Our mission is to help others increase their capacity so they can increasingly love God and others more deeply and serve more effectively. We build capacity in individuals, teams, and churches through training events, coaching relationships, and a variety of ministry resources.

Is Your Team Turning You into a Better Person?

  • Posted on: 25 October 2016
  • By: Keith Reed

Demonstration plotsHave you ever thought about how the team or board that you are serving on is influencing the person you are becoming? Wouldn’t it be an amazing compliment if someone made the connection between a given person and a board that you previously served on because of who that person had become and how they went about their life and ministry? 

In Acts 4:13 we read the following words, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Peter had just finished responding to the question, “By what power or what name did you do this?” related to the healing of the man who had been lame from birth. The text doesn’t specify whether they took note because of Jesus’s boldness and knowledge beyond His training or because like Jesus, Peter and John were a threat to their peace and seen as dangerous people. Taken positively, I see this as a confirmation that being in the company of Jesus had favourably impacted the lives of Peter and John so that others saw unmistakable evidence of it in their lives. 

By God’s grace, we also have the opportunity and responsibility to lead and serve in such a way that we create environments for transformation in the lives of the people who we serve with. The activities and decisions that teams and boards make together is important, but the kind of environment and relationships they develop isn’t just a means to greater effectiveness. Who and how they are together matters. Sadly, there are too many examples of church or ministry boards that have the reputation of being powerful and effective, but their relationships and the environment they create doesn’t empower anyone toward God’s desires and purposes. However, your board or team has the potential to demonstrate the kind of community that reflects God’s nature and character. 

Making Change Stick: 4 Disciplines of Execution for Your Ministry

  • Posted on: 14 October 2016
  • By: Randy Wollf

sticky handsIf you’re like me, you’ve seen many wonderful change initiatives start off strong only to be abandoned and forgotten after a few years. How can we implement change that lasts? In their book, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, McChesney, Covey, and Huling describe a process that can help any organization make change stick over the long haul. We've implemented their 4-part strategy as a MinistryLift team and it has provided us with consistent traction toward our goals. Here's how it works:

Discipline #1 – Determine Your Wildly Important Goal(s) (WIGs)

“Don’t ask ‘What’s most important?’ Instead, begin by asking, ‘If every other area of our operation remained at its current level of performance, what is the one area where change would have the greatest impact?’”1 

With WIGs, less is more. If you have 2-3 goals, you are likely to achieve all of them. If you have 4-10 goals, you will likely achieve only 1-2 of these goals. With 11-20 goals, you will probably achieve none of them.

In MinistryLift (a ministry dedicated to providing non-formal training to churches), our WIG for this year is to increase participation by 50% in our five training ministries (live participation in training events, video views in our Resource library, blog views, and engagement via Facebook and Twitter).

Discipline #2 – Act on the Lead Measures

As we think about achieving WIGs, it’s helpful to differentiate between lag and lead measures. Lag measures capture what has already happened and what we can no longer control. For example, with the MinistryLift WIG, we can look at data from the past to see how we’re tracking in each of the five training ministries. Lag measures are important. Yet, if we want to accomplish our WIG, we need to be proactive and take steps that move those lag measures in the right direction. These steps are lead measures (what we can control moving forward).

5 Ways to Motivate More Effective Board Meetings

  • Posted on: 6 October 2016
  • By: Keith Reed

board roomThe “life” of a non-profit board exists in its official meetings. The time that a board has to experience this “life” is extremely limited (perhaps 30-40 hours each year), which means that board leaders have to plan meetings that enable the board to derive the most value during these scheduled interactions. Ineffective meetings—those that hinder a board’s ability to advance the agency’s mission by making good decisions—generate board dysfunction and affect the health of the agency. So investing wisdom in developing quality meetings and board experiences pays immense dividends.

Experienced, non-profit board leaders rely upon five key principles to ensure that their board meetings are productive and healthy:

1. Leverage the link between meetings and mission

Understand the essential relationship between effective board meetings and achieving the key outcomes necessary to advance the mission. When board leaders and the CEO fail to perceive the inter-relationship between well-planned board interactions and the ability of the agency to fulfill its vision, then insufficient attention will be given to nurturing the “life” of the board. The inevitable result will be poor planning, mediocre leadership, and risky decisions. 

2. Develop an annual agenda 

Board leaders serve the board and its members. This can only happen if board leaders understand the role and responsibility of the board, have a clear perception of the work that the board has to accomplish annually, and know how to pace the work of the board to fulfill its responsibilities effectively and efficiently. Developing an annual agenda will accomplish these purposes in the following ways: 

  • It will ensure that time-sensitive decisions are scheduled appropriately
  • It will require the board to have the necessary information in hand to make such decisions
  • It will empower the board to handle unanticipated issues without upsetting its rhythm

3. Nourish the culture