If you are not already doing so, pastors and church leaders should spend large amounts of quality time learning from the business community.  God can teach us much truth from those who show great leadership acumen in the business sector.

However, I deeply believe the best learning that can take place in leadership circles is when the business community learns from local church leaders.  In fact, the greatest leadership taking place in the world is in local churches.  The best communicators.  The highest stakes (Heaven and hell).  Volunteer armies.  And in local churches, addictions are broken.  Marriages are restored.  Families are re-united.  The hungry are fed.  The naked find clothes.  And most importantly, people are redeemed and given new life.

A clear example of the great value Christian leaders can bring the business community is shown above when the incomparable Rick Warren delivered his amazing TED Talk.  After watching the video, I captured the following 33 quotes and lessons which are applicable to anyone who leads in the church, business, non-profit or athletic communities.

  1. Everybody wants to be relevant.  We want to be relevant personally.  We want to be relevant in our businesses.
  2. When the speed of change around an organization is faster than the speed of change within the organization, the organization becomes irrelevant.
  3. Everything is getting faster…Nothing is slowing down.  The tendency towards irrelevance is much faster than it was 10 years ago.
  4. For the first 15 years of Saddleback Church, we great 47% a year on average which meant every year I had to have a new structure.
  5. What worked with 50 people didn’t work with 150 didn’t work at 350 people didn’t work at 1000 didn’t work at 2000 didn’t work at 5000 didn’t work at 10,000 didn’t work at 20,000.
  6. I have still 60 people with me from the church 32 years ago.  Can you imagine their culture shock?
  7. Relevance is a choice.  Relevance is a decision you choose to do.  If you don’t choose it, you become irrelevant very, very quickly.
  8. If you’re going to stay relevant, there are 3 factors you’re going to have to deal with the rest of your life.  1.  Corporate Culture  2.  Personal Leadership 3.  Stakeholder Emotions and that’s the most important to deal with.
  9. Develop A Lab Mentality
  10. You have to create a culture where you’re constantly experimenting and you never, never, never stop experimenting.
  11. In experiments you fail most of the time but you learn to fail fast.
  12. At Saddleback we’re not that smart we’re just not afraid to fail.
  13. If you always do what you’ve always done you’re going to be irrelevant because you can’t use yesterday’s solutions in tomorrow’s world.
  14. Never Stop Learning
  15. Growing organizations require growing leaders.  The moment you stop growing your organization stops growing.
  16. All leaders are learners.  The moment you stop learning, you stop leading.
  17. It’s not dedication.  It’s not desire.  Skill brings success.
  18. You’re never wasting your time when you’re sharpening your ax.
  19. Acknowledge The Grief
  20. There is no growth without change.  There is no change without loss.  There is no loss without pain.  There is no pain without grief.
  21. Growth requires loss because you have to let go of the old to grab hold of the new.
  22. People in your organization during change who you think are oppositional are just grieving.
  23. Grief is a good thing because it gets you through the transitions of life.
  24. Grief won’t kill your company.  Fear will.  Resentment will.  Bitterness will.  Failure to change will.  But grief won’t kill your company.
  25. Your gonna have to learn with people’s emotions.
  26. You have to learn to honor the past without perpetuating the past.  We all are products of our past but not prisoners of it.
  27. Honor the emotions of people who invested in the previous thing.
  28. Don’t try to be in style because things invariably go out of style.  If you tie your identity to the spirit of the age, nothing stays the same.
  29. The only way to be eternally relevant is to be timeless.
  30. What’s life going to be like in 10 years.  The truth is nobody knows.
  31. Vision is not the ability to foretell the future.  Vision is the ability to see an opportunity in the current circumstance and jump on it.  To be fast, fluid and flexible.
  32. I don’t know what’s going to change in Orange County in the next 10 years.  I know what’s not going to change – People are still going to get married.  People are still going to get divorced.  People are still going to have babies.  People are still going to deal with worry, fear, and anger and bitterness and loneliness.
  33. I build what I’m called to do on things that aren’t going to change.

What are you building your organization on?


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