Start off 2015 with 6x6

As a team leader you have an incredibly valuable impact on the success of your team.

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As we enter 2015 I wanted to share one of my favorite clips from a talk given by Bill Hybels at The Global Leadership Summit in 2012. Bill’s 6x6 exercise provides a valuable perspective on how to best invest in your team over the next 6 months. 

Bill Hybels posed this question to leaders at The Global Leadership Summit in 2012. What do you struggle with everyday? To most, their answer would be time.

Bonus - Still want some set some measurable goals this year? Check out this post by Michael Hyatt on "How Evernote can Help you Achieve Your Goals in 2015"

1 Incredibly Important Step to Finish Your Preaching Calendar

Finishing your preaching calendar feels like quite an accomplishment. You spent time focusing, preparing, thinking and dreaming…and you finally have it, you’re next 12 months of teaching. But  you’re not done until you complete this 1 incredibly important, often overlooked step. If we really do hope to help people with our teaching, we must go back over each planned series and ask the question “How do we help our audience get the most out of this series?”

So what do I mean by that? We know that we are going to preach, but when you really sit back and think about it, a 30 minute lecture/monologue probably won’t cut it. In fact, it’s probably safe to say a lecture is never enough to make a deep, life changing impact. To really help people take their next step we are going to have to do more than just teach.

Here are 7 ideas to help you beef up each series:

  1. Retreat - Let’s say you’re planning a series around marriage. Would it help if you included an option to go deeper at a marriage retreat following the series? 
  2. Small Groups - Some series call for an all encompassing campaign where every small group in the church is also reviewing material taught on Sunday morning. 
  3. 1 Off Small Groups - Should you highlight the opportunity to join a small group that will dive deeper into the topics covered by that series? This could be everything from a book study or a week by week deeper dive on the material covered each week. 
  4. Workshops - A series on “money” can always be followed by a workshop (say for example, Financial Peace University).
  5. Launching a new ministry - The conclusion of a series may be a fantastic opportunity to launch a new ministry with a momentum boost right out of the gate. 
  6. Email study - Some series may benefit from a series of emails taking individuals through private reflection. Planning this ahead of time can allow you to create higher quality material and possibly even automate it’s delivery. 
  7. Implementing the teaching - You can help you audience take their next step when you provide them with the tools. If you’ve been talking about being a good neighbor, for example, what about providing your church with the tools to throw a block party. 

Keep in mind, this list of ideas only identify things you could do during or after a series. What else can you do help beef up your teaching series? Leave a suggestion in the comments below. 

The Best Way to Utilize Team Leaders

Being in charge isn’t about being in charge.  It’s about speed and effectiveness.

There is no doubt that you have goals, and that when you meet people there is some part of your brain that begins to think about how you can “use” them. It’s not a malicious or a controlling thought, it’s well intentioned. You have goals you are trying to accomplish, an organization you are trying to run and every contribution counts. So what is the best way to utilize team leaders?

When I first entered ministry I would visit churches around the US and Canada and dream. I’d come back home and build elaborate organizational structures, encompassing everything I could think of. Then I’d set out to fill these roles one by one. This seemed like a great idea, but one that never seemed to materialize. Just having an idea of the “positions needed” on my teams didn’t help me make leaps forward. In fact, it was wasted effort. 

What I’ve learned is that for the most speed and effectiveness, when it comes to building a team, all that’s necessary is a basic simple structure. Define some key leadership positions and develop individuals to take on those roles. Let the rest fill itself in as you grow. But in order for this to work, one very specific task must be clear to every team leader you recruit and that is this:

Their primary job is to give as many people as possible the opportunity to make their strongest contribution to the church community.

What do I mean by that? Leading teams in the church is about helping people find a place to contribute. It’s our responsibility to constantly be watching and moving people into roles where they can grow and increase their impact. Every leader has a responsibility to “equip the church to be the the church,” to help the people make a difference. To fulfill a role that lets them use their unique wiring, strengths and skills. 

In fact, consider who you have in leadership and paid positions. Are they players or coaches? I don’t want players in leadership positions, I want coaches in leadership positions. I want coaches INVESTING in players. I want coaches providing a fantastic volunteer experience for players. I want coaches making sure everything is ready for players to hit the ground running. I want coaches pushing decisions down to the lowest appropriate level. I want the entire team, no matter whether they are paid or volunteer, to feel ownership in our success and failures. I want everyone to have some skin in the game. 

Examine your direct reports. Which one of them are players and which ones are coaches? The best way to utilize team leaders is unleash them as coaches. So how can you help them understand the difference?