This week I had the privilege of spending time up north with twenty five of our top staff leaders. Every spring we carve out three or four days to be together for the sake of leading the church better. We spend time listening to God and intentionally stop “doing” so that we can think clearly about what it is we are doing. Together we critique and evaluate where we sense we are as a church, and we prayerfully determine where we believe God desires to lead us. From this time together, we all calibrate our leadership and come home dedicated to go work hard toward what God has impressed upon us. It is simply a wonderful time of being together with great leaders. But there is more to it.
Another purpose of our time together is to sharpen our leadership skills. You don’t often think of leading as a skill, but I believe this is exactly what it is. We tend to think that leaders just “have it,” and probably were just “born with it.” While this might be true for some, I believe many leaders have become great simply because they were determined and dedicated to learn how to lead, and then continually committed themselves to learning to lead even better. These folks saw the tremendous difference good leadership made in someone else’s life and then decided they wanted this for their own life as well. Many have come to understand that when they lead themselves well, God uses them to lead others also. It’s just how it works.
Why work so hard learning to lead better? Let me ask you a simple question. If you have to chop down a tree, which would you prefer to get the job done? A sharp axe or a dull axe? It’s not exactly tough, is it? Learning to lead is what “sets an edge” on your life. It’s a bit of work, and you have to stop leading (chopping away) long enough to sharpen your axe, but it’s time extremely well spent. And once you get a sharp edge, it’s best to remember that it’s never permanent. After working with your axe for a while, you’ll need to repeat the process. Leadership edges are never permanent. They must be re-honed! Again and again. Year in and year out.
So, to make us as a staff better leaders right now, we are currently spending time thinking and discussing our way through Bill Hybels book Axioms. This is a great book chock full of leadership principles. It’s a perfect “stone” to grind our axes on.
Why am I telling you all of this? To ask you to think through these questions: What are you doing to learn to lead better? What’s giving you an edge? What’s sharpening you?
In just a few months we will once again have the privilege of hosting the Global Leadership Summit on our Mesa Campus. This is a premier leadership training event that is broadcast around the world from Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, the church Bill Hybels pastors. At Central, we have participated in the Summit for the last fifteen or so years. In my opinion, it is the “go to” event for all of us in the church to become better leaders! And not only do we get better every year (personally and corporately), the event itself gets better every year.
Why not determine now to make an investment in your spiritual life, your personal life, your family’s life, and your professional life by committing to attend this with us? How can one event make such a difference? When you learn to lead better… everyone wins!
Listed below are some of the most relevant details of this year’s Summit. Hope you’ll take your leadership development seriously enough to join us! Who wants to swing a dull axe?
The Global Leadership Summit
August 14-15, 2014
Next weekend, May 17-18, there will be a church wide emphasis on registering for the Summit. Because we are a host site, we get a tremendous discount! During next weekend only, you can sign up for the cheapest possible rate ($69—and if you sign up then you will also get a Summit pack as a bonus!). After this, the cost will be $79, until July 15th, and after that it goes up to $109. Anyone confused as to when the best time to sign up is?
Looking forward to sharpening our axes together!