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Execution-Part 3; Leadership Behavior

One of the essentials to seeing execution occur in the church is seeing where it all begins.  This begins to be where some corporate books step away from the place where churches are called to begin.

What is the beginning point for the church?  Prayer.  Simple enough.  The Bible speaks clearly of how there is a way that seems right to us, but in the end it leads to death.  If we take this verse in the context of making plans without the Lord's approval or desires being sought of first, we are truly leading a people to a place of death.  Seeking and knowing God's will has to be a first move for any church when seeking to execute a strategy to reach people.  Think of how many churches have executed and seen continued execution when they began with an attitude of prayer.  My father in law who has seen some amazing things executed at his church, has led the church to be in prayer before any major decision.  It's critical for any movement to occur.

The next critical step though is how leaders behave.  This is where we can see some crossover principles exist again from Bossidy's points to the church organization.  There is an old phrase of how followers take on the persona of their leader.  This is true in the church as well as people are generally drawn to the leader and they will eventually find themselves taking on his persona in how they approach life situations.  For a church body to be an executing church body there are some behaviors that need to be exhibited from a leadership standpoint to help guide the process along.

1. Know your people and your business.  In Bossidy's book he calls for leaders to live their business.  This becomes the call for leaders to not be distant from the people that are in their businesses and to know their strengths and weaknesses.  How true this is in the church as well?  I heard one time a pastor preach about how the one characteristic that a pastor should be known for is smelling like the sheep.  Spend enough time around the sheep that you smell like them.  I have seen before pastors that have been burned before from building relationships and in this day there is always the changing landscape of where pastors serve; however; it is vital to serve from relationships and to know the body of Christ.  This will help in the end to know the church's strengths and weaknesses and how they can be applied when a new strategy is to be implemented.

2. Insist on realism.  Do not take it upon yourself to shade the realism of where the church really is living.  If all we are hearing is how there are churches that are in decline around us, have you ever thought how many of those churches know it.  I have sat in pastors conferences before and heard the pastors say one after another how it was a good day in the church.  Then in closed doors, they are struggling.  The question is how many are seeking to see the realism of where their church is.  You will not be able to properly execute if you are living in a false reality.

3. Set clear goals and priorities. I underlined this phrase in Bossidy's book: "Without carefully thought-out and clear priorities, people can get bogged down in warfare over how gets what and why..."  I thought that was interesting in that the struggle even in the corporate world over warfare happens when expectations are not clear.  For a church to execute its time to not get caught in the warfare of vagueness over who is to do what and why they are doing it.  Be clear and concise.  If that means communicating here is why we make disciples, then make it as clear as possible.  Take your time and be consistent in your message for what you are seeking to achiever.

4. Follow through.  How many times have we agreed that change is necessary in the church in order to reach the next generation or our surrounding context and yet when it comes to actually following through with our ideas, they become lost in the shuffle.  This is when we have to realistically address obstacles, make sure our plans are complete, and work the plans out.  Once again how we follow through is the difference between our church being an executing church or not.

5. Reward the doers.  Even though this is a corporate term used to give bonuses to those that actually execute, I think there is a principle to learn here.  How you celebrate your execution is key.  Be always ready to build people up that are serving.  Paul was a great example of constant encouragement, to many that he knew were not going to receive any material rewards.  His words of encouragement spoke volumes to those people and encouraged them to find the next task to accomplish for the kingdom of the Lord.  How quick we are to criticize when a simple word of encouragement may go further.  People want to know that they can execute and that you celebrate when they execute.  Be ready to offer these words as leaders.

6. Coach.  Coaching is one of the best ways to pass information on from one generation of leaders to the next. The reality is that for your church to be an executing church, this is not to be taught only for the adult leaders in the church, but it should be a part of a church's entire DNA.  Finding ways to show your children and even the next generation of adult leaders how to execute will keep them focused and will help them to see they have a responsibility in execution as well.  As Bossidy's book says about coaching:  "It's the difference between giving orders and teaching people how to get things done."  I can tell my daughter every day how to clean her room, but unless I am willing to go and coach her in how to do it, she will never learn properly.  This is why the Scripture in Titus is so valuable of the older teaching the younger, in that they are coaching them how to execute the Christian life in the body of Christ.

7. Know yourself.  This has been a philosophical phrase used before, but it relates once again to a critical key in leadership behavior.  Just as you are called to know your people's strengths and weaknesses, it begins with knowing your own strengths and weaknesses.  How God has gifted you for this time to be a person of execution is critical.  We are called to be leaders of character and Christlikeness.  We are called to put off the former things of the world and to put on righteousness, faith, love, and peace.  The reality is that how much you understand your identity in Christ is how much you will see an attitude of execution pervade your life.  God has a great work to accomplish in our own lives, not just in his church.  He wants to use each one of us to execute His will for His glory.  As Bossidy says about knowing yourself; "such learning is not an intellectual exercise.  It requires tenacity, persistence, and daily engagement.  To be a leader of execution is not for a season, it is truly a daily engagement with God in His Word and in prayer.

Do you notice how our beginning point was prayer and now our ending point is prayer?  

My prayer for you as you are seeking to lead execution is to be first and foremost a leader of prayer.  As people see this in our lives, then they will know that we are serious about living out the truth of God's Word in our lives!

God bless and go execute for His glory!


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