Bill-hybels09 Over the last several years I have had the privilege of getting to know Bill Hybels
on a more personal basis.  We are in a small group of pastors that
gathers 4-5 times a year to spend time with each other for
encouragement and to challenge one another.  I am have a tremendous
amount of respect for Bil as a leader, pastor and a follower of Jesus.

The following are some of the highlights of Bill’s opening talk at the 2009 Leadership Summit:

  • I want to share some lessons with you that I am learning in this new reality.
  • I’m not sure we are going to experience the old normal anytime
    soon…if ever. The normal we all knew and loved has left the building.
  • In the middle of this new reality we hear the whispers of God
    saying, ‘this is why I gave you this leadership gift…for times like

In a single week the stock market lost 20% of it’s total value
within a week.  As a result of that hundreds and thousands of people
began to lose their jobs.  In the middle of that we made a critical
decision that we will be an Acts 2 church for today.  We still believe
that the church is the hope of the world and we will be the dispensers
of that hope.  We are the church and we will still be the church! 

When you head into a financial downturn you see the financial forecast going down and the financial needs going up.

  • Advice from Jack Welch:  “Cash is king!”  Cash simply gives you the time needed to make the important decisions you need.
  • At Willow they have 25% of the total annual budget in cash reserves.
  • Follow these “golden rules” if staff reductions are necessary:

    • Give as much as advance notice as possible.
    • Be clear about the cause for the reductions.
    • Be as generous as possible.
  • Suggested budget disbursement:  50% or less of total budget is
    for staffing; 10% is for Spirit-led initiatives; 15% is for debt
    reduction and 25% for ministry expenses.
  • People will still be extremely generous if the cause is compelling.

I have been learning a lot of lessons in regards to the people who work with me and for Willow:

  • Ask yourself, “Are we hiring fully yielded, rightly gifted,
    fired up people for the mission who want to see God do great things.”
  • Ask:  How many “key” seats do we have in our organization?  And then ask how many of our “key” people are filled by a fully yielded, rightly gifted fired up person?
  • Recommended book, How the Mighty Have Fallen by Jim Collins

This lesson started with a conversation with a friend where we both
admitted to each other, “I’m a little worried about you.”  It remind me
of a dangerous time when I wrote in my journal 20 years ago these
words, “The pace at which I’m doing the work of God is destroying the
work of God in me.”  We must reinvent replenishment strategies for the
new reality.  The best thing you bring to your church or organization
is a “filled up” person.  You need it and they need it.

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