This evening I watched the new Brad Pitt film World War Z.  While certainly not for the whole family, there some vital leadership lessons that pastors and church leaders can learn from this movie.

Check out the 11 quotes and lessons listed below.  Pay special attention to the fifth lesson below on movement.

  • The Importance Of Senior Pastors To Visitors – Statistics have proven the top reason people return to a church is the senior pastor.  It was Pitt’s incredible talent and acting ability that made this film enjoyable for me.  You cannot underestimate the value of the primary point leader and their ability to elevate everything and everyone around them.
  • Do Even The Simplest Tasks With Excellence – Prevailing churches know that excellence honors God and inspires people.   “All you do is make pancakes in the morning” says youngest daughter Constance to her father.  To which Gerry Lane, played by Pitt, replies, “Yeah, but I’m good at it.”
  • Remain Calm Under Pressure – The city of Philadelphia is under siege in the movie’s second scene.  Lane’s ability to remain calm and assess the situation ultimately leads to his family’s safety.  For more on succeeding under pressure, click here.
  • Attention To Detail – It has been said the devil is in the details.  What is also true is solutions are in the details as well.  Lane’s ability to notice the smallest details were the key to discovering how to survive the zombie attack.
  • “Movement is life.  I’ve been in dangerous places.  Those who survived move.” – This is the most important lesson from the film.  Pastors and church leaders who stagnate, stall, and refuse to advance mission and vision, ultimately cause their churches to fall into a state of apathy and eventually die.
  • “Each and ever person is here because they serve a purpose.” – This was told to Lane while his family was rescued to a battleship.  In the same way, every person in the church has a God-given purpose.
  • “Mother nature is a serial killer.  Like all serial killers is that she wants to get caught.”
  • “The problem with most people is that they don’t believe something can happen until it already has.” – Shock is when events happen that you do not have a decision grid for.  We must help people prepare and have margin for the unexpected events of human life.  They are often not prepared for what they will face.
  • “Every human being we save is one less that we have to fight.” – Rick Warren once said, “You can’t lead your enemies to Jesus.  You can only lead your friends.”
  • Barriers Provide Safety – In the movie, the walls constructed around the city of Jerusalem protected them from the zombie attack.  Pastors and church leaders who are emotionally healthy and long-lasting build healthy boundaries, especially with the opposite sex.
  • The Responsibility To Care For The Family Belongs To The Husband.  Not The Government – One of the movies harshest realities was Lane’s family being forced to leave the safety of the battleship when he was thought to be dead.  Space was limited and with Lane no longer an asset, his family had to leave the ship.  It is the husband/father’s responsibility to provide safety and security for his family.  If that responsibility is advocated to the government, the family is placed in harm’s way.

Finally, if you are going to see a movie this weekend, I recommend Man Of Steel instead.  If you do attend World War Z, let me know what leadership lessons you took from the film.


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