Andy Stanley and Northpoint church is the best example I know of a church that has grown through multiplying groups. Their publicly stated vision: “We envision fifty thousand people participating in weekly small groups that are committed to multiplying.” This is a story I have watched pretty closely because my most popular book and conference is about how to double a group in two years or less. Northpoint is the best example I know of a church that is doing it.
How is Andy leading toward having 50,000 in multiplying groups? Talks? Logic? Verbal arguments? Yes, but the real weapon is example:
Your willingness to embody the vision of your organization will have a direct impact on your credibility as a leader. Living out the vision establishes credibility and makes you a leader worth following. When people are convinced that the vision has stuck with you, it is easier for them to make the effort to stick with the vision. Your giftedness may enable you to gather a following. But it will take more than talent to make your vision stick.
When you embody the vision of your organization, people come to believe that your job is more than just a job for you. Over time it occurs to insiders that you would be doing the same thing even if there weren’t an organization to support you. When it is evident to those closest to you that you have personally embraced the vision, you give them permission to do the same. At that point you’re not leading from position—you’re leading from influence. Living out the vision establishes credibility and makes you a leader worth following. When people are convinced that the vision has stuck with you, it is easier for them to make the effort to stick with the vision.
When my wife, Sandra, and I bring an unchurched friend or family to a weekend service, I tell the staff about it on Monday morning. I thank them for partnering with my family to reach our community. I talk about our small group. I look for opportunities to talk about the difference our children’s small groups are making on our kids. I want them to know that this is personal for me. I believe. I’m in. This isn’t just a job. It’s a calling.
If you say you believe in something, live it out. And live it in a way that the people around you can see it. That’s not arrogant. That’s liberating.
Whatever you want people to do, you must do. Teach by example.
Josh Hunt. Teach Like Jesus.