Steve Jobs & The Succession Plan

Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, announced today that he would be resigning from his position and turning over his company to COO Tim Cook. Jobs had been suffering from recent health issues and he is quoted as saying, “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could not longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know.” He advised his board by saying, “Execute our succession plan.” (quoted from Mashable.)

This phrase got me seriously thinking about pastors and churches and their “succession plan.” I think most pastors view their role like a judge – lifetime appointment – rather than like a businessman and implement a succession plan.
Do you have a succession plan or do you feel that the success of your ministry or church is solely dependent on you living forever? Or maybe that ever-faithful hope of “Jesus will return before I have to turn over my church to someone else.”
As much as I hope Jesus will return soon…the reality of progression is that you won’t live forever and if the Lord tarry you need a succession plan.

Tim Elmore president of Growing Leaders teaches a Habitude called, “The Joshua Effect.” In a nutshell he explains that if we do not equip and mentor the next generation we are setting them up for failure. In order for your ministry to continue growing – beyond your lifetime – is to have a culture that is constantly mentoring and raising up people to possibly take over one day. Perhaps even take over in your lifetime. Gasp!

What is your plan of succession?


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.

What’s the Leadership Culture at Hillsong Church?

Craig Groeschel, pastor of interviews Joel A’Bell, executive pastor at Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. Craig asks Joel about the leadership culture at Hillsong. Tremendous and thought provoking insights. For example, every church wants a Darlene Zschech, but everyone can’t develop or create one. Why is that? Well, it comes down to the leadership culture of your church. Are your leaders empowered and released or are they suppressed and controlled?

Hillsong Church Gives Advice to

Craig Groeschel, pastor of sits down with Joel A’Bell, executive pastor at Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. In this interview, Craig asks Joel what advice would he give to

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

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 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 ( 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

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!

Seth Godin Explains Why You Need A Tribe

In this leadership video, popular author and marketing guru, Seth Godin explains why you need a tribe to impact the world. He is the best-selling author of Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us and The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit and When to Stick. Check out his blog at

C is for – A Visual Conversation for the Church by Chris Capehart & Micah Davis

Over the past several years some friends and I have found ourselves striving to find ways to enhance community in the church. It’s a passion that we all share and we have given everything we have to it. We’ve had the chance to make friends with people and churches across the country who are creating community in some phenomenal ways. About a year ago a close friend, who is on staff at a church, invited us to help conduct a study on community. The goal being to uncover needs and ideas that might have slipped through the cracks. We jumped at the opportunity.

We were able to spend one on one time interviewing senior pastors, support staff, administrative staff, and church members. We were able to spend time with people involved in church at all levels. We simply asked questions and then listened. Our questions concentrated on three areas: Community externally as church, Community Internally as a Staff, and Technology influencing community. Once our time came to an end we had spent over 100 hours in conversations. These conversations were personal and vulnerable. People talked to us about their lives and their needs. They shared how community at church had meant everything to them. Some who you would have thought had the most community talked about their need for more. After all of these conversations were finished we found ourselves with pages of notes. As we talked through these notes we were able to find several themes that really stuck out to us.

We wanted to share this information in a unique way, so instead of writing our findings in the traditional way we used art. We created a “report” that highlighted the themes we saw through our interviews in typography based art. Information can be dull when presented the same way over and over, but it doesn’t make it any less important. C is for is what we called it and now we want to release it to anyone that’s interested.

Our goal with this project is to provoke thoughts instead of providing answers, although you might like some of the ideas presented.   We can all do better and C is for church is a tool that you can use with your staff or group of volunteers to provoke discussions that can lead to ideas. We don’t want anyone to misunderstand, we are not saying that our report is indicative of the church at large, however, maybe some of them could be applicable to your church.

You can get the report at C is for You can download the pdf for free or pay what you would like. You can even view it online or find it on Facebook. We’ve tried to make it easy for anyone to see. For those who choose to pay, your money is going to pay for the pro-bono time that was put into this project.

As you view this project think of it as a chance to listen to the voices you usually can’t hear.


Chris Capehart & Micah Davis – We’re a couple of guys passionate about making the Big C church better. We’ll do it however we can. We’ve done everything from building technology to hosting dinner parties. We love God. We love people. We love community. Follow Chris Capehart via Twitter HERE and friend him on Facebook HERE. Follow Micah Davis via Twitter HERE and friend him on Facebook HERE.