ReThink Leadership Thursday Notes

These are notes from ReThink Leadership on Thursday (4/28) in Atlanta, Georgia.  There were a variety of speakers from different ministries and organizations.  Here are my notes.

Morning Session:

Heather Larson:

  • At Willow Creek there is an Executive Team, a Leadership Team, and then the Lead Pastors
  • 1.5 hours every week with Executive Team, then Leadership Team, then Lead Pastors
  • How do you Lead Up:
    • No Surprises – no leader wants to be surprised.
    • Know your Passion areas – Know the passion areas of those above you and those who are below you need to know your passion areas
  • How do you Lead Across?
    • You need understand what the common goal and what is the personal goals of those sitting around the table and how we personally support that
  • How do you Lead Down?
    • Influence matters far more than position
  • What someone grows up is very different than what someone can walk into. Succession process – not looking for 1 person.   Create an environment
  • The very best leader I can be is the one God created me to be.
  • Lead Well, Love Well – every single day we need movement but I want to love people as we move
  • Collaboration: We are better working together than as individuals.
  • No one wants to work with a “YES” person. People are looking for peers. You have to show up and bring your perspective and talents to the organization as an Executive Pastor.

Jimmy Mellado

  • The most important thing you can bring to any team is your soul!
  • Implications of a weak soul are devastating. A powerful soul are magnetic.
  • Do people want to be around you for the quality of your soul?
  • Various dimensions of your soul:
    • Spirit – this is what makes you most uniquely you
    • Minds – our thoughts and feelings. It is where the patterns of thoughts get ingrained in our lives
    • Body
    • Relationship
  • The soul glues all these dimensions together.   When a soul is working right…it radiates.
  • When sin enters it it disrupts the dimensions and it causes our lives to fall apart.
  • Lead yourself before you lead your team.

Jeff Henderson:

  • You have ministers at your church who are doing ministry, they just don’t work at a church.

Cheryl Bachelder (CEO, Popeyes)

  • Convictions at Popeyes:
  • At Popeyes: Dare, Serve, Perform
  • How do you measure the impact of your leadership?
  • How do you think about the people you lead?
  • Where are you taking the people that are entrusted to you?
  • Why do we lead?
  • He discovered that I could have an impact with what I did. – Chris, the hairdresser. He knows why he came to work.
  • What are the convictions you have about leadership that are evident in your role.
    • We choose to lead people to a daring destination.
    • We choose to love the people we lead – that is when business results began to change.
    • We had to deliver results
  • Create the environment for the team to be performing at their very best
  • Alignment is a powerful thing
  • Believe in the Big idea and see it through even thought it may be tough at first.
  • Trust is the foundation for anything. Trust can be a competitive advantage.


leadershipAfternoon Sessions:

Brad Lomenick

  • The loads and burdens of leadership can start to decay us.

Jeff Henderson

  • You’ll hear:
  • How do you do this? You invite them into the conversation by asking, “what it’s like to be on the other side of me?”
  • Health. Being emotionally healthy. If you are emotionally it will create a climate of emotional health.
  • The Leadership of fear has been talked about the most. There are leadership books that say leaders should lead out of fear. If you lead out of fear, you are abusing the leadership role.
  • What is your emotional climate and how you find out what that is.
  • Climate Change – when it comes to climate…climate dictates the forecast – this is especially true of leaders. The climate of a leader dictates the forecast of where the team and the leader is going
    • Really encouraging information
    • Surprising info – you’ll learn things about yourself that you never knew
    • They are going to hurt your feelings
  • If you don’t ask this question you forfiet the ability to get better as a leader.
    • Ask to a spouce or family member
    • Staff person
    • A friend who knows you but may not see you regularly
  • After you ask them this question, just listen. Don’t respond or defend. Simply say “thank you”. Then, go before God and ask Him what he thinks.
  • As you begin to show the leadership courage to ask this question, your team is going to ask this question as well. And, if you ask this on a consistent basis you won’t have to ask it much longer because they will tell you.

Pete Wilson

  • What is most important to you?
  • My ministry boils down to what’s important to you. Winning people for Jesus or not looking like an idiot?
  • So much of his ministry have been driven by fear of failure. What is most important to you in your ministry?
  • What stings much more than failure is regret. We won’t remember the failures but we will remember the regrets.
  • What is driving your decisions? What is driving your leadership? Are you more concerned about helping others come to know Jesus or more concerned about not looking like an idiot.

Carey Nieuwhof

  • How is it going, really?
    • Spiritually
    • Emotionally
    • Relationally
    • Physically
    • Financially
  • You can be the smartest guy in the room but if you burn out and flounder in these areas it’s game over. God’s going to build his church but don’t forfeit your role in the story.
  • Are you living in a way today that will help you thrive tomorrow?
  • Ministry is a series of ungrieved losses and life is a series of ungrieved losses.
  • Ministry was not going to get back to normal…there had to be a new normal.
  • Faced with significant disappoints in life and leadership, leaders often embrace on of four options:
    • Quit – majority of people who start in ministry don’t finish in ministry.
    • Fail – fail morally
    • Stay – you just stay…you’re not better so you cruise on autopilot. The church suffers, everyone suffers.
    • Thrive – Leaders who thrive see life for what it actually is but keep their hearts fully engaged
  • This means just because it didn’t work out doesn’t mean I can’t trust, hope or believe again.

Were you at ReThink Leadership on Thursday? What stood out to you? Share below or on social media using #rl16 and #ymsidekick in your tweets.

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Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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