Expansive Leadership

Rubber bands are created to stretch. The larger the rubber band the greater amount it will hold together. The larger the rubber band, the greater its flexibility.

Leadership is created to stretch.  In a changing world a leader must determine what convictions he stands for and what ideas he bends with.

A conviction does not move in geographical, financial, or positional changes but ideas are meant to flex, bend, and stretch according to environment, people, and culture.  Ideas are the very thing for which they create patents for, but a lot of ideas never sell.

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When Your Leadership is Questioned

“Abraham Lincoln surrounded himself with people, including his rivals, who had strong egos and high ambitions; who felt free to question his authority; and who were unafraid to argue with him.” – Harvard Business Review April, 2009.

IT IS NOT A DILEMMA TO HAVE SOMEONE QUESTION YOUR LEADERSHIP.

THE DILEMMA IS WHEN THE QUESTION HAS NOT BEEN ANSWERED.

Three Ways to Stabilize Your Leadership During Turbulent Times

Words are not enough – lead by example

Programs are not enough – lead by giving direction

Money is not enough – lead by security

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Being a Change Agent in Your Region

One of the most often deceptions we fall into is to rearrange the chairs on the Titanic. Simply a reorganization is not the answer. It may make the work flow easier but the outcome is either mundane or disastrous We know we want change; we know we need to change but who is going to do it and how are we going to do it? You can be the change in your community, city, or region by becoming a change agent, but the great question is, where do we begin? 

It may be more of a simple format than a difficult one. Change is not a “jump off a cliff approach” but rather a “GARDEN” approach.

PLANT THE RIGHT SEEDS AT THE RIGHT TIME, PRAY FOR RAIN AND YOU WILL SEE A HARVEST

Make Every Day Count

Highpoints Podcast is a conversational style mentoring for small church pastors and leaders who desire personal growth and ministry development

The average lifespan of a person in the United States today is 27,375 days.

According to Censuswide, the average American spends 41% of their life staring at a screen, smartphone, tablet, computer screen or TV.

Every day counts.

IN ONE DAY EVERYTHING CAN TURN AROUND

In 1809 The international scene was tumultuous. Napoleon was sweeping through

Austria. Nations were terrified and households were fearful.

During that same year, William Gladstone was born, England’s finest statesman.

Alfred Tennyson was born who greatly affected the literary world.

Oliver Wendell Holmes was born, Edgar Allen Poe was born and so was, Charles

Darwin. In a small obscure cabin in Kentucky, Abraham Lincoln was born.

The newspapers highlighted the tragedies of the culture.

WHILE THE WAR CAPTURED THE HEADLINES, THE BABIES CAPTURED THE FUTURE.

In 2004, John C Maxwell wrote a 312 page book titled, Today Matters and I quote,

“the way you live today impacts your tomorrow.”

The Holy Bible says, “Today is the day of salvation.”

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Expand Your Influence

I remember as a small boy throwing a rock into a body of water and counting the ripples, it was many years later I understood the power on influence. Influence in an invisible inertia, full of energy and the ability to change the future.

There are those who say we influence a minimum of seven people during our lifetime, others influence seventy, others 700 and others 7000. Influence touches people’s character, development, and behavior.

EVERY DAY YOU CAN INFLUENCE ANOTHER PERSON FOR MORAL GOOD OR MORAL BAD

I am only one, but I am one!

I cannot do everything, but I can do something!

What I can do, I ought to do!

And what I ought to do, I do

By the Grace of God! – anonymous

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WHENEVER CHANGE HAS BEEN MADE, AN INFLUENCER STARTED THE WAY

One Change I Made and it Changed Me

I call it a tryst. It is that moment in time when you MUST decide. You see yourself fading into the multitude or you rise as a leader. You have met men with positions that once the position was gone – they were gone. It is not the rich, the famous, the popular or the person with a superior position, it is a common man with a vision. He influences people by his life, he mentors people by his words, and he leads people with his integrity.

But what is a tryst? Tryst is an encounter, a meeting, an engagement, or a rendezvous. It is the first step of a journey or to put one foot in front of the other. When I have been asked what is the most important thing, as a young man or young woman, who decides to be a leader, the answer has always been the same, as it was for me as a young man, you must intentionally grow every day.

To grow every day is to learn every day, to listen every day and to push every day. No, I was not perfect, no, I did not achieve lofty heights or gain massive amounts of money but what I did do is grow.

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THERE IS A GREAT DIFFERENCE IN AN INITIATOR AND AN INFLUENCER

The Word We Do Not Want to Hear

Waiting can be treacherous, I wear my impatience daily, yesterday was not soon enough, three minutes after the hour is late, so how can I deal with the news “delayed?”

If you are the kind of person who wilts when a date has been rescheduled or your plans have been “put off” then you are not alone. In a “hurry, hurry and get it done” world we are met with brick walls of resistance and unforeseen circumstances placing our agenda on the back burner.

We tend to be “fast food” or “microwave” people rather than “slow cook” or “crock pot.”

Maybe this acrostic of WAIT will provide a skeleton schematic for your next delay

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A busy man will wonder how the time went so quickly

The Question Every Leader Ask

There is one question every leader asks, sometimes several times throughout life. Follow Author and Mentor Jim Laudell as he gives the four areas of leadership necessary for authenticity. 

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Muddy trucks and boggled minds follow ruts made by previous travelers

What I Discovered

It is easier to see when someone else is wrong instead of seeing our own wrong but it is equally difficult to see our strengths when criticism has deflated you. Self-evaluation brings a man to self-realization of his weaknesses and his strengths.

Uncover the power of evaluating ourselves when no one else is looking and how to find not the worst but the best.

Looking inwardly provides powerful gifts for the future.

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Accomplish and achievements don’t value you – character values you

Contentment is destroyed by comparison

What Would You Do

The current trend is to evaluate the crises and to make drastic and definite changes while planning for the worse. However, what about planning for the best, to evaluate the realities while adjusting and correcting along the way?

Listen for the Four Principles for Bringing Change When the Future is Uncertain

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To Overreact Steals from the Intended Purpose

What is Next?

Today’s uncharted territory leaves many wandering what tomorrow may bring. Jim Laudell mentions three red flags as cautions for tomorrow, mentions the greatest asset of the past and points to directional markers for tomorrow in this week’s podcast.

Listen on the Highpoints Podcast

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A challenge is an opportunity to prove your previous training

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Why People Don’t Want to Go Back to the “Old Normal”

Normal is predictable, secure and sound but people fear “normal” for it is boring, borders on empty and doesn’t inspire dreams. We can’t simply go back, there are too many variables. The old normal was too busy, too crowded and too overwhelming. There must be a change for a better tomorrow and a NEW normal.

If we go back to normal , will we continue on as if nothing happened? Churches and businesses will find new ways to expand and maximize their presence.

The old normal consisted of calendars, events, busyness, crowded lives and let’s just say it, me, myself and I became the main event of our day. Let’s examine the new normal.

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Prevent the bottle neck rush, when things get normal, by making necessary changes now

Changes Churches Made Last Week

In unprecedented times, churches in America made changes, to adapt to the unpredictable future. These four changes may rewrite how we look at church methods.

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With the compliant closure of many American churches  compassion is beginning to exceed seating capacity 

A relational, creative gospel is being birthed

Fifteen Days – Special Edition

Finding yourself at home without your normal routine and relationships may be considered as an uncomfortable repose but can this fifteen day “stay at home” be considered as a needed solitude and sabbatical? 

Can we have a slow down and not a melt down?

What can we learn from the Word of God?
Will God speak into our lives?

No NOTES download in this Special Edition

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In our solitude can we learn from the Word of God? Will God speak into our lives?

Seven Steps to Subdue Conflict Part Two

If you don’t need this now – you may, someday. In Seven Steps to Subdue Conflict Part One we discussed the value of Communicating Carefully and Affirming Positively. In Seven Steps to Subdue Conflict Part Two we examine the power of staying with the facts, note taking, starting off right and maintaining the proper attitude.

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Shred gossip with facts, dismiss fairy tales with facts and silence all lies with the facts.

Seven Steps to Subdue Conflict Part 1

Conflict is the nature of human incompatibility, often the outcome of two opposing parties but do we expect conflict every time? Not necessarily. We may not eliminate conflict but we can minimize its effect and outcomes.

This is the first of a three part series, Seven Steps to Subdue Conflict, and will contain definite steps to pull the plug on unnecessary conflict. You won’t believe #2 step.

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Carefully chosen words can be the most influential method of avoiding undue criticism and conflict.

Did You Hear What I Heard?

Is the gossip train riding through your town and it is too big to stop? What do I do? Follow today’s podcast and learn how to Validate the Strength of Gossip, Deflecting Community Gossip and learn from C.H. Spurgeon and D.C Branham.

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Never allow a distraction to become your focus

I Made A Mistake

What happens when you make a mistake? I did and wish I didn’t but I tried to make the best out of it. I’ll tell you what my mistake was and give a few suggestions on how NOT to make the mistake I made.

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It is not that you will go through life never making a mistake but that you go through life with the intention to not make another one.

Struggles and Aspirations

Living in the up and downs, “two steps forward – one step backward,” and “can’t win for losing,:” are familiar phrases to describe the mixture of positives and negatives we experience in our ministry and everyday life. If you are a leader you will have more than your share of struggles but there are positive aspirations that keep us going.

This week’s edition of  Highpoints with Jim Laudell will help you discover your aspirations, explain the reason for struggles and end with a positive outlook for your future

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There are external circumstances that have nothing to do with the acceptance or rejection of your vision.

Leading From the Heart

Reading a chapter, each day, in the book of Proverbs not only provides wisdom but also speaks to your heart by giving guidance in the practical areas of life. Wisdom gives you the “gut” answer, building confidence. 
When you read the book of Proverbs, you expect wisdom however, the word most often connected to wisdom is the word, heart. 
Follow the weekly podcast, Highpoints with Jim Laudell for insights that will start everyday with fresh energy.

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Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

What God wants to do is speak to your heart so you can know what is in His heart.

What Does it Take to Become an Efficient Leader?

What does it take to become an efficient leader? How do we know if we have arrived? Is it success? Money? Position?

Efficiency is not a position, financial status or even extreme productivity. In this weeks Highpoints Podcast, our host, Jim Laudell will uncover the secrets to being an Efficient Leader.

Highpoints Podcast #5

Respect is not a reaction but a lifestyle

The Small Church Pastor and His Vision

Create the kind of life that determines your future. Vision is a God given moment where we see what God sees for our life. 

Join the Highpoints Podcast today as our host, Jim Laudell uncovers the difference between a New Vision and a New Season, the power of Habakkuk 2:1-3 and what happens when vision doesn’t happen as fast as I believed it would?

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Placement is not as important as the direction

What Do I Do When I Feel Restless?

HIGHPOINTS PODCAST #3
  • Restlessness is not a listening season but a doing season.
  • Not loving what I’m doing but busy in what I am doing.
  • Not focused but confused.
  • Not rested but tired.

David confesses in Psalms 55:2 “I am restless.” ESV

  • Not connected but frustrated.
  • Not happy but searching.

Having Dramatic Results is the Benefit of Early Sacrifices

Pick the One Thing in Life That Makes Your Heart Beat

Building Margin in Your Monthly Goals

Here we are in 2020 and leaders are carefully setting monthly and one year goals. Whether is it the desire to be close to God, build a business or become an effective leader, goals are necessary.
One of the most important aspect of setting goals is to build margin for personal rest, interruptions and schedule prime time for family.
Follow the podcast here – download the notes below and discover the steps to Building Margin in Your Monthly Goals.

Building Margin in Your Monthly Goals

Margin is Your Best Friend

The Small Church Pastor and Expectations

It is extremely difficult for a small church pastor to fill unwritten expectations, those expectations that pop up in a conversation or possibly, a boardroom. A non-attendee, and non-tither will abruptly come with a list of expectations making ministry difficult. Expectations come from all directions, affects all subjects and aims at all people, especially leadership.

Look at this list of the assuming nature of expectations:

Expectations are not written down.

Expectations contain unfair comparisons to the last pastor.

Expectations change and are mostly inconsistent.

Expectations are called out loudly by negative people.

Expectations and Job Descriptions may vary.

Expectations may carry an ounce of truth.

Not all expectations re to be treated the same. Some deserve intense evaluation while others you can simply brush off. Look at a few of the major assumptions about expectations and Fact Check each one.

Expectations are Exasperations

Criticizers believe “if you would do this,” then “this would happen.”

Fact Check: Sometimes true but most often not true. Excellent results are not directly related to busy-ness but are most likely tied to efficiency.

Expectations are Excuses

Negative people blame someone else for the problems they see. Critics are not apt to claim personal responsibility but rather cast stones.

Fact Check: Teams should be responsible and every team player should make a difference. Spread out responsibilities and each one carries the load, not just a few.

Expectations are Expungable

People tend to forget their personal mistakes but remember other’s mistakes. 

Fact Check: If a mistake has been made, forgive and go on. Don’t hang on to unmet expectations as a cause for an unjustified vacancy or exit.

Expectations are Editors

Editors correct, repair and replace words; expectations can correct, repair and replace actions.

Fact Check: Not all unwritten expectations are bad or to be taken as unnecessary criticism. Listen carefully, there may be some wise counsel vailed within the words of the critic.

Expectations are Echoed

Once an expectation has been voiced, realize more than one may have heard it.

Fact Check: Not everyone believes it.

Expectations are Earmarks

Progress, vision and action is often met with unfair criticism; a true expectation may be time for a change but in another direction.

Fact Check: Earmarks determine a possible change is due, check with a mentor or your team if direct changes are needed.

Expectations are Ecliptic

The danger of varied “expectational” complaints cloud the future and block the vision.

Fact Check: Keep focused,the end is not yet; it is not over. Your focused leadership will help clear the air.

Expectations are Exams

Ask yourself the question, “Is this honestly justifiable?”

Fact Check: Value insight from trusted leaders not from “recliner coaches.”

Effective leadership, creating “buffer” teams and continued communication determines the important, the urgent and the non essentials. Creating a team who supports and creates the vision, determines personal responsibilities and communicates the vision is helpful to cut off unwritten expectations.

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission of the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical or legal advice.

Small Church Pastor and Church Attendance

After many years of ministry, the weak excuses people give for lack of faithfulness, attendance and loyalty still bother me. Church is family and when one is missing from the table, you notice. Please, understand, it is not about breaking a record attendance; we are past bragging about how many we had in morning worship but a real pastor grieves when needy people are absent from the house of God.

I found this humorous (but painfully true) letter to a pastor:

Dear Pastor:
You often stress attendance at worship as being very important for a Christian, but I think a person has a right to miss Sunday worship now and then. I think every person ought to be excused for the following reasons and the number of times indicated:

* Christmas (Sunday before or after for traveling purposes)
* New Year (Sometimes the party last too long)
* Easter (We have to be away for holidays)
* July 4 (National holiday)
* Labor Day (Need to get away again)
* Memorial Day (Visit family and BBQ together)
* Spring Break (Kids need break)
* School Opens (One last summer fling)
* Family Reunions (wife’s and mine).
* 2 Sundays for sleeping in (Because Saturday night activities
* Deaths in Family (Average two per year)
* Anniversary (Second honeymoon)
* Sickness (One per family member)
* Business Trips (A must)
* Vacation (Three weeks)
* Bad Weather (Ice, snow, rain, sometimes-just clouds)
* Ball games (6 per season)
* Unexpected Company (Cannot walk out and leave them)
* Time changes (spring ahead; fall back)
* Specials on TV (Super Bowl, World Series, etc.)

Pastor that leaves two Sundays per year. Therefore, you can count on us to be in church on the fourth Sunday in February and the third Sunday in August—unless providentially hindered.

Sincerely, a faithful member*

It is true many millennials feel one morning worship service a month is church faithfulness but we need so much more. Going to the gym once a month is not giving me the results I want. Eating healthy once a month will not give me the health I need.
Maybe, just maybe, we need to examine why we have the church and endeavor to teach more often on the WHY of the church. Does going to church make a difference in the life of a believer? One thing is sure; not attending church makes a difference in the life of a believer.
I was reading Acts 2:42-47 and found several reasons the early church gathered, not once a week, but daily. We may not meet daily but one thing I noticed, when the saints met daily, “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Multiplication and attendance mesh. The more the early church met together – the more salvations occurred. The growth of the early church and faithfulness of the early believer interlocked. Now I realize they did not have a church building, but they met together regularly.
Some believers go to church for the wrong reasons but God designed a blueprint for the early church. Adults need to see this, teenagers need to know this and young adults need to learn this. Examine the early church culture, according to Acts 2:42-27, the biblical reason for church attendance, although not comprehensive, explains a biblical foundation for regular worship together. Read the biblical passage above and notice the essential points of church attendance.

I need SOLID TEACHING –a regular examination of the beliefs, doctrines and experiences of the apostles.
I need SPIRITUAL FELLOWSHIP –we need each other. While one is up the other may be down but we lift each other through fellowship.
I want to partake in COMMUNION–the regular partaking of communion, the bread and the cup, “this do in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. This communion portrayed the common union they shared through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
I need CORPORATE PRAYER–yes, you can pray at home and should but there is power in praying together. “Prayer” is cited in Acts 1, 2 and 3 as a regular and common occurrence in the early church.
I want ACCOUNTABILITY–living in a body of believers brings personal accountability for my actions, words and life. Church is my insurance policy against drifting into dangerous waters, my place for repentance, correction and direction.
I want to hear TESTIMONIES–sharing personal stories of God’s divine intervention bring faith and tenacity into the lives of the hearers. We often select one or two who can give a clear testimony of God’s amazing grace. Often, a testimony can enhance the worship service and the message.
I want to CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER–this is huge. When one part of the body hurts, we all hurt together. This past Christmas our church gave a struggling family a sizable financial gift to a family of seven, who suffered through a difficult year, they continue to be a blessing to our church.
I want to be included in DISTRIBUTION–missions, the widow’s fund, feeding the poor, filling backpacks with school supplies for needy children, serving the elderly in nursing homes and assisted care units, are all a part of distribution that can only happen within a body of people.
I like to SERVE JOYFULLY–fixing a meal, workday at the church, filling gift bags for children’s church and much more gives much more in return than what we give.
I love to GIVE–church provides a place for me to give my tithes and offerings for the work of God. Even though it is a command in scripture, “bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse,” it is much more a joy to see how God multiplies the little we give to accomplish the greater good.
I love PRAISING GOD WITH OTHERS–the music, the worship time, prayer time and intentional opportunities in the service allow us to praise God together. Hearing the voices of others, praising God, encourage me to praise God.
I believe in INTENTIONAL EVANGELISM–the church is an excellent source of evangelism as men and women, teenagers and children bring their family and friends, to hear a gospel message and respond. The call for salvation declared through the local church is God’s plan and it happens, right where people live.

I cannot wait for church Sunday.

*Letter to Pastor contributed by Phyllis Traugher

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission of the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or professional advice.

Why We Do What We Do

When you find your why; you discover your ministry, your calling, your life, your direction, your passion, your dreams, and ambitions.

When your why is revealed to you it will unfold vision, courage, conviction, persistence, and determination.

Your WHY will shortcut depression, destroy discouragement, dismantle intimidation, and dissect fear.

When a person discovers their WHY they make clearer decisions, bold proclamations, and extensive advances.

Finding your WHY takes time

Finding your WHY takes inspection

Finding your WHY takes transparency

Finding your WHY takes determination

Aimless people do not know their WHY but a man who knows WHY will know who he is and knows where he is going.

Why defined is an internal conviction, often advancing present behavior.

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When a leader knows WHY he is doing it then he will have a firm answer as to what he is doing.