Here are some key things from the various speakers I engaged.
Andy Stanley says vision must be so simply stated that everyone can get it. Better to have a vision statement that is not fully fleshed out but well understood than to have an elaborate all-bases-touched vision statement nobody can remember. I'm praying about some statements to bring to our key leaders for feedback and improvement.
A panel of youth leaders discussed issues regarding cultural trends. I gleaned from that to be connected to the people I serve (any age) because that's how I can know what is important to them. The idea is not to get out in front of their preferences and lead them where they want to go, but to learn what consumes and directs their lives so I can show how the Bible answers their questions, brings clarity to their confusion, or guides them in uncertainty. The worst thing a sermon can be is disconnected from the people the preacher intends to impact with it. The same can be said about the life of the pastor not just the sermons he preaches.
Christine Caine says, "Your thoughts are like a train, they will take you somewhere." She was teaching from the Great Commandment to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. It's so easy to let our minds become corrupt with worldly thinking. Leaders are not immune to this; maybe they are more prone to it. We can think about the metrics of membership and budgets. We can think about growing an online audience. We can measure success as a secular corporation would. Before you know it our thought-train is far down the wrong tracks.
Ed Stetzer points out that all believers are to show and share the gospel, to demonstrate it and declare it. Our lives and our message must be centered on the gospel. Leaders must teach our churches to do this and must lead the way doing it.
Johnny Hunt talked about loving the people. I've heard him share that his mentor Adrian Rodgers would enter the sanctuary early, walk through it slowly, engage many of the people, and be the last the leave after the service. A hand shake, eye contact, and a few moments to listen will go a long way in gaining trust for leadership.
Todd Wagner's video series on being a godly man included this quip: Silence in the midst of sin is a sin. Leaders have to speak up. And we must do so in love. Isn't it easy to just remain quiet when controversy comes up? It is for me. People look to leaders to speak up. Maybe they need clarity. Maybe they need to know they aren't the only ones who recognize a problem.
I will plan to spend more mornings listening to what godly men and women can teach me about leadership. And I'll ask the Holy Spirit to help me put it into practice.