leading off the map

Leaders who are curious about new ideas will lead us into the future.

Curiosity as a child is a fantastic thing.  Last night at dinner, our family question was, “what is your earliest memory as a child.”  One of the kids said they remembered being born, which was frightening and funny at the same time.  Some of my earliest memories are filled with curiosity.  I asked question after question.  One day I was asking my dad so many questions that it appeared I had frustrated him. It was a series of never-ending “why” questions. As I grew a little older, my curiosity began to die off. Isn’t this typical for teenagers and young adults?  We go through the stage where we know the answers; what more could someone else tell us?


Pastors and leaders can come to the same place in their life.  They have the training, some experience, and maybe a few victories in life and ministry.  Curiosity begins to fade, and we stop searching for answers, ideas, and a new way forward.  


But what if yesterday’s answers are today’s problems?  I am not speaking theology here, but methodology.  I am speaking of the vehicles we use to transport truth and ministry.  We are in a new environment, a new era.  We have found ourselves as rookie missionaries learning a new culture in a new world.  


When you find yourself in a new environment with no map, curiosity is your best friend and leads you to new ideas. When Lewis and Clark headed west with orders from Thomas Jefferson to find a water route across the continent to the Pacific, they realized that the maps and ideas of the landscape available to them had to be set aside. Lewis and Clark had to become curious to lead into unchartered territory.


Here are Five Reasons why leaders who are curious about new ideas will lead us into the future.

1. Curiosity fights cynicism, and no one wants to follow a cynic.


2. Leaders filled with curiosity eventually break the cycle of insanity, doing the same things repeatedly with the same results.


3. Leaders who live in curiosity realize the 1980s are not coming back, except for 80’s cartoons and toys to market to parents. Callabunga!


4. Leaders who live with curiosity are not afraid to go off the map and explore.


5. Leaders who live with curiosity are on a journey and refuse to stay back at camp.

When we have a curiosity gridlock, it keeps us stuck in old systems, using old maps and outdated strategies.  A leader filled with curiosity learns to see things from a new perspective.


Leaders who strive for curiosity are expert experimenters. When was the last time you tried something new? Grab your compass, put on your hiking boots, and lead us into the future!

goal setting church

Do you remember the last time you launched an initiative, and it died? It may have been an outreach ministry, a new discipleship initiative, or a shepherding routine, but the result was the same.  Maybe it was a quick and sudden death or dragged out over time until no one realized the thing had died.  Most of our goals go by the wayside. Statistics show that 80% of us that make a new year’s resolution have abandoned ship by mid-February. That’s six weeks into the goal!  Well, what happened?  For most of us, any new goal gets lost in the whirlwind of life.  In the book 4DX, 4 Disciplines of Execution, we are challenged to follow four steps to choose one wildly important goal for your church.

I know what you are thinking, another formula, another strategy; here we go again.  But these disciplines are proven and tested in business, personal life, and the church.  I have followed these disciplines in my personal life to get things done, and it works.  Here is a summary of the process: 

Focus on the wildly important for your Church.

Narrow it down to one or two wildly important goals; this part is huge.  Most goals fail because they are one of many, and we always think we can focus on multiple things simultaneously. The truth is, we cannot.  Not everything is wildly important. Do the hard work and wrestle over what truly deserves this kind of discipline to get something done.  What is the one goal that will impact your church the most?  The one goal that will impact your church the most is called the “WIG.” Once you find your “WIG,” a wildly important goal, put it on and wear it.  You should only wear one wig at a time.

Act on lead measures for your Church goals.

Second, you need to act on lead measures.  Lead measures are those specific things that you will do now and in the near future to reach your goal.  Lead measures are different from lag measures.  We usually keep track of lag measures in a church, and they are always in the past. A lag measure might be attendance, offering, number of volunteers, etc.  Lead measures are those specific activities you will do this week to reach your goal.  Once you determine your lead measures, you must put them on your calendar and execute them weekly.  If it is not a daily or weekly activity, the lead measure will eventually fade into the future.

Keep a compelling scoreboard for your Church goals.

The third discipline is “keeping a compelling scoreboard.” What you measure is what gets done.  You need to measure not only your lag measure but also your lead measures.  For example, if you were trying to increase your attendance (a lag measure), you would also need to measure your lead measure. Let’s say your lead measure was to invite people to church personally.  You would need to measure that as well.  Over time, you will see if your predictive lead measure increases your lag measure.  If it is not, you will adjust it until you get it right. But how will you know if you ever get it right if you do not measure your lead measure, those specific activities you do weekly?

Create a cadence of accountability in your Church.

The final discipline is “creating a cadence of accountability.”  If you have a goal, you need to share it out loud with others.  Sharing the goal out loud is where I struggle the most with this process.  I like to keep my goals inward.  There is something powerful about accountability that keeps us committed to the goal. Most “WIGs” are so significant that they cannot be accomplished by one person anyway, so you should have others working on the goal.  Accountability should be kept up weekly where those working on the goal share what they have done on their lead measure activities. How many people did you invite? Who did you ask? The more specific, the better.  


For more info or training on identifying your WIG and implementing 4DX, contact us at Develop My Ministry!

April fools proverbs

Your Top Ten List on How to Be Fool on April 1st

This morning I woke up early and began thinking of some perfect practical jokes for the 1st of April.  I thought of covering the sensor on the remote control with a sticker or putting google eyes on every item in the fridge.  I almost ran to the store to get plain donuts and cover them with baking soda to appear like those white powdered donuts, but I couldn’t justify wasting delicious donuts.  The ideas I had coming were getting a little too elaborate, and I really couldn’t afford the time to invest in a joke.   But my mind wandered over to Proverbs with a word search for “fool.” “Fool” appears well over 50 times.  

So if you want to be a fool, here is the top 10 list of being a fool according to the book of Proverbs.

  1. Hate it when someone tries to share with you some wisdom and knowledge. Proverbs 1:7,22
  2.   If you hear something bad about someone, share it.   Proverbs 10:18
  3. Think everything you do is right.  Proverbs 12:15
  4. Laugh when you sin, when others sin or when someone jokes about sin. Proverbs 14:9
  5. Think what your dad tells you is stupid. Proverbs 15:5
  6. Talk like a pervert. Proverbs 19:1
  7. Start a fight by just being “real.”  Proverbs 20:3
  8. Eat your vomit like a dog, or keep committing the same sin. Proverbs 26:11
  9. Follow your own heart.  Proverbs 28:26
  10. Let it go; vent all your feelings. Proverbs 29:11