Kenny had the opportunity to sit down with Brian Beauford of Ministry Library recently for a Church Butler Lunch & Learn.
There’s always so much to learn from Brian – about leadership, efficiency and even team health. As usual, he has a lot of resources and wisdom to share.
Check out the interview below!
WEBSITES, PRODUCTS, SERVICES MENTIONED:
- Five Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell
- Leadership Pipeline by Ram Charan
- The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
- Leading from Second Chair by Mike Bonem and Roger Patterson
- Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
- Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet
- How to Develop the Leadership Pipeline
- Effective Ministry
- Volunteer Management: How to make sure that volunteers are happy
[1:36] Every church is unique.
[3:08] The strength of a leader, the health of the leader is the health of the organization.
[3:15] I see a lot of pastors being the bottleneck for ministry. And so, the way to get around that is to grow more leaders because if there’s more leaders that you can spread out meaningful ministry to, I think the church will grow.
[4:14] leaders can be grown, leaders aren’t born, I think but, leaders can be grown
[6:03] That middle management layer is actually where a lot of organizations die because you can be a really good doer but then being an executive is a total different skillset that no one trains you for and going from a good doer to an executive that coach level, is where a lot of people fail and so that’s where we wanted to start our trainings, how do we train a person to become a leader of leaders.
[7:36] You need to communicate more than you think you do. If you think you’re communicating enough, you need to communicate more, it’s not enough, and your team will thrive on a transparent communication.
[8:00] You can either hold someone accountable to the process or you can hold them accountable to the outcome.
[11:14] One of the questions that he says is that you should ask your people, you should email them and ask them “What’s one thing I’m doing that’s wasting your time?”
[12:36] It’s our responsibility as the leader to lead them how they want to be lead.
[18:26] The lead pastor has to have the vision for leadership development. If it doesn’t come from a top, you can’t delegate leadership development. You might be able to delegate it to an SP or something after you’ve cast the vision and doing it. But I think to start off, it has to be the lead pastor’s thing. He has to be passionate about it. If he’s not learning and not growing himself, he can’t expect anyone he leads to learn and grow themselves. You could only lead people to where you’re going and if you’re not going anywhere, no one’s going anywhere. I think it has to come from the pastor.
[20:21] The biggest source of volunteers in your church is your current volunteers’ friends. So if they’re not inviting their friends, it’s because they’re not having a good experience.
Kenny: Hey everybody! Kenny Jahng here for the Church Butler Lunch and Learn podcast. We’re set up for another fantastic episode. Today this afternoon I’ve got a good friend Brian Beauford for ministrylibrary.com. Welcome to the show, Brian.
Brian: Thanks Kenny. How are you doing?
Kenny: So, this Church Lunch and Learn has been growing. It’s been a fun project and we’re sharing it across the interwebs and on iTunes and stitcher radio as a podcast. What are the things that people are using this for is actually learning, trying to develop their own skillsets. And you know at Church Butler we do done-for-you church digital marketing, training, etc. leadership and delegation, and building teams is part of them. And I thought that bringing you on today would be really insightful and also introducing your resource to people. So let’s just start there if you would explain what your platform is all about, who you’re trying to serve and what it offers.
Brian: Yes, so Ministry Library is a subscription service for pastors who want to become better leaders, and we divide that into four main areas. So every month, we’re releasing multiple, what we call leadership workshops. Each workshop contains 10-15 minute coaching video and then about an hour long, 45 minutes to an hour long team application guide where you can take what that video teaches and help your team apply it. If you’ve ever been in around multiple churches, you know one thing is true is that every church is unique. So, even though, in our videos, we don’t try to be, here’s the three things you need to do: one, two, three. And suddenly say here’s some principles and then in our team application guide we’ll walk you through maybe 10 or 15 leading questions to where at the end, you and your team have a customized kind of application system or whatever it is that we learned in the video together.
Kenny: It’s something that I’ve never seen done. There is no other parallel resource out there that I’ve seen yet for leadership development within the church team framework. Where did you get the idea?
Brian: Kind of multiple pickets of the business. Originally we started of just doing books summaries, and offering a business book and then we create five to ten minute kind of executive summary of it. And then you know, we originally launched the business and we had couple of hundred pastors join and after talking to some of them who are using the product, actually we thought they were just going to watch it themselves and learn and grow themselves. Basically, what I’m doing is I’m showing it in my team, I’m showing it to my staff. And then we’re talking for an hour about how do we apply some of these principles. And so we are like “man, I really feel like that’s where the value is at, let’s try to help them in that team leading. ‘Cause we all know that, you know, our teams are important and the strength of a leader, the health of the leader is the health of the organization. So, especially in churches, we don’t want to see or at least I see a lot of pastors being the bottleneck for ministry. And so, the way to get around that is to grow more leaders because if there’s more leaders that you can spread out meaningful ministry to, I think the church will grow.
Kenny: I’ve never heard that before, pastors being the bottleneck. So, let’s talk about the actual topics. What topics or categories of subject matter do you guys cover in Ministry Library?
Brian: Yes, we focus on four main categories. Leading yourself well, this is time management, productivity, things like that; Leading Others Well, so team leadership, delegation, staff meeting system, we did a video recently on Five Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell. Then, the third area is Developing Others, not just leading others well but, how do you actually develop others because leaders can be grown, leaders aren’t born, I think but, leaders can be grown. So how do you actually develop others to become high-level leaders. And then the fourth thing is Developing Systems. So leading yourself well, leading others well, developing others, and developing systems.
Kenny: Yes, especially I think of the church communications corner of the building, building systems, empowering, leading others, I think is amazing. Now, how is that transferrable, what do you see in terms of difference between developing leadership skills and subject matter here for your own staff versus volunteers. How the volunteers play in the picture from your perspective? What do you see in churches across the country?
Brian: Like how’s Ministry Library helping them or just in general?
Biran: So, we actually, we felt like there were already a lot of tools out there for helping volunteers. If you look at Ram Charan wrote a book on Leadership Pipeline, or there’s a lot of things out there that SBC came out in the huge conference Leadership Pipeline. Most of them go either four or five levels of leadership you have. A team member, a team leader, a coach, we call them different things, directors, staff, pastors, lead pastors, we felt like there are lot of things for volunteers and lower level team leaders that were very ministry specific. How do we be a good leader, how do we implement a parking lot system, how do we do that. I felt like there are already resources out there for that and every church is going to be so unique at that and we really want to concentrate on those upper level leadership. Specifically, coaches. That’s where the big gap is kind of that middle management in the Ram Charan’s book. He talks about that middle management layer is actually where a lot of organizations die because you can be a really good doer but then being an executive is a total different skillset that no one trains you for and going from a good doer to an executive that coach level, is where a lot of people fail and so that’s where we wanted to start our trainings, how do we train a person to become a leader of leaders. So that’s where we start. We actually don’t concentrate on specific area of ministry.
Kenny: Now, let’s see. From your experience, what are some of the core needs that are popular in terms of churches today? What are the top three things, if I’m coming in to a new position in terms of managing others or leading others, what are some of the first things that I need to be paying attention to in terms of making sure that I have a healthy system, healthy team around me?
Brian: Yes, one of the best books I’ve ever read on is called The Effective Executive, I have it on my desk right now, but essentially there’s a couple of things that I think they’re going to make and break any new leader. One is communication with your team. You need to communicate more than you think you do. If you think you’re communicating enough, you need to communicate more, it’s not enough, and your team will thrive on a transparent communication. And then the other thing is, delegation, and it’s not task dumping but actually giving them the authority to make decisions and accountability. You can either hold someone accountable to the process or you can hold them accountable to the outcome. So whatever you want to hold them accountable to, if you could create a system, hold them accountable to the system, if the outcome is different, it’s because you created the wrong system, or you can hold them accountable to the outcome and let them create their own system. But some way of delegating meaningful tasks to them not just these menial, small things but delegating meaningful ministry and then holding them accountable to one of those few things, either the process or the outcome.
Kenny: I like that. And I think it’s really critical. Can we go back to the first issue that you brought, communications, you need to over communicate as a leader better, beyond your comfort zone, I guess. What are the actual modes of communication that’s appropriate, what does that mean? Does that mean I just need to hold more meetings, which I hope it’s not the right answer. Death by meetings is something we all dread. Is it more just lengthy emails? What is some practical tips, because I think all of us are as self-aware as we need to be in terms of how we best get the message across.
Brian: I do think meetings are important. I don’t think that should be the only way. I think most meetings are failure because you haven’t set proper ground rules at the beginning. There’s no technology allowed in meetings. You’re not bringing your phone, you’re not bringing your computer, you’re not checking emails, you’re fully engaged. The other thing is you need to keep them less than 30 minutes, so if they’re going longer than that then something’s wrong. But either way, some meetings are one thing, but I think you can correct how well a meeting goes, and setting some clear ground rules. No agenda, no attendance, if there’s no agenda then there’s no one’s showing up. But what I would do is switch up the modes of communication. So some people, and I actually ask this with my team, what’s the best way for me to communicate with you? Some people it’s a text message. Other people hate text messaging, don’t ever text them because they don’t ever text you back. Other people are emails. Some people would like quick phone calls, just different things. Usually what I do is, it will be some sort of combination of, I’ll have a team meeting, and that will be somewhat abbreviated short. We’ll cover things, but we’ll be ending the team meetings with clear actions that’s for everyone and due dates. So then, what I’ll do is the next day, I’ll email those due dates out again, just as a reminder, and then, so we have our team meeting on Tuesday, and so on Wednesday I’m sending out a reminder, on Thursday I’m actually talking to them if they’re in the office or calling them if they work remotely, and then on Friday is the due date in everything that we do. Holding them accountable to a timeline but also switching up the modes of communication.
Kenny: So you’re saying that you need to be contextual with either the modes for each person on your team. Isn’t that a lot of work and at the end of the day, aren’t you the boss? Shouldn’t they be conforming to what you prefer?
Brian: No, that does not work, man. You just got to run them over. One of the things in The Effective Executive that is a really hard question but if you’re brave enough to ask it, it’s going to change the way you lead. One of the questions that he says is that you should ask your people, you should email them and ask them “What’s one thing I’m doing that’s wasting your time?”
Kenny: Oh, what’s one thing you’re doing, that I’m doing, that’s wasting your time. You need to give them the freedom to be truthful.
Brian: Yes. And then even with that I would push back because sometimes their answers will be really superficial, and I’m like, if it was you, you know, “Our meetings last too long”. And I was like “Come on, Kenny, there’s got to be something that I’m doing that you really think I’m just not doing it well, and it’s really big waste of your time”. Then you’ll email me back saying “You don’t give me enough lead time on projects that I’m working on”. Like, “Okay, that’s something I can change.” So sometimes it’s, yes, the answers you get back are rough, but it’s the only way to become a good leader. One of those things that, when I ask my team that was some people wanted like, “Hey, I work remotely”, or “Hey, I’m a stay at home mom, like I’m not going to answer emails. Like emails are waste of my time”. She gets tons of promo emails from all these, you know, things that she’s signed up for. But she answer text message, like that, so, just learning how each person communicates best. ‘Cause it’s our responsibility as the leader to lead them how they want to be lead.
Kenny: Yes, I guess so. Let’s put the table just a little bit, I know that a lot of church communicators, who hear this and some of those more close groups that are just filled with church communicators, just frustrations about how to manage up. It doesn’t stop with them. They’re not the decision makers all the time. And they need to follow someone else’s command and orders. What are some suggestions you might have is best practices, or are there any books or research that you come across that help people understand better ways to manage up or manage sideways?
Brian: That’s a real big struggle that we’ve had a lot of pastors asked us about and honestly I haven’t come across a book that specific on something. There’s a book that I’ve read called Leading from Second Chair but it wasn’t really that helpful. It was a lot of like, you should pray for the leader, you should, there was not much of practical in what to do. I know that some of the experience from me and other people that I’ve talked to. Sometimes offering some sort of value, like “Hey, as a staff, can we read this book?” Now, you know that book talks about something that the pastor struggles with. But, as a team we could read it and hopefully get better on something or, one of the things, I think leading by example, too. If you start leading in a certain way, I think they’ll see that, hopefully they’ll see that, if they’re self aware enough, they’ll see that. “Man, Kenny’s team, his team is really functioning well, or why are they doing that. Why they’re doing X Y Z, well maybe we should start doing that as a higher up team.”
Kenny: So they’re becoming a champion for best practices and model for people and organization. And I guess maybe you’re talking about books like Five Dysfunctions of a Team.
Brian: Or there was a really good one, I don’t know if I have it here. But there’s a book called Turn the Ship Around and that is a manual for leaders who don’t know what they’re doing. I think if you read that as a staff, it’s all about leaders who are, have you heard about that book before?
Kenny: Yes. I haven’t read but I’ve heard that before.
Brian: This is a navy captain that trained for a year to go to a highly specialized submarine and like a day before, graduation he gets moved to the worst performing submarine in the whole fleet. And so he gets there and he doesn’t know how the ship works and he doesn’t know anything about it. He takes the ship out and he’s going to do this test with his crew and he tells the XO, the second in command, he tells him, all the head, two thirds, the XO tells the navigation guy or whatever it is, all the head, two thirds. And this 18-year-old kid was supposed to make the ship go faster just doesn’t do anything. So the captain’s like, okay, so he gives the order again, the XO gives the order again, he doesn’t do anything. He walks up to this 18 year old kid and says “Why aren’t you doing this?” And he was like “Well, this ship doesn’t have a two-third speed”. Everyone in the ship knew that this leader was incompetent like I don’t even know what the different speeds are for this boat. Then he goes to his XO and says “Did you know that this boat doesn’t have a two thirds?” and he was like “yes”. “Well why did you give the order to those, ‘cause you gave me the order?” and he said, so from that moment he had to switch. Instead of giving orders, he had to ask people for what they thought and he gives this whole leadership ladder things to do when how you should lead when you don’t know all the answers. I think if you have second guesses about the boss, if you’ve read that book as a group, I think it would shine light on a lot of things that you can work on a team.
Kenny: I am going to pick that up on Amazon today. That sounds very interesting. Last thoughts on where you think leadership is going in our churches today because the nature of the game is changing in many churches. 55% of churches are still a hundred or less. Still got a solo pastor maybe a church secretary, maybe the social pastors or volunteers, etc. But then, there’s this road of team based ministry multi-sites etc. that are happening on the other end of spectrum. Leadership is not taught in seminaries per se, where do you think it’s headed in terms of its place on, in terms of responsibility in a church’s staff. Is it just every leader’s responsibility? Is it the executive pastors’ responsibility? Lead pastors’ responsibility? Who’s champing leadership developments across your staff teams, where do you see that going?
Brian: I think. I agree with you. I went to Bible College and they didn’t teach a single thing on how to lead others. They taught me how to be a really good doer of ministry. They didn’t teach me anything about how to equip and lead people. In our church, we are stuck under a hundred for almost five or four years but I think it has to be the lead pastor. The lead pastor has to have the vision for leadership development. If it doesn’t come from a top, you can’t delegate leadership development. You might be able to delegate it to an SP or something after you’ve cast the vision and doing it. But I think to start off, it has to be the lead pastor’s thing. He has to be passionate about it. If he’s not learning and not growing himself, he can’t expect anyone he leads to learn and grow themselves. You could only lead people to where you’re going and if you’re not going anywhere, no one’s going anywhere. I think it has to come from the pastor.
Kenny: Now for your final resource, can you share a little bit about maybe the top couple of, what’s the most popular resources that people could actually consume and use in their churches in a sense of the type of offers that you guys have?
Brian: One of the most popular ones we have is on How to Develop the Leadership Pipeline. So that goes through the whole four or five levels of leadership competencies for each one. That goes through, it’s a whiteboard session, they’re writing on the whiteboard and going through everything, but then the team application guide, that one, that really is, that’s a video that could be watched in the beginning of the month, and you wouldn’t have the team application guide done for another month or two. It’s just so deep and so rich on things you should be looking for, the verbiage of you word certain competencies, what the major transition points is to each level of leadership. It’s pretty deep. That’s by far probably the most popular one. Other ones are Delegation, Effective Ministry, Volunteer Management, How to make sure that volunteers are happy. If you talk about word-of-mouth, the biggest source of volunteers in your church is your current volunteers’ friends. So if they’re not inviting their friends, it’s because they’re not having a good experience. So going through and evaluating, things like that. Those probably are top ones.
Kenny: That’s awesome. I hope everyone here gets to check out ministrylibrary.com. Brian, so much thankful for you spending time with us today. If someone listening today that would want to follow you directly, what’s the best way? Could you give us some ways to access you online?
Brian: Yes. firstname.lastname@example.org is my email. And then we’re on Twitter @ministrylibrary, we’re on Facebook at Ministry Library. Either one of those things.
Kenny: Awesome. Thank you so much today. And everybody here, please check this. I wholeheartedly recommend this resource for churches of all sizes either if you’re consuming it by yourself or with the team, this is just a fantastic, unique resource that’s being made and available today. Thank you so much for joining us for the Lunch and Learn today. Do me a favor. Drop a comment below, or do me even bigger favor, leave some feedback on iTunes and let us know what other topics that you people would like to have interviewed here as part of our podcast series. We’re doing this together as Lunch and Learn. I’m Kenny Jahng. Thank you for listening today here at Church Butler.