Tag Archive for: andy stanley

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.

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!

The Next Generation Product Almost Never Comes from the Previous Generation

Listen to Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Community Church in Atlanta, GA as he explains how the next ideas for ministry and the church will be birthed from the folks 25 and under.

Your Thoughts?

Making Vision Portable

Ever been part of a company or church organization and you’ve quietly asked yourself, what is the vision here? What are we trying to accomplish? In more times than not, if you are asking yourself that question, probably other people are asking it too.

When people say the name of your church or business, what is the first thing they think of? If people are having a hard time explaining the organization’s vision – than vision is not sticking. Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Community Church, Atlanta, GA, says, “For vision to stick it must be portable, memorable and motivational.”

When you think of Nike, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Just Do It. Phil Knight, the founder and CEO of Nike suffused his company culture along with their advertising campaign with the idea of the intense, inwardly focused competitor. The “Just Do It” campaign captured the Nike’s corporate philosophy of grit, determination and passion. Why? Because it was portable, memorable and motivational.

In prior years, we watched the national election campaigns. What was Barack Obama’s platform and vision for America? Change We Can Believe In. What was John McCain’s? I really can’t remember it, do you? What was Hillary Clinton’s? Don’t remember hers either. But all of us can remember Obama’s vision and campaign platform. Whether you agree or disagree with Obama’s politics is beside the point, because in the end, the Obama campaign made their vision portable, memorable and motivational.

How do you make vision portable?

1. Focus Your Vision – It’s been said, “If you can’t manage it, you can’t measure it.” Just because you have a nice slogan on your website, business card or banner doesn’t mean your organization has a thriving vision. If you look at what some organizations are doing and measure it against their claims, what you’ll find is often inconsistency. You can manage and measure focused vision, but not unfocused vision. Too many church and business organizations are doing too little by doing way too much. Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great referenced the ancient Greek parable of “The Fox and the Hedgehog.” Day after day, the cunning fox plans his attack on the unsuspected hedgehog. No matter how creative the fox is, the hedgehog always wins. Why? The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog only knows one big thing. Each time the fox attacks; the hedgehog simply rolls up into a ball of sharp spikes, creating an impenetrable defense. It’s what he does best. So, I ask you, what can you be the best at? The only way to create a focused vision is by focusing on the few things that you do very well. Identifying and strengthening what you are good at will help create that focused vision. Always remember, Less is More.

2. Cast Your Vision – Casting vision is a never-ending responsibility for any leader. Just when you think your vision has been casted enough, cast it one more time! But cast it strategically. Define what your vision is and who and what it is supposed to effect. Just when you think you’ve thoroughly explained the vision, it’s time to start over and communicate it again. You can never over communicate your vision.

3. Celebrate Your Vision – Develop a process systemically within your organization to celebrate your vision in its successes. Rejoice with your team when someone makes a home run for your organization.  Reward those who live-out the vision. Celebrating vision is simply reminding people where you are going by pointing out real life examples of individuals on your team that’s driving your vision forward.

At the end of the day, vision doesn’t become portable, memorable and motivational just because of a fancy slogan or a slick advertising campaign. Vision becomes portable by the way you focus it, cast it and celebrate it. When vision is portable it becomes contagious! That is my prayer for you and your organizations’ that you will lead with contagious vision.

Your Thoughts?

Quotes that Dramatically Changed My Thinking

These are quotes from leaders that helped dramatically change my thinking. My goal is to frame each quote and hang in my office one day. So I will be reminded every day why we do what we do to build Kingdom minded people within the church and in the marketplace.

“Be stubborn with your vision, but be flexible with your plans.”
– Andy Stanley
Pastor of North Point Community Church

“To reach people nobody else is reaching, you’ll have to do things that nobody else is doing.”
– Craig Groeschel
Pastor of LifeChurch.tv

“The next generation product almost never comes from the previous generation.”
– Al Ries
Marketing Strategist
Ries & Ries Firm

“What do I believe is impossible to do in my field…but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business?”
–    Joel Barker
Best-selling author of Future Edge

“People establish a gut-level connection with a person based on their values and perception long before they buy into the person’s message.”
–    Phil Cooke
Best-selling author of Branding Faith

“Everyone is never going to like me…no matter what I say or do someone will always be pissed at me.  That is why I am through wearing myself out in the hopes that everyone will understand and affirm me.  I have ONE master…His name is Jesus…His opinion matters…and I am through tuning out His voice for fear that others may misunderstand and take shots at me.”
–    Perry Noble
Pastor of New Spring Church

“In the minds of great managers, consistent poor performance is not primarily a matter of weakness, stupidity, disobedience, or disrespect. It is a matter of miscasting.”
–    Marcus Buckingham
Best-selling author of Now, Discover Your Strengths

First figure out your partners, then figure out what ideas to pursue. The most important thing isn’t the market you target, the product you develop or the financing, but the founding team.
–    Jim Collins
Best-selling author of Good to Great

“God is preparing you for what He’s preparing for you.”
–    Steven Furtick
Pastor of Elevation Church

“Leaders can do anything, but they can’t do everything.”
–    Tim Elmore
Best-selling author of Habitudes

Stubborn with Vision; Flexible with Plans

Several years ago, I had the opportunity along with a few other college students to interview Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Community Church in Atlanta, GA. If you know me real well, you know that I am a huge Andy Stanley fan, so having this opportunity to sit in a small room with him and ask him any question I wanted was probably one of the most thrilling and rewarding moments of my life. He made this statement I will never forget, “Be Stubborn with your Vision, but be Flexible with your Plans.” We as young leaders have a lot of big dreams, cool ideas and vision for the future. But, then there comes that other thing….The Plan to make it happen.

The plan is needed so you can communicate to your family, friends and potential partners on “Where” and “How” your going to pull your vision into reality.  Vision communicates “The What” and “The Why” that drives “the How.” New ventures involve risk and more so with an unstable economy these days. When things don’t go according to plan, it doesn’t necessarily mean your vision is wrong or inaccurate for your life, it just means you need shift your plans, not your vision.

Let’s say, God gave you a vision to start a Children’s home project in Africa. And, you needed to raise the first phase of funding of $50K from US supporters. And, lets say you were only able to raise $20K before the deadline. So, what do you do then? You still need another $30K. At this stage of the game, I’ve seen people begin to question God’s vision to continue with the journey, because things didn’t go according to plan. Some would even say, maybe God is trying to teach me something. Yea, like how to adjust and change your fundraising strategy, not your vision.


God will give us the wisdom and insight to fulfill His vision that He birthed in our hearts. This is where dependence on God comes in. It’s His vision to begin with, which means it will take His wisdom to orchestrate the plans to get it done. Just because the plans aren’t working out, doesn’t mean the vision isn’t from God. God will use these times to strengthen His wisdom and resilience inside of you. Be stubborn with your vision, but be flexible with your plans. Which means sometimes you will have to change your plans many times until your vision becomes a reality.

Thomas Edison had a vision to invent the light bulb. But it took him over 1,000 different plans to finally make it work. If Thomas had any modern and mediocre church friends around him back in the 1800’s, somebody would have probably come by his house and say, “Thomas, what do you think God is trying to tell you? Maybe the light bulb isn’t working because there is some sin in your life or maybe you’re not supposed to invent the light bulb.” I can totally hear some Christians today saying that to Thomas if he were alive today. But, I love his response to his critics.

“I haven’t failed 1,ooo times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways (or plans) on how not to make a light bulb.” – Thomas Edison.

Whatever God has called you to do,you must Be stubborn with your vision, but flexible with your plans.  We must burn this principle inside our skulls.

Your Thoughts?

The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley

This month of March 2009, Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Community Church in Atlanta has released his latest book through Thomas Nelson called, The Principle of the Path – How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.

Our leadership team here at Renue.me. have just ordered several copies of it. We will be going through it together as a team. I encourage you to do the same with your staff, leadership team or small group. This book is packed full with great insight and wisdom that will help guide you to your destination. The book also comes with a built-in study guide inside the book for each chapter.

The Principle of the Path is perfect for Next Generation Leaders who are embarking down a journey with great dreams and intentions. But, sometimes there can be a tension between where we want to go in life and the path we choose to get there.

Your Thoughts?

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