Relevance Conference (Eagle Brook) - Session Three

“Recapture Your Courage” - Bob Merritt

  • Leaders battle fear and insecurities, as does everyone on the planet.
  • “I have battled fear and insecurity all my life. And reaching goals doesn’t free me of fear. It only means the expectations are now higher.”
  • The difference isn’t fear but the willingness to jump.
  • Source of Fear: People. Abraham afraid of Egyptian officials. Elijah afraid of Jezebel. Peter afraid of servant girl. David afraid of Saul.
  • Hire staff very carefully.
  • “Churches attract a lot of weirdos. I’m not talking about the hurting... I'm talking about people who are just nutty and no amount of prayer will change them. ...They’re omnipresent... They’ll pull you off mission.” Have to set boundaries to survive them.
  • Some people think their purpose in life is to straighten you out.
  • Source of Fear: The demands of this job. The expectation for excellence keeps going up  (not mean perfection).
  • We’re competing with home entertainment centers, kids sports, cabins, golf... Weekend services have to be excellent.
  • All other ministries take their cue form the worship service.
  • Two or three mediocre weekends in a row can take weeks to overcome so invitors feel comfortable again.
  • Areas for immediate improvement: (1) Lengthy or awkward transitions...musicians rehearse transitions; (2) Announcements: long, boring announcements will kill a service...can’t have nervous or choppy announcements...written out, rehearsed and never more than three minutes or three in total...announcer has to make a warm connection with the congregation; (3) Music: Do whatever it takes to get the right people...put people on the stage for the benefit of the people out there, not the person on the stage; (4) Message: Very few people decide to follow Christ and get life transformed through the music, it happens through proclamation of the word
  • Making messages better: (1) Make prep first priority of the week; (2) Involve your team - ask for input; (3) Insist on story and humor every week - people love to laugh; (4) Labor over every phrase; (5) Read constantly; (6) Share the teaching load.
  • Sweat the details. If senior leaders don’t hold the line on excellence, it has a trickle down effect.
  • Start with what’s broken and needs attention. What’s a dysfunction or barrier?
  • Value incremental change. Nothing good happen overnight. No major breakthroughs or silver bullets. There is no one great program. It’s the small things every day that leads to the big things.