Tag Archives: Andy Stanley

Catalyst 2007 – Andy Stanley, part 2

“Liberating Your Organization: Creating A Leadership-Friendly Culture”

Introduction

  1. There are organizational systems that are conducive to ministry, and there are those that impede ministry.
  2. There are organizational systems that free leaders to lead, and there are those that obstruct leaders.
  3. “System” defined: Your organization’s approach to getting things done.
  • Systems Create Behaviors
    • Preaching doesn’t. Curriculum doesn’t. Talks don’t.
    • Examples:
      • Family vs. Student Ministry
      • Marriage vs. Marriage Sermon Series
      • Western vs. Middle Eastern
    • The systems you inherit, adopt, or create will eventually what staff and volunteers do.
    • Anytime you hear, “Well, our people won’t…” you’re listening to someone who doesn’t understand the influence of systems.
    • Components of a System:
      • Expectations (rules)
      • Rewards (or lack of)
      • Consequences (or lack of)
      • Communication (content and style)
      • Behavior (of those in charge)
    • Systems have a greater impact on organizational behavior than do mission statements.
      • This principle explains why it’s so hard to transition an organization.
      • If a leader casts a vision and never addresses old systems, nothing changes.
      • “What’s happening down the hall trumps what’s hanging on the wall.”
      • People in your organization are only doing what you’ve led and rewarded them to do.
      • Ask, “What are the expectations in our organization? What’s rewarded? (Because that’s what will be repeated.) What brings consequences?
  • The New Testament does not present us with a comprehensive system or model.
    • In the NT we discover what the early church did. The NT does not lay out a comprehensive plan instruction church leaders what to do.
    • Think about it: They had a direct WWJD link, something that we don’t have. They had apostles. We don’t. We have the great opportunity to create the system that carries out the Great Commission.
    • Always differetiate between what is prescriptive and what is descriptive.
      • We can’t be a 1st Century church because we don’t live in the 1st Century!
    • The Old and New Testaments do offer some principles that should be integrated into our systems.
      • Delegation : Acts 6 / Exodus 18
      • Accountability: Acts 15
      • Authority : Romans 13
      • Interdependence : Paul’s discussion of spritual gifts
      • Point Leadership : Modeled in OT and NT
      • Seeking Counsel : Proverbs / Acts 15
    • Something not on the list is Congregational Rule. Some examples of its outcome: Golden Calves, Brothers Thrown into Pits, Following Kings not Prophets
  • System Imperatives
    • Your system should allow you to involve and hire the best person for the job.
    • Your system should provide you with the flexibility to get the right people to the table.
      • i.e. position of Youth Director does not automatically influence decisions regardless of inept person in position.
    • Your system should allow you to make complex decisions within the context of a small group of empowered individuals.
      • Simply cannot communicate complex decisions to large groups of people effectively.
    • Your system should ensure that only one person answers to “They”

Concluding Remarks:

  • “We have different gifts, according to the grave given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently.” Romans 12:6-8
  • You create a system where leaders are free to lead, and guess who will flock… leaders!
  • Congregations led by the “We/They” tend to end up with system dysfunctions.
  • The current system you’re gonna take all your notes back to has the potential to crush everything you’ll bring back. So, learning as leaders to deal with the nuts and bolts is absolutely necessary.
  • Before God created man, He created systems (solar, ecological, etc.)
  • But even in man, the human body is the most sophisticated system in existence.
    • Because the body is a system, it’s a meaningful experience to go to the doctor, a medical systems expert. This is why you don’t just pray when you get sick.
  • If you don’t approach problem solving systematically, you’ll spend the rest of your career blaming, firing, and being critical of people, and never getting anywhere.

Wrapup/Debriefing Questions:

  • List 3 behaviors that you wish characterize your organization (apply on many levels: church, youth ministry, staff).
  • List one thing you’re systematically doing to encourage each of those behaviors.
  • List the things you’re doing (maybe inadvertently) to encourage the opposite behavior.
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    Catalyst 2007 – Andy Stanley, part 1

    “The Most Powerful Man in the Room”

    • Power has become a 4-letter word in conversations about leadership.
    • If God has you in leadership, the fact is that you have power. We like the word “influence” but let’s be honest with ourselves, it’s essentially power.
      • Student ministry is a prime example of immense power. Power to build and crush with very little effort.
    • We shy away from power because it’s intimidating. Churches don’t like point leadership (i.e. power concentrated in few people)
      • But really, “Follow We” is no better than “Follow Me” if those We’s aren’t properly stewarding their power…
    • So, when we’re talking about power, the big question is: What do you do when you realize you’re the most powerful person in the room?
      • Side-note: Chances are that in 11,000 people, some of you will be anti-megachurch. But please hear me out because a justifiable bias probably comes from your experience with abused power, which makes you a prime candidate to go forward and leverage God’s power. You know the dangers of it and you care deeply about its wise use.
    • Jesus (didn’t see that coming, did you?) gives us a prime example of how the most powerful man in the room responded: The Upper Room, John 13.
      • “He showed them the full extent of his love.” (v1) Sneak peak of what Jesus did with his power.
      • “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power.” (v3) Clearly, Jesus knew he was the most powerful man in the room.
      • “So…” (v4) As a result of this…
      • took off his outer clothing” (v4) shed his symbols of rabbinical authority
      • “began to washed his disciples’ feet” (v5) used miracle-conducting hands to scrub crusty grime, among a culture obsessed with cleanliness
      • “I have set an example,” (v15) So maybe we should follow suit?
    • Look for ways to leverage your power for the sake of others around you. Because that’s the example Jesus set for us.
    • If you leverage your power for your own sake, you (un)consciously declare that you are greater than your Master (cf. v14)
    • Not to apply this principle is an admission of weakness, not a display of strength.
    • “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.” King George III, upon learning of George Washington’s intent to pass on emperorship, and let someone else take the reins.
    • Basically, don’t fear power. Simply learn to leverage it properly.
    • The legacy of your leadership will not be determined by a lifetime of applying principles and insights, but it will be the product of your reactions time after time when you realize you’re the most powerful person in the room.

    (RPD comments forthcoming.)