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.

Tactical Tip: Return Emails Within 24 Hours

Recently, I sent an email to a leader in my life asking a question and making a suggestion I thought he might appreciate. I didn’t hear back from him for more than two weeks. After the first couple of days I started to wonder if perhaps I didn’t actually send it, so I double-checked. A few days later I started to wonder if I had somehow offended him. Every day thereafter I discovered a pattern whereby I would battle with imagined stories in my head regarding why my friend never responded. I didn’t really want to email or bring it up again simply because I didn’t want to be a pest. Finally, I got the anticipated response. He answered my question and expressed gratitude for my suggestion, which he had already acted on. Needless to say, I put myself through a lot of emotional trauma for no reason at all. This could very easily have been prevented by my friend. 

I’m sure we’re all guilty of this at some point or another. Our Inbox gets inundated with every sort of email imaginable. You know some emails can be deleted, many can be dealt with in just a few seconds, a handful will only take a minute or two of your time, and then there’s the rest. Those emails will require some sort of follow up, action, research, or a lengthy response. That last category of email are the ones that will sometimes sit in the Inbox for days – even weeks.

Today’s Tactical Tip is simply to get into the habit of returning every email within 24 hours.

This is so simple to do, it’s actually embarrassing. Obviously, we can’t control what others might think about us on the other end, but we certainly can minimize the chance that they tell the kinds of ‘stories’ I was guilty of telling myself! Here are three simple steps that will help you build this new habit into your email ridden life.

  1. Read or scan the email and determine what you need to do (and when) in order to properly respond.
  2. Place a task in your Task List or Calendar which includes a deadline on when you believe you can reasonably respond.
  3. Reply to the email author and let them know you have received their question/request and how long it will take for you to get back to them.
Perhaps this scripted response might help:


Thanks for sending me this email. I just looked it over and realize that I won’t be able to respond to you the way I really want to right away. I’d like to take some time to process and think it through. I’m also right in the middle of a couple other projects that take precedence right now. I’ll do my best to get back to you on this in about five days.

Thanks for your patience! 


OK. You’ve officially been armed with an easy to do challenge. Get back to everyone who emails you within 24 hours. I’m confident people will be glad you do!

Image compliments of Salvatore Vuono on

Time Management 101: Get Meeting Happy


I have a recommendation for you. FILL UP YOUR CALENDAR WITH MEETINGS! That’s right. I believe this can be a very powerful tool to help you stay focused, use your time wisely and get things done. Since I’m sure you don’t want to be stuck in any more meetings than I do, I guess I better explain myself. The point of this basic time management principle isn’t to get more busy, but LESS busy, by ensuring you schedule out your week and days in advance.

Here are the different kinds of meetings you should fill your calendar with:

  • Team Meetings.
    A team meeting is any meeting that includes more than two people. It’s important you connect with the team(s) you work with. That doesn’t mean you should be in team meetings all day, every day. Limit team meetings as much as possible so that you have the time/energy in your week to process and get done what you’ve been dreaming and talking about in team meetings. I also recommend you clarify the type of team meetings you participate in. I lay out the three basic kinds of meetings in the post: The Seats of the Bus.
  • One on One Meetings.
    One on One meetings include any meeting between just you and one other person. If you manage people (staff or volunteers) you should be holding 1on1 meetings with various people in order to encourage, evaluate, and equip them for ongoing ministry. If you have a boss (or direct report), hopefully you are invited to similar meetings with him or her (if not, I encourage you to setup a 1on1 with them to talk about it). Finally, 1on1 meetings will include counselling sessions, lunch appointments, time with key staff to connect or troubleshoot problems, etc. Check out Tactical Tip: Moving to Eye Level.
  • Self-Appointments.
    The rest of your calendar should be filled in with self-appointments. These are blocks of time that you have dedicated to getting things done. Most people don’t fill their calendar in with self-appointment time. As a result, the tyranny of the urgent rules the day. Long term projects, study time, prayer time, and admin time get squeezed in wherever it will fit in – and often it doesn’t fit in. I recommend you protect self-appointments like you would 1on1 and team meetings. That doesn’t mean you become legalistic about it, just protective. For example, you might create a weekly self appointment on Mondays for 1-2 hour slot that is specifically set aside for reading or study; or perhaps a 5 hour chunk for sermon prep on Tuesdays. You could slot off a 2 hour chunk on a Thursday to work on a long term project or something that is coming up later this month. I often create self-appointments prior to 1on1 and team meetings so I can prepare for them properly.
Additional Suggestions:
Here are a few more random suggestions in regards to filling your calendar with meetings.
  • Schedule ‘Off Time’ Too.
    It’s just an idea, consider scheduling what your off hours (that means hours you don’t work – for those of you who keep hours like that) look like too? This is where you would include the obvious, like Doctor appointments and kids games. But it could also include specific time with the whole family or individual family members, down time, TV time, exercise, and more.
  • Block Flexible Hours.
    If you are a pastor, you know that any given week you need to be available to meet with people, even if those meetings aren’t setup today. Block the hours and days you will be available for 1on1 meetings. If you don’t have meetings during that block of time, work on other things. The key is to keep most of your meetings within those blocked times and protect the rest of your week’s self-appointments.

Tactical Tips

I believe that small changes can often create a big impact. The Tactical Tip series is designed to give you ONE practical idea in each post that, if implemented, can help build positive momentum in your ministry and life. Enjoy.

Common Sense Tips:
  • Return Emails Within 24 Hours
    Basic email etiquette says that individuals should not have to wait for a response from you for more than a day. That’s not always practical if the email will require more time or information that you have at your immediate disposal. This Tactical Tip outlines a simple way to always respond to emails.
  • Teach Yourself To Smile
    You’d think smiling would be a natural skill that every leader possessed. Wrong answer. Many leaders aren’t even aware of the scowl and frown they wear every day. This tip explores simple ideas to build new habits that will bring people’s perception of you just a little bit closer to reality.
  • Moving to Eye Level
    I ‘get’ to hang out with some tall people sometimes, and I’m not short. I’ve discovered that communication goes so much better when I’m not looking down or up while talking. This tip will explore why this is important and ideas on how to make it happen in everyday life.
  • Say ‘Thanks’ In Your Email
    It can be so easy for us to get into ‘work’ mode and forget that the person on the other side of our emails has feelings too. It takes 3 seconds to type, but often we don’t even think about it. This tip is a great reminder to add value to the conversation with one little word.

Leveraging Technology:

  • Backup Your Files!I’ve learned over the years how important it is to backup computer files. I also know a lot of people don’t do it. I’ve discovered a great and simple way to ensure you’ll never lose your files again.
  • Build Momentum & Create Unity With A Blog
    As an avid blogger and blog reader, I’ve become convinced that a great blog can become a powerful communication tool. It may not be for everyone, but it certainly CAN be a game changer in certain situations. This tip is the beginning of several posts that will help you understand why a blog can make a difference as well as how to get started.
  • Email Signature
    There is absolutely no reason why I should ever have to wonder WHO just wrote this email or HOW I can get hold of him over the phone. This tip gives a few pointers on building a signature for your emails. 
  • Reminder Calendar
    Pastors and leaders in general can be notorious for forgetting things. Especially little details. I discovered a method by which a Google calendar can act as a reminder to me on things I don’t want to think about. This tip will show you how to leverage this idea for your purposes.
  • The Embedded Hyperlink
    Nobody likes to get a hyperlink in the email only to discover it doesn’t work. Additionally, we don’t really care about the actual address. We just want to know WHAT we are clicking on and we want to GET there. This tip will give practical advice on expanding your professionalism and honoring your reader with the embedded hyperlink.
  • Internet Passwords
    Nearly every month I hear about someone who got ‘hacked’. I finally did some research and came up with a system to better ensure I don’t become one of those statistics. This tip will walk you through a strategy that, once learned, can help your passwords be much more difficult to be hacked.
Building Great Systems:
  • Saying ‘Thank You’ Systematically
    Everyone knows it’s important to thank volunteers and leaders. Most people just don’t take the time to do it. We’re too busy. This tip will walk you through each step of a system whereby you will always thank the people you need to thank both systematically and consistently.
Check out my Resources Page to see other past series.

Get with YouVersion Today!


Hopefully, you’ve heard of this great website by now. I’ve blogged about it before but feel it’s worth bringing up again. is a free website that offers a myriad of tools to help you and your congregation integrate the Word of God into daily life.

It’s not just a Bible Website! It’s much, much more. It’s a place for people to gather to talk about Scripture – and what it means to them. It’s a place for accountability and encouragement. It’s a place to journal & remember what you are learning.  YouVersion is fast becoming the primary means by which this generation interfaces with God’s Word.

First, let me give you some examples of how this website can serve your church. With a little focused attention on your part and regular attention each week, you may discover that your congregation reads the Bible more than ever! Let me show you how:

  • Read a Bible plan together.YouVersion has over 150 different reading plans. Some are devotional plans from well known leaders like Rick Warren. Most are Bible reading plans that range from 7 day plans to year long plans. Some of the plans are even topical in nature and would go perfectly with a sermon series. Individual’s can subscribe to plans via many different methods. We encouraged our congregation to join the “New Thru 30” plan last year when we did a series on the New Testament. Check out the Bible Reading plans here.
  • Create a Group & Live Events
    You can create a group just for your church and encourage your congregation to join. Once your group has been created, it can be used for encouragement and unified activities. As an example, click on THIS LINK to see a Live Event I created for a group I created for my blog readers. Note: This Live Event is simply one example of what you might consider doing with your congregation. 
  • Encourage Accountability
    YouVersion recently released a new feature that allows individual users to pick another YouVersion user as an accountability partner with a Bible Reading Plan. YouVersion will send email updates to the accountability partner on the individual’s progress in the plan, including whether or not they are getting behind in their reading. You might consider challenging your congregation, Sunday School classes or small groups to partner together.
  • Advertise YouVersion RegularlyThis website is free to everyone, compliments of the people at Your congregation can only benefit from it’s use. Find ways to regularly advertise the website to your church. Put links on your website, make announcements, place ads in your bulletin, maybe even add a link to the site on your email signature.

There are many other great features in YouVersion that will help you and your congregation stay rooted in the Word. Here are a few of them.
  • My Notes & Community Notes
    You can attach as many personal or private notes to individual Scriptures as you want. This takes ‘writing in the margin of your Bible’ to a whole new level. Notes can be kept private so that only the user sees them, or they can be made public for everyone to view when they browse to that particular passage. 
  • Bookmarks & Labels
    You can bookmark as many verses as you want to allow for easy access later on. Additionally, YouVersion has announced a new feature that should be rolled out very soon. The new feature will allow you to create labels for each individual bookmark. So for instance, you will be able to bookmark James 1:19 and then create labels like ‘anger’, ‘listening’, ‘patience’. Over time, those labels will come in real handy when your trying to look up passages you’ve bookmarked as relating to ‘anger’!
  • Pick Your Version & Parallel Bibles
    YouVersion boasts more than 100 different versions of the Bible in multiple languages. Pretty much, it’s highly likely your favorite version exists. Additionally, the ‘Parallel’ button will let you view a particular passage in two different versions at the same time.
  • Audio Bible
    Have a few moments to spare while driving to work, taking a shower, or mowing the lawn? Listen to the Bible, again in several versions. You can even listen to your daily Bible reading plan! Personally, this feature alone has increased my diet of the Word of God.
  • Go Mobile
    YouVersion is available for just about every mobile option out there. I have YouVersion installed on my phone and enjoy almost all of the functionality of the website at the touch of my finger. You can create widgets for the verse of the day or even your Bible reading plan.
  • Twitter & FaceBook
    YouVersion makes it real easy to post a Scripture to Twitter or FaceBook. Did you read something profound? Let all your friends read it too!
There’s more. Signup for YouVersion today and fall in love with God’s Word all over again!

Tactical Tip: Internet Passwords

A while back I had been getting nervous about all the websites where I had to enter passwords. What I was nervous about was the fact that I was using the same password on almost all of them. This always bothered me but I never did anything about it.

Then one day when I was talking to a friend who is a security guru at RIT, I realized how easy it would be for someone to hack into a sensitive account and totally break the bank. For instance, I might give my password to a small time business who then has access to that password in their database. How easy would it be for someone on staff there to snag that password and try it out on my eBay, Paypal, or Amazon accounts. For that matter, any online store that has my credit card information saved would be fair game!
Thankfully, I decided to learn my lesson the EASY way, instead of the HARD way. I instituted a new system for passwords that is working well for me and doesn’t require me to memorize more than one password. I recommend you try it out too. 
Note: it will sound somewhat complicated at first. However, I guarantee that once you’ve learned how to do it, you’ll remember it AND be safe.
Tactical Tip: Internet Passwords
Here’s what you do:
The following suggestion will be applicable to probably 95% of the passwords that you use. Most secure passwords require at least 8 characters and must also include letters, numbers, upper case, lower case, and a special character.
  • Define a Core Password:Define a password that you can easily memorize that is six characters long and includes at least one number and one special character like a question mark, hyphen, or period.  Now, for every website you go to these six characters will be six of 8 characters in the password. Just memorize them and the next step and you’ll be all set. Example: You might pick r7.ite as your core password.
  • Define a Special Rule:Next, create a rule that only you know that incorporates the site name into your password. For example, you may choose to use the first two letters of the site name or site web address – or the first and third letters, etc. and add them to the beginning, middle, or end of your predefined password. Example: Let’s say you choose to use the first two characters of a website and you will place it at the beginning of your core password. So you’re Google password ( might look like this: gor7.ite
  • Capitalize a Character in the Special Rule:Finally, capitalize one letter in your special rule. This will add additional security to your overall password. Example: Now I will choose to capitalize the second letter in the website I am visiting. Here is what it would look like: gOr7.ite.
  • More Examples: Here are a few more examples using this rule: (1) = aMr7.ite. (2) = pAr7.ite. (3) = tWr7.ite.
Password Resets:
Now, every once in a while you’ll run across a website that requires you to change your password every 6 – 12 months. For example, your financial institution may require this. One goal of this Tactical Tip is that you don’t have to rely on your memory anymore. So you’ll need an additional rule that you can use in these unique cases. Unfortunately, you will need to find a way to remind yourself that this particular website password will be different than the rest. I recommend you put the year of the reset into the password. Example: Let’s say it’s the year 2012 and the website is Your password might be hSr7.ite12.
The Three Time Reset Rule:
Any website worth going to will give you the option of recovering your password if you’ve forgotten it. I strongly recommend you click the button to reset or recover your password after your SECOND failed attempt. Many websites will lock you out and require a phone call after three failed attempts.
The Behind the Times Website:
Finally, some websites just won’t stick to the standards. They ask for some odd rule that doesn’t fit the national standards. The other day I ran across a website that wouldn’t allow a special character in the password. After a few choice words, I decided to go back to my ‘old’ password that I used for all my other websites before I instituted this much more secure method. It’s not foolproof, but it sometimes works.

Image compliments of Salvatore Vuono at

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