Archive for the ‘church leadership’ Category

mancini_church_unique_3Summary: Church Unique by Will Mancini is a comprehensive book on creating a mission oriented church that clearly understands where it is going and how it is creating a unique impression that only it can offer.  Mancini has crafted a process for looking deep into the nuts and bolts of mission, vision, values and communication and making that real in the church.


In a world of cookie cutter models of church that invite us to follow the next guy, just because it’s working over there, Church Unique offers a process for church leaders that carries them through a unique path to creating God’s unique expression for each church.  For this reason alone, every church pastor should pick up and read this book.  It is a clarion call to discover the harder path that allow each church to resonate in a distinct way.

The book is broken up into four sections that all deal with vision: Recasting Vision, Clarifying Vision, Articulating Vision, and Advancing Vision.  Each section offers a detailed understanding of Mancini’s process for creating this unique expression.  My favorite section was Mancini’s concept of “Thinkholes”.  This section alone was worth the price of the book (my copy was a gift by Auxano but I wanted to read it).

Mancini offers a quote that resonated with me for days and one of the central reasons for discovering the Unique DNA of each church.  He says,

“The dramatic irony is that what happens at the conference is the exact opposite of what propelled the host church to be effective in the first place.  Each of these leaders endured a process of self-understanding and original thinking that helped in articulating a stunningly unique model of ministry.”

That is brilliant my friends.  It is essentially the trial and error process, hard work, and resolve around a unique expression imparted by God that makes churches grow.  And those leaders/pastors willing to take that risk usually end up on the stage.

The rest of the book identifies Auxano’s process for helping churches discover their own Unique expression.  These include: Discovering your kingdom concept, Developing your vision frame, and delivering your vision daily.

Mancini’s process is dense and would obviously benefit from Auxano’s help through the process.  I have a background in marketing, communications and business in Silicon Valley and I found I had to set the book down at times to chew on what was said.

There will be those who would easily bash the book for it’s emphasis on the business structure it proposes.  But I would suggest that any church needs to understand it’s own unique expression, the vision and mission it wishes to follow and how to communicate that effectively.  Mancini offers a “unique” process for discovering that.


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Posted an interesting article that I posted over at Emergent Village. It’s called “Pastor Abandons His Church.”  Love to get your thought on it over there.

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Just a reminder that the Leadership Synchroblog is coming this Tuesday to coincide with the Presidential election.  Send me your links by Monday night if possible.


From Previous Post:

This November 4th marks a profound opportunity in American history regardless of who takes office to the Presidency. And this focus on leadership got me thinking. What if we got together and had a Synchroblog on leadership. There’s already a group on board but I wanted to open this up and ask if anyone else wanted to participate. If you are interested let me know.

The focus is not on the Presidency but on leadership. This is your opportunity to speak to those who lead and let them know what you are looking for. The context can be in politics, family, the church or to any leader you want.

Please join us. Leave your name in the comments and I’ll add you to the list. The post will be due on November 4th and will include a list of those participating.

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ES: What was the main reason they determined church was no longer an essential part of their life?

TR: Basically the issue was that most churches were low-expectation churches. The leadership did not challenge the members nor expect the members to be a vital part of the congregation. That’s why the dropout rate was so high between the ages of 18 and 22. Once young adults start making many of their own decisions, they saw the local church as an optional and, often, nonessential activity.

From Ed Stetzer’s interview with Sam and Thom Rainer who have written a new book called Essential Church.

The whole interview is fascinating. Especially when they say that people are looking for pastors to turn UP the expectations.  All I can say is, “Doooooooohh!”

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I wrote a blog post over at Thrive.  Here’s an excerpt.


At Thrive, we encourage what we call, “open hand leadership”.  It is the idea that we are stewards of what God has given us, but at any moment we may be called to surrender a part or a whole of what has been given.  In many ways this has been liberating.  There is something infinitely more rewarding that comes from nurturing and stewarding something as opposed to trying to control it.  But recently I had an experience that reminded me that this practice must continually be revisited.

A couple of weeks ago, my tribe went on our Q7 retreat.  The week leading up to the retreat we participated in an exercise designed to speak wholeness into our lives.  It was simply spending 30 minutes listening to how Jesus saw me. And during this exercise I asked him what I was being called to do.  With my eyes closed, the only image I was given was of my hands.  That’s it.  Nothing more.

Read more here.

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C Michael Patton likes to come up with several charts. They discuss the decided differences of theology and approach to orthodoxy and truth, some around the emerging church.  I get that.  It’s a framework for understanding.  I have nothing against chart, or against what Patton has done.  They are simply his view of the world.

But I still want to know where Jesus is on this chart.  Which category is he under? That’s where I want to live.  I don’t really want to follow John McArthur, Don Carson, Don Miller, NT Wright, Dan Kimball, Erwin McManus or Doug Pagitt. I want to follow Jesus.  I may learn from each of these people, but I want to learn how they are reinforcing what Jesus taught, not what they think.

What if the problem is that we define categories based on flawed human beings and not Jesus.  Everyone of these people think they are right.  Maybe the problem isn’t that each is wrong but that we aren’t sure if we’re right.

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I’ve always wondered why the church doesn’t teach the priesthood of all believers. (1 Peter 2:9)  And then I saw this cartoon. (ht) It says so much in four little panels.  And it begs the question inherent in theology that we get it wrong sometimes, which has a label called heresy.  Heresy is big for some people.  But is heresy really the problem?

So I’m gonna ask a question.  What if the problem of theology is not that we’re getting it wrong, which is an inevitability for broken people, but that you are different from me?  And I don’t really need to get it right.  I just need you to agree with my version of it.

And if I empower you to be a priest, to trust in the Spirit’s capacity to speak to you, to be who you are designed to be in Christ, then you may say something I don’t agree with.  And then I will have empowered you to disagree with me, which means that I’ve somewhat approved it.

Again, just thinking out loud.

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