Takeaways: seeds.2015

By March 14, 2015Blog, Production
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This past week at seeds was incredible. It challenged and spoke to me, like few other events ever have. I have some good friends who weren’t able to attend this year and I promised them that I would be a diligent note-taker and share my notes to them – in hopes of giving them a tiny taste of the conference. After sending off a few emails, I decided just to post my takeaways here in the blog.

Please note – what follows is either my best efforts of real-time dictation – or – what the speaker said as my ears perceived it (which can be subject to change). Don’t take these notes for “direct quotes” from the speaker but more like my takeaways from the session. All the main sessions for seeds (except Patrick Lencioni – who was amazing) are available for playback on their vimeo channel: vimeo.com/cotm – and for a LOT more info than I’ll be able to give you here; make sure to check out their blog: seeds.churchonthemove.com

I hope these notes inspire you as much as they did me.

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book recommendation: “Made to Stick”

Southwest Airlines

Shocking performance gap between its competition. 30yrs of profitability. With a  direct focus on reduced cost.

Guided coordination called “The Commander’s Intent” for Southwest Airlines:

We are THE low fare airline.

Once you understand that – you can make any decision within the organization. “We want food on the flight!” – will adding food on the flight help us become THE low fare airline?…. The CHURCH has become the single greatest worldwide institution responsible for furthering education and outreach.



The desired “end state” of a goal, written at the top of every plan in the military. No plan survives contact with the enemy – just as no CI deviates from the goal.


The plan must be pursued in order, by the church – in order to thrive from generation to generation.

1 –  We exist to reach people who do not know Christ.

Mark 16:14 – John 20:19 – Mark 16:15

We do not have a right to change the CI of the commander in chief. As a follow of Christ – I am sworn to uphold and execute the CI of my CO

Acts 2:47 – ….the Lord added to the church daily.

Speak with the guest in mind. Careful how we phrase things. Change your vocabulary. We are a soul winning church above and beyond anything else because this is the 1st commandment of the commander in chief.

Create a face to face with God moment.

The secret to great church is: leave everybody wanting more. Create a sense of spiritual safety.

Regular attendees must be aware of guests. Not friendly but helpful.

Tell stories. Find stories to tell. It validates the changes that you make.

2 – We exist to facilitate life change in people who know Christ.

Matt 28:16 – ….Jesus had appointed to them…

Mark 3:13-14 – Matt 28:18-20

Discipleship doesn’t happen in the arena. Sitting in a row doesn’t create a disciple. It’s actually a great place to hide. However – in a circle – you cannot hide. It brings you face to face.

Beware of antidotal information. Beware of the influence of antidotal information.

Learn to hold each other accountable.

4 ways to measure children:

1 – height

2 – weight

3 – report cards

4 – cleanliness/responsibility

4 things to measure in people:

1 – am I becoming more responsible to God & my church? Am I better today than I was 1 year ago?

2 – am I becoming more responsible to my family?

3 – am I becoming more responsible with my resources? Money has a direct tie on my discipline and responsibility in my walk with God.

4 – am I becoming more responsible in my influence?

3 – We rely on the presence of the Holy Spirit to accomplish our mission.

Acts 1:8 – the way the church was run in the 70’s & 80’s was off base from the original church. Millions of people flooded out of dead denominations, starving for spiritual food. They were longing for more of God – and hundreds of churches developed out of the sole need to scratch that itch. Like a finishing school for Christians.

There is a priority in how we do this. Teach people on those priorities, in this order.


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The Meyers Briggs type indicator I’m an – ENFP – “I’m not a focus person” – People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed. Our original desire for authenticity comes from our original sin, Pride.


Allows us to build the healthiest possible organization. Health is the biggest thing.


– strategy

– marketing

– finance

– technology


– minimal politics

– minimal confusion

– high morale

– high productivity

– low turnover

Hard to calculate an ROI on these. Therefore it’s difficult to qualify. “Let’s be the smartest church we can be!” But have you made the healthiest organization possible?

Southwest & Chick-Fil-A aren’t smarter than their competition. Hey have valued and built a culture. The smarts & healthiness of their organization is a trickle down effect of their culture.

The SanAntonio Spurs have built this. They have built and value protecting a healthy culture.


1- build a cohesive leadership team. **If you can’t do this, you’re screwed.**

2 – create clarity.

Simple concepts that promote growth. MUST do these 2 steps 1st – then…

3 – Over Communicate Clarity.

Most leaders hate doing this. The don’t feel the progress. If Jesus himself could stick to the same point for 3 years….

4 – Reinforce Clarity

Build around your clarity. Institutionalize your culture without the bureaucracy.



1 – why do we exist?

2 – how do we behave?

3 – what do we actually do?

4 – what is our strategy? How will we succeed?

With no strategy, we are…..

5 – what’s most important right now? Answer immediately.

If you can’t do that 1st, you aren’t a good steward of your resources. This cannot be operational tasks!

6 – who has to do what?


Say what they mean – mean what they say. No confusion on “what matters” – avoid this tragedy.


Absence of trust.

Vulnerability based trust. THAT is helpful to the culture. When humans are emotionally naked with one another, not pretending to have skills they don’t have, it changes EVERYTHING. (If I had to pick one attribute, this would be the one)

Why bother with defensive people? They don’t help the team.

One lack of vulnerability at the table compromises the entire team. Give people the opportunity to want to grow.

The leader has to go 1st. If they can’t – others won’t.

People who don’t take compliments, don’t take criticism.

Fear of Conflict.

Constructive conflict comes out of compassion. Churches are the places where people get hurt the WORST. Failing to connect with people on ideas (agreeing or disagreeing) only increases the odds that we are going to crush them later.

Everything starts with trust.

The pursuit of truth trumps all.

Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue

Lack of Commitment

People who don’t weigh in, don’t buy in. Conflict is so necessary – it allows us to get to a point of true buy in.

Passive commitment. This is a cancer. It spreads rapidly. Lack of agreement is a byproduct of a lack of conflict.

The Avoidance of Accountability.

Peer pressure is more accountable than authority. The fear of letting a teammate down is more impacting than a boss’ threat.

Firing someone is often times the last act of a true coward, they were to afraid to hold them accountable prior to the firing.

Behavioral accountability is always the top priority.

Have the courage to hold people accountable to their behaviors 1st!

The letters from Paul are so genuine for this very reason. He wasn’t on a people pleasing mission, he was on a God mission. Not holding people accountable is selfish. Holding people accountable is an act of love.

Minister upwards with the same level of dignity and love that you would minister downward. If you will help me, I want you to be around me.

Inattention to Results  – oh, look! a bird! –

“My part of the boat doesn’t have a hole in it! -so- I’m OK!!” You can’t be insulated from the bottom line.

We don’t come out of the womb thinking about the team. We think about others out of the nature of Christ.



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Creativity is at the core of any endeavor. Creativity is NOT art. It’s problem solving.

God is the almighty creator and you are made in His image. You possess the ability to create and solve problems. “Doing” is not creating. “Doing” removes you from the dynamic of activating your God given creative process.

Creativity is not magic. It’s a discipline. Magic = we don’t know how it’s done. Therefore – we associate the process of creating things that we see as “magical” as magical themselves – and therefore unattainable. This mentality is a cop out.

The hidden laziness is thinking that this process is unavailable to me.

Seeing things in one context and using them in another is creative.

Discipline > talent

Creativity is not original. It’s authentic.

There is nothing. God speaks. There is something.

Don’t steal – translate. There’s nothing new, except what comes through you. New through you. It becomes new by going through your authenticity.

Creativity is NOT the absence of limitations, it’s leveraging your limitations.

Don’t get angry about your situation. Leverage it.

The perfect situation isn’t perfect.

Adam & Eve had it perfect. They still thought there must be something more.

Judas & Jesus. Wasn’t that a perfect scenario for Judas? And yet, he questioned; shouldn’t You have done this differently?…

Settle your calling. – then double down.

Don’t look at the “though me” – find the “in me” work first.

Lean towards thankfulness.

The “thank you” society understands/values connection. A selfish life breeds isolation.

When you see yourself as the source – you are the “end-all” and your ability to give is limited. When you recognize the Source, with a thankful heart, your giving is maximized because you realize that your cap is limitless.

The pursuit of “ministry” cannot replace Him. In our lives.


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3 Reasons People Refuse CHANGE.

1) very strong sense of loyalty

2) deeply held misbelief – commitment to an untruth.

3) concern for a disapproving fraternity (of pastors/colleagues)


There are real obstacles to change.

If we don’t change – we miss the opportunity. Refusal to change cannot be held up by the Word. It only gets held up by the thing that people have their eyes on. What we do and how we do it has little impact if we don’t know WHY we do it. When things are good we focus on the what and the how. The only time we tend to as WHY – is when things are going bad. The devil didn’t think I was to little to learn stuff, but the church did. They thought I was to little to learn about salvation. Why will sustain you and keep you while you try to figure out the how. Why is the source of passion. Passion is king.

The what and how can be so mechanical if we don’t understand the WHY in what we do.

Heb 4:12 …it exposes the very thoughts and motives of a man’s heart. Don’t limit your organization to your own ideas.

Beware of intimidation by observation. It’s easy to discount what someone else does. Haters discount another man’s success. No matter how much God blesses someone else, he still has something great for me. We are on the same team. Great churches aren’t built by men who pick apart their neighbors.

Don’t ask what they are doing – ask WHY. How much do I do – that I don’t know WHY I do it. Leaning the what and how makes it so easy to loose your authenticity. God calls for reproductions. Not copies.

Heb. 12:1

Refine and run the race that God has set in front of me. Change to refine myself to be a better me – to run my race faster and to a higher level.

Celebrate planters.

The greatest anointings flow from people who understand the why.

Matt 8:5-13

…a man under authority…. such great faith.

Rome understood authority. He centurion understood discipline and saw the authority that Jesus walked under – the same authority from God down through Jesus as that of the Roman Empire down to him. He got the why.

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It’s a sacred trust to preach the word of God.

Leadership is all about constant transition.

They have to see down the road, anticipate change, develop other leaders to change.

Great leaders are never trying to hold onto power, they are working constantly to give it away.

Leading through transition – is always he greatest test of a leader.

The key to victory – ask any coach – PREPARATION. Bear Bryant spent 1hr/1min of the game that was to be played that week.

You only get one shot to exchange the baton in a relay race. Drop the baton, and you’re out. The transition from one runner to the other has to be seamless and at the same speed. I’m one runner, running with the baton, and how fast I run is as important as how efficiently I pass the baton onto the next runner. The greatest danger in this race is not running to slow, but holding onto the baton to long.

No one wants a boss, they want a coach.

Men get hung up on titles. They fear life beyond the exchange zone.

Measuring the impact on the team is probably the most important thing. Over communicate the change and over extra communicate what’s NOT changing. People get very insecure during change. “Cross that bridge when we get to it” is to late.

18 month exchange zone. Preparing the staff and the leadership BEFORE we reached the exchange zone. Create leadership space.

The hardest thing isn’t building & doing – it’s passing on to the next. The younger level leadership – about to get the baton – has to have the mentality; it is not mine to take, it’s his to give.

Don’t pass along dead weight. Work overtime to create momentum and get all the ducks in a row before hitting the exchange zone.

As a leader, it’s not about when “I’m ready”, it’s about when the organization and the successor is ready.

Communication starts within the family. You can’t underestimate the effect of transition on your family.

Reposition – not retire.

Seek growth opportunities.

Be intentional about areas that need coaching or growth.

Great leaders make room and leave room for the next level of leadership.

Whenever you are casting new vision – reach back and connect it to those who brought you to where you are today. Honor the past without getting consumed by it. Fail on the side of honor – honor brings stability.

Normalize change for your team. Everyone loves change when it’s their idea. As a leader, teach and transition change for your organization. Normalize the ending. Consistent mission, new methods. One of the most important tactics to normalizing the ending is to celebrate the ending .

Forget the former, focus on the new. The new season becomes the new normal.

Give yourself a break in the transition. Be ok with working your way back up the ladder when your stepping into something new.

Don’t fear passing the baton, there’s another baton coming up behind you for you to grab.

God always has that next assignment waiting for you.

Be slow with change during transition.

Find anything and everything to celebrate during transition.

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Brand – what are people’s perception of you? The sad thing about perception is that it is reality.

Perception is reality.

Caring for that perception is our responsibility. Managing the perception is our job. In the corporate world – they are trying to take a market user, impress them with the perception and convert them into a raving fan.

WE (church) are tying to appeal to as many users as possible and convert them to believers in the perfect message of the cross. How much more does our brand matter – since the story/truth is so perfect!

Q: What defines people’s perspective?

A: Experience.

Experience is a feeling and it encompasses everything.

Starbucks has a GREAT EXPERIENCE with terrible coffee. (couldn’t agree with this point more!) Their brand statement sells the experience. The coffee is irrelevant. By selling the experience – they have sold people on the idea that they need Starbucks in their life. To the extent that their product (experience) is needed in their life.

They have convinced you that their dessert drink menu is the definition of good coffee. The experience is the lingo and routine of u creating the perfect cup of “coffee” – which is in fact a liquid dessert. They have continually only sold the experience. The product is what you’ve perceived the experience to be.

When our product (the church) is the BEST available – we have to do everything to protect the perception of excellence around an amazing product.


Control every angle that the viewer can see through. What is going to make you comfortable walking through the the door. EVERYTHING is brand. Every touch point matters.




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Erik Hansen

Author Erik Hansen

Husband, father, son and brother - usually in that order. Love thee God, Family and Notre Dame. Available for hire as a war time consigliere.

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