It’s hard to believe I’m at another conference just one week after Q. But as fate would have it, this week I’m at North Point for the Drive 09 conference. After spending eleven years at North Point as an attendee, seven as a staff member, this is definitely a bit of a homecoming for me. It’s been great connecting with old friends, and I’m looking forward to hearing the great leadership wisdom that Andy has to offer and meeting with other church leaders, in particular the guys who are starting churches in partnership with North Point. Just like at Q, I’ll be taking notes here on my blog and sharing them with you. I’ll try to add my thoughts and observations along the way as well.
Session One: Leading in Uncertainty
- Uncertainty in leadership is permanent.
- After being part of the Inaugural Prayer Service and seeing the leaders of our country up close, Andy realized that the leaders of our country are just people. “They don’t know what they’re doing!”
- As you move up in organizational responsibility the more uncertainty grows – exponentially. You carry the uncertainty of the whole organization on your shoulders.
- Uncertainty is why we need leaders. It is what makes leadership necessary. It is why God has called us to be leaders.
- The temptation is to think, “If I were a good leader, I’d know what to do.” That’s not true. You are where you are, because God has put you there. There will always be uncertainty.
- “I will always be uncertain, I’m certain of it!”
- Uncertainty underscores the need for leadership and it is the context for identifying good leaders.
- God gets more done in periods of uncertainty than any other time.
- We believe history is linear – it is going somewhere. We believe that God uses all things – even the worst things – for good. That allows us to embrace that the uncertainty we face is taking us somewhere.
- Uncertainty should be a time when we thrive as leaders.
- Two things to embrace in times of uncertainty:
- As leaders we can afford to be uncertain, but we can’t be unclear. Clarity around vision clears the fog of uncertainty for the people that follow us.
- Joshua is a great example. When God called Joshua, he was a wanderer – all he’d known was following God in the desert. As God led him, there was extreme uncertainty. Joshua focused only on doing what he knew to do next.
- There will always be how, when, and why questions. You don’t have to have the details of everything. You have to have clarity about where you’re going.
- What did God call you to do in the first place? This is a clarifying question. Focusing on your calling provides the clarity necessary to lead people somewhere.
- “Plans change, vision remains the same.”
- This is where leaders so easily get off track. It is so easy to become enamored of our plans, but plans change all the time. If a plan fails, it doesn’t mean the vision is bad.
- Be stubborn with your vision; be flexible with your plans.
- Along the way:
- Be honest with your staff and volunteer leaders. Don’t fake it. You have to learn to express your uncertainty with confidence. E.g. “I don’t know right now, but we’re going to figure it out. God has always been faithful to us. We’re going to keep moving forward and do what we know we need to do. I could be wrong, but I think this is the direction God wants us to go.”
- Seek counsel. Leadership is not about making decisions on your own, it’s about owning the decision once their made.
- You have to pray like crazy. You have to beg God for clarity and direction. In those moments God grants the sense of peace and contentment.
- In the uncertainty of this world, you know what we need? We need God’s supernatural grace to do what we are unable to do. We need God’s grace when we don’t know what to do.
Wow, as a church planter, are there any words I needed to hear more than these? This may be the most uncertain period of my life, but I’m clear about the vision God has given us at New Denver Church. Thank you God for this reminder.