Tag: grow

Be the expert

If you’re the leader, be the expert.

image credit: Creation Swap user Gabriel Smith

Too many times, I hear leaders bemoaning a lack of knowledge, a lack of skill, and a lack of certainty. Living in and operating out of the weaknesses and insecurities, not out of the grace, strength, and knowledge God has blessed them with. They rest in the expertise of others instead of growing in to the expertise that’s needed of them.

God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.

But not if you resist the equipping.


  • Quit it with the insecurities.
  • Quit it with the ‘I don’t know what I’m doing.’
  • Quit it with the focus on your weaknesses.
  • Quit it with the, “I’m just not sure…”
  • Quit it with the shirking of vision to others.

Time to own up to your title. Time to grow in to your shoes.

This is not about acting like a pompous know-it-all.

It’s all about being the expert that those you lead expect you to be. Your calling is too important to sit on the sidelines.

Accept your gifts.

Let your passions drive you.

Learn. Experiment. Take risks. Fail. 


If you’re the leader, be the expert.


Roughhousing with my son

I roughhouse with my son.  Often.

I tickle.  Toss in the air.  Wrestle.  “Fly.”  Give piggy-back rides.  Jump, roll, run, and flip.

My interaction with my son is more rough, tough, and “dangerous” than my wife’s interaction with our son.

That doesn’t make me a better dad than my wife is a mom.  It also doesn’t mean that, for my wife to be a good wife, she needs to try to do what I do and roughhouse with our son.  Moms and Dads have unique roles to play, each contributing to the maturing and preparation of children to become men (and women) who honor God.

I enjoy roughhousing with my son, and I know how important that will be to his development into manhood.  I know it was important for me, growing up with my dad.  We would wrestle, play, and do “dangerous” stuff with him.  And I know for certain that he played a pivotal, key role in helping me understand God-honoring masculinity.  I’m thankful for him every day.

It’s cool when you see something on TV that gives credence to what you already do.  On NBC’s Today Show, they interviewed Anthony DeBenedet about his book, The Art of Roughhousing.  Check out the clip below.

I like this quote:

They’re learning about the tricks and trades of the world, and how difficult the world can be, but they’re doing it in a protected and safe environment with someone they respect, that they love, and that love them.  And that’s important.

Did you roughhouse with your dad?

Do you roughhouse with your kids?  Does that look any different for boys than girls?


The best evaluation question to ask

If you’re a leader, you evaluate.

Well…ahem…let me rephrase that.

If you’re a good leader, you evaluate.  And there are plenty of activities, events, and procedures that you can and should evaluate regularly

  • Trainings
  • Meetings
  • Outings
  • New hires
  • New fires
  • System changes
  • New initiatives
  • Outreach events
  • Sermon series
  • New ideas
  • Old ideas
  • Development days
  • Financial spending
  • Outputs

…and that’s just to name a few.

Evaluation should happen across the board on a consistent basis.  Here are the two questions I hear asked most often:

1. What worked?

2. What didn’t work?

They’re not bad questions.  And, hopefully, changes will be made based on the answers to those questions.  But more often than not, the ball stops rolling.  Those two questions are momentum killers.  Because most people can quickly tell you what worked.  And what didn’t work?  Well, let’s find someone or something to blame. OR let’s spin our wheels feeling sorry for ourselves and the money and time we wasted. *insert screeching brakes sound*

Here’s a better question:

What did you learn?

I know that seems like a subtle shift, but I think it’s an important one.  Instead of just blindly evaluating what worked and what didn’t…and instead of just throwing your opinion into the ring of ideas as to who or what the culprit is for the flopping of an event, this keeps the ball moving forward.

It keeps you focused on the positives and the negatives. It helps you see that, even within the parts of an event that worked, there are things that you learned.  And those things that you learned can help improve for next time.  It also helps you really zone in on what you learned from the side of an idea that flopped.  Instead of wallowing in your fail whale, you focus on what you can learn.

My pastor, Ron Edmondson, and I sat down after a leadership training event to evaluate.  Let me be honest: it was an event that flopped.  We had very little participation, very little feedback, very little growth because of the event, and to top it all off…it was expensive.

When we evaluated, we jumped right into the question: What did you learn? I had learned plenty.  This question helped get the momentum moving in the right direction after progress had screeched to a halt.

Any initiative can improve if you’re willing to learn.  Even the best ones.

Any failure can be a step forward if you learn from your missteps.

The question for you is this:

Are you willing to learn?

Have you learned from a flopped idea?



It’s all relative

I have lots of conversations with people from areas other than Tennessee (aka, God’s Country).

If they’re from further south, they think Tennessee weather is cold.

If they’re from the north, they laugh when we Tennesseans say, “It’s cold outside!”

A 50 degree day in the middle of July in Tennessee is freezing…in January, that same temperature would make for a beautiful day.

Cold…hot…it’s all relative, to a degree (pun intended).

One of the most important aspects of small group life at Grace Community Church is discipleship.  I often say to group leaders that making disciples is the #1 priority of their group.  Everything else falls under this.  If your group ends up bringing 50 new people in, meet 5 times/week, and blaze through 100 curriculums/month, but don’t help those in the group become more faithful disciples of Jesus, the group is a failure.

But I quickly follow that up with the fact that discipleship is relative.

Before you write me off as a post-modern, left-wing, “what’s right for you isn’t necessarily right for me,” spiritual person, hear me out…

A step of faith for me looks different for a step of faith for you.  It looks different for the guy who’s just checking out Christianity.  It looks different for the guy who’s grown up in Church but is far from God.  It looks even different for the student who’s been saved for 6 months and is working through different issues at school.  It looks even different for the wife whose husband is deploying (to see what we’re doing to help these women out, check this out HERE).

I’m not sure we can boil “discipleship” down to 4 easy steps.  It’s never easy…and it’s not going to be the same 4 steps for everybody.

Taking a step of faith, similar to your perception of “hot” and “cold,” is a matter of where you find yourself in life.

Has your small group helped you take steps of faith?


You should join a small group if…


…you can walk into church without anybody knowing you

…you leave church without anybody knowing you

…you’ve backslidden

…you want to grow in your faith

…you want to help others grow in their faith

…you need a place to serve

…you need a place to grow

…you need a place to belong

…you’re curious about God

…you don’t even know where to start

…you are a new believer

…you are a mature believer

…you are divorced

…you have children

…you cannot have children

…you “have it together”

…everybody else knows you don’t “have it together”

…you have a great family

…your family is rotten

…you don’t have any family

…you have lots of friends, but none that share your values

…you don’t have any friends who encourage you

…you don’t have any friends who hold you accountable

…you don’t have any friends, period

…life has fallen apart

…you know life will soon fall apart

…you have lots of free time

…you don’t have any free time

…you don’t have parenthood figured out yet

…you don’t have marriage figured out yet

…you don’t have singleness figured out yet

…life is tough right now

…you find that living the Christian life is difficult

…you erroneously think living the Christian life is easy

…you can never seem to think of things to pray for

…you have a house (or apartment) that can seat more than 2 people

…your story is still in progress

What would you add to this list?


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