Elevate Your Leadership Game

I have a confession to make. I haven’t done a lot of reading this year, and by not a lot, I mean almost none. I would like to blame it all on my writing schedule, but the truth is Netflix may be the biggest culprit. I know, I’m disappointed in myself also.


I did however take some time recently to read Mark Miller’s book, Chess Not Checkers, and I’m so glad I did.

Reading this book was a great reminder as to why reading is so important to growing your leadership.

The content wasn’t necessarily new or groundbreaking, but the book gives a simple and effective formula for growing a church that anyone can take and put into practice immediately.

Most churches, simply react to problems as the arise. They’re basically playing checkers. To become a great church, you need to learn how to play chess. When you play chess you’re no longer reacting to problems, you’re forming an effective strategy in order to win.

Great churches win when they implement these four strategies.

  1. Bet on LeadershipGrowing leaders grow organizations.

You cannot be a great church without great leadership. This means not only do you have to make a commitment to growing yourself as a leader, but you also have to have a strategy in place to grow others on your team.

  1. Act as One Alignment multiplies impact.

Many of the issues that keep churches from growing can be contributed to a lack of alignment. When every ministry is doing their own thing instead of working towards a common goal, the church suffers. Mark Miller explains that, “Part of your never-ending role is to keep the organization aligned on what matters most. When your organization gets out of alignment, you lose energy, focus, momentum, and results.”

  1. Win the HeartEngagement energizes effort.

One of the most important questions you can answer for your team is, “Do you care about me?” When the team knows you care as much about them and their dreams, as you do about the vision of the church, they will do everything possible to help you accomplish the vision.

  1. Excel at Execution Greatness hinges on execution.

Not matter how well you perform the first three strategies, none of it matters if you can’t execute consistently. If you consistently execute well, you’ll succeed. If you consistently execute poorly, you’ll lose.

Chess Not Checkers is a quick read and a great reminder of what it takes to grow a great church. The four strategies I’ve outlined above are the core of the book, and the leadership nuggets and insights found within the book are well worth the read.

What are you currently reading? If you’re not reading, what’s keeping you from it? Let us know in the comments below, and if you haven’t already make sure to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.

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