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One (Oft-Used) Leadership Tool

By Pastor Scott Thomas

Church planting pastors usually experience a painful crash course in leadership. Very few seminaries teach this well and very few churches model this well. So, young pastors, led by a vision and driven with passion often run into a leadership brick wall.

I remember the first church I led as Pastor and Chairman. The Board was more concerned about Robert’s Rules of Order than they were in Jesus’ Great Commission. I move that we postpone indefinitely the exclusion of the Holy Spirit in church leadership meetings.

I have used one leadership tool in my 30 years of ministry and 21 years as a chairman of a non-profit Board more than any other tool. Perhaps it may help you as you lead a newly formed leadership team or an official board of directors. It may even be the difference maker in any leadership team you direct.

In leading other church leaders, ask them to weigh in and not just to buy in to a product (any idea, project, concept or thing produced by the work of the organization).

Buying in is securing the commitment of affected parties to a decision where they have not been involved in its formulation (i.e., I need their buy in to my plans). Weighing in is having an idea, concept or vision and asking for key leaders to lend their ideas (weigh in) on its formulation (i.e., I want them to weigh in on this need we have).

Average leaders will appreciate your bringing a finished product to them for their approval. But great leaders want to help shape it, refine it and make it a better product. Which kind of leader do you want to lead your organization?

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Over the last ten years, Acts 29 has emerged from a small band of brothers to almost 300 churches in the United States and networks of churches in multiple countries. Scott Thomas serves as president and director of the network, which focuses on the gospel and advancing the mission of Jesus through obediently planting church-planting churches. Founders and contributors to the Acts 29 movement include Mars Hill teaching pastor Mark Driscoll and lead pastor of The Village Church Matt Chandler.