Month: September 2012



I work with incredible leaders.  It’s a good thing because yesterday was a crazy day.  This time of year always is in the line of work to which I’ve been called.  But yesterdays event, while planned out in advance, had the potential of a train wreck.  Here’s why…

First, our worship services were overstuffed with, what I call “extras.”  Extras are those elements of a service that are not normally experienced during the course of a typical worship experience.  Important as they are, they simple aren’t the norm.  Extra announcements, extra videos, extra ministry moments, extra commissioning, extra, extra!  They all seemed to fall on yesterday. Second, our worship leader was out of town and her substitute went into labor the night before.  Third, I was late in getting my presentation material to our media team.

As the clock ticked down toward the beginning of the service, all of our team was making last minute changes, edits and additions.  Then the worship team launched into the first song, leading the standing-room only crowd in a smooth and God-honoring worship experience.

On my drive home, I pondered how blessed our church/organization is to have such great leaders.  Leaders who care, leaders who step up, leaders who lead with elegance and grace.   This is what I learned from my team on how to stay calm in the midst of chaos:

In the midst of chaos, good leaders …

  • Find perspective:  With a smile on their faces, my leaders kept reminded me that it’s going to be OK.
  • Remove emotion in the moment:  They clicked into task-mode and got the job done.
  • Get laser focused:  They prioritized what really mattered in a handful of moments.
  • Execute flexibility when needed:  The leaders adapted the worship plan and changed songs, unnecessary announcements and talking, all to streamline what we did.
  • Portray external calm while ignoring internal nerves:  Like ducks on the water, the team looked calm to those they were leading as we all paddled like crazy behind the scenes, just to keep afloat.

Yesterday, no one would have known that the wheels could’ve fallen off in the worship service.  That was because of the professionalism of our team.  I pray that you have people around you like I do.  A big thank you goes out to Ann, Mike, Terry, Amy and Nicole (just to name a few) who did what had to be done, even in the midst of chaos.

How have you learned from the people you lead?




When our kids were young, we camped along the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota.  Beautiful canopies of humidified trees sopped the muddy path from our car to our campsite several hundred yards away.  Back and forth, our little family trudged, unloading gear, setting up tents and staking our claim along the waterside.

On one venture heading back to get the cooler, Maddie our youngest, who was 5 at the time and 10 feet behind us, stopped in the middle of the pathway and shouted, “STOP!  I WANT TO BE THE LEADER!”  The word “leader” echoed for what seemed to be a solid 15 minutes, bouncing from tree to canyon to mountain peak.

Have you ever asked yourself why you want to be a leader?  For Maddie, she simply didn’t like dodging the mud thrown from the back heels of everyone else.  But what about you?  Why do you want to lead?

Bad leaders simply want to be controlling (see related post).  Weak leaders need to have their ego’s bronzed so their insecurities stay hidden.  Cowardly leaders like the feeling of popularity when situations are good and blame others when situations are bad.

So why do you want to lead?  Here are a few right answers to help you become a better leader:

1)  I want to lead because in leading I have an opportunity to learn.
2)  I want to lead because I love to see other people not just survive but thrive.
3)  I want to lead because I feel I can contribute to the entire organization in a positive way.
4)  I want to lead because I desire to add value to other peoples’ lives.

As you ponder your own answer to that question, remember that leadership is, at it’s core, a servant’s role.

Why do you want to lead?