Leadership Lessons I’ve Learned from Jack Bauer

Tonight on May 24, 2010, the whole world stood still and watched the series finale of 24. I’ve followed this series these last 8 years and wanted to highlight some leadership lessons I’ve learned from watching Jack Bauer.

  • Jack never quits on his mission. Why should you quit on yours?
  • Jack is trustworthy. Do people trust you? Are you dependable?
  • Jack is loyal to his friends. How strong is your loyalty? How far will you go to help a friend?
  • Jack stands for justice, not convenience. Do you stand for what’s right or with whatever is convenient at the moment?
  • Jack perseveres. Do you push through obstacles and/or political barriers or do you get intimidated by them?
  • Jack always out smarts his enemies because he knows their weaknesses. How well do you know your enemy? Do you know your weaknesses?
  • Jack is not afraid to look evil in the eye and deal with it. Do you deal with it or does it deal with you?
  • Jack hates cover-up’s and scandals. What are you covering-up that needs to be brought into the light?
  • Jack would give his life for his family. Would you give your life for yours?
  • Jack never got caught up in the politics or side dramas around him, he always stayed focused on his mission. What’s your life mission? What is distracting you from accomplishing it?

What are some other leadership lessons you have learned from Jack Bauer these last 8 years? Comment and share them with us!

24 News: Release Date for Season 8 and Complete Series on DVD and Blu-ray.

Are You Being Heard? by Tanya Glass

All in one week I’ve watched a DVD on Systems by Andy Stanley which included bonus interviews with key people on his staff. The main theme:  internal systems and communications. I also read an article in Inc Magazine about “How to Communicate Better with Employees.” Immediately after reading the article I thought, what if pastors and leaders used these same techniques with their churches? Staff? Volunteers? Congregations? These are some portable principles from the article that I believe will help any leader. If you like the tips, read more here on Inc.com.

Create a Culture:

  • Schedule informal communication: for church leaders this can mean having conversations during the day or during the week that aren’t centered on “all things church” or to-do lists. It’s ok to relax and have fun – even schedule it!
  • Meet one-on-one:  Take a volunteer to coffee, play basketball with your student leader, go shopping with your women’s ministry leader. Be creative, be genuine.
  • Meet in groups: just before or just after an event is a great time to meet together and pray, play, and eat. Church folk love food, so if you get a group together make sure you’re prepared with even a little something. Take time to laugh, listen and lead.

Make sure Your Message is Heard:

  • Evaluate your own abilities: as a leader play to your strengths, delegate your weaknesses. Give others a chance to shine.
  • Sharpen your message: “People normally remember only three to five points from any communication. So keep it short and sharp.” If you are leading a meeting or a service, this is great advice for creating an outline people can retain and reuse.
  • Recognize good work:  Staff and volunteers are constantly exemplifying the “win” of the vision of the church. Draw attention to it and celebrate “the win” often. Andy Stanley’s, “Making Vision Stick” is a perfect tool for digging deeper into this principle.

What are some of your thoughts on creating a culture of communication where others feel heard?

Tanya Glass is an Editor and Research & Data Analyst for ImpelMinistry.com. Check out her personal blog TanLines. Follow her on Twitter here and friend her on Facebook here. She resides in Los Angeles, CA.

Get Over It by Stacy McVane


My favorite leadership expert is John C. Maxwell.  In his book, “Failing Forward,” he says that in order to move forward you have twenty-four hours to get over successes and failures.  I have experienced getting stuck in the successes and failures.  I also understand it’s time to get over the successes and failures and move forward into what is next for me.

In 2002 I ran the Motorola Marathon in Austin, TX.  It was one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life.  The six month training in order to get to the starting line was an experience in pushing through physically and mentally.  In 2003, I decided to participate in the Danskin Triathlon.  I had to get over the success of the marathon in order to train for the triathlon and have another goal to challenge me.  That wasn’t an easy thing.  I like success.  I like having the pictures and metal from the marathon on my office wall.  I’m really not sure who doesn’t.  I also realize that God is more concerned with my character then how I feel and my list of successes and failures.  I’m not always going to “feel” successful, but I am loved and accepted by God. Knowing that gives me confidence to get over successes and failures and move on to the next thing in life.  Romans 8:35-39, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

When I say “get over it,” I mean get over you; the past hurts, disappointments, successes, failures, and relationships (personal, ministry, business).  God has so much more for you then to be stuck in an emotional spiral over people and circumstances you have no control over.  You have control over your emotions and the things you choose to expend your emotional energy on.  In my own life, in order for me to get over some things, I’ve chosen to be vulnerable: going to a professional counselor to sort out my thoughts and feelings, confronting and being confronted by individuals I’ve hurt their feelings or they’ve hurt mine, being honest and raw with my emotions when spending time with God, and having great girlfriends that I can confide in and truly be myself (the good, bad, and ugly).  I encourage you to be self aware about your emotions, but also not to get stuck in them.

I had a one on one meeting with my personal trainer, Kratai Albert.  It included being weighed and measured for the next season of her Power of Six (www.kratai.net) fitness program.  I didn’t meet the goals I wanted to in the past three month session.  I wasn’t focused on the physical (exercise and nutrition) part of me.  Instead of being stuck in the last session, I made a choice to move on to the session that starts on Monday.  I set new goals and have a new plan of action.  I also have someone to support, encourage, and keep me accountable.  It’s important and strategic for me to have Kratai to be my cheerleader, coach, and tell me the truth.  I want something different, so I have to do something different.

An important thing that I have learned to get over is past relationships.  It’s crucial to get over past relationships in order to be open to the opportunities set before you for possible new ones.  A couple of years ago, I was in a relationship with a man that was also in ministry at the same church I am on staff at, Shoreline Church.  We served side by side in one another’s ministry before and during our relationship.  When our relationship ended, it really stretched my emotional awareness and changed the dynamic of our ministry partnership.  I knew that neither of us was going anywhere.  I had to learn to get over it quickly in order to continue to do what God wanted me to do and still have interactions with an ex-boyfriend/ministry partner.  Believe me, it was easier said than done.  Today, I am in an incredible relationship with a man that attends the same church as me.  I also have a casual friendship with the ex-boyfriend/ministry partner.  God’s healing and restoration is real.

I have decided to start every day fresh with a clean perspective in every area of my life that includes an attitude of mercy toward myself.  Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his Compassion never fails.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Your Thoughts?

Stacy McVane is the Executive Director of Lift Student Ministries at Shoreline Church, Austin, TX. You can follow her on Twitter HERE and friend her on Facebook HERE. Visit her website at www.StacyMcVane.com.

Tripp & Tyler Rap Intro for Andy Stanley at Catalyst West

Tripp and Tyler, two comedian MC’s at Catalyst West 2010. Watch their rap intro right before Andy Stanley’s last session at Catalyst West! Hilarious!

What Are You Influencing?

Look at the girl dancing. And, then watch her energy and passion. It only takes one person to influence many. Watch how her dancing and passion spreads throughout the crowd. What is your life influencing? This is great visual aid to remind us how each life can influence thousands of people. Live your life with purpose! Leave your mark and make a difference!

Christian Atheist: New Book by Craig Groeschel

Craig Groeschel, pastor of LifeChurch.tv releases his new book today,  The Christian Atheist. It is available online or at a bookstore near you.

What is a Christian Atheist? It is someone who believes in God, but lives as though He doesn’t exist. This book is hard-hitting and passionate! Craig will challenge you to think deeply and honestly. It will push you and disturb you! I believe every church in America should purchase this book in bulk for small group studies to dive into. To win a free and signed copy of the book, visit Scott Williams blog, a campus pastor at LifeChurch.tv at www.BigIsTheNewSmall.com.

You Can’t Say That In Church: Politics by Tanya Glass

Myth #1:My political views are my business and the preacher shouldn’t talk about it in church.”

This is a typical mentality among Christian people, and we’ve all encountered it. The question is – are we going to accept it or speak up!

ImpelMinistry.com has decided to take the tape off and encourage church leaders to speak up and engage in the tough conversations. The first topic we want to bring out into the open is politics. We have the right and the ability to get involved and shape the nation. We should be able to talk openly about the political process, even on the smallest level. Today, young leaders are highly engaged in social and political issues. While many of these leaders have become active and vocal on political and social issues, church leaders seem to tip toe around the political realities that face our nation today. Why is that?

Myth #2: If I talk about politics from the pulpit the government will close my church.”

For years the church has been bullied into thinking that if they discuss politics from the pulpit then serious legal consequences will ensue. The truth is that pastors can discuss openly their political views; they just can’t make them the views of the organization. I would encourage every church leader – volunteer and/or staff – to watch Matt Staver’s DVD, “What Pastors Can and Can’t Do Politically.” As a lawyer, he plainly talks about the political freedom that pastors have and how to engage their church in the political system.

Myth #3:I don’t have time to get into politics, it’s too overwhelming.”

It does take time to be a responsible voter, but organizations such as Liberty Counsel and Focus on the Family put information together for people to help them make decisions. It’s important for leaders to educate themselves on the current issues to be able to discuss objectively and openly. With the new presidential administration came a new openness with the public. I would encourage you to subscribe to the White House email and blog site. Everyone does not have to be involved in everything, but as ministry leaders, we should all have a basic understanding on a few key things about major issues. It’s okay not have an answer to every issue, but be open to new ideas and hearing from “the other side” before rushing to judgment. We should not persuade people to vote our way, but we should encourage them to take action on their own.

Myth #4:No one cares what I think, one person can’t make that much difference.”

This is an election year for Congress as they ramp up for November 2010. The laws that govern our nation are created within this body of decision-makers. The same passion we have for the presidential election we need to have for the Congressional elections, they are your voice in Washington. Go to the links provided by Focus on the Family and Liberty Counsel to learn who is running in your district and on Election Day in November, go vote, let your voice be heard.

Before getting involved we must pray for those in authority and take spiritual responsibility for those we place in government. The goal is not to persuade, but to educate. It’s not about parties or policy – it’s about participation. The days of signs, boycotts, and protests are over. Educate yourself on the issues, and be willing to talk openly about them.

Your Thoughts?

Tanya Glass is an editor and market research analyst at ImpelMinistry.com. She attends Angelus Temple/ The LA Dream Center with Pastor Matthew Barnett. Check out her personal blog TanLines. Follow her on Twitter HERE and friend her on Facebook HERE. She resides in Los Angeles, CA. You can email her at Tanya@ImpelMinistry.com.

How Would Jack Bauer Handle Religious Politics?

Everyone knows that I am a big fan of 24! I love the show. I have all seven seasons on DVD. Two years ago, a friend gave me a 24 T-shirt for Christmas. On the front side it says, “So, you think you know what’s going to happen?” And, on the back side it says, “You don’t know Jack!”

If you’re familiar with the show, everybody loves Jack’s leadership style. I’ve always wondered, would Jack Bauer be a good staff or lay leader in a modern day church? Would the church give him space to lead or put barriers in his way? In the seventh season of 24, FBI agent Renee Walker said to FBI Director Larry Moss, “I’m starting to think if we just stayed out of Jack’s way, we could have prevented this crisis.” Now, what was the key point in that statement? Get out of Jack’s way so he can do his job! Now, grant it, I know this is just a TV show, but stay with me here. With every season of 24, Jack Bauer always had an obstacle to work around, and most of the time it was from government politics that tried to sideline him or control his efforts from accomplishing his mission. If Jack Bauer was a lay leader in a church, how would he respond to religious politics and tradition that often tries to control, sideline and limit the efforts of leaders trying to fulfill the mission and vision God placed in their hearts?

Let’s start out by defining religious politics. It flows in communication and years of tradition through a church organization. It hates creativity and new approaches for ministry. But, most of all, religious politics loves to stand in the way of progression and forward motion. If Jack Bauer was a staff pastor or lay leader in a church, and the religious system stood in his way consistently from carrying out the mission and doing his job, what would Jack do?

  • Shoot the senior pastor in the knee
  • Interrogate the church board
  • Leave the church
  • Go start another church
  • Just let the religious system torture him, like when he was tortured in China
  • All the above

Just for the record, I wouldn’t recommend any of these options if you’re a leader in your church. Because, first of all, we must recognize the brutal reality, religious politics will always be around us in church ministry. If you think there are no religious politics being played in your church right now, you are in denial or deceived. Wherever there is people; there is politics. Religious politics fight against leaders that are forward thinkers, innovators and get it done type of people. It will be the Jack Bauer’s in your church that will be your greatest asset in helping eliminate religious politics throughout your organization. Religious politics fight to maintain the status quo, while the Jack Bauer’s of your church fight to move your church vision forward.

Church organizations that are on cruise control are typically the one’s that are affected the worst with religious politics. Jack Bauer type leaders may be drawn to a cruise ship kind of church, but they won’t stay there very long. In the Sixth Season of 24, Secretary of Defense, James Heller told Jack, “Sooner or later Jack, you’re going to get back in the game, because that is who you are.” Jack Bauer leaders will never be satisfied in a cruise ship church. They will be the ones that will always buck the system, disturb the status quo, and rock the boat. Jack Bauer leaders crave being on the front lines because they will always be in the game, it’s how God wired them. No church system will ever be able to sideline, control or manipulate these kind of leaders to stay quiet or take a passenger seat position. Why? Because these kind of leaders are missionally focused and driven individuals. Jack Bauer leaders will always align themselves with churches and ministry organizations that think and function like a battleship, not a cruise ship mentality.

Your Thoughts?

Lessons from the Fall of the Berlin Wall by Daniel King

10136070-the-berlin-wallTwenty years ago on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall was torn down in Germany. When this hated symbol of Communism fell, the nations of the Soviet Union began to radically change. What are some lessons from this historic event?

1. Every Wall Will Fall
From the early ‘50’s until the late ‘80’s, godless Communism was at war with Christianity. From the middle of Europe to the edge of Asia, there was a vast swath of land where the Name of Jesus could not be lifted up. Churches were closed, Christians were persecuted, and faith was attacked. But then in a moment, the wall was down and the Iron Curtain was torn apart.

For decades, it seemed impossible for the Gospel to penetrate into communist areas, but in an instant, the situation changed. Only a few years after the Berlin wall fell, I stood in front of the Museum of Atheism in St. Petersburg, Russia and preached. Hundreds of people stopped to listen without fearing a visit from the KGB.

Today we face many new walls in the world. Islam has erected a wall around the Middle East in order to prevent Muslims from hearing the Gospel. China is open to doing business with the West, but still restricts people from freely following Jesus. Secularism here in our own nation continually tries to strengthen a wall of separation between church and state.

Eventually, the walls that we face today will fall. One day, every knee will bow before the majesty of God. I believe that in my lifetime, the wall of Islam will fall just as hard as the wall of Communism fell twenty years ago. The time will come when we will be able to freely preach the Gospel in every corner of the earth.

2. When Walls Fall, the Church Must Be Ready.
When the Berlin Wall fell, nations closed for decades were suddenly open to the Gospel. Some ministries were ready and immediately took advantage of the newly-opened doors, but far too many missed the opportunity.

I fear today that the body of Christ is not ready for new walls to fall. Would we be able to disciple one hundred million new Chinese believers? What would we do if we could suddenly plant churches in Saudi Arabia? What if the trade embargo around Cuba was lifted? Who is ready to go into North Korea? Could we care for ten million Muslims who decided to become Christ followers?

When walls fall, there is an opportunity for sharing the Gospel that must not be missed. Immediately after World War II, General Douglas MacArthur sent a telegram to the churches of America asking for missionaries to come to Japan. Only a handful of missionaries responded. Today, Japan has adopted the Western principles of democracy and free trade, but the Church is still weak in Japan. They adopted everything about our culture, except our religion. What would have happened if ten thousand on-fire believers had gone to Japan immediately after the war? I think Japan would be a Christian nation today.

In Japan we failed, but in Ethiopia history tells a different story. When Communism fell in Ethiopia two decades ago, the nation was only 3% evangelical Christian. But, because of the efforts of many missionaries, today over 20% of the population are evangelical believers. This success can be duplicated in other nations if the Church is ready when the walls come down.

3. We Can Bring Walls Down.
The Berlin Wall fell because of President Ronald Reagan’s bold demand, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Ronald Reagan stood against the tyranny of Communism, and because of his refusal to give up, a great battle was won for freedom.

When Joshua faced the thick walls of Jericho, God gave him a plan to bring those walls down. We face many ideological, political, and cultural walls today, but God has a plan for bringing down those walls. We must go to closed nations, preach where Christ is not known, use technology to reach an internet generation, and look for creative new ways to communicate age-old truth. If we will continue to obey God, then the walls we face today will fall down.

Your Thoughts?

Daniel King and his wife Jessica met in the middle of Africa while they were both on a mission trip. They are in high demand as speakers at churches and conferences all over North America. Their passion, energy, and enthusiasm are enjoyed by audiences everywhere they go.   They are international missionary evangelists who do massive soul winning festivals in countries around the world. Their passion for the lost has taken them to over fifty nations preaching the gospel to crowds that often exceed 50,000 people. Check out their website: http://www.kingministries.com

Social Media Revolution – The Landscape has Shifted

The media landscape has shifted dramatically in the past 4-5 years and even more so in the past 1-2 years. The flow of communication, information and media isn’t a one-way channel anymore, it’s a two-way channel. Watch the video below. It will be interesting to watch how it impacts the church and ministry leadership landscape.