I finally got round to writing up all my notes from Andrew Heard’s excellent seminars on leadership at the FIEC leader’s conference last November. His talks are over on the FIEC website and I’d highly recommend them. Here’s a snapshot of some of the things he said:
- The passion to grow churches is both dangerous and necessary – dangerous because you can get a fat head and/or compromise the gospel; necessary because the church is a life boat and people are drowning. BEWARE of the twin dangers of heroic pessimism or satisfactory under-performance.
- Growth is influenced by us – we are part of the means used by a sovereign God. So we need to consider inputs and outputs – inputs determine outputs – if we keep on doing what we’ve always done, we’ll get the same results.
- Focus on core inputs – word, prayer, godliness, outward focus
- Some skill areas to consider – learning to lead yourself (be proactive, control your diary); lead others (intentional investment); learn to build an organisation (structures, systems, strategy etc).
- Embrace a slow burn perspective – build long term strategies – focus on 4-5 key initiatives a year (not 30!).
- Have a 5 year vision – the reverse engineer it
- Look at the fields, not at the barns – if you look at the barns you will think, dream, and structure too small!
- Everything you add in to the church life either adds heat or dampens it – consider what extra ‘noise’ does to your core values
- Diarize your church calendar around the things which matter most – eg. get mission programs/events in first and structure around that.
- Build pathways for people from contact, to follow-up, to courses, to discipleship etc.
- Build a team around things which matter to your church – what you resource demonstrates what you care most about
Andrew also had some striking things to say regarding myths that surround evangelism – I’ll save those for another post 🙂