Browsing: Vision

Leadership Is… A Servant Led Church #302

Paul uses a practical construction analogy, “In him, the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord”. (Ephesians 2:21 NIV) You wouldn’t want to live and work within a building that is poorly constructed. The risks are obvious. Yet, many of us work in organizational environments that are ineffective.

The corporate world has been shaken with CEO’s and CFO’s who re-arrange budget and resources for their own benefit. “People value honesty and integrity in a leader more than anything else. Virtually every person they talked with placed integrity at the top of the leadership wish list.”  (James Kouzes and Barry Posner, quoted by Perkins in Awaken the Leader Within) The Servant led church integrates a service philosophy with integrity. Every member is encouraged to live a life of honesty, truthfulness and integrity. This is a church the world will notice.

The Servant led church is a learning and growing organism. It is characterized by a collective unity and interdependence of each individual and team. The teams define their goals, are delegated a budget and resources, and are accountable to each other and the overall Vision. Leadership, decision making, planning and goal setting are shared, not held by the faithful few. The Servant led church knows its own strengths, weaknesses and the gifts of its people. It also knows the power of people working tougher effectively, “Two can accomplish more than twice as much as one.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 TLB)

The Servant led church reduces the emphasis on the power hierarchy while encouraging team work and a service role for each leader. Each leader would interact within a team. The teams would be composed of divergent thinking people, different ages, different occupations, and ideally different cultures. Each would be committed to the Vision, working independently, yet supporting each other. Although the teams may appear leaderless, the leader is the Vision and the team works the mission as a group of equals.

Is your church a Servant led church?

Leadership is … serving individually and collectively. 

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is… Influence #294

Leadership is an influence process, guiding others to follow a God directed Vision.

“Sometimes even the best manager is like the little boy with the big dog, waiting to see where the dog wants to go so that he can take him there.”

Lee Iacocca, Christianity Today

Effective leaders create positive change. Ineffective leaders work to maintain the former outdated direction and can’t change it.  The difference is the influence of a respected and trusted leader.

Many volunteer leaders strive for a position to become a leader. The challenge is, people don’t follow a position they only follow a leader they trust.

Volunteers in church can’t be forced or disciplined to be more Christ like. They can only be encouraged and influenced to model themselves after a Christ like leader.

Extraordinary leadership is found in leaders (who have searched to discover his or her authentic self) who influence others to accomplish great dreams through intentional relationships, spiritual awareness, wise counsel and relentless vision.

“The task of future leaders is not to make a little contribution to the solution of the pains and tribulations of their time, but to identify and announce the ways in which Jesus is leading God’s people out of slavery, through the desert to a new land of freedom.  Christian leaders have the arduous task of responding to personal struggles, family conflicts, national calamities, and international tensions (not to mention business crises) with an articulate faith in God’s real presence.”

Crane and Hamel, Executive Influence

Influence has nothing to do with position or organizational power. It has everything to do with the person. The factors that most powerfully impact your influence is your personal integrity, character and strategic excellence.

Healthy Leaders, influence our world one step at a time.

Leadership is … faith in God’s real presence.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Visioning #276

You, your Pastor, Board and your people all have the same Vision, right? Vision discussions dominate my email and verbal questioning. It seems so obvious that leaders, volunteers and guests in a church or mission all need to work together. In another sense the idea of a whole church working and growing together in sync with each other seems like an impossible dream. Scripture says, We who believe are carefully joined together with Christ as parts of a beautiful, constantly growing temple for God”. (Ephesians 2:21 TLB)

Think about a jigsaw puzzle, a thousand unique colourful pieces spread over your dining room table. There are different shapes, a palate of primary colours mixed with a multitude of unique hues. The individual pieces without a picture make absolutely no sense. That’s your church without a vision. However, when you have the picture, you can fit pieces of similar colour and design to fit together.

Your Vision is the ‘What’ God wants you to accomplish. At The Jethro Group we pray and work toward the day when ‘Healthy Leaders: lead, serve and care with integrity’. Our reality is that every blog, seminar, coaching session and writing event is geared toward this Vision. We avoid anything that is not designed to move us forward.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish”. (Proverbs 29:18 KJV)

God gave Moses and his people, estimated to be one million strong, a long term vision of a Promised Land. A land of plenty. A land to live and worship in peace. God also gave his people a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to guide them toward the Vision.

We are no different today. As individuals, families and teams a future vision is essential. It gives all of us hope during difficult times of stress and a monitor of daily accomplishment. “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it”. (Habakkuk 2:2 KJV)

Leadership is moving you and your church from disarray and confusion to a God-directed Vision.

Yours in Service,
Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is About Others! # 251

Laurie KennedyLeadership is not about you. It is about others. If you are called to be a leader? It is and will be an awesome journey. You’ll have mountain top experiences. You will be thrilled to see others grow and serve. You’ll walk through some valleys. You will feel the pain and hurt of setback. You will also know that the Leadership calling to serve is an awesome opportunity.

Just like the Shepherd of old, the Leader of today is responsible to lead the sheep, to inspire followers to be awesome and to make a difference in the lives of others. The point is to demonstrate Christ’s love and to make a difference in the lives of those who follow you.

The effective Servant Leader will encourage, congratulate, and celebrate the team and others’ experience. As leaders trust others, their followers will trust them. Your people are encouraged as they follow a Vision they believe in. Great people leave when they are not respected. The leader/follower is not a contract, it is a relationship.

“Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed. (Matthew 4:19-20 MSG) He sat down and summoned the Twelve. “So you want first place? Then take the last place. Be the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35 MSG)

“Leadership, it turns out, is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge. The closest thing I can equate to servant leaders is the responsibility of a parent.” (Servant Leadership in Action, Ken Blanchard and Renee Broadwell)

As parents we guide direct and control.  However, we will sacrifice anything for our kids. The same goes for the Servant Leader.

Leadership is … remembering there is no I in team.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is A Tale of Two Teams #245

When you chase two rabbits, you lose both.

This phenomenal, clear and simplistic statement is still a stretch for many leaders.

Scripture confirms, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24 NIV) “An intelligent person aims at wise action, but a fool starts off in many different directions.” (Proverbs 17:24 GNT)

The tale of two teams.

One team prayerfully discovers their Vision, strategizes a plan and works together on annual goals. They work as a team and demonstrate their expertise in sporting events. Soccer players run together, pass the ball and block the other team in order to score some goals and win the game. Football players follow a quarterback and implement the plays to achieve a touchdown, scoring points. Olympic teams practice their skills to enhance their performance and anticipate their partner’s skill to achieve the Gold medal.

The other team does not bother with a vision, plan, strategy or practice. Each individual works independently with no respect or desire to work together. The goal is undefined, unexpected and unrealistic. Hence, no team, no team work and poor results.

“An ancient Greek parable distinguishes between foxes, which know many small things, and hedgehogs, which know one big thing.  All good-to-great leaders, it turns out, are hedgehogs. They know how to simplify a complex world into a single, organizing idea the kind of basis principle that unifies, organizes, and guides all decisions.”  (Jim Collins, Good to Great)

Think about your church, your missions committee or Leadership Board. Are all your team members sharing and working together? Are your annual goals fitly framed together with other team and committee members? Is your whole church demonstrating God’s love to our world?

Leadership is … each member sharing and working together to accomplish God’s Vision.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing

Laurie KennedyPicture two boys sitting on the edge of a dock. Their simple rods in hand, the line and bobber floating expectantly in the water. Every muscle, eye movement and thought is concentrated on the anticipated end result. They watch and wait.

It’s exciting. They know the fish are there. They are prepared. They are ready. The only challenge is to wait. Then, all of a sudden, a ripple in the water and each line is watched. Out of nowhere a tug on the pole, the line streaks and they have fish. No more day dreaming, no more preparation, no more anticipation. They are really fishing and the results are there.

The color of your skin, the quality of your pole, the type of line and the choice of bait is irrelevant. You have the results you have been preparing for.

At this pivotal moment you realize the power of the old German proverb “the main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.” The Annual Goals, the Ministry plan, the dreams, hopes, Vision, Mission and Values statement and the hours debating the culture of your church has become very relevant. You have kept the main thing the main thing because the main thing is the result, catching fish. In our world, the main thing is leading that person to Christ.

Christ illustrated the main thing; “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10 NIV) He then delegates a responsibility to us, his followers, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV)

Leadership is … defining and living the main thing in your life.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Implementing your Vision      

 

Laurie Kennedy“Leaders in today’s churches must be directional: they are tasked with keeping the church moving in the right direction-its God-given direction-the Great Commission. They know that people will never do ministry that matters until they know what matters.” (Being Leaders by Aubrey Malphurs)

“There is a step-by-step process in having a ‘vision-based and vision-oriented’ ministry. Imagine the phenomenal power of 100% of our people actively, effectively working together to accomplish the Vision. Unless the vision of a leader mobilized the energies of the persons and the resources of an organization, it will fail.”  (Mays, Angie Courteous Rebel)

Work through these steps.

  • Pray. As a leadership team pray with your people asking God for his plan for your church, ministry and your community.
  • Plan a Vision Discovery retreat or a series of evening Vision discussions.
  • Ask all your people to share and list key words representing their prayerful dreams for the Ministry.
  • Pray through the list and find key words and common trends.
  • Review the lists for scriptural integrity. Your Vision must be supported by scripture.
  • Take your key words, common trends and talk about the picture these statements would paint.
  • Ensure the completion of the Vision would move you toward an increase in the number of salvation and baptism decisions.
  • Build statements that are clear, challenging and describe a verbal picture of the future for your people. Does it answer the question, if we all put God first in our lives, what will be accomplished in our community of faith?
  • Continue to pray as you develop a statement, that describes your prayerful dream for the future.
  • Consider the statement prayerfully then come together to prayerfully agree on the statement.
  • Announce, celebrate and build plans to accomplish the Vision.

Leadership is … knowing, leading and implementing God’s Vision.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Discovering your Vision     

Laurie KennedyWhat does God want to create in you, your church, mission organization, community or world?

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV)

God’s Vision is so powerful it jump-starts you daily. It is your North Star guiding you and your anchor keeping you on course. It is your desired future. A future event, something the Lord wants to achieve through you.

God’s Vision is prayerfully discovered. It builds on your heart values, encourages your dreams and hopes. It inspires your people and provides the impossible.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that kept the law, happy is he.” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV)

“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back;

lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.” (Isaiah 54:2-3 NIV)

As an organizational principle, the Vision statement is the fundamental factor to encourage you, your people and your community. It will mobilize your people and is critical to the ongoing monitoring of your work. A vision is prayerfully discovered.

“I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the People of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10 MSG)

I’ll make you a great nation and bless you. I’ll make you famous; you’ll be a blessing. I’ll bless those who bless you; those who curse you I’ll curse. All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:2-3 MSG)

Your Vision is God focused, clear and presents the challenging picture of the future of your ministry.

Leadership is … remembering Caleb, having seen the Promised Land as a young adult, years later asked Joshua to complete the vision and “give me this mountain.” (Joshua 14:12 KJV)

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership is a mission

Laurie KennedyMy personal Mission statement and that of the Jethro Group is, ‘To influence my world strategically; by demonstrating God’s love, integrating family, church and the corporate world of business to a life of integrity, excellence and Servant Leadership’.

Influence Strategically: I can’t control my world.  All I can do is influence it. I don’t believe in neutral. Your influence is either positive or negative.  I take the same attitude in my personal life.  So, my mission reminds me to influence strategically. Remember, your family, neighbours, local committees, service staff, church business and political representatives.

During one of my Coaching Courses we were taught to open every mission statement with ‘I will accomplish the Great Commission by’.  I use this phrase to focus and stimulate my thinking and activity in the right direction.

Demonstrating God’s love is an obvious.  That’s my favorite catch phrase.  The way I see it, you and I, need to demonstrate God’s love in everything we do.

Integrating family, church and the corporate world of business. My role as a Christian Leader is to integrate, not separate.  In my former roles as a CEO, a Regional Director or currently as a Leadership Coach, I want everyone to know that Char, my family, my church and my business are all one, integrated, transparent, free flowing and whole. Too many Christians live a Christ like life at church on Sunday but don’t live the same life during the week.  I want to remind myself and my world that God loves them.

Integrity, excellence and Servant Leadership.  These are the descriptors of how I want to live my life.  I will never achieve each of these on a consistent basis, but that’s what a Mission statement is. It is a dream, a hope and God given experience that I want to aim for.

Leadership is … discovering your Mission and designing a vision and strategy to accomplish it.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group

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