Leadership, Pastors

Leadership Institute 2011 Session 2

A small choir opened the session with two songs with a welcome by Adam Hamilton in between.

Practicing the Art of Leadership

Adam Hamilton

1. Strategic Planninig in the Church

Adam shared the results of the pre-institute survey- funny stuff. Apparently members of churches think pastors need more training in leadership and preaching… shocking!:)

Adam hired someone to teach him to lead strategic planning, read Harvard Business Review, etc.

Vision has the power to draw us into the future. Vision excites, moves people.

Adam has spoken to 29 annual conferences in past several years on leadership, preaching and worship, and evangelism and missions. Wants to speak at all annual conferences in 10 years.

COR members pray for pastors and churches that Adam is about to speak to.

SMART Goals- strategic, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely

One of the great vision speeches was given in 1962 by Pres. Kennedy regarding the space race., “not because they are easy but because they are hard.” Vision captures people hearts, inspires them, and they will work hard to fulfill it.

People are drawn to high expectations.

Can you describe one or two key visions that your church council has articulated and strategized to fulfill in the next year?

Sometimes Adam casts a new vision on his own. Often, Adam invites staff and laypeople to dream together. The vision is refined through a collaborative process.

The vision always fits in with the mission and overall vision of the church.

Adam gave the example and showed a video of a growing vision of giving away a bed a day to children who do not have a bed in Kansas City as well as sheets, pillows, blankets, etc. The school counselors let COR know when a child needs a bed.

Families shop for free beds and furniture at COR’s warehouse, Our Father’s House. Before they take them, volunteers gather around the kids and their families and pray for them. They let them know that they have provided a bed in Jesus’ name. Last year, they gave away 1500 beds. This year, they’re on track to give away 2200 beds to children in KC.

Ron Heifetz (Harvard): the world as it is vs. the world as it should be, or, as a church, where we are vs. where we would like to be

The world as it should be… the Kingdom of God

Annual Strategic Planning Process

“Mind the gap” and close it between what is and what should be

  • Start with prayer, “God what do you want us to do?”
  • Remember our church mission and vision
  • Assessment of our weaknesses, “Where can we improve?”- surveymonkey, convos with leaders, all feedback
  • Opportunities in the community
  • Bring faith to bear in “Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond what we can ask or imagine
  • Brainstorm visions- congregation shares dreams through email, etc.; staff meetings, Adam showed a video about COR members’ vision post-it notes, Church Council reada all members’ dreams

Church Planning Retreat- lay out possible visions, then determine/discern the most important and doable this year, prioritize, categorize (lump together what can), give every leader 3 dot stickers, then leaders place their dots next to the ones they choose.

My thoughts:

Cast vision with passion and, at times, with a smile. Fulfilling the vision will be joyful and fun and difficult and challenging. 

2. Leading Change

Adam showed a huge clunky orginal Apple computer. It predated the 1984 Mac. Adam talked about the history of Apple with and without Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs cut the 350 products down to 10 products. Jobs gave Apple a vision of what computers could do and focused.

Adam showed the Apple marketing campaign, Think Different , “Here’s to the crazy ones…”

Are you one of the crazy ones? Do you believe that empowered through the Holy Spirit, you can change things?

Apple experimented. Apple lost $1 billion on the Apple Newton. However, the Newton mistake became the iPhone, and iPad.

Apple Quicktake camera flopped, but it became iPhoto.

We believe in resurrection.

Change. Innovate. Improve or die. “I only like the changes I initiate.”

If we’re unwilling to change, we have no future.

This is why we need leaders. Leaders move people to do things that don’t want to do but need to do.

 Constantly think about what needs to change.

Last year, Adam saw decline in the 9:00 am worship service and began changing the worship style. After surveying the congregation, 80% of the people over 60 love the choir and orchestra. Under 30 said %20 felt engaged by choir and orchestra.

Best two Sunday School hours for children are Sunday morning, but the two Sunday morning services were drawing older people. If this continues, COR will have no children raised up to be disciples.

Adam cast vision to change 9:00 am children to filfill the mission of leading children to Christ.

8 Steps for Leading Change

1. Identify the critical change and make sureits backed up by facts and has a clear “so that” (result)

2. Build a guiding coalition with your key influencers. Share your vision with them personally, one on one.

3. Make the case to the stakeholders- members, staff, while RAISING URGENCY

4. Devel0p the vision and communicate it frequently and with passion.

5. Press through the opposition, listening, answering, adapting

6. Re-communicate the vision

7. Evaluate midcourse and make corrections

8. Celebrate small victories, every time you see something working well, even the smallest success.

Read john Cotter Leading Change for more.

Adam shared story of Mt. Vernon Place Church near D.C. led by Dawn Claycomb that resurrected from 9 people (average age 82) to 87 people, a 1000% increase. 97 year old Mabel supported Dawn during the change process. 

Laypeople, are you part f the guiding coalition to lead change? SPRC and Church Council should say, “We’re with you!”

Changing is a constant process.

3. Reaching Future Generations

COR is aging. Adam showed 3 membership age graphs from 2o00, 2005, and 2010. Showing people this is the job of the leader.

It’s not about favoring young vs. old. It’s about having a future.

Most churches stop paying attention to younger people.

Committee members rotating off one committee often just rotate to another committee, and so the leadership doesn’t change.

The highest role is not serving on a committee. The highest role is when you’re on the frontlines serving in a ministry.

As the pastor ages, and as members age, they think about life from their age perspective.

At COR, 1/3 of committee members under 35, 1/3 35-55, 1/3 55+

The role of a leader includes producing a new generation of leaders. Who are you mentoring? Let younger people make decisions, make mistakes, and learn from them.

Sermons that speak to younger people, ex. “When Christians Get It Wrong” series, Adam showed the video. 500 20-somethings joined the church after that sermon series.

In what part of the city do younger people live? Resurrection West and Dowtown. COR is buying a bar next to a strip club in KC.

Adam interviewed Scott Krostok (sp?), Resurrection Dowtown pastor. Scott said that a lot of the younger people in downtown just see church as irrelevant. Scott talks to people in coffee shops as friends and a growing group of people started doing it to. They get to know people and invite them when its natural.

Scott said that the younger people downtown want to change the world. Often the front door of the church is serving the city. They are excited about transforming the city and forming authentic community and have a space to get together.

Adam asked one thing we shouldn’t do to turn off young adults? Scott answered, “Don’t be impatient and don’t approach people with a motive other than to know who they are.” Become friends. If you approach people just to invite them to church, that is repulsive.

Build relationships. Whenever its natural, invite people to serve in the community, to serve in schools, womens shelter, etc. While serving in those activities, relationshops develop, and they want to come to church because its natural.

COR also started the Vibe worship service for younger adults, and its teh fastest growing service at the Leawood campus. 

4. How to Take People into Deeper Discipleship

Adam drew the discipleship pyramid.

sanctification at the top of a triangle.

10% of congregation is at teh top near sanctification

20% are growing key leaders

30% are regulars but still have a ways to go

40% are loosley connected, somewhat committed, attend worship sporadically. 

Jesus also spent a lot of time with people not yet even on teh triangle.

Pastors, teach the top 10% to feed themselves. Pastor inspire and motivate them.

Intentionality Principle: If you’re going to make disciples of Jesus, figure out what one looks like.

COR’s Journey is to know, love and serve God.

Intentionally move people up the triangle. You have to approacah them in different ways, but begin with the end in mind.

Adam interviewed Carol, director of adult discipleship. She shared COR’s discipleship process, worship -> Alpha – short courses for each of the 3 parts of the Journey- know, love, and serve God ->small Groups -> serving

COR has a 15 core traits of deeply committed Christian online assessment and on paper.

Small groups and individuals can take the assessment together.

Adam emphasized the intentionality behind this process.

5. How to recruit and retain great volunteers

Next session


Leadership, Pastors

Leadership Institute 2011 Session 1

The worship band played chill music as participants walked in , and Debi Nixon welcomed everyone.

The worship band led us in several contemporary worship songs, followed by a video bumper introducing the conference.

Adam Hamilton gave the morning session address, “Leadership Essentials.”

Adam stated that he hopes we hear a clear call to help revitalize other churches, not just our own, and have a vision for raising up a new generation of leaders.

Adam quickly told the story of starting COR with no people, no land, no money. The conference then paid his salary for one year, and he used his second year’s salary to pay for direct mail.

Dream of buildng a Christian community where thinking nonreligious and nominally religious people are becoming committed Christians.

There were 18 new churches meeting in every school in the area, so COR had to begin meeting in a funeral home chapel (Adam tells this story in greater detail in his book Leading Beyond the Walls).

You must believe that your church really matters. COR had 90 people for the first month after launch.

1. Lifecycles of organizations

The UMC has been in decline since 1964, and at the current rate of decline, the church has 53 years left until it no longer exists in America. Lovett Weems speaks of the coming “death tsunami” in mainline churches.

Ezekiel 37- Is it possible that over 30,000 UMC churches can be resurrected?

Young adults are checking out of church more often than in the past. Adam prays 5 times a day for a church that will speak to his 20-something daughters.

Charles Handy growth curve

COR is at pinnacle of their growth and has had to launch new growth curves (internet campus, multi-site campuses) to continue growing. Your church will experience some decline as you begin a new growth curve and will then grow again.

Aadam showed a video testimony from Resuurection Blue Springs, a new campus of COR that was formerly its own congregation. Blue Springs doubled in size in one year after COR took over.

In most communities in America, over 50% of the popluation is not part of any church.

Help other churches. “Bear one another’s burdens.”

Adam told the story of a resurrected church in New Jersey, Oasis UMC, that doubled in soze to over 100 in two years.

15% UMC congregation are “highly vital”. 60% are declining.

Drivers of Vitality

  • Effective pastoral leadership, good preaching, raising up lay leaders
  • Worship that speaks to people in community
  • Programs for children and youth
  • Smallg roups for adults
  • High percentage of laity in leadership
  • Missional involvement outside the walls of the church

 Effective leaders build relationships. People come to Christ because you care about them. They feel Christ’s presence in you. You must invest in people in personal relationships. (Adam’s “mugging” visits, high touch, if person’s not home, wrote a personal note and place it in the coffee mug. Adam remembered visitors name on second visit, and if Adam called them by name, they would join the church. Last year, servant teams showed u at midmight Christmas to deliver coffee mugs to Christmas Eve visitors)

Adam told another story about a resurrecting church in Alabama from 16 to 42 members.

2. Clarify the church’s misson (the “Why”)

3. Discern God’s Vision (the “Where”)

A clear compelling future, measurable (metrics) that stirs the hearts of people.

Adam’s next 20 year vision is 20,000 professions of faith, thousands in ministry, and renewing the UMC church after it bottoms out at 3-4 million members and grows again

Is there one thing that the congregation would say, “We’re all going to do this one thing in the next year, or 3 years, and we’re really excited about it.” 

4. Leaders honestly face shortcomings and pursue excellence

No “good enough” mediocrity

Constantly ask, “How can we do better?”

Ex. Adam asks 3 people to read his sermon manuscript on Saturday and asks them to mark it up, give feedback, and improve his sermon.

Don’t crush people, give praise for 5 things done right and give constructive criticism in one area.

Anonymous 360 evaluation for every staff member, including the lead pastor, every year (echospan or survey monkey). Set goals based on these reviews. (This is vital) If you want the truth, make it anonymous. People will not be honest if they are known becuase they are afraid they will be treated differently or lose their jobs.

Adam shared another story of resurrection in Iowa, from 150-250 in worship 7 years later.

5. Meaningful, moving, well-led Worship

Worship is usually the front door

Adam speaks of the worship experience as a restaurant experienced by a first-time visitor.

Low vitality worship vs. high vitality worship

unclear, unthoughful sermon vs. Well-researched, thoughful, inspiring sermon

Mediocre music vs. Well-performed music led by people who are authentically worshiping

Understanding of worship elements assumed vs. Elements of worship explained clearly

New people ignored vs. New people welcomed and respected

Adam gave his two types of sermons from his book Unleashing the Word.

Every other sermon series at COR alternates between the two types.

Stanford marshmallow experiment ( A couple of years ago, I preached a sermon using this as the central image called “Drop the Marshmallow”)

Adam told another story of two churches in South Carolina. The female pastor grew the churches from 8 people to 60 people, a %750 increase.

Adam invited churches to measure ourselves in these 5 areas and discuss these with their church group later today.

Pastoral Self-Care

Adam closed by addressing self-care for pastors.

After traveling and speaking too much this past year, Adam passed out on a flight from South Korea from sickness and exhaustion.

He welcomed Kirk Byron Jones, the author of Addicted to Hurry, as guest speaker for a few minutes. Luke 8:40-46. Jesus served and then withdrew and prayed.

Root your worth in God.

Serve at the sacred pace, the pace of Jesus, serving and then withdrawing and then serving again.

My persoal thoughts abotu self-care:

Stressed out does not equal working hard. Many pastors are stressed out, not because they worl hard, but because they are not equipped to lead.

A full schedule does not equal working smart. Many pastors feel the need to stay busy, but do not know how to lead with vision, strategy, and goals, so they do busy work or fall victim to the tyranny of the urgent.

I have found that pastors often err on one side or the other of the work/rest spectrum. Some are workaholics and do not rest, while others rest far too much and do not work enough.

The key is to work hard and work smart and also take strategic times of sabbath, rest. Do the right things and enoug of the right things, then rest, and then work again.

Leadership, Pastors

Leadership Institute 2011

I’m flying to Kansas City today to attend Leadership Institute 2011 at Church of the Resurrection.

I’ll be blogging throughout the event as I did last year.

This is the first of a string of blogs from last year’s Leadership Institute, starting with the opening talk by Adam Hamilton:


Pastors, Preaching

Free Worship Design Resource

Granger Community Church Summer 2010

Download Worship Design.

This is an “agenda” for a weekly worship design meeting. The purpose is to plan meaningful worship services weeks or months in advance.

  • To be most effective, I believe pastors should flexibly plan sermons series 1-2 years in advance. This gives the worship design team plenty of time to plan in a big way. The worship design team then fleshes out the coming 6 weeks in more detail.
  • Working weeks or months in advance gives the worship design team time to plan videos, props, trips, sets, anything that will enhance the communication power of the worship service. For example, Adam Hamilton (cor.org) has taken trips to Africa and the Holy Land and then used footage in a future sermon series, because the series was planned before he even took the trip!
  • A worship design system like this will immeasurably raise the quality of your worship services. And it will make sermon preparation easier as you make time to plan in advance! For a more detailed explanation, see Adam Hamilton’s Leading Beyond the Walls.

In future posts I’ll discuss the difference between sermon titles, themes, and central images.

Pastors, Sermons and Sermon Series Ideas

Free Advent Sermon Series Resources

Click here for “Free Advent Sermon ‘Christmas Hope'”

Click here for “Free Thanksgiving Sermon Resource”

Click here for “Free Worship Design Resource”

Click here for “Advent Sermon Series Art”

Looking for a Christmas sermon series? Download these resources for free. Stonybrook is planning a four-week Advent sermon series for this year entitled “Simply Christmas”.

“Simply Christmas” is based on the “Advent Conspiracy” series from The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. All of these resources are COR resources that I modified. Click here for COR’s original resources, including online sermons. COR shared their resources for free at their annual Leadership Institute.

You can download the following resources for the “Simply Christmas” series for free:

1. Download the logo I created by clicking on it to enlarge it and saving it onto your computer.

2. Download the COR video promo from their website. This video will be shown in all worship services beginning two weeks before the start of the “Simply Christmas” sermon series. I changed the title at the end of the video from “Advent Conspiracy” to “Simply Christmas” using iMovie on an iMac. I apologize that I can’t show it to you due to copyright restrictions on the background music.

3. Download the Simply Christmas Postcard. This card will be given to members beginning two weeks prior to the start of the series for them to give to unchurched friends as an invitation.

The “Simply Christmas” sermon series will be followed by a two-week series on Dec. 26 and Jan. 2, but on the second Sunday of January, we will begin a new Big Day Sermon Series on “Love, Sex, and Marriage” featuring a marriage-oriented testimony from the “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase on Feb. 13, the day before Valentine’s Day.

Click here to read more about Big Day Sermon Series

Click here to read “Sermon Delivery Tips II”

For more sermon resources, on the right sidebar of my blog, click “Sermons”