Want to Make 2021 Even Better?

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My church hosted an event this past weekend. I ended up being the guy making most of the decisions, and as such, I spent a lot of time mentally evaluating how things were going, how I was doing, and what I would do differently with time and knowledge.

All of that is great, except if I never write it down, so much of it goes away completely.

That’s why I’m such a fan of taking time to review things. As a church leader, it pays to review events, and makes the next one that much better.

But as a person, every year around this time, I set back a little bit of time to review the previous year.

2020 was monumental, to say the least. But at the beginning of the shutdown, and throughout, my mantra was simple: this could be one of the worst things for us as individuals, or it could be one of the best.

Let’s set aside the social impact of the shutdown in April and May. Think for a moment about yourself: how did you grow in that time? Did you maintain that growth for the rest of 2020? Are you a better person for how you spent that time?

This week, I want to give you something. A simple gift to help you evaluate 2020 and dominate 2021. There’s really nothing magical about the gift, but if you take the time to work through it and answer the questions, I think you’ll be pleased with what you walk away with.

But here’s the catch. It’s for subscribers. If you’re signed up and receive 3QL emails in your inbox each week, then on Friday, you’ll find the gift waiting for you.

If you haven’t signed up, then click here to subscribe!

Learn and Grow

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Short post today, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about mistakes and mishaps. I blog on this regularly, partly because it’s a fear of mine.

I fear mistakes. I fear a mistake means I’m not good enough. I fear a mistake means I’m not valuable.

Ultimately, I don’t fear failure. I fear surrendering to failure. Until I learn to reframe my fear, I will never be able to grow.

Great leaders know failure is part of life. So take that step today. Have that conversation that may not go your way. Learn from it and grow.

Boundaries

Lessons from the Farm: Boundaries

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Stampede! Or, at least in my mind that’s what I thought was happening.

Granted, now, I realize there was definitely a flare for the dramatic in my response, but I was still pretty green at the whole thing.

We were “driving” cattle, which meant we were trying to move them from one field to another. In the process, they will sometimes naturally run.

The field we were trying to move them out of had a very large ditch (about 40 feet deep) on one side. As we were moving the herd closer to the gate, they started running toward the edge of the ditch, or draw as we called it, I started freaking out.

In the movies, this is where the hero rushes in to divert the herd from the cliff, thus saving the day. So, in my infinite wisdom, I sped over to keep them from jumping to their death.

I didn’t understand one basic concept: cattle may not be hyper intelligent, they’re also generally intelligent enough to realize a 40 foot drop is not a great idea. In other words, the herd was not going to plummet to their death.

The very thing I thought was a danger, was in fact a boundary.

Boundaries are beneficial as you are moving a herd, because it helps reinforce the direction you’re heading. Having a solid boundary on one side allows you to multiply your efforts on the other two sides, and actually increases progress.

Leadership is similar. Sometimes the things we consider to be death traps are actually boundaries in place to help us maximize our effort.

The sacred cows (no pun intended) that drive us crazy actually give us insight into the priorities of those we lead.

The attitudes we don’t understand help us process and choose the right steps forward.

When we understand the limit on one side, we can spend more time on the other two to help push things forward quicker.

Sometimes the boundaries have to be broken through, but often if we shift our mindset just a little, we begin to see the opportunity in front of us and it helps clarify our next steps.

The rest of the story is this: boundaries shouldn’t be boundaries forever. Eventually we moved out of that field into a new one. Those attitudes and sacred cows will eventually stop being boundaries, but only after you’re able to lead forward.

What are you facing today that feels like a death trap, but is actually just a boundary? What adjustment do you need to make to help move things forward?

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Check It Out: 7 Reasons Your Resolutions Go Up in Flames

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We are one month into the New Year. At the beginning of January I posted how I love the momentum a New Year brings. Today, I thought we would check in to see how you’re doing after the first 30 days.

Carey Nieuwhof has become a leader in the ministry leadership space, and I found this post on his blog: 7 Reasons You New Year’s Resolutions Go Up in Flames and How to Change That.

I think evaluating is a key part of leadership, so if you set some goals on January 1 and aren’t making progress toward them, maybe it’s time to reevaluate and see what you need to do to make some progress.

One down. Eleven more to go. Let’s make progress this year.

Make 2019 the Best Yet

Make 2019 The Best Yet

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What was your biggest takeaway from 2017? Yes, that’s right, not 2018, but what did you learn from the effort you put forth in 2017?

Do you have a formal review process to check over at the end of a year? Do you have an informal one? Do you have a place where you right down lessons you learned and tweaks you wanted to make in 2018?

If you do, I’d love to hear from you! Comment below and let me know what you use and how you track/evaluate a year.

But if I were to be completely honest (and why wouldn’t I be honest?), I can barely remember November 2018, much less anything from 2017. Today let’s finish 2018 with a bang and kick off 2019 with some momentum.

As you look back at 2018, here are three questions to help you evaluate the year. You can go as deep and detailed as you want, or you can stick with general bullet points that can be reread in minutes come December 2019.

  1. What We Did. Again, you can spend hours filling this out, but what if you stepped back and looked at where you started in January and maybe listed out a few mileposts along the way. We’re not looking for evaluation at this level, but more just testing your memory, so include a couple of misses as well as some successes.
  2. What Worked. Once you have listed out the what, ask yourself what went well. Hopefully something you did was successful, so celebrate it! What made it work? Looking back, can you describe what made the difference? If you had a significant event or turning point in your ministry, emphasize that. For me, I was able to attend HORIZONext in April, and walked away with a great idea for Senior Recognition in 2018 and 2019. That milestone helped me make strides for the Fall, so it is definitely something I want to remember. Pick a few things, and celebrate what went well.
  3. What to Do Differently. Here, you get to dream. No year is the same, but if you could repeat 2018, what would you keep the same, and what would you do differently? Maybe back-to-back-to-back red bull themed lock ins were not a wise decision. So, what would you have done differently? Be honest, but also be a little wishful on your part. If you wished you would have spent more money on an event, that’s okay.

So, there you go. You’ve evaluated 2018, and guess what? You’re ready to set some goals for 2019 by allowing 2018 to inform your direction for 2019. You may not like resolutions, but the truth is we all feel a little surge of optimism and excitement come January 1, so capitalize on it for your ministry and get ready for a great 2019!

 

This post originally appeared on the Horizon Resources blog, but I thought it was worth posting here as well.

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