Tonight I need to say a big thanks to my friend Darren Herdman. Sydnie’s van has been throwing the belt since this past winter and leaking anti-freeze. Darren was able to come over to the house and sort out our car troubles in a matter of minutes. It turned out that my radiator cap was bad and wasted capable of holding the 16lbs of pressure required. Because the pressure wasn’t correct I was unable to discover the crack in my radiator that was causing my anti-freeze to leak.
When I took over the role of administrator of our Early Learning Centers here in Harrah and Choctaw I went from managing a a little over a hundred volunteers a week to overseeing a staff of 70 plus employees and hundreds of volunteers. I have been working on fine tuning the amount of pressure that needs to exist within our organization in order for it to operate in a healthy manner that ensures the best possible product. If you don’t apply enough pressure then you are too soft on people and they will take advantage of you. Apply too much pressure and you become Gordon Ramsey. Because I work for a church I can’t run around dropping the F-Bomb, yelling at people and telling them they are too weak of a person to do us any good. Ok…I mean I shouldn’t do those things. You have to find a balance.
Do you feel that you are being too soft or too hard?
Remember, when you are too soft on those who report to you you will increase the amount of pressure on yourself. Dial it in and figure how much pressure you need to maintain in your environment and make sure that you are achieving it. Don’t worry about increasing the pressure. This problem is like boiling a frog. Do it slowly and he will never notice. Do it all at once and he will jump out of the pot.
Share the Win. Share the Work. Accept the Gift. When people want to be generous towards you don’t turn them down. They enjoy giving. Did you know that giving is a spiritual gift? You wouldn’t keep someone from suing their gift anywhere within your church so don’t keep a giver from exercising their gift. There could be numerous warnings here about people only giving to gain authority over you or people that do it as a means to let you know that they are good givers, but don’t miss the opportunity to let someone bestow a blessing on you or your ministry. God has used a lot of people to bless me in my ministry and the relationships and gifts have helped me become the leader that I am and God has used these people to shape me for the ministry that I now have. If I had turned down the gifts I would never had attended seminary, or read so many great books, gone on the ministry trips I have been, had lunch with such wise people or had the money to pay a bill that I had no idea where I was going to get the money for. Giving your blessing to the blessing and you will become a blessing to the blesser.
Something that I see time and time again, especially in younger workers, is the inability to delegate tasks to others. If you are new to ministry and looking to to impress me it wont be by making yourself look like a superman. I am looking for people who can delegate tasks, ensure that they get done with quality and speed and know how to make volunteers feel appreciated. Harrah Church does a LOT on a LITTLE. We are a church of over 700 with only TWO full-time staff members. This is a volunteer led church and we wouldn’t want to change that ever. What happens at Harrah Church is incredible. Sharing the work helps more people share the win. Sharing the win helps give purpose to people within your organization. Hogging the work means that you get fewer good things done and none of it will be getting done in a sustainable manner. If you leave and the ministry you lead dies then you were a terrible leader. Remember, if you think you are leading and turn around and nobody is following then you were just taking a walk. Not sharing the work is like walking.
Focus on building teams and not your resume and you will never need a resume. Let the quality of your work and the relationships that you build speak for you. I really have no idea what Pastor Kevin did day-to-day in his former role at Westmoore Community Church, but I can tell you by the quality of the relationships that he built while there and his ability to share the work that he is an incredible leader without having to inspect his resume. In church leadership you will find that we are looking at HOW you did something and not WHAT you did. This deals directly with your ability to create processes that create wins and not about your ability to work your butt off.
What can you do this week to begin sharing your work and building a team around you? Remember to think outside your “go-to” people too. You will limit your potential by finding and developing new talent. I never miss a Membership here at Harrah Church because I want to be the first to discover new talent and enjoy helping other find their fit.
My new favorite show is Top Gear on BBCA. I just discovered this show a few months ago. I am not sure how these guys got the job but I definitely want in. What I find most appealing about the show is not so much the cars as it is the friendship and bonds that these 3 guys have…ok… that and they usually end up blowing something up or trashing a car for fun. If you compare this original draft of Top Gear with the new American version on the History Channel you can really tell the difference that the right chemistry can make within a team. I am not sure how you cast for a show like Top Gear and to be honest I am completely at a loss for how you cast for a person like James May, but these guys create a buddy show that you completely enjoy. How do they do it? I am not for sure, but I do think that there is tremendous value in your team trying to work at finding a sweet spot between performance and fun. That is certainly one of the things that Top Gear has found and I believe one of the things that many environments are missing. I have worked in so many environments that were dull and stale because the people working within them never found an outlet for them to let loose. Harrah Church is a lot like Top Gear in the sense that we are able to let loose with our services, with the way we do ministry, with just about our whole approach to anything we are doing. It is isn’t illegal or unbiblical…let’s give it a try. I love to see Justin and the band try to take the worship somewhere they haven’t been before. There is just something magical about that. You love it when the singer goes for a note at the top of their range. Even if they just barely get there it can be incredibly inspiring to everyone. That in a sense is a worshipper giving everything he has and leaving nothing on the field. Do we fail sometimes? Heck yeah! But we had a heck of a time getting there.
How important do you think chemistry is to your teams that you work with? How are you trying to make it happen? Do you take chances? Do you let others watch and do you laugh at your mistakes? So much to think about when trying to get the chemistry right, but trust me, when you get it right, the littlest acts can have the best reactions.
It has been just about 8 months since Kevin Daniels came to Harrah Church and took the reigns as pastor and my boss. Kevin is not the traditional pastor type. I have worked in several church over the past years and Kevin just does it different…and I like it. He is challenging me in the concept of the HERO and pushing me to become more of facilitator. I have this tendency to create a space where I work that becomes very hard for just one person to take on once I leave. I am a work-a-holic and I love the atta-boys and cuddos that come from that kind of work. Everyone wants to feel needed. What I haven’t understood until Kevin are the things that come from a more balanced lifestyle of work, family, home, play, etc. He models it and does a great job of defending it.
Is Kevin a great communicator? YES. Is he a great pastor? YES. Is he a great leader? YES. But, every person in your church is looking to him for a different reason and he is bringing so many different sides to the table and stretching Harrah Church in many new ways that will increase our ministry potential in the future, because he is unwilling to let guys like me HOG the work, steal the glory, and destroy ourselves. Some are being challenged to get more involved. Some are being asked to delegate. Some are being asked to STOP. Some are being asked for better, some for more, others for less.
What are you looking to your pastor or boss for? If you work in the church, how is your boss pastoring you?
I few insights that have helped me this past 8 months are to look to your new boss to find out what are his goals. What are people, especially those in leadership over him, asking for? What are his deliverables? Help him succeed and he will help you succeed. How does he like to work? Kevin hates meetings so we try to avoid table talks when a lunch conversation or quick couple of questions get the job done. What kind of work does he appreciate? What does he do for fun? This isn’t about sucking up to the boss. Working the relationship can be like fine tuning your car’s engine. That thing is never going to run right if the parts aren’t working together.
Just a couple of thoughts about the last 8 months and how things are going here in Harrah, which is totally awesome.
Are you getting enough sleep? I am asking myself this question more and more each morning. I have a tendency to pour myself into my work. I love the feeling of accomplishment and the rewards of a job done well, but sometimes the lifestyle required to do this can wear you out. I have been spending time over the last several years learning how to balance my life. Hold back work. Spend more time at home. Spend more quality time at home. Now that we have Margot in our world it is even more important. She is starting to wake us up in the morning and is disturbing my normal sleep cycle. I am adjusting, but today I am tired. So I have to ask myself, “Are you getting enough sleep?” I know that I need this sleep if I am going to perform well, stay healthy, and be present in conversations. I try and do well at going to bed early and not getting out of bed until I have too. For a person who really only wants to get about 4-6 hours of sleep every night this becomes a battle. But it is one that is very rewarding.
How about you? What rewards do you get from sleeping? Do you take the Sunday afternoons to nap? What is attacking your sleep cycle?