Willie George on Planting Natural Seeds for the Supernatural

Willie George at Seeds Conference

At Seeds Conference 2012, Willie George of Church on the Move (Tulsa, OK) discussed our responsibility to move and plant seeds before something supernatural happens.

Genesis 1:26
Then God said, “Let us make man[a] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Psalm 8:4-6
4  what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? 5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings[a] and crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet,

When God created the world, He gave Adam dominion. But when Adam sinned, he lost dominion. Scripture teaches us that when Jesus came, He stepped into dominion. Now under the new covenant we once again operate in dominion.

Growth is not your domain. Man was never called to grow anything. God is the one that grows things. 1 Corinthians 3:6 says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.”

Genesis 2 says that Adam had responsibilities. It was God who put all the plants and other things into the Garden of Eden. The only tool that God put into the hand of Adam was the planting of seeds.

God involves us in this amazing process of planting and growing. Where we get into trouble when managing a church is we pray for something that God will do things that is our responsibility. You are the one that has to exercise authority and dominion.

God very clearly sets down the pattern that He does what He can but you do what you can do. God wants you to use something that is in your hand, something that you are familiar with. You have to start somewhere. Everything starts small. You have to make the most of what you’ve got.

In 2 Kings 4, the widow did not have anything for Elisha but a pot of oil. Elisha still made her use what she had. When you come to a place of need, you may not have what you need, but you often have a seed.

I never had any money to do anything God told me to do when He told me to do it.
– Lester Summerall

When we want to extend our ministries, we begin to look for a miracle. But it is natural first then the supernatural. God is not looking for a move of God; God is looking for a move of man. The widow in 2 Kings 4 had to move first before God moved. God’s desire is to blend the natural and the supernatural.

We get this notion that somehow the supernatural comes rolling in, but you have to make room for it first. God is the author of efficiency.

We are in a partnership. God could just as easily have turned air into wine as He did water into wine, but He said get the water jugs. If you are waiting for God to move in the checkers game, He may have already moved, and it is your turn (and God won’t cheat and go twice). You need to do your part and make room for increase before it comes.

Special thanks to Skylark Audio Video for covering my travel expenses so that I can live blog the conference for you. They love churches and are currently offering free AVL consulting.

Further Reading:
2012 Church Conference Calendar

Ed Young Jr on 18 Lessons in 20 Years

Ed Young Jr at Seeds Conference

At Seeds Conference 2012, Ed Young Jr of Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) discussed 18 leadership lessons he has learned from 20 years as a pastor.

Whether you are a big church or small church, I (Ed) believe that these principles are transferable. Things are things I have come to know through observation, failure, and success.

As a leader, I believe that we should have healthy fear in our lives.

  1. A leader should fear God.
  2. A leader should create fear in others.

18 Leadership Shots from Gospel Bill’s Saloon

  1. Draft impact players.
    One of the most important skills as a leader is to have discernment. Draft people who are influencers. Draft yes men and women (i.e., people who are yielded and encouragers). Look at the spouse of your impact players. You better go spouse hunting because they are one. How do these people spell relational relief. Check out Facebook. Check references.
  2. Develop double vision.
    If you have a church of 20 people, pastor like it is 40. If you have 200 people, pastor like it is 400.
  3. Change.
    Change > Conflict > Growth = the spin cycle of success. If you aren’t careful as a leader, you can get as a contemporary church become as predictable as a traditional church.
  4. Build a big shallow end in your church.
    You better have a place where you can rapidly plug in new attendees and new Christ-followers. The church grows from the outside-in. Start reaching people, and make a big place for them.
  5. Put on your shades.
    The vision should be so bright, so hot that people have to wear shades. Make people feel and know the vision of your church. Don’t assume that people know the vision. Talk about the vision. People don’t give to need; they give to vision.
  6. Las Vegas
    Las Vegas has nothing to say, but they know how to say it. We have everything to say but don’t know how to say it. Most of us do a horrible job in promoting. We should be the best promoters in the world.
  7. Consult other leaders before you consult the consultant.
    Talk to people ho are in the game and not the consultants.
  8. Pay now or pay later.
    You have to pay your people well. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. What is well? I have no idea, but you’ll know if you ask questions. Put money in the hands of people that you know will be generous and bring the tithe. Where your treasure is, so your heart is. If you are going to err on the side of a poverty mentality or prosperity mentality, err on being generous.
  9. Have a good HATtitude.
    What kind of hat do you wear? If you can’t put on the hat of enforcing the rules, you are doing something wrong. Sometimes you need the vision hat. Sometimes you need the corporate hat.
  10. Deal regularly and rapidly with staff infection.
    When you see a shark on your staff – deal with it. If you have to sit down with a staff member and motivate them more than twice, you don’t need them around you.
  11. Watch the leaves.
    People will leave your church. Don’t tell me how many people are coming to your church; tell me how many people are leaving your church. If you are doing the right things, people will leave. Even a third of the angels left heaven.
  12. Become childish.
    One of the most important things in the church is your children’s ministry. Put your best energy, best time, best money, and best volunteers with the children.
  13. Pick up special deliveries.
    Pyramid your church with special days (big events). It must have a meaning behind it and not just gimmicks.
  14. Tweak out!
    Create a climate of critiques. Small tweaks take you to giant peaks.
  15. Investigate what you delegate.
    People don’t do what you expect; they do what you inspect.
  16. To go out, you have to get under.
    I have to get under the things that God has placed over me so that I can get over the things that God has placed under me. This is about authority issues. It is about honor.
  17. The message is the main thing.
    Worship elements, videos, and other things are important, but the message is the main thing.
  18. Become a rescuer.
    Church is about souls. We do all of this because people need the Lord Jesus Christ. We are rescuers.

Special thanks to Skylark Audio Video for covering my travel expenses so that I can live blog the conference for you. They love churches and are currently offering free AVL consulting.

Further Reading:
2012 Church Conference Calendar

Lee Cockerell on 3 Steps to Running Disney

Lee Cockerell at Seeds Conference

At Seeds Conference 2012,  Lee Cockerell, the former VP of Operations for Walt Disney World Resort, discussed the 3 areas he focused on when running a Disney resort.

If you just keep things clean and friendly, everything will be fine.
– Walt Disney

Don’t get bored with the basics in life.

(1) Hire Great People

One of the most important things you can do is hire the right people. Hire great people. The difference between good people and great people is really big.

If you want to know what communication is, it is clarity. “Here is what we expect.”

At Disney, fantasy is reality, and reality is fantastic.
At your church, make reality fantastic. Make the parking lots work. Make the bathrooms clean. Make things work.

(2) Train Your People

Education is the key that opens the door. If you train people, then you can take a nap.

(3) Be a Leader

Be a good role model. Encourage people.

If you get the right culture, everything seems to work out fine. The leader is responsible for the culture.

Areas of Leadership Competency

  1. Be technically competent. If you are in ministry, know the Bible.
  2. Have management competence. Be a planner. Think about the responsibilities you signed up for. Don’t forget personal development and personal health.
  3. Create excitement. Be the type of leader where your team is excited to get to work.

If you have a performance problem with someone on your team, fix them once and not every week.

What Team Members Want

  1. Make me feel special.
  2. Treat me as an individual.
  3. Respect me.
  4. Train and develop me.

Don’t ever underestimate the influence you have over people. Care about being the right kind of person.

Don’t believe half the stuff you think. Half of it isn’t even true.

Diversity is not a problem for young people. They are already practicing diversity. You are the problem.

If you appreciate your people, tell them.

Special thanks to Skylark Audio Video for covering my travel expenses so that I can live blog the conference for you. They love churches and are currently offering free AVL consulting.

Further Reading:
2012 Church Conference Calendar