Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tony Morgan's "Killing Cockroaches" leadership seminar


Tony Morgan event at TRBC, September 10, 2009

5 Reasons You'll Probably Be Stuck Killing Cockroaches


            Are you responding to the urgent, just killing cockroaches, or really dealing with the strategy?



1. You'll settle for something that is not God's plan.


Genesis 11:27 - 12:4 … Terah settled in one place because it was comfortable.  Are we settling in a spot or going to the place where God has called us?

          We must be obedient to God's call and trusting God for the next step, faith.


Listen to God. Do what he says.

          Sometimes God says we need to put our fear behind and put our foot in the river.  Reality is God has the planned worked out ahead of time.  All he is asking me to have is the faith to trust Him to take the next step.  YET I am a control freak.  Tough to take a step without knowing the future.

          Recognize His control.

          Leadership is listening to God and commit to doing what He says. Giving us a clear vision of where He is taking us.

          Are we listening?  Am I clearly communicating the vision?


It's your responsibility as the leader.


Proverbs 19:21


Clear vision:

• Sets expectations and fosters unity --- often the church is the last place we find unity.  Partly because the leader hasn't clearly shared vision.  Not sharing vision creates disunity.

• Facilitates decision-making for the future

• Creates framework for defining priorities --- clearly defining a vision helps us figure our what we will and won't do today?

• Attracts talent and financial resources ---  clear vision attracts resources

• Defines success for the ministry --- clear vision leads us to see success.  Leads us to settle for the comfort of today and not stretch for what god wants tomorrow.  Uncomfortable tension between what God is blessing and what He isn't.



2. The ministry will outgrow you.


Pastors tend to hold on to too much for too long.

          Can you identify your weakness and the people you need to bring around you?


Acts 6:1-7

          You are neglecting the teaching / studying of the word.  Neglecting caring for those who needed to be cared for, the widows.  When they stopped and listened to God, God began to bless their ministry.

          We need to empower leaders around us. 


Don't become the leadership lid. Empower future leaders.

          We need to get to a place where we develop leaders AND allow them to lead. OR we will create more for us to do and we will be weak … example MOSES


Exodus 18:18 --> Avoid ministry burnout!

          We go through the season and face the challenge. Raise up other leaders to avoid burnout! Give up leadership to others!



3. You'll stay too focused on the execution rather than the outcomes.


          When we allow leaders we have empowered, don't delegate and hand off leadership. Don't tell them what to do.  Define the vision and values and strategies … here is the framework and here is your responsibility and you have freedom.

          We must learn … are we delegating tasks or empowering leaders?

If we continue to delegrate … we aren't building leaders.


Parable of the Talents

          3 people in the story.  First two heard "well done".  With the last one "you should have …" The first two were handed off responsibility.  With the 3rd there was coaching and redirection.  Empower people to take responsibility and you will accomplish so much more.

          When things get off path we are responsible for coaching and getting things back on the right path


Great leaders will leave your ministry if you focus on the execution instead of the outcomes.

          That is a huge statement.  Think about this from a volunteer perspective.


Questions potential leaders are asking:

• Am I needed? – if I am going to invest time, will it count

• Will I have input? – if I am wired as a leader, but I want freedom to act in the framework?

• Will they keep me in the loop? – no leader wants to be caught by surprise?

• Do they care about me or are they using me? – WE NEED TO ASK THIS QUESTION

• Will they let me lead? – our churches will he healthier when we let people lead.  Plus out churches will be doing what God called them to be.

• Do I get to do something significant?



4. You'll avoid giving volunteers the opportunity to serve and lead.


Ephesians 4:12-13

          It is my responsibility to equip God's people to do God's work. 


Our role as leaders is to "equip God's people to do his work.

          We often have this completely reversed.  We think we hire people to do the ministry of the church.  But it is God's people we are to equip.  They are not to be receiving ministry but active in it.  The church will them accomplish far more.  People take steps in their faith when they take steps in their serving.

          Committed to the vision God has given us

DO IT ALL YOURSELF --- delegate (smallest impact)

BRINGING OTHERS IN --- mentoring (bigger group)

(even bigger)




The Leadership Continuum:

• Lead by example

• Lead other people

• Lead other leaders

• Lead by vision



5. You will embrace fear and/or pride rather than humility.


          When things don't go the way I think they ought to go, it is tough to take the 2nd step out of the boat.


I Peter 5:5-8

          You are gonna face pride, anxiety and fear.  The way to face it is embrace humility.  Recognize who God is and who I am not.


John 3:30

          When I decrease and He increases, I am able to embrace humility.


Are you ready to stop killing cockroaches?

1. Don't settle for something that's not God's plan.

2. Don't let the ministry outgrow you.

3. Stay more focused on the outcomes and than the execution.

4. Give volunteers the opportunity to serve and lead.

5. Embrace humility rather than fear or pride.


Can the leader of 10 become the leader of 1,000?  Leadership is a gift.  Some people don't have the gift and their leadership is at the top of where.  But we may need to bring some people along side of us to take us to the next level.  We often end up with people leading in our churches who are gifted but aren't gifted leaders.  The church is often the only organization where people who aren't truly gifted to lead.

Natural leaders are just wired this way.  Focus on the outcome rather then the execution.  To succeed surround yourself with people who are more talented than you are! (per Jonathan Falwell)  Every once and a while a leader needs to jump and say THIS IS THE WAY to do.  But always doing that puts a lid on our ministry.  TOUGH CONVERSATIONS need to happen.  Sometimes you have to empower.  Sometimes you have to remove someone.

TOUGH CONVERSATIONS --- spending time with people, getting to know them.  PRAY.  What is your span of care?  There is a place where we don't have enough time to lead people well.  Jesus did 12 and one of those went bad. Part of our leadership is to hold people accountable.  When we fail to have touch conversations, we fail to lead the way God called us to.  Plan the conversation.  Think about the outcome and it is a coaching conversation, and on going conversation.  Be willing to have the conversations.

What are the basic traits you look for in a leader?  Do you love Jesus?  Do you love the church?  The mission, vision and values ….  Do you love me?  Are you faithful, loyal, etc?  Am I gonna like hanging out with you?  Like being around them.  Are you a leader?  Success in other places … marketplace, other in the church.  Is anyone following you?  If not, you probably aren't wired up as a leader?


Session 2

Finding Your Focus


1. Are people hearing the message and experiencing life change?


          Story of JOSH GRODIN (violinist, wrong name).   Washington Post story.


Romans 10:14

          How can they hear?  How can they believe?

          As the church trying to impact the culture, we are trying to preach and people are just passing by, not hearing, no transformation.  But we are doing things that are not impacting a lot of lives.  Is your message actually being heard?  Are lives being transformed?

          What if the violinist had the entire orchestra with him and beyond?  We know people need the message, but we offer it in a way that it is out of their context.  As a result the message isn't embraced.


They didn't stop to hear the violinist–"not because people didn't have the capacity to

understand beauty, but because it was irrelevant to them."


"All Scripture is equally inspired. All Scripture is not equally important. All Scripture is not

equally applicable." -Andy Stanley

          there is a lot in Scripture but I only have a few minutes to offer some things.  What is it that I need to offer.  With limited amount of time to capture people's attention, are we sharing things that hit where they are or in context.


Matthew 22:37-38

          Most important … LOVE GOD.  We must first focus on GOD and on loving others.  God is drawing people.  But he has called us to offer things to people that resonates in their daily lives.


Two questions for every message:

1. What do they need to know? (biblical truth)  --- clearly communicate

2. What do they need to do? (next steps)



2. Are the next steps clearly defined?


How do I get from "Point A" to "Point B" at your church?

          What does a fully devoted follower of Christ look like at your church?  We want people know Jesus and grow in Him.  There is a lot happening in our churches.

          Study --- 2 tables. 1 with 24 jams. 1 with 6 jams.  More stopped at big table.  But bigger percentage purchased at smaller table.  We get stuck when we don't know the right decision.  We stay where we are comfortable.

          As churches we offer many options.  Churches provide too many options with keeps people from making decisions and moving on in their faith.



"Good is the enemy of great." -Jim Collins


Complexity Creep = When we "keep plugging in new things but never unplug old things

resulting in confusion with customers and employees." -John Moore


          Churches reaching more people offer fewer options.  Results say …

          What options do I have with connecting with a church?  Take an honest look?  Be honest.  Too many???  We are offering too many things … confusing people about their next steps.

          Have people write out one time God really moved in their life and people took a step of faith.  Will force you to consider how God actually helps people grow in their faith.  How does God cause people to grow in their faith?  Focus your time and energy there.


Is it biblical?


Where is your focus?

• What event/program requires a major platform announcement to succeed?

• What would you not participate in if you weren't the pastor? – investigate!!!

• Does this program reach people outside the church, or does it just satisfy people

inside the church?

• Where is the fruit? What would happen if you invested more time, energy,

resources, volunteers, leadership, prayer there? What would happen if we focused here?


Don't confuse activity with results.

          Fewer programs equal more effectiveness.  We cannot confuse activity with results?


Two questions for every ministry initiative:

1. Who do we want them to be?

2. How do they get there?



3. Are the next steps clearly communicated?


          Even good ministries start to compete at some point.

          The giant inflatable blue monkey … trying to draw more people.  We pull this out to get people's attention.  Announcement. Bulletin. Mailing. Email. Video. Etc…

           So many options, we don't know what the next step is.

          Take a 2 week window accumulate every message you send out to your church family.  Take every piece into a room and pin them on the room walls.  You will think did this all come from 1 organization.  You will see it looks like coming from multiple organizations.  You will also see the mass of stuff you are trying to communicate to people.  We are trying to communicate too many messages and not doing any of them well.

          The way people will connect is the same thing that brought them in.  IT IS A RELATIONSHIP in.  It is invest and invite.  Number one way to get people to take steps in faith and church.  Its relationships.

          Women's ministry conference at GRANGER.  Get people to ask 1 person.  Ask them questions: why haven't you been involved in the past? And what would it take to get you involved?  Eliminated need for promotion.  Focused on relationships and added hundreds of women.

          How can my ministry add value to people's lives and focus more on relationships?  When we don't see people connecting, we begin to blame.  It is easier to create a flyer.  It is easier to promote ministry.  It is harder to develop relationships.


John 17:23


Louder doesn't equal better.


Luke 11: 46


Mt 11:28-30


Two questions for clear communications:

1. Does your church programming reflect a commitment to keeping people busy or

focusing people on Jesus?

2. Does your personal life reflect a commitment to staying busy or focusing on Jesus?


Is there a place for platform announcements? YES.  If it is an all church announcement, it is appropriate.  People are busy.  People are distracted.  Keep it focused on one next step.


BALANCE. We have to focus on the relationships and the tasks.  Embrace both.  I tend to lean one way or the other.  Then you discipline yourself to have balance.  SPAN OF CARE.


The clutter that is around all the time you have to have laser like focus and able to do something.  How do you take the clutter along with the more important things?  What we must focus on is that thing or that path that we have to take to get where God called us to be.  We are SO OFTEN unwilling to walk to the end of the path and realize we have to jump in.  If we don't, we are not willing to lead. 


Fear is always grounded in pride!


This is what God called us to do.  Be willing to take the next step.  Be willing to take the good with the bad.


Clearly focus on things that you are passionate about.  Do the things that God called you to.  The calling on other people's lives may not be the calling for your church.


Help people take steps of faith and fill their vision, God calling.  We don't take everyone's vision and calling and make it part of the church.


Sacred cows … how do you deal with them? Understand God has called us to something different.  It all begins with clear vision.  People understand the vision.  Process is important.  Create a culture where change is expected in the church.  It will help you deal with the vision (and with sacred cows).  Involve people in the process.


If we don't make changes, we won't be able to move this ministry forward and reach out to this community we live in.  It is a victory if we minister to people in Jesus' name and they join another church that is a victory for the kingdom.  The church is called to win souls.  Couch every decision in that truth.


The only way to make a major change is to remind people it is about people and we don't want people to go to hell.  Killing sacred cows to win souls for Christ is worth it.


If your objective is to make everyone happy, you are in the wrong profession.


Create culture of change: embrace change as a leader, it has to do with leadership.  If you are the only one creating or fueling change, it is ill effective.  Others need to take a part.  Kind of like parenting.  If I parenting my 15 year old like I parent my 4 year old, things would be wrong.


We have to pick people up who have fallen or made bad choices and help them get back on track.





Copyright © 2009 Tony Morgan. All Rights Reserved.

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