So you’re convinced that a leadership resident is necessary for you to start a movement of reproducing churches. Good–I am glad. Because you’re right.
Most planters I talk to get really excited about the idea of a leadership resident joining their team. But then most admit they don’t even know where to start looking.
The truth is, residents are not going to just show up on your door. (Some will–but most wont.) You’re going to need to connect with others and find them.
Recruiting a resident comes down to networking and meeting with residency prospects.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you find a leadership resident:
- Have you clarified exactly what a residency will look like for you and your team? Have you received coaching and input from others who already train residents? Can you articulate your vision and process for a resident clearly?
- Are you communicating externally? Are you telling others (church planters, pastors etc.) that you’re looking for a resident. Are you tapping your relational networks and letting them know you’re looking?
- Are you communicating internally? Are you casting vision to potential leaders within your organization that you are looking for a resident?
- Are you praying?
- Are you making space in your schedule to meet with potential residents? Does finding a resident get space on your calendar or not?
- Are you pursuing residents you have connected with? Are you following up with prospects that have expressed an interest in residency and making time to meet with them? Or are you letting others meet with them?
- Are you asking others (staff, network partners, etc.) to help you connect with new residents through their relational networks.
- Are you talking to current leadership residents to find out who they might know?
- Are you attending conferences like Exponential and others to build relationships with potential residents.
- Are you offering basic assessments to residents to help them understand how they’re wired and whether they might be a good fit for you and your team.
If you’re interested in a leadership residency with my tribe, NewThing, hit me up. I’d love to talk to you.
So what about you? How do you start recruiting leadership residents. What has worked for you that can help the rest of us.
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Is your church plant built on teams? If you’re a lead planter, ask yourself the following question:
Have I given teams of people real responsibility to make decisions about effective ways to execute the mission?
If you have, good. If you haven’t, why not?
There is a difference between a team that has real responsibility for he mission and a group of people gathering together to execute tasks. The former encourage reproduction. The later inhibit it.
Think about it: Team-based structures are flatter. There aren’t as many middle-men and everything isn’t dependent on the lead pastor or lead team. Thus team-based churches are going reproduce more rapidly than those that aren’t.
Consider a few of the benefits of a team-based organization:
- Teams can respond quickly and effectively to change and opportunity.
- Teams can speed the process along (in this case reproducing) because people can help each other.
- Teams can help organizations to learn faster and retain that learning longer because more people are involved.
Teams also benefit people:
- People who work on real teams are less stressed and they have more fun.
- People learn from each other and thus can more easily share best practices.
- People on teams report they are more committed to the cause.
Note, building a team-based structure is more than simply increasing efficiency. Efficiency is good. In fact, corporations employ teams of people to boost productivity that increases the bottom line.
But efficiency in church planting is measured differently. Our metric (our bottom line) needs to be reproduction.
The real opportunity for planters is to build team-based churches that reproduce more rapidly and healthy.
What about you? Are you building real teams or defaulting to gathering people around a task? Do you understand the difference? What is the greatest challenge(s) about building a real team?
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So you want to be intentional about engaging a leadership resident. Great. If more of us identify, train, and release leadership residents we’ll see movements.
But how do you know which resident to invite into a residency and invest in.
Here are 10 things to look for in a Leadership Resident
- Teachable. Humility + Application = Teachability. That is they operate from a posture of humility. You’ll know they’re teachable if they ask lots of questions and ask for feedback. (See item 3.)
- Spiritual velocity. You sense that God is working in their lives and their calling is the next chapter in their story. Ask hard questions of a candidate who is leaving a church or bailing on another plant.
- Feedback. Hopefully you’ve created a culture of feedback in your organization and your resident embraces this feedback culture.
- Willing to Unlearn. Your candidate is willing to unlearn what they know about church and church planting. Beware of the resident who knows everything or believes you’re offering a system. If you hear them say ‘in my last church,’ all the time, you ought to run.
- Will Go Deep. They are willing to set aside their agenda for now and plunge into your culture. They are willing to relocate to your context, start training, leading and influencing in what you’re doing.
- Fund-raiser. They have proven their ability to raise funds. They can raise money. They have some financial skin in the game. That is they pay some portion of their own residency and have demonstrated their ability to raise funds.
- Vision. The candidate demonstrates vision because they know exactly where they want to plant and when.
- Self-awareness. Your candidate demonstrates good self-awareness. They understand God’s story as it’s being written through their life. They have been through assessment of some sort and have been challenged to understand how they’re wired through gift tools (for example ELI and APEST).
- Leadership. They have proven their leadership. The resident candidate should be able to demonstrate they have consistently led leaders.
- Chemistry. You and your team have chemistry with the resident. Look, you’re going to need to invest in this resident and that’s gonna take time. Ensure you like working with your resident. This goes for your team as well.
The way to learn the answers to these questions is to have lots of conversations with your potential resident BEFORE you say yes to the residency. Residency is not the place for someone trying to decide whether to plant or not. Residency is a launch pad to starting something new.
Looking for these things in a resident up front will help both you and resident have a positive experience together. this will also increase the likelihood of the resident planting a reproducing church. And that’s what it’s all about.
What have I missed? What doesn’t need to be on this list? I’d love to hear from you.
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I think you’d agree, it’s way too easy to burn out in ministry. And yet, it happens all of the time. We love what we do and so we work ourselves into a frenzy that leads to at best to burnout, or worse to moral catastrophe.
So how do prevent burnout?
Yesterday, our NewThing tribe had the privilege to hear from Wayne Cordeiro on this topic.
Boy, did I need that.
In fact, Corderio’s book, Leading on Empty helped me navigate a tough season in ministry. I had left the business world for church planting. While I loved the new season of my life, I was burning out. Leading on Empty helped me learn to fill my tank and set guidrails in my life to prevent it from happening again.
Cordeiro’s New Thing talk both inspired me and challenged me. I thought the topic so important that I took notes so I could share them with you.
Cordeiro outlined three points to help us:
- Recognize the signs of burnout. Like rumble strips on the roadside we need to recognize the early signs of burnout. These can include being overly emotional, easily angered and frustrated and most importantly losing joy in the things that we love. Recognizing the early signs of burnout will prevent you from hitting the guardrails—or worse.
- Plan rest before you work. Cordeiro advocates that we plan our rests ahead and then stick to it. We can’t expect to rest well if we aren’t intentional about resting. Put your rest on your calendar. Create a plan and stick to it.
- Know what fills your ‘emotional’ tank and know what drains it. Cordeiro warns that a depleted emotional tank leads to anxiety, emotional exhaustion and finally a nervous breakdown. He advocated we create a list and identify all of the things we do that fill our emotional tanks (gives us pleasure, joy etc.). Additionally, he urges us to identify the things that drain our tank. We need to learn to limit and/or delegate the things that drain us. Next, he exhorted us to share this list with our spouse. And then allow your spouse to share their list. Then, without judging, pray over that list for God to fill your spouses tank.
Cordeiro reminded all of us of the dangers of depleting our tanks without filling it. Burnout. And that hurts us, our families, the people around us and ultimately the Kingdom.
I love that my tribe, New Thing, offers these monthly broadcasts on a diverse array of topics. If you want more information about New Thing, click here.
What about you? What are the indicators that you are leading on empty. What fills your tank? What drains your tank?
If you like the content of Mission Glue, please SUBSCRIBE. Thank you for reading—I really appreciate it.