Ok... I am so lame...
But I'm still getting adjusted to this weekly thing (some of you know what I'm talking about!)
I promised to download some tidbits from my South Haven experience from last week... and I aim to deliver... so here goes:
1. Bill started off the day on Thursday by walking through, devotionally, Romans 12. He'd been "saturating his brain" with this passage every day for almost a year... and you can tell! Great way to start off a leadership bonanza!
2. Probably the best takeaway I received from Bill's devotional was from v.11 - "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." It is MY job to keep my spiritual zeal! I cannot abdicate responsibility for that to someone else. Bill gave us 3 questions to ask ourselves: What activities bump up my zeal? What people lend to my zeal? What (or who) zaps my zeal? These questions are important for us to ask ourselves, because "everyone should have the privilege of following a BUMPED UP leader!" (Bill)
3. The topic of self-awareness came up several times... in Bill's view, this is the most important trait a leader needs... it's important for him/her to understand who they are (and who they are not), because no one will follow a leader who makes the same mistakes all the time! Bill said that he thinks journaling is the best way to not repeat mistakes, because it chronicles the activity of God in your life. Henry Cloud affirmed this and likened mistake-ridden leaders to children who need chaperones... because they don't know how to watch themselves. Wow.
4. On preaching: find the best prep time that works for you... carve it into your schedule AND VIGOROUSLY PROTECT IT! Listen to great communicators regularly... and different types of communicators. Our preaching needs to be continuously developed... where is my "Improving My Skills" time bracketed out in my regular week?
5. On finish lines: transitioning out of a ministry is tricky... but be sure to hit the finish line at full strength! It is very much ingrained in the culture of Willow that people are to try hard to finish well. Bill had some very wise things to say about leaving a ministry - (a) consider the time frame of when you leave; (b) develop the story... both sides need to agree on what/why/when, etc.; (3) think through who gets told, and when (the most affected should be told the soonest... work out from concentric circles from there).
6. Evaluating Staff: Bill spent a good amount of time on this topic... he said leaders don't take this serious enough. At Willow, the staff gets "graded" (A, B, C... two C's and you've gotta go!) He talked about employment/ministry as a value exchange of labor/hire - "We've hired you to do ministry, and in return we should get a fair amount of labor." He evaluates (practically speaking) leaders by who they attract, who they develop, and who they get rid of! "You're fired!!" Just kidding. :-)
7. Bill said there's a general law in church planting: who you start the venture with is probably not the same people you build the church on. Some people become disillusioned and no longer buy into the vision: they have the option of moving forward or staying irrelevant... but the one option not on the table is sin!
8. Both Bill and Henry agreed that it is of the utmost importance to have a regular group that provides feedback for us (of our life), and that we're probably in need of a trained individual to help us process the things of our soul (hmmm... Furtick's been saying the same thing...) Even if we're not in pain now, we need to strengthen our muscle for the future time that it will happen. "Most of us underestimate the wiles of the Evil One." (Bill)
There is so much more that I can share (feel free to ask for clarification of any of these points), but I'd be writing most of the night. Bill Hybels is (I've said it before... I'll say it again) by far.. without a doubt... bar none... the greatest leader I've ever been around. And, whether you know it or not, I've been around some really gifted leaders throughout my life (I come from pretty good ministry stock, baby!!) But Bill is by far the most gifted... hands down. And that's not putting anybody down... it's just saying that his leadership gift is out the freakin' roof!!!
An incredible experience... one that I'll never forget.
Thursday, May 31
Ok... I am so lame...