Be Patient & Don’t Elope: When Hiring Goes from Good to Ghastly

Re-post by Jenni Catron, Executive Director of Cross Point Church in Nashville

Hiring is one of the most complicated yet possibly the most critical parts of our job as leaders.

But time and time again I see leaders make hasty decisions when it comes to hiring.  Most of the time, their haste has good reason.  An employee just left leaving a gaping hole of responsibilities… budget was finally approved for the role that you’ve desperately needed for months, perhaps years… you’re so overwhelmed you’ll do anything to get some help.

We’ve all felt one or more of those pains when it comes to staffing.

But oftentimes these stressors that are driving us cause us to overlook the significance of our decision.

Hiring is like a marriage.

You are making a long-term commitment to that individual and they to you.  You are creating an expectation of security, longevity and belonging.  This gets even more complicated for those of you in ministry roles.  The people you hire and their families are intricately woven into your church community.  Their family, friends and community revolve around their job.  They potentially lose significant anchors of belonging if their job comes to an end.

This is why how you hire is critical.

Too many hiring managers elope after the first date.  They have a great interview with a great candidate and they rush to make an offer.

Unfortunately these hasty hiring decisions are often the ones that become extraordinarily painful down the road.

You must have a good, thorough, consistent hiring process for your organization.  And you must teach and train all of your staff to engage and support that system.  In my 15+ years of being a hiring manager I have never regretted a slow hire but I have unfortunately felt the pains of a quick elopement.

If you don’t have a formalized hiring process, here are some steps to consider:

  • Interview some great organizations to learn how their hiring process works.
  • Use some resources and tools that give you objective information from which to interview and evaluate the candidate.  We use the Leading from Your Strengths Assessment and Position Profile tools from Ministry Insights.
  • Consider what has worked well in hiring in the past and what has not worked so well.  Write out the steps that you believe are essential moving forward.
  • Gather a few of your key staff to discuss what you feel is essential for your hiring process.
  • Build a plan and then try it out on your next hire.

Be patient and don’t elope.

I promise you’ll thank me!

About Jenni Catron: Executive Director of Cross Point Church in Nashville. Founder of Cultivate Her. Loves great books, the perfect cup of tea, playing a game of tennis with her husband and hanging with her dog Mick.

Leadership is a Craft

Leadership is a craft. And gaining mastery over our leadership skills requires intentionality. No one drifts their way into becoming a better leaders. We hone our leadership gifts by placing ourselves in intentional growth environments. If you want to be a better leader you need to go where leadership is taught. And the pay off is huge.

Your’e a leader. Its your job to keep your passion hot. Do whatever you have to do. Go where ever you have to go to stay fired up as a leader.

Will you be at the Summit this year?

The 9:05

Post by Andy Cook, Executive Director of Ministry Operations at Willow Creek Association

Every morning as WCA’s ministry operations team prepares to serve the greatest leaders on planet earth, we gather for a brief meeting we call “The 9:05.”  The idea comes straight out of Summit faculty member Patrick Lencioni’s book Death by Meeting and has paid enormous dividends for our team.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Every morning, we gather at 9:05 a.m. according to the time on our phone system.  The idea of having an “official” clock may seem weird to some, but it’s amazing how much margin of error there exists between cell phones and other clocks in our lives.
  2. Nobody sits down.  This is a standing meeting and nobody talks for more than a minute.
  3. We all answer the question: “What’s hot today? What are we working on today?”  We keep a very narrow focus to this meeting and nobody talks for more than about a minute.  This took some practice.  In our first several months, we wavered between talking too long and not saying enough.  We pushed through the initial awkwardness and now we do pretty well at holding each other to this timeframe.
  4. Team members who answer phone calls talk first, just in case the opportunity arises for us to serve a leader who calls in during our meeting and that person has to step out of the circle for a few minutes. As the leader, I usually go last.   It helps me talk less and listen first.  It also gives me an outlet to share any updates or changes with the team.
  5. We end by putting our hands in the center and saying “with God.”  We know it’s a little cheesy.  This past summer, one of our interns added the element of saying “team” at the end (similar to how sports teams end their huddle).  Recently we’ve changed to saying “with God” because we feel like it helps us all remember our collective desire to do our entire days in a spirit of being with God.  At one point, we thought about adding a closing prayer, but our concern was that it would extend our time beyond ten minutes.  Our team is packed with some prayer warriors, so this was a hard thing to not include, but we really wanted to keep this as a focused time to check in with each other and dedicate other times for prayer.

Here’s what it has done for our team:

  1. Communication.  Before we made this a regular practice, information flow was often uneven.  Since our team is on the frontlines, this led to some awkward and even embarrassing conversations with guests.  Having this practice in place helps us all sync up every morning.  As a leader, I’m never more than 24 hours away from my next opportunity to keep the whole team informed.
  2. Clarity.  We’ve all gained a better understanding of each other’s roles and how they all fit together in helping us serve leaders.  Team members can also request or offer support when the load is uneven.  We love when this happens and it helps us all gain appreciation for each other!
  3. Accountability.  We can check in with each other about ongoing projects and it forces all of us to think through our “list” first thing in the morning.
  4. Community.  We have a much better sense for what’s going on in each other’s lives.  Every once in a while, we share news about what God is doing in our families or in life outside of work.  While we don’t pray in the 9:05, we are much better informed in how we pray for each other in the other times.

Summit Faculty Member, Patrick Lencioni, includes several helpful tools for explaining his meetings model on his website, including “The Daily Check-In” from which we developed our “9:05”.

What about your team?  Do you have any regular practices that help you stay connected?

Andy Cook leads ministry operations for the WCA, the team that manages all the logistics for The Global Leadership Summit and serves WCA’s member church network.  He loves pastors and coffee (usually together).  He’s crazy about his wife and two little girls and serves as a volunteer at Mission Church, a church plant in Bloomingdale, IL. Follow him on Twitter: @mrandycook

Why Leaders Always Scan for a Roman Road

Re-post by Scott Cochrane, Vice President of International at WCA

Effective leaders are constantly on the lookout for “Roman Roads” in their vicinity.

Because they know that the sooner they identify their Roman Road, the sooner their message can start spreading with increased velocity.

A Roman Road can best be defined as an accelerator for a movement or message you’re seeking to spread. It is usually characterized by:

▪   Having a pre-existing infrastructure

▪   Having been developed by others

▪   Having a distinct, separate purpose

▪   Being able to be re-purposed to carry your message

The original Roman Roads were used by the Apostle Paul to carry the message of the Christian faith throughout Europe. These roads were already in place before Paul arrived; they had been developed by the Romans, were designed to serve and unite the Roman Empire, but were easily adapted as a means to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Today, effective leaders continually scan around, looking their own system of Roman Roads. Consider these examples I came across on my trip through Asia, New Zealand and Australia:

▪   The churches in China who have taken advantage of the phenomenal spread of the internet throughout the country to spread the message of Jesus Christ. For the Church in China, the World Wide Web has become the Roman Roads.

▪   The churches in Hong Kong who, because of exorbitant real estate prices, are often forced to hold services in office buildings. In many cases this has provided them with immediate accessibility and profile they might not achieve in a traditional church building. For the Church in Hong Kong, the very high rises that dominate the landscape have become the Roman Roads.

▪   The churches in Australia who have accepted the invitation of the  government to provide Chaplains for all of the public primary and high schools in the country. For the Church in Australia, the invitation into public school system is a Roman Road.

Do you have a message that needs to be spread quickly? Your best play might very well not involve creating a vast communications network. It could very well already exist.

Just look for your nearest Roman Road.

What Roman Road network have you used to carry your message?

Scott Cochrane is the Vice President of International at Willow Creek Association. Loves Jesus, Nora, Adam, Amy and John. Football and hockey further down the list. Follow Scott on Twitter: @WScottCochrane

Whose Story Are You Telling?

Post by Chris Brown, Co-Senior Pastor and Teaching Pastor, North Coast Church

What stories can you tell best?  That’s right, your own.  Why?  Because you lived them, you were actually there.  You experienced them with all of your senses, and you know them as an eyewitness.  That is why some of our best ministry illustrations come from our own lives.  It is also why, unfortunately, sometimes the most interesting part of our teachings are when we are telling a personal story.  I learned both the genius of this, and the failure of it, early on in my first few years as a youth pastor.

I didn’t know the Bible that well back in those days, but I did know that when it came to teenagers, that book needed my help.  I had enough crazy stories of growing up in West Texas to last for decades of youth ministry, and always could find a verse or two that could turn any rattlesnake episode into an instant youth ministry hit.  It took about four years for me to realize that I was raising up followers – but of Chris – not Christ.  I had forgotten that there should be a “t” at the end of that name.  Those kids knew my stories better than the Bible, and that fact sent me into a ministry tailspin.

I knew I had a passion for students, I knew I wanted to serve God with my gifts, but I didn’t know what to do with a boring Bible in a room full of inner city kids.  I was contemplating another career path when through a variety of circumstances God rocked my arrogance with this idea.  What if I start telling His stories with the same enthusiasm I had been telling mine?  As I dove into the text it was then that I realized, the Bible was never boring at all.

Every text has both a story and a “so what,” and when we focus on discovering both, the incredible narrative of the Bible unfolds.  Don’t see it merely as literature, but remember that every passage has real people, in real places, with real emotion, and the lens of scripture is begging us to go there.  Stand in the crowd and watch her reach through the throngs of people to touch his cloak.  Feel the agony in her spirit when she explains she has spent all that she had on many doctors and Jesus is her last hope.  Watch her collapse in fear when she has been found out, and sees the disgust on the faces in the crowd when they all turn to look at her.  And then let that word “daughter” hang in that scene in order for it to convey all that the Christ had intended it to do.

  • Let the lens of scripture point out every detail.
  • Relive the story with all your senses.
  • Paint the picture that the Bible creates for your audience, and allow it to be the living word that it is.

Every passage is embedded in a specific time and place.  Every epistle has an author – and that author is writing to a specific church.  Every Psalm has a story and journey behind the lyrics.  Go there. Watch it from every angle, from every point of view.  Live it.  And then take others there to see it for themselves.

You can choose either to keep your audience’s attention, or to strive for their participation. I have no doubt which one I would prefer.

Chris Brown is a pastor, passionate about developing communication skills in young leaders, who has the unique ability to bring biblical passages to life through narrative storytelling. As a 2013 Summit Faculty, Chris will share insights on a biblical leader in a way that is both fresh and compelling. Follow him on Twitter: @_chris_brown

Miss out? Don’t Worry

Did you miss The National Leaders Webcast yesterday? Don’t worry! You can still watch it!

What to look forward to:

  • Bill Hybles, Jim Mellado and others introducing the powerhouse faculty line-up for 2013
  • Stories and thoughts about how and why the speakers were chosen
  • A clip from Summit 2012 with William Ury speaking on the leadership practice of negotiation
  • Processing time. We’ve created a processing tool for you and your team to discuss William’s clip and apply key take-aways to your leadership disciplines.
  • Download it HERE

What speaker are you most excited to hear from at this year’s Summit? Leave a comment and let us know!

13 Reasons Not To Miss The Global Leadership Summit

Reason #1: Bill Hybels—Founder and Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church

Reason #2: Gen. Colin Powell—Former U.S. Secretary of State

Reason #3: Dr. Brene Brown—Research Professor, University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work

Reason #4: Mark Burnett—Four-time Emmy Award Winner; Executive Producer, Survivor, The Voice, Shark Tank, and The Bible

Reason #5: Patrick Lencioni—Founder and President, The Table Group; Best-Selling Author

Reason #6: Vijay Govindarajan—Top 50 Management Thinker; Professor, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business

Reason #7: Liz Wiseman—Executive Strategy & Leadership Consultant; Best-Selling Author

Reason #8: Oscar Muriu—Senior Pastor, Nairobi Chapel, Kenya

Reason #9: Bob Goff—Founder and CEO, Restore International; Attorney

Reason #10: Dr. Henry Cloud—Clinical Psychologist; Leadership Consultant; Best-selling Author

Reason #11: Joseph Grenny—Co-Founder, VitalSmarts; Best-selling Business Author

Reason #12: Chris Brown—Co- Senior Pastor and Teaching Pastor, North Coast Church

Reason #13: Andy Stanley—Founder and Senior Pastor, North Point Ministries

But wait, that’s not it. There’s a 14th reason:

Reason #14: The Global Leadership Summit is more than a 2-day event. You and your team will join a purposeful and powerful movement that goes beyond the reach of your own community, reaching over 170,000 leaders world-wide!

“Stronger leaders mean stronger churches – and today more than ever,

the local church is the hope of the world.” -Bill Hybels

Register your team for The Global Leadership Summit or find more information here.

You and your team will benefit exponentially hearing from this powerhouse faculty. Join us at the Summit. It will be a decision you won’t regret.

4 Questions To Get Unstuck

Post by Rena Kosiek, Online Marketing Manager, WCA

Stuck in a Funk?

This week WCA friend and blogger, Tony Morgan, released his new book, Stuck In A Funk?. Given the opportunity, I had the privilege of reading it early. As a quick and easy read, the content was presented with a fresh perspective leaving me challenged and inspired. It’s loaded with practical insights and leadership sound bytes that are highly beneficial for any leader.

Created intentionally for teams to read and discuss together, Tony digs into four questions for church leaders to be asking:

1. Why do churches get stuck?

2. How does the church move toward a new vision?

3. What does it take to lead change?

4. How do you communicate when change is needed?

The reality is as church leaders, it’s not always smooth sailing.  It’s OK to get stuck. It’s NOT OK to remain there. When we remain stuck, the potential of our impact shrinks.

Tony includes fresh insights that are simple, clearly communicated and on point. With discussion questions provided, he guides individuals and teams to ask the hard questions, reflect, and move towards solution.

The church is meant for movement. Leaders are meant to lead movement. So, are you Stuck In A Funk? It’s time to get out of it and get the church moving forward again.

Interested in ready Stuck in a Funk? by Tony Morgan? I’d encourage you to get a copy for you and your team here.

Rena Kosiek is the Online Marketing and Communications Manager for Willow Creek Association. She strives to be a continuous learner and seeker of experience.  Follow her on twitter: @RenaKosiek

20 Points to Lead Millenials

Post by Brad Lomenick, President of Catalyst

A good friend asked me the other day my thoughts on how to lead the 20 something’s on his staff. This is a question I’m asked quite often, whether about 20 something’s or more generally the millennial generation, primarily those born after 1982 and now firmly entrenched in the workforce. We gather thousands of leaders who fit this category on an annual basis at our Catalyst leadership events all over the country, and most of our Catalyst staff is under the age of 30.

I have to admit―I don’t always get this right. As a 100% Gen X’er, my tendency is to lean away from several of these points, and lead how I’ve been led over the years by Boomer and Busters. But I’m working on it….

So with that said, here you go, a few thoughts on leading millenials:

1. Give them freedom with their schedule. I’ll admit, this one is tough for me.

2. Provide them projects, not a career. Career is just not the same anymore. They desire options. Just like free agents.

3. Create a family environment. Work, family and social are all intertwined, so make sure the work environment is experiential and family oriented. Everything is connected.

4. Cause is important. Tie in compassion and justice to the “normal.” Causes and opportunities to give back are important.

5. Embrace social media. It’s here to stay.

6. They are more tech savvy than any other generation ever. Technology is the norm. XBOX, iPhones, laptops, iPads are just normal. If you want a response, text first, then call. Or DM first. Or send a Facebook message. Not anti calls though.

7. Lead each person uniquely. Don’t create standards or rules that apply to everyone. Customize your approach. (I’ll admit, this one is difficult too!)

8. Make authenticity and honesty the standard for your corporate culture. Millenials are cynical at their core, and don’t trust someone just because they are in charge.

9. Millenials are not as interested in “climbing the corporate ladder.” But instead more concerned about making a difference and leaving their mark.

10. Give them opportunities early with major responsibility. They don’t want to wait their turn. Want to make a difference now. And will find an outlet for influence and responsibility somewhere else if you don’t give it to them. Empower them early and often.

11. All about the larger win, not the personal small gain. Young leaders in general have an abundance mentality instead of scarcity mentality.

12. Partnering and collaboration are important. Not interested in drawing lines. Collaboration is the new currency, along with generosity.

13. Not about working for a personality. Not interested in laboring long hours to build a temporal kingdom for one person. But will work their guts out for a cause and vision bigger than themselves.

14. Deeply desire mentoring, learning and discipleship. Many older leaders think millenials aren’t interested in generational wisdom transfer. Not true at all. Younger leaders are hungry for mentoring and discipleship, so build it into your organizational environment.

15. Coach them and encourage them. They want to gain wisdom through experience. Come alongside them don’t just tell them what to do.

16. Create opportunities for quality time- individually and corporately. They want to be led by example, and not just by words.

17. Hold them accountable. They want to be held accountable by those who are living it out. Measure them and give them constant feedback.

18. They’ve been exposed to just about everything, so the sky is the limit in their minds. Older leaders have to understand younger leaders have a much broader and global perspective, which makes wowing Millenials much more difficult.

19. Recognize their values, not just their strengths. It isn’t just about the skillz baby. Don’t use them without truly knowing them.

20. Provide a system that creates stability. Clear expectations with the freedom to succeed, and providing stability on the emotional, financial, and organizational side.

This leadership content and more can be found in Brad’s upcoming leadership book, “The Catalyst Leader,” from Thomas Nelson Publishers, releasing April 16th. Leave a comment and be entered into win a copy of “The Catalyst Leader” or you can pre order a copy for you and your team here.

Brad Lomenick is president and lead visionary of Catalyst, one of America’s most influential leadership movements. Follow Brad on twitter @bradlomenick and read more of his leadership thoughts at




3 Reasons Not To Miss The National Leaders Webcast

Post by Lori Hermann, Executive Producer, WCA and The Global Leadership Summit

This week, I’ve been reviewing the video segments we’ve been preparing for The National Leaders Webcast coming up next Wednesday on April 10th. We are going to be changing things up a bit. :-) It’s unlike anything we’ve done before and I’m so excited for everyone to see it!

You will benefit exponentially from the Summit, so here are 3 reasons you absolutely should not miss this webcast!

1)    Get better at negotiating conflict – You may not think you negotiate much, but negotiating is the act of back and forth communication trying to reach agreement. How many times a day are you doing that? During this webcast, you’ll hear from William Ury, master negotiator and author of the world-side best-seller “Getting to Yes” as he talks about what prevents us from negotiating well. He also shares 4 specific skills we need to get good at it.

2)    See how God works to transform lives – I don’t know about you, but I’m always amazed and humbled to see what God prompts people to do. You’ll experience two stories of leaders who have been inspired to make bold steps of faith to make significant impact from their corner of the world.

3)    Meet The Global Leadership Summit speakers for 2013 – Our Summit team prays for and works year-round to put together a world-class faculty from church and business worlds to craft an experience that helps leaders grow in a multitude of areas including culture, influence, conflict, and more. Get to know the background of each speaker and what we are asking them to deliver at this year’s event.

The National Leaders Webcast includes practical tools for you and your team to get better as a leader, but it also delivers the story of how The Global Leadership Summit is a tool in God’s hand. It’s a tool to inspire every leader to make a kingdom impact. We look forward to see how God uses it again this year and it starting now.

Be there… Wednesday, April 10th from 11:30-12:30 CDT.

Lori Hermann is the Executive Director of Content Development for Willow Creek Association and Executive Producer of The Global Leadership Summit. She is living in her sweet spot doing what she loves to do and is passionate about creativity. She is also a lover of stories in the form of movies, books, photos and people. Follow her on Twitter @LoriHermann