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Today Jeff and I got to hang out with Barry Keldie who is the Lead Pastor of Providence Church in Frisco, TX. I love connecting with like-minded leaders and learning from their journey. We asked a ton of questions as Jeff and I are constantly trying to figure out how to be better leaders for our faith community.

A few observations:

1. Leaders lead. You can’t be everyone best friend, you will offend people and sometimes you will simply make mistakes-but you have to lead.

2. Leadership is hard. You can’t avoid hard conversations or tough times. You can’t be a great leader if you can’t handle tough conversations. A leader has to help people run to conflict and not away from conflict. Being to sensitive can create a culture of “OK” but not “great.” No one person is more important then the entire organization. If I’m not doing my job, I need to be held accountable, if a volunteer is not doing their job, they need to be help accountable. It’s God’s church and we do this for God.

3. You must lead with the big picture in mind: Many times we create “slices” of leadership. Leaders have to see the big picture, it’s not just about one “slice,” we must understand the whole pie. Which means I have to make sure kids ministry is going to just as good as the Sunday gathering. I can’t just focus on one and avoid the other.

4. Leaders must have fun: We have to invest in people and do life together. For me, how do I do life with our staff and deacons?  We must pour into each other. Life is to short to not have a blast together.

5. Leaders must be credible: Trust is vital. You must have high character. When you say something, you have to do it. When someone emails or calls you, you must respond. If you mess up you have to confess your wrongs.

6. The past means nothing: Many people want to hold mistakes over your head. You can’t lead with a spirit of fear. You have to lead with confidence. If you made past mistakes, so what. Don’t let people box you into those past mistakes. It’s easy to be critical or judgmental. If people want to hold the past against you-then they probably are not the kind of people you want around you.



  1. These are all great thoughts.

    I would like to know the context for thought 6. In my mind, it somewhat conflicts with thought 5. In Reality, the past actually does mean something. While we can’t get hung up on it, there is great power in admitting our weaknesses and the ramifications thereof. While we cannot let others hold the past against us, we still need to live with the fact that our pasts actually exist. I think this is what brings us into true community with each other. We might tell our tales and our myths, but it is our lives together that tie us to to one another.

  2. Justin

    Nice thoughts-I guess I’m thinking of those people who always want to remind you of your failures or wrongs therefore they never let you move forward and lead.

  3. that makes sense.
    nay-sayers, while helpful in building character and frustrating at the same time, should be placed in the right place in our psyche… neither too powerful, nor ignored completely. After all, we’re still jacked up. 🙂

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