Launching something new? Here are four steps that will help you succeed.


There is nothing more invigorating than launching a new project, ministry, business, or church. However, According to the Small Business Association 50% of all new businesses fail during the first five years. In the church world, Thom Rainer of Lifeway Publishing states that between 6,000 to 10,000 churches will close their doors in the United States this year.

I don’t have all the answers, that is for sure. However, before you start the process of launching something new, here are four steps that I know you need to take.

1 - Wrestle with the WHY. 

Why are you doing this? Really? What is the motive? What is the win? Why does this need to be done? If your why is not deep in the DNA of who you are, when trouble comes, which it will, you will not have the motivation to push through it.

2 - Clearly define the WHAT. 

What are the three to four thing that will cause the why to come to pass? Narrow the what down to the big rocks of what gets you the win. 

Example: TheCHURCH at Visalia:
WHY do we exist? 
Bring people to Jesus and help them live like Him. 

WHAT do we do to accomplish this?
Gather - on the weekend. 
Grow - in small groups. 
Give - to Gods kingdom. 
Go - serve the world around us. 

3 - Find the right WHO. 

Your why and what will help define who the right person is to be on your team. When looking for the who - look just as long at character and heart as you do skillsets and experience. 

4 - Empower the WHO to run the HOW. 

Let your leaders lead. Give them the why, define the what, and let them get into the trenches and figure out how to accomplish the task. Your job is to train and release them to success. 

Hope this helps:
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What do we do when we try and fail?


Leadership lessons from Exodus Chapter 5. 

Moses had answered Gods call to leave his job as a Shepherd in Median and go to Egypt and free Gods people. 

He had met with his brother Aaron. He had met with the Israelites letting them know the plan. Now after 400 years of slavery, hope was rising up in Gods people. 

When Moses took the bold step and stood before the pharaoh, for the first time. He failed. In fact he failed in a big way. Not only did the Pharaoh say no to Moses request to allow Gods people to be go worship the Lord in the dessert. The Pharaoh, got angry and punished the Hebrew slaves. Taking wall all the straw they needed to make bricks, but he did not reduce the amount of bricks they had to make. When the people complained to the Egyptian masters, the masters got more angry, beating and even killing them. 

The Hebrews came back to Moses, their leader. They were hurt. They were angry. They said to him, "The Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.” 

Then Moses left the people and in a private moment, cried out to God, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.”

Moses had just gotten started and he already had a major failure. The Pharaoh, didn’t listen and his people are against him. Failure, drove the questions that had been haunting him since the first day he accepted the position as "Leader" to come to the forefront ... 

God did you really call me? 
You've got the wrong guy. 
I don't think I can do this. 

Leadership is not easy and failure comes even with the highest of calls. 

We all know this. I am sure the Moses knew this. 
But for some reason it seems different when its us. 
We should succeed. It should be easier than this 

But the truth is, leading yourself, leading your family, leading anything is not easy and many times failure may be experienced more often than success. 

So what do we do, when we try and fail? 
What do we do when it’s not working? 
What do we do when deep inside of us we are convinced, Gods got the wrong person in charge … and that person just happens to be us? 

We do what Moses did in Exodus Chapter 5. We keep walking into Exodus Chapter 6. 

When we try and fail, we simply step into the next chapter of our journey, and try again. 

Because maybe, like Moses, we are the one for the job. 
But we will never know if we don't keep going.

The world needs you Moses.


Leadership lessons from Exodus Chapter 3 and 4. 

When we think about the freeing of the Hebrew children from slavery in Egypt, the first thing that comes to our mind is Moses. 

God met Moses at the burning bush. God empowered Moses to go back and face the Pharaoh. Moses was the one who led Gods people out of slavery. 

That is all true. However, Moses was not alone. Moses was not the only person that God used to free His people. 

In Exodus chapter 3 and 4, we see that Jethro gave Moses permission to leave his post in Median and return back to Egypt. Then later in life, Jethro gave Moses much needed advice on how to structure his leadership and delegate tasks to others. Aaron, met with Moses and became Moses’s spokesman. It was Aaron who spoke to the people and Pharaoh even performing great signs from God to legitimize Moses call. 

To free His people, God did not just use Moses. 
God used a team. 

The same is true today. Many times when we think of great exploits in companies, or churches, we typically think of Bill Gates, Steven Furtick, Craig Groeschel, the Moses type leader that accomplishes the impossible. 

Was Moses a great leader. Absolutely! Did Moses do what he did alone. Absolutely not. In fact, that is one of the things that made him a great leader. He allowed the people God had placed around him to play their part and do what God had empowered them to do. 

Bill Gates, Craig Groeschel, Steven Furtick, the author that you love to read, the pastor that stirs your heart, are they great leaders? Absolutely. Do they do it alone? Absolutely not. That is what makes them great leaders. They lean into the people around them. Releasing them to play their part, to do what they are called to do.

Did you know that you are Moses? God has called you to lead your family, lead a small group, lead a ministry, or maybe lead a business. Don't be afraid. Look around you. If God has called you, He has also called others to come around you. Not as servants, but as partners. Moses had Jethro and Aaron. Who do you have ... I think if you look around, you might be surprised who is standing there. 

The world needs you Moses! Go lead them.

God works methodically. God works intentionally. But does not always work quickly.

moses mother.jpg

Today I read Exodus chapter 2. This is the story of Moses life before God meets with him at the burning bush in Chapter 3. 

In Exodus 2, we read about Moses being born. He is hidden for 3 months by his mother. She then puts him in the Nile River and he is found by the Pharaoh's daughter. Moses is then nursed by his mother for a season and then given back to Pharaoh's Daughter and raised in the Egyptian Palace.

Years later (we are still in Chapter 2), Moses is as an adult and he kills an Egyptian. Moses, then flees into to the dessert of Median to live. He gets married and lives in Median as a shepherd. At the end of chapter 2, God hears the cry of his people and begins to set plan in place to free them. 

In reading this chapter the thing that jumps off the page at me, is that God works methodically, God works intentionally, but God does not always work quickly. 

In this story alone we see 

- 9 months for Moses to be born

- 3 months for Moses to be hidden 

- Moses is found and lives in Pharoughs court for 40 years 

- Moses flees to Median and lives there for 40 years 

- Then God moves to free his people 

Acts Chapter 2 spans a minimum of 80 years. 
The oppression of slavery lasted over 400 years. 
God works methodically, God works intentionally, but God does not always work quickly. 

Sometimes we can get so frustrated that thing we know are good and even Godly have not happened yet in our life or ministry. However, when I look at my life through the lens of Exodus 2, I realize that I am only 47 years old. At this point in Moses life he had another 33 years of living in the dessert of Median. He had to wait 33 more years before Exodus chapter 3 begins and he receives his life mission of setting the Jewish people free, who had been slaved for 400 years. 

God works methodically, God works intentionally, but God does not always work quickly. 

In looking at Exodus Chapter 2 I see that we work on the "what" ... and God takes care of the "when".

Seven things we do that make us less effective as communicators.

As communicators we want our message to get across to the audience in such a way they actually change. Sometimes, however, how we deliver the message actually keeps the message from hitting home deep into the heart of the listener.

Here are seven things that I have learned (mostly the hard way) that keep us from effectively getting our message to them.

1. Consistent passionate and loud voice flexions. 

Passion is a great thing. Moving your voice to a new level of intensity is good. However, being passionate and loud all the way from the introduction to the closing point, gets old to the listener very quickly. 

Here's a tip - let the content dictate when you go up and down in your voice flexions. Let you message breath a little. Think through when you are going to speak in normal voice, when you are going to crank it up a bit

2. Too much body movement on stage. 

Moving around the stage is a “must do” in speaking and using your hands is a very engaging thing, however, it is possible to move around so much that you take away from the message or point you are trying to make. 

Stay in control. Use your body to sell the point, to engage the listener, or get more involved as a speaker. But don't let what you do, be a distraction to what you are trying to say. 

3. When feel like you're losing the crowd you drop a cheap joke or give a golden nugget of truth. 

As communicators we have all been here many times. You feel like your point is not sinking in. You don’t feel like the crowd is with you, so you throw out a quick silly joke to get the crowd to laugh and participate. Or you throw out a golden nugget that is very true and very good, however, it has absolutely nothing to do with the message you are speaking. You just threw it out there because you felt like you are losing the crowd. 

Here’s the thing, you may be losing the crowd … but you may not be. Sometimes people are just listening (thats a good thing). As a communicator we have to lean in on our preparation and trust that we have the content that people need to hear. There is nothing wrong with making onstage modifications like being funny or dropping awe inspiring truths but always trust your content … don't do things to cheapen, or shortchange it. 

4. Telling the same story the same way you told it before. 

Sometimes, especially, if you travel and speak you will tell a story that you have told many times before. That is more than fine, because most likely the people you are speaking to have never heard the story.

The problem is, that as the speaker you have heard the story far to many times. You know the story up and down, backwards and forwards. You know the sad parts and you know the parts where everyone is going to laugh. 

All of that is fine, however, the problem comes when we get into “robot mode” in telling the story.  Robot mode sucks for the listener! Every time you tell the story you have to be “in the moment” and let the story shrink and expand to the environment you are currently in. 

Trust me, as a guy who speaks for a living every weekend as well as speaks at and attends many conferences every year … people know when you have told the story before.  Here are some tell tell signs that you are telling a story that you’ve told many times before. 

You are talking very fast. 

You know the content so well, you are flying through it.

You pause for laughter at just the perfect time. 

That is really awkward when the crowd does not laugh on cue. 

You drum up an emotional response

Pull up the tears and voice flexion changes, when you really aren’t feeling anything in the moment, but you do it because thats what the story demands

I speak three times every Sunday, so every week I am telling the same story at least three times. I also travel and speak each month and sometimes have stories that I use repeatedly in certain . Two things that I do to keep a story fresh in my heart is: I tell the story in a different order, or I leave a part of the story out. This mixes things up in my head and keeps it fresh in the moment. 

5. Spend so much time on your personal story it takes  away from the actual point you are making. 

Our personal story is not the point of the message we are giving. It is a tool that we use to set up the point or apply the point. But it is not the point. As communicators we need to spend more time on the point and less time on our story. 

6. Skim across six points but never unpack one. 

Every time we speak, we are speaking for change. We want the listener to change something. It is easier for them leave inspired to live differently, when they hear the details of one thing, rather than an overview of five or six things. 

7. Give why and the what, but never give the how. 

If you are speaking about making disciples, you need to explain WHY we should disciple, WHAT is a disciple, and then HOW we actually make a disciple. The why inspires. The what gives clarity. But it is the how, that they actually use. Never forget the how.

Here are a few questions:

Which of these seven do you typically struggle with?

Why is it that you struggle with it?

What changes can you make in preparation to remedy these? 

I would love to hear from you - comment below - or email me at