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Your questions are the best questions. So, we’re back with another special episode of #AskCarey to help you lead like never before as we celebrate reaching over 200 episodes for the podcast.

Welcome to Episode 202. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

The podcast has reached over 200 episodes! Have some Starbucks on me!

All week long, we’re celebrating the arrival of over 200 episodes on the CNLP! And whenever we celebrate, you know it means you benefit, because YOU are the reason this podcast has come so far! It’s our way of saying THANK YOU for listening, sharing and subscribing.

To win your share of our biggest Starbucks & Dunkin’ Donuts giveaway ever, follow Carey on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. We’re give away FREE gift cards every day July 10th-14th!

Questions Featured in this Episode

1. 04:39: I’ve been listening to your book Lasting Impact and though I find it filled with good information, I’m overwhelmed with it all. How do I finance this new ministry model moving into the future?

2. 10:55: Our church has been considering launching a leadership podcast. Can you share how you prepare for a good interview? What’s your process on the back end to make the front end look so good?

3. 21:09: I pastor a church of 140 people and I’ve known most of the them for years. How do I respond as their pastor with authority when most consider me a peer?

4. 26:33: How do you value and appreciate your staff members in a way that does not cause them to burn out?

5. 36:35: If Generation Z is going to grow up further from God than any other generation, how do you think this should effect the way we emphasize youth ministry? Do you think the church is succeeding or failing at empowering youth pastors? If we are called to pastor Generation Z how should that change the way we view church ministry as a whole?

Links from this Episode

Join the Didn’t See It Coming launch team! Sign up here!

Leading Change Without Losing It

Lasting Impact

Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples

7 Practices of Effective Ministry

CNLP 140: Tony Morgan On Discovering What Stage Your Church Is At In Its Lifecycle

CNLP 179: Rich Birch On The Church Growth Flywheel – The 5 Things Growing Churches Do That Most Others Don’t

CNLP 121: James Emery White On The Rise Of Generation Z: A Post-Christian, Post-Millennial Generation

How to Lead When You’re Not In Charge

CNLP 153: Clay Scroggins On How To Lead When You’re Not In Charge

Quotes from This Episode

If you’re trying to transition, you’ve got to cast a really big vision. – @cnieuwhof
Click To Tweet

The best antidote to greed is giving. – @cnieuwhof
Click To Tweet

Your authority comes out of your leadership. – @cnieuwhof
Click To Tweet

A Brand New Resource for Preachers

Ready to start preaching better sermons and reach the unchurched without selling out? Then it’s time to start using the right tips, lessons, and strategies to communicating better.

The Art of Better Preaching Course is a 12 session video training with a comprehensive, interactive workbook that will help you create, write, and deliver better sermons. The course contains the lessons Mark Clark (lead pastor of  Village Church, a growing mega-church in post-Christian Vancouver) and I have learned, taught, and used over decades of being professional communicators.

This is the complete course you need to start preaching better sermons, including:

  • 7 preaching myths it’s time to bust forever
  • The 5 keys to preaching sermons to unchurched people (that will keep them coming back)
  • How to discover the power in the text (and use it to drive your sermon)
  • The specific characteristics of sermons that reach people in today’s world
  • Why you need to ditch your sermon notes (and how to do it far more easily than you think.)
  • How to keep your heart and mind fresh over the long run

And far more! Plus you get an interactive workbook and some bonus resources that will help you write amazing messages week after week.

In the Art of Better Preaching, Mark and I share everything we’ve learned about communicating in a way that will help your church grow without compromising biblical integrity. We cover detailed training on everything from interacting with the biblical text to delivering a talk without using notes, to writing killer bottom lines that people will remember for years.

Don’t miss out! Check it out today and gain instant access.

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Sue Miller, Kara Powell, Chuck Swindoll, Greg McKeown, Jon Acuff and many others.

Subscribe via

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher

TuneIn Radio

Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Sam Collier    

Sam Collier is a speaker and host at North Point Ministries and the Director of City Strategy for The reThink Group. Recorded live from the Orange Conference, Sam talks about growing up without privilege, how he built his platform and his new book Find Your Voice.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 203.

The post CNLP 202: #AskCarey Your Questions on How to Raise Money When No One Gives, Increasing Your Church’s First Time Guest Count, The Art of Question Asking, and How to Improve Your Side Hustle appeared first on CareyNieuwhof.com.

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In this special episode, Joshua Gagnon, Pastor of Next Level Church, interviews Carey for his podcast and talks about a crazy stupid risk Carey took almost three years ago, what he would change now about the High Impact Leader (and how it’s really working for him) and what’s next for Carey. We play that interview back for you right here.

Welcome to Episode 201 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

The podcast has reached over 200 episodes! Come party with us!

All week long, we’re celebrating the arrival of the 200th episode for the CNLP! And whenever we celebrate, you know it means you benefit, because YOU are the reason this podcast has come so far! It’s our way of saying THANK YOU for listening, sharing and subscribing.

To win your share of our biggest Starbucks & Dunkin’ Donuts giveaway ever, follow Carey on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. We’re give away FREE gift cards every day July 10th-14th!

Links from this Episode

Don’t miss your chance to win big this week as we celebrate the 200th episode of the podcast. Make sure you’re following Carey on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and you just might enjoy a free treat on us!

Want to be a part of Carey’s special launch team for his latest book Didn’t See It Coming? Sign up here!

The Art of Better Preaching

The High Impact Leader

Joshua Gagnon Leadership Podcast Ep.118: Leadership Conversation with Carey Nieuwhof

CNLP 017: Your Excuses Are Gone—How To Grow A Big Church Anywhere (Even In New England). An Interview With Josh Gagnon

CNLP 061: The Insecure Leader – An Interview With Josh Gagnon

CNLP 200: Joshua Gagnon on Rapid Growth, Launching Big and Staying Sane in Leadership

Insights from This Episode

1. So many leaders need help getting their life and leadership back

On the other side of launching The High Impact Leader, Carey realized the problem he set out to solve was worse than he originally thought. It quickly became clear that more people needed help managing their roles in leadership than he had projected.

The High Impact Leader is a course created to help people thrive in life and leadership. The solution is easier than most would think. Though there’s no quick fix, one-way prescription, the program is universally applicable for leaders who are ready to change, get healthy and live out the lives God’s called for them.

2. God is faithful when you have an abundance mindset

Jumping out in faith isn’t easy. When you feel God calling you to make a change it may sound crazy to others, but His faithfulness won’t let you down. Keep an abundance mindset and don’t let fear get in the way. Push through the doubt and let God provide.

Quotes from This Episode

I want to help leaders thrive in life and leadership. – @cnieuwhof
Click To Tweet

Your distractions are a worse problem than you think they are. – @cnieuwhof
Click To Tweet

Put people in the right seats and you’ll see fruit. – @joshgagnon
Click To Tweet

God’s faithfulness doesn’t run dry. – @joshgagnon
Click To Tweet

A Brand New Resource for Preachers

Ready to start preaching better sermons and reach the unchurched without selling out? Then it’s time to start using the right tips, lessons, and strategies to communicating better.

The Art of Better Preaching Course is a 12 session video training with a comprehensive, interactive workbook that will help you create, write, and deliver better sermons. The course contains the lessons Mark Clark (lead pastor of  Village Church, a growing mega-church in post-Christian Vancouver) and I have learned, taught, and used over decades of being professional communicators.

This is the complete course you need to start preaching better sermons, including:

  • 7 preaching myths it’s time to bust forever
  • The 5 keys to preaching sermons to unchurched people (that will keep them coming back)
  • How to discover the power in the text (and use it to drive your sermon)
  • The specific characteristics of sermons that reach people in today’s world
  • Why you need to ditch your sermon notes (and how to do it far more easily than you think.)
  • How to keep your heart and mind fresh over the long run

And far more! Plus you get an interactive workbook and some bonus resources that will help you write amazing messages week after week.

In the Art of Better Preaching, Mark and I share everything we’ve learned about communicating in a way that will help your church grow without compromising biblical integrity. We cover detailed training on everything from interacting with the biblical text to delivering a talk without using notes, to writing killer bottom lines that people will remember for years.

Don’t miss out! Check it out today and gain instant access.

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Sue Miller, Kara Powell, Chuck Swindoll, Greg McKeown, Jon Acuff and many others.

Subscribe via

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher

TuneIn Radio

Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Ask Carey     

Carey answers leaders’ questions about how to raise money when no one gives, how he writes and develops his questions for the podcast, how to increase your first time guest count at your church, how to improve your side hustle so you can write books and much more.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 202.

The post CNLP 201: Joshua Gagnon Interviews Carey Nieuwhof on Crazy Risks, What Carey Would Change about the High Impact Leader and Whether it’s Working for Him Now, and What He’s Doing Next appeared first on CareyNieuwhof.com.

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Joshua Gagnon planted Next Level Church a decade ago. It’s become the fastest growing and one of the largest churches in New England history, and has now expanded into Florida.

Joshua talks about what’s driving the growth, how it’s keeping up and how he manages to stay sane amidst all the demands of leadership.

Welcome to Episode 200 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

The 200th episode is here! Come party with us!

Today and all week long, we’re celebrating the arrival of the 200th episode for the CNLP! And whenever we celebrate, you know it means you benefit, because YOU are the reason this podcast has come so far! It’s our way of saying THANK YOU for listening, sharing and subscribing.

To win your share of our biggest Starbucks & Dunkin’ Donuts giveaway ever, follow Carey on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. We’re giving away FREE gift cards everyday July 10th-14th!

Guest Links

Joshua on Facebook | Twitter | JoshuaGagnon.com

CNLP 017: Your Excuses Are Gone—How To Grow A Big Church Anywhere (Even In New England). An Interview With Josh Gagnon

CNLP 061: The Insecure Leader – An Interview With Josh Gagnon

Links from this Episode

Don’t miss your chance to win big this week as we celebrate the 200th episode of the podcast. Make sure you’re following Carey on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and you just might enjoy a free treat on us!

Get up to $100 off your first project at DesignCrowd with promo code CAREY.

Go to TrainedUp and use promo code CAREY for 10% off your services for life!

3 Insights from This Episode

1. Experience, statistics and timeline can limit faithfulness 

Experience can be a great asset for a leader. So can statistics and time lines. But they can’t be what ultimately forms decisions.

Leaders have a tendency to over value what God can do in the immediate and underestimate what God can do with a lifetime of faithfulness. Don’t let experience, statistics and timelines create a box that limits your dreams. Be faithful and leave room for God to move.

2. Discontent can be a healthy part of leadership

Discontent can contribute to leadership in a healthy way when it drives us to want to do more for the Kingdom. It can lead us to brokenness or a changed behavior that relies more on Jesus. But there’s a fine line. Don’t let disconnect turn into bitterness and resentment for the people you’ve been called to serve. When channeled correctly, discontent can increase our faith and desire for Him.

3. Mentorship focused on self-leadership will have the greatest overall impact

Leadership is isolating and leaders need mentors. A mentor can share insights into what you’ve already experienced as well as what’s yet to come and help you not feel so alone on the journey.

When you have a mentor or group of mentors in place, enter into your time together hungry to learn. There’s a healthy balance between asking too many questions and not asking enough. Prepare for the conversation in a way that makes your mentor feel valued, but doesn’t make you come across as needy.

When it comes to questions, experience-based questions of the heart will do the most good. Yes, it’s always smart to ask a few questions related to work strategy, but principles that improve the heart will enhance the most aspects of your life. When you grow in self-leadership, everything around you will grow, too.

Quotes from This Episode

Experience can be one of our greatest gifts and greatest enemies.. – @joshgagnon
Click To Tweet

Culture is who you are not what you do. – @joshgagnon
Click To Tweet

Do what you can do today that you may not be able to do tomorrow. – @joshgagnon
Click To Tweet

A Brand New Resource for Preachers

Ready to start preaching better sermons and reach the unchurched without selling out? Then it’s time to start using the right tips, lessons, and strategies to communicating better.

The Art of Better Preaching Course is a 12 session video training with a comprehensive, interactive workbook that will help you create, write, and deliver better sermons. The course contains the lessons Mark Clark (lead pastor of  Village Church, a growing mega-church in post-Christian Vancouver) and I have learned, taught, and used over decades of being professional communicators.

This is the complete course you need to start preaching better sermons, including:

  • 7 preaching myths it’s time to bust forever
  • The 5 keys to preaching sermons to unchurched people (that will keep them coming back)
  • How to discover the power in the text (and use it to drive your sermon)
  • The specific characteristics of sermons that reach people in today’s world
  • Why you need to ditch your sermon notes (and how to do it far more easily than you think.)
  • How to keep your heart and mind fresh over the long run

And far more! Plus you get an interactive workbook and some bonus resources that will help you write amazing messages week after week.

In the Art of Better Preaching, Mark and I share everything we’ve learned about communicating in a way that will help your church grow without compromising biblical integrity. We cover detailed training on everything from interacting with the biblical text to delivering a talk without using notes, to writing killer bottom lines that people will remember for years.

Don’t miss out! Check it out today and gain instant access.

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Sue Miller, Kara Powell, Chuck Swindoll, Greg McKeown, Jon Acuff and many others.

Subscribe via

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher

TuneIn Radio

Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Joshua Gagnon interviews Carey Nieuwhof      

Joshua Gagnon, Pastor of Next Level Church, interviews Carey for his podcast and talks about a crazy stupid risk Carey took almost three years ago, what he would change now about the High Impact Leader (and how it’s really working for him) and what’s next for Carey. We play that interview back for you right here.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 201.

The post CNLP 200: Joshua Gagnon on Rapid Growth, Launching Big and Staying Sane in Leadership appeared first on CareyNieuwhof.com.

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There’s a conversation going on in your head almost all the time as a leader.

Let me guess. Most of the time it’s not pretty.

You rarely say these things out loud, because if you did, well first, it would be embarrassing. And second, you would never say anything remotely this negative to anyone else.

Except you say it to yourself all the time.

And that’s the problem.

So many leaders look like they have it all together on the outside, but they struggle deeply on the inside.

The challenge is negative self-talk. Way too many leaders carry on an internal dialogue of self-destruction.

There’s a major difference between words that are self-depracating or self-destructive.

And way too many leaders live an interior life of self-destruction.

There’s a major difference between self-depracating words and self-destructive words.
Click To Tweet

Here are 5 things destructive things leaders say to themselves. I know, because I’ve said them to myself again and again, until I learned how to stop. And some days, I have to learn this all over again.

If you struggle with these, guess what? You don’t need an enemy. You have one. It’s you.

So buckle up and see if you can relate.

You don’t need an enemy. You have one. It’s you.
Click To Tweet

1. I’m Just Not Good Enough

There’s a strange paradox to our humanity.

The self-help feel-good-about-yourself people will tell you that you ARE good enough. You’re wonderful. Perfect. Amazing. Gifted. Talented.

But deep down you know something’s wrong.

That’s because something is wrong: it’s your sin.

All of us have memories of Eden, but will live east of there now.

Self-affirmation will only get you so far, and it will often lead to what Tim Elmore describes as high arrogance (I’m amazing!) and low-self esteem (and I’m so horribly flawed…). I talk to Tim about this in depth in Episode 187 of the leadership podcast. It’s a fascinating conversation.

This is where the Gospel rushes in. Paradoxically, we all carry within us the image of God and we are sinfully flawed. Sin isn’t just an action, it’s a condition.

And Jesus comes into our brokenness and not only saves us, but deeply restores us over time. The ancients called this process of being made new sanctification.

It really is quite bad. And it really is more amazing that any of us dreamed.

The key is not to lose sight of either. Most of us lose sight of one or the other truths, and that’s who we get lost.

2. He is so much more________. She is so much more______.

Fill in the blank

Gifted

Talented

Smart

Attractive

Funnier

Clever

Succesful

So what’s behind that?

Well, it’s likely the feeling that when God was giving out gifts, he short-changed you. Not only did God not give you six-pack abs, he didn’t give you nearly enough intelligence or brains or charm or whatever.

I feel that.

Everyone does.

But underneath that is the lie that God made a mistake. That he didn’t know what he was doing, or got distracted when he made you.

And now you’re jealous of everyone else because God did such a better job on them than he did on you.

Not only is your jealously patently absurd, it’s also deeply unfounded.

The only one who wants you to believe that you don’t have what it takes is the enemy.

Andy Stanley has the best insight I’ve heard for overcoming jealousy.

First, celebrate what God has given others. Praise them. Jealous people stink at this, but do it. Like that instagram. Give your rival credit. Acknowledge the person you’re jealous of publicly.

And second, leverage what he gave you. As long as you’re in a place where you can only focus on what God has given others, you’ll never develop what God has given you.

If you can only focus on what God has given others, you’ll never leverage what God has given you.
Click To Tweet

3. That’s just like me to get it wrong

Are you going to get it wrong? Absolutely.

As Craig Groeschel says, if you’re going to innovate, it’s not that failure isn’t an option, failure is a necessity.

The destructive part of that self-talk isn’t that you got something wrong, it’s that sinister “it’s just like me to…” part.

I have messed up more times than I can count. So it’s easy to fall into a ‘it’s just like me’ trap.

But live there and soon you’ll lose your courage to correct, to learn, to master a new skill and even to change.

Want a bridge? Try this.

Tell yourself, “I’ve made this mistake before, but I don’t need to live here. What can I do to help me grow?

4. This ALWAYS happens

You always lose good staff.

The numbers always go down at this time of year.

You always end up screwing up relationships like this.

You always end up fixing other people’s work.

Want out of that. Make always a stop-sign. The moment you think always, stop, reflect, even pray and ask yourself WHY.

Maybe it’s true that things always turn out that way for you.

But just because something’s been true in the past doesn’t mean it needs to be true in the future.

Look back at the patterns, declare it a new  day and try something different.

You’ll break patterns you thought were unbreakable.

Just because something’s been true in the past doesn’t mean it needs to be true in the future. 
Click To Tweet

5. I should just quit

I’ll die on this hill if I have to, but here’s what I’m convinced of: too many leaders quit moments before their critical breakthrough.

So many leaders declare it over long before God declares it over. And that’s a huge mistake.

Should you ever leave things or quit things? Sure! I’ve left many things in my life.

Too many leaders quit moments before their critical breakthrough. 
Click To Tweet

But it’s always a mistake when you quit because you’re discouraged. When you’re convinced you’r washed up.

Need to leave something?

Quit on a good day. After much prayer and wise counsel.

The problem most leaders have? They quit on a bad day, with little consultation other than fellow miserable people.

Don’t abandon your calling. God hasn’t.

So many leaders declare it over long before God declares it over. And that’s a huge mistake.
Click To Tweet

Get In On My Launch Team!

Care about issues like the ones I cover in this post?

I do.

My new book, Didn’t See It Coming,  tackles issues like this because I think they’re so critical to many people.

Didn’t See it Coming answers the question, “Why do so many skilled and competent leaders who mean well end up cynical, compromised, disconnected and feeling empty?”

In the book, I show you how to spot cynicism, compromise, disconnectedness, irrelevance, pride, burnout and emptiness long before they capture your soul.

I also outline the keys to breaking free and finding your heart and passion again, so you can be more alive and vibrant at 40 than you were at 30, or more curious and engaged at 70 than you were at 40.

This week I’m forming my launch team for the book release that’s happening a few weeks down the road.

Interested in joining?

HERE’S WHAT YOU GET AS A LAUNCH TEAM MEMBER:

1) A free advance copy of my new book that you’ll get right away, a full month before anyone else can get it (You’ll get a physical copy if you live in the USA, and a digital copy if you live elsewhere).

2) A few exclusive “Ask Me Anything” sessions with me before the book launch inside my private Launch Team Facebook Group, where you’ll be able to ask about writing a book, leadership, or anything else

3) The inside scoop on the launch…just in case you ever wanted to launch something yourself. 🙂

HERE’S WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO

1) Leave a short honest book review on Goodreads as soon as you read your copy and on Amazon during the book’s launch week (between September 4-9th 2018)

2) Use some of your social media to help spread the word. You could send a tweet, mention it on Facebook, do a LinkedIn status update, upload a pic to Instagram, whatever. Don’t worry. We’ll give you the things you need and give you tips on when and how.

Of course, if you WANT to do other things like buy copies of the book for friends, Like my FB posts, RT my tweets, or send me BBQ rubs—I won’t object!

I’m putting a ton of time and energy into this launch and I’d love you to be a part of it.

My goal is to get the word out to as many people as possible and get hundreds of honest reviews on Amazon.com during launch week. (Amazon reviews are critical to getting the word out.)

So does this sound awesome or what?

We only have 1800 free books left to give out (and 41,000 people will read this email), so if you’re interested, click this link to jump in on the launch team!

See you inside the launch!

What Do You Tell Yourself?

What conversations show up in your mind? And what do you do about them?

I’d love hear from you.  Scroll down and leave a comment!

The post The Destructive Conversation In Your Head (And What To Do About It) appeared first on CareyNieuwhof.com.

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Today’s post is written by Tony Morgan, Founder of The UnStuck Group.

What is the first-time guest experience really like at your church?

When my team at The Unstuck Group helps a church assess ministry health, one key step we take is to attend and review the church’s weekend experience through the lens of an outsider.

That’s because once you see what an outsider sees, you can’t unsee it.

Serving in 100+ churches each year, we’ve started to notice some patterns.

What are the most common offenses? Here are the Top 10—the biggest issues with the weekend that we see the most often.

Keep in mind, these are only issues for churches that actually want to reach new people…

One last thing before I get to the list: Many of these issues show up in the “secret shopper” reports for large churches just as often as in small churches.

Once you see what an outsider sees, you can’t unsee it.
Click To Tweet

1. The Guest Services area is staffed with people who don’t engage with newcomers.

The church feels like a private club. Guest service team members are more engaged with one another than with newcomers.

Guest services are the “first” in “first impressions.” If this team is off, my visit is off within minutes.

If the guest services team at your church is off, the guest’s visit is off within minutes.
Click To Tweet

2. The church didn’t welcome me and help me know what to expect.

There’s a general lack of guiding visitors through the worship experience and explaining what to do in the different elements of the services, like singing, offering, etc.

Specifically welcoming new people is frequently missed. Someone yells “welcome” and then all of a sudden people start standing up, and then they sing. The only place I sing is in my car or in my shower. Guide me a little more. Invite me to sing, but give me permission to just take it in.

3. People on stage don’t reflect the church’s target “customer.”

The people on the platform should non-verbally communicate this is a safe place, a normal place, to the people you are trying to reach… just by being who they are.

Many times the platform presence doesn’t reflect that. A lot of churches miss the “75% rule”—having 75% of people on the platform in the same age range (or below) as the people you are trying to reach. (Credit to Lee Kricher in For a New Generation for defining it well).

Put 75% of people on the platform in the same age range as the people you’re trying to reach.
Click To Tweet

4. The service order feels like an assembly of separate parts, rather than a cohesive experience.

Stop…start…stop…start… Nothing makes me check my watch more than a herky-jerky service. We sing two songs, there’s a video announcement, there are live announcements, we have a song for offering, message, another song, communion, closing announcement, benediction…

An unchurched person will be thinking, “Get me out. Land the plane.

Nothing makes a guest check their watch more than a stop-start-stop-start service.
Click To Tweet

5. The message is too long.

Especially if there were already a lot of other service elements (see the last point), I’m not gassed up for a 45-50 minute message. Tighten it up, add a story, make it applicable, and send me on my way.

6. Lack of application or next steps in the message.

I’ve given you an hour—give me something specific to take away that applies to my real life today.

7. Lack of security in the children’s area.

If I can walk off the street into your kid’s area, that’s a problem.

My team often finds unlocked, dark, rooms in the same hallway as kids programming, along with unattended external exits.

This is an issue we see far, far too often.

If someone can walk off the street into your kid’s ministry area, that’s a problem.
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8. The bulletins/programs are too crowded.

It looks like the Cheesecake Factory menu. What on earth am I supposed to choose to pay attention to?

This is a key first impression piece for a new person. It should welcome them, tell them what to expect and provide key info on kids ministry.

Unfortunately, many churches view it as the way to keep all the insiders informed.

9. Too many specific, insider-focused announcements instead of a few church-wide announcements.

I would add that many churches waste announcement time telling me about all the logistics of what their people could be doing instead of leveraging that time to communicate the “why” behind the activity.

They use the time to say, “Small groups will start next week, at 7 pm, in room 202, which is up the steps and down the hall.

What would be more meaningful? Share a personal story about your small group and then challenge people who aren’t connected to get in one.

And really, just stop announcing so many things all together. Point people to your website.

Stop announcing so many things at your church. Point people to your website.
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10. The feel of the church—the interior design—feels like nothing else I experience outside the church.

It’s brown. There are bulletin boards, plastic flowers in the restrooms, churchy banners that mean nothing to an outsider, and sometimes worn out carpet, furniture, and funky smells.

The church members and staff have been nose-blind to it all for years, but a new person who steps through your front door will instantly notice all of it.

Your first thought reading that list might be that having an outsider attend your service and point all of these things out would be discouraging.

Oddly enough, the opposite tends to be true. This experience is one of our clients’ favorite phases of the whole planning process.

Why? Because as I said at the beginning, once you SEE what an outsider SEES, you can’t UNSEE it.

If you want to reach new people, start trying to see yourself the way they see you.

And, start looking at them the way Jesus looks at them: with a willingness to leave the 99 for the one.

If you’d like some more insight on this topic, I dug a little deeper in a recent episode of The Unstuck Church Podcast (5 Ways to Impress Your Church’s First Time Guests | Episode 45).

In that episode, I give some suggestions for how to prioritize tackling these issues, where to start, and why.

You can listen (and subscribe) here: The Unstuck Church Podcast

Final thought: This matters. Let’s not make it difficult for those who are taking a step towards God. Let’s do everything we can to meet them where they are.

Let’s not make it difficult for those who are taking a step towards God. @tonymorganlive
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The post Want to Reach New People? These 10 Habits Set Your Church Back appeared first on CareyNieuwhof.com.

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What do you know about yourself?

Well, probably more than anyone, right?

And yet every one of us gets surprised when from time to time, our spouse points out something we had no idea we did or were like.

Like telling you that you’re a loud eater (nobody can watch themselves eat), or that no, those pants and that shirt don’t match.

Those are little things, but self-awareness runs much deeper among great leaders.

The best leaders become students of themselves. This isn’t some strange form of narcissism or self-absorption.

Just the opposite. The best leaders ask themselves and others piercing questions. They’re relentlessly honest with themselves about their strengths and weaknesses.

Top leaders realize it’s easy to ignore the hard questions and even to lie to themselves.

They soberly embrace the truth that of all the lies we tell, the lies we tell ourselves are the most deadly.

Over the last three years, I’ve interviewed 200 top leaders in ministry and business for my Leadership Podcast. You can subscribe here for free.

When I think back over all the leaders I’ve talked to, here are five things I’ve seen the best leaders be extremely realistic about.

Of all the lies we tell, the lies we tell ourselves are the most deadly.
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1. The Conditions that Make Them Thrive

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, watching other leaders and reflecting on my own life and leadership.

I think people are like plants; the right eco-system helps them thrive.

In the same way that every plant has an ideal soil composition, hydration and humidity level and even hours of sunlight, every leader has conditions that make him or her thrive.

Some thrive at 40 hours a week. Others at 50-60 (my ideal is 55 hours a week. Less and I’m bored. More and I’m overwhelmed).

Some leaders are office people; others more coffee shop people; others operate best with location independence.

Ditto with morning people and night owls.

The best leaders even know how much time they should ideally spend in meetings and spend alone. They know how many days off keep them at their best, and they know how much time they should devote to hobbies, outside interests and friendships to keep them at their best.

If you’re withering and dying, chances are something’s off in your eco-system.

People are like plants; the right eco-system helps them thrive.
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2. The Dark Side of Their Motivation

Here’s the truth: your motives are mixed.

As pure as we all want to be, everyone has enough ‘self” in them to ruin anything.

Any leader who thinks their motives are 100% pure is a dangerous leader. They never are.

Any leader who thinks their motives are 100% pure is a dangerous leader. They never are.
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The danger comes not because their motives are mixed, but because they can’t see that their motives are mixed.

Are you getting married because of what you expect to get from her or because of what you want to give to her in love? There’s a big difference. One sows seeds for chronic disappointment. Another sows the seeds for a Christ-dependent marriage.

Do you want your church to grow because you really want to reach people or because it will look good on you?

Do I want people to read this post because I think it will help them or because I want to see how many people read it?

Did you leave that comment on social because you cared? Or, because you’re trying to make a name for yourself, hurt someone or show the world how smart you are?

I know these are awkward questions, but they will push you to brutal self-honesty. Even more than that, they will be questions you bring to God.

They’ll fuel your confession. They’ll frame your repentance. They’re the questions that will change you forever.

It’s not like you’re going to solve the problem of motivation. You’re human. Your motives will always be mixed.

But if you ask yourself the hard questions, other people won’t need to. Or at least they won’t need to nearly as frequently.

If you ask yourself the hard questions, other people won’t need to.
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3. The Gap Between Who They are Privately and Who They Are Publicly

In the same way that our motives get mixed, there’s almost always a gap between who you are privately and who you are publicly.

Ideally, you should think there’s more of a gap than other people do.

And if you think there’s no gap (when of course, there is) you’re in trouble.

The problem stems from this: in public, you want to put on a great face. But in private, you feel like you can be yourself.

Our neighbours moved recently, and after we caught up with them I was joking around with them.

I said to my friend, “I’m sure there were moments where you heard the pastor and his wife arguing. That must have been amazing.”

He said “Are you kidding me? We never heard you. Not once. Are you telling me you never heard us?”

“Actually,” I replied, “I never did.”

Life’s like that, isn’t it?

Sometimes you’re yelling at the production crew and the next moment you’re on stage welcoming people.

That sucks.

One of my goals in life is to make the gap between public and private as thin as possible.

That happens in two ways.

  1. Be more honest in your public talk. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. (We have a great marriage overall, but we’ve had to fight for it. I wrote about that here.)
  2. Show more integrity in your private walk. Character is who you are when nobody’s looking. Take all the efforts you put into looking good in public into the private moments when no one’s around.

Be more honest in your public talk. Show more integrity in your private walk.
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The leaders I respect the most are the people with whom you get no surprises. Their public talk is honest. Their private walk is sometimes even better than their public talk.

In an age where authenticity is a non-negotiate, gaps between who are you publicly and who you are privately are deadly.

The gaps between who are you publicly and who you are privately are deadly.
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4. Their Limits

If you’re young, it’s easy to think you have no limits. Your energy seems boundless, you can do anything you put your mind to and the future is bright.

But the truth is all of us have limits. And the older I get, the more I’m aware of mine.

I hate that I have limits, but the more I operate within them, the better I get. I’ve learned this from so many of the great leaders I know.

This is true of everything from your physical limits to your skill set limits.

Right now I’m planning the details of my speaking calendar for 18 months. As much as I hate it and I think it makes me sound wimpy, if I have an all-day event planned where I’m speaking morning, afternoon and evening, I always ask if I can head back to the hotel for 3 hours in the late afternoon. Sometimes I sleep. Sometimes I just need to refuel alone.

I still hate admitting that this is true. I wish I was a robot who could go non-stop, but I know that if I go all day for multiple days a few things will happen:

  • I’ll be less than stellar in the evening session.
  • I’ll be exhausted the next day (and not much good to anyone)
  • If I keep it up, I’ll burn out. (That happened to me over a decade ago, and I never want to go back).

I’ve realized this, the more I respect my limits, the better I’ll perform. There is far more freedom within limits than there is outside of them.

Everyone’s limits are different. I know mine.

There is far more freedom within limits than there is outside of them.
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The same is true with skill set. You can train yourself to do almost anything, but you’re likely only going to excel at a few things.

The best leaders aren’t generalists, they’re specialists.

They’ve learned that if they stick to their lane, not only do they perform at a higher level, but it frees up many roles for others to join their team (whether staff or volunteer).

The older I get and the longer I lead, the more I realize I’m only really good at one or two things. That’s it.

Sticking to your key gifting releases other people to operate in their gifting.

The best leaders aren’t generalists, they’re specialists.
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5. How They Make Others Feel

There are no neutral interactions.

You either leave the people you meet feeling better or feeling worse.

Yet many people have no idea effect they have on others.

Good leaders know that they always leave others feeling one way or another, and they go out of their way to make sure they leave people feeling better.

There are no neutral interactions. You either leave people feeling better or worse.
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Some quick tips on how to do that:

  • Ask questions
  • Be more interested in the other person that you are in yourself
  • Give them your full attention
  • Take time to thank them for something they’ve done
  • Find out how they’re doing before you find out what they’re doing
  • Empathize with their problems; don’t judge them
  • Find some way to extend kindness to them

My guess is you are already thinking about a few people who make you feel this way when you’re around them. And it makes you want to be around them more, doesn’t it?

Be that person to others.

If you’re not sure how you make others feel, here’s a brave move: ask them.

If you’re open, don’t defend yourself and ask enough people you know.

And sure, the truth may hurt. But when you bring the truth to God, truth heals.

Sure, truth hurts. But when you bring the truth it God, truth heals.
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What Have You Seen?

If you enjoy the learning from world-class leaders, listen in to my podcast (for free).  A new episode drops every Tuesday.

Episode 160 with prominent psychologist Henry Cloud is a great place to begin on the subject of self-awareness and the traits of great leaders.

To subscribe for free via:

Get An Advance Copy Of My New Book. Join My Launch Team!

Of all the things that take out leaders, the things we don’t see are the most deadly.

This September I release my new book, Didn’t See It Coming, in which I outlining the biggest threats to you as a person and leader—the threats that most leaders miss because they simply didn’t see them coming.

Didn’t See It Coming reveals the seven core issues that take leaders out:

cynicism

compromise

disconnectedness

irrelevance

pride

burnout

the emptiness of success

In the book, I outline how to reverse all seven challenges, closing the gap between who you are and who you’ve always longed to be.

Interested in more? Join my launch team!

Fill out this short application…and successful applicants will get a free advance copy of Didn’t See It Coming and be included in an exclusive Facebook group where I’ll share details and where you’ll be equipped to help us get the word out in time for launch.

You don’t need to be an author or have ten thousand social media followers to be part of the team—all you need is a passion for the message and desire to help people by getting the word out.

You can apply to join my launch team here.

I’d love to have you!

What are you looking for when it comes to things you’re watching in your own life?

Thoughts?

What have you seen in leaders you admire?

Scroll down and leave a comment.

The post What All the Smart Leaders Know About Themselves appeared first on CareyNieuwhof.com.

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John S. Dickerson started in journalism straight out of college and soon found himself writing for the New York Times, CNN and USA Today. Today, he’s a 35 year old pastor of a mega church.

John talks about what leaders can learn from journalists, and about the coming massive cultural change as we move into a post-truth, post-fact culture and how the church can respond.

Welcome to Episode 199 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

A Brand New Resource for Preachers

Ready to start preaching better sermons and reach the unchurched without selling out? Then it’s time to start using the right tips, lessons, and strategies to communicating better.

The Art of Better Preaching Course is a 12 session video training with a comprehensive, interactive workbook that will help you create, write, and deliver better sermons. The course contains the lessons Mark Clark (lead pastor of  Village Church, a growing mega-church in post-Christian Vancouver) and I have learned, taught, and used over decades of being professional communicators.

This is the complete course you need to start preaching better sermons, including:

  • 7 preaching myths it’s time to bust forever
  • The 5 keys to preaching sermons to unchurched people (that will keep them coming back)
  • How to discover the power in the text (and use it to drive your sermon)
  • The specific characteristics of sermons that reach people in today’s world
  • Why you need to ditch your sermon notes (and how to do it far more easily than you think.)
  • How to keep your heart and mind fresh over the long run

And far more! Plus you get an interactive workbook and some bonus resources that will help you write amazing messages week after week.

In the Art of Better Preaching, Mark and I share everything we’ve learned about communicating in a way that will help your church grow without compromising biblical integrity. We cover detailed training on everything from interacting with the biblical text to delivering a talk without using notes, to writing killer bottom lines that people will remember for years.

Don’t miss out! Check it out today and gain instant access.

Guest Links

John on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | johnsdickerson.com

The Nine Manifestos We Can Embrace (from John’s latest book: Hope of Nations)

Hope of Nations: Standing Strong in a Post-Truth, Post-Christian World

The Great Evangelical Recession: 6 Factors That Will Crash the American Church…and How to Prepare

I Am Strong: Finding God’s Peace and Strength in Life’s Darkest Moments

Links from this Episode

Check out The Art of Better Preaching  today!

Go to TrainedUp and use coupon code CAREY for 10% off of your services for life!

Want to be a part of Carey’s launch team for his latest book Didn’t See It Coming? Sign up here!

Get ahead on next week’s big giveaway as we celebrate the 200th episode of the podcast. Make sure you’re following Carey on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and you just might enjoy a treat on us!

3 Insights from This Episode

1. Smooth transitions require a ‘trust vs control’ mind set

John recently became the leading pastor of a large church and so far the transition has been smooth. He attributes this success to having a ‘trust vs control’ mind set.

The pastor stepping down selected a team to find his successor. Once the team was in place, he stayed out of the selection process and trusted them to complete the search without his input.

Once there, John continued that ‘trust vs control’ strategy by committing to wait a year before implementing big changes. During this early season, he’s spending time getting to know the people and culture within the church – Taking time to earn their confidence and respect so that they can make changes together as a team when the timing is right.

2. Continuously find ways to engage those who don’t know Christ

Difficult relationships, lack of contentment, addiction, emptiness – we are all broken. No matter where you are by way of wealth, success or status, struggling with the human condition is inescapable. The good news is believers know that Jesus is the answer, but how do Christians engage those who don’t know Christ?

Don’t live life in your comfort zone. It’s important to continue to maintain friendships with people who aren’t believers. Don’t shut them out of your life simply because they think differently than you. Find ways to stay in touch in an ongoing way with people who don’t know Christ. We must work toward understanding each other so we have continued opportunities to show the love of Jesus to a world that desperately needs him.

3. Upheaval is an opportunity to stand for truth with a message of hope

We cannot underestimate how non-Christian the leading edges of culture truly are, but that doesn’t mean Christians need to respond with fear or despair. John’s latest book, Hope of Nations: Standing Strong in a Post-Truth, Post-Christian World addresses what we can do in the post-truth, post-Christian time.

His 9 Manifestos are a great place to start. Understanding where the world is going will equip you to adapt your strategy during the cultural changes. Upheaval is an opportunity to stand firm to scripture while still loving the world with arms full of grace. It’s a massive opportunity to show the world the love of Christ in a time when it desperately needs it.

Quotes from This Episode

Upheaval is opportunity. – @JohnSDickerson
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People just need Jesus so desperately. – @JohnSDickerson
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We cannot underestimate how non-Christian the leading edges of culture truly are. – @JohnSDickerson
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The podcast releases every Tuesday morning

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Sue Miller, Kara Powell, Chuck Swindoll, Greg McKeown, Jon Acuff and many others.

Subscribe via

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Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Josh Gagnon    

Josh Gagnon planted Next Level Church a decade ago. It’s become the fastest growing and one of the largest churches in New England history, and has now expanded into Florida. Josh talks about what’s driving the growth, how it’s keeping up and how he manages to stay sane amidst all the demands of leadership.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 200.

The post CNLP 199: John S. Dickerson on What Journalism Can Teach Leaders, The Massive Change in Culture and How the Church Can Respond appeared first on CareyNieuwhof.com.

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How good are you at relaxing?  As in take a day off every week, and take a vacation once or twice a year and put feet up kind of relaxing?

I was terrible at it for years.

Many driven leaders find themselves in the same boat.

To my mind, rest was for people who just couldn’t handle a real workload.  If you went home at 4 p.m. or needed three weeks off, it was because you really weren’t committed to the cause.

There was a strange justification that happened in the back of my mind that told me the harder I worked, the more pleased God would be with me.  After all – I was doing his work. And if you were working for God, why wouldn’t you give it everything you had plus an extra 30%?

People would tell me all the time: your pace is unsustainable.  You’re going to burn out.

I just ignored them. Honestly, I thought I was stronger than that, and the strange thing is, for the most part, I was. I could sense burn out and pull back from the edge just in time.

And for years I just ran in overdrive.

Until of course, I burned out. That was twelve years ago.

It’s amazing how you re-evaluate everything when your body and mind come to a screeching halt.

In the last decade, I’ve begun to see overworking through a new light.

And if you’re tempted to blow off the summer and keep your head down working, ignoring your spouse and kids and the beach and some rest….here are a few things to consider.

1. Just because you don’t burn out, doesn’t mean you don’t miss out

One of the frequent questions I get from leaders is “Is burnout inevitable?”

Even though burnout is a virtual epidemic these days, the answer is, thankfully, no. You can over-work for years and not burn out.

But—and don’t miss this—just because you don’t burn out doesn’t mean you don’t miss out.

Leaders, just because you don’t burn out doesn’t mean you don’t miss out.
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Consider this, for example. If you’re a parent, you’ll never get your kids’ formative years back. Your constant absence from their lives now won’t be compensated for by early retirement or your sudden realization you’re working too many hours later. By that point, your kids won’t be eight-years-old anymore. They’ll be eighteen or twenty-eight.  And it will be too late.

Sure…God redeems time, but he doesn’t give you the hours you squandered back.

God redeems time, but he doesn’t give you the hours you squandered back.
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2. Rest is a gift.  It’s also great strategy.

If there’s one lesson I learned since I burned out, it’s that rest is a gift.

We all know that God rested on the seventh day.  He also designed life with regular pauses scripted in.  There was to be no work to be done once every seven days.

And if you’ve ever read the Old Testament, you might realize God loves a party.  There were regular holidays, festivals, and even mandated celebration in Old Testament life.

For us A types, remember – God wants us to enjoy life.

As the creators of our bodies and souls, he also realized that we function best when we’re rested and full of good things.

We may think we’re being heroes working 12 hour days six or seven days a week, but the truth is you’re not equally efficient or effective in all those hours. I’m not. You’re not. Most of us have 3-5 super productive hours a day.

So for sure, rest is a gift. It’s also a strategy.

Rest is a gift. It’s also a strategy.
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Brain research abounds these days, and findings increasingly show that chaining yourself to a desk or laptop is the best way to deaden your brain. Sleep, rest, exercise and replenishment actually makes you more productive when you’re working. That’s why you get your best ideas when you’re in the shower, or when you’re mowing your lawn.

I get my best ideas when I’m cycling, on my days off or doing work other than work. Literally, the sequences in your brain fire differently when you’re resting. God designed it that way. Creatives…pay attention.

Your best ideas will often come when you’re resting or not trying to work. Eliminate rest, and you eliminate your best ideas.

Follow the bread crumbs? Rest is a strategy.  You’re so much better at work when you’re rested.

Leaders, eliminate rest, and you probably eliminate your best ideas.
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3. You’ll actually get the rest you’re ignoring one way or another 

Here’s a final motivator for those of us who refuse to slow down…like the old me.

Even though God mandated regular rest, there’s little evidence the Israelites took him up on his advice.  The Sabbath was probably broken more than it was observed. And most people believe that the Sabbath of Sabbaths – (the year of Jubilee, where work was shut down for a full year every 50th year) was never actually celebrated.

In other words, driven people were too afraid to take time off, so like us, they ignored God’s design.

So after generations of Israelite’s ignoring God’s command, their nation fell. And after it fell, this poignant verse in scripture makes a haunting claim.

So the message of the Lord spoken through Jeremiah was fulfilled. The land finally enjoyed its Sabbath rest, lying desolate until the seventy years were fulfilled, just as the prophet had said. (2 Chronicles 36:21)

Did you catch that?  I mean, seriously… Did you actually see what God is saying there?  He’s pointing out that if you don’t take the Sabbath, the Sabbath will take you.

That’s what happened to me. It’s what happens to so many other leaders.

If you don’t take the Sabbath, that Sabbath will take you.
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Israel never celebrated the Jubilee, so God said “I’ll make you take it – you’ll be invaded, and against your will, you’ll be in exile for seventy years. There’s your Sabbath.  There’s your Jubilee.”

I wonder if burn out and stress leave are the modern equivalents of exile.

Doing God’s work your way ultimately makes you lose your way.

Doing God’s work your way ultimately makes you lose your way.
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How Will You Relax This Summer?

So here’s my question: how will you unplug this summer?

My deep-seated fear for years was that if I slowed down, I’d give into laziness. Honestly, I still fear that sometimes, even though it’s totally irrational. I’m not that lazy, but I fear I might be.

What I’m sharing with you in this post is not a blank cheque for laziness. This isn’t about counting your 37.58 hours down the minute to make sure you’ve got what’s coming to you. Not at all.

But it is about realizing that ministry happens deepest and most profoundly when you pursue God’s work using God’s ways and not your own.  You end up accomplishing more in every sphere of your life.

When I started, I wanted to run this marathon like it was a sprint.  I still sprint in seasons, but I’ve come squarely to terms with the truth that this is a marathon.  A marathon God actually even intends us to enjoy.

Ministry happens most profoundly when you pursue God’s work using God’s ways.
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Get An Advance Copy of My New Book. Join My Launch Team!

Ever ask yourself…what are the biggest threats to your leadership?

This September I release my new book, Didn’t See It Coming, in which I outlining the biggest threats to the life you really want to live that most leaders miss.

Didn’t See It Coming reveals the seven core issues that take leaders out:

cynicism

compromise

disconnectedness

irrelevance

pride

burnout

the emptiness of success.

In the book, I outline how to reverse all seven challenges, closing the gap between who you are and who you’ve always longed to be.

Interested in more? Join my launch team!

Fill out this short application…and successful applicants will get a free advance copy of Didn’t See It Coming and be included in an exclusive Facebook group where I’ll share details and where you’ll be equipped to help us get the word out in time for launch.

You don’t need to be an author or have ten thousand social media followers to be part of the team—all you need is a passion for the message and desire to help people by getting the word out.

You can apply to join my launch team here.

I’d love to have you!

How About You?

In what ways are you tempted to cheat rest?  What keeps you from relaxing?

And finally, what rhythm of rest and refuel works best for you?

The post 3 Reasons Why Crazy-Driven, Ambitious-Type Leaders Need to Relax appeared first on CareyNieuwhof.com.

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By Kevin Jennings, Founder and CEO, Junction 32

Kevin Jennings has done marketing and platform development with Orange, Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Dave Ramsey and many more. Kevin has also worked with me to help me launch much of what you read and experience—some of my books, my podcast and more. I’m thrilled to have him share some new insights on my blog today.  – Carey Nieuwhof

At 15 years old, I decided I wanted to be an entrepreneur.

Unfortunately, that decision doesn’t come with a cool story about my vision for the future or my natural entrepreneurialism. Instead, my first commitment to be an entrepreneur is a story about my first bad boss.

What most people don’t know is I got my first job at 15 years old working weekends at Chuck E. Cheese, an American entertainment center and restaurant for kids. To most people, I was another kid looking for money to spend on video games, but in reality, I was a kid searching for a way to make life a little bit easier for a single mother working five, 12-hour shifts each week and side hustling on the weekends to provide for herself and two sons.

When I started working at Chuck E. Cheese, I was greeted by a foreshadowing experience. Each weekend, my 23-year-old male supervisor would model leadership by smoking with underaged teenage employees, flirting with female minors, and having his young employees work until 2 a.m. Back then, Chuck E. Cheese closed at midnight on Saturdays, which still makes very little sense when most of the kids there are less than 12 years old and gone by 10 p.m.

So what was my response? I decided I’d one day work for myself.

I didn’t know what I would do, I didn’t know when I would do it, but I knew I did want to work for myself. Why? I felt deep in my inexperienced core that going to work should be and feel different than what I was experiencing.

Since then, I’ve worked with great organizations and served under great leaders who have pushed me and helped me to become a better professional and person. However, some of my professional ambition is attributed to my boss being a bad one.

With this in mind, I asked Carey if I could share the following three situations where my leader frustrated me and showed me how not to lead.

Note: Similar to the previous post I contributed to Carey’s blog, I’ve written this post with millennial leaders or new leaders in mind. My goal is to share what I’ve learned as soon as I’ve learned it to help my peers avoid the cynicism or disconnection that often affects leaders.

However, if you’re an experienced leader, I hope this reminds you of how valuable you are in the lives of the new and young leaders around you. Also, if you know you’re struggling with issues like cynicism, compromise, disconnection, or pride, you should pre-order Carey’s new book Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the Seven Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.

I’ve already read some of it, and I felt like someone gave me a how-to guide on character development in critical areas of life and leadership.

1) When My Leader Chose Cash Over Culture

I was wrapping my first week at a new job, and my leader asked me to join him as he headed to his car. While we were walking together, he said, “Kevin, I believe you have potential, and I’m looking for a director to eventually lead this team. It’s too early to decide between you and your colleague. Whichever of you overtakes the other will become the director.”

Even typing the word ‘overtakes’ in relation to a teammate gives me icky feelings, but that interaction was an omen for the chaos to come. Over the next several months, I felt my relationship with my colleague shift from collaborative to adversarial, and I didn’t understand why.

I later learned my leader gave her the same speech about realizing her potential by overtaking me. Unfortunately, she responded literally by becoming guarded, working on projects by herself, talking over me in meetings, and taking credit for as many ideas as possible. A previously productive and energizing work relationship disintegrated.

As I was transitioning to a new role in another department, the cold shoulder of my teammate melted as I was no longer a threat; it’s how I learned what she was told. My last few days in that department led to me discovering my leader did this to two other members of the team that appeared to be adversarial as well.

Through my conversations with my leader, I learned he made a deliberate decision to use competition, secrecy, and the ambition of his team members to drive the performance of the department, even if it bred dysfunction.

Manipulating or coercing others to achieve a goal is gamesmanship, not leadership.

Manipulating or coercing others to achieve a goal is gamesmanship, not leadership.
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2) When My Leader Refused To Make Decisions or Disagree with Others

The new year is around the corner, and next year’s budgets are due. When I sit down to present my plan to my leader, I walk her through each line item and explain the purpose and desired result for each expense. Then, I wait for feedback.

I probe with questions like:

What do you think about the new initiatives I’m proposing?

Is it too much? Is it too soon?

Would our resources be better utilized another place?

Do my suggestions align with the leadership team’s vision for the next year?

The response: “Well, Kevin, it’s on you. If they have an issue with what you’re doing or how you’re spending money, be prepared to explain and defend your decision.”

That sounds like common sense, right? What’s the big deal?

Well, my budget comes from my leader’s budget, which makes her the first-line of defense against distracting or detrimental activities and the primary advocate for great opportunities. Essentially, she’s partially accountable for my decision being approved, right?

Consider this: There were many times when leaders from other departments would give me assignments or make requests of me that would take me away from my primary responsibilities, and my leader’s response was essentially the Nike slogan – “Just do it.”

In other situations, our team would come to a stalemate during passionate discussions about how to best achieve a goal or execute an initiative, then we’d turn to our leader only to be told “You must come to a consensus before we move forward.” (If you didn’t know, consensus kills courage.)

After seeing a smart, capable person consistently and intentionally elude decisions, disapproval, and conflict with redirecting questions or mirroring speech, I recognized my leader wanted to experience adversity-free leadership.

Unfortunately, leading without risk or responsibility is faux leadership.

Leading without risk or responsibility is faux leadership.
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3) When My Leader Put Power and Position Over the Team and the Mission

I once served under an amazingly gifted leader. Unfortunately, he wasn’t gifted at or interested in leadership. He was gifted at a particular discipline that led to him being elevated to leadership.

Who am I to make such claims? How do I know this? He told me. That’s right! My leader directly said, “I don’t like managing people; I’m not interested in it; I’m not very good at it; and I wish I didn’t have to do it.”

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? However, Solomon is clear about what happens when we excel in our work and what our gifts do for us.

My leader was talented, hardworking, and creative. He’s just not, well, a leader by his own admission, but it would be hard for most people (myself included) to turn down a promotion, especially one that comes with the status of being a leader. Being offered a leadership position is also validation of the potential others see in you, recognition of your achievements, and it typically comes with increased compensation. That’s a lot to walk away from.

For my leader, leading simply because he was selected or promoted made him a reluctant leader, and he often felt misplaced. However, he didn’t walk away from the position. He accepted and struggled. I have witnessed multiple situations where he’s been frustrated or when he’s frustrated others. He has decided the validation of the position is more important than the achievement of the mission.

How do great organizations prevent talented, skilled practitioners from being miscast as leaders? They respect and reward craftsmanship as much as leadership.

Great organizations respect and reward craftsmanship as much as leadership.
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The Value of Being Shown How Not to Lead

These are three different stories of leaders I’ve worked for who have hurt their influence by manipulating others, abusing power, or prioritizing themselves over the team and mission. However, most of them made their decisions with the hope of enhancing or maintaining their influence, but, as a young team member, it didn’t take long for me to observe (or hear) the way people felt about these leaders.

I know there are blind spots and hidden factors that affect our abilities to lead well, and I have a lot left to learn.

As an emerging leader, these situations solidified the value of an anti-role model, a person looked to by others as an example to be avoided. As Carey has written here on his blog, “our problem often isn’t what we believe as an organization, it’s how we behave.”

So if you’re currently serving a leader that feels like an anti-role model, continue to work hard, serve him/her with excellence, and view every experience as a learning opportunity.

Discovering what leadership is not is as important as discovering what it is.

Discovering what leadership is not is as important as discovering what it is.
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What’s something we can do to more intentionally learn from the decisions of other leaders?

Scroll down, and share your response in the comments.

The post How to Survive a Bad Boss appeared first on CareyNieuwhof.com.

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One of the worst feelings any preacher has is finishing up a message and having no idea how it really went.

I mean you have your own subjective opinion, but we all know ourselves well enough to realize that sometimes we thought our message was awesome when it really wasn’t, and sometimes we thought it was awful when it was actually great.

Ugh.

Making the problem worse is the fact that everybody actually has an opinion about your message. Trust me, they’re talking about it/not talking about it in the foyer, on the ride home or at lunch.

So even if you don’t evaluate your message, I promise you everyone else does.

So, then, every preacher should get an accurate assessment of how the sermon went. And that’s hard too.

It’s hard because while everyone has an opinion, they’re just not able to give you the kind of meaningful feedback that helps you get better.

By the way—speaking of getting better—I just launched my brand new course, The Art of Better Preaching, a 12 part course I developed with Mark Clark, lead pastor of a rapidly growing megachurch in Vancouver BC. Each weekend for years, Mark and I have preached to thousands of post-modern, post-Christian people.

Hundreds of leaders have already jumped in on the course and (thanks for the suggestion!) we just made it easier than ever, adding a 3 part payment plan to make taking the course even easier (it’s still a fraction of the price of any seminary course you’d take). And one of the big questions from early participants? Where was a course like this when I was in seminary?

Check it out here.

But back to our key question: how do you get an accurate, helpful assessment of your message? I mean that would be amazing, wouldn’t it? Because that’s how you grow.

Here are 5 pro tips.

Preachers, even if you don’t evaluate your message, I promise you everyone else does.
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1. Get Over Your Natural Defensiveness

Great sermon evaluation starts with you. More particularly, it starts with how open you truly are to the truth.

So here’s some truth. There’s a part of me that wants everyone to tell me that I knocked it out of the park every single time I talk. That I crushed it. That I’m the best preacher they’ve ever heard preaching the best message they’ve ever heard.

Except, of course, that’s not just not true. It can’t be true.

If I don’t check that part of my spirit, people will tell from a mile away. Because your sermon evaluation process will consist mostly of you fishing for compliments.

Preachers who fish for compliments usually only hook half-truths and lies. Nobody wants to burst your bubble or make you feel bad about yourself, so they won’t tell you the truth.

Preachers who fish for compliments usually only hook half-truths and lies.
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Which is why you need to get over your natural defensiveness and seek honest, real feedback.

Thank the messenger, don’t shoot them. If it hurts, grieve privately. Go for a ride and get it out of your system. But always thank people for whatever they have to tell you.

Growth-minded leaders know the truth is your friend, even when it hurts. Sometimes especially when it hurts.

Growth-minded leaders know the truth is your friend, even when it hurts.
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2. Don’t Settle for What. Discover Why.

Now that you’re working on your defensiveness, you’ll discover that you get all kinds of feedback casually.

Think about the foyer. Most people will tell you it was a good message if they liked it. And I usually go out after a service and find some core staff or volunteers and ask them what they thought. We also have a Monday evaluation meeting with staff where I try to get feedback. So I’m actively seeking feedback.

Here’s the problem with that though: most people will only tell you that they liked your message or didn’t like your message. They’ll say it was good or not so good.

And the conversation almost always stops there (even with staff and team members who are not preachers)—which makes it rather unhelpful.

When you get that kind of feedback (even through casual conversation or formal evaluation), go one step further and ask the person this simple question: why? 

Why was it good? Why was it not my best? Tell me more….I’m open.

Do that, and you’ll learn a ton.

Maybe some of your ideas didn’t flow logically. Or your passion level was low. Or your delivery was too fast/too slow. Maybe one or two of your points weren’t clear.

That’s helpful feedback. And if you’re going into another service, it will help you do a mid-course correction.

When it comes to sermon feedback, don’t settle for what. Ask why. Why is helpful. It’s where the real learning comes.

When it comes to sermon feedback, don’t settle for what. Ask why.
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3. Watch Yourself. Listen to Yourself.

I’m well aware that most non-narcissists hate the sound of their own voice. I have spent most of my life getting used to my voice and thinking “Do I really sound like that?”

Want to make it even worse? Watch yourself on video. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve thought I actually do that? Man, I look so awkward.

So I get the natural inclination most of us have to not listen to ourselves or watch our messages back. And that’s a mistake.

Preachers, as painful as it is, watch yourself preach. Everyone else has to. You should never expect hundreds or thousands of people to watch you if you won’t watch you.

Preachers, as painful as it is, watch yourself preach. Everyone else has to.
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You’ll learn so much. From verbal ticks (um, ah), to annoying habits (why do I always touch my glasses or put my hands in my pocket?) to moments in the message that just didn’t work, you’ll see yourself more accurately.

But it’s not all negative. You’ll see what worked too. You’ll see what connected and what didn’t.

I have learned so much listening back to my messages and watching myself on video, even though every time I have to make myself play the message back.

You may be your own worst critic, but if you’re not, everyone else will be.

So endure the pain, and watch and listen.

You may be your own worst critic, but if you’re not, everyone else will be.
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4. Watch and Listen with a Friend

I haven’t done this as much as I should, but whenever I have done this it’s so helpful.

Watch and listen to yourself with a friend you trust who will give you honest, accurate feedback. Someone who loves you enough to tell you the truth.

You might think you’re moving around awkwardly and they’ll say that actually you’re not. That it’s fine or endearing. Conversely, you may think you’re as smooth as butter and they may tell you that all your slouching or weird arm movements take away from the message.

The combination of your own commitment to self-improvement by watching and listening back and doing the same with a friend from time to time will improve your preaching immensely.

5. Get A Peer To Review It

Saved my favorite and most valuable tip to last.

You know who the best evaluator your preaching will be? Another preacher who will tell you the truth.

The challenge with getting a non-communicator to evaluate your communication is that they will be hard-pressed to tell you exactly why something worked or didn’t work and how to get better. They don’t do what you do, so their ability to help is limited.

Imagine knowing nothing about race cars, heading to a track and trying to advise a pro racer on how to shave 2 seconds off his lap. I mean what would you say? Go faster? You just don’t have the expertise to give meaningful advice.

That’s why a fellow preacher (who’s maybe a bit better than you) can be your best evaluator. He or she can tell you why something worked or why it didn’t, why your treatment of the text was solid or why you got lost in the first century and didn’t bridge things well for the 21st century. In the same way, another preacher can help you brainstorm on better application examples, better intros, better endings.

They’re practitioners. They have studied both theology and the craft of preaching.

Don’t have anyone on your staff who can fit that bill? Ask a colleague or preacher across town. Even doing that a couple times a year can immensely improve your preaching.

Your best sermon evaluation will always come from a colleague who understands the craft.
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Some Practical Help…Instant Access

Mark Clark, lead pastor of Village Church, and I have reamed to share everything we’ve learned over decades of preaching and communicating at conferences and events around the world in our new course, The Art of Better Preaching.

So what do you get in The Art of Better Preaching? You get 12 on-demand video training sessions, a comprehensive, interactive workbook that will help you create, write, and deliver better sermons and numerous bonuses (cheat sheets, game film of Mark and I breaking down how we teach and much more).

This is the complete course you need to start preaching better sermons, including:

  • 7 preaching myths it’s time to bust forever
  • The 5 keys to preaching sermons to unchurched people (that will keep them coming back)
  • How to discover the power in the text (and use it to drive your sermon)
  • The specific characteristics of sermons that reach people in today’s world
  • Why you need to ditch your sermon notes (and how to do it far more easily than you think.)
  • How to keep your heart and mind fresh over the long run

In the Art of Better Preaching, Mark and I share everything we’ve learned about communicating in a way that will help your church grow without compromising biblical integrity.

We cover detailed training on everything from interacting with the biblical text to delivering a talk without using notes, to writing killer bottom lines that people will remember for years.

Don’t miss out! Check it out today and gain instant access. Special introductory pricing is time-limited, so don’t delay.

And we just introduced a payment plan to make jumping in the course even easier. Hurry while the pricing is the lowest it will ever be. The price increases tomorrow (Thursday, June 28th) at midnight.

What Helps You?

What helps you improve as a preacher?

Scroll down and leave a comment!

The post 5 Pro Tips on How to Get Amazing Sermon Feedback appeared first on CareyNieuwhof.com.

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