The Empowered Leader – Book Review

Amazon $10.18

I have read a lot of books over the years, and my book shelves are blessed to have such authors as Andy Stanley, Rick Warren, John Maxwell, Mark Driscoll, Mark Batterson, Adrian Rogers, and many other greats.  I am privileged to announce that I will be adding the Empowered Leader by Calvin Miller to my “favorite books” shelf.  This has to be the greatest book on leadership that I have ever read.

I read this book as part of a church planting network to encourage and generate conversation during one of our Mega-Meetings, and it did much more than encourage, it generated a wildfire of discussion.  I think I can speak for everyone in attendance that this book engaged and challenged each of us on levels that will forever change the way we lead.  This book covers everything from the importance of networking, casting vision, coping with difficult people, the art of delegation, surviving a visible mistake, and so much more.

Whatever your leadership role, this book offers fresh insights and new tools to help you lead with confidence and power. God’s power!

This book is a must for your next leadership coaching, network, or even personal growth.

(I wrote this review simply out of my appreciation for everything I gained from this book.  Thank You Dr. Calvin Miller for your God given insights.)


Transform Your Church By Transforming Your Leadership Part 3


You have to take the initiative to be initiative. You rarely ever have a natural desire to be initiative.

Most hidden passage of scripture for Church Leadership: Galatians 2:1-10

  • It is time to Move (after 14 years), Initiate God given vision. v.1
  • Bring others with you (Barnabas and Titus) v.1
  • Go because of Vision/Revelation v.2
  • Proclaim the Gospel/God’s Vision v.2
  • There will always be false brothers/believers/followers/staff v.4 – Purpose is to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ.  Try to catch you slipping up, and enslave you to
  • Never give in to false brothers, not even for a moment, so that the truth of the Gospel will be promoted. v.5
  • You cannot be partial even to those who seem to be (LEADERS) influential. (What they were makes no difference to me; God show no partiality)  Theses people add nothing to you, your ministry, and your vision. v.6
  • Feed the Vision, Grow the Vision, Share the Vision, Communicate the Vision, Initiate the Vision.
  • When you are faithful to God’s vision, He will put pillars (faithful men) in your life to support you. v.9
  • Remember the purpose of your vision. v.10
  • It is time to initiate your God given vision!!

Key things you should be initiating: Continue reading

Transform Your Church By Transforming Your Leadership Part 2

I spent another awesome day hanging with the BNC crew, and I learned so much.  Here are just a few of my notes. Enjoy!


Worship begins with you – the pastor.

The hardest thing for a pastor to ever do, is let go.

Two things you can’t let go of:

  • You cannot let go of the Vision aspect of Worship.
  • You can’t delegate the weekend experience. (Sunday Worship)

Every other aspect of worship needs to be delegated.

All aspect of ministry need to be intertwined within the worship experience.

Leadership doesn’t happen because your over them, but because you are kin to them.

You will not have worship if You don’t know that your called to this: 1 Tim 3:1-

  1. Bishop – Overseer  (Pastor is a gift, not a calling, but the Bishop is someone who is called.) v.1
  2. Above Reproach v.2
  3. Husband of One Wife (Man) v.2  Your marriage is a mirror of your salvation.
  4. Temperate (Be the person that carries the energy in your church – the “leader lift”) v.2
  5. Self-Controlled – Self-Denial v.2
  6. Respectable (look sharp, hygiene, presence, etc.)  A respectable person is a respecter of persons. v.2
  7. Hospitable (Your door needs to be open.  Keep your house clean and presentable to others.  Make sure you have people in your house.) (Be apart of your peoples lives. Example. Show up at a ball game.) v.2
  8. Able to Teach (Able to shuck the corn.  You have to bring it every Sunday – blistering hot!) v.2
  9. Not a drunkard (Stay away from it completely) v.3
  10. Not violent / Not quarrelsome, but gentle v.3
  11. Not a lover of money v.3
  12. He must manage his household well. (Parenting/Pastoring your home) v.3


Me w/Shannon O'Dell

Practical Application of Worship in Your Church


Stay true to your non-negotiables.  Don’t adapt to every fray and fringe.

1.) Weekend Worship Experience

  • It has to be fresh!!
  • Be who you are, and let it pour out of you.
  • Worship Environment/Elements – Sensations = Sight, Sense, Smell, Sound, Savior

2.) Kids and Students

3.) Volunteers

  • Celebrate your volunteers

4.) Community Groups

Sometimes you have to eliminate good stuff in order to experience the great.

Things to Consider Before the Worship Experience:

Keys to Staying Focused

I had the wonderful privileged to participate in the Brand New Church staff meeting tonight, and man I gained some valuable insight on staying focused.  Check it out: “Keys to Staying Focused”

1.) Hunger

Be hungry for great things.

Hunger is renewable.

2.) Hydrate

Blessed is the man who hungers and thirst for righteousness.

Hydrate yourself with the living water Jesus Christ, drink it up.

Have some great worship tunes around you that will help fill you up.

3.) Leader Lift

Leaders be the lift.

Lift up your leaders/volunteers.

If you don’t lift up your leaders, you will lose your leaders.

2 Cor. 5 – Your life is plain to God, and I hope your conscience is plain to you.

If you are casual towards sin, ditch it. God’s heart breaks over sin.

4.) Guard your heart from road blocks.

Road block examples:

  • Selfishness
  • Laziness
  • Marriage problems
  • Fear
  • Wanting to be Liked – man’s approval
  • Lack of Confidence – doubt
  • Time management – unbalanced priorities
  • Other people – too social
  • Finances – Poor money management
  • Lack of development – How are you developing yourself as a leader? You have to feed yourself.

Heb. 2:1 – We must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.

5.) Develop a series of questions that you daily/weekly/monthly ask yourself that will challenge you.

  • What do I have to do today?
  • Am I ready? Saturday is too late.  You should be ready for Sunday a week in advance.
  • Am I prayed up?
  • What is my life telling me?
  • Where am I headed?
  • Am I packing a white flag?  You can’t surrender to the world.  Burn the white flags.
  • (Monthly) Am I truly called?  If you are truly called you will jump the chasm of Hell to reach the other side to see a lost soul saved.
  • etc…

Take a day retreat from all media. (phone/email/internet/text/etc.)  You have to prepare it.

6.) Surround yourself with people who inspire you.

Transform Your Church By Transforming Your Leadership

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to get involved in a Pastor/Leadership Coaching Network that is held monthly, and I can’t even begin to express how much I have gained from being involved with this group. I thought I would take a moment to share what we discussed, but before we get into it; I want to give a huge shout out to Shannon O’dell pastor of Brand New Church for putting all of this together.  I would also like to encourage everyone to get a copy of Shannon’s new book: Transforming Church in Rural America

When You Transform Your Church By Transforming Your Leadership You Will See Transformed Lives.

Session 1

Vision: When Seeing Requires Believing

[Jesus said,] “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24) This should be your prayer.

What is Vision?

Vision is the Desire: Vision can be understood in the mind, but it’s something that must be felt in the gut.  It is the ability to see something that is not, yet it is so compelling that we know it is something that must be, and something that, by God’s grace, will be.

Vision is the Direction: Vision shows you where you are, reveals where God wants you to be, and lights the road to get there.  But it doesn’t mean He is going to give you the car.  Vision is going wherever God calls us to god and then finding or creating the vehicle to get us there, by a sovereign mixture of God’s provision and our exertion.

Vision is Defining: Vision is not illusion.  It brings focus and practicality to everything we do.  With clear vision, everything you and I embark on can, and must, be in line with the overall vision of your church.

Vision is Dynamic: Vision is us in action, hearing what God wants us to then providing the vehicle to allow that vision to come to fruition.  I’m not talking about motion but a movement.

Vision is in Deity: Vision comes from God, and vision belongs to God – not us.

Vision is Driven: Yes, “vision is the desired,” but it must be God’s desire, not ours.  That requires unqualified surrender and submission to Him.  God is the one who drives our vision, and He is the one who drives our life. (Ditch the “God is my copilot” bumper sticker – that is imprecise and unbiblical.)  God should be in the drivers seat.

Vision is Dependant: I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength. Do you believe that?

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” – Helen Keller

Struggling to Believe

Pastors, leaders, and church volunteers often struggle to believe:

  • that God can remove the church bully
  • that God can ignited a spiritual fire and revival within the “church family”
  • that God can provide the resources for faith-filled ministries
  • that God can use your church to reach the world
  • that God can change the way it’s always been;
  • that God cares about my church
  • that God can use me to change my community

Session 1 Notes:

– Your vision will always surround what you value.

– You love most what you think about most, if you love your ministry more than Jesus, you’re committing idolatry.

– If you have vision you can be guaranteed division.  Dog’s don’t bark at parked cars.

– Call people to action that is what is revolutionizing the church

– Don’t base success off acceptance

– Two things you got to have in Rural America: 1. Biblical Foundation 2. Vision (What will happen if our vision isn’t fulfilled?)

– We preach against Hollywood, but we want Hollywood Church

– If it isn’t reaching the lost why are we doing it?  It is a distraction.

– Everybody wants to make a difference

People deserve church done right.

– If you can do it yourself, it is not effective vision.

– Don’t give up on a church that is on the verge of break through

– EVERYTHING you do needs to be surrounded by your vision.

– You don’t need another Sunday School class – but you better be bringing it in the pulpit.

Session 2

Leadership: Resisting the Urge to Settle

LEADERSHIP IS … resisting the urge to SETTLE

Leadership emerges when someone has had enough, when they say change must take place, and when they’re willing to stand up and be used by God to make a difference.

Leadership is bothtaught and brought.

It is taught in the sense that someone, at one time, showed a leader what leadership looks like by standing up to make a difference.  Leadership is also “brought” in the sense that it doesn’t just show up, you have to bring it!!

Leadership is an indispensable attribute.

Leadership 101:

Resiting the Urge to Settle in the Home on the Range

God spoke marriage into being.

He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18)

God gave away the first bride.

When God presented Eve to Adam, and when God presents us with our spouse.

God established the flesh union – two become one.

Pastoring your Home involves…

Spiritual provision. Reading the Scriptures, praying, confessing your sins and asking for forgiveness, extending forgiveness, and initiating service, ministry, and worship opportunities.

Physical provision. “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5:8 emphasis added).

Spiritual protection. When you lead with the love of Jesus at home, it protects your wife in the street.  I know that men are so shocked when women become emotionally attached to someone else.  BE THE PASTOR OF YOUR HOME>

Physical protection.

Session 2 Notes:

– It is hard to have an affair or engage in pornography when your daily praying intimately with your wife.

– Make sure your spiritual bathing, and bathe your bride before you bathe the bride of Christ.


– Prayer is not an option. Pray with your family every night no matter what.

– Preparation is the separation between winning and losing.

2010 Work Matters Leadership Conference

I recently attended the 2010 Work Matters Chic-Fil-A Leadercast, and obtained some valuable insight into leadership.  I thought I would share just a few of my notes, enjoy.

“Leadership comes out when your so far away from your dreams that you can’t breathe.” – Connie Podesta

“Signature of a great leader is humility.” -Jim Collins

Jim Collins “Leadership to do list:”

  1. Build a Pocket of Greatness.
  2. Do your diagnostic.
  3. Get the right people on the bus.
  4. Build a personal board of Directors.
  5. Turn off media gadgets and create pockets of silence to think.
  6. Double your question to statement ratio.
  7. Take discipline action. Discipline your to do list. Create a stop to do list.
  8. Experiment with removing titles. We do not have jobs, we have responsibilities.
  9. Articulate your core values.
  10. Stay on the balls of your feet. Marry your values to your goals.

“Talent is God-given, be thankful! Praise is man given, be humble! Conceit is self-given, be careful!” – Tony Dungy

“Hope – Having something new to try, and the courage to try it.” – Mark Sanborn

Four Types of Stories:

  1. Those who are Stuck
  2. Those who are Struggling
  3. Those who are Shaped
  4. Those who are Shapers of Stories

In order to positively shape and influence others it requires skill and takes C.R.A.F.T.

  • Catch other person’s story
  • Respond to their story
  • Ask the Questions
  • Feel
  • Tell your story                                – Mark Sanborn

John Maxwell: “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.”

1. Connecting Is All About Others:

  • It’s not about getting people on your train, but about helping them get on track.
  • Help others build vision in their own aspects.
  • It’s not about you.
  • Imaturity = Selfishness

2. Connecting Requires Energy and Intentionality

  • Relationships require energy
  • Leadership requires energy

3. Connecting Requires Common Ground

  • Constantly look for common ground
  • Effectiveness in communication is based on similarity, not difference.
  • Who do you need to expend energy on in order to connect with?
  • When you find common ground with a person then you can take them to higher ground.

He that thinketh he leadeth, but has no one following is only taking a walk.