October 19, 2010

There's No Such Thing As "Just"

The other day I had the chance to speak to some of our ministry volunteers in preparation for a major event in the life of our church. I wanted to pass along some of what I shared with them because the principle I shared with them applies to every ministry.

There Is No Such Thing As "Just" In God's Kingdom.

Every week there are awesome people who get to church early or stay late in order to serve. However, there are also days where those people think to themselves, "I'm just saying hello to people as they come in," "I'm just rocking this baby," or "I'm just trying to get through this kid's class without killing anybody." Most of us have those days. On those days we question whether what we're doing is really making a difference. Let me assure you that what you do matters. You may think you're just smiling and saying hello, but to that person who is giving God & the church one last chance, you're helping to create a warm, inviting environment that takes them a step closer to encountering God in the worship service. You may think you are just taking care of babies & toddler, but you're actually helping lay their spiritual foundations while serving their parents so that they can worship without squirmy kids crawling all over the place. What you do matters.

Imagine if you didn't do what you do. Imagine if there wasn't a friendly face to meet a newcomer & to get them the information they need. There's a good chance they would never get comfortable enough in your church to let down their guard long enough to experience God in worship. Imagine if you didn't provide a safe, secure place for children. Moms & dads would be more focused on if their kid is OK than on listening to God's word. The thing that you think you're just doing may be the very thing that allows someone to encounter God; it may be the one thing that makes their experience with church so positive that they decide they'll be back next week & maybe even bring another family with them.

There is no such thing as JUST.

October 18, 2010

The Belichick Factor

I've been absent from the blog world for quite awhile. The last several weeks for me have been all about school work, ministry, & pneumonia...that's right pneumonia. Needless to say, it's been fun! Last night I wrapped up my 1st term of the fall semester & now have a little time to devote back to writing & sharing some of the stuff I'm picking up about life, ministry, & leadership. And fittingly, one of my favorite coaches has yet again provided me with great material.

I'm not ashamed to say I love Bill Belichikc. I've written about him before here & here in regard to what I saw as some arrogance that had crept into his decision making, but in the last couple of weeks the coach returned to his roots. Recently, Belichick & the Patriots traded away one of the best receivers ever in Randy Moss. Then last week the team brought Deion Branch, a former receiver, back to the team. On paper, this is not exactly what you would call an upgrade. Randy Moss is a hall of famer; Deion Branch virtually disappeared upon leaving New England. However, in his first game back & only 4 days after joining the team, Branch has a huge game yesterday. What's the point?

The point is that Bill Belichick is a great leader because he knows how to put people in just the right place so that not only are they successful but they help the entire team. Sometimes that means letting someone go because their time with the team is over, even though they are still talented; other times it means bringing in a guy that no one else wants & putting them in the just the right place so that the player and the team are better. He may be the best at doing that.

That's what separates good leaders from great leaders. Good leaders can utilize team members who bring a lot to the game, but great leaders see beyond the obvious talent & are able to see exactly how a player can be positioned so that the player & the team experiences great success. It's no accident that Belichick is considered a genius by many in the NFL. He knows exactly where he wants his team to go, & he understands how to position every member of that team so that everyone wins.

As a leader in your business or in your church, are you using people or positioning people? It's easy to use Randy Moss; he's a world class talent, but there are very few people on that level. Instead why not discover the talent that you already have, & then strategically position them for success, both their own and the team's?