Unleash!

I had a lot of choices for what I might talk about on Leadership Network’s “The Nines.” I spend a lot of time in churches with church leaders and their people. I gave a lot of thought to it and I have chosen one that is simple and, to a lot of people, pretty obvious. It is right under their nose. My only fear is that it is so simple, you might not see the great potential of it.

The reason I chose it is that hardly any churches are doing it. For the few that are, it is a game changer. I mean a TOTAL game changer.

So here it is.

I call it UNLEASH. Simply put, it is releasing the full potential of the high capacity people God has placed in your church. People who are pure difference makers — wherever they go, they make a difference with their leadership, their influence and their finances. In many cases, there is latent, powerful potential waiting to be released and these people are waiting for the church to make the first move.

First and foremost, let’s get one thing clear. This is not a money ploy. Though these people are probably the most financially blessed in your church, this is not about reaching them for their money. It is about reaching them for the difference they can make. It is a ministry strategy that will enhance the lives of these people and will greatly enhance the ministry effectiveness of the church.

This is a total win/win. They need the church and the church will greatly benefit from what they have to offer. It is a match made in heaven!

So what does this look like?

First, they need the church. Because of their success, our tendency is to believe high capacity people don’t need a lot of attention from the church. Wrong! They have all the problems of people who have less capacity. They have children issues, spouse problems, addictions, relational issues and spiritual malnourishment just like everybody else. And they have a whole host of issues that are unique to them.

Now, just so we are clear, this is not about violating the teaching of favoritism presented in the book of James. On the contrary, it is about reaching out to a category of people who are more like to fall through the crack of the church than to be shown favoritism.

Jesus suggested in 3 of the 4 Gospel accounts  that these people are so at risk that they need extra spiritual care. You know the teaching. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Financially blessed people are high risk for missing eternal life. It is important for the church to reach out to them.

The other side is that high capacity people — difference makers — have a lot to offer the church. It is important to hear their voices as you lead your church.

They are successful. For many of them, they lead large organizations and they know how to make big decisions. They can empathize with the Senior Pastor who sometimes feels “lonely at the top.” These difference makers have a very high percentage of being right. They weigh risks and examine ideas carefully. In short, it would be foolish to ignore them in leading the church.

So how do you go about doing this?

First, you have to find them. This is pretty easy. Most of them have identified themselves by who they are in the community and other places.

Once you find them, you have to create environments where you can build relationships with them. It might be a dinner gathering or something similar. Don’t let the group get too large. If you have too many of them in your church (that’s a good problem to have!), break them up into several smaller gatherings. Get them together periodically — not too often, but just often enough. Use this time to cast vision (and re-cast vision), build trust, enhance relationships. Let them see the ministry from the Senior Pastor’s cockpit to give them a glimpse of where you believe God is leading your church. They are used to the view from the cockpit — trust me — they do it every day.

Most importantly, create opportunities where you can listen to them, especially when embarking on new initiatives. Let them help you vet key moves before you pull the trigger. These people can help you see the full spectrum of the good, the bad and the ugly about new ideas. You may not always like what they say and you may not always agree, but you will never regret listening. I promise you that.

So that’s it. UNLEASH. Releasing the latent potential of the difference makers in your church.

Very simple, but very powerful.

Good for the people! Good for the church!

A total game changer.

Try it!

God bless you.

(This post was transcribed from the vidoe I did for Leadership Network’s “The Nines. Here is a link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHIlrRBmCC4 )

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