Staff Development

February 9, 2011

I’m privileged to be a part of a Willow Creek Canada ‘Leaders Village’. It’s essentially a group of pastors of the largest churches in Atlantic Canada. I get more out of a day and a half with these guys than I do from most conference or books that I take in.

Last night we were discussing staff development and I had to think about strategic things we do at Crosspoint to keep our staff stretched, growing, and moving forward. Here are a few quick items:

– Collaborative environment, open office, all day networking. I think this is huge. We create a work environment where every day is a learning experience.

– 6 month reviews. I do informal reviews more frequent than 6 months, but at least every 6 months we check for alignment, issues, satisfaction, etc.

– MAP. Our ‘Ministry Action Plan’ is the primary document that outlines in detail our goals, strategies, and dreams.

– Top 5 Top 5’s. We recently introduced this idea and I think it’s been helpful for everyone to keep the main things, the most pressing issues, on the front burner.

– Conferences, books, staff meetings, etc. We are intentional on helping our staff get under the best teaching they can, any way that we can. We all need new ideas and fresh perspectives. Most staff meetings include something that I bring that is meant to teach leadership principles to the team.



January 20, 2011

WOOOOOOO!!!! We are crazy pumped about hosting a brand new one day conference, Friday, April 8. Load the van, load the bus, jump a plane, caravan, do whatever you have to do to be here for Outlandish. We’re seriously going to bring the best energy, the best worship, the best speakers, and the best encouragement we can bring. You will not be disappointed!!

Go here now and get all the details!

Register soon as we are expecting a sold out packed house.

Spread the word! This is a grass roots deal. We aren’t spending a ton of money on advertising. We need your good networking to help us out.

It’s been too long since there was an event like this! The time is now. Don’t wait for next year. Don’t wait to hear if it was ok. Be an early adapter. Be the first. Lead the way!!

Let us know if you have any questions!

Top 5 Top 5’s

January 13, 2011

We had our first staff meeting of the new year yesterday. I took us through an exercise to help us focus on the most pressing issues each of us are facing as we begin 2011. Also, there are only 4 months left of our church year and I want us to finish strong. Here it is:

1. Top 5 things that need my best energy and ideas. (Leadership)

2. Top 5 things that need immediate improvements. (Hustle)

3. Top 5 things that I need to recruit someone else to do. (Delegation)

4. Top 5 things that I need to promote or communicate better. (Communication)

5. Top 5 things that I need to initiate. (Innovation)

Part 2

December 8, 2010

Last week I broke the ice on a new initiative on our district. Annnnndddd, I’m pretty pumped about it’s potential.

This week I thought I’d blog a bit about what happens when we get serious about this.

– You have to have a passion for souls. It has to be blazing. This is step one. If you’ve lost this, I would say pray, fast, read, listen, plead, do whatever you have to do to get back to this. Think about your calling. Why did you get into this in the first place?

– You have to be strategic about the way you introduce or reintroduce this fire to your congregation. This is where it gets tricky and there is no way I can type everything about this right now. You are going to need to talk to someone who has done this before. You’ll need to identify who your key people are. Essentially, you are going to have to introduce change. And you are going to have to be willing to pay the price for the necessary changes. It’s crazy to think that you can achieve new results from the same methods. People will have to want salvations and baptisms more than they want personal preferences met. The right changes for the right reasons should be acceptable to mature believers. Don’t quit on me already!! 🙂 Don’t think about all the negative reaction to change. If you don’t change, your church will never break through. You may as well pay the price for change as pay the price for maintenance.

– Good evangelism is a mixture of ‘come and see’ and ‘go and tell’. You want to create a culture of anticipation and expectation about Sundays. They (your congregation) will go and tell others to come and see. If the services are done with excellence and there is a clear, quality, relevant invitation to cross the line of faith almost every week…your church will have more opportunities to lead spiritually lost people to Jesus. I know that is quite a statement, but I believe it to be true. I don’t think Crosspoint is an anomaly. I think we can see all of our churches reaching more and more people.

– Being an outward focused church requires risk. There may be some things you need to stop doing and some other things that you can initiate. You need to seriously evaluate the purpose of everything you do. After you have carefully examined everything your church does with some of your best thinkers, you can start to ask “What can our church do (with excellence) to reach our community?” This is putting some substance to your vision. What is the unique way that God has designed your church to have the greatest redemptive potential possible? The answer is in the people you have, or God is bringing, the needs of your community, the opportunities of your community, and what you can do really really well that will make some noise. Most of the changes Crosspoint has made were framed around questions like these.

More later…


Evangelistic Urgency

December 4, 2010

I’m not sure how many Pastors on the Atlantic District of the Wesleyan Church are following this blog, but this will be a good test to find out. If you are one of the above mentioned crowd, and you know someone who needs to read this, please copy and paste, use multiple exclamation marks and all capital letters. Bold type.

I’m on our District Board of Admin. We met in Moncton last week. One of the great discussions of our meeting was our prayer to see more of our Pastors rekindle and fire up the evangelistic flame that called them into ministry in the first place. Yes, we want healthy churches. Yes, we understand there is more to running a church than numbers. But, we are burdened to see more of our pastors and their churches leading more people to Jesus.

So, I’ve been asked by the DBA to create and lead something for this purpose. A few thoughts:

– We’re looking for people who seriously want to see their churches reaching spiritually lost people. We’ll likely contact a starter group and invite them to participate. Hit comment if you want to be contacted.

– We want to come alongside you and encourage you.

– We want to engage conversations that may lead to break throughs that otherwise may have been missed.

– We want to pray for you and your church.

– We want you to know that your District is with you. We are in this together.

I’ll be putting more details together next week. I just wanted to float this to see if there are any keeners out there who want to comment now and say ‘I’m in, let me know more.’ Who knows, this could be the start of something very cool for many changed lives around our District.

10 Thoughts About Getting Better

November 30, 2010

10 Things About Getting Better.


“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Colossians 3:23


1. Anything less than continual improvement of your gifts and talents is an ungrateful response to the One who gifted you. God gives us the full potential of the gift or talent but it is our responsibility to continually develop the skill.

2. Bigger isn’t better. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that just because things around you are growing that you are getting better. Growth can come from a variety of sources and it can often be misleading. Better is better. Growth can also mislead us into thinking we can cruise. Cruising is leadership malpractice. Seasons of growth should compel us and propel us into intense times of learning and stretching. We’ll never be ready for what’s next until we learn from what’s now.

3. You won’t know where you are going until you know where you are. Reality is the ultimate indicator and most of us dress up reality to make her prettier than she really is. Don’t fool yourself. If you don’t see reality clearly you will never see your opportunities for improvement. Reality almost always requires an outside opinion.

4. Don’t fall in love with your stuff. Marry the vision, date the methods. The good ideas you had yesterday were never meant to be institutionalized or monumental. They were merely what you needed to get you to today. Tomorrow may need a new innovation. If you fall in love with your ideas and your initiatives you will become blind to better things.

5. Insecurity is insidious. Our natural tendency is to deflect criticism with self-defensive rationale. Face it. None of us are as good as we think we are. Lead with a posture that tells others you are open to their ideas. You are even open to their ideas about your ideas. God has put high capacity people all around you to help you become all He has created you to be.

6. No one drifts to better. Better is a pursuit. Getting better requires planning, study, mentors, evaluation, measurement, and discipline. Unfortunately, churches everywhere suffer from well meaning staff who always intended to get better but never did. The stakes are high. The consequences are real.

7. Getting better energizes and challenges the people around me. The people I work with see what I am doing and they won’t want to eat my dust for long. The volunteers in my ministry will appreciate the trajectory of progress. People are drawn to excellence and repelled by mediocrity. Growing leaders don’t usually have a hard time recruiting others. They also keep their volunteer base over the long haul.

8. Don’t try to get better at everything. You need to have clarity on who you are and what your position requires. If you can’t lead the position and it’s responsibilities on to the next level, make it available to the next person. If you can get better at your top 3 or 4 responsibilities, do whatever it takes to maintain a personal incline of excellence.

9. Getting better will alleviate doubt, regret and second guessing. You need to know that you are doing all you can do, you’ve done all you are capable of doing and the results are in God’s hands. It’s a terrible feeling to know that you could have done more.

10. Getting better is discipleship. It’s not about making the boss happy or the board happy or the people happy. It’s really a matter of pursuing Jesus with every area of your life. Serving in a local church is a huge responsibility. The nature of 24/7 ministry requires that we steward all of our resources in a way that honors God. Don’t get better because I’m asking you to. Get better because you want others to see Jesus in you.

Confirmed Speakers for OUTLANDISH 2011

November 24, 2010

I knew you wouldn’t sleep tonight unless I posted this. You’re welcome. Rest well.

AJ Thomas – AJ is leading a wild bunch of revolutionaries in the heart of downtown Halifax – Deep Water Church. Not only are they killing it week after week, but AJ is easily one of the best young communicators and preachers. Anywhere. He is worth the price of registration.

Kevin Vincent – Atlantic Community Church in the booming metropolis of Apohaqui, NB is one of the greatest stories in the history of church in Atlantic Canada. Ever. More people go to this church than the actual population of the community. (if that’s a stretch, I’m not off by far!) ACC is a multi-site church that has been on the early-adapter edge of church growth for many years. Kevin knows what it’s like to have a church of 6 people.

Rob Nylen – Main St Baptist in Saint John is probably the best example in Atlantic Canada of how to transition an old traditional church into a growing missional force without polarizing everything and running out the senior crowd. Rob has been a master navigator. His church is ministering to the marginalized in the inner city, building a new facility, and emerging as one of the great congregations of the Maritimes.

Russ Conway – Russ is the new Lead Pastor of The Rock Church in Lower Sackville, NS. The Rock has been a leading church in Atlantic Canada for many years. They recently transitioned from a long-term pastorate to the new up and coming emerging leader – Russ. I am totally expecting Russ to bring the heat, the hot sauce, and the chili. I don’t know what that means, but it should be fun! Russ, if you or any of your peeps are reading this, know that we are praying for you and the message God is laying on your heart!

LD Buckingham – Woooo! If we can get his caffeine intake just right, you will  not want to miss the energy and experience of LDB. Moncton Wesleyan is the largest evangelical church this side of Ottawa. For 40+ years they have been committed to reaching everyone and anyone, any time and any way. I’m going to interview Pastor B and let him pour out 40 years of leadership and church growth. I don’t know anyone who has as much fire and determination as LDB.

Tim Guptill – Uh, that’s me. Yeah, I’m the host, but that’s not why I’m speaking. I really have a burden and passion to see the church rise up to greater things in Atlantic Canada. I’ve been on staff and I’ve been in charge. I’ve been in small churches and really big. Crosspoint has been in renewal/revival for the past 5 years and I will be blasting out of that canon for Outlandish. We’ve grown from just under 200 to 450+ in 3 1/2 years.

So, there you have it. Add in some crazyawesome worship and it should be an