10 Things I’ve Learned About Gossip – And Why I Hate It So Much

By | Christians, Church, Family, Leadership | 40 Comments

I hate gossip.

I realize hate is a strong word, but it’s the one I prefer here. I’ve seen so many negative results caused by gossip.

Gossip happens in families, in the workplace – wherever two or more are gathered – gossip will be among them. And, gossip is always destructive to building healthy relationships. I hate gossip in any setting, but especially in the church.

Relational gossip, especially among believers, shouldn’t even exist. We have to violate a lot of principles of God’s plan for the church and believers for it to be present at all.

Gossip is destructive and has no part in our lives or in the church. I’ve counseled with families caught in drama, such as after the loss of a loved one, and gossip is fueling their division. I have witnessed gossip destroy a healthy work environment. And, I have worked with so many churches where gossip – drama – is a leading cause of why the church isn’t healthy, isn’t growing, and isn’t accomplishing all God has for the church.

And, I’ve learned a few things about gossip.

Here are 10 things I’ve learned about gossip:

Not all rumors are true. In fact, most aren’t, especially not exactly as they are presented. When we repeat things we shouldn’t we seldom get all the facts straight. There is usually something we don’t understand.

People like to expand on what they think they know. People love to speculate and add their opinion to what they’ve heard. When they do the story gets further from the actual truth. People enjoy telling others “the good stuff”. With practice, some have even learned to make things seem “bigger” and “better” than reality. (And, I don’t mean better in the positive sense.)

There is almost always more to the story than what you know. Whenever multiple people are involved there will be multiple sides to the story. Even in stories involving only one person – if we aren’t hearing it from them – we only know what we know. We don’t know another person’s thoughts, history, or individual circumstances. And, it may or may not be what your mind stretches it to be.

Sometimes people don’t consider the ramifications of what they are doing. This is so potentially damaging. I have seen gossip destroy a person. I’ve even seen it run people from the church – and then watch as some of the people involved in creating and furthering the drama wonder later what happened. They honestly didn’t realize the damage their rumor-repeating was causing. It’s so easy to get trapped in drama without considering the damage being done to others. I’m convinced, at least the hopeful side of me is convinced, people don’t always intend the harm they cause with gossip.

Gossip is fueled by reaction. When someone tells you something you shouldn’t even know the way you respond often determines how many times it’s told again. If you gasp with wonder and interest the person sees they have something worth repeating and are motivated to seek the same reaction in others. If, however, you appear not as interested or intrigued the person may feel disarmed somewhat from sharing it more.

Some of the juiciest gossip is disguised as a prayer request. Be honest. You’ve done or seen this done many times. People do this to pastors all the time. “Pastor, please pray for the Jones family. I’ve heard their son is really causing them problems. Just wanted you to know so you could be praying.” And, actually, many times they just wanted me to know so they could do the telling.

People often stir drama for personal advantage. It could be to advance their own agenda. They may be on a power play. Sometimes people talk about others thinking it will make them feel better about their own life. And, sadly, I’ve known people who seem to get a “cheap thrill” out of creating drama. (I’ve never understood this one, but it’s true.)

The only reliable source is the direct source. Every. Single. Time. In fact, a good discipline would be to not repeat anything, which wasn’t from a direct source.

Thumper’s mom was right. If we can’t say something nice we really shouldn’t say anything at all. If we all lived by this principle there would be far less drama. And, far less pain caused as a result.

Gossip destroys. Gossip can bring down a person’s reputation quickly. Start a tale about someone and watch their character unravel in front of you. It happens to celebrities and politicians. I’ve seen in happen to pastors, individuals, and entire churches.

The point of this post is awareness. Most of my readers are believers. Some non-believers, however, will likely share my distaste of gossip in relationships. If you’ve made it this far in the post you and I can make a difference in stopping gossip from spreading by how we respond to it.

You may want to read my post 7 Ways to Stop Gossip Or, even better, read the Book of James in the New Testament. Or maybe Ephesians. (Specifically note 4:29).

5 Leadership Reflections from the Life of David

By | Business, Call to Ministry, Church, Church Planting, Church Revitalization, Encouragement, Leadership | 5 Comments

I read an interesting story from the life of the Biblical character of David again recently. The story says a great deal about leadership and what is required to successfully lead.

Here’s what I read:

When David was told, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing floors,” he inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?”The LORD answered him, “Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah. But David’s men said to him, “Here in Judah we are afraid. How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!” 1 Samuel 23:1-3

Notice David had a vision…a word from God. This was prior to David being the reigning king. He had been anointed king by God, but did not yet have the position. He was hiding from Saul. He had no kingdom of his own. This new assignment was scary, his army was questioning him, and the future was unknown.

Have you experienced a situation like this as a leader?

Thankfully David’s story had a happy ending: (Imagine that…God put him up to it.)

Once again David inquired of the LORD, and the LORD answered him, “Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand.” 5 So David and his men went to Keilah, fought the Philistines and carried off their livestock. He inflicted heavy losses on the Philistines and saved the people of Keilah. 1 Samuel 23:4-5

This story prompts some thoughts on leadership:

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What Was My Greatest Success in Life?

By | Church, Encouragement, Leadership, Life Plan | 2 Comments

I was interviewed a few years ago for a leadership podcast. One of the questions took me by surprise. I have been interviewed for podcasts many times, so answers usually come fairly easily.

They didn’t this time. At least to this question.

The question:

What has been your greatest success in life and what did you learn from it?

Greatest success?

I should have probably had an answer ready, but I don’t think I have ever kept a mental record of successes. I tend to think in terms of what I can do better, what I need to know, or how we did on the last whatever we just did.

I didn’t have an easy answer.

The first answer, which came to mind:

Apart from knowing Christ and being known by Him, my greatest success has been failure.”

Then I took my interviewer by surprise, until I went on to explain.

I began to tell him I felt successful in my ability to have a failure and then get back up and try again.

I feel most successful when I keep going in spite of the obstacles around me.

Having had plenty of time to think about my answer I’m sticking with it.

The truth is I have had lots of failure. I’ve been on the bottom several times and, by God’s grace and through commitment and perseverance, I always climbed back.

I have failed in so many different areas of my life too – in professional and personal life.

And, here’s what I’ve observed:

I’ve gained my greatest lessons from life through the hardest times of my life.

And, something tells me I’m not finished learning.

I’m not sharing this to boast about anything in my life. In fact, if failure has taught me anything it has taught me humility.

I share it to encourage you. You may feel discouraged today. Maybe you are a pastor and you’ll read this on a Monday. You may have just about lost all hope. You may feel a complete failure – like the best of life is past for you.

I am here to tell you it’s not! You can stand strong again. By God’s grace – and through commitment and perseverance – you can climb the mountain again.

By the way – this is almost always the story of people who experience success. You often only see them when they’re standing, but you didn’t see the times they fell. 

Your greatest success in life may be your ability to endure through the hard times – even through failure – get up and move forward again. 

4 Leadership Realities in Times of Transition

By | Church, Leadership | 2 Comments

There are some common occurrences during times of change in an organization. If a leader doesn’t understand them the chance for a successful transition is diminished, people remain frustrated, and progress is stalled.

Leader, if you’re leading a time of transition here are four things to remember.

And, plan accordingly.

Miscommunication isn’t unusual.

You should make every attempt to communicate in ways everyone can hear and understand. This requires intentionality. You’ll have to get better in time. But, there will simply be times not everyone will know what’s going on – and, that can be frustrating.

Isn’t this true in your own household during certain seasons? When our boys were young and into sports, school, and church activities – plus we both worked in busy jobs, there were days it seemed Cheryl and I were just passing each other in the hallway of our home.

These seasons shouldn’t last long before we intentionally slow down and catch up with each other, but they don’t mean our marriage (or the team we lead) is dysfunctional. They are seasons.

Misunderstanding is normal.

And, it makes sense when miscommunication is occurring. People only know what they know. They don’t know anymore. So, when all the information hasn’t been delivered, or there is too much information to keep track of it all, some people are going to become confused. That’s normal too.

There will be blurred lines of responsibility as people scramble to keep up. You can and should structure, plan, and strategize along the way, but not every age will ever be covered. That’s the reality of change. It leads into an unknown and you can’t prepare for it completely.

And, here’s the hard reality.Not everyone will make it during these days of transition. They can’t live with the tension of the unknown. It could be their choice – and certainly that’s a preferred way, but it could require a hard decision on behalf of the leader.

Missed opportunities are standard.

Some things will have to go undone. You can’t be everywhere and do everything.

That’s hard for leaders and the teams they lead. It’s especially difficult when you have to let go of something you enjoy or something which has a tradition behind it.

But, to play off the old cliche, you can’t keep doing ALL the same things and expect to get different results. And, you can’t keep doing all the same things and introduce change to the organization either.

Mistakes can be expected.

When you are leading into new territories, and the team has never been somewhere before, there will naturally be mistakes made. Don’t panic! It’s part of the deal.

And, some of the best learnings are from mistakes. Your next best moments as an organization may be realized only when you risk the possibility of failure. Don’t be afraid to let them happen. Obviously, you don’t want to cause them, but they are a part of times of change and transition.

Again, I’m not suggesting we don’t work to avoid all of these long-term. We should continually work to improve communication and cooperation on our teams. It is helpful, however, to keep these in mind and remind people as a part of your vision-casting for change. If you address these on the front-end, and periodically throughout the change process, it can help alleviate friction and frustration.

7 Reasons We Avoid Progress

By | Church Planting, Encouragement, Leadership | 15 Comments

We have to be very careful with progress. Progress can be a fun. Most leaders want to see progress. Most people do also.

But, as much as we may want – and need – progress, there are reasons we naturally tend to avoid it.

Here are 7 reasons we avoid progress:

It stretches us – Progress always takes us in areas we’ve never been before.

I recently hired a personal trainer. We spend a lot of time stretching. If you stretch enough, as much as I may need to, it hurts! I have to fill a little pain so I can eventually feel better and be more productive in my workouts.

It invites change – Always. You can’t have progress without it. Progress loves to stir interest in something new. And, to fuel and maintain the momentum brings continual change.

It’s like buying a new couch for the living room. Pretty soon, if you like the couch enough, you want more new. You might have to have a new rug in front of the couch. And, then a new chair. And, new curtains. (You get the idea.)

You have to improve – I often say, “You have to get better to get bigger.” It’s true. Progress, requires more energy and effort as it progresses.

Every time I’ve initiated some type of development opportunity it’s required a learning curve among our people. We have to figure something out we have previously never done.

It’s often messy – Progress often goes where there is not a defined system or procedures. In finding new territory, progress gets messy at times.

Most of us, even the risk takers among us, (people like me) prefer something in our life, which is safe and predictable. Getting to real progress seldom is.

It often defies logic or boundaries – Traditional lines of thought won’t always work with progress. You’ll have to think beyond what’s pre-determined, established, and even normal at times.

In church revitalization, for example, as much as we try to build upon the past there really isn’t any way to move forward unless you challenge the way things have always been done. This is often where the resistance begins. It’s uncomfortable.

It invites competition – No one pays attention to a stagnant organization. Show people a little progress and someone will want to join the fun!

Of course, we are all on the “same team” in church work – right? But, our competition isn’t necessarily other churches. The more we find ways to get people into church – the more there is in the world to distract them.

It begs for more – Progress begets progress. People want to keep experiencing the thrill of victory.

And, that stretches us even more, which invites more change, and makes us even more uncomfortable.

You can’t say you haven’t been warned. We have a choice. If we want to achieve progress we have to make sure we are prepared for the “progress” it brings.

A Difficult Day Every Leader Must Face

By | Call to Ministry, Church, Church Revitalization, Leadership | 2 Comments

There is a day every leader has to face, even though no leader necessarily wants to face it.

I have walked through this day with dozens of leaders over the years and it’s never a fun process.

It’s the day when it’s time to no longer be the leader.

Knowing the painful process of getting to this reality, it pains me even to even write it.

Just seeing it in print may sting a little if you know the time has come for you, but you haven’t yet said it aloud.

It could be for a variety of reasons. It still hurts.

It could be retirement. A season has ended. You know it’s time to slow down, but you wonder what this next season will be like.

It could be, and this is even harder, you know you’re no longer the best fit to be the leader. You had a good run, but now the organization has changed and there needs to be someone else to take things to the next level.

It could simply be you know your heart, or God’s plan for you, has changed, and it’s time to move on to something new.

Regardless of the reason, wrestling to this point is a difficult and sometimes grueling decision for every leader.

It’s one I’ve faced in my own career. In our last church plant, I knew God was releasing us to something new. I felt reasonably good about where things were at the time I was leaving, but it didn’t make it easy. I couldn’t see what would happen next. I just knew my season there was ending.

Some leaders handle this well. Some resist it and don’t. Some kick and scream and it has to be forced upon them – and that’s never pretty.

My friend and co-worker Dan Russell, our care and senior adults pastor, got to a point at his church where he sensed they needed someone different to carry them to the next level as a church. It was in his season of wrestling God brought him to my attention. He was in his early 60’s and had plenty of work years ahead of him, but he sensed it was time to step aside.

God rewards obedience. As hard as it must have been for him to come to his realization, his addition to our team proved to be one of the best things to happen in my tenure as pastor. I can’t imagine the first few years in revitalization without him.

I have observed other mega churches where the senior pastor stepped aside – sensing it was time for a change. They seemed to have handed the transition well.

My friends William Vanderbloemen and Warren Bird wrote a great book on pastoral succession called NEXT. It’s a needed resource.

Yet, unfortunately, we all know stories when the exit of a leader didn’t go so well.

The leader stayed too long. They became ineffective. They made the transition more difficult than it had to be. They burned bridges. They broke relationships.

And, I’m convinced it makes things hurt even more.

There’s a day every leader must face. No leader really wants to face it. The day when it’s time to no longer be the leader isn’t an easy reality.

Some handle it well. Some don’t.

Listen, leader, here’s some advance caution for you – before your day approaches.

When you no longer have the passion.

When you just don’t care anymore.

When things are plateaued beyond your ability to move them forward.

When you simply can’t seem to get motivated again.

When you are working for a paycheck rather than a mission.

I’m not saying it’s time. I’m not saying there are not answer or solutions or help for you to stay in the position. I’m not even suggesting any of these are indicators you should leave now.

It would totally be out of line and inappropriate for me to suggest so without knowing your individual story.

I’m simply saying there comes a day, for every leader when it’s time to change seasons. Discerning and determining the day – before the day is determined for us – protects everyone. The organization. The church. And, the leader.

10 Ways to Handle Conflict in a Healthy Way

By | Church, Leadership | 9 Comments

Where life involves people – whether among family, friends or co-workers – there will be potential for conflict.

Any disagreement there?

Want to fight about it? 🙂

In fact, if relationships are normal, conflict is inevitable.

But, conflict doesn’t have to destroy relationships. It can actually be used to make relationships better. That takes intentionality, practice – and a whole lot of grace.

In an organizational sense, conflict is certainly a huge part of a leader’s life. Even in a pastor’s life.

It seems to reason that learning to deal with conflict successfully should be one of our goal as leaders.

Here are 10 ways to effectively handle conflict:

Understand the real source of coonflict.

What’s the real battle? Many times we address symptoms, but we really aren’t even addressing with the main issue. This only wastes time, frustrates people, and makes the conflict linger longer. It’s usually a heart issue which is controlling everything being said. (Proverbs 4:23) Discovering that is key. Make sure you ask lots of questions and attempt to clarify the root issue of the conflict. (This is where a third party help is often needed.)

Find the right time and place.

When emotions are high is not good timing for dealing with conflict. Personal conflict should not be handled in public. Don’t be afraid to schedule a time to address the conflict.

Examine yourself first.

Sometimes the issue is personal to you and you are only blaming others for your problem. Not only is this unfair, it doesn’t lead to a healthy resolution of conflict. Look carefully at the “plank” in your own eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)

Consider the other person’s side of the conflict.

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and consider their viewpoint. (Philippians 2:4) Why would they think the way they think? Is it a difference in personal values or a misunderstanding? What if I were in their situation – how would I respond?

Do not overreact to the issue or overload on emotion.

Stick to the issue at hand. When emotions are exaggerated it disarms the other party and a healthy resolution is harder to attain. Control yourself from extremity or absolutes. Avoid phrases like “You always…”. (Proverbs 25:28)

Do not dance around or sugarcoat the issue or disguise it in false kindness.

Sometimes we fail to address the conflict because we are afraid of how the other person may respond or we are afraid of hurting feelings. The avoidance usually will cause more conflict eventually. Be kind, but make sure you are clear, direct, and helpful.(Proverbs 27:5)

Do not allow the small disagreements to become big disagreements.

The way to keep most huge conflict (the kind that destroys relationships) from occurring is by confronting the small conflict along the way. Minor conflict is always easier to handle than major conflict.

Be firm, but gentle.

Learn the balance between the two. It’s critical in dealing with conflict. (Consider Jesus’ approach in John 4.)

Work towards a solution.

Never waste conflict. Use it to make the organization and/or the relationship better. Everyone wants a win-win situation, and sometimes that’s possible. Getting to the right decision should always be the ultimate goal. (Proverbs 21:3)

Grant grace and forgiveness easily.

Healthy conflict makes relationships stronger, but to get there we must not hold a grudge or seek revenge. This never moves conflict forward towards resolution. Learn the art of grace and forgiveness. They are protectors of healthy relationships. (Ephesians 4:32)

Conflict is a part of relationships. All relationships. As leaders, we shouldn’t shy away from conflict. We should learn it’s value and how to navigate conflict for the overall good of the team.

10 Of My Biggest Leadership Mistakes

By | Church, Leadership | 10 Comments

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in leadership.

One of the primary purposes of this blog is to help others learn from my experience. So, I want to share some of the mistakes I’ve made. I hope at least one of them encourages other leaders.

These are 10 of the biggest:

Playing salesman more than seeking wisdom.

I have had times I was so convinced I was right I used my skills as a communicator to get people on my side. In hindsight, I should’ve taken more time to seek other people’s insight and wisdom, because I wasn’t right after all.

Listening only to the yea-sayers.

The fact is critics sometimes have valid points to make. I prefer they find kinder and gentler ways to share them – and, even better, be brave enough to attach their name – but it’s a mistake to only listen to people who agree with you.

Ignoring my gut, because the crowd was excited.

We were going to launch a capital campaign. We knew we needed to do it at some point. Everyone was excited, or so they seemed. The momentum was high, but something inside of me said wait. When I began to get nervous about moving forward and went back to the excited crowd, and asked them to pray again, it was unanimous. They didn’t think the timing was right. We were moving forward in emotion, but not under God’s direction. I learned this one the hard way. Other times I’ve not been as sensitive to my gut or the Spirit’s leading.

Failing to remove the wrong people soon enough.

They say hire slow and fire fast. They weren’t necessarily in the church world, were they? Seriously, I’ve waited too long too many times. It only delays the pain.

Rushing too fast to fix things.

Some things need time to gel. I have learned that sometimes things get solved on their own. Conflicts are resolved and relationships saved, even strengthened, because I didn’t get involved.

Avoiding a brewing conflict.

At the same time, when I know trouble is stirring, and it isn’t going away without my input, it’s a mistake if I refuse to deal with it, because it is awkward or uncomfortable. It always comes back to haunt me. Unresolved conflict never just “goes away”. And, when left to brew long enough it can cause irreversible damage to a team.

Talking someone away from their heart.

For example, I’ve talked a few people into staying in jobs they didn’t like just because I liked them. It never works. It isn’t fair. It always ends worse than if I’d let them follow their hearts. I’ve learned when someone knows what they should do, I should encourage them rather than persuade them otherwise.

Not challenging, because I didn’t understand something.

I lead areas of ministry I’m not an expert in. Worship. Students. Small groups. Children. Preschool. Technology. Missions. Okay, I was afraid you’d notice, pretty much everything.

By practice, I’ve surrounded myself with people smarter than me. But, I have learned it is a mistake to believe, because I’m not the expert, I can’t challenge them in their field. I may have to study more, but as a leader my job is to challenge us to excellence. Therefore, I can, and should, challenge all areas, which impact the overall vision. Again, which is pretty much every area within our church.

Assuming people understand.

I don’t need many details. Well, let me be a little clearer, I don’t want or retain many details. But, everyone is not me. Some people thrive on details. They can’t function without them. And, neither personality is wrong. We need both types on our team. I’ve had to learn to communicate in different ways and let others assist me in communicating and I welcome questions.

Ignoring the real problems.

I’ve been tempted to band-aid the problem, because it was too messy to address the real problem. Real problems often involve people. It’s easier to add a rule than get someone upset, but problems never go away until the real problem is addressed.

I’ve been honest with some of my leadership mistakes – some of them at least.

What are some of yours?

One Signature Piece of My Ministry

By | Church, Leadership | No Comments

One signature of my ministry, as a pastor, has been how approachable I appear on Sunday.

I’m not saying that to brag. You need to keep reading before you make that assessment. I’m actually sharing it to encourage a few of my pastor friends who may read this blog and need it.

This morning I had a doctors appointment. It was just a checkup. Thankfully, I’m well. But, as I checked in the man behind the desk said, “I enjoy going to your church.” I thought he looked familiar, but sometimes I don’t recognize people out of context.

He continued to talk about how friendly the church is and how I personally made people feel welcome. He specifically said, “You appear so humble and approachable. It makes people feel very welcome. That’s unusual in a large church.”

I hear that kind of thing frequently.

Again, before you think I’m bragging, there is actually an important story behind this man’s compliment. I haven’t always been this approachable. I hope I was still humble. I certainly wasn’t trying to be arrogant, but I used to be harder to find on a Sunday.

As I’ve written about many times on this blog, I’m an introvert. This simply means my preference is towards less talking, rather than more. I tend to be reserved and quiet more than I am outgoing and gregarious. After teaching or preaching I’m usually whipped. Words spent – used up for a while.

Years ago, before I was in ministry, I taught a large Bible study class. It was lecture style and when I finished teaching I would pray and quietly slip out the door before I said amen.

Being totally transparent, if asked I might pretend I was being humble or even had somewhere else to go. I certainly wouldn’t let people know I simply didn’t enjoy “small talk”. After teaching for 45 minutes I was “talked out”.

I should point out, as I have in other blog posts, this was not an indication I do not love people. I truly do. Introverts, or at least most of us, love people. We are just more reserved in showing it sometimes. (At least by most extrovert’s expectations.)

Anyway, the practice continued when I became a pastor. I would preach and then quietly, as I closed in prayer, slip behind the platform, into the back of the church.

One day, a godly old deacon came to see me in the office during the week. He asked if he could share something on his heart. Of course, I agreed, so he began to talk about my exiting strategy.

I will never forget what he had to share. He said, “If as you are praying you will slip to the front of the church, and shake people’s hands as they leave, they will be more likely to return the next week.”

Wow! I felt caught and convicted.

But, I was new to ministry, I respected this man greatly, and so I began to practice his advice. It was life-changing for my ministry.

I’ve practiced this since then, even as I have pastored much larger churches, and here’s the real interesting part. Not only is it signature of my ministry you can shake my hand – and, I seem to encourage it. It is also one of my favorite parts of Sunday mornings.

Did you catch that? I actually look forward to interacting with and engaging people who attend and visit our church. Again, I love people. I simply have to force myself to engage sometimes. Now it’s no longer an effort. It’s a joy!

Yes, as an introvert, I am extremely tired after Sunday. I need time to recover. But, I truly believe it has made our church more welcoming and it’s made me a better pastor.

Fellow introverted pastors, you can do this! You will have to be intentional – at least at first, but it will lead you and the church to be more welcoming. And, isn’t that who we’ve been called to be?

That deacon passed away a few years ago, but his quiet, encouraging impact on this new pastor is still making a difference today.

11 Words for Pastors I’ve Learned in Leading

By | Church, Leadership | 3 Comments

I love pastors. I’m not saying that because I am one. I haven’t always been. I was in secular leadership far longer than I’ve been in ministry leadership.

I say it because, having now been a pastor, I see the uniqueness of the role and what’s required to be effective in ministry. It’s hard work. I applaud God’s servants who are obedient to their call.

The real motive behind this blog is to encourage and help equip pastors. I know there are others who read this – and, I’m thankful they do – but, my heart still reaches out to those who serve in vocational ministry positions (whether part-time or full-time).

Occasionally I like to share some of the tweetable thoughts I’ve got running through my head. That’s the point of this post. I want to share some words for pastors I’ve learned in leading people.

Most of these I’ve learned the hard way:

1. The change you most need to initiate will often be the hardest change to make.

2. The loss of power, or sense of loss, will always be a key objection to change.

3. People aren’t always taking your situation as seriously as you are. Remember, you aren’t likely taking their situation as serious as they do either.

4. All criticism stings. Some stings more than others. Even when you need to hear it – even if it’s not true – it hurts.

5. Being a bad fit for the team doesn’t make someone a bad person.

6. Some of your greatest partners in ministry are often silent partners. God will often reveal them to you only when you need them most.

7. Your greatest fear will likely be in an area where God can most use you.

8. Just because it is the right thing to do is no indication everyone is going to love it.

9. You build greater loyalty in people when you share a common vision, not when you share common personalities.

10. People naturally resist what they can’t understand. This makes vision-casting a premier function of leadership.

11. You limit what you control.

Anything you’ve learned in leadership you’d love to share?