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Embarking Blog

...on the journey towards restoration of all things

Bill Hybels: Leading in a New Reality #TLS09

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These are some of my notes from the first session of the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. We are in a new reality, and we may never return to the old normal.

  • We are in ferocious conditions.
  • I’m not sure we’re going to see the old leadership environment ever again.
  • This is why I gave you a leadership gift.  You were born for this.
  • Jim Collins, inc. Magazine article quote: "We are now, I think, having to adjust to dealing with a world that is going to be ferocious. We don't have any practice with that. People like me who grew up in the postwar period are not practiced at the volatilities, the turbulence, the uncertainties of the world that will probably define the second half of my life."

Rogue Waves cause unusual and unexpected turbulence.

4 Decisions and Lessons in this New Reality

  • Philosophical Decision/ Lesson: we were going to meet needs no matter how long it took -- philosophical decision
  • Financial Lesson/ Economic Decision/ Lesson: we are still going to be the church to the world, to be the hope of God to the world.
  • Relational Decision/ Lesson: we are going to be around people who are passionate and sold out to God’s mission and Kingdom.
  • Personal Decision/ Lesson: Find new strategies to

Philosophical Decision/ Lesson: we were going to meet needs no matter how long it took -- philosophical decision

  • "I don’t think anyone is coming to church for a God buzz these days anymore."
  • "Advocate for the powerless and hold the powerful accountable."
  • "Living out the first century dream in the twenty first century."
  • "Everyone grows closer to Christ when the church makes a commitment to be the church."
  • "There is nothing like the local church when the local church is working right."

Financial Lesson/ Economic Decision/ Lesson: we are still going to be the church to the world, to be the hope of God to the world.

Keep Cash Reserves:  Did I hear right?  Does Willow have 25% of regular revenues in cash reserves?

Some good clarification questions:

  • If we went into crisis and lost 50% of our income, what would we stop doing (bucket C)?
  • If we went into crisis and lost 70% of our income, what would we stop doing (bucket B)?
  • What will we never stop doing (bucket A)?

When doing staff reduction:

  • Give people lost of notice of what is going to happen.
  • What are the reasons.  Be brutally clear and don’t mix messages.
  • Be generous (with severances, with services, etc.)

Revenue:

    Willow is dividing up the revenue pie in the following way:

    • 50% to staff costs.
    • 10% to give away
    • 10% to winds of the Spirit
    • 15% to ministry budget
    • 15% to facilities

    "During an economic downturn, people still give to a white-hot Kingdom vision."

    Relational Decision/ Lesson: we are going to be around people who are passionate and sold out to God’s mission and Kingdom.

      • We want to see God do something great during our times.
      • Habakuk 2:3 - "LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.  Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy."
      • How did God get great things done throughout history?  God usually does great work through history through people who are totally yielded to him.
      • 2 Chronicles 16:9 - "For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war."

      Key questions regarding the relational element:  Exercise repeated every 6 months

      • How many absolute key-seat positions are there in our organization?
      • What percentage of those key seats are filled with the right people (fully yielded, fired-up, and gifted)
      • What is our plan for filling the rest of those key seats with the right people.
      • Are we developing back up people for each of the key seats in case someone leaves?

      Personal Decision/ Lesson: We need to re-invent our (personal) replenishment strategy for the new reality.

      We all have a personal bucket.  At the top of the bucket is Romans 8:6 - "The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace, the place of life and peace."

      Rogue waves tend to push us down to lower levels.

      From Bill’s Journal:  The Spirit whispered, "I’m a little worried about you."  "The pace at which I’m doing God’s work is killing God’s work in me."

      • Let go of the routines that worked in the past.
      • Rogue waves push us down to lower levels in the bucket
      We need to have a "Planned negligence strategy"

      "When ever you are leading an organization, rogue wave situations...the best thing you bring to the table every day is a filled up bucket."

      "Rogue seas draw something out of us that calm seas never will."


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