Wayne Hedlund

Michael Jordan & Craig Groeschel on Failure

Isn’t it interesting that so many of us have an intense fear of failure, and shy away from situations where we might fail, while others embrace failure, learn, and end up doing something great!

Watch these two great clips on failure and be inspired to try, fail, learn, adjust and try again!

If you can’t see this video, try clicking this link.
If you can’t see this video, try clicking this link.

How I Can Help Build Your Team

 Your workshop mobilized our team to action. It was all they talked about for weeks afterwards. We’ve already implemented most of your recommended changes and are seeing great results!” 
These are the very encouraging words a pastor shared with me recently about a workshop I taught for his leadership team. What I appreciated hearing him say, more than anything else, was that his team was not only equipped but they were inspired to action and saw results. One of my spiritual fathers and most recently the brand new President of Elim Bible Institute honored me with this quote about my teaching:

When Wayne Hedlund speaks leaders are changed. In my travels among pastors I have found repeatedly that after exposure to Wayne’s teaching on strategic planning that churches are experiencing powerful reformations. If you have a chance to hear Wayne speak or read his blog you will get the insights that you need as a leader to see your church move to that elusive ‘next level’ that we are all seeking.” Mike Cavanaugh

I’d like to invite you to consider how I might help you and your team. I have developed several workshops which are full of practical and useful information that will help your team be a success in fulfilling your unique mission. Feel free to email or call me (585-582-2790) to discuss how we might partner together!

Current Workshops Available

  • Strategic Planning for the Local Church
    This workshop is designed to equip your leaders in strategic planning. Strategic Planning is a broad topic. This content will specifically outline the key elements of a strategic culture, how to develop your ministry’s unique Philosophy of Ministry, and how to utilize “The Strategic Process” to work through a myriad of ministry difficulties, challenges, and new initiatives.

This workshop is also available on DVD for $99. You can purchase it by visiting my ‘store’ page right here.

  • Ten Strategies of the Local Church
    This workshop will give you and your leaders a clear understanding of the Ten Primary Areas for which every church should develop strategies and systems. As I unpack each area, I will also share key principles & resources that will better help you strengthen each one. The Ten Strategies include: The Weekend Service Strategy, The Assimilation Strategy, The Care Strategy, The Marketing Strategy, The Small Groups Strategy, The Ministry Partner Strategy, The Stewardship Strategy, The Leadership Strategy, The Discipleship Strategy, and A Strategic Culture.
  • The Guest Friendly Workshop
    Also known as ‘The Assimilation Workshop’, this seminar will equip your team to effectively draw first time guests back again and again, until they have been ‘integrated’ into the life and ministry of your church. Topics include: Introduction to Systems, Guest Friendly Culture, Guest Friendly Impressions, Guest Friendly Greeting, Guest Friendly Weekend Service, Guest Friendly Follow-Up, Guest Friendly Next Steps, Guest Friendly Metrics.
  • Hosting Exceptional Sunday Services
    This workshop will equip you and your team to regularly and effectively host exceptional Sunday Services. I discuss the six key elements of a Sunday Service and provide valuable resources and systems that will streamline your preparation and implementation of the Sunday experience every week. Here is a testimony from a leader who heard this material and experienced almost immediate results.

A 1-hour, condensed version of this workshop is also available for download or on CD at my online store right here.

  • Developing Great Systems Seminar
    This seminar is designed to introduce systems to your team. I discuss the difference between effective systems and ineffective systems as well as how to evaluate & develop systems that will simplify ministry, save time, and empower people to develop their gifts and skills – which will ultimately maximize your ministry potential.
  • Culture of Trust Seminar
    This seminar will strengthen your team by outlining how to develop a culture of trust together. It includes practical insights, practices, and exercises that will equip you to maximize your ministry effectiveness with a mobilized and unified team.
  • Crucial Confrontations Seminar
    This seminar is designed to give you and your team the tools to effectively communicate together as a team as well as individually. I debunk some confrontation myths, discuss why we often refuse to engage in crucial confrontations, and outline the key steps in confronting one another. I also leave room for Q&A to discuss unique and difficult confrontations.

Clarifying Core Values


Patrick Lencioni once had a conversation with a business leader about his core values. The business leader boldly declared that “a sense of urgency” was one of their core values. When Patrick asked if his employees all met their deadlines, the executive responded with a profound, “No, their complacent as hell, which is why we need to make urgency one of our core values!”

As Patrick describes so clearly in his article entitled “Make Your Values Mean Something” in the Harvard Business Review (a great and quick read), it can be very easy to define values that are, in fact, not really values at all.

I’ve already blogged about why I think defining core values are an important part of an ongoing & strategic environment right here. In today’s post I’d like to identify what core values are NOT.

  • Core Values are NOT the same as Mission.
    Your mission should be one simple statement defining WHY you exist as an organization. Your values will support your mission by providing the ground rules for effectively walking out that mission every day. 
  • Core Values are NOT the same as Vision.
    Your vision represents a desired future based on the mission of your church. Your values are different. They represent HOW you will carry out ministry between now and the fulfillment of that vision. For example, “be a multi-campus church” is a vision statement, not a core value. 
  • Core Values are NOT Core Beliefs.
    It can be easy to confuse the two. Simply put, your values COME FROM your beliefs. For example, I have a core value that all ministry should be Bible-Based because I have a belief that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Using the illustration in my post entitled “Why Core Values?“, I have a value that my preschool children will not watch certain evening programs because I have a belief that those programs will harm my child’s development.
  • Core Values are NOT the same as personal growth principles.
    There are many powerful principles about how we are to live out our faith in the Bible. For example, we will personally grow if we love others, be fiscally responsible, work hard and give glory to God while we do, worship, pray, fast, read the Bible, stay connected with like-minded believers, not be unequally yoked, etc. These are all important aspects of the Christian’s life. However, they should not be confused with your church core values. 
  • Core Values are NOT Strategies or Goals.
    Strategies and goals will, by necessity, change over time. Core Values will rarely, if ever, change. Don’t confuse a strategy for fulfilling a vision with your values. For example, ‘summer camps’ may represent a strategy for reaching young people in your church. However, I would not consider ‘summer camps’ a value. Perhaps in 5 years you will decide that mission trips will reach young people better than summer camps. That would be a new strategy. 
As a general rule of thumb, think of your Core Values as the basic rules by which you will accomplish your mission as a church. These well defined rules should never be broken, as that would ultimately compromise a basic belief you have about how ministry should always take place.

Your mission represents WHY you exist.

Your vision represents WHAT you think the future should look like.

Your strategy represents the PLANS you have set in motion to fulfill your vision.

Your values represent HOW you will carry out those plans at all times.

I Love What I Get To Do . . .

This short video clip (3:30) by the people over at Youth Specialties does a fabulous job of telling a story that is engaging and moving. The story happens all the time in ministry (or it should). Little touch points here and there that eventually lead to a powerful and transforming God moment.

So often we don’t even realize how often we are touching another’s life. We reach out, speak kind words, say a prayer, and then move on. It can be easy to forget how much God uses each and every one of those moments. What a great privilege and responsibility we have!

The closing line in this video sums it up great – “I Love What I Get To Do!” I hope you do!

If you can’t see this video, try clicking this link.


Thursday Quote: The Level Five Leader

In his book “Good to Great“, Jim Collins shared 6 key principles that would lead an organization from “good” to “great”, based on extensive research. Each of the principles stand alone as powerful ideas in leadership and strategic planning applicable to ministry leadership.

One principle has to do with an understanding of what Collins calls the “Level Five Hierarchy”. I have used the graph on this one page (page 20) many times while working with leaders, volunteers and teams. If you’d like to see the graph and a discussion on some of it’s ramifications to ministry, check out this post.

Here is a summary of this principle from chapter 1:

“We were surprised, shocked really, to discover the type of leadership required for turning a good company into a great one. Compared to high-profile leaders with big personalities who make headlines and become celebrities, the good-to-great leaders seem to have come from Mars. Self-effacing, quiet, reserved, even shy – these leaders are a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will. They are more like Lincoln and Socrates than Patton or Caesar.”

You’ll find that having and being this kind of leader at your church or ministry will greatly strengthen to potential for ongoing organizational growth. Really, all strategic development and planning starts with leadership. And the leadership needs at the very least two important qualities (certainly more as well).

Humility – someone who is modest, not boastful; has a quiet, calm determination; channels ambition into the ministry, not self; is not afraid of the next generation leaders; apportions credit for success to others rather than self.

Will – someone who demonstrates unwavering resolve to do whatever must be done to produce the best long-term results, no matter how difficult; sets the highest standard for building an enduring ministry; apportions responsibility for poor results to self rather than others. 

I hope you feel stirred and challenged. I know I do. The greatest organizations, businesses, and ministries will likely find this person(s) at or near the top. At Elim Fellowship, where I serve – I see several excellent examples of the Level Five Leader. These people are regular examples to me of the kind of leader I want to become. If you’ve ever had the chance to meet any of these amazing men, you’ll know exactly what I mean: Ron Burgio, Mike Cavanaugh, Chris Ball, Paul Johansson . . . I could go on and on. All of these men happen to serve on the eldership of Elim Fellowship as well, no wonder.

Reaching College Students After Graduation

One of my favorite ministries is led by one of my favorite people. It’s called BASIC College Ministries and is led by Todd Cavanaugh. BASIC wants to partner with local churches to help reach the mission field of young adults in college. I would like to exhort you to check out this 4 minute video presentation by Todd and consider whether you might want to contact the BASIC offices to learn more.

If you can’t see this video, try clicking on this link.
To learn more about how you might get more involved in BASIC College Ministries, check out this page on their website today!

Tactfully Speaking: Taming the Tongue


“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.”

James* reminds us that what comes out of our mouths makes a difference. In this final installment of the ‘Tactfully Speaking’ series, I’d like to share some my thoughts on how we might tame our tongue. Here they are:

  • Build the ‘5 Steps to a Meaningful Conversation‘ into your life.
    I’ve already discussed the process you might consider using when engaged in a conversation, with anyone, really. I would love to claim I do so all the time – I still have a ways to go myself – but I can say I’ve never regretted utilizing these simple steps when I remember to do so.
  • Be slow to speak.
    It is very hard to ‘dig a hole’ when you are conspicuously silent. That’s not to say our default should be silence. That can backfire too.  James* exhorts us to “be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” Ambrose Bierce once said, “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” Suffice it to say, the best time to be silent is when you are angry and not thinking straight.
  • Avoid definitives whenever possible.
    “God never moves in our church.”, “The women’s ministry should have been shut down a year ago.”, “The music is going to drive people away.”  These are a few examples of definitive statements. Certainly it is OK to have opinions, even strong opinions. The problem is that we often communicate our opinions as irrefutable and conclusive facts. There really isn’t any place for your listeners to go with that. If they agree with you, then all is well. But if they don’t they may keep silent and secretly disagree or they might possibly get defensive and your conversation could quickly evolve into an unnecessary argument.

I recommend you get into the habit of prefacing your opinions with a simple disclaimer. Start with the words, “In my opinion…”, “It seems to me…” or “I’m thinking…”. Let’s look at the above examples again with a simple disclaimer like this: “It seems to me that God never moves in our church.”, “In my opinion, the women’s ministry should have been shut down a year ago.”, “I’m thinking the music is going to drive people away.”

  • Be careful talking about others when they aren’t present.
    I suspect every leader needs to occasionally hold discussions about others when they aren’t in the room. I’ve done it, and I’m sure you have as well. But I’d like to submit that, perhaps, we do it more often than is truly necessary, especially if what we have to say about the person isn’t positive. Those conversations should be well guarded and rare. Even the Scriptures lay out a very clear order when it comes to dealing with difficult situations with people*. First you go to the person, and THEN you talk about it with a trusted and mature leader. Even then, it doesn’t stay behind closed doors but eventually makes it’s way back to the person.
  • Add key phrases to your speech.
    There are a few words and phrases that consistently save face for me – especially during a confrontation or difficult conversation. By themselves they don’t seem very effective, but properly used they can be very powerful. I’ve already shared a few important phrases above in avoiding definitives. Here are a few more of my favorites: “I wonder if…”, “Is it possible…”, “I could be wrong, but…”, “Could it be that…”. Let’s look at some examples of how those phrases might be used: “I wonder if we should consider approaching this conversation differently.”, “Do you think it’s possible that you might be too emotionally involved to really make a good decision about this right now?”, “I could be wrong, but my sense is that they didn’t mean to come across that way when they said that.”
  • Increase the use of your vocabulary.
    This might seem like an odd suggestion. What does an increased use of vocabulary have to do with taming the tongue and speaking tactfully. Answer: a LOT. Understand, I’m not talking about opening the dictionary and discovering odd or long words that nobody knows about. No. That’s increasing your vocabulary (also a good idea). I’m talking about increasing the USE of your vocabulary. What I am recommending is that we begin to study how other great communicators say things and intentionally model and integrate them into our daily speech. I’m talking about learning how to phrase things so that our listeners feel understood, don’t get defensive so much, and want to hear more of what you have to say. How many times have you caught yourself saying or thinking, “It’s on the tip of my tongue, I just can’t seem to get it out.” 
What other ways might we tame our tongue? 
* The above Scripture references include: James 3:9-10, 2 Timothy 3:16, James 1:22, James 1:19; Matthew 18:15-17 & Matthew 5:23-24.

Image from Tap10 at istockphoto.com.

Strategy Kickstart: Hire A Mystery Guest

A Strategy Kickstart is a short 3-5 minute video clip which can be used to ‘kickstart’ a strategic discussion in your church or ministry. Simply show the video clip to your team and use the ideas and question posed in the video to stimulate a valuable and hopefully relevant discussion on how you can better fulfill your ministry mission.

In today’s Strategy Kickstart I challenge your team to consider hiring a mystery guest to provide more realistic feedback on the Sunday morning experience from the perspective of a guest.

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