issue35 ereed newsletter

Issue #35: This Habit Separates Average Pastors from Great Pastors

Feeding & Leading the Sheep

Before this week’s newsletter, here’s a brief note about our upcoming student conference:

Are you helping the students and college-age kids in your church stand firm against the opposition coming at them in the culture? If you’re not actively equipping them on issues of gender and sexuality, you can be sure the culture is. We’re here to help.

Join us October 13-15 at Black Mountain, NC (at Ridgecrest Conference Center). An incredible line of speakers will be teaching students about who they are as image-bearers of God. These foundations will supply students with important understanding of their identity. Plan to bring your students. It’s going to be a fantastic conference.

Good To Great is an all-time great book. Jim Collins penned the book after years of research asking why some companies made the jump to greatness and others didn’t. This book became an instant classic in the business genre, but the principles help organizations of any type, including churches.

One of the key discoveries made in the research was the Level 5 Leader. Level 5 leaders are known for their resolve to win against all odds but possess a humility that did not exist in comparison companies.

That’s the subject of this week’s newsletter.

The Window and the Mirror

In Good To Great, Collins talks about how great companies had leaders that pointed in the mirror to own mistakes, and pointed out the window when it came to celebrating successes. The less successful companies had the opposite kind of leaders. Their leaders pointed in the mirror during successes and out of the window for blame.

It may seem insignificant, but it makes all the difference in the world. Great leaders let others take the credit rather than themselves. And great leaders shoulder the blame instead of putting it on others. The great leaders know this lifts morale. People want to follow leaders like that because it is evidence they are not self-serving.

What about you? Think about how you respond to successes and celebrations. Do you look for praise and credit? How do you feel when others are celebrated? How often are you the one doing the celebrating? What about when things don’t go well? Are you seeking a scapegoat? Do you ever take ownership of a problem even when it wasn’t your direct action that caused it?

These factors separate the average pastors from the great ones.

1 Actionable Tip

Deflect praise to others in successes and take ownership of mistakes and setbacks.

Great leaders take responsibility and ownership for mistakes and missteps. This is true even when there are other factors involved. They don’t deflect the blame to others. They point in the mirror. They find ways to take responsibility and correct the issues. Likewise, great leaders pass out the praise and glory to others instead of themselves. They point out the window to others instead of the mirror to themselves. This single factor separates average leaders from great ones.

Opportunities for Next Steps

1. KJM Student Camps in 2024. I’m excited to announce that Knowing Jesus Ministries is launching our own camps in 2024 called ARISE Camps. Check out the announcement video and join a list of leaders interested in hearing more as details finalize.

2. Student Minister Leadership Lab. We are excited about pouring into student ministry leaders with a practical workshop style event. Join us in Nashville August 3-4th for coaching and practical help for leading an effective student ministry. Register here.

3. Engaging Truth Conference at Ridgecrest. Join us in the mountains of North Carolina on October 13-15 for our national student conference. We’ll gather with Trevin Wax, Matt Smethurst, Dean Inserra, Neil Shenvi, Abigail Dodds, Katie McCoy, Journey Worship Co. and many more. Register or learn more here.