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Category Archives: Developing Leaders

Lessons for Proteges…and For Me

We are in a transition season at NCC. One set of Proteges have departed for their great next calling, and another set has moved into the neighborhood for a year. It’s always a time for reflection on my own leadership– … Continue reading

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Be Led. Go Lead.

We are currently accepting applications for our 2013-2014 class of NCC Proteges. The Protege Program was launched 5 years ago to develop the next generation of leaders in the character they need to sustain their calling and in the gifts … Continue reading

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Leadership 101.4- Semester System

I’m posting content, videos, and questions from our online Leadership 101 training for new leaders. This is Part 4: The Semester System. At NCC, we do groups on the semester system. This allows groups to follow the natural rhythm of … Continue reading

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Leadership 101.3- What Are Small Groups?

I’m posting content, videos, and questions from our online Leadership 101 training for new leaders. This is Part 3: What Are Small Groups? This video describes what small groups are and why we do them: God exists in community so … Continue reading

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Leadership 101.2- NCC Story

I’m posting content, videos, and questions from our online Leadership 101 training for new leaders. This is Part 2: The NCC Story: As a part of NCC, you are a shareholder in our church-wide vision. You are a part of … Continue reading

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Leadership 101.1- Go Make Disciples

I’m posting content, videos, and questions from our online Leadership 101 training for new leaders. This is Part 1: Go Make Disciples.  Leadership is the call to discipleship. In the Great Commission, Jesus commands us to make disciples, not find them. … Continue reading

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Leadership 101

We train our new leaders online. For a few years, I resisted that strategy. I thought it was important for potential leaders to be together in one room, for me to have face-to-face interaction, etc. But it was becoming harder … Continue reading

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Be a Protege

Four years ago, Mark Batterson and I sat at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants…across the street from the National Cathedral…and dreamed up the Protege Program. Well, we didn’t actually dream it up. We stole it from Steve Saccone and … Continue reading

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Online Leadership 101

Two years ago, we blew up our small group system in a project called Operation Kaboom. One of the changes we made was in the way we offered initial training to potential small group leaders. Under the old system, potential … Continue reading

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What I’m Telling the Proteges About Catalyst

I am a conference junkie, but I attend conferences differently today than I did 10 years ago. Tomorrow, I leave on a jet plane for my 7th Catalyst Conference. At Catalyst #1, I sat in every session, took notes on … Continue reading

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Leaders Must…Be Healthy

For the past 8 years, I have spoken at every Leadership Summit we’ve hosted at National Community Church. This year, I’ve changed the game. At our last Leadership Summit, we did a series of TED Conference styled talks. Six Leaders. … Continue reading

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Leaders Must…Live in Rhythm

For the past 8 years, I have spoken at every Leadership Summit we’ve hosted at National Community Church. This year, I’ve changed the game. At our last Leadership Summit, we did a series of TED Conference styled talks. Six Leaders. … Continue reading

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Leaders Must…Be Present

For the past 8 years, I have spoken at every Leadership Summit we’ve hosted at National Community Church. This year, I’ve changed the game. At our last Leadership Summit, we did a series of TED Conference styled talks. Six Leaders. … Continue reading

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Leaders Must…Leave a Legacy

For the past 8 years, I have spoken at every Leadership Summit we’ve hosted at National Community Church. This year, I’ve changed the game. At our last Leadership Summit, we did a series of TED Conference styled talks. Six Leaders. … Continue reading

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Leadership Summit…TED Style

Once a semester, we host a Leadership Summit at NCC. A gathering of all ministry leaders and small group leaders for the purpose of sharing vision, worshiping together, encouraging one another, and ongoing training and leadership development. Usually, I stand … Continue reading

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Forfeit

Don’t forfeit 45 great years because of 5 tough years. That was the primary message I gave to one of my young 20-something friends. She is incredibly gifted, Biblically passionate, and generous in her influence. And she’s leading in an … Continue reading

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The Gambler

Our worship team did a little re-mix of “The Gambler” for Leadership Retreat. All. In. NCC’s Gambler Remix from National Community Church on Vimeo.

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When Going All In is Going Too Far

For the Leadership Retreat, Andy Pisciotti and Amanda Giobbi created a series of videos, “When Going All In is Going Too Far.” This one was probably my favorite. Amanda joins the Worship Team from National Community Church on Vimeo. Here … Continue reading

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Poking Fun at Mark Batterson

In the vein of not taking ourselves too seriously, we always like to poke a little fun at our lead pastor, Mark Batterson. Two years ago, we created this little gem. Last year, Amanda Giobbi masterminded this little bit of … Continue reading

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Putting the All In at Leadership Retreat

One of the things that is a huge priority for us at Leadership Retreat is to have fun. We don’t take ourselves seriously. But we do take God seriously. And we are serious about our fun. And when it comes … Continue reading

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Build Momentum For It

The event of Leadership Retreat 2011 may have ended on Saturday night at 8pm, but the work God began there is only beginning. Here is the next in the series of posts about Leadership Retreat. Build momentum for it. We’ve … Continue reading

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Invest In It

The next in the series of blog posts about Leadership Retreat: Invest In It. To steal the theme from this year’s Leadership Retreat, we go All In. We invest in Leadership Retreat in a big way and we spare no … Continue reading

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Theme It

The next in the series of blog posts about Leadership Retreat: Theme It. For our first few retreats, it was just…Leadership Retreat. In 2004, we decided to theme. To pick a word of a phrase that captured the overarching character … Continue reading

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Leadership Retreat. The Method. The Madness.

Well…in case you’ve missed all the commotion on my Twitter and Facebook, we are in the final sprint to our Annual Leadership Retreat. In 2002, I came on staff “part-time” at NCC (that’s when Mark Batterson’s scheme to trick me … Continue reading

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Face-to-Face and Shoulder-to-Shoulder

I’ve talked a lot recently about making disciples. I’m struck by the fact that Jesus told his followers to go “make” disciples, not “find” disciples. Once upon a time someone stumbled upon my blog because they did a Google search … Continue reading

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Tour Guides vs. Travel Agents

Some of the best discipleship advice I ever learned was from a book on evangelism. It’s more important to be a tour guide than a travel agent. Thank you, Rick Richardson. There is a big difference between being a travel … Continue reading

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Value People Over Programs

Leaders who leave a legacy see the value in people. They realize that ministry is not a program but people who are moving out of the overflow of their gifts. Disciples will not emerge from a program; they will emerge … Continue reading

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The Leadership Year

Each year, I choose a new area for focused growth. Previous foci (yes, I just used the plural of focus) included theology, church history, communication, etc. This year, I wanted to return to leadership. About ten years ago, I was … Continue reading

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X-Ray Vision

Leaders need X-Ray Vision. They need the ability to see gifts, abilities, and passions in people that they don’t see themselves. The theological term for this would be discernment. When Samuel looked at David, he didn’t see a shepherd boy … Continue reading

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Kaleidoscopic Calling

The calling of God is kaleidoscopic. This morning, I had a great conversation with one of our young leaders at NCC. She’s in her mid-twenties and sorting out what God’s call on her life looks like. I asked her the … Continue reading

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Tooting Their Horn- Julius Hunter

LSU Campus. 1998. Destiny Campus Ministries. Julius Hunter was one of the first people crazy enough to come to one of my small groups. While I recognized leadership potential in him pretty quickly, he told me very quickly that he … Continue reading

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Leadership Lessons From Steve Corn

Tonight, the Mathews family and Plash family found their way to the Sawyer abode for the annual gathering of friends, fun, and laughter. I pulled Steve Corn out of the madness for a couple minutes to talk about leadership. Despite … Continue reading

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Leadership Lessons From Chris Douglas

I met Chris Douglas in Free Speech Alley on the campus of Louisiana State University in 1990-something. He was crazy enough to be in the first small group I ever led and went on to serve as a youth pastor, … Continue reading

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Those Who Lead Up

I am blessed to be surrounded by lots of leaders in my life. Those who lead down (mentors and disciple-makers), those who lead across (leaders in the trenches with me), and those who lead up (those who I technically lead … Continue reading

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Those Who Lead Across

I am blessed to be surrounded by lots of leaders in my life. Those who lead down (mentors and disciple-makers), those who lead across (leaders in the trenches with me), and those who lead up (those who I technically lead … Continue reading

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Those Who Lead Down

I am blessed to be surrounded by lots of leaders in my life. Those who lead down (mentors and disciple-makers), those who lead across (leaders in the trenches with me), and those who lead up (those who I technically lead … Continue reading

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The Leaders in My Life

I just got back from a crazy busy week. Spent 3 days in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore praying, dreaming, and scheming with my fellow teammates at National Community Church. Then, I rose early on Thursday morning with Team D … Continue reading

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Loudspeakers, Telephones, and What We Learn From the Soviets

Just got through reading The Starfish and the Spider. Highly recommend it! Especially for us church leader people. I think it’s a great framework for understanding non-linear discipleship and free market small group models. Anyway– one of the statements that … Continue reading

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Let God Be Unique With You

At the last Protege Huddle of the 2009-2010 class, I shared some final thoughts on leadership. I encouraged them to let God be as unique with them as he is with others. Oswald Chambers said that we should let God … Continue reading

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Teach What You Know

At the last Protege Huddle of the 2009-2010 class, I shared some final thoughts on leadership. I encouraged them to always pass something on to others. In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul instructed Timothy, “You have heard me teach things that … Continue reading

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The Right Motivation

At the last Protege Huddle of the 2009-2010 class, I shared some final thoughts on leadership. One of the things I talked about was our motivation for ministry. There are a lot of reasons we step into ministry leadership. For … Continue reading

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Making Disciples vs. Finding Disciples

At the last Protege Huddle of the 2009-2010 class, I shared some final thoughts on leadership. One of the things I talked about was the difference between finding disciples and making disciples. The last command Jesus gave his disciples was … Continue reading

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Never Stop Learning

At the last Protege Huddle of the 2009-2010 class, I shared some final thoughts on leadership. And as I told them at the very first huddle we shared together: Never Stop Learning. Leaders are learners. Once you have stopped learning, … Continue reading

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Recruit the Team

At the last Protege Huddle of the 2009-2010 class, I shared some final thoughts on leadership. One thing I encouraged: when embarking on a new adventure, always ask yourself who else needs to be on the boat. Yesterday, I blogged … Continue reading

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Leadership Can Be Lonely

At the last Protege Huddle of the 2009-2010 class, I shared some final thoughts on leadership. One thing I warned them is that leadership can sometimes be lonely. I try to always lead in teams. But sometimes, leadership can just … Continue reading

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Your Friends Matter

At the last Protege Huddle of the 2009-2010 class, I shared some final thoughts on leadership. One thing I encouraged them to do was to choose their friends and mentors well. Your friends will determine the quality and direction of … Continue reading

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The New Protege Class

We kicked off the 2010-2011 Protege Class yesterday, and I’ve already got some favorite moments and memories. Here are just a few: Listening to Davey Shepherd tell his story of being called into ministry when he was 7 years old. … Continue reading

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The Circle of Proteges

The circle of life brings us to the end of one Protege year and the beginning of another. We started the Protege Program at National Community Church a couple years ago to bring greater intentionality to our intern programming and … Continue reading

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Group Life South

I love small groups. And I love the South. So I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be or anything I’d rather be doing…well…any day of the week. But for the purposes of this post, I can’t think of a … Continue reading

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MVPs

Who are your MVPs? The people– whether paid or volunteer– that you cannot imagine doing ministry without? The people who make it happen, keep momentum flowing, keep the vision at the forefront, and give you joy. As I read the … Continue reading

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