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Leadership, Leadership, Start Here
You need a leader checklist! Want to make a change in your church? Isn’t that what leadership is all about? Sometimes change involves getting people to put aside traditions that are hindering the church from reaching people. Other times change just means the end-result that you want to see in people.  But leadership is all about inducing ‘change’… Mac Lake has developed a leader checklist for leaders as they try to maneuver and lead change. See what you think:
  1. What problem am I trying to address by making a change? (Do others see this same problem?)
  2. Have I taken the time to build relational equity so others will trust and follow my leadership through this change?
  3. Have I enlisted the support of key influencers in the organization to act as ambassadors for the change?
  4. Have I listened to others opinions and understand the objections to the change?
  5. Have I made the purpose of the change clear?
  6. Have my team and I prayed for wisdom and sought godly counsel regarding this potential change?
  7. Have I laid out a reasonable timetable for the change? (Often leaders try to make changes too fast)
  8. Do I have a plan for effectively communicating the change?
You can read more about creating a leader checklist over at
What do you think is the most important item above? What is the one item that you find the hardest in your current leadership situation? todd

Phil Cooke has written an article over at Ministry Today that has the byline:
People will tune Christians out, if all we do is complain.
Absolutely. I actually heard a preacher not long ago say something refreshing… if we as Christians are not happy with our society and our culture and our politicians, we should put up or shut up; because the truth is… we have no one to blame but ourselves. When the church is the church; IF the church would be the church; our communities would be transformed. keep reading

One of my favorite ‘motivational’ blogs is the Time Management Ninja (Craig Jarrow). Recently, Craig gave 10 ways to get motivated. Here are my favorite five:

Win Early

The early bird not only gets the worm, but has a spring in its step all day long. Get something done early, and you’ll get things done all day long.

Change the Game

If you aren’t winning, you may need to change the game. Change the rules, even break them. Do things differently if you want different results.

Celebrate the Small Wins

Big wins aren’t going to happen every day. Learn to celebrate the small progress. It’s these little victories that add up over the long-term.

Do Something You Enjoy

To kick up your motivation, do something you enjoy. Find a task that you enjoy doing and use that to get you started.

Connect With Someone Positive

Positive attitudes are contagious. Connect with other positive people. Multiple positive attitudes lead to exponential motivation as a group. Read the other 5 here…   How do you best motivate yourself?
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I saw an interesting notice on Vimeo last night. It said “We built you a new Vimeo.  Want to give it a try?” The two options were:  “Try it Now”, and “I Hate Change”. As church leaders, that’s the choice that many people make as we make changes at our churches. We all know people that will give the change a try, and those that will kick and scream because they hate change. As leaders, the people who will give it a try are a blessing.  Those that hate change can be a curse… in fact, I’ve seen many a pastor’s demise by one or more people who simply hate change. So… what do you do with these two groups of people? Here are some suggestions: 1.  For the people who will give it a try… don’t discount them.  Just because they are willing to give new things a try does not mean that they embrace or even like change.  Work with them and bring them along with the change by getting feedback, and input.  And if you’re trying something that’s not working (even though you thought it would), don’t be afraid to pull back.  There’s nothing worse than a leader that keeps beating a dead horse (especially when the horse laying there on the ground was your idea in the first place and everyone knows it). Most people who are willing to give it a try are trusting in your leadership.  They are also more forgiving when you make a mistake.  Those are valuable people.  Treat them with care. 2.  For the people who choose to hate change… many of them will hate change for change’s sake.  For some, it really doesn’t make any difference what the idea or change is… the are pre-disposed NOT to like it.  And, believe it or not, that’s ok. This group is a hard one to crack.  But you have two angles:  First, personal one-on-one communication is key.  Talk to them personally.  Give them your idea… your direction.  Allow their input.  Ask for their support.  Funny thing is… when you ask for their support for at least a short period of time, they have to tell you either yes or no.  If they say yes, it is harder for them to complain publicly.  If they say no, then you know where they are and that leads down a totally different path. The second way to deal with this group is through mutual friends.  Believe it or not, those who hate change often hang with people who are willing to give change a shot.  Usually, one group will influence the other.  A good leader will recognize this and be on top of it.  Use your fans to be your advocate.  Ask the people willing to change to ask others to be willing to change.  The reaction they receive may be well different than the one you receive (particularly if the first option doesn’t go well). How do you get people to give change a chance? Have you ever encountered someone who would not change if Jesus came down from Heaven and commanded it? I’d love to hear your stories and experiences! Todd

What will the church need to deal with in the next 10 years? Ed Stetzer gives some thoughts: 1.  Churches that used to been ‘seeker targeted’ will find that many people just aren’t seeking that much anymore.  They have no ‘religious memory’ as Ed calls it.  That will force churches to come up with a new model to engage people like this. 2.  Churches will need to concentrate on the gospel.  That’s accomplished by a church thinking through what the gospel is and actually living it out.  It’s time to reassess and reorganize since we may find ourselves a little off track. 3.  Christians will rethink discipleship.  Stetzer argues that discipleship doesn’t need to be re-invented, but rather re-defined. 4.  Churches will need to be innovative and implement new ways of doing church.  Some churches are already doing that through things like multi-site and global initiatives.  But these things are still new to myriads of churches. My apologies to Ed for the synopsis.  You can read his actual thoughts here. But… what are YOUR thoughts?  What are the big things on YOUR church’s agenda for the next decade?


Josh McFarland writes:  A few months ago, Lela and I completed a race called the Warrior Dash.  If you aren’t familiar with the Warrior Dash, here is the base description from their website:

“Warrior Dash is a mud-crawling, fire-leaping, extreme run from hell.”

Pretty awesome, right?!  The answer is Yes!


We enjoy doing things together and this seemed like a perfect fit; she loves to run and I love to conquer obstacles.  The downside, she wasn’t pumped about the obstacles and I don’t run unless I’m being chased.  While we were both a bit nervous, we knew that the point was to do it together and enjoy the challenge.  To ease the anxiety of the racers (or increase it for some), the race organizers installed signs all along the course to warn us when we were about to face an obstacle.  The sign simply read, “Danger: Obstacle Ahead.”  Semi-random thought: It sure would be nice if we had those in life.  There were also people along the course encouraging us and letting us know how far we had run and/or how far we had left.


There was a point in the race as we were running up this muddy, torturous hill (2 miles of the 3 mile race were uphill) that I thought to myself, “What is wrong with you? Why did you think you could do this?  You big dummy, this hill would be a lot easier to run if you had trained for more than two days.  This hill is never going to end.  I think I’m gonna die.  If I do die, at least I will be closer to heaven on this mountain.  Lela, just go ahead and pick up my body at the end.”  The fact of the matter is, I didn’t die.  The funny part is that when we crossed the finish line, I kinda wanted to do it again; not immediately like one crazy guy did, but sometime in the future.  I realized that as challenging as it was, there was something rewarding about crossing that finish line.


Obstacles in life are inevitable.  At times, we bring them upon ourselves and yet others are placed in our path.  The important thing to remember is that obstacles always pass.  Obstacles are never permanent.  Some may last longer than others and some have consequences (both good & bad), but the obstacle itself is only temporary.


Obstacles are never easy, but when they come, try to keep a few things in mind:

  1. Stay Focused.  Obstacles are only temporary.
  2. Use the buddy system.  Obstacles are always easier to face with someone else.
  3. Don’t quit.  Everything in life is preparing you for what is coming next; you have the tools to succeed.
  4. Learn something.  Try to evaluate things during and after the challenge; this will help you be better prepared for the next one.
  5. Look around.  Find others around you to encourage in the face of their obstacles.  It is amazing how a change of perspective can breath new energy into your battle.
  6. Smile.  It never hurts anyone (unless it looks creepy).


At the end of the Warrior Dash, everyone has a medal placed around their neck as a reward/reminder of their accomplishment.  Each time I walk in my office I see that medal and it reminds me of another obstacle faced and conquered.  Try doing the same.  As you pass through an obstacle in life, find some tangible object to keep as a reminder of what you faced and that you survived.


Life is a journey and you aren’t the same person you were 5 years ago, 5 months ago or 5 days ago. 


Why? Obstacles create change.  The type of change that occurs is up to you.


You can learn, grow and become stronger or just get old.


“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” ~ 1 Peter 5:10


Josh is a happily married father or 2 beautiful girls.  His writings are sporadic, his thoughts are random, and occasionally the two collide.  He currently serves as the Lead Pastor of First Baptist Church in Hillsboro, OH.  You can find Josh on twitter, facebook, blogspot and usually drinking coffee:


If you look close (or not so close) today, you’ll find some changes. Change is good, no? I’ve been working nights and weekends to bring change to what you see here at the website.  Hopefully, you’ll like some of them.  And maybe the things you don’t like, you’ll grow to love over time. So… why the change?  Mostly because it was just time for one.  I get easily bored.  So, with a little help from my new friend in Turkey, what you see today is the culmination of a few weeks of collaboration that I think you will find to be a change for the positive. So… what’s different?  Here’s a quick run-down: 1.  We’ve obviously updated the look and feel.  The site feels more like a ‘magazine’.  Kind of like Flipboard for the iPad (if you’re familiar with that).  It will take a little getting used to, but I hope you like it.  I think it looks much more up-to-date and innovative.  But… if you’re a blog purist, and prefer the older type layout format, you can check out that layout here. 2.  A little confession… I had been getting pretty sloppy in my blogging at the old MMI… some categories weren’t tagged, some of the formatting was a little screwy, etc.  This new design should make it easier for me to keep on top of things.  After all, this is a one-man labor of love (and I do have a full-time job that demands my day attention).  So… The new site is actually much more organized, easier to navigate and read, and hopefully a lot more user-friendly. 3.  Enhanced search.  Using the search bar on the right, you’ll be able to search anything that’s been posted to the site.  And using the tags on each post, you can find related posts that go along with what you’re currently reading. 4.  Better categories.  You’ll see the categories clearly marked at the top of the site.  Click on any of the categories that interest you, and you’ll find all of our archives on that subject.  I think you’ll find it a pleasant way to spend a whole afternoon.  🙂 5.  You can add a guest post!  I’ve also added the ability for you to submit a guest post to the site!  All you need to do is go here and type in your post.  If it’s good, I’ll publish it! 6.  Better social media sharing.  The new design allows you the ability to share things that you like with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, etc.  We hope that you’ll help ‘share the love’. 7.  New URL.  Probably the biggest change is the change of URLs from to  This was done for a couple of reasons.  First, MONDAYmorninginsight is kinda deceiving.  When the blog started (back in 1994) it was a weekly thing… mostly an email rather than a website, that came out on… you got it… Monday mornings.  Now though, the website is not just for Mondays.  And many people still think it’s only an email or a Monday morning thing.  And secondly, the old MMI at the old domain will remain active for a bit of time until the search engines pick up all the content at the new domain.  All the new content will be right here at though, so you might want to change your bookmarks.  (Your RSS feed will continue without a hitch… no change needed). OK… those are the reasons for the big change. I’d love to hear what you think though… good, bad, ugly, about the new design.  What do you like?  What would you change? Be nice.  Be brutal.  It’s up to you. Please leave a comment and give any suggestions you might have.  I really value your input! Have a great day in ministry! Todd

Ever wonder why people react to change the way they do?  Seth Godin had a great, very short post today that helped me understand a little more about how and why people react to change. Rule #1:  People who think they will be hurt by a change will speak up immediately.  And loudly.  As Seth puts it… they will speak up regardless of the odds or the reality of whether or not they’ll even get their way. Rule #2:  People who will benefit from any change won’t believe it until it actually happens.  So their response?  They usually sit quietly. Notice that the people who should be excited about the change aren’t usually vocally in favor of it.  Instead, they’re skeptical.  They’ll sit back and watch the leader to see if he/she can pull it off.  Then, if it goes well, they’ll be supportive (even vocally).  By then, it’s too late to have much impact on the change itself. What do you think?  Have you seen this play out in your church? Are the people most vocal against change the ones that think it will affect them? And are the people who support change usually the ones who keep quiet? Have you discovered any way to get people to vocally support change? Think about the last big change you made at your church.  How did it play out?  With your board/elders?  With the congregation? Take a couple minutes and share your last big change, and what you learned about people and their response to change. Thanks, Todd

My friend (and boss) Dave Travis recently assembed a list of things you should know about that are changing in the church… Here’s his list.  See if you agree/disagree, or if there is something you’d like to add:
  1. The rise of Multi Site churches – multi site changes everything as we say.
  2. Social Media penetration – I read that 85% of Americans aged 18-29 logged onto at least onon e social media site in August 2009. That’s one month not year to date. I think widespread adoption of this communication medium changed how we perceive leadership so I think it changes churches.
  3. Internet Campuses – They’re here and they are about to be “in a box” so any size church can have one if the want. For some this will be a fad but for others this is going to be a big part of their reaching strategy going forward.
  4. Growth of Teaching Teams – that is a big, accepted change from when I joined Leadership Network almost 15 years ago. It’s almost like everyone wants to do it now while they may not know quite how to do it.
  5. New Church Development by young 20/30s. People say this generation is not going to church. They are. They aren’t going to existing churches, they are flooding some new churches.
  6. Online giving – this number continues to rise and some churches in Europe tell me that they get 80% of their giving through this channel. That is way above US. So I think eventually the number will rise. They tend to get it by automated draft by the way. Probably the most consistent way to get it.
  7. The iPhone revolution of communications. Probably more accurately called the smartphone revolution with others now coming on market. How will we communicate in the future – lots being driven via these hand held devices. Pay attention to that.
  8. Big change – Availability of appreciated stock . So what does that matter. Lots of gifts in the past came through that type of giving. When it ain’t around no more its hard to build an extravagant building. Might be a good thing.
  9. Availability of home equity. Not as much as there used to be. Plus is that it is driving folks to be more fiscally responsible. My guess is that it might have some short term affects on churches in subtle ways.
  10. More thinking of church “beyond the walls”. In Leadership Network language that means “Externally Focused Churches” being the best church FOR your community. (We have lots on this one)
  11. Lots more multi racial churches (though perhaps not multi cultural churches). We have been tracking these numbers for some time. What this means? Well if you are in the building and advisement industry, (like these people are ) it means that the committee or team you are working with may have different assumptions within their own team to be worked through.
  12. Mobility of Americans – I recently read how that total percentages were down. I attribute mobility factors as a big reason for megachurch attraction. If people aren’t moving at least 10 miles away as much, they tend to stay in their same patterns.
  13. The book/magazine/church conference business – Anything print seems to be suffering so there is a big restructuring going on there. Also in the church conference business, there are going to be a few winners, a few that can survive and a lot that go under. So a restructuring there as well.
You can read more here… What do you think?  How does this relate to you or your ministry?  Is there anything you would add, or anything you would disagree with? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments… Todd

OK… today, we’ll start with an assignment.  Take a look at this video from YouTube: After watching this, I was impressed at how much the church needs to change in our ever-changing culture.  The computer, the internet, cell phones, wi-fi… everything has changed and is changing. Yet many churches remain exactly the same. 40 minute sermons. Stodgy environments. Irrelevant settings and messages. As our culture changes to a fast-paced, instant, information ‘tidbit’ society, the church must adapt. But many in the church can’t or won’t.  We’ll just go on, with our head in the sand, thinking that the social media culture will not affect us.  It will.  It is. Many church leaders are busy arguing about online community, online campusus, twitter, facebook, cell phones, and if the church should use them.  “If” is the wrong question.  “If” actually will kill your church.  If you’re not already asking “How”, you need to start today. How can your church tap into the hearts and minds of young people who have known nothing else but instant, continuous flows of digital information? How can your church reach the millions in your community (and in your church) already using social media like twitter and facebook? How can your church reach your community through new media? How does this ever-emerging media affect they way you do church currently?  The music you play?  The length and style of your sermons?  How you take your offering?  How you greet?  How you gather people in small groups? You have to be asking these questions and changing your methods (but not ever your gospel message). Go ahead… watch the video again.  What ideas does this video give you?