Courage: WCAGLA Session 1: Bill Hybels

Session One – Bill Hybels

Courage relates to every single aspect of leadership.

Nelson Mandela said he would fight apartheid

Vision: a picture of the future that creates passion in people

That's kind of funny. I'm sensitive to the paradigm of worrying about what other people think. Trying to turn off my critic.

Leadership: Getting people from here to there.

It takes more courage than any onlooker can imagine. A lot goes on inside to make what you see on the outside.

Building a building to serve the poor, as the people that wanted to serve them were becoming the poor!

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, I am with you and I will never forsake you. Josh 1:9

They put in a huge lobby so poor wouldn't have to wait outside in the cold.
They put in a choice grocery store instead of a food bank so people could have a choice of what they got for food.

Why any sensible pastor would keep fully capable women from full deployment is beyond me – Bill Hybels Dang!

A lot of leaders fear what failing would look like in the middle, so they don't make it to the start.

Many leaders secretly abort their vision out of fear.

Too many visions die inside somebody's head because of fear. The cost was too high or the potential for failure was too great.

Do we lay the blame for the state of the world at the feet of a loving GOd, or at the feet of gutless, fraidy-cat leaders that don't have the chutspa to make their vision happen?

You might have ideas, but you lack one thing: bravery. Basic courage.

BE STRONG AND Courageous! What if God wants to do the thing He is giving you to do!?

That is why God made us leaders, not to suck our thumbs in the status quo. Not to hold our blankey and go to our grave with hidden visions.

A lady came up to bill and said,

Thank you for this place, right now it is our family's only hope.

He drove home crying at the thought of killing off that vision in a moment of fear.

Have the courage to define the current reality

Down, flatline, or upturn, what is the current reality? If it's going down, get your team and act fast!

MRI and code red story. Entire MRI staff ran out and left him in the MRI machine. "Ok folks, I'll just wait here and grow a third eye!"

Flatline: Sometimes to get to code red, the leader needs to commit arson. Set status quo on fire so people will evacuate, if necessary.

Upward run, you behave differently, you store up, you take more risks, you give younger, unskilled players more gametime.

The hardest part of this exercise is identifying whether you are up, down, or flat. Nobody ever wants to admit and face 2 of those 3.

Admit your downturn and act on it! Don't let the org burn down!

Truth: your whole team knows the reality of the state of the team, they are waiting for you to step up and lead them in it.

Whatever you are the most responsible for leading, what is YOUR current reality? Up, flat, down? Where are you individually?

Requires ruthless honesty about your current reality.

Have the courage to build a great culture.

  • Moving our staff to a healthy culture took more bravery than anything else. Took him a year to make the decision to bring in an outside firm.

Best Christian Workplace Survey

under 3.75, people don't trust each other, it's toxic
4.00 range, people kind of like coming to work, like kissing your sister
4.75 flourish, that is the magical range! stuff is awesome!

in their first year, they were 3.82, in toxic range

He was devastated by the results, but there was so much hurt and disappointment on their team he didn't sleep for weeks.

He knew it was going to take hundreds of meetings to work the stuff out and rebuild, so they started fast.

they went from 3.82 to 3.95 in a year, still toxic and still working

It took them 3 years to get healthy. Recovering trust in your staff takes years.

people join organizations and leave managers

That applies in churches, in missions, etc. "I loved your organization but my manager was crazy!"

**If they were done learning to be managers, they were done on the staff. **

Flourishing organizations are few and far between. Very few organizations reach 4.0

Staff cultures will only be as healthy as the CEO or Senior Pastor wants them to be. Delegating or abdicating this to anyone else is the kiss of death.

I know you think your job is safe, but we are no longer going to pay people to bruise and bust our culture. Build a flourishing culture or we will fire you.

You will not believe the difference beteween a flourishing staff and a toxic staff!

Rowing a boat across a lake with 10 people with only 3 people rowing. 3 are checking their txt, 2 are willfully sinking the boat, and 2 are asleep.

I really hope the messed up churches and pastors in Evansville take this talk to heart. There are so many toxic cultures in ministries it makes me want to tear my shirt.

4th component of leadership

Establish and enforce values

OneLife has campus pastors, WillowCreek has section pastors.

His friend lost a 5yo grandbaby, went to a church and sobbed through the whole service and nobody came up to talk to him about it. That messed Bill up, he couldn't bear the thought of somebody coming to Willow, weeping through a service, and not getting a pat on the back.

There is a time to cast a vision, and there is a time to establish an invaluable value.

"This is now a part of our culture, and you can like it or leave it." I don't think I know any church that really has the balls to have that attitude. They talk it, but they don't act it.

We will no longer be a church that lets people leave here unwelcomed and unloved.

Seems like Bill is moving Willow to do in their sections what the Verge folks are doing in neighborhoods.

An Aside

I don't think willow would admit this, but it seems like they are still in the temple mentality. Putting money into section pastors systems builds up the pastoral care of the sections of the church, but it's still inside the church. Maybe this summit is focused on what happens inside doors because that's the audience.


if you are going to lead an organization, you are going to have to re-invent the organization and re-invent yourself several times.

You are going to have to celebrate and bless your colleagues as they leave and go on to do bigger and better things without you!

Lawyer: people don't change
Bill H.: I'm betting my life that you are wrong

He felt an impression from the Holy Spirit to preach in the middle of a baptism service. He said that God loves you just as you are and God has always been reaching out to you.

Mobs of people came down to be baptized. Mobs, In suits, in skirts, baptized like crazy.

So many of God's rewards for leaders are reserved for late in the race.

Consider Caleb and finish strong. Courageous leaders need to endure, persevere, don't be gutless.