Next Generation Leadership Conference – KeyNote


5 Things every leader has to get right – KeyNote


I want to bookend my thoughts tonight from Paul’s second letter to Timothy – When we discuss a topic like leadership it’s important that we gain proper footing for that conversation and that we leave with a proper perspective on all that we have discussed.


2 Timothy 1:6-14

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to[a] a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,[b] 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.[c] 13 Follow the pattern of the sound[d] words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

Ministry is difficult If you were to tell me you have never felt like quitting I would respond by congratulating you on your first week in ministry.


I believe there are five areas in our leadership that if we get them wrong we will never last we will never persevere in the calling God has for us.



1. Delegation

– There are far to many pastors doing ministry alone. We have bought into this lie that we have big enough shoulders for the entirety of the ministry we lead.

1. We don’t delegate because we don’t trust God with the results. (1 Corth 3) God gives the increase.

2. We don’t delegate because our default mode is to do. If I do this my pastor will be pleased with me. If I do that God will be pleased with me.

3. We don’t delegate because we don’t have a half hearted view of what eternal rewards are. What ultimate beauty is. Lewis address our self focused small minded in his book weight of glory.

“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.

“We are far too easily pleased.”  C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory.

We see the week to week not the eternal significance of what we are doing.

4. We often don’t delegate because we are building our own kingdom – we are far to concerned with who gets the credit rather than who gets the glory.

5. We don’t delegate because we have an improper view of Ultimate authority. 


2. Leading under authority – 

We lead under authority when we understand ultimate authority – When you come on staff at a church you have to submit yourself to the pastor you serve. This can only be done to the degree that you have submitted your life completely to Christ. 

What does submission to authority look like?

– It’s walking and leading in humility
– It’s trusting Jesus more than your circumstance
– It’s not checking your dreams at the door of the church it’s finding your joy in God.
– It’s not blindly following your pastor off a cliff
– Submission to authority starts with you submitting your life to Christ ultimately and as a result of that you walk in humility.  Paul talks about our submission to Christ and uses marriage as an example for us.

22Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

The power to submit to the authorities God has placed in our life comes from our ability to fully Trust Christ above all else. –

Think how different our churches would be if we lived our lives surrendered to Christ. Think how different our families would be.


3. Connecting with families 


– We have to move from atmosphere of co-dependance to an environment of interdependence. –

There has been a huge push for family ministry the past decade and rightly so. Leading into the future we have to value families not as a stated value but as an actual value. The church and families alike need to admit that this co-dependent relationship is broken and doesn’t honor God. We need to move to a model that creates interdependence where families and church are dependent on each other and where they are both fully dependent on Christ alone.

Unfulfilled expectations are the  seed bed of disappointment

When talking about connecting parents sometimes our creative ideas and the connecting themselves become an end in themselves.

We start with the wrong question. We ask how can we connect to parents. We need to ask that but we first need to ask what are we connecting them to? Do the parents we are partnering with value the same things?

We won’t connect with families and we won’t connect our families to Christ until it becomes a priority. 


4. Priorities 

– Our priorities are informed by our loves. We make time for the things we love. Where we spend our times shows what is most valuable to us.

Our priorities are determined by our loves. We spend our time, our money and our energy on the things that matter most.

As a leader you will be pulled on by everyone around you if you don’t put guard rails in your life you will dive off a cliff. – What drives us? Our desire to please everyone. We want to make everyone happy. This is a pipe dream and comes from our desire to have others think well of us rather than God.

Luke 6:26

26 “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

If you manage your time and priorities right, people will be mad at you.

Get used to it.

Lastly and probably one of most deadly is measurement. 


5.  Measurement 

– We measure the wrong things. Measurement is a good thing what measure reveals a lot about us.

The thing that is so dangerous about measurement is it can very quickly become the thing in our life that informs every decision we make.

We can find our identity in something other than Christ. – Our tendency is to move off of the things we can’t see and start to measure ourself by things we can see. We often find our worth in kids ministry by how many kids come, by how big our budget is, by how many staff members we have.

Idol’s are most often good things we have made ultimate things – Tim Keller

A lot of the dissatisfaction we have in ministry comes from us measuring the wrong things.

We spend our time and energy on the things we measure. What you measure you get more of. What scares me is getting more of something that isn’t Jesus.

What is crazy is that we can so easily use Jesus to get what we want.


Conclusion – 

God is enough 

– when we recognize that we do what we do because of the strength He supplies it makes a difference. When He is our foundation he is our source. He is enough.

Our confidence is not in ourselves but in the gospel we preach. 

There is a message that must burn within us that will define us that will enable us to fully proclaim the gospel that in our preaching God will be glorified forever and those who need to hear will be able to listen.

When the primary goal of our ministries is to glorify God we measure the right things, we respond with grace to one another, we give away what we have been given and we love the things He loves.

2Timothy 4:17-18

17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

God is standing by you to strengthen you so that the gospel will be preached the enemy of your soul wants to devour you. But we serve a rescuing God. When our satisfaction is found in Christ HE will be glorified.

4 comments On Next Generation Leadership Conference – KeyNote

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  • thanks for posting these notes, and thank you for speaking at NGLC! Your keynote & breakout session truly blessed me and, i think it’s safe to say, many others! thank you for your heart for kids ministry! Blessings!

  • Hi Sam,so glad my husband and I got out to gander to the Nglc,we learned so much at your sessions!!! Thanks so much,I wish now I would have met you in person!!!—we are so new to being leaders with the children,we both love it!! I can’t imagine me saying that coz I liked animals more than kids lol!! But both me and my husband were healed so whatever god tells us to do we do it!! We both were cripple!!! Thanks again for coming to nl and posting your notes…blessings,iva wells.

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