I still remember the ministry season like it was yesterday.
I was overwhelmed, frustrated, maybe even a little depressed . . .
The crazy thing was, I was just a few years into leading a church plant that was exploding with growth. Basically, the church grew by 100 people each year, with much of that growth from unchurched people.
I know. I should’ve been ecstatic!
But, with all the growth (and not just people, but two building campaigns!) came huge responsibility. Responsibility that, as a young pastor and leader, I was ill-equipped to provide—no matter how many Global Leadership Summits I attended.
I also remember the day I went to one of our denominational leaders and cried “help!”
I didn’t know what to do. I needed a coach, a mentor, someone who could help me navigate the challenges I faced and guide the personal leadership development I was desperate for.
The response I got? Basically, a shrug: few churches in that denomination at that time were experiencing similar levels or growth, especially conversion growth. What was I worried about?
In the rearview mirror, I realize I was stuck in my development.
But at the time, all I knew was that something wasn’t right. So, I quickly came up a new vision that didn’t include struggling to lead a church of over 800 people and . . . I moved on.
That wasn’t a proud moment.
Yet my next ministry experience was a game-changer.
Invited into a church that had recently faced the question of whether or not to close their doors, I began to apply some of the “outward”-focused principles I’d learned in my previous church plant.
That “last-gasp” church? It started to grow. Rapidly.
And, in case you’re wondering where this story is going, that growth? It wasn’t all up to me.
Here’s what made the difference: I hired an executive pastor, and I watched and experienced how his distinct leadership was able to take my “vision casting” gifting and translate it into clear and manageable steps for our church to grow and develop.
Together, we created a pathway—literally, a map—for our church to follow. It began with a vision to reach the unchurched and lead us together to be authentic followers of Jesus, but it didn’t stop there. While it clarified our mission, it also equipped us to achieve it.
More recently, I’ve had countless conversations with leaders who feel stuck, just like I did.
Some are young, some not so much, but all experience frustration and discouragement around the gap between their deep sense of personal calling and conviction for the mission of the church . . . and what’s actually happening in the church.
What I’ve experienced in my personal ministry and observed in growing numbers of leaders is the urgent need for someone who can equip leaders with perspective and best leadership practices. A “strategic outsider” who can enable leaders and churches to keep moving forward.
I launched Integrity Leadership out of a calling and passion to see more healthy, vital churches impacting their communities with the gospel.
Sometimes moving forward means the entire application of the Integrity Leadership Pathway—developing clarity in leadership around mission, vision and strategy that results in a clear plan of action.
In other cases, it could mean focusing on a particular area that needs to get “unstuck.”
For instance, overcoming the inherent growth barrier by being guided through something like Carey Nieuwhof’s excellent material “Breaking 200” and having a strategic outsider help a ministry staff and leaders face and work through the important pivots that need to take place for a church to continue to live on mission.
Because Integrity Leadership’s first core value is “it’s personal,” we want to start with you where you’re at and, through interview and assessments, provide the coaching and tools to help your church move forward.
If you feel stuck, we would love to talk with you to see how Integrity Leadership can provide you with the tools to move you and your church forward.
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