are a number of people in ministry at CTK who have told me, “I couldn’t do this at my previous church. There was too much red tape.”

In modern church circles, a barrier to ministry is often excellence. What this means to many people is that those who are average need not apply. At CTK we emphasize good enough instead of perfection. This opens the door to many people who previously would not have been considered gifted enough to minister.

We allow people to minister even after they have failed or fallen. We believe that “hope for the future, forgiveness for the past” applies to everyone, even leaders. A church leader from another denomination told me recently that the difference between their group and CTK was that we actually give a person a second chance. His denomination talked the language of recovery but fell short on actually taking a risk. We take the risk.

Decentralized Instead of Centralized

Multilocation ministry calls for a decentralized organizational architecture and new language. At CTK we have chosen to call each congregation a worship center. Technically, there is only one church — the sum of all the small groups and worship centers.

The organizational philosophy of CTK resembles fingers reaching out instead of a clinched fist. Multility pushes out the cellular and congregational functions of the church, while the traditional church centralizes its services and groups.

The big idea of multility is to convene different worship services, at different times, in different locations, with different worship teams, and with different preachers. Each of these venues is a manifestation of the larger body.

Is there anything wrong with the centralized model? No. We just believe that God has called us to try something different. While the megachurch has become good at being big and centralized, we are trying to become good at being small and decentralized. We are both trying to reach large numbers of people, just in different ways.

— PRAYER —

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

Developing a Biblical Mission, Part 12 (Strategic Christian Leadership #79)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 79. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help Christian leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission.

Our Bible verse for this episode is 1 Corinthians 12:12 which says, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”

Our quote for this episode is from Eleanor Roosevelt, who said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine books: “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs, “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning, and “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson.

Our topic today is part 12 of “Chapter 4: Developing a Biblical Mission: What We Are Supposed to be Doing” from “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs. He continues as follows:

3. CLARIFY AND SIMPLIFY YOUR MISSION

How do you clarify and simplify your mission? Ask and answer the following questions.

What words communicate best with your target group? Mission drafters must be wordsmiths. Their job is to think and rethink, shape and reshape, draft and redraft the statement. They do this with meaningful words. Think about the words that will best communicate with your congregation. Are the people more traditional, contemporary, or a combination? Will older clichés communicate best or fresh, contemporary terms? Also take into account the part of the country you live in. What terms are native to this locale and would communicate well to these people? Note the following statement as an example:

Our mission is to colonize the greater commonwealth of Northwest Boston with the gospel of Christ so that it may be liberated from the rule of darkness and adopt a new spiritual constitution that passionately embraces the revolutionary teachings of Jesus Christ.

This statement could serve the people in and around Boston and other parts of New England. It is regional, however, and would not fit or communicate well in other parts of North America. In addition, it is far too long.

Do people understand what you have written? How well do the words that you have selected communicate? Do people understand them? Do they know what you are saying? Be sure to avoid unfamiliar biblical terms such as glorify, holy, kingdom, disciple, and others. These terms represent what I refer to as christianese or temple talk. Some will understand them, most won’t. Some have asked, If the mission statement is the Great Commission, then why not just quote Matthew 28:19–20; Mark 16:15; or Acts 1:8? You could, but many parishioners will not understand the terminology used in the New Testament. These words are not clear to them. For example, the term disciple that Jesus uses in Matthew 28:19 may seem ambiguous. What is a disciple? Is making disciples a reference to evangelism only or sanctification or both? Even the average seminarian struggles to answer this question. Willow Creek Community Church has done an excellent job of mission clarity by including their definition of a disciple in their statement: “Our mission is to turn irreligious people into fully devoted followers of Christ.” However, do not be surprised if you have to explain this statement as well.

Therefore I encourage mission crafters to personalize the Great Commission so that it is clear to their particular congregation. We did this in the mission of my last church:

The mission of Northwood Community Church is to be used of God in helping people become fully functioning followers of Christ.

The words “used of God” imply we could not do it alone. God is the one who makes disciples. And the words “in helping people” mean that we would not take all the responsibility ourselves. We could only aid people—they must assume individual responsibility for the process. We substituted “fully functioning followers” in place of “disciple.” Because our people understood these words, we had clearly defined for all what we meant by the term disciple. We were making it clear that a disciple is a Christ-follower, not a follower of Allah or Buddha, and that a disciple is a functioning follower of Christ. That means that he or she is authentically involved in the five functions of the church: worship, fellowship or community, biblical instruction, evangelism, and ministry or service as opposed to being parked somewhere on the sidelines. Finally, that involvement is a full or deep involvement. Christ-followers are not just busy but have made deep commitments of their lives to the Savior. I also believe that repeating the Fs (fully functioning followers) is catchy and memorable.

— PRAYER —

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

Inspiration: How Humility Lifts Those Around Us, Part 3 (Strategic Christian Leadership #78)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 78. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help Christian leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission.

Our Bible verse for this episode is Luke 22:24-27 which says, “And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.”

Our quote for this episode is from Mother Teresa, who said, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine books: “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs, “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning, and “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson.

Our topic today is part 3 of “Inspiration: How Humility Lifts Those Around Us” from “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson. He continues as follows:

What I Learnt from U2

Let me close this chapter with another personal example of humility’s effect on me. When I was starting out in my first band at age sixteen, my musical heroes were the band U2. Ever since their 1982 album October, these four Irishmen represented all that I wanted to do (next to playing striker for Manchester United): create music, tour the world and move people through passionate live performances. When they came to Sydney in 1984, I had to meet them. The problem was, no fans were allowed inside their trendy, inner city hotel. A friend had an idea: let’s dress up in suits, borrow briefcases and catch a taxi to the hotel. Perhaps security will think we’re staying there.

It must have looked ridiculous—a gang of five or six teenagers thoroughly overdressed arriving in convoy at one of Sydney’s stylish establishments. It worked a treat, though. The doorman peered through the taxi window, opened the door and escorted us straight past the two hundred suspicious onlooking fans right into the hotel lobby. Without a clear plan we quickly made our way to the restaurant on the lower level and ordered the cheapest thing on the menu (coffee and raisin toast, I seem to recall). We waited. Surely the guys from U2 would have to eat breakfast sometime! We were right, but not before the hotel manager spotted us and made his approach. “Lads,” he said as we looked up like rabbits caught in the spotlight, “I’ve been watching you all morning. I know what you’re up to. But I like your initiative. Stay as long as you like!”

We couldn’t believe our ears—and ordered another round of coffee and raisin toast.

Eventually, the band came down one by one. Bono, the lead singer, took a table just metres from ours. My mates voted that I should go over and ask him to join us for a few minutes. That’s exactly what I did, and it’s exactly what he did. For what seemed like an hour but was probably no more than five minutes, he signed everything we put in front of him, posed for photos and answered questions—questions about songs, the band, their well-publicized faith, the music industry and so on. The Edge (guitarist) and Larry Mullen Jr (drummer) were just as generous when we pounced on them. Looking back it must have been an annoying interruption for one of the world’s most sought-after bands. They would have been well within their rights to fob us off. But they didn’t. They were patient, courteous and surprisingly mild-mannered (especially Larry, who blushed when we fronted up to him).

I would have loved U2’s music either way. But I doubt they would have had quite the impact on me without this experience. The way they let me and my mates in, gave us time and treated us like equals instead of fawning fans was hugely inspiring. For a moment we imagined that we too could “go professional”, touring and recording full time. Sure enough, within a few years that’s exactly what we were doing. We never had more than minor musical success, but I can’t help feeling that part of the reason we punched above our weight for a decade was a brief moment of humility from our musical heroes. That day helped us to believe that a music career was not just for supermen inhabiting unapproachable glory; it was for people just like us. The inspirational (and aspirational) effect of humility is real.

— PRAYER —

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

Multility: Keep it Cellular, Part 8 (Strategic Christian Leadership Episode #77)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 77. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help Christian leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission. Continue reading “Multility: Keep it Cellular, Part 8 (Strategic Christian Leadership Episode #77)”

Developing a Biblical Mission, Part 11 (Strategic Christian Leadership Episode #76)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 76. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help Christian leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission.

Our Bible verse for this episode is Philippians 2:3 which says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

Our quote for this episode is from Vince Lombardi, who said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine books: “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs, “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning, and “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson.

Our topic today is part 11 of “Chapter 4: Developing a Biblical Mission: What We Are Supposed to be Doing” from “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs. He continues as follows:

Actual versus Aspirational

A church may have an actual as well as an aspirational mission. The actual mission is where its values are taking it as described above. However, if this is an incorrect mission, the church will need to embrace a Great Commission mission. When the churches where I consult discover this, they quickly adopt a Great Commission mission. However, it is imperative that a church understand that when they adopt the new, correct mission, it is only aspirational—it is what they want their mission to be, not what it actually is.

The problem is that many assume that the new mission is now their actual mission when in fact it is still aspirational. It will not become their actual mission until the church changes its goals and owns the mission, which takes time. How can the church accomplish this kind of change so that it embraces the new, correct, biblical mission? The answer is to examine their actual values. They may need to change some values or, better, embrace those that will lead it to the correct mission. A list of these values is found in Acts 2:41-47, and the key value in that list is evangelism, which actually serves as bookends for the other values (see verses 41 and 47). I would go so far as to argue that if a church does not hold evangelism as a core value, it cannot become a Great Commission church. Correct core values are the key to adopting in time the correct, biblical mission.

Developing a Mission

Once you see the necessity of having an effective and biblical congregational mission, you are ready to move to the next step. This involves immersing yourself and your team in the crafting of a dynamic, strong, memorable mission for your church. This section begins with selecting the right personnel to develop the mission, addresses several guidelines for developing your mission, and then walks the team through the development process.

The Personnel for Developing the Mission

Which people in an organization should craft a mission statement for the church? The answer is easy. It is the strategic leadership team. They are tasked with developing the mission as well as developing its vision and discovering the church’s core values.

The Mission Guidelines

There are four guidelines for developing your mission statement.

1. DETERMINE THE CHURCH’S MISSION In the business world a leadership team asks, What business are we in? Though not a business, essentially the church is asking the same question: What business are we in? The answer in the business world varies from company to company and will change. The answer for the ministry must neither vary from church to church nor ever change. As already stated and fully developed above, God has mandated what he wants his church to do: make disciples (Matt. 28:19).

2. WRITE YOUR MISSION STATEMENT Next, you must put your newly developed mission down on paper, as a written statement. In his book Learning to Lead, Fred Smith writes, “In my view, nothing is properly defined until you write it down. Writing forces you to be specific; it takes the fuzz off your thinlcing.”(391If you cannot write it down, you probably do not have a well-thought-out mission.

— PRAYER —

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

Inspiration: How Humility Lifts Those Around Us, Part 2 (Strategic Christian Leadership #75)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 75. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help Christian leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission.

Our Bible verse for this episode is 1 Timothy 4:12 which says, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

Our quote for this episode is from Stephen Covey, who said, “What you do has far greater impact than what you say.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine books: “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs, “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning, and “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson.

Our topic today is part 2 of “Inspiration: How Humility Lifts Those Around Us” from “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson. He continues as follows:

The Aspirational Effect

Why does humility in the leader inspire others to perform their best for the company? Collins doesn’t offer a clear answer, but I think there are several reasons. The first is the simple observation made in the previous chapter: humility is persuasive. People find themselves trusting the decisions and arguments of someone who puts others before themselves.

Second, humility in the leader orients everyone in the team toward achieving the organization’s key objectives. When employees suspect the leader is in it for himself, they lose motivation or, worse, start imitating him and looking for what they themselves can squeeze out of the organization. This is much harder to get away with when everyone knows that the people at the top are striving for the company goal, not personal glory.

The third reason is that the humble leader gives the real impression that she is a “normal person”. The aloof, unapproachable leader seems an alien creature. She is revered and spoken of in hushed tones, but she is not emulated because her achievements seem unreachable. By contrast, the executive who chats to employees, seeks their advice, freely pays compliments and does what she can to ensure workers’ needs are cared for—as well as kicking spectacular corporate goals—is far more likely to seem “real” and become an object of emulation, not just admiration. Employees start to like what they see of leadership and begin to believe that they too could one day move toward greater responsibility within the organization. This aspirational effect is a key to humility’s power to inspire.

The fourth and final reason I can think of for humility’s inspirational effect on an organization is that it fosters loyalty toward the leader. Every leader knows that the loyalty of the team can be every bit as important as the loyalty of consumers. It minimizes unhelpful internal criticism, maximizes staff motivation and resilience and leads to lower staff turnover rates.

A similar answer to the question of why humility inspires was given by Jim Wallace, mentioned at the outset of the chapter. Brigadier Wallace started out as a captain in the elite Special Air Service. Some of the stories he tells of SAS training and missions seem straight out of the movies. He moved up through the ranks until he was the commander of the SAS and then commander of all Special Forces in Australia. I recently asked him for his thoughts on leadership after decades in the armed forces. He replied:

Most people want to be led, and there is therefore a natural momentum in favour of the leader. But what continually gets in the way is ego. Where we can’t control that, suppress it, then people quickly realise it’s about us, and any natural advantage fades and leadership becomes hard work. The real power of effective leadership is maximising other people’s potential, which inevitably demands also ensuring that they get the credit. When our ego won’t let us build another person up, when everything has to build us up, then the effectiveness of the organisation reverts to depending instead on how good we are in the technical aspects of what we do. And we have stopped leading and inspiring others to great heights.

“Leading and inspiring others to great heights,” says Wallace, come through humility. That’s not exactly his word, but it is what he means. The inspiring leader must control his ego and throw his energies into “maximising other people’s potential” and “ensuring that they get the credit”. When leadership is about us, the organization reverts to mere operational expertise because people stop believing in the goal. The whole is reduced to the sum of its parts. Conversely, where the leader throws his energy into the organization and its aims, he experiences that “natural momentum in favour of the leader” that Wallace speaks of.

————

— PRAYER —

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

Multility: Keep it Cellular, Part 4 (Strategic Christian Leadership Episode 74)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 74. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help Christian leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission.

Our Bible verse for this episode is Jeremiah 23:1 which says, “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.”

Our quote for this episode is from Spencer W. Kimball, who said, “Jesus said several times, “Come, follow me.” His was a program of “do what I do,” rather than “do what I say.” His innate brilliance would have permitted him to put on a dazzling display, but that would have left his followers far behind. He walked and worked with those he was to serve. His was not a long-distance leadership. He was not afraid of close friendships; he was not afraid that proximity to him would disappoint his followers. The leaven of true leadership cannot lift others unless we are with and serve those to be led.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine books: “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs, “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning, and “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson.

Our topic today is part 7 of “Chapter 4: Multility: Keep it Cellular” from “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning. He continues as follows:

Scale and Reciprocity

Bigness and fame go together like peanut butter and jelly. They have to. Small systems can be conversational and egalitarian. Large systems must revert to a broadcast paradigm. Broadcast television is the perfect embodiment of the one-way nature of fame, but megachurches are also of that ilk. People know you, but you don’t know them. Sociologist Clay Shirky describes fame as “an extreme imbalance between inbound and outbound attention. Two things are required to create this inequity: scale and reciprocity. To be famous, you need to receive a minimal amount of attention from an audience of at least thousands.”

Arguably the most influential American Christian leader of modern times has been Billy Graham. Billy came on the scene in the 1960s, as modern broadcast methods were hitting their stride. He was able to capitalize on the state of the culture at that time. Broadcasting was en vogue (stadium events, television, etc.). The leadership model was the “great man” model. It was fitting for Billy to leverage the elements of the culture that were available to him. Billy has certainly been successful utilizing the broadcast model. Megachurches have piggybacked on this model in the past couple decades. They are regional. They are massive. The theory: the bigger the building, the more people you can reach. The megachurch mirrors the big-box retailer. The Deliberately Simple church mirrors a restaurant chain.

Pat McGovern said, “How can you create a small-company environment and still continue to grow and prosper? The answer is the network corporation, and the facilitator is technology. Technology breaks down barriers that block facilitator is technology. Technology breaks down barriers that block the door to the next generation corporate environment. Networked computers, sophisticated but affordable communications capabilities, and strategic use of information systems suddenly create a myriad of possibilities.”

If the next generation of evangelists is to be successful, we will need to leverage the technologies and mentalities that are available to us, such as the internet and clusters.

PLURALITY OF MINISTRIES

At CTK we want to encourage multility at every level. One application of multility is to the ministries in which a church may engage. For instance, we prefer the word ministries (plural) instead of ministry (singular). This allows for diversity and innovation and multiplies the opportunities we have to reach out. So we don’t have a women’s ministry; we have women’s ministries. We don’t have a youth ministry; we have youth ministries, etc. We don’t imagine that any one ministry can meet the needs.

While there are a limited number of programs that a Deliberately Simple church may initiate, there are an unlimited number of ministries that individuals may initiate. While corporate programs are discouraged, individual ministries are encouraged.

Ministries Instead of Programs

Deliberate Simplicity makes a distinction between a program and a ministry. The difference between the two is that programs are centralized, corporate, top-down, singular, and perpetual. Ministries are decentralized, individual, bottom-up, plural, and temporary.

An example of a church program might be a midweek children’s program. The program is centralized, in that everyone comes to the church to participate. The program is corporate, because it is sponsored and directed by the church organization. It is top-down, in that the impetus for the program comes from the pastor or staff. It is singular, because it is the only program of its kind that the church backs. It is perpetual, since the program has been going for years and will likely continue to do so.

On the other hand, imagine an after-school girls’ group that meets midweek. The program is decentralized, as the group does not necessarily need to meet at a church facility. It is personal, because the initiation and facilitation of the group has come from a mother of one of the girls. It is bottom-up, since the idea for this ministry did not come from the church’s leadership. It is plural, because many of these groups could conceivably meet in various homes. It is temporary, since the ministry will no longer exist if the parents who lead it choose to discontinue.

————

— PRAYER —

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

Developing a Biblical Mission, Part 10 (Strategic Christian Leadership, Episode 73)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 73. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help Christian leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission.

Our Bible verse for this episode is Philippians 2:3 which says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

Our quote for this episode is from Peter Drucker, who said, “Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine books: “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs, “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning, and “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson.

Our topic today is part 10 of “Chapter 4: Developing a Biblical Mission: What We Are Supposed to be Doing” from “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs. He continues as follows:

Shared versus Unshared

Some churches have consciously developed and articulated a mission statement, but most have not. Once the church has articulated such a statement, it may discover that some or even many of its people do not share the same mission. They lack mission alignment. People join churches for different reasons, and as stated above, many bring their own personal mission with them, which dictates their reasons for joining.

A shared ministry mission is essential to the church’s effectiveness. Unshared ministry missions lead to disunity and hold potential for disaster, pulling people apart, not together. Therefore it is most important that a church address this issue with its congregants. I suggest that a good time and place to do this is when a person joins the church. It is my conviction that every church should have a new members class where it orients its new people to its values, mission, vision, and strategy as well as other matters such as doctrine. The idea is to get as many people as possible on the same page at the very beginning of their church experience to achieve maximum ministry effectiveness.

Correct versus Incorrect

While most or all churches have a ministry mission, it may not be the correct mission. My experience is that most churches fall into this category. More than two thousand years ago, the Savior predetermined and gave the church its biblical mission. It is the Great Commission—to make (evangelize) and mature (edify) believers. A church that pursues any other mission is pursuing the wrong mission, no matter how noble it may be. For example, the mission of some teaching churches is to preach the Bible. The mission of some worship-oriented churches is to worship God. And some churches’ mission, often but not always smaller churches, is fellowship. Do not misunderstand what I am saying. These are all good things that are found in the Bible, but they, by themselves, are not the Great Commission! They may lead to the Great Commission but are not the totality of it.

Therefore it is imperative that once a church discovers its mission, it ask itself, Is our mission the correct mission? Is it the Great Commission? If the answer is fuzzy or an outright no, the church will need to change its mission from whatever it is to what the Savior has determined that it be—the Great Commission. To continue to pursue the wrong or incorrect mission is a violation of Scripture and disobedience to God’s will for the church.

————

— PRAYER —

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

Inspiration: How Humility Lifts Those Around Us, Part 1 (Strategic Christian Leadership #72)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 72. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help Christian leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission.

Our Bible verse for this episode is 2 Chronicles 1:10-12 which says, “Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?”

Our quote for this episode is from John F. Kennedy, who said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine books: “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs, “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning, and “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson.

Our topic today is part 1 of “Inspiration: How Humility Lifts Those Around Us” from “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson. He continues as follows:

I used to suppose that highlighting achievements and status is a key to inspiring those who look up to us. There is a real truth here. Most people like to have heroes. Most appreciate being led (well). So there is, as the former head of Australian Special Forces Jim Wallace puts it, “a natural momentum in favour of the leader.” Watching Brian Robson, former captain of Manchester United, inspired me to train most afternoons after school. Listening to U2 and watching them perform live numerous times was a powerful motivator to take up a musical career. Reading the books and listening to the lectures of Paul Barnett, a local Australian scholar, was one of the reasons I turned to historical studies. Inspiration does come from those whose achievement we greatly admire. I don’t dispute that greatness encourages greatness.

But these statements are inadequate on their own. I have come to believe that achievement and status alone are not where true inspiration is found. It is when our heroes are humble that they most inspire.

To offer a small personal example: four years ago my daughter took up netball, a hugely popular sport in Commonwealth countries that looks like a cross between basketball and European handball. One day during my daughter’s first season I happened to be in the same Qantas airport lounge as the Australian netball team, fresh from a game against New Zealand. I ripped out a piece of paper, reminded myself they would never see this fawning father again and nervously approached the team, including the famous Liz Ellis, the most capped player in Australian history who captained the country to victory at the 2007 World Championships. I told them my Sophie had just started playing the game and asked for autographs. The response was wonderful. They quickly set me at ease, introduced me around the other players and filled the page with signatures and a little message of encouragement.

When I arrived home Sophie loved it. The page was quickly framed and hung on her bedroom wall. It was inspiring, not just for me as an eager Saturday morning spectator but also for her. Sophie is now—and I’m afraid there’s no humble way to put this—quite a little star in her own right, playing in the State representative competition. Of course, it would be stretching things to draw a straight line between Liz Ellis’s signature four years ago and Sophie’s quick movement up the netball grades. But this seemingly minor kindness from Sophie’s sporting heroes did cause a lift in her feeling for the game.

True greatness is marked by a thousand small courtesies like this. The inspiration of heroes and leaders is only enhanced by their willingness to take an interest in others and to talk about things other than their achievements. I note in passing that one of Liz Ellis’s two “people most admired”, according to her website, is Sir Edmund Hillary. I wonder if it was his famously humble attitude as much as his conquest of Everest that has inspired Ellis herself.

As I mentioned in chapter 1, in recent years business leaders are emphasizing the same thing: humility in leadership seems to have a marked positive influence on individuals and organizations. Jim Collins’s famous “Level 5 Leader” is a truly odd beast. Level 4 leadership is what we normally associate with big-time executives. This “effective leader”, Collins says, “catalyzes commitment to and vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision stimulating higher performance standards.”

But all eleven companies that managed to outperform the market by three times over a fifteen-year period—the good-to-great companies—were led by a different individual (and culture) entirely. The Level 5 Executive “builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will.”2 In interview after interview, Collins says, the humble character of these steely-willed leaders was clear, not just in their interactions with Collins’s research team but, perhaps more importantly, in the research team’s discussions with employees. Independently of each other and in different ways, workers close to the executive would report how he was unassuming or always courteous or asked questions of others or put the firm’s interests above their own. Humility, in other words.

————

— PRAYER —

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.