5 Practical Ways to Drive Values Deeper

I recently met with all the managers and directors of the Resources Division at LifeWay, the division I am responsible to lead. We have nearly 650 employees in the division, and they all report to the leaders who were in that room. At the beginning of each calendar year, I remind our team of our […]

4 Essential Leadership Practices in Ministry

I recently spoke to a group of “emerging leaders,” and was asked to speak about essential leadership practices—areas of leadership where ministry leaders must continually focus. There are at least four essential leadership practices that transcend a role on a local church staff. Regardless of the ministry role, whether leading as senior pastor or in […]

3 Reasons Your Church Must Care About Groups This Fall

While one person can make a significant impact on each of us, we tend to be much more influenced by groups of people. Here is a fascinating example: The Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona has often faced a crisis as people can steal petrified wood at an alarming rate. Some researchers tested what message […]

11 Actions for Culture Cultivation

Just as a healthy garden will not exist without careful gardening and constant attention, a healthy culture does not happen by accident. Culture is the shared beliefs and values that guide a group of people. Left alone, culture deteriorates. Wise and loving leaders cultivate the culture in which they are leading. If leaders fail to […]

Three Ways to Starve the Bad Values in Your Organization’s Culture

Every organization, every ministry, every team has a culture. Much has been written about culture, and essentially culture is the shared values and beliefs beneath the surface that ultimately drive the behavior of the organization. This means an organization’s culture has direct bearing on how the organization acts. Terrance Deal, in his book Corporate Cultures, […]

When Two Values Collide, Development Must Win

Often in a ministry or organization, stated and/or unstated values will collide. When two values are at apparent odds with one another, leaders must decide which value wins. If a collision occurs, leaders must declare which value will be primary. A common example in church ministry is the tension between two commonly held values: leadership […]

Four Questions to Spot the Difference Between Healthy Tension and Unhealthy Conflict

There is a difference between healthy tension and unhealthy conflict. Wise leaders attempt to foster healthy tension where team members who love and trust one another sharpen each other and where ideas get matured and developed through robust discussion. Just as tension in exercise makes a body stronger, healthy tension can make a team stronger. […]

Three Warning Signs Your Life Is Drifting from Your Vision

Harvard business professor John Kotter has stated, “Behavior from important people that is inconsistent with the vision overwhelms other forms of communication.” If Kotter is right, and I believe he is, then a leader whose life does not match the vision being articulated nullifies the vision message, the website, the brochures, and the catchy slogans. […]

Two Simple Ways to Reinforce Culture

Culture is powerful. Peter Drucker famously declared it more important than strategy when he said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Culture is the shared values among a group of people that drives their behavior. Every single organization has a culture; some are healthy and some are harmful. How do you identify the culture you are […]

Four Practical Ways to Change Organizational Culture

Changing the culture of an organization is extremely difficult, and it is not something that can be done with a new logo, a purpose statement, a white board session, and a few media slides. In fact, Tom Peters has accurately stated, “It is easier to kill an organization than it is to change it.” And […]