Irreducible Minimums

No one ever agrees on everything. Everyone has an opinion. I’ve heard it said that opinions are like armpits. Everyone has a couple and most of them stink. I’ve found the we can exert a significant amount of time arguing and fighting over details that matter less than we think. Sometimes we come into a situation with an idea and we’re met with immediate push-back. Someone doesn’t like the idea. Maybe someone doesn’t understand how your idea helps with the desired outcome. Whatever the case, you’re getting nowhere. Sometimes the best course of action is to stop. Take a...

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I’m Sorry

I’m sorry. Can we say that together? “I’m sorry.” These two words might be the most powerful words to come out of your mouth and they’re two words every ministry leader needs to get used to using on a regular basis. Let’s say that together one more time. “I’m sorry.” See, that wasn’t so hard, was it. Some of the biggest frustrations we’ll encounter in ministry are frustrated parents and volunteers. Not a Sunday goes by where I’m not having a challenging conversation with someone. I’ve found that the the more responsibility you have, the more frequent these conversations...

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Just Listen

I still clearly remember an argument that Sara and I had early in our marriage. She had been having a rough day and during a ride in the car, she decided to emotionally vent her frustrations. Based on what I was hearing, I quickly came to several conclusions and had several solutions to help her with her problems. As soon as she finished talking, I eagerly offered her several of my ideas that would surely make her day. I was new at this, but I felt like I was shining in my role as a husband. A few moments...

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Seven Indispensable Staff Qualities: Developer

As a Children’s Ministry leader, it’s very easy to focus on the obvious and possibly miss something even more important. Let me explain. Most of us were called or recruited to work with kids because we love kids or have a special ability/connection with kids. So to focus our efforts into developing relationships with kids and investing in their spiritual growth is the obvious choice. However, I’d argue that it’s not the most important thing you can do with your time. The more time I can invest in other people who can invest in kids will bring a much...

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Seven Indispensable Staff Qualities: Servanthood

Over the years, I’ve gotten far better at hiring staff. The last 8-10 hires have been absolutely phenomenal people to work with. I’ve been tweaking the hiring process over the year and there’s one gauge that I pay attention to far more than any other. I’ll share this gauge that I created in a future post (honestly, its the best thing ever). Regardless, this gauge adequately helps me see what my relationship with this potential candidate will be like. No guesswork, it’s pretty telling. Here’s the thing. Staff can often fall into two categories. They see themselves as critical...

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Seven Indispensable Staff Qualities: Innovation

It’s frustrating when I walk into a church and see ministry being done exactly the same way it was being done when I was a kid. Sometimes I come across websites filled with resources for kidmin volunteers to do the same thing I was doing 15 years ago. I’m not putting down past methods, not at all. There was a day in time when “This Little Light of Mine,” “I am a CH” and “Awesome God” was on the playlist almost EVERY SINGLE WEEK! Those were the days and I never look back thinking, “What in the world was...

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Seven Indispensable Staff Qualities: Transcendence

Transcendence. I promise, I’m not just making these up. Yes, I had to look it up, but yes, it also describes one of the indispensable qualities I’m looking for in staff. For those of you who need a definition, here you go: to rise above or go beyond; overpass; exceed: to transcend the limits of thought; kindness transcends courtesy. to outdo or exceed in excellence, elevation, extent, degree, etc.; surpass; excel. Every position needs a job description. Every employee should have regularly set goals. Am I happy with staff who consistently fulfill the functions of their job description and...

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Seven Indispensable Staff Qualities: Director

I feel at a loss in trying to describe this quality. The majority serving in ministry roles have titles that probably include the word “director.” At Gateway, 80% of my staff had the director title. However, there’s one thing to have the title and another thing entirely to exhibit the ability to lead and direct with confidence and purpose. Dictionary.com’s first definition of director is: a person or thing that directs. Okay, not super helpful. However, when you look at the definition of “direct,” you’ll see what I’m getting at: to manage or guide by advice, helpful information, instruction,...

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Seven Indispensible Staff Qualities: Truth

If I asked the average leader what qualities they were looking for in staff, “truth” probably wouldn’t be at the top of the list. It might not even show up on the list. I don’t know that I would have even named it except for having someone who frequently spoke truth on my staff and now I can’t imagine having a staff without this quality present. When I say truth, I’m not saying someone who doesn’t lie… sorta. The quality of truth is when someone says what no one else wants to say. People prefer to be kind. They...

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Seven Indispensable Staff Qualities: Persistance

One character trait that really gets my attention is persistence. I’ve lived life long enough to know that things don’t always go your way and those who consistently push the matter are the ones who get what they hope to achieve. I could easily reference Thomas Edison’s failures leading up to the invention of the light bulb or Abraham Lincoln’s many failed attempts to gain office before become president – but you’ve already heard those examples. I’d rather tell you about Nathan, the last person I hired at Gateway. Nathan’s first week was my last week (I hate that...

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