3 ways clarity transforms a pastor’s role

Coming up this Thursday March 28 at 2:30(EST) sign-up and participate in the next NavXP with Jenni Catron. Out topic is Alignment: getting everyone to pull in the same direction.

Brian McGown is the Executive Pastor at Faithbridge church in Spring, TX. In out recent NavXP webinar hangout, he shared his story about how vision clarity radically changes his role, church staff alignment, and ministry impact.

It’s easy to listen to his story and still miss how clarity is a game-changer for pastors. Clarity isn’t everything, but it changes everything. Brian’s story echoes what I hear over and over from pastors who really invest in what it takes to get clear.

>>From the treadmill to the triathlon – Clarity Makes Focus Sustainable
As a pastor, do you every feel like you’re running and running endlessly pushing forward, but never really getting anywhere; or paddling as hard as you can, but the river bank isn’t moving. Brian shares how being clear about who they are as a church and what they’re supposed to be doing creates sustainable ministry.
“When we are clear about something – the Lord has given us the vision…it’s almost like just getting in the river and moving down the right way – being in the Mississippi and heading down toward Louisiana instead of trying to paddle upriver.” I wonder if Brian watches Duck Dynasty…

When you’re clear about exactly what you’re called to do as a church, it provides the leadership credibility to say “no” for the sake of a larger “yes”. All of the wasted effort of paddling upstream is transformed into forward momentum as God sweeps us along in His vision for us. “Clarity makes our job as leaders so much easier!” Don’t get me wrong, it’s still hard work, but it’s exponentially more fruitful when it’s focused.

>>Endless tasks to eternal transformation – Clarity makes work meaningful
As pastors, we often feel like ministry has been reduced to wrestling with an overfilled calendar, meetings, research, damage control, and email elimination – especially for Executive Pastors. In the tyranny of tasks we end up with no margin for more meaningful things. Our role gets reduced to time and task management. But clarity gives a framework and compass that points us relentlessly toward our mission. Brian tells the story of how being clear about their mission as a church leads them into ministry that is eternally transforming the lives of people in Houston and beyond. “Our church is playing a big role in Love146, which is fighting the exploitation and trafficking of children around the world…”

>>From beggar to abundantly blessed – Clarity makes enthusiasm transferable
At some point, every pastor feels like we’re begging – whether it’s getting people to volunteer, endlessly asking for resources to complete a project, or trying to convince people to join a small-group. Whatever it is, we seem to always be trying to pull something out of our people.

Many times enthusiasm only comes with clarity. There is a moment of contagious excitement when a follower gets it. When we connect who we are called to be and our God-breathed mission to an opportunity to serve, it captures a person’s hearts and makes them want to share it. But the ease of sharing it is directly proportional to clarity. Brian tells the story of partnering with a local school to provide food for kids who were faced with the choice of stealing it from school or going hungry. “We presented it to the church and literally just had an overabundance of giving to that. We had to adopt three other schools just to provide enough children for the amount of food and resources we could bring…”

Brian and the other leaders at Faithbridge make a compelling case for clarity, and the way it changes the nature of ministry and church life.

>>Do you want to get clear? Start a conversation with Auxano or just contact me. Auxano is a non-profit that serves churches by navigating leaders through growth challenges with vision clarity.

Coming up this Thursday March 28 at 2:30(EST) sign-up and participate in the next NavXP with Jenni Catron. Out topic is Alignment: getting everyone to pull in the same direction.

4 signs of misalignment in your church

4 Signs of Misalignment in Your Church

>>excessive fatigue: when parts in any active system are not aligned there is additional wear-and-tear. Parts and people (like tires) get worn out faster when not aligned.
>>wasted resources: misalignment in an organization causes energy to be expended laterally or even in opposition of the missional goals.
>>unhealthy tension: lack of alignment causes different parts of a system to work at odds with one another – pursing self-created goals in competition with each another and the larger mission.
>>unsteady rhythm: an engine with parts out of alignment causes timing issues resulting in wobbles or vibration in the rhythm of parts moving together. A staff with people out of alignment often misses the healthy rhythm of events and communication as they march to a different beat.

This month on Thursday March 28 at 1:30(CST)
webinars for Executive PastorsAlignment: Getting your staff all pulling in the same direction.

Jenni Catron will be joining us to share her experiences and wisdom about the importance of alignment. We’ll talk about how alignment can throw off everything you’re doing, or multiply your impact. We’ll hear some stories from Jenni about her experiences as an Executive Director at the multicampus Cross Point Church. We’d love you to join the conversation. Leave us questions in the comments below that you’d like Jenni to answer in the live webinar.

We’ll also hear a little bit about Jenni and Sherry Surrat’s new book Just Lead, just released and available in bookstores now!

Just Lead: a no whining, no complaining, no nonsense practical guide for women leaders in the churchJenni is a phenomenal blogger, with a steady stream of practical and encouraging content for leaders! You can keep up with her at her blog JenniCatron.tv which was just listed in Church Relevance’s Top 200 Ministry Blogs of 2013.

Jenni CatronJenni Catron serves as the Executive Director of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, a 10-year old multi-site church. She leads the staff of Cross Point and oversees the ministry of its five campuses. Prior to joining the staff of Cross Point, she worked as Artist Development Director in the Christian music industry for 9 years.

Jenni’s passion is to lead well and to inspire, equip and encourage others to do the same.  She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently in the different spheres of influence God has granted them. Jenni blogs at www.jennicatron.tv and contributes to a number of other online publications as well.

Jenni loves a fabulous cup of tea, great books, learning the game of tennis and hanging out with her husband and their border collie.

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>>watch other NavXP webinars here
>>leave questions for Jenni to address in the webinar on Thu March 28th in the comments below.

3 clues to uncovering your church’s ultimate purpose

3 clues to the unique purpose of your churchThis past Sunday, I had the privilege to work with a church leadership team in Texas. They are passionately seeking clear answers from God about who He intends them to be as a church. As we are uncover how God has crafted them uniquely, we’re examining 3 overlapping areas to give us a better understanding of our church identity.

>>place: The distinctive nature of the area where God has planted a church has a lot of do with the kind of ministry that will thrive there. The people and needs in the area immediately around a church, give us clues to how a church can effectively reach out, how they should communicate and invite, what kind of community service they engage in, and a whole host of other implications. This particular church exists in an economically diverse (but declining), highly transitional area, where many people from all over the world come to live for 6 months to several years. 

>>people: Who God brings to a church body is directly connected to what your unique strengths, resources, and potential capacity. In the heart of this particular church’s leadership team, I’m not sure how convinced they really were of their uniqueness. But as I worshiped with them and studied the data, an outsider’s strategic perspective brought to light the fact they they have more than 10 different nationalities regularly represented at their church. They have attenders converted from Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism! They have a vast range of economic diversity, from disaster refugees to CEOs. This church is so naturally comfortable being multi-cultural that they never considered it as a potentially unique opportunity. It is not a conscious effort on their part, it is a powerful natural expression of who they are. They are so used to it, they wrestled considerably to consider it as anything unusual. I actually had to pause all progress until we had truly wrestled through some of what it meant for them as a church.

>>passion: The excitement and burden that God plants in a leader’s heart tells a lot about the direction that He’s taking a church body. From Abraham to the Apostles, we see God directing His people through the heart of who He calls to lead them for a season. As we began unpacking the passions and heartbreak of these particular leaders, what God revealed is a relentless passion for missions and reproducing disciples. It doesn’t take a genius to see how God is setting up this church to have a massive impact for His kingdom where they are and around the world!

A diverse, multicultural church body with a passion for missions and discipleship in an area with a lot of international families transitioning in and out. I think God is connecting the dots for them.

It is an amazing, God-revealing blessing to navigate leadership teams through uncovering and articulating what God is doing, and how He has intricately prepared them to become epicenters of His redemptive movement. There is such a confidence and sturdy faith that comes from seeing with clarity, who God has made us to be – then we can begin wrestling through the unique expression of what He is calling us to do!

>>would your church benefit from an outside perspective in uncovering this with your team?

Contact me: