Category Archive: leadership

Growth Changes Everything

Hey Friends,

As you already realize, I love growth! I love it personally, spiritually and ministerially. I love to see the Church grow. There is one problem with growth – IT CHANGES EVERYTHING!

I love what Larry Osborne said in his book, Sticky Teams: “Never forget, growth changes everything. A storefront church, a midsized church, a large church, and a megachurch aren’t simply bigger versions of the same thing. They are completely different animals. They have little in common, especially relationally, organizationally, and structurally.”

I used to think you just added more chairs or services and now I realize that growth causes major restructuring in the organization. Most pastors are so focused on the spiritual that we miss the required recalibration to sustain the growth and additional people. Without realizing it, many of us have hamstrung our ministries due to organizational mismanagement. Not on purpose, nor is it sin; its just not the proper structure or governance.

It is amazing that what used to work at 500, now is a barrier at 1,200. This is what I call the danger zone. Things have to change and yet no one really wants them to. We like it how it is. We like the relationships we have fostered and the reporting structure. We like it and we enjoyed watching the growth.

This leads me to a question: Which do you like more – how it is now or the vision God has given you to accomplish? You did not think it was going to be that easy, did you? If we are vision-driven then the goals and the outcome will drive our organization, not necessarily what we like.

Right now, what is holding you back from going to the next level? There is no question that change is a basic requirement. Are you ready?

Just a thought.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris


Leader Development – How Do We Keep It a Priority?

Hey Friends,

Even as a casual reader of this blog, you know I am totally committed to leadership and developing others to reach their leadership potential. Yet, it can easily fall out of a primary position in any organization. Even though I firmly believe everything rises and falls on leadership, radical growth can kill leader development. For the last several years Faith Promise has grown at a rate of 15-20 percent annually. With growth like this it is easy to find yourself living with your hair on fire!

With this kind of growth, hundreds of volunteers, small groups and connection points are required to assimilate God’s harvest of souls. Last year we baptised over 500 people. That is a lot of baby believers to disciple and care for. Let this go on for several years and you tend to drop leader development and just try to keep up with the growth. I know better and it still happened to me!

I am grateful God grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and pointed out my omission. Now it is time to get our hands dirty with raising up ministers and leaders.  Can we really drown in God’s blessings? We have slowed down in growth at our first campus due to space limitations. But I think there are more limitations than just space.

I am convinced that the Lord will only send us the people we can care for. Without knowing it, leadership, volunteers and groups can be the limiters, not just the facilities. Here we are with four campuses and all that is required to keep them running. Time to get back to the fundamentals!

This is not an easy shift for a staff and church that are used to radical growth. I am so excited about the future and the challenges before us. There is “gold in them there pews!” It is time to mine the potential of people who are just sitting in the pews! I believe this is God ordered and He will empower us to accomplish His vision. Your vision can never outdistance your leadership.

How do you see it?

Just thinking out loud.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

P.S. My new book, The Plan of Your Life-Managing What Matters Most, goes on pre-sale this weekend at Faith Promise!


Recent Reads

Hey Friends,

Maybe you have noticed I have not been posting near as many blogs lately. Three months of not feeling good has a way of slowing you down. Most of you know I love to read and grow. Part of my personal growth plan for 2011 is to read 25 books. Thought I would give you some of the latest books that I enjoyed. These are in no particular order of priority.

1. IR-REV-REND. By Greg Surratt. This was a great read. It is funny and devotional in nature. The author is a great man of God and leader in the Kingdom.

2. Onward. By Howard Schultz. This was a great book of passion and leadership in difficult circumstances. I highly recommend it.

3. Leading On Empty. By Wayne Cordellio. This is a must read for leaders in ministry and any leader would gain great value by reading the book. It could save your life or ministry.

4. Presidential Courage. I forgot the author but it was an awesome book. The book deals with difficult decisions in the worse times. These decisions changed our Nation.

5. Whisper. By Bill Hybles. This book covered the topic of hearing God’s voice. It was a pleasure to read and very motivational. Hybles has been where few have dared to trod.

Any of these books could add value to you. If you do not read these, which ones will you read? If you do not read then how will you grow into your full potential? I pray you have a passion for personal growth. At the heart of personal growth is a greater goal of pleasing the  Lord who died for us.

Hope this helps.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

P.S. Keep watching I will give an opportunity to prepurchase my next book “The Plan of Your Life, managing what matters most.” Pray with me that this book grows legs and helps untold numbers of people grow more like Jesus.



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What Lights Your Fire?

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Hey Friends,

The Lord has been speaking to me lately about some areas in which I have been limiting my ministry! I’ll bet the same could be said for every leader reading this blog. Let me explain. Jesus said, “Let it be done according to your faith.” The Scripture also records, “I can do all things…” and, “Nothing is impossible with God…” I am sure you could quote other verses affirming the power that works in each of us.

At our Pellissippi Campus we are just about out of space, or are we? I determined that 500 was the maximum we could run at our Saturday night service. The truth is, we have 1,050 seats. Why did I SELF-LIMIT our potential? As a matter of fact, I did it years ago. I heard it said that 50% was capacity on Saturday night and I just bought it. I also said 300 was our maximum attendance at our 9:00 am Sunday morning service. Why? Because we had struggled at 8:30 and so many people love to sleep in on Sunday mornings. So, I just confessed that 300 was our max, self-limiting our ability to reach more lost people.

In 12 months we will move into 600 additional seats in our Pellissippi Worship Center and have more space for kids and fellowship. So, we can quit and say we can’t grow until we have more room, or we can believe God will maximize all our services. That means we must hit 750 or more on Saturday night. It also means we have to grow the 9:00 am service. Our God is able and we must believe by faith He can do it and He will use us to accomplish His will.

If we get real, it us usually the leader that is the bottleneck to growth or forward momentum. We can’t allow the gospel to be stifled, stopped, or slowed down! God can burst through the barriers that we all face. What barrier is blocking you? Is there an area in your ministry you are self-limiting?

By faith you can win and go to the next level!

Praying for you.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris


Ministry: Asking the Right Questions

Hey Friends,

Yesterday I wrote a blog about asking the right questions to the right people to get the right answers. I gave you 10 questions I have been asking the Lord about my personal growth. Today let me give you some questions I have been asking Him about the public ministry He has me leading:

1. Where or how am I limiting Faith Promise? Everything rises and falls on leadership. At the end of the day, usually the leader is the bottleneck to growth. If you are not where you want to be, start with you as the potential problem.

2. Where am I blinded by my education, experience, or personal paradigms? Let me give you an answer the Lord gave me. I have been limiting our Saturday evening service because I thought 50% was maximum capacity. I heard this at a conference and it made sense. So, I have been self-limiting that service. How?  I said it can’t grow anymore and quit challenging the people on Saturday night. Thank You, Lord, for Your clear direction.

3. What miracle or gift am I blocking that You want to pour out? If we do not believe by faith then we will miss it – like Jesus in His own hometown.

4. Is an incorrect view of You, thinking, or doctrine taking me down a wrong road?

5. Am I insecure or fearful in following any edict You have given me?

6. Ministry is messy and can easily become the monster that must be fed. Am I missing it anywhere?

7. How can there be a shortage of singers, musicians, or worship leaders in Your body?

8. Am I missing the simplicity of the New Testament?

9. Lord, what is right in front of me that I can’t see?

10. Can Your Word truly be lived out in community?

As I lead Faith Promise to where the Lord has called us, I know how easy it is to miss it! I don’t want to work on the wall only to find out the ladder was leaning on the wrong wall. I don’t mean I doubt Jesus or His Word. I mean we are all prone to miss where He is leading. It is easy to get blinded by your past, success, education, experience, and a host of other things floating around in our heads.

Asking the Lord the right questions and waiting for His direction and discernment are key in walking His path for us.


Pastor Chris


A Passion to Grow?

Hey Friends,

Yesterday, I fired off my first meeting with a new coaching network I established. The goal is to add value to leaders and help people reach their full potential. That is a passion of my heart. I believe it is a biblical mandate. As a pastor of a great church, it is my job to help people be ready for the Judgment Seat of Christ.

There are five in my first group and those guys are hungry! Nothing better than being with people that are hungry to grow.

Hungry people are willing to do what it takes to go to the next level. If you are not hungry then you probably don’t do the work required to change and go the next level – to break through barriers every leader must assault to continue to grow and not become stagnant. How hungry are you? What are you willing to do to grow? What barriers are you facing that must be dealt with?

There are three times when people are willing to change:

  • They learn enough they want to.
  • They hurt enough they have to.
  • They love enough they are willing to.

Halfway through the day I asked @Chuckcarringer to come in and talk to the group. Pastor Chuck is an awesome leader and encourager. As he affirmed the group, he made some statements that caught my attention. He praised the group because they were of the 2 or 3% of people who actually wanted to grow. They proved it by setting aside the time and the money required to go to the next level. You could feel the level of the room rise through the encouragement he  provided.

Chuck said something more important next: “It is great you are a part of the 2 or 3%, but I want to encourage you to be the 1% that actually does the hard work of transformation.” As he spoke I wondered, “Am I still willing to change and do the hard work required to break barriers and become all God has placed in me?” This is a question we all need to address from time to time. Complacency is a fierce enemy to growth and forward momentum.

Where are you on the scale:

Complacent          1          2         3        4         5          6          7          8        9          10              

Hungry                  1          2         3        4         5          6          7          8        9          10    

Your truthful answer matters more than you know!

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

P.S. Chuck Carringer is available for Executive Coaching.  A great leader’s leader to follow and read. Check out his website. This guy makes me better!


Your Preferred Future

Hey Friends,

I have mentioned a few times in the last few weeks how great Wayne Cordeiro’s book, Leading On Empty, really is. Let me give you a quote from the book: “Commitments to a preferred future do not come randomly. They are intentionally established at times when you are thinking clearly and are close to God.” I love this thought. What is your preferred future? What commitments have you made to get to it?

This question will require some serious contemplation and consideration, that is if you want to walk intentionally into the future God has planned for you. In the book of Nehemiah the people came together and wrote down their preferred future. They committed to walking with the Lord in holiness and purity. They made a clear choice about the future of their nation when they were in a good spot with God. As a matter of fact, they wrote down what they perceived to be their preferred future in Chapter 10 in the book bearing his name.

Never make a major decision when you are at a low spot spiritually or emotionally. Hab. 2:2 says, “Write down the vision and make it plain…” You have to know where you are going to know how to get there. If you have a clear vision written down you can stay the course even when adverse winds blow, and they will blow. To write it down will help you chart and navigate the course. Very few people have their preferred future written down. Where do you want to be in 5 years or 10 years? What are the most important things to you? Your marriage? Your ministry? Your family?

If you do not set your priorities, someone else will. What are the things only you can do? No one can love my wife for me, so that is a high priority for me. You get the picture. What is your preferred future? Get headed in the right direction.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris



A Very Proud Papa Pastor


Hey Friends,

We had a first at Faith Promise this past weekend. My youngest son, Zac, preached the weekend message. It was amazing. If you missed it I would challenge you to go to our FPC website and watch it.  It will change your life. It was a great weekend to mentor him and help him past his first time in the “Big Room.” He freaked out all weekend.

At first he doubted the Word the Lord had given him. We all did when we first started out! At Faith Promise we are committed to raise up the next generation of leaders in the Kingdom of God. Zac prayed and worked on the message for quite a long time. When it came time for the Saturday night service he experienced a baptism by fire. Not only was he scared to death, but the power went off halfway through the message. That is a serious curve ball for a rookie. As the room went black he told the congregation to remain seated and he would finish in the dark. That is exactly what he did.

I was very impressed and so was the rest of  the church family. You could have heard a pin drop. The power of God was in the room and everyone wanted to hear what the Lord had for us. Zac preached the message again four times on Sunday morning. God moved in a powerful way. God truly is raising up what could be the last generation of leaders in the Church, as Jesus could come soon.

The only way to raise up the next generation is to make room for them. They will make mistakes just like we did. Are you making room for the next generation of young adults? Every Paul needs to have a Timothy. Who is yours?

Just a thought.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris