Category Archive: Listening

Wrong Assumptions Can Kill You


Hey Friends,

If you are like me in any way you have, and continue to make, wrong assumptions. When we lead, minister, or serve with wrong assumptions we can get the wrong results. I spent all day Wednesday with a great leader and consultant, Dan Novak. He has a PhD in leadership and is a great man of God. He added much value to me and Faith Promise. We have used him several times at Faith Promise and he always helps us. I can recommend him without reservation.

Before he spent the day with me he interviewed two focus groups made up of staff members. I didn’t know he was going to do that but it proved invaluable. As Dan unpacked how some of the staff viewed things I was surprised. I was surprised because I thought everyone understood my heart as the leader. Wrong assumption! This is not their fault, but mine.

I know what’s going on in my head but no one else does. After 28 years of marriage you would think I would have learned this lesson by now! Not a smart man. Dan pointed out some things I know to do, but need to improve on.

Things like:

  • Listening WELL! This is a gift and an art and I’m not great at it.
  • Sharing with people how I arrive at decisions. This shows my heart and trains new leaders at the same time.
  • Making sure everyone FEELS heard in a decision.
  • Being present when you’re present.
  • Not forgetting as senior leader my voice counts more than I realize! Being careful of hallway conversations and quickly being negative about an idea or question.
  • The expert can be wrong. I can crush creativity and young leaders by quickly telling them an idea will not work…
  • As a leader gets older he or she (Me) thinks they can quit filtering what they say with kindness. Being older is not a license to be ugly.

We all judge ourselves by our intentions and everyone else judges us by our actions. They can be very different.

Lest you think the day was negative, it was not. We talked strategy, vision, process and many other things. This list above shows areas I need to work on. I asked Dan in to discuss the overall health of Faith Promise. He said of all the organizations he has worked with, we are at the top in health. As the lead shepherd it is my job to make sure the Church and its leadership are healthy.

I asked Dan if the staff could be healthy and the membership not be healthy. He said that was not very possible. We will set a date for next year and see if our great health has improved. The healthier we are the stronger the Body will be.

The thought for the day is: Let people see your heart.

Love you and I pray you know it.

Pastor Chris


Why Don’t Leaders Listen?

Hey Friends,

Why don’t leaders listen? Let’s start with another question: do you think leaders listen well? I know for me, the longer I lead the less I listen. This is a huge hole for leaders because listening makes our  jobs much easier. The longer you lead, and the more responsibility you have, and the more people that follow you, the easier it is to stop listening and just delegate and give orders.

The problem is, others love the church or organization just as much as I do and have great ideas for it. The organization you lead will be better off if you listen to those around you. If you have all the ideas, the organization will reflect your weaknesses and blind spots.

If you listen to those around you it will create trust in the followers. People want to be heard. You don’t have to always use their ideas but you validate them by listening. This is huge and is a must for a healthy organization.

When I listen to those around me it can stop problems in their tracks. If you have developed a good team then they will see the problems you miss. Listening to them can save you time, money and headaches.

I say I love to learn and listening is one of the best ways to learn. Everyone knows something I don’t, therefore everyone can be my teacher. Listening will help us become the best possible leaders we can grow to be.

Listening helps to create community! If you really want to enjoy the team you are working with, then listen to each other. The others will feel valued and give their best and you will become more than just a team. You will become friends making a difference in the world.

Just a thought – maybe I’m the only one who needs this post!


Pastor Chris


2009 – Almost Gone!

Hey Friends,

The year 2009 is almost history! For some of you that is good news because this wasn’t your best year. For others, ’09 was great. No matter what camp you are in, it is quickly coming to a close. I want  to challenge us all to get ready for what God has planned in 2010. This is going to require us to listen and to focus. Both of these two disciplines are growing obsolete.

Since we live in the land of multi-tasking, we have lost the ability to focus. It is hard to hear the Voice of God when we are checking our e-mails, texts, and tweets during devotions. We have lost the ability to hear the “still small Voice of God.” During the next few days, spend some time listening so you know His plan for the new decade.

Listening can be a problem since we find it hard to unplug. I want to challenge you to “cut off the stuff!”  And you know what it is! Maybe it’s this blog, tweets, texts, e-mails and the like. The only way to real intimacy is for you to unplug. Jesus did it. No, He did not have an Internet connection, but He was wired into His Heavenly Father. Intimacy involves unplugging. Will you?

As you listen over these last few days of this year, write down your thoughts and plans for the new year and decade. Write down your spiritual growth plan. I would also challenge you to help your family develop a plan for the year.

This is the time to get with God. I believe He is waiting to hear from you.

Stop! Slow down! Be still!


Your Pastor