Church Revitalization – Becoming A Community Center

The story of church revitalization at Northwest Church . . . how it became a community center with a church.

Most of us want our churches to go boldly into our communities. If that’s you, check out the incredible story of Northwest Church in the Seattle area.

Northwest is a 90+ year old church. It’s original location was zoned residential, so it could never grow. Decade after decade it would try, but the city would simply not allow Northwest to expand. In recent years it all came to a head . . . Northwest wanted church revitalization. Something had to happen.

Church leaders focused on prayer. They put out a fleece. They asked Jesus to clearly speak by August of that year if they were to relocate. If nothing happened, the church would continue to do its best in its historic location.

What happened next is incredible. Through an unlikely series of events, Northwest was able to sell its existing property and simultaneously buy a much larger one. It happened one week before the August deadline. The all-cash deal even allowed for enough money to fully revitalize the new building without incurring debt. The church stepped out in faith and God showed He is faithful.


Northwest’s story doesn’t end with real estate. It wanted not only revitalization of its building, but revitalization of its mission. God was directing Northwest to serve its new community. The church met its new neighbors and surveyed the needs of the neighborhood. They found a nearby senior living center, so they brought Christmas gifts to each resident. They heard that local police and firefighters needed a place to train, so Northwest opened the new building to them.

Dental clinic housed at Northwest Church

Dental clinic housed at Northwest Church

The community had many uninsured people in need of dental care, so it provided space to Puget Sound Christian Clinic. There is now a first class place for people to get quality dental care regardless of their financial status. Northwest designed its 45,000 square foot building to be a community center that happens to house a church.

Six days a week the building is Community Life Center. It’s alive with civic programs and services. On Sunday the building is Northwest Church. It’s an inspiring story of a church that thinks differently. It’s vision, faith and leadership that can be seen lived out every day.

Roll up doors welcome the community.

Church revitalization – roll up doors that welcome the community.

Church revitalization - a fountain welcomes the community and doubles as a place for baptisms.

Church revitalization – a lobby fountain and doubles as a place for baptisms.

The church auditorium doubles as a community basketball court and large meeting space.

Church revitalization – A auditorium that doubles as a community basketball court and large meeting space.




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Reaching The Next Generation – 6 Things Only A Senior Pastor Can Do

How senior pastors can help in reaching the next generation of church leaders.

Orange Blog Rob CizekThursday (10/13) registration opens for the Orange Conference 2017. For that one day only, tickets are the cheapest they’ll ever be. I’ve been to the Orange Conference several times and highly recommend it for Children’s, Student and Family Ministry pastors/team. I also recommend reThink Leadership (held at the same time) for senior pastors. I’ll be in Atlanta this year and hope to see you there!


Each of us is going to leave our church someday. Are you preparing to replace yourself? Are you investing in young people so they have opportunities to lead?

During this fall’s Orange Tour, Geoff Surratt is teaching senior pastors how best to support young leaders . . . by doing things only a senior pastor can do.

1. Act like a cheerleader.  Senior pastors help champion the NextGen ministries. What is important to the senior pastor gets done at the church.

2. Budget like a middle-schooler.  Senior pastors should fight for the next generation budget.

3. Swim in the kiddie pool. Senior pastors provide invaluable help when they show up in the NextGen environments. Two reasons . . . They experience what volunteers and kids experience and it shows high-level support for NextGen ministries.

4. Invite the kids to the adult table. Involve NextGen people in weekend services.

5. Monkey with the scoreboard. Change the metrics. Evaluate NextGen ministry by its impact on families. Are we seeing a change in families because of NextGen ministries? Are families in the community being helped? Are the stats in our county betting better because of us? How can we expand NextGen beyond Sunday’s? How are we partnering with parents Monday-Saturday?

6. Color it Orange. Weave family strategy into fabric of the church. Orange is a strategy not a curriculum.

Geoff Surratt

Geoff Surratt (courtesy of

The six points above apply directly to senior pastors. But what if you’re not a senior leader? Geoff has these recommendations:

> Lead up. Share stories. Make sure the senior pastor knows what life change is happening in ministry.


> Invite them in.  Bring the senior pastor in for the good stuff and the shorter stuff. Give the senior pastor an out after 10 minutes (“We love that you are here, but I know you have to go…)

> Connect the dots. Help your senior pastor see how NextGen ministry supports the efforts of the church’s vision and direction.

> Senior pastors need pictures. Provide photos/videos that your senior pastor can show during services or in social media.

Finally, Geoff had some great quotes in his Orange Tour session:

Millennials are looking for a place to LEAD, not just be part. – @GeoffSurratt

I’m 54. The 8 year old girl at my church is more important because she is going to be around a lot longer. – @GeoffSurratt

Where your non-operating budget dollars go is what’s important int to your church. @GeoffSurratt

If you want to know what someone’s priorities are, look at their bank statement. @GeoffSurratt

What’s important to the senior pastor is what gets done at the church. (Choose to champion important things). – @GeoffSurratt

You can get more great leadership wisdom from Geoff at

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Catalyst Atlanta 2016 – Notes & Top Leadership Quotes

Notes and summary of the top leadership quotes from the Catalyst Atlanta 2016 conference.

Catalyst Conference 2016Each year, thousands of young adults gather in Atlanta for Catalyst, a conference for up-and-coming leaders.

I was pleased to have to opportunity to live blog this year’s conference. Below is a summary of the quotes and notes I took during each session.






Organizational health always results in sustained impact. This is not the case with platform leaders. – @AndyStanley

Healthy people are attracted to healthy organizations. – @AndyStanley

In a healthy organization every person should feel they have a critical role. – @AndyStanley

You begin becoming a great leader right now, where you are. – @AndyStanley

Everybody knows what they are doing, do they know what you are doing? – @AndyStanley

andy-stanley-catalsytatlIf “me” isn’t connected to “we”, there will be sideways energy and we will lose focus – @AndyStanley

When everyone knows what we are doing, most decisions are premade. – @AndyStanley

The only way to know who the good decision-makers are in your organization, is to let other people make decisions. – @AndyStanley

If the “what” is fuzzy, you will be called to make decisions you shouldn’t have to. – @AndyStanley

The process of answering questions is more important that the product. – @AndyStanley

(At our church) you can belong before you believe. – @AndyStanley

Everybody lives forever somewhere. – @AndyStanley

Answer the questions “what” and “why” and “where do I fit in?”. – @AndyStanley

Following Jesus will make you better and make you better at life. – @AndyStanley

Memorable is portable. – @AndyStanley

How does what I do contribute to what WE do? Each team member needs to know this. This is the responsibility you carry, not the job you do. – @AndyStanley

Develop a one sentence responsibility descriptions for you direct reports. ‘If all else fails, here is the one thing I will hold you responsible for.’ – @AndyStanley

Everyone who works for you should know what you think they are responsible for. – @AndyStanley 




Rachel Cruze is a personal finance specialist and the daughter of Dave Ramsey.

rachel-cruze-catalyst-atlQuit the comparisons. Don’t let the way others live affect how we live our lives and spend our money. – @RachelCruze

If we quite comparing ourselves to others, we can cheer for them and support them.@RachelCruze

Gratitude leads to contentment. Have a running gratitude list. – @RachelCruze

When we have debt it’s difficult to be generous. – @RachelCruze

Where there is no margin there is no ministry. – @RachelCruze

What could the people of God do for God if we didn’t have debt? – @RachelCruze

Talk about money and money issues… to your spouse, to your kids. – @RachelCruze

What’s the legacy you are going to pass? Debt or financial freedom? – @RachelCruz



Simon Sinek is a noted author and thought leader.

In my job I talk about trust and cooperation. There should be no call for this kind of work. – @SimonSinek

Leadership is not about being in charge, but about those in your charge. – @SimonSinek

Giving money is not a sacrifice. You can make more. Sacrifice is something you will never get back. – SimonSinek

Leadership means you give away all the credit and accept all of the blame. – @SimonSinek

You don’t a job you love. You fight everyday to stay in love with it. – @SimonSinek

We all can be leaders. But not very one wants to nor should they. Leadership is about sacrifice. – @SimonSinek

Empathy means considering the human being, not just their performance. – @SimonSinek

simon-sinek-catalyst-atlTake care of the people (employees) and they will take care of the customer. – @SimonSinek

Leaders can look for employees doing something right… or employees doing something wrong. – @SimonSinek

Are you obsessed with beating the competition or with your mission? – @SimonSinek

“My door is always open” assumes employees are willing to walk through it. – @SimonSinek

At dinner there should be zero phones on the table. It’s the only way to make the people you’re eating with feel valued. – @SimonSinek

Our current work environment is filled with the hangovers from the bad ideas of the 80s and 90s. – @SimonSinek

When you destroy the human spirit you destroy your company. – @SimonSinek

Show young employees to enjoy the work journey and they’ll give you 20-30 happy years. – @SimonSinek

Let us error on the side of empathy. – @SimonSinek

Other people will serve you the way you serve them. – @SimonSinek

The goal isn’t to always win but to outlast. – @SimonSinek

We have an entire section in the book store about Self Help. There is no section called ‘Help Others’. – @SimonSine

Practiced empathy results in a changed spirit. – @SimonSinek




Brian is co-founder of Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia

brian-houston-catalyst-atlSuccess: If I can live my life that sets up a platform that enables the next generation to win.- @BrianCHouston

I get so inspired when I see young people start to flourish. – @BrianCHouston

The hope of the church is not in the past, but in the future. @BrianCHouston

We should listen to the fathers. Every church needs some silver hair. But we need to keep taking things forward. And I’m 62. – @BrianCHouston

We hold on (to our position) because we are fearful. But we don’t have to (be fearful) if we keep looking up. @BrianCHouston

A lot people like safe, comfortable and in control. (But this is not the life Jesus & the disciples lived.) @BrianCHouston

The predictable is not where the answer is. – @BrianCHouston

Predictability is what keeps the church from moving forward. – @BrianCHouston

When it comes to loyality and credibility, predictability is your friend. – @BrianCHouston

Dogma, in a way separates, is not the way forward. – @BrianCHouston

There are times when predictability is the enemy. Like spontaneity. Spontaneity is our friend in the church. – @BrianCHouston

I’d rather be an artist than an art critic. I’d rather be a church builder than a church critic. – BrianCHouston

Creativity is about what’s not yet done. – @BrianCHouston

You never get influence from doing things the way they have always been done. – @BrianCHouston

The devil doesn’t worry about big churches. He worries about creative churches. – @BrianCHouston

Text books are built on what is already known – @BrianCHoustonBooks should be our servant not our master. – @BrianCHouston

Experience is overrated. (It focuses )on what has already been done. @BrianCHouston

The smaller family you come from, the more important it is to expand your world view.- @BrianCHouston

My advice to young people is to stand out. Don’t just be the same… be the same… be the same. – @BrianCHouston

Our heritage should be our servant, not our master. – @BrianCHouston

We live in a world where there are so many people we can learn from. But we can get down in predictability and doing things the same way. – @BrianCHouston

I want to honor history but I don’t want to be bound by history. – @BrianCHouston

You are alive at a great time. @BrianCHouston

Worship unifies. – @BrianCHouston

God has called you to make history, not just study history. – @BrianCHouston

You can live a life that defies history. – @BrianCHouston



judah-smith-andy-stanley-catalyst-atlJesus wasn’t excluding the Pharisees, he was simply including people that weren’t normally included. – @judahsmith

The number one characteristic of following Jesus is compassion. – @judahsmith

Travis Boersma (@YoDutchBros) is head of Dutch Brothers Coffee. The company culture reflects “Uncommon Fellowship”

Know your specific outcome, ask if it is working, change it until it does (work). – @YoDutchBros

Focused intensity, multiplied over time by God, equals success. – Dave Ramsey via @YoDutchBros

Love all. Serve all. (Core values of Dutch Brothers Coffee) – @YoDutchBros

dscf1596We are in the relationship business and the product is love. Customers come for the coffee and come back for the people. – @YoDutchBros

You never get a second chance to make a great first impression. – @YoDutchBros

Mentoring is “walk with me, hang with me, learn through real life experience.’ – @YoDutchBros

The better quality of questions you ask, the better quality of life you can lead. @YoDutchBros

A lot of people are taught to say NO. Our company culture is to say YES. – @YoDutchBros

Focus on being the best version of yourself. Ask, “How close am I?” – @YoDutchBros

True happiness lies in striving for you full potential. – @YoDutchBros

(I want) my cup to be so full that I’m spilling into others. – @YoDutchBros



Father Edwin Leahy is headmaster St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, NJ. He has appeared on 60 Minutes to share how his school serves a changing and diverse neighborhood.

dscf1623The best part of being a monk is that we fall down, we get up. We fall down, we get up. – @FrEdwinLeahy

Adults should not do anything for kids that kids are capable of doing for themselves. – @FrEdwinLeahy

They ask me, “When will I retire.” I say, “Tonight at 9pm.” – @FrEdwinLeahy (on not hanging it up too soon).

CRITICISM: ‘You run Catholic schools for kids who aren’t Catholic.’ Father Leahy, “Yea, that’s why we do it!” – @FrEdwinLeahy

Give up what YOU WANT for what WE NEED. – @FrEdwinLeah

Keep death before your eyes every day because it changes how you live. – @FrEdwinLeah




Craig Groeschel is pastor of Life Church in Oklahoma City with 25 campuses.

I wonder how often it grieves the heart of God that we as Christians take shots at each other. – @CraigGroeschel

We have one enemy – Satan. Other believers are not the enemy. – @CraigGroeschel

We desperately need each other. I don’t care how awesome your church is, you cannot do it alone. – @CraigGroeschel

Unity is not uniformity. We have strength in our diversity. – @CraigGroeschel

God’s people should lead the way with irrational generosity.

If we all look alike and act alike we can only reach the same people. – @CraigGroeschel

Every single one of us needs the rest of us. @CraigGroeschel

Error on the side of being for other Jesus followers, no against. @CraigGroeschel

Believe the best of other Jesus followers rather than the worst. – @CraigGroeschel

Build on what you are for, not on what you are against. – @CraigGroeschel

dscf1478It could be that if God is not blessing us, it’s because we don’t have the right stance towards others.

We give everything we can to strengthen others. What do I have that God can use? – @CraigGroeschel – @CraigGroeschel

We can do infinitely more together than we can apart. – @CraigGroeschel

Take what you have, make it available to God’s people… and watch unity develop. – @CraigGroeschel

We error on the side of being for and not against. – @CraigGroeschel

We love like Jesus loved. – @CraigGroeschel

Our mission is too important. Our time is to short to take shots at each other. @CraigGroeschel

Our world is sick of HEARING about the love of Jesus. They want to SEE the love of Jesus. – @CraigGroeschel

We can do a little in a lot of places. We can do a lot in one place. – @CraigGroeschel




There’s a difference between being authentic and being vulnerable. – @TylerReagin

It was so fun. I never want to do it again. (On renovating a house.) – @JenHatmake

Let’s re-engage. Let’s get to know our street. – @JenHatmaker

We decided to treat neighbors like people, not projects. – @JenHatmaker

ball-catalyst-atlIt’s easier and neater to hide behind theology (than to engage people). – @JenHatmaker

We (Christians) are so set apart that we have no voice anymore. – @JenHatmaker

(We should) spend less time defending our rights and more time lifting up Jesus. – @JenHatmaker

I need to love mercy for THEM as much as I love mercy for MYSELF. – @JenHatmaker

Getting out there changes you. Some things you just have to feel. – @BrandonHatmaker

Go be a friend. Ask more about them than talking about you. – @BrandonHatmaker

We earn a hearing with people over time. – @JenHatmaker

If we are strategic about being a good friend, the Gospel will naturally go there. – @BrandonHatmaker

We (Christians) are so incredibly polarized over minor issues. We need to find what we are unified in. Be Bridge-builders and peacemakers. – @BrandonHatmaker




Mike Foster heads People of the Second Chance, which helps people recover from serious challenges and find Jesus.

worship-catalyst-atlI’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved. – Romans 9:25

We are not defined by our brokenness. We are defined by God’s radical love.

Let Him love you in your worst moments. That is the path to freedom..

We look at people’s strengths and gifts. We don’t look at their brokenness.

People should not (suffer) alone. Our church pews should be ‘friendship benches’ (so nobody has to be alone.)

I want to be a grace flavored snow cone on a hot judgmental day.

Call people out on their belovedness and remind them of who they are.

What if we started throwing parties for people who really need a party?



Andy’s main point: Early Christian fellowship included all kinds of diverse people. Unity of believers is a testimony to the world that Jesus is God.

andy-stanley-catalsytatlUncommon Fellowship: Head-turning, jaw-dropping, never-would’ve-seen-those-people-together association.

People who were nothing like Jesus liked Jesus and Jesus liked them back

If they don’t get the oneness thing right, the world will miss Me. (Unity among Christian is testimony that Jesus is God.)

Disunity disrupts the mission.

Unselfish love fuels uncommon fellowship.

Mutual submission is the most powerful relational dynamic in the world.

Everybody wants to be in a community where there is care for one another.

Uncommon is uncomfortable.

Oneness must win the day. (Unity is preeminent.)

Immorality in the church disrupts unity.

Will we place unity above our particular view of Christianity?

Jesus gave His life so that we could experience the most uncommon fellowship of all… fellowship with the Father.

If your theology separates you from sinners like you, you may have some work to do.

We can’t all be right. But we can all be one. Jesus did not pray for our rightness. He prayed for our oneness.

Click here for more notes from @BrianKDodd.







Great teams have the following traits:

#1. The mission is more important than me. Mike Collins flew on the Apollo mission that first put two people on the moon. He stayed in orbit around the moon to support those walking on the surface. He put mission above himself. Help people see how what they do contributes to mission… something bigger than themselves.

A. Start with “why.” Keep the “why we do what we do” out front year after year. Without a target, no sport makes sense.

B. Reliance on each other. Relinquish control to rely on others.

C. Peer accountability. Everyone expects the boss to hold you accountable . . . but everyone needs peer accountability. Peer input can carry more influence. If you are the boss, give employees the permission to call you out if you do things differently from what we have agreed to.

#2. Choose to trust: When there is a gap in information, we can either choose to trust or to get suspicious. Great teams choose to trust until all the information is known.  Choosing to trust creates a better option than getting mad.  Trust is foundational to great teams . (5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.

#3. Clear lines of communication. If there is no gap in information, there is no need to choose between trust and suspicion. Create clear vision and communicate it well. Systems of communication are your friends.

#4. Strong teams have game changing cultures. These cultures are fun, they serve and they create belonging. Some ideas for team fun: Have a ten minute relay race in the office. Go get ice cream. Get a ping pong table. Play corn hole. Get a message chair.

#5. Work-Life Balance. Have good boundaries. Guardrails are there to keep you on the road.

#6. Unified teams embrace conflict. Leadership is what we allow to happen within the team. Understand the person you are dealing with and embrace the conflict in a constructive wa they understand.

#7. Healthy teams prune. They cut, they change, they evaluate. Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud is an excellent resource.

Call to action: Pick one of these six and improve it in the next week.


tyler-reagin-catalyst-atlThere is a confidence in calling that is not arrogance.

Culture does not produce immediate ROI (return on investment). – Developing organizational culture is a long term process.

Reputation equals influence.

Without a target, no sport makes sense.

The boundary of a landscape is not the limiting factor for a creative. Lack of vision is

Right Path is a great self assessment tool for team building.

The #1 deathbed regret: “I was never myself.” Be who you uniquely are, not an imitation of someone else.

Leadership isn’t just what we DO, but what we ALLOW to happen on the team.

Give responsibility AND authority to build trust with people.




brad-lomenick-catalyst-atlGive your emerging leaders freedom to pursue projects. It’s now a free agent marketplace.

Engagement is what should be measured.

Meetings give us a sense that we are doing something. Don’t meet. Just go do something instead.

There is a power shift towards the niche.

Coach young leaders. Don’t manage them.

(Young leaders) are more attracted to intimate gatherings than big events.

Young leaders won’t wait for hierarchy to move out of the way. They will start something anyway.

We lead like we were lead. (Understand this a leave room for change.)

We used to feel a 10 year generation gap. It’s now a 4 yer generation gap.

The higher we go as a leader,the more we tend to fake it.

The best assimilation strategy is simply to ask “What’s your name?” or “How can I help you?”

The greatest felt need of the emerging generation is the question of “why?”

Young people want their leaders to aggregate, curate and coach.





When you open the door to Jesus, you open the door to wherever He takes you.

Empathy doesn’t water down the truth, empty amplifies the truth.

Press pause long enough to understand what is really going on.

To have empathy: pause to imagine and interact.

reggie-joiner-catalyst-atlIf you want to have influence as a leader, you have to change how you think about people. Have empathy.

3 ways to have influence: power, authority or because you earned it.

If you want yo have influence as a leader, you have to change how you think about influence.

When you establish a habit of showing up for others, it may change you more than it does them.

Your best chance to have influence in someone’s life is to actually show up.

All of you are (where you are today) because someone showed up for you. Uncommon people showed up in your life at the right time.

Before you can influence someone they need to know they matter to you.

If your theology isn’t changing the way you treat people, it’s not good theology.

Maybe before we tell people how to build a church, we should build one ourselves.

Before you can influence someone they need to know they matter to you.



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Photos courtesy of Catalyst and the good folks at SEE SPARK GO.

How To Connect With People – The Painless Secret

Tips on how to connect with people.

Ask anyone what they want. If they’re being honest, most people will tell you they want friends . . . real connection with others.

The problem is that we live in a world where everyone is looking down at their mobile devices. They seem more interested in cyber relationships than the actual people around them. How do we get around this?

Just for fun, my son, Michael,  and I recently did an experiment to see if we could more easily connect with people. What we found astounded us.

South Dakota State LineMichael is studying at a college across the country. While he had been making do without a car, the time came when he really needed his beloved old Toyota 4Runner at school.  Rather than simply ship it from Seattle to the University of Florida, he wanted to drive it on a “coast to coast” road trip. I was reluctant, given that the 4Runner is 30 years old and has 200,000 miles on it. But I gave in, knowing it would be a great time to make memories.

Now for the experiment. We wanted to see if we could connect with some of our fellow travelers. To accomplish this, we would try telling our story using window paint. We marked the following messages on the truck’s windows:

1986 Toyota 4Runner - Connect With People Using Window PaintWA to FL in 5 days (the “what” of our trip, easily seen on the rear window by cars approaching from behind)

Dad & Son Cross USA (the “why” of our trip . . . a message with family appeal on a side window that would be seen by vacationing families passing us)

1986 Toyota 4Runner - Connect With People Using Window Paint’86 4Runner, 30th Bday, 200K Miles (on a side window to be seen at gas stations, a message to car enthusiasts)

14 States, 3K Miles, 5 Days (the “how” of our trip on a side window)

Our hope was that different parts of our story might appeal to different people. But would it make a connection with others? Would people say anything?

1986 Toyota 4Runner - Connect With People Using Window PaintThe results were overwhelming. People talked with us every time we stopped for gas or food. People took pictures of the truck. Most surprising of all, we received a constant stream of smiles, waves and honking horns while driving.

We connected with people with all kinds of backgrounds . . . approving semi-truck drivers, families on their own road trips, people who had never seen window paint, teens gawking at an old 4Runner and even hard core bikers on their way to their famous Sturgis, South Dakota rally. We made a lot of fast friends. Easily.

1986 Toyota 4Runner - Connect With People Using Window PaintTHE SECRET? When we reflected on our silly experiment we discovered a secret. We connect with people when there is story. We took a risk and put a little of our story out there. But by doing so, it gave people the opportunity to respond.

I could have given you a thousand reasons why we shouldn’t use window paint. The truck was full of dorm stuff we didn’t want stolen out of a hotel parking lot. We didn’t want to be targeted by con artists. Why call attention to ourselves? How easy it would have been to do nothing and simply blend in with all the other cars.

Having a story is like sanding before painting (“keying”). A keyed surface is rough and gives the paint something to which it can attach. Without keying, paint simply slides off polished/smooth surfaces. There’s nothing to grab on to… no way for it to adhere. Our stories give traction – something others can take hold of. They give people a way to connect with us.

APPLICATION: How can we put this secret to work? How can we better connect with people? Here are some ideas to better start conversations:

•       Next time you fill out a name tag don’t just put down your name, but a question like “What’s your favorite movie?” or “What was your first car?”

•       Make nice polo shirts or a jacket with your interest on them. Embroider a hat or handbag. Wear them strategically.
•        Put up a picture or poster in your work space.
•        Have things that interest you in your garage that others can see and speak with you about.
•        Create a sign, custom mailbox or artwork for your yard.
•        Put a bumper sticker or license plate frame on your car (or use window paint!)

Put just a little of yourself out there and see how much easier it is to connect with people!

— Ride Along With Us For A Few Trip Highlights —

Columbia River

Crossing the incredible Columbia River in Washington State.

Freight TrainThere are more trains in the middle of American than you would think. Montana has a lot of highway with an 80MPH speed limit.

Circle CloudRound clouds and fire in the evening sky.

Weird Street Name

Street names we didn’t know how to pronounce.

Open PlainsThere’s an incredible openness and beauty in the plains states.

1986 4Runner - Wyoming State LinePassing a lot of state lines.

Train End To EndLook closely and you can see an entire train, end to end. Now that’s open country!

Black Hills, South DakotaSouth Dakota’s Black Hills really do look like they are black!

Wing WindowWho decided cars shouldn’t have wing windows? These are awesome!

Train With Engines In Middle

Trains so long they need engines in the middle.

Sturgis, South Dakota

The famous motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. Tens of thousands of bikes in one place. We’ve never seen anything like it.

Falling Off Mount RushmoreFalling off Mount Rushmore.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

There really are falls in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Nebraska Furniture Mart, OmahaWarren Buffett, one of the world’s richest men, has one the world’s largest stores in Omaha, Nebraska. Five blocks of furniture.

Mizzou Stadium - University of Missouri

On the lookout for Tigers at the University of Missouri.

St. Louis Gatway Arch At Night

It turns out that the ‘Gateway to the West’ is ‘Gateway to the East’ if you’re going the opposite direction.

Cheap Gas

Some places still have cheap gas.

Police On Waze

Waze seems to indicate there are more police in Florida than the rest of the USA combined.

Century Tower, University of FloridaLast stop . . . Century Tower, University of Florida.


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Conflict Resolution – How Leaders Create Healthy Culture

Tips for conflict resolution in the workplace. Ways leaders can help create a healthy organizational culture.

We all value great relationships. When we disagree, things don’t feel so great. But conflict is to be expected. It’s a normal part of relationships and organizations. Here are some guidelines that can help us resolve conflict in a constructive way . . . and ultimately create a healthy organizational culture.


  • Keep short accounts: Each time we interact with another person we either make a deposit or a withdrawal from our relational account with them. Deposits come from caring or helping someone. Withdrawals happen when there are betrayals, dishonesty or uncaring actions. Keeping short accounts mean that we are aware of where we stand with others . . . and commit to keeping a positive balance in our relational accounts with them. Further, we agree (mutually, in advance) that when concerns arise, we will share those concerns directly with the other person. This creates a safe place for people to solve problems. It fosters mutual respect and prevents offenses from piling up.
  • Set up systems for ongoing communication: Many times conflict comes from a lack of communication . . . because there is no regular forum to go over things. Set up regular times to meet with your teammates. Discuss future happenings, review current plans and possible challenges. Having a system increases communication and greatly reduces the chances of relational problems.


  • First, go directly to the person in private. Say that you have a concern and ask for their permission to discuss it. Calmly and directly dialog about the issue and how it affects you and the organization. Separate the problem from the person. Review the facts first to ensure you both understand what has happened. Brainstorm solutions and agree on one that works for everybody. It takes courage to have these conversations. However, being direct is what solves most problems. More than anything this is what “keeps the air clear”.
  • If the direct approach fails, it’s time to involve another person. Talk things over with your supervisor or a trusted senior leader. Remember, the organization can’t help you solve a problem if it doesn’t know the problem exists.


  • Don’t approach someone in anger. Give yourself a few hours to calm down and collect your thoughts.
  • Don’t ignore conflict. Trouble only intensifies when it is ignored. Resolve problems on the same day that they happen, if possible.
  • Don’t “triangulate” by asking another person to solve your problem before you try. As mentioned before, go directly to the individual with which you have the challenge. On the flip-side . . . If someone asks you to solve their problem, first ask if they have gone directly to the individual with whom there is a problem. If they have not, send them to that individual before getting involved yourself.
  • Don’t “forum shop”. Avoid bringing your problem to several people hoping one will give you an easy way out.
  • Don’t gossip.
  • Don’t air your concern in social media.
  • Don’t collect offenses. With time, an unresolved conflict becomes a grudge. With still more time, the details of that grudge become forgotten and only the ill will remains. At that point it is very difficult to reconcile a relationship.

GearAs leaders, we are to encourage a culture where people fight for relationship. One of the best ways to encourage relationship among your team is to promote healthy conflict resolution. It’s worth the effort!

Thank you for reading Rob Cizek – Practical Leadership. If you would like to know when new posts are available, simply enter your email address below:



This is a great teaching that I use as part of our staff training:

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College Tips – Advice For University Freshman Year

College tips and advice for university students wanting to make the most of freshman year.

You’re finally ready to attend college. What things should you know to be successful? I lived on campus throughout college and learned a lot about navigating university life. Here are my best college tips and advice:

TeamworkCOLLEGE TIP: COLLEGE SUCCESS IS GUARANTEED: Think about it . . . If you take all the classes specified by the university (and get acceptable grades) you will graduate with a degree! Few things in life come with such a guarantee. Graduating college is simply a matter of knowing what classes you need to take, then laying out a plan that ensures you have them all by the date you want to graduate.

COLLEGE TIP: GOOD GRADES COME FROM GOOD TIME MANAGEMENT: Gather all of your class syllabuses during the first week of each semester. On a calendar write down all the deadline dates for papers, projects and tests. Then “back time” each project (break the project down into 2-3 mini-deadlines). For instance, if a paper is due October 30th make a note on September 30th that it should be half complete. Many freshman make the mistake of not breaking their assignments into manageable chunks. They wait to the last minute, get buried and bomb the class.

COLLEGE TIP: ADDRESS CHALLENGES EARLY: College is loaded with safety nets to help you work through problems. Tutors, counselors, health professionals and peers are all there wanting to help… if you will let them. Many students are too proud to ask for help, wanting to do everything on their own. Many times they wait until a problem has grown into a crisis before seeking assistance. Don’t do this. At the first sign of a problem (academic, social, physical, technical) reach out for help.

COLLEGE TIP: DON’T BATTLE A BAD FIRST SEMESTER: It’s common for freshman to have “a little too much fun” during their first semester. They end up with a critically low GPA. The problem with a poor first year GPA is that it’s remarkably hard to raise it during sophomore and junior years (when grades count for staying in your major). All As and Bs later do little to raise the Cs and Ds of freshman year. Conversely, a solid GPA freshman year is easy to maintain and will give you confidence throughout college.

COLLEGE TIP: SIGN UP FOR THE PROFESSOR, NOT THE CLASS: Find out who the good professors are by checking online and with other students. Take the class when it’s taught be the best professor. This will greatly increase your learning and enjoyment of college.

COLLEGE TIP: ENGAGE YOUR PROFESSORS: Sit towards the front of the class. Make sure your professor knows your name. Go to your professor’s office hours to ask questions, get advice and socialize. Do extra credit assignments. A professor who knows you is more likely be generous when grading. They may also provide some great connections for internships, special programs/events and be willing to be one of your references when looking for your first professional job.

College violin.COLLEGE TIP: COLLEGE SUCCESS IS IN DIRECT PROPORTION TO COLLEGE INVOLVEMENT: There are an overwhelming number of organizations of which to be part, but you only need one or two to make your school your home. You need an ecosystem in which to exist in college. It can be sports team, music program, academic club, fraternity/sorority, student government or religious organization. It doesn’t matter so much what organization you are part of, just so long as you are part of something. Having just a few friends is all we need. Finding those friends is a numbers game. You have to get out there and shake hundreds of hands before you find the right few. Be patient . . . it can take months before you finally find the right social group.

COLLEGE TIP: YOUR FRIENDS DETERMINE YOUR ALTITUDE: Friends either build you up or take you down. Find out where the good people are and make them your friends. Friends who study and make wise choices will encourage you to do the same. Good college friends can be a blessing for a lifetime.

COLLEGE TIP: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE EXPERIENCES: The university campus is a smörgåsbord of diverse experiences. There will never be a season in life where you can try new things like you can in college. Read your university news and check bulletin boards for upcoming events. Take in plays at the drama department and concerts in the music department. Go to a political rally. Hear a famous speaker. Participate in a sports tournament. Check out exhibitions in the art depart. Take a class in something outside of your major, just for curiosity’s sake. Personally, I discovered that I like jazz in college . . . and I’ve enjoyed it ever since.

COLLEGE TIP: LIVE ON CAMPUS: If you are able, live in the dorms during your first couple years. There will never be a time when you can live so many people your age and in your situation. Many life-long friendships are made in university residence halls.

COLLEGE TIP: ATTEND LIVE LECTURES FOR ONLINE CLASSES: Some online classes have recorded lectures. Email the professor and find out when they are recorded, then attend the live lecture. The professor will notice and you’ll better understand the material.

phone while studying COLLEGE TIP: MASTER YOUR PHONE, DON’T LET YOUR PHONE MASTER YOU: If phones distract from driving, they also distract from studying. Multitasking is a myth when it comes to studying. Get in a quiet place and have a singular focus. Turn off your phone and you will find your studying gets done much faster and more effectively.

COLLEGE TIP: POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IS A FACTOR IN COLLEGE LIFE: Many universities were founded on the premise that ideas should compete. University students were presented with a variety of viewpoints and challenged to think critically about them. The best ideas would rise to the top. This is why college professors received tenure . . . to protect them when they spoke a wide variety of ideas in an arena of competitive thought. However, a recent study shows that the majority of university students feel that they cannot explore their views if they are outside a politically correct norm.

Generally speaking, colleges take a more liberal and more politically correct stance than does the rest of the world. Expect this and don’t let it bother you. Continue to listen to all intelligent sides, think critically and evaluate ideas on their individual merit. You will find a more balanced and reasonable world after you graduate.

COLLEGE TIP: UNIVERSITIES THROW THEIR STUDENTS UNDER THE BUS: To most, a university simply looks like a school with teachers and students. In reality it is a complex machine competing for prestige and funding. It can prioritize research over teaching. It can be a battlefield for politically-minded administrators and ambitious faculty. Universities can have obscene levels of income and endowment. Athletics can compromise the school’s integrity. Monopolies in on-campus services can keep prices unfairly high.

In this dynamic environment many times it’s the students who come out on the short end. Are book prices fair? Should parking really cost that much? Why are so many assistants teaching classes of 500? Regrettably, getting thrown under the bus is common during the college experience. Be patient with the nonsense. It’s part of the cost of getting your degree . . . and a microcosm of the real world life that awaits after graduation.

COLLEGE TIP: WORK THE SYSTEM: Attending college means you have to crash classes, negotiate with professors, balance finances, make deadlines and deal with bureaucracy. While it’s a pain, these are valuable skills to learn. You are navigating the world. Part of your college degree says to employers, “This person knows how to make things happen despite adversity.”

COLLEGE TIP: MAKE A PRIORITY OF KEEPING YOUR FAITH: About 80% of students quit going to church between high school and college. Don’t let this season of life rob you of something valuable. When you first arrive at college, make a priority of finding a church with a good campus program. There are usually one or two churches in the area that specialize in reaching students at your school. You can also connect with groups like Cru, Intervarsity, Young Life College and Navigators. Seek out a Christian roommate. Additionally, expect there to be hostility towards religion. Some university professors/administrators are famous for their contempt of faith and for challenging their students’ beliefs. Don’t be intimidated or drawn into an argument. Simply live out your beliefs and gather people around you who share them.

Note that shady churches and cults know to prey on college freshman. Don’t just assume that just because someone is friendly and says they are a Christian means that they are safe. Check out the reputation and theology of any religious organization before joining.

College LonelinessCOLLEGE TIP: DON’T BE SURPRISED BY LONELINESS: You are going through a major shift in your life. There will be times when you feel lonely. It’s normal and it will pass.

COLLEGE TIP: CREDIT CARDS CAN BE A TRAP: Credit card companies actively market to college students. You will see their booths with giveaways and brochures offering easy acceptance. Credit companies know first time customers generally don’t read the fine print, check terms and ask tough questions. They know that students will keep their cards for years into the future… potentially giving the companies favorable terms for decades. Be extremely critical of credit cards offered on campus.

It’s better to get recommendations from family and friends . . . then to comparison shop terms on the Internet. College is a time when many people get themselves in financial trouble ($15,762 is the average debt for a household carrying a credit card balance). Approach credit card use with extreme caution. Do not have a credit card unless you can consistently pay it off in full each month. How to avoid college credit card mistakes.

COLLEGE TIP: CALL YOUR PARENTS WHILE WALKING TO CLASS: This is an efficient time to make contact. Call your folks a couple of times a week. You are going through an adjustment by starting college, but so are they (their nest is empty). These calls are a great time to start relating to your parents as an adult. It sets the stage for your relationship in the years ahead.

COLLEGE TIP: WILL SOMEONE MARRY YOUR STUDENT LOAN? Nothing compares to the good feeling of getting into your first choice university. Before you commit, have you considered the total cost of attending . . . particularly if it involves student loans? Loans seem like an easy solution to expensive tuition. However, student debt is now the number one form of indebtedness (well over $1 billion is owed by Americans, with 7 million of them in default). You pay tuition (loan principle) plus annual interest expense over many years (thus multiplying the original tuition cost).

Excessive student loans mean you are more likely to move back in with your parents after college and that you will be forced to take a first job for income (rather than one a lower-paying one for professional experience) thus limiting future professional potential. Getting married, purchasing a home and starting a family may be put off for several critical years. Student debt is the only kind of debt that can’t be discharged in bankruptcy. Your loans could be carried into a marriage.

Have you considered less costly schools or doing two years at community college before transferring to the big name school? Can you work for tuition dollars rather than borrowing them? What college programs is the military offering? While these options may be less attractive on the front end, graduating with little or no student debt is very attractive on back end.

COLLEGE TIP: HOW TO SURVIVE COLLEGE PARTIES: In high school, there can be a lot of peer pressure whether or not to drink. Everyone pays attention to your choice and it can be a big deal socially. In college it’s different . . . it’s more adult. Most people don’t really care whether you drink. You don’t have to drink to fit in at most college parties. Here’s how to do it:
> Show up early. Everyone will see that you are there. Plan to stay an hour or two.
> Get a cup in your hand. Fill it with water, soda, energy drink or coffee. Socialize. People will notice that you have a cup in your hand, you’re talking with everyone and that you aren’t hung up on what’s in their hand. If asked about what you’re drinking, simply say something like, “I’m just doing soda tonight.” No one will care.
> Leave the party midway . . . before the drunk stuff gets out of hand. If asked why you are leaving, simply say you have to be at work in the morning (or that you are working on a project, or have to be up early, etc.) People will be glad you came and they won’t care that you left early.

Many students are exposed to alcohol for the first time during college. Some know nothing about alcoholic drinks, which can be a personal safety problem. While I don’t suggest you drink in college, here are some tips that will help if you do:
>Always attend a party with a friend. You travel to- and from- the party with that person. Keep an eye on each other and do not allow the other to leave the party with someone else or do stuff you’ll regret.
> Eat before and during the party. Food evens out alcohol absorption.
> Always open a sealed drink yourself. Don’t allow others to get you any kind of drink (even water or a soda). This way you know that nothing has been added to your drink.
> Never drink the punch (there’s a reasonable chance someone has added too much alcohol to it.)
> Understand the differences in alcohol and how it is served. One drink is considered to be 1 ounce of hard liquor (a shot of vodka, rum, tequila, etc.), 4 ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer. Obviously it’s easier to control your night if you choose beer instead of shots.
> Alcohol dehydrates. Consume one glass of water between every drink you have.
> Generally speaking, one drink every two hours will keep most people below the drunk driving limit. This varies by state laws, body weight and the true alcohol content of the drinks consumed.
>Don’t leave the main party area. Going upstairs or out back means just what you think it means.
> Judgment/common sense decreases with each drink. Others know this and may try to take advantage of you if you’ve had several drinks. Upperclassmen consider drunk freshman easy prey.
> Commit to never driving if you have had any alcohol. Get home by campus transit, Uber, walking, public transit or with a designated driver. Use the university’s walking campus escort program. This is a great way to guard against regret.
> Alcohol intensifies the effect of medicine. Don’t take any medications (even over-the-counter) if you have been drinking.
> Some people have more addictive personalities than others. If alcoholism or other addictions run in your family, don’t awaken them in yourself during college.

COLLEGE TIP: DATE RAPE IS MORE PREVALENT THAN MOST THINK: Not to be too much of a downer here, but you are going into the real world. As mentioned above, upperclassman see freshman as naive and as easy prey. You may not hear too much about date rape because it’s under-reported, but it does happen. Students get assaulted when they either drink too much or are unknowingly slipped date rape drugs. While fear of drug-facilitated sexual assault shouldn’t keep you from going out, you owe it to yourself to be educated. Click here for specific information. Click here for one person’s first-hand account.

COLLEGE TIP: BE GRATEFUL: While college is a lot of work, it is a very special season of life. It’s a time when you are investing only in yourself. It is a four year deferment from full adult responsibilities. Colleges provide adult experiences with a safety net. Not everyone gets to experience college life. Be grateful that you can.

John Maxwell likes to say, “Make good decisions early and maintain them.” Think through the things above before you get to school. Make good decisions in advance about your college experience, then simply live up to them each day.

I am so glad that you value education and are going to college. I hope that it will be a positive and life changing experience for you.

Thank you for reading Rob Cizek – Practical Leadership. If you would like to know when new posts are available, simply enter your email address below:





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3 Reasons Why It’s Going To Be Okay

How do we know it’s going to be okay when we live in a world where security is elusive and the future is unclear? There are good things in our lives that conspire to make things work out. In this guest post, my daughter Alexandra Cizek shares these things. She presented them during her commencement address to Cascade High School in the Seattle area (video at end of post).


Look at us. Look to the person on your right… and on your left. Look where we are! Look at us in our gowns.

It’s all over:

> The sleepless nights of studying for tests.

> The anxiety of sitting in Verver’s class hoping desperately that he doesn’t call on you.

> The multiple notifications you get of “So and so posted in the Cascade HS Class of 2k16” page on Facebook.

We successfully completed our high school experience. When you look back on it, are you happy with it? Do you like what you did and who you became? Or do you wish things could have been different? Are you glad you decided to join that club where you met your best friend? Do you wish you would have gone to that one basketball game or have asked that one person to that dance? Do you regret the words you said…. or maybe the words you left unspoken?

No matter what, it is okay… because it’s in our past. There’s nothing you can do to change high school but to move forward and look ahead. We can learn from our mistakes and do things differently. Our past does not define us.

Starting tonight we will be in a special season of life where we get to start fresh. We get a clean slate. The “title” we were stereotyped by in high school is now gone. The decision we made that some defined us by has vanished. We can be whoever we want to be.

Remember when we were 4 and we wanted to be a rock star, police officer, or astronaut? Or maybe even a rockin’ police officer in space! Well now is the time we can make our dreams a reality. Okay maybe not all of us will become the next Hannah Montana or go to the moon, but we get to be whoever we want to be.

I clearly remember the night before freshman year. I was sitting downstairs on my couch with my family balling my eyes out because of how terrified I was of going to school the next day. Little private school, friendless Alexandra had to take on the big, scary, public high school. That means she would have to walk past the scary seniors, look up to all the juniors, try to be like the sophomores, and attempt to talk to the freshman. It was so scary!

The next day my brother walked me to my first class. The whole time we were walking people kept saying hi to him and it felt like he knew everybody. I was freaking out. I knew nobody. I was thinking “How does he know so many people? This will never be me.” Then we got to my class and it was time for him to go. I so desperately did not want him to leave me. But the time came… and he left… and I walked into my first class. To make a long story short, everything was okay. I met people that turned into friends… and some of them will be lifelong friends. I got involved and made some great memories.

You know, starting high school and starting adult life kind of feel the same way. We are young adults going into a big scary world, not knowing exactly what we want or what we are going to do. It’s scary now, but it will turn out okay. Here are 3 reasons why.


Number one… the future works out because of our character. Things don’t just turn out great on their own; it takes effort on our part. For example, we need to have the character trait of getting outside of out comfort zone. The best things happen when you put yourself out beyond what’s familiar. I’ve met some of the most important people in my life by simply saying hello. I’ve made my most meaningful memories just by signing up for something.
Stepping outside of our comfort zone doesn’t have to be something as drastic as running for student body president of your university or living on your own. It can be doing something as simple as leaving your dorm room door open so people can come in and say hi. Even better is to be the person that walks into someone else’s room and says hi. It can be as simple as deciding to join a rec sports team or community organization. No matter what you decide to do, reaching out and stepping outside of your comfort zone will make a difference in bigger ways than you can ever imagine.


How else do we know that things are going to be okay? Number two… Because failure isn’t final. We may get a job and get fired. We may declare a major only to find out it totally sucks. We may realize that we have to move back home after living on our own. It’s okay.
Failure isn’t final because of this simple principle: “Where we are at today is a result of the decisions we made yesterday. Where we will be tomorrow depends on the decisions we make today.” This is powerful. “Where we are at today is a result of the decisions we made yesterday. Where we will be tomorrow depends on the decisions we make today.” If things are messed up for us today, all we have to do is make different choices and we’ll change the course of our tomorrow. Things are going to be okay.


Finally, the third reason… Circumstances change, high school friends don’t. Just ask anyone who’s been to a class reunion! Our circumstance will never be the same after tonight. Everything we have known our whole lives is about to change. That is definitely an overwhelming feeling, feeling like this is the “end all be all”… but that’s not the case. Yes our circumstance is changing; we might not be sleeping in our own bed anymore or be involved in the same things we’ve always been involved in, but that doesn’t mean the people around us have to drastically change too.

Keep the friendships you’ve built, make an effort to stay in each other’s lives. But don’t let that hold you back from making new friends and putting yourself out there. I think that we will find that as time goes on we will talk less and less, but we will be able to pick right back up where we left off. It would be so easy to live in a somber post-high school land of sadness and to limit our future selves. But honestly, we’ve had our time to enjoy it. Now it’s time to say goodbye to the amazing chapter of life we’ve just experienced, and to say hello to the exciting new one waiting for us right around the corner.
Imagine this: your future best friend may be sitting in a graduation ceremony right now… just like you… and you don’t even know them yet. The many incredible memories you’re going to look back on and remember for the rest of your life are yet to be made. How exciting is that?

So wrapping it all up… Our season at Cascade has been filled with ups and downs. There have been many smiles but also many tears. We have made great memories that we will never forget, but also some that we wish we could forget. This will be a time in our lives that we will always remember and that we always hold close to the heart. But don’t be sad that it’s over, smile because it happened.

There is so much more just on our horizon. This isn’t the end of a story, simply the start of a new chapter. Of course we are filled with sadness as we’ve had our last pep assemblies, football games and food drives. Just as classroom lights slowly flicker to darkness, we realize that our high school experience has now come to an end.
But remember… you have your hand on the light switch… because while it is an end, it is also a new beginning.

Shakespeare once said, “The past is prologue.” Our whole lives, everything we’ve ever known, has been setting us up for this moment; these past 18 years have been the prologue to our story. We are now equipped to go out into the real world and leave our mark and be who we want to be.

Take advantage of this moment. Step outside of your comfort zone… try new things and fail… and hold onto your friendships while also creating new ones. This is it, Bruins. It has been an incredible journey, Class of 2016. Now go out… make the most of life… because it’s going to be okay.

It’s Going To Be Okay – Graduation Speech by Alexandra Cizek


Graduation Speech: You Are Not That Special



Commencement Speech: Russell Wilson



Commencement Address: Steve Jobs

Thank you for reading Rob Cizek – Practical Leadership. If you would like to know when new posts are available, simply enter your email address below:



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Spending Money Wisely – The Most Powerful Question We Can Ask

Spending money wisely. Why where we shop is as important as what we buy.

Have you ever considered all the power you have when you spend money? When it comes to spending money wisely, there’s power not just in what you spend your money on, but where you spend it. This is true both a leader’s personal and professional lives.

Most of the time we think it’s wise to get the best item at the lowest price. While that is the main consideration, it’s not the only one. Who we do business with makes a difference.


Perhaps you’ve heard it said “vote for the world you want to live in” when choosing political candidates. Similarly, we can leverage our economic power if we ask, “Am I shopping in a way that creates the world I want to live in?

Some people take this to a crazy extreme. No, we don’t need to see the family tree of an organic chicken we’re about to buy. But at the other extreme, most of us don’t think at all about the power of our money. We miss the opportunity to improve the world around us. Here are a few examples of how we can have influence with little or no additional cost:

LOCAL VERSUS CHAIN STORES: Our staff has a favorite teriyaki restaurant. There are a lot of nearby chain places for a quick lunch. We go to them sometimes. But most of the time we go for local teriyaki. . . not just for the good food, but because there’s a family behind it. They work very hard. They are part of our community. We’re going to spend our lunch money somewhere. . . why not help the industrious family next door? Our regular business helps provide the steady customer base the restaurant needs to thrive. We have similar power to help simply by buying at the local sporting goods store that sponsors our kids’ leagues. . .  and helping area growers by buying at the farmers’ market. It takes very little effort to choose local over chain. Just our presence at local stores means something significant.

NON-PROFIT VERSUS COMMERCIAL: For years our family kept money with one of the big banks. They had locations all over. That was convenient. But we started hearing about the bank’s questionable business practices. We realized that by keeping our money in that nation-wide bank, we were “voting with our dollars”. In a small way, we were enabling the bank’s arrogance and bad business practices. So we closed our accounts and moved them to a local credit union. Credit unions have a simple business plan of using local money to lend to local businesses/people. It turns out that we haven’t missed a beat with our banking. We feel great about credit union business practices and are pleased to support them with our deposits. Other opportunities to do business with cooperatives/non-profits include hospitals and fitness facilities (YMCA, community parks/golf courses).



COMPANIES THAT HELP: Most of us are familiar with TOMS Shoes (buy a pair, give a pair) or with fair trade producers like CuraCoffee (profits used to provide dentistry in coffee farming communities). Buying from companies like these may cost a little more. However, you know that your money is going to do good. This is a nice alternative to some large corporations. Big stores sell for less, but may lack transparency and quietly support agendas with which we may disagree.

It’s not just retailers that help. One of the most interesting business models I know is called the church extension fund. The only thing these non-profit organizations do is raise funds to build churches. They do it by offering to pay regular people (investors) interest on savings accounts. That money is then lent to growing churches, that repay at an interest rate a few points higher. The couple of interest points earned covers the extension funds’ operating costs and allows them to accumulate more money to loan churches. It’s a simple and effective use of money as a tool. Church Development Fund and The Solomon Foundation are great examples.

Along those same lines is another great money tool. . . the microloan. The way it works is that non-profit microfinance organizations accept money from people, then make loans to small businesses in developing countries. This access to capital improves the lives of families and the health of entire towns. Because the money is repaid, it can be loaned out again to help more people. Kiva and VisionFund are two examples.


Asking “Am I shopping in a way that creates the world I want to live in?” doesn’t just apply to our personal finances. As leaders, we can also think that way for our organization. Our church kept its mortgage with Church Development Fund (the church extension fund mentioned above) for years. In part, this was because we knew our church’s mortgage payments were ultimately being used to help grow more churches. Our church does business with several local companies for the benefits of relationship and supporting our area community.

Each of us votes with our feet and with our dollars. Making a difference isn’t complicated. It can be as simple redirecting the dollars we’re already spending.

Thank you for reading Rob Cizek – Practical Leadership. If you would like to know when new posts are available, simply enter your email address below:


A brief history of microloans:


TED Talk – The Kiva Story told by founder Jessica Jackley:


The CuraCoffee Story (podcast):



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Top Leadership Quotes From The reThink Leadership & Orange Conferences

Top leadership quotes from the #RL16 reThink Leadership and #OC16 Orange Conferences.

Orange Blog Rob CizekEach year 8,000 family ministry leaders gather in Atlanta for the national Orange Conference. Another 500 senior pastors meet at the same time for reThink Leadership. They connect with each other and the latest thinking in church leadership. Here are the top quotes, taken from sessions at both 2016 conferences:



OC16_Insta2Monday is coming and everyone will be watching. (Will Sunday church experience help people with their week?) – @JonAcuff

Jesus was Jesus all week long, not just on Sunday. – @JonAcuff

We don’t have a Sunday savior, we have an everyday Immanuel. – @JonAcuff

On Sunday grace is expected, on Monday it is a surprise. – @JonAcuff

Do you have a circle of friends that you will text things to that you would never (broadly) tweet about? – @JonAcuff

The enemy wants us to get caught up in discussions about what counts and doesn’t count. – @JonAcuff

Jon Acuff reThink Leadership Sketchnote

Double click to see large version of sketchnotes.

Even ‘Friends’ had to end. – @JonAcuff

Ask, “How do we get to more for them on Monday?” (Instead of “How we get more of them on Sunday?”) – @JonAcuff

The NFL realized they couldn’t just exist on Sunday and reach its full potential. – @JonAcuff

We can’t just teach them what to believe on Sunday… we’ve got to challenge them to serve on Monday. – @DougFields

What if we changed our emphasis from ‘eternal life when you die’… to ‘Kingdom life while we are alive?’ – @DougFields

doug fields sketchnoteWhat a kid does affects what a kid believes. @ReggieJoiner via @DougFields

When you engage non-Christian teenagers into service, you ignite something in them. – @DougFields

What if we called our students ‘ministers’ rather than ‘graduates’? – @DougFields

What if we changed our language and painted a verbal picture of what could be? – @DougFields

What if we encouraged kids to see their sports team as a mission field (rather than shaming them for missing church)? – @DougFields

We count people because we’re too lazy to figure out something more effective. Attendance numbers are like crack to an addict. – @DougFields

What if we changed the yard stick from sitting to serving. (Measure service, not attendance.) – @DougFields

We can just teach them to attend on Sunday, but to serve on Monday. – @DougFields

A hurt child has never run into the house and cried for dad. Dads don’t care. Funny from – @DougFields

frank bealer sketchnoteWhat if it’s not something wrong with them (our boss) giving us support? What if we improved the way we lead up? – Frank Bealer

Lead up better by being: ready, brief, smart/prepared, passionate and flexible.  – Frank Bealer

Your boss expects you to be the expert. That’s why you were hired. – Frank Bealer

Know the questions and objections you may encounter before you go into a meeting. – Frank Bealer

Passion can be refreshing… or overwhelming. – Frank Bealer


Lead up better by being: ready, brief, smart/prepared, passionate and flexible.  – Frank Bealer

What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail? – Ryan Leak

Criticism can make you bitter… or criticism can make you better. – Ryan Leak

Don’t make the mistake of thinking one person’s opinion is everyone’s opinion. – Ryan Leak

Criticism is important to your growth as a leader. – Ryan Leak

Have someone in your life that can help you determine if criticism valid. – Ryan Leak

Mute some people in your life. Who/what do you need to turn down in you life? Turn up? – Ryan Leak

virginia ward sketchnoteWe can live our lives as great big ‘thank you’ notes to God. – @VAwardWOW

If you could distill the main message of most sermons it would be: “Try harder.” – @VAwardWOW

We have to press through the awakardness to get to the real. – @VAwardWOW

Young people are walking in a more diverse environment at school than they are at church. – @VAwardWOW

Jesus is bigger than any mistake. Make this your mantra. – @KpowellFYI

How we are are loved will always impact how you live. How you live will never change how you are loved. – @KPowellFYI

beach ballsYoung people today are running towards, not away, from a Gospel that requires difficult things. – @KPowellFYI

If I don’t see me (someone of my ethnic background) on the stage, the event is not for me. – TD Jakes via @ReggieJoiner

We should number our days. We should pay attention to the time we are given. – @pwilson

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. – @pwilson

There are worse things than failure. – @pwilson

Push yourself beyond the “OK Plateau.” Without challenges and failures we won’t grow. – @pwilson

pete wilson sketchnoteRegret stings more than failure. – @pwilson

Expect difficulties. – @pwilson

Just because you are obedient to God doesn’t mean you won’t have difficulties. – @pwilson

The bigger the dream the bigger the fight. – @pwilson

The bigger fights are the inner fights (within yourself). – @pwilson

Both courage and fear are contagious. – @pwilson

God has plan for your life. But so does everyone else. – @pwilson

At some point you have to decide what voice you are going to listen to. – @pwilson

orange wrapAct on belief instead of doubt. – @pwilson

Don’t be so focused on the gift that you miss the giver. – @pwilson

Make sure that you want more of God, not what God might give you. – @pwilson

You’re God. I’m not. – @pwilson

I can even when you can’t. – God via @pwilson

We can cast a shadow with our leadership that doesn’t allow others to grow. – @ReggieJoiner

You are leading something. It’s responsibility to lead it well. – @ReggieJoiner

Do you have big ambition for yourself or desire for the success of the people on your team? – @ReggieJoiner

Who do you serve? Answer this question to best know how to lead. – @ReggieJoiner

reggie pointingLove is an action word, not a felling. – @CABachelder

Listen carefully. Learn continually. – @CABachelder

Encouragement is a success factor that is right up there with skill set. – @CABachelder

Redirect people to better performance. – @CABachelder

You don’t forget to ask for a pay raise for yourself. Do you forget to ask for raises for those you lead? – @CABachelder

It’s a competitive advantage to put others first. – @CABachelder

What we count communicates what counts to us. – Tom Shefchunas

Attendance doesn’t tell us if people are actually growing. – Tom Shefchunas

Instead of focusing on attendance, focus on active role… those who are active in ministry. – Tom Shefchunas

How does a child/student get on- or off- your roll? At what point do they cross from ‘not our problem’ to our stewardship?  – Tom Shefchunas

You should let statistics bother you.. so long as they lead you to the ‘who’. – Tom Shefchunas

jim mellado sketchnoteWhat is our existing (workplace) culture? What do we want it to be? – @JimMellado

We want everyone to behave like they want to be here. – @JimMellado

We all say we’re 100% for each other. We don’t behave that way. – @JimMellado

Be really careful with the ‘Reply All’ button. – @JimMellado

Let others in (to your life, your plans.) – @JimMellado

Are you willing to risk your reputation on the performance of your team members? – @JimMellado



Treat people the way you want to be treated‘ and ‘Fear not‘ pretty much covers it all. – @AndyStanley

The church didn’t save me from hell. It saved me from me. – @AndyStanley

The church saved my life. (It prevents a lot of pain in people’s lives.) – @AndyStanley

The church informed my conscious and instilled a sense of purpose. (This is what we give the people we lead.) – @AndyStanley

andy stanley sketch noteYou were created for a purpose… on purpose. – @AndyStanley

Church provided the context for life long friendships. Without the church I wouldn’t have my best friends. – @AndyStanley

Don’t attend a church that teaches your children to hate church. – @AndyStanley

How is it that people with less stuff have more joy? – @AndyStanley

We are acceptance magnets. We gravitate towards acceptance. – @AndyStanley

Rich people aren’t generous. Generous people are generous. – @AndyStanley

Following Jesus will make your life better and make you better at life. – @AndyStanley

serious talkThe message of Christianity is the message culture wants to hang on. (It provides the unpinnings of society.) – @AndyStanley

All of the values of society are Christian. Jesus let them loose in the world. The Church is the steward of this teaching. – @AndyStanley

The role government is not to inspire but to protect us from the worst things. – @AndyStanley

Public education has become a value-free zone. – @AndyStanley

The one thing that can change everything in six months is ‘Love you neighbor as yourself.’  – @AndyStanley

Every weekend you show up (to church) you are saving people through the preventative nature of the Gospel. – @AndyStanley

We are stewards of how people perceive the local church and how they perceive faith. – @AndyStanley

Outside of your family, the greatest investment you will make is in the local church. – @AndyStanley

jon acuff yanni shirt audienceEveryone who has accomplished nothing has a video course. – Funny from @JonAcuff

We have enough ideas in the world. We need handles to carry them forward. – @JonAcuf

A lot of humor is admitting to what everyone already thinks and building on it. – @JonAcuff

Satire takes a small issue and makes it big enough for us all to see it. – @JonAcuf

The most important thing you can bring to any team is a healthy you. – @JimMellado

Hell is not just a destination. It can be a diagnosis of where your soul is today. – @JimMellado

A rotten soul never stays to itself. – @JimMellado

reading thinkingDo people want to be around you because of the quality of your soul? – @JimMellado

Your spirit is what makes you uniquely you. – @JimMellado

Our body is like a little kingdom that God has given us. It’s the part of the world that we can actually master. – @JimMellado

Habits eat willpower for breakfast. – @JohnOrtberg via @JimMellado

Life and leadership alone (by ourselves) are impossible. – @JimMellado

Before you work on your team skills, work on your soul. – @JimMellado

When you share a fresh idea, craft is being able to build on it. (There can be more than one punch line in a good story.) – @JonAcuff

selfie funNo suprises. No leader wants to be surprised. – @HeatherJLarson

Influence matters far more than position. – @HeatherJLarson

Never tell God ‘you’re never going to‘ anything. (He will show you otherwise…) – @JeffHenderson

Nobody wants to work with a ‘yes’ person.  – @HeatherJLarson

Be true to who God has created you to be. – @HeatherJLarson

We are better together than one person on their own. – @HeatherJLarson

Lead well. Love well. (her daily mantra)  – @HeatherJLarson

Leadership is not touch football. It’s tackle football. – @BillHybles via @HeatherJLarson

The very best leader I can be is the one God created me to be. (My style is different than others style). – @HeatherJLarso

paintingWhy do we work? Why do we lead? If you ask people, most can’t say. – @CABachelder

Where are you taking the people who are entrusted to your care? – @CABachelder

How do you think about the people you lead? – @CABachelder

How do I measure my leadership? – @CABachelder

Choose to lead people to a daring destination. – @CABachelder

Choose to love the people we lead. – @CABachelder

Deliver results. (No one will listen to you if you don’t perform.) – @CABachelder

media computerIf you dare and you serve, you will create the conditions where people can perform their best. – @CABachelder

Expect trials. Your convictions come from trials, not successes. – @CABachelder

Declare that talking badly about your team is not allowed. – @CABachelder

High trust is a brand distinctive. It’s our secret sauce. – @CABachelder

Trust is a competitive advantage. – @CABachelder

Look for people who share your values and ask them to come along side. – @CABachelder

Trust is the foundation of everything. – @CABachelder

Investing into an economic downturn results in market share (because everyone else flees). – @CABachelder

Alignment is a powerful thing. – @CABachelder

Pete WilsonYour church culture is either helping your people or working against them. – @pwilson

If you don’t define your church culture it will get hijacked.  – @pwilson

Healthy church culture leads to making better hires. – @pwilson

All of your dysfunction as a leader will trickle down through the organization. – @pwilson

Create a staff value to combat a dysfunction in your leadership.  – @pwilson

Staff values need to be sticky. Make them memorable by adding icons. Make them visible in every staff environment (values leak). – @pwilson

Regret stinks more than failure. – @pwilson

Inside every leader there is belief and doubt. Which do you choose to act on? – @pwilso

Learn how to be a healthy leader now… not on the backside of burnout. – @pwilson

unspecifiedClimate dictates the forecast. (True of weather and relationships.) – @JeffHenderson

The climate of a leader dictates the forecast for the team. The leader sets the thermostat in the room. – @JeffHenderson

What is your emotional climate as a leader? – @JeffHenderson

The climate of the leader stays in the room (even after they leave.) – @JeffHenderson

If you lead out of fear you are abusing the leadership role. – @JeffHenderson

God has never spoken audibly to me. God speaks louder than that. – @JeffHenderson

A leader who leads out of fear is leading out of insecurity. – @JeffHenderson

What’s it like to be on the other side of me? Ask a staff member, spouse & God this week. The answers will encourage, surprise and hurt. – @JeffHenderso

lobbyEarly on I was the leaders I wanted to be. But the load of leadership can decay us. – @BradLomenick

Sometimes as leaders, what’s being seen publicly is not what’s going on privately. – @BradLomenick

As a leader, how are you really? Mentally, spiritually, emotionally, financially, physically? – @cnieuwhof

Leaders take care of yourself. Your church can always get a new pastor. Your spouse shouldn’t have to get a new partner. – @cnieuwhof

God’s going to build his church, but you’ll forfeit your role in it if you burn out. – @cnieuwhof

breakout crowdThe goal of leadership is not to survive, but to thrive (to be more alive in Christ with each passing year.) – @cnieuwhof

Ministry is a series of un-grieved losses. (Deal with this – it’s unhealthy) – @cnieuwhof

Faced with significant disappointments, leaders often embrace 1 of 4 options: quit, morally fail, stay too long or thrive. – @cnieuwhof

See life for what it really is, but keep your heart fully engaged. – @cnieuwhof

Are you living in a way today that will let you thrive tomorrow? – @cnieuwhof



monday coming acuffLeaders watch what you say. Off hand advice can grow over time to become practices and rules. – @JonAcuff

You don’t have to work at getting misaligned. It happens naturally over time. – @ReggieJoiner

You can’t get your team on the same page if you’re never in the same room together. – @ReggieJoiner

To develop strategy ask: 1. What do we want someone to become? 2. What is the optimal environment for their life change? – @ReggieJoiner

It’s not your vision that determines your success. It’s your strategy. – @ReggieJoiner

A strategy is a plan of action with an end in mind. – @ReggieJoiner

leading worshipYou have enough vision. You have a strategy crisis – @cnieuwhof

Most leaders can cast vision but few have a clear strategy. – @cnieuwhof

Strategy initially divides. but ultimately unites, every congregation. – @cnieuwhof

Strategy is bigger than vision & ultimately determines where you end up. – @cnieuwhof

Mission & vision determine intention, but strategy determines direction. – @AndyStanley via @cnieuwof

What’s your strategy? What are you doing about it? – @cnieuwhof

stage with ballsOrganizational change will move from the center out. – @LeonceCrump

Vision is taught. Culture is felt. – @LeonceCrump

Every person wants consistency in their leaders more than anything. – @LeonceCrum

Do you know who you are and consistently communicate that? – @LeonceCrump

Ignore the wrong people and invite the right people. – @LeonceCrump

Strategy forces you to acknowledge limitations. – @JonAcuff

In God’s Kingdom, one or two are as important as one- or two- hundred. – @BradLomenick

lighter appThe people closest to me were getting the worst of me. (A warning sign for leaders). – @BradLomenick

Who we are: Identity, Calling & Assignment. Most of us get calling and identity confused. – @BradLomenick

Hand-off as much as possible. Everyone should think, “How can I replace myself.” – @BradLomenick

Your best expression of your leadership is what happens when you leave. – @BradLomenick

Model handing off or responsibility. – @BradLomenick

teachingLeadership going forward is not about position. It is about coaching… creating a culture where the highest level of achievement can take place. – @BradLomenick

Midlife crisis… when people figure out their calling at age 40 and can’t do anything about it. – @BradLomenick

You’ll attract rock stars if they feel they will be empowered on your team. – @BradLomenick

Right or wrong… The reality is A-list players today see a job as a season of assignment on the way to greatness. – @BradLomenick

Balance, rhythm, margin & spiritual discipline allow me to be healthy. – @BradLomenick

Build platforms that other people can stand on. – @BradLomenick

exterior buildingA warning to leaders: Once you taste a little influence it is intoxicating. (Counter by building into others.) – @BradLomenick

Almost nobody will tell you the truth if you pay them. Find people who will tell you the truth. – @BradLomenick

The best way to find a new gig is to kick yourself out of the the gig you just crusted. Keep moving up & to the right. – @BradLomenick

As leaders, the reason we have jobs is because of uncertainty. – @AndyStanley via @BradLomenick

The best way to succeed: “Long obedience in the same direction.” – @EugenePeterson via @BradLomenick

The best way to find a new gig is to kick yourself out of the gig you just crushed. Keep moving up & to the right. – @BradLomenick

planning worksheetThe new generation wants transparency in leadership, collaboration, mission, authenticity & messiness their church – @GeoffSurratt

Communicate the ‘why’ behind the need. – @JoshGagnon

Have seasons where you DON’T run 100MPH… so that you have seasons where you CAN run 100MPH. – @JoshGagnon

While Jesus is changing hearts around you, make sure He’s working on yours as well. – @KevinMyersPK

badgeSmoke what you are selling & sell what you’re smoking. If we’re selling Jesus we out to be smoking Jesus. – @KevinMyersPK

What’s my current word form the Lord? What is God whispering? – @KevinMyersPK

You think too small & you pray too small. God’s recent message to @KevinMyersPK

The more casual I become with obedience, the more professional I become in ministry. – @KevinMyersPK

What do you do when nobody is looking? – @KevinMyersPK

There can be sacrifice without obedience. But rarely is there obedience without sacrifice. – @12Stone pastor via @KevinMyersPK

paintingLeadership is like parenting… First you say it, then you say it again, and again… and again… – @KevinMyersPK

Leaders build better lives. (Better parents, better business leaders, etc.) – @KevinMyersPK

Every leader knows when they are pulling chips off the table to protect themselves. – @KevinMyersPK

A great way to learn is from individual conversations with the right people. – @KevinMyersPK

Staff members should have contacts at churches larger than ours & contacts with experience 3-5 years out from the season we are going through. – @KevinMyersPK

lead small cupsMake sure that what’s on the wall (mission) is in your words and actions. – @KevinMyersPK

(In leadership) what’s in you comes out. – @KevinMyersPK

The next generation needs everything the current generation has to offer. (Invest in internships). – @KevinMyersPK

Choosing empathy is cheap. Losing empathy (relationship) is expensive. – @JonAcuff

seatsWhat people want is empathy. They ask, “Do you see me?” “Do you create things to meet my needs?” – @JonAcuff

Read less minds. Ask more questions. – @JonAcuff

If you ever see a pacifier by itself, pray for the parent. Funny from @JonAcuff

Care about what the people you care about care about. – @JonAcuff

Empathy is understanding what someone needs needs and acting on it. – @JonAcuff

The church is calibrated for a world that doesn’t exist. – Fuller friend of @KPowellFYI

writing on wallEmerging adults (late 20s) are delaying marriage and children by 5 years. We have to rethink our ministry because of this gap. @KPowellFYI

76% of LGBTQ people would return to the faith community. They need Informed, respectful conversations. @KPowellFYI

Churches cater to extroverts. One third of the population are introverts. As such churches miss reaching 1/3 of people. – @KPowellFYI

I long for the church to be known more for what we’re for than what we’re against.- @KPowellFYI

You cannot help the person you’re not around. – Kellen Moore

People visit (church) on Sunday and live on Monday. (Help them make it through through the week.) – @JonAcuff

reggie joiner sketchnoteYou naturally feel the pressure that Sunday is coming. Thinking of Monday changes how you think about Sunday. – @ReggieJoiner

You have to imagine someone’s Monday (life) before you can re-imagine what happens on Sunday (church). – @ReggieJoiner

You can have a great vision. But if you don’t have a strategy you won’t win. – @ReggieJoiner

The truth matters when love matters. – @ReggieJoiner

Sometimes what you say doesn’t matter, even if it is true. – @ReggieJoiner

You can’t really speak the truth in love if you don’t know who you are speaking to. – @ReggieJoiner

textingIt’s easier to speak truth than it is to love somebody. – @ReggieJoiner

It’s easier to fight for the truth than it is to fight for the heart. – @ReggieJoiner

It’s not your job to fix someone. It’s you’re job to love them. – @ReggieJoiner

Empathy: The ability to press pause on your own thoughts & feelings long enough to consider someone else’s thoughts and feelings. – @ReggieJoiner

Empathy doesn’t change the truth. It enhances the truth. – @ReggieJoiner

Click here for more information on the Orange Conference. Click here for more information on reThink Leadership.

Thank you for reading Rob Cizek – Practical Leadership. If you would like to know when new posts are available, simply enter your email address below:





Top 10 Leadership Quotes From #Outcomes16 – CLA Conference 2016

Here are the top leadership quotes from Outcomes 2016 – this year’s Christian Leadership Alliance national conference (from the #Outcomes16 Twitter feed):


#10. People don’t resist change… they resist being changed. – @CLALeader

#9. Could it be that you can’t learn because you won’t UNlearn something? – @CLALeader

#8. 40 is a significant number throughout Scripture. Where is God leading your ministry in the next 40 years? – @CLALeader

#7. A lot of us are waiting on God, yet God is waiting on us. It’s time to move! – @drtonyevans

#6. If we don’t step out and obey we may miss our life’s work. – @TimElmore

#5. If the penalty for disclosure is the same as getting caught, your people will hide from you. – Bruce McNicol

#4. Every organization is telling a story. What story are you telling? – @CLALeader

#3. If you’re not building in to younger leaders you are cheating your legacy. – @UYWILarry

#2. Are you more focused on virtues that show up on your resume, or those that will be celebrated in your eulogy? – @peterkgreer

#1. No one gets better, stronger or faster alone.” – @UYWILarry



Leaders must wait to hear from God before doing the work of God. – @ConniePadmore

We want to be following Jesus because there are people following us. – @ConniePadmore

Sometimes belief come before you pray, and sometimes it comes because you pray. – @ConniePradmore

God didn’t give the church a mission; God is using the church to accomplish HIS mission. – @ohfamily

Legacy is what you leave behind in the life of others. – @UYWILarry

I am calling you all out to jack yourself up and deal with your stuff so that we can finish well. – @UYWILarry

What determines the winner of 4×100 is the exchange. What would it look like if we smoothed out the exchange of leadership? – @CLALeader

If you’re not making disciples, you’re missing the assignment. – @UYWILarry

Does your competence for God mask itself for communion with God? – @TimElmore

Eschatology shouldn’t drive inertia.” – @drtonyevans

Stories make us lean in. Stories activate more of the brain than facts & figures. – Elizabeth West

What you do today, in obedience to God, will determine the extent He will empower you for future success. – @CLALeader

Change doesn’t happen because of more money. Change happens because of what happens in the heart. – @peterkgreer

When you are full of Grace you will do more than any job description. – @TimElmore

Your job enables you to be a consumer. But it is your work that enables you to contribute to something beyond you. – @TimElmore

Time & time again, God uses ordinary people for His extraordinary purpose. – @DougNuenke

People go to the web to solve a problem or answer a question. What questions are you answering? – @CLALeader

We are Christ’s ambassadors. – @RichStearns

Technology should follow corporate strategy – @CLALeader

God has called us not to build an institution, but create a revolution. – @RichStearns

God’s love does not change – on good days and bad days! – @ohfamily
We don’t ‘engage culture’, we are already in the culture. How do we shine light while we’re here? – @greg_thornbury
What is the best way to do mission? Don’t fall in love with what you do now. – @TimElmore

Leading well today means inviting chaos. – @TimElmore

Lord, help us to keep our eye on the hole, and not the drill bit. – @TimElmore

If I were to build a church, I would have desks, not pews. – @greg_thornbury

Click here for more information on the Christian Leadership Alliance annual Outcomes Conference.

Thank you for reading Rob Cizek – Practical Leadership. If you would like to know when new posts are available, simply enter your email address below:



Leadership Apps – Top Tools To Make You More Effective

Leadership apps (iPhone, iPad and Android) for organizing, time management, communicating and increasing productivity.

You’ve got a great phone in your pocket and a wonderful tablet in your bag. Ever wonder if you are getting the most out of them? Wayne Cordova calls himself “Geek Pastor” because he loves to help leaders find technology that helps them lead. Wayne recently shared his best leadership apps on Carey Nieuwhof’s podcast. Here’s an executive summary of Wayne’s best apps for leaders:


OneNote: A work space that allows you to capture what’s important, move ideas and stay on task.

Wunderlist: An easy organizational tool to help you get things done faster.

Things / Cultured Code: A task manager for easy organization.

Dropbox: Allows for easy sharing and access to files of all sizes.

Jotnot: Scan PDFs from documents, receipts, faxes, expenses and whiteboards. Great for financial organization and planning.

Overcast: A powerful, yet simple podcast player app for iPhone & iPad.

Gmail: A very basic, user-friendly email system that can be customized to meet your organization’s needs.

Airmail: An organizational e-mail app.

Instagram: A photo and video-sharing app that allows you to apply filters to capture the look and feel of a moment.



Dispatch: Helps you tame your inbox by letting you delete, defer, delegate, generate actions and even respond to your mails with ease.

Text Expander: Save time and keystrokes with customized shortcuts.

Phrase Express: Saves keystrokes by expanding text abbreviations into full text snippets.

If This Then That / IFTTT: an automation tool to create useful chains of simple conditional statements, called “recipes”

Work Flow: Connects apps and actions together to automate things you do on your device.

Keyboard Maestro: Automate almost any repetitive task you do with an Apple device.

Launch Bar: An adaptive app launcher and document browser that allows you to access applications, documents, bookmarks by typing short abbreviations.

Hazel: Helps clean up your files by automatically organizing (Mac).



Google Apps: Suite of apps for email, cloud storage, collaboration tools and more.

Google Docs: Cloud-based documents to create, edit, and collaborate wherever you are.

Google Sheets: Cloud-based spreadsheets.

Google Forms: Collect and organize information, easily create surveys and sign-ups.

Google Drive: Cloud-based file storage that allows for easy sharing and access to files of all sizes.

Google Chrome: Fast, simple, powerful and secure web browser available on any device.

YouTube: Video-sharing site, great for finding tutorials on the tools above.

PicPlayPost: Amazingly simple graphic design software.

Word Swag: Text over pic editor, cool fonts, typography generator, creative quotes ($3.99).


leadership productivity appsCOLLABORATIVE APPS

Slack: Team communication tool for messaging and file sharing, fully searchable on all your devices. Michael Hyatt on how to best use Slack.

Trello: A visual way to organize anything with anyone.

Skype: Video and audio conferencing with messaging and recording.

Zoom: Cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and cross platform group chat.

Google Hangouts: Group communication with instant messaging, video chat, SMS and VOIP.

Basecamp: Web-based project management and collaboration tool.

Todoist: Best online task management app and to-do list.



10 Great Apps Every Leader Needs

25 Smartphone Apps Every Leaders Should Know About

Best 15 iPhone Apps For Busy Leaders

Thank you for reading Rob Cizek – Practical Leadership. If you would like to know when new posts are available, simply enter your email address below:


Top 10 Leadership Quotes From Catalyst West 2016

Catalyst West leadership quotes from the 2016 conference.

Each spring, a few thousand young leaders gather in Southern California to learn leadership at the Catalyst West Conference. Here are the top leadership quotes from the 2016 training, as seen in the #CatalystWest Twitter feed:


#10. How can we claim to be closest to the creator of the universe and be furthest away from the creative act? – @erwinmcmanus

#9. People need a compelling reason to come to church because they have a compelling reason not to. – @donaldmiller

#8. People will not let go until they know where you want them to go. – @AndyStanley

#7. It’s not about being still & FEELING He is God, it’s about being still & KNOWING He is God. – @louiegiglio

#6. Insecure people talk about themselves. Confident people talk about others. – @donaldmiller

#5. When people are pressuring you to take a stand, they are usually pressuring you to take their stand. – @andystanley

#4. The difference between noise & music is rules. – @donaldmiller

#3. You can’t see new opportunities looking back at old regret. – @ChrisHogan360

#2. Deliver bad news early, it gives you more chance to fix it. – GuyKawasaki

#1. You’ll learn more from people you don’t understand than people you agree with already. – @AndyStanley


CatalystYour greatest contribution in life may may not be something you do but rather someone you’re raising. – @AndyStanley

Be a STUDENT, not a CRITIC… Always seek to understand – @AndyStanley

If you’re a critic before you’re a student – you will learn nothing. – @AndyStanley

Disturb the status quo. Wonder is as threatening and disruptive as it is inspiring. – @AndyStanley

There is no progress without imagination. – @AndyStanley

It is human nature to resist what we don’t understand or can’t control. – @AndyStanley

When wonder is awakened, we are suddenly aware that what is isn’t all that is. – @AndyStanley

People do not buy the best products and services; they buy what they can understand the quickest. – @donaldmiller

We must understand the internal frustrations of the people we are trying to lead. – @donaldmiller

If you don’t clearly and confidently ask people to do something, they won’t do it. – @donaldmiller

Stories are formulaic – the brain is drawn to clarity. – @donaldmiller

If your website doesn’t have a call to action you will lose your traffic. – @donaldmiller

If you are relying on guilt or tradition to build your church, you won’t. – @donaldmiller

We were designed to create the future. What do you think our choices do? – @erwinmcmanus

The whole movement of Jesus is built on dreamers and visionaries. – @erwinmcmanus

We live in the past, we’re trapped in the present, but we’re made for the future. – @erwinmcmanus

Humans materialize the invisible – no other species can do this. – @erwinmcmanus

Humans were created with the highest intention, but we have the ability to live unintentional lives. – @erwinmcmanus

On branding: “If you don’t clearly and confidently ask people to do something, they won’t.” – @donaldmiller

There is a temptation in every leader when they are insecure is to talk about themselves. – @donaldmiller

Your brain spends 30% of its time daydreaming. – @donaldmiller

The people who communicate clearly are chosen as leaders. – @donaldmiller

We live in a culture that’s so addicted to the big and spectacular, that we can miss God in small things. – @djstrickland

Empower people to take actions, treat them as adults. Assume good until proven bad. – @GuyKawasaki

Let it go. Everytime you grab on to old hurt, we do new harm. – @ChrisHogan360

No matter where you are and what you are walking through, God can. – @ChrisHogan360

Someone, somewhere is waiting on you to become what God has called you to be.- @ChrisHogan360

It’s hard to be hateful when you’re grateful. – @ChrisHogan360

It’s important to know what are eyes are on. If our eyes are on problems, then we will have problems. – @ChrisHogan360

Am I good enough? God said “Yes.” God is in the business of using ordinary people to do incredible things. – @ChrisHogan360

We have to look at problems, but we have to see the opportunities. – @ChrisHogan360

Jesus is sending us out into a dangerous community, not to make a point but to make a difference. – @AndyStanley

There are questions you should never answer—not because you don’t have an answer, but because of who is asking. – @AndyStanley

Never be too proud to beg for God’s help for yourself, for your children, for your church. – @chadcveach

When we have an experience with God, it changes us and people can see it. – @shelenebryan

Sometimes negative experiences deplete us and rob us of the joy of the mission God has set before us.- @shelenebryan

When was the last time you did something for the first time? – Seth Godin via @shelenebryan

It’s okay to not be okay. – @triplee

We use music to express our pain and frustration. – @TripLee

Somewhere someone is waiting on you to become what God called you to be. – @chrishogan

Our story begins in Genesis 1 not Genesis 3. We are made good. – @djstrickland

Do you see the bigness of God in the smallness of He’s imprinted in our lives? – @djstrickland

We live in a culture that’s so addicted to the big and spectacular, that we can miss God in small things. – @djstrickland

Eaters believe if others eat more, we eat less. Bakers know we can always make more. Be a baker. – @GuyKawasaki

The key to enchanting your boss (wife) is to drop everything else. – @GuyKawasaki

Great enchanters are great presenters. – @GuyKawasaki

Be sure to enchant all the influencers. – @GuyKawasaki

If you want to be enchanting, be elegant. – @GuyKawasaki

I pray that the sufficiency of God will wipe away our insufficiencies.- @louiegiglio

Never dumb down the truth, and never turn down the grace – @AndyStanley

It’s not enough to do good in the community you must be seen doing good in the community. – @andystanley Matthew5

Distinguishing between theology and ministry liberates ministry without compromising theology – @AndyStanley

Do NOT lean heavily on systems to minister to individuals. Ministry happens best face-to-face. – @AndyStanley

Some questions should never be answered if they undermine your influence. – @AndyStanley

There are questions you should never answer—not because you don’t have an answer, but because of who is asking. – @AndyStanley

If we want to awaken culture to the wonder of the church, we need to love our enemies. – @andystanley

Think twice before answering a question that has the potential to burn a bridge or close a door. – @AndyStanley

Your story in ministry started because your heart was broken for a group of people. – @AndyStanley

“Always” + “Everybody” = Rigid Ministry System that will break down under the pressure of the real world. – @AndyStanley

Distinguishing between theology & ministry liberates ministry without comprising theology. – @AndyStanley

Jesus never allowed His perfect theology to get in the way of ministry. – @andystanley

Ministry is how we treat people based on what we believe. – @AndyStanley

If you do not distinguish the difference between ministry and theology you lose at both. – @AndyStanley

Sin always makes a promise it can’t keep and always produces a consequence that lasts a long time. – @AndyStanley

The church should like the people who look nothing like the church. – @AndyStanley

The grace/truth tension requires that we present the ideal while embracing the real. – @AndyStanley

Jesus was full of truth and grace. He never dumbed down the truth and he never turned down the grace. – @AndyStanley

Jesus was gloriously inconsistent because he was full of grace & truth. – @AndyStanley

Jesus is not the balance of grace and truth, he fully embodied both grace and truth. – @AndyStanley

Put other people ahead of yourself because that’s what your Heavenly Father did for you. – @AndyStanley

Cesar Augustus became a footnote in the story of Jesus of Nazareth, we now have a place in His story – @AndyStanley

Never give up influence unnecessarily… don’t make a point at the expense of making a difference. – @AndyStanley

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How to Know and Coach Staff

10 tips on how to coach staff members.

You’re responsible to lead your staff. But how can you do that if you really don’t know them? A great leader is going to be a coach for his/her team members. Begin staff coaching relationships by using these great tips from Executive Coach Dr. Nathan Baxter:

START WITH THEIR STORY: Put a big piece of paper on the wall. Ask your team member to share their story with you. Go decade by decade through their life. Ask them the positive and negative things that impacted them in each decade, then capture the responses on the paper. Ask questions to draw them out. This will help you better understand how they view life and work. If they want, flip the paper over and walk them through your story in a similar way.

DREAMS: When you coach staff in the workplace, ask them about their dreams and aspirations. “If you could do anything, what would it be?” Of course you may not be able to make it happen on a job. But given time you may be able to help them on their journey towards that dream.

DISCOVER HOW THEY WANT TO BE HELPED: Ask, “What is your preferred style of coaching?” Some people want an informal, conversational style of coaching. This might happen over coffee or a meal. Others want formal coaching. They like to have a business setting, an agenda and written action points. Adjust your coaching style to meet the person’s expectations. It’s not about how you want to coach them, it’s about how they want to be coached.

DETERMINE THEIR RECEPTIVENESS: Openness to coaching varies by individual. If someone is really ready, they may want to meet once a week. At the other extreme, some may only want to meet once a year for their annual performance review.

FIND OUT HOW THEY ARE HARDWIRED: When you coach staff in the workplace, tests like DISC, Taylor-Johnson and the Birkman will help you (and your team member) understand their gifts and personality.

ASSESS LEADERSHIP SKILLS: How is your staff member at basic leadership skills such as conflict resolution, planning, and communication? Where there are weaknesses among your team members you can teach about them during staff meetings.

ASSESS SPIRITUAL MATURITY: How strong is this person in their faith and walk with God? Knowing where they have room to grow allows you to help.

coach staffASK PEOPLE TO MOVE TOWARDS THEIR FULL POTENTIAL: Assure them that you will help them do so if they will commit to being their best.

TAKE NOTES: When your meeting is over, take a few minutes to write down what your team member is saying or not saying. OneNote is a great place to keep track of meeting notes.

PREPARE BY REVIEWING YOUR NOTES: Use the five minutes prior to your coaching meeting to review your notes and pray for the meeting ahead. Pay attention to where God is developing them.

Remember that coaching your team both takes time and saves time. It takes time on the front end to do the coaching. It saves time because your guidance leads to fewer mistakes and less time spent resolving problems.

Dr. Baxter shared these tips at the annual conference. He shares great leadership wisdom on his blog: Lead Self and Lead Others.

Thank you for reading Rob Cizek – Practical Leadership. If you would like to know when new posts are available, simply enter your email address below:



How to Coach Your Staff in 6 Steps

Tips for Employee Mentoring and Coaching

7 Steps for Coaching Your Employees

6 Coaching Strategies You Can Use in the Workplace


Top 10 Leadership Quotes – Do Over by Jon Acuff

Top leadership quotes from the book Do Over by Jon Cuff.

Orange Blog Rob CizekORANGE BLOG WEEK NOTE: I met Jon Acuff through The Orange Conference. Each year thousands of senior pastors, youth leaders and children’s ministers gather in Atlanta to hear great speakers like Jon.  The conference is about information, inspiration, connection and fun. Sign up this week by clicking here . . . and I will see you there.

Seth Godin calls it the best career book ever written. I call it one of the top 10 most useful books ever.

Do Over by Jon Acuff offers wise advice for navigating life and the workplace. If you dream of a better job, this book will help you get there. I recommend it for those about to graduate and anyone who works. Jon’s timeless wisdom and wonderful sense of humor make this a book to be both kept and shared.

Below are the top quotes from Do Over.


#10. Relationships get you the first gig, skills get you the second.

#9. Learning a new skill can reveal a new dream.

#8. Employees who add value end up being invaluable.

#7. The words “easy” and “adventure” very rarely travel together.

#6. Difficult moments clear the herd.

5. I can’t predict the future, but I can change the present.

#4. Skills get sharp slowly and dull quickly.

#3. Generosity breeds loyalty.

#2. Great lives are very rarely created in great comfort.

#1. People who can’t be questioned often end up doing questionable things.



Leadership Quotes from Do Over by Jon AcuffYour character and what you did with it will determine more than anything else in your life.

Busyness is not the same thing as hustle.

The distance between comfortable and comatose is surprisingly short.

As a culture we collectively bought into the lie that work has to be miserable.

We live for the weekends because we’ve accepted that the weekdays are where dreams go to die.

We are (incorrectly) taught to work jobs, not build careers.

Fear is not a dragon to be slain once, it is an ocean to be swum daily.

A better job begins with building a better you.

Misery loves company, but company often multiplies your misery.

Careers are only difficult because they are constantly changing and we are not.

Don’t listen to feelings. Make choices.

It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and your drift in that direction. – Warren Buffett

We can’t help but use our imaginations in a negative way when we start with a negative question.

There are a million ways to get stuck in a career, but every version shares one thing: a suspension of creativity.

We like foes for one simple reason: they confirm the fears we have inside.

Sometimes, people who hate on your dream aren’t really mad about your dream. They’re mad because you’re making them jealous.

Do you know what every bad boss is really saying? “I dare you to get a better job!” Take them up on the dare.

If we ever investigated the lives of anyone successful we’d realize they never accomplished what they have all alone.

Want your friendships to grow a little stronger? Increase the frequency of your interactions.

It’s one of my theories that when people give you advice, they are really just talking to themselves in the past. – Steve Garguilo

Great people surround themselves with greater people who challenge and stretch them.

It is seldom that one parts on good terms, because if one were on good terms one would not part. – Marcel Proust

Your industry is smaller than you think. Treat everyone you work with (or for) like you will work with them again someday.

Leave jobs with one finger raised high: your thumb.

Few things draw real friends like a crisis.

Easy times don’t test the strength of a relationship any more then calm seas test the strength of a boat.

Everybody wants to be somebody: nobody wants to grow. – Van Goethe

Future results are enjoyable to talk about. Present efforts are not.

There are plenty of important skills hidden inside our fears. Great passions usually come with great fears.

Most ideas are elusive. They don’t walk into our heads and announce themselves; we have to capture them.

Show up on time. It is the basis of everything. – Anthony Bourdain

When you have a bad attitude it flavors every part of your performance.

We, not our company, are responsible for our attitudes.

Attitude is a skill. It can be changed.

Leadership Quotes from Do Over by Jon Acuff

Jon Acuff at The Orange Conference.

If you want a better job, start with a better attitude. If you want a new job, start with a new attitude.

Get obsessed about the quality of your work, not the quality of your title.

Passion is often found in the crucible of work. Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty before you can know what your passion is.

Learning something new always leads somewhere new.

We work best when as much of what we are doing can be delegated to the unconscious mind as possible. – Heidi Grant

The world is moving quickly, but so can we. Put some skills on autopilot and some skills on fighter pilot.

The father of every good work is discontent, and it’s mother is diligence. – Lajos Kassak

I can’t tell you if in 10 years I will have written five more books. But I can tell you that this year I will write one.

A talent is formed in stillness, a character in the world’s torrent. – Von Goethe

Everything is personal, especially work. The more we believe it’s just business, the easier it gets to do some fairly dastardly things.

Character traits are contagious. Character goes viral.

The future is purchased by the present. – Dr. Samuel Johnson

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. – Old saying

We tend to remember the knives in our back easier than the pats on our back.

The weeds we see in others are often the weeds we’ve been ignoring in our own lives.

Service is renewing. When we serve, the work itself will sustain us. – Rachel Remen

Grit is stubbornness in the face of fear.

More character leads to more friends.

Generosity is always cheaper then greed.

There are a few things in the world that will change someone’s opinion of you as quickly as your generosity.

Your willingness to be open handed with people in the course of your career will pay you dividends for years and years and years.

When you hope to do business with someone again, leave a little on the table. – Roy Williams

Make your definition of generosity bigger by being generous with your skills and time, not just your money.

It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others. – John Holmes

Empathy = Understanding someone else’s needs and acting on them.

In the context of career, empathy opens a thousand doors because it allows you to work with just about anyone.

Care about what the people you care about care about.

If you really work to get ahead, there are three things you need to manage – your phone, your computer and your meetings.

The Internet is only going to get bigger and more interesting with more things to do that don’t move us forward in our careers.

Music is in the piano only when it is played. – Jack Gilbert

The best thing to give a foe is distance. We should ignore most foes.

Making sure you enjoy work isn’t your company’s job. It’s your job.

You need character the most when you decide to chase a dream.

Grit is a choice, not a feeling.

The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. – Stephen Pressfield

The only thing more exhausting than chasing a dream is running away from one.

Instead of saying, “I don’t have what it takes,” say, “I have what it takes to try.”

The fear of missing out is one of the deadliest lies we listen to.

The picture of having your entire life changed in the course of one unexpected, outrageous experience sure beats actually working hard.

Leadership Quotes from Do Over by Jon Acuff.

Jon Acuff

Be aware of the temptation to apply the once–in–a–lifetime label to every opportunity you face.

Regret has a much longer shelf life then fear. Will you face the fear of today or the regret of forever?

Lean on your relationships. Some of the worst decisions are made alone.

Every bad decision I’ve ever made has one thing in common: I thought it was a good decision at the time.

Give yourself permission to make the wrong decision, because guess what? You’re going to.

Fear and frustration are coming. They are a consequence of actually doing something meaningful with your career.

In order to do more of what you are capable of you will have to do less of what you have been doing.

Life is dreamed in big leaps and revealed in small steps.

You’ve got a one hundred percent success rate of failing if you don’t try.

We love to idealize our past when our present doesn’t meet our expectations.

Postponing fun is a bad plan.

Fun for fun’s sake is one of the best ways to prevent yourself from getting stuck.

Business travel is only fun if you’ve never done it.

Let no one be deluded that a knowledge of the path can substitute for putting one foot in front of the other. – Mary Richards

The sad truth about decisions: not making one is often the biggest decision you can make.

The beauty of hustle is that it helps you turn a small opportunity into a slightly bigger opportunity.

If we want our jobs to change, we have to change first.

Reinventing your work isn’t an event, it’s a lifestyle.



Read a preview of Do Over

Do Over Jon Acuff Review

Why Everyone Needs A Do Over (Huffington Post)


Do Over book preview from Jon Acuff.


Do Over message by Jon Acuff (from Crosspoint Church).


Do Over keynote address from Jon Acuff.


Tweekend keynote speech by Jon Acuff.




Best Church Leadership Resources – Podcasts, Books, Conferences, Blogs

A list of the best church leadership resource, including podcasts, books, conferences and blogs.

People often ask about the best resources to help them lead. Below are some of my personal favorites.


BlogDan Reiland – Developing Church Leaders: Dan is one of the wisest leaders I know. He has gained that wisdom from years working in the trenches with John Maxwell and Kevin Myers. He knows how to run churches well and desires to share that information to help others. He does so at:

Xpastor: Xpastor is a website aimed at executive & senior pastors. When the executive pastor position was just coming on the scene, David Fletcher started the website. He used it define the position and help churches identify good executive pastors (“XPs”). Since that time David has collected helpful church leadership articles from some of the best pastors out there:

CHURCHLEADERS: Great compilation of blog posts from church leaders:

Brian Dodd On Leadership: Brian’s heart just oozes leadership. He finds management wisdom in everything he sees. He shares great insights and resources at:

Tony Morgan Live: Thoughtful and useful articles on church management:

Executive Pastor Online: Kevin Stone shares practical church leadership information:

Harvard Business Review: Truly excellent insights on people, teams and running organizations:

Smart SenseAbilities: Kate Nasser’s thoughtful advice:

Dan Black on Leadership: Pithy and practical:



PodcastThe Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast: Carey is a large church pastor with a passion for leadership and to develop others. He does so with positive energy and an approachable style. Carey gathers some of the best church leadership minds for his weekly podcast:

The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast: Outstanding ministry advice from one of the most influential church leaders of our time:

The Unseminary Podcast: Rich Birch covers a broad range of church leadership topics in a helpful way:

The Catalyst Ministry Podcast: The latest thinking coming from the influential folks at Catalyst:



Orange ConferenceThe Orange Conference and Orange Tour: Excellent resource senior pastors, children’s pastors, student pastors and family pastors. Few conferences can equal the consistent quality of content and presentation:

The Catalyst Conference and Catalyst One Day: Some of the biggest name speakers and a great focus on the future. Get the conference videos and share them with your staff:

The Global Leadership Summit: Willow Creek’s excellent annual leadership training. Again, be sure to get the conference videos:

The Outcomes Conference: The Christian Leadership Alliance’s yearly conference for equipping church leaders:

XPastor Conference: David Fletcher’s wonderful resource for executive pastors and senior pastors:

Sticky Teams Conference: Larry Osborne and North Coast Training offer some of the most practical and effective advice I’ve seen:

Exponential Conference: Great resource for church planters:

Drive Conference: Offered by Andy Stanley’s North Point Church every few years. Focuses on applicable advice for church leaders:

DiscipleShift 1: For church leaders who want to make discipleship (spiritual growth) a priority. Unique conference taught in small groups:



Axiom by Bill Hybels
Sticky Teams by Larry Osborne
Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley
Simple Church by Thom Rainer
The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren
7 Practices of Effective Ministry by Andy Stanley
Church Unique by Will Mancini
Winning With People by John Maxwell
Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley
Spiritual Leadership by Henry and Richard Blackaby
Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders
Knowing God by J.I. Packer
Building Below The Waterline by Gordon MacDonald
Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
Soul Keeping by John Ortberg
Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro
Contagious Generosity by Chris Willard and Jim Sheppard
Second in Command by Dutch Sheets and Christ Jackson
Leading from the Second Chair by Mike Bonem and Roger Patterson
Church Is a Team Sport by Jim Putman
Think Orange by Reggie Joiner
21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell
Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
Platform by Michael Hyatt
Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Thinking for a Change by John Maxwell
Leadership Divided by Ron Carucci
Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud

BooksNote that this is not an exhaustive list. There are many other great resources out there. Feel free to share your favorites with me!

I will update this list as I find additional excellent resources.