Joshua Gagnon

thoughts on Jesus, leadership, and the Church.

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Ep 034: The 7 E's That Eliminate Leaders, Part 1

Welcome to Episode 34 of the Joshua Gagnon Leadership Podcast!

On this episode of the podcast, we will be hearing from Pastor Josh as he describes 3 of the 7 E’s that can eliminate leaders. Part two of this episode will be released for episode 35, which will feature the next 4 E’s. If you can correctly guess the next 4 E’s that eliminate leaders, we will send you a $100 gift card! Send your guesses to info@joshuagagnon.com along with your name and contact info. Good luck!

7 E’s That Eliminate Leaders:

1. Envy. King Saul was envious of David. It can be easy to become envious to those who seem more successful than you. Social media has the capacity to fuel envy. Whenever you become envious of others, you forget how blessed you are.

2. Ego. It was through pride that Lucifer became Satan. Ego delights in admiration, but has a hard time taking direction and correction. Ego sees teachability as a weakness, correction as rebuke, and someone else’s success as its demise. Learn to “bow your head” so that God can be the only one to lift it.

3. Entitlement. Martha felt entitled to Mary helping her. When you feel entitled to something, the less likely you’ll work for it. Entitlement forces you to resent whatever is keeping you from the thing you feel entitled to have. The moment we stop being thankful for what God has given us, the more we will feel entitled to those things.

Quotes From This Episode:

“The more I focus on what other people want me to be, the less I focus on what God wants me to be.” - Josh Gagnon

“Any church can grow big on the talents of many, but no church can sustain growth outside of Jesus being its foundation.” - Josh Gagnon

“Your talent can only take you as far as your character can sustain you.” - Josh Gagnon

“Envy never gets us what we want, envy always blinds us to what it is we have.” - Josh Gagnon

“Ego delights in admiration and it resents correction.” - Josh Gagnon

“Ego sees teachability as weakness.” - Josh Gagnon

“God can’t lift a head that isn’t bowed.” - Josh Gagnon

“A physical response to a spiritual matter brings meaning to the moment.” - Josh Gagnon

“If you find your identity in what you do, you will be prideful around it.” - Josh Gagnon

“Entitlement changes your focus from ‘I’ll work for it’ to ‘I deserve it.’” - Josh Gagnon

“Gratitude ends where entitlement begins.” - Josh Gagnon

“It’s hard to find contentment in moving targets.” - Josh Gagnon

Look out for part two of the 7 E’s That Eliminate Leaders!

Influence over authority

There have been tons of conversations about casting a compelling vision throughout the church, business, and leadership worlds - and rightfully so. Vision can inspire. Vision can unite. Vision helps us define wins and vision can can point people in the right direction.

Because I know vision is so important, early on at NLC all I did was try to attach people’s hearts to the vision and, often, it worked. People would hear me cast the vision, become inspired, and get on board, but it seemed like over time many would go missing. I would become so frustrated, asking myself, "How could they be so into NLC and our vision and just leave?" Have you ever asked that? Have you ever wondered to yourself: "They seemed all in, so how could they have left?"

It took me time to learn this, but I discovered the answer... People are inspired by a vision, but influenced by a person. People want to believe in their leader more than they want to believe in the vision their leader is casting. I’ve seen several leaders who stunk at casting vision but have people under their leadership that would run through brick walls for them. Why? They believe in the leader. They have been influenced by the person leading them. Think about your past... What job were you most committed to? I’d be willing to bet the job that you were most committed to also had the boss you were most positively influenced by. 

If you want those you lead to be more committed to the vision you're casting, they need to first become more committed to you.

In the church world, the equation for true commitment is:
God + Vision = I’m leaving to find a new leader.

Fortunately, there is another formula that also applies:
God + Leader + Vision = ALL IN.

Be a leader who is worthy of influence and you will naturally get commitment from those you are leading.

Orange Conference 2015 Breakout Notes

#OC15 - Josh Gagnon Breakout Outline - Senior Leader Track

4.5 ministry myths that may be holding you back in leadership...

Myth #1 -  “We don’t have enough ___________” (time, resources, staff, equipment, creativity, talent, experience, backing)

  • Your focus will determine your influence.
  • Limitations inspire innovation.
  • Excellence isn't doing it the best, excellence is doing the best with what you have.
  • What if your staff talked more about what you do have than what you don’t have?
  • You have all you need… "right now"

WHAT IS IT YOU FEEL LIKE YOU DON’T HAVE? What excuses have you been making? What excuses are you allowing your team make? Have you become comfortable blaming where you're at as a church on what you don't have as a leader?

Myth #2 - “It worked there, it will work here.”

  • What works in the South will not work in New England and what works for one community may not work for another….
  • WE CAN’T IGNORE THE CULTURE WE LIVE IN in attempts of reaching that culture. THE CHURCH BECOMES SHALLOW IN ITS METHODS WHEN WE COPY.
  • We can move too far in front of culture…
  • One size doesn’t fit all and neither does one style.
  • Some ministries are simply trying to copy success and as a result have lost their unique vision…
  • MAKE EFFECTIVENESS YOUR HIGHEST GOAL.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING THAT THE CULTURE YOU LIVE IN ISN’T RECEIVING?

Myth #3 - “It will work itself out” (I don’t have to deal with that staff issue, I don’t have to fix that volunteer conflict)

  • Just because a problem seems to go away doesn’t mean the conflict doesn’t exist and the problem won't reoccur.
  • Passive leadership never leads to movement….it leads to an idol organization.
  • A leader's constant companion is pain…avoiding conflict is the hope that we can avoid pain.

WHAT DECISIONS DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THAT YOU ARE AVOIDING?

Myth #4 “They don’t like change” (they won’t want to change the seats, they won’t change the music style, they won’t change facilities, they won’t change methods, curriculum, that ministry)

  • The goal of being effective has to trump the desire to stay the same. AS A LEADER we cannot choose to avoid change over being effective. AT NL,C WE HAVE A CULTURE OF CHANGE….the only thing I know will be the same 10 years from now is that we will be worshipping Jesus.
  • Change communicated correctly can inspire change...instead of only focusing on what you are changing explain the why behind the change.
  • The willingness to change doesn’t erase the need to plan...it just gives the leaders in the organization a gap to grow. An organization that allows no change ultimately is expecting to hire perfect people.

WHAT CHANGES HAVE YOU BEEN AVOIDING? DO YOU HAVE A CULTURE THAT RESISTS CHANGE? 

Myth #4.5 “I don’t have what it takes to ________” (break this lid, build the right team, start that campaign, transition this church, release someone who doesn't fit on the team, to change, have that talk, etc)

2 Corinthians 12:8-10: Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

HAVE YOU LOST PART OF YOUR DREAM BECAUSE GOD'S TIMING WAS DIFFERENT THAN YOURS?