Tag: vision

6 Reasons a “Yes” Man will Demolish Your Vision

Creation Swap User Savannah Daniel

Having a team of people around you that agree with you on everything feels great in the moment. You feel like a king issuing awesomeness at every turn. Every idea, every decision, every complaint and every shout is greeted by a resounding, “Yes!” You can’t do anything wrong. Everybody wants to be you.

Little do you know, you may be leading your organization straight into the ground.

While I was in grad school, I called these guys, “lackeys.” Familiar with the term? A lackey is, formally, someone who does menial tasks or runs errands for another.” (Merriam-Webster) I define it as someone who is constantly at your beckon call. In grad school, these were the guys who wore suits to class every day and ran little errands around for the professor. It was pitiful, really. Everywhere the professor went, so did the lackey. These guys were little clones, thinking and teaching like their leader.

Every leader can find little “lackeys.” Every leader, however, should surround themselves with people who think and operate differently.

Because a “Yes” man just could demolish your vision.

6 Reasons a “Yes” man will Demolish your Vision

1. Maybe you need to hear, “No.”

For “no” – I can sometimes have some dumb ideas. Really dumb. And I need someone to say, “Nope. Move on. Start moving in a different direction.”

2. Maybe you need to hear, “Yes.”

I have a tendency to be pretty hard on myself. Yet sometimes my ideas are really good. And I need someone to come alongside me and encourage me with, “Yes, your’e headed in the right direction even though you may think you’re not.”

3. You need pushback on your ideas

I process things out loud, so I need someone who’s going to push back on my ideas and not just take them at face value because I said them. I need the occasional, “Why? Are you sure? Why now? Why him? Why not this?” Reminder to self: you’re not as great as you think.

4. Unity is not the same as conformity.

We should pursue unity, but that doesn’t have to be conformity. Unity means that we can operate together as a team even though we have differing ideas. Unity promotes healthy growth. Conformity can produce growth, but it can also lead to a cess pool of thoughts that never evolve and get better.

5. Commiserating can take you down a dangerous path.

Ever headed there? It starts out innocently. You’re tired and frustrated, so you vent to someone else. And instead of them saying, “Whoa…hang on. You’re pretty bitter and angry right now. Why don’t you take a breather and come back in a few minutes?” They say, “Whoa…you’re right. That’s awful. In fact, it’s worse than you thought. Let me tell you about ___.” If you’ve ever been there, you know that this is a slippery slope.  “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” – Proverbs 13:20

6. “Leaders” are vital.

Leaders think for themselves and help the organization pursue what’s best for it. They don’t exist just to follow your leadership. They’re using the gifts God’s given them, and when they do that it is a thing of beauty for them and for you. Leaders produce leaders…followers do not. “Yes” men aren’t necessarily leaders. If you’ve only got followers in your organization right now, don’t expect them to produce, and attract, leaders.


Do you have people in your life that frustrate you because they always push back on your ideas?

*photo credit: Creation Swap user: Savannah Daniel


Vision Leaks

I’ve heard Andy Stanley say that vision “leaks.”  Here’s what he means:

Vision doesn’t “stick,” so you need to continue to cast the vision of your organization.  If you don’t continue to cast that vision, it disappears from the hearts and minds of those in your organization.

And I agree with that.

But let me put a twist on it.

Vision “leaks.”  Here’s what I mean:

If you cast your vision well, then everybody in your organization will “leak” that vision on a consistent basis.

You’ll see the effects of clearly communicated mission and vision in all of the different areas of your organization.  As people put on the lens of the worldview of your church, every idea that they have and every plan they make will fall in line with the vision you’ve cast.  It will leak onto everything they touch.

The goal of casting a vision is that people would not just nod their heads in agreement.  You want people who buy in so much that they become marketers and salesmen of the vision themselves, working to persuade others that their vision is too small, too weak, and too bland.  In effect, they begin to do the same thing that you do: cast vision.

But the vision has to start “leaking” with you.  If you’re not invested to the point that the vision “leaks” out of you in your conversations, ideas, current plans, future plans, and how your corner of the organization impacts the rest…then you need to ask God for a new vision.  Because if it’s not leaking out of you, then I can guarantee it’s not leaking out of those you’re leading.

If your vision isn’t “leaking,” maybe you should recast it.

Or get a new vision.

Have you ever seen your vision “leak” in the way I’ve described it, leaking out to others inside and outside the organization?

Ever had to recast that vision because it quit “leaking”?


How invested are you?

Your organization has a mission, right?  You’ve been a proponent of the direction that you’re headed.  You’ve spoken from stage, written in emails, and shared with team members just how much you believe in the vision that God’s laid on your heart.

But how invested are you, really, in the mission and vision of your organization?  To what lengths are you willing to go to carry out that vision?  What are you willing to sacrifice in order to do what God’s called you to do?

Is what God’s calling you to do really worth everything you’ve got?

If it’s not worth everything, maybe you need to pray for a bigger dream.

But by the twenty-third year of Joash’s reign, the priests still had not repaired the Temple.  So King Joash called for Jehoiada and the other priests and asked them, “Why haven’t you repaired the Temple? Don’t use any more money for your own needs. From now on, it must all be spent on Temple repairs.” So the priests agreed not to accept any more money from the people, and they also agreed to let others take responsibility for repairing the Temple. 2 Kings 12:6-8


Why groups fail

Two days ago (see post HERE), I made a “sexy” statement:

Small groups are dead.

But, like I said, I don’t believe it.  I believe that small groups are alive and well in many churches in America and throughout the world.

Are small groups dead?  I don’t think so.

I believe that some small groups are dead…and maybe one of those small groups is yours.  But I don’t think that small groups are on their way out.

It’s like me saying, “The Cincinnati Reds had an awful season…so Major League Baseball is dead.”

Or…let’s take it a step further.

“The Cincinnati Reds are an awful franchise…so Major League Baseball is dead.”

Both conclusions are a leap.  Just because the Reds are abysmal doesn’t mean that the MLB is a goner.  There are many great teams, making plenty of money, winning plenty of games, and growing plenty of fans.

The Reds need to make some changes.  But they, as a team, don’t discount the MLB.

However, some small groups are dead.  In fact, you might be in one right now that’s dead.

Why do some small groups fail?

1. Lack of commitment. Some people think they want to be a part of a small group.  But in reality, they don’t.  They’re not really ready to make the commitment necessary to truly be a part of a small group.  Whether they’re not really ready to give up a night of their week, or not really ready to be open and honest, or not really ready to participate in the discussion, or not really ready to make an investment in someone else’s life…the truth is, they’re not really ready for small group.  And a group with uncommitted group members quickly dries up.

2. The gap theory. When there’s too large of a gap between when a small group launches, and when they meet for the first time, vital energy is lost.  When there is more than a 3 week gap, most groups will have a tough time ever getting off of the ground.

3. Relationships don’t form. I give a group 8 weeks.  If after that amount of time, there’s no “gelling” going on, you can just about guarantee that the group is either going to eek along for the rest of its life or die a quick death.  You can have the greatest small group leader of all time facilitating the discussion…but if the relationships don’t form, get ready to throw in the towel.

4. Time. Some groups need to start over.  They’ve been together so long that the relationships are at a level of comfort that’s not conducive to growth.  In our context, we’ve found that time period to be around 15-18 months.  At that point, it’s time for the group to multiply and start new groups.

5. Lack of vision. If the group doesn’t know how to measure success, they will constantly feel like they’re in a state of failure.  But with a healthy vision, an expectation of what a group “win” looks like, groups can aim for, and accomplish, the goal.

6. Lack of fun. If a group only studies the lesson every week, it’s going to crumble.  I tell our group leaders that if they don’t actively try to make their group fun, people won’t come back.  Boring groups aren’t very attractive.  Just like a boring version of Christianity isn’t very attractive.  Christians can, and should, have fun…what better place to do that than in a small group environment?

7. Lack of serving others. A group should focus on itself.  If relationships aren’t built among group members, the group will remain shallow and fake.  But if they only focus on building relationships with themselves, they get, in a sense, fat.  Serving others is like spiritual exercise…putting our faith in action.  I love this quote by Reid Smith

Christians on mission are sacrificial by nature. It’s why mission is important to group life & the Church!

Have you been a part of a small group failure?  What led to its death?


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