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Focusing on Jesus in a Distracted World with Steve Brown

Welcome to the unSeminary podcast. Today we’re talking with Dr. Steve Brown, President of Arrow Leadership and author of the book Jesus Centered: Focusing On Jesus In A Distracted World. Steve works to help leaders find clarity, community and confidence in their work as Jesus-centered leaders. He’s talking with us today about how to lead more like Jesus by loving your people well and encouraging them right where they are.

  • Pray for and love others. // Jesus loved the disciples – not only with words, but also with time, actions, and by praying for them. Do we treat the people we are supervising with the same care and encouragement? Sometimes we can see people as vehicles for getting stuff done, or as obstacles to completing tasks, instead of praying for and loving them. Steve has created a chart for each month in which he has two people from his team who he prays for every day. This schedule can get you into the rhythm of thinking about the people you lead and praying for them regularly. Connect with people at work by pausing and asking more questions. Check in with your team members to see how they are doing in their lives outside of the office.
  • Give encouragement. // As a senior leader, let your people know that you are thinking of and praying for them and are proud of them. Sometimes we overestimate how encouraging we really are, and underestimate how much people need encouragement. Some people like to be called out in public, other people like to receive a card, or be invited out to lunch – just begin and learn what means the most to your team members as you go.
  • Jesus in leadership. // Steve’s book, Jesus Centered, talks about three important conversations to have with your team as you look to Christ as your model in leadership: How can we be led more by Jesus – individually, as a team, or as a church? How can we lead more like Jesus as a team and individually? And how can we lead more to Jesus? These are critical conversations and will yield a lot of good fruit on your staff and in your church.
  • Safe, Stretch, and Stress. // As you prepare to help your team members grow, look at each person with three S words in mind: Safe, Stretch, and Stress. Where are your people in those categories? Is someone in a safe space and not challenged enough in their work? Lead them into the stretch zone with increased responsibilities. In the stretch zone they will need to learn to depend on God as they grow beyond what is merely safe. But if stretched too far, they can land in the stress zone and you’ll need to bring them back to a place where they are stretched but not stressed. Knowing where your people are helps you to discern the next developmental step for each team member.
  • Tic Tac Toe. // Another tool that helps team members find their sweet spot is to have each person draw a Tic Tac Toe board. Then have them identify nine words or phrases that represent them when they are at their best professionally. Write these words into the squares of the Tic Tac Toe board. Next have them decide whether each box is red, yellow, or green. Red is for those things that aren’t happening, yellow are things that happen sometimes, and green are things that they do regularly. Use this tool to discover what is holding your team back from their best. Are people in the right spot in your organization? What can you do to help them?
  • Jesus-centered development. // Arrow Leadership offers Jesus-centered programs, personal mentoring, organizational consulting and resources that develop you and your team to lead differently. The programs have different streams depending on if a leader is emerging or established, and each stream is highly personalized, highly intentional, and highly transformational. Participants will explore leadership, character, spiritual health, self-awareness, and more. And these programs also provide safe places where leaders can be vulnerable and real.

You can also learn more about Arrow Leadership and their many resources at arrowleadership.org and find Steve’s book Jesus Centered on Amazon. Plus download the free resource Great Questions for Leading Well here.


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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.