The Resilience Factor: Insights from Léonce B. Crump Jr. & Warren Bird on Unbreakable Teams

Thanks for tuning in to the unSeminary podcast. Today I’m talking with Léonce B. Crump Jr. and Warren Bird. Léonce is an author plus the co-founder and senior pastor of Renovation Church in Atlanta. Warren is a repeat guest on unSeminary. He works for the Evangelical Council for Financial Ability (ECFA) and is also the author of several books.

Together, Léonce and Warren have coauthored a book with Ryan Hartwig called The Resilience Factor: A Step-by-Step Guide to Catalyze an Unbreakable Team. They’re here to talk about what it looks like to be resilient in the face of disruption, and practical steps you can take to build great teams.

  • How do we lead through disruption? // As leaders the great lesson we have to learn is that disruption is normal. For several decades we have enjoyed relative stability, but the reality is we will always encounter disruption. Building a strong, high performance team is essential to getting through these difficult times, but it also is a great challenge in churches today.
  • Learn to adapt. // If disruption is normal, then education, management techniques, tenure, natural skills and abilities won’t necessarily help you navigate through it. What you need is the ability to take the hard times and keep going. Become healthy, strong, and successful after a difficult challenge. Resilience isn’t just about surviving. Rather after you absorb the blows life gives you, you’re adapting and becoming something different in order to navigate the new reality before you.
  • Ask God for help. // The Resilience Factor is broken into eight blocks to help you build an unbreakable team, and the first step is to pray and assess your situation. Ask God to give you insight into the new reality you are in. We can have the best research and resources available to us, but unless God’s at work and you’re doing what he wants, it’s all for nothing.
  • Lead through others. // The strength of our mission and ministry can’t rest on one gift or set of skills. Preaching alone doesn’t build a great church, rather it’s the ability to lead through others. Letting others lead you in their area of expertise helps catalyze unbreakable teams. Léonce shares that one way he does this is by making space for others to speak first in team meetings. Allow others to share their ideas, thoughts and opinions before you add your own to the conversation.
  • Building trust. // The book includes team and individual exercises which help to increase resilience, such as an exercise on defining the team’s purpose in light of the church’s mission statement and comparing it with other team members’ answers. These exercises help with trust-building and create little wins for the team which build confidence to go for a bigger win together.

You can find out more about the book at www.resiliencefactor.info as well as order them in bulk. Keep up with the surveys Warren talks about at the ECFA website, www.ecfa.org/surveys, and connect with him on LinkedIn. You can find Léonce under the name @leoncecrump on most social media sites and learn more about his church at www.renovationchurch.com.

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Episode Transcript

Rich Birch — Well, hey, everybody. Welcome to the unSeminary podcast. So glad that you have decided to tune in. I’m really looking forward to today’s conversation. You know, every week we try to bring you a leader who will both inspire and equip you, really help you as you lead at your church. But today, you’ve got a two for one special. We’ve got two incredible gentlemen here today who, uh, we’re gonna get a chance to dive into something that they’ve been working on for quite a while. We’ve got Léonce B. Crump Jr. He’s the co-founder and senior pastor of, uh, Renovation Church in Atlanta. He serves on a bunch of different nonprofit boards that promote human flourishing. He regularly speaks at conferences nationally, and globally. And he is the author of a number of books, which one of them we’re gonna talk about today.

Rich Birch — And we’ve also got our returning guest, our friend, Warren Bird, from the ECFA, Evangelical Council of for Financial Accountability. Uh, and he’s co-authored so many books I I’ve lost track. I just can’t, you know, I can’t, you know, don’t know about all those – there’s just a lot of them. Uh, and we love Warren. He’s been on the show multiple times, and we’re super glad to have him back. Together they’ve worked with our friend, Ryan Hartwig, and they’ve co-authored a book, “The Resilience Factor: A Step-by-Step Guide to Catalyze an Unbreakable Team”. And I just wanna put my bias right out there at the beginning – friends, I want you to pick up copies of this book for your team. We’re gonna dive deep in with them today. Welcome to the show, guys. So glad you’re here.

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — So glad to be here, Rich. Thank you so much, my friend.

Rich Birch — It’s gonna be good. Léonce, why don’t we start with you? So, this is a ton of work, putting a book together. Man, it’s a lot of effort. By yourself it’s a lot of effort, let alone coordinating with two other authors – that’s like triple the work. Uh, so what’s the heart behind this? Why, what, what led you to say, Hey, we, we should write this book. You know, what, what, what pulled you to say, let’s put this together?

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — Yeah. Um, I actually was invited onto the project, uh, by Ryan and Warren. And it immediately sparked my interest because coming outta the disruptions of Covid-19, I’ve realized, and, and we agree, and we actually put this in the book, that one of the things leaders are going to have to reconcile going forward is that disruption is normal. And the relative stability, maybe that we have enjoyed, uh, over a couple of decades of leadership is actually abnormal. Uh, in fact, we share a story toward the end of the book talking about hypothetically, what if you were born, uh, in a certain era, you would’ve navigated multiple wars, a financial crisis, the Great Depression right on the heels of each other. And so as leaders, I was, I was inspired and challenged to write this book with them, because as leaders, I think the great lesson we have to learn coming outta Covid, especially in modern times, is that disruption is our normal. So how do you lead when, when disruption is reality?

Rich Birch — Oh, that’s so good. That’s, well, I think that’s, that’s a really good insight for sure. And that it’s, it’s, you know, in some ways it’s fascinating that, and if you think of everything that’s happened in the last two or three years, it has been just one thing after another. Covid’s obviously a signpost, but there’s been, there’s been a number of things that just continue to, you know, wave over us.

Rich Birch — Well, Warren, well, part of the, the, the subtitle here is breaking is, is making an unbreakable team, really catalyzing an unbreakable team. And, you know, I would assume in that the kind of undercurrent of that is, man, maybe particularly in the church world, that’s not the norm. Like, that’s not, that’s not normal. Why is it that we seem to struggle with, you know, team development, building high performance teams in the local church?

Warren Bird — That is such a good question. After all these, Rich, you for years have sounded the, the alarm and the challenge of building a high performance, high quality, effective team. And so have many others and lots of literature. And by the way, we try to pull from the best of the research to—in in the book, uh, wrapped around stories—uh, of okay, what really makes a good team? But looking underneath, why haven’t we built good teams? And especially now, coming outta the pandemic. You know, on the one hand, everybody is like vacationing with a vengeance.

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — Yeah.

Warren Bird — There’s, there’s just this pent up, Hey, let’s really go gangbusters. But, but we don’t see the same thing happening with teams. There’s, well, you know, you’re kind of, uh, worn out and I, I don’t want you to quit. And, and I don’t want you to, to, to have to take on too much and imbalance your life. So this idea of, of vacation with a vengeance applied to let’s, let’s, as a team seek God for something that only he could do, and that, that it would take all of us to do, and none of us could do by ourselves. Um, what might that look like and how do we build the, the resilience that when we get knocked down, uh, to be able to pop back up and say, no, no, no, we’re, we’re going for it. We’re working together. High trust, um, safe environment – how do we do all that? I don’t honestly know beyond… why that hasn’t happened beyond like the Ephesians 4:11 and 12, that, that the role of the pastor and leader is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. And yet we do it all ourselves. And here’s team throughout the New Testament, and yet, we tend to do it ourselves.

Rich Birch — Yeah. That’s, uh, that, that’s a very good insight. Léonce, um, you, the book title has resilience right in the middle of it. Obviously, this is key to, you know, making an unbreakable team. Unpack that a bit more. When you guys say resilient, what is a, what is a resilient team? What’s that resilient factor? What are, what are, you know, what does that look like? How do I know, you know, is my team resilient? What does that look like?

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — Yeah. Um, the, the idea actually was born of a Mike Tyson quote that did not, uh, make it the book…

Rich Birch — Love it. We’re getting extra content!

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — I hoped that it would. But many of your listeners will probably recall Mike Tyson saying, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

Rich Birch — Yes.

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — And, and so as we were shaping and crafting this work, that idea is really what came rushing to the surface is, at the end of the day, if disruption is normal, right? If disruption is normal, uh, then education, management techniques, tenure—those things—natural skills and abilities—those things aren’t necessarily gonna help you navigate disruption. Uh, what you need, what what we see as the secret sauce to great teams and great leaders is the ability to take a lick and keep going. In fact, uh, one way we define it there in the book is, uh, resilient means that you are able to become strong, healthy, and successful after a challenge or a difficulty. So, so there’s a measure of flexibility as well as strength. Uh, and it’s an understanding that you’re not just surviving, but you’re adapting to the new normal. You’re, you’re becoming something different to navigate the reality in front of you after you’ve absorbed blows. Believe is, is going be the call to, to great teams going forward. Probably always has been. Probably the missing key to, to, to, uh, so many of the challenges we’ve experienced as, as teams and as leaders. Uh, but the ability to return to shape after being pulled, stretched, pressed, uh, and still be effective going forward. That’s what it means to be resilient.

Rich Birch — Hmm.

Warren Bird — And Rich, we haven’t seen that much about of it. And so because we don’t have that role modeling, we don’t know what to aspire to, to say, think that that’s even possible.

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — That’s right.

Rich Birch — Yeah. So, Warren, sticking with you, this idea, it’s step by step. Uh, let’s, what is the first step? So if I say, okay, I want to, I want my, we’re not gonna be able to get to everything, but what is, you know, the first step that we need to take as a, as a team to, or as a leader, I need to take with my people to increase our, uh, our resilience factor.

Warren Bird — We broke the book into eight blocks, which are sort of a sequence. And the very first sequence is pray and assess your situation. Really to ask God, give me insight. And, and, and it’s gonna unpack with who should be on the team, who shouldn’t? Uh, what kind, why are my meetings kind of boring? Uh, how do we do accountability? How do we reproduce ourselves? All that begins with saying, Lord, you gotta do something. We, we can have the best research, the best books out there, the best everything, but unless you’re at work and that we’re doing what you want, it’s really all for nothing.

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — Yeah. And I, I would add to that, Rich, we, we leveraged the Nehemiah story in that first movement. And one of the things that Nehemiah did so wonderful, uh, is understand the current reality in which he found himself as well. And, and so right outta the gate, even before we get to these different steps, we talk about the new realities that we’re facing as leaders. Number one, today’s world, generally distrusts leadership. Number two, uh, team leadership is here to stay. It is the way forward. Number three, for many of us, your team is largely a new team. Uh, number four, your new team comes with new expectations. Number five, the pandemic may be officially over, but its effects will ripple for years to come. So we kinda walk through each of these new realities as the foundation for saying, you know, if this is true, and, and I believe all signs point to it being true, then the very first thing we have to do, especially as spiritual leaders, is take a step back as Nehemiah did, and say, okay, the, the city’s on fire, the walls are burning. Uh, there’s not much strength or support. Where do we go from here? First to the Lord, and then to actually make a point.

Rich Birch — Yeah, love it. So, uh, sticking with you, sir. Uh, one of the things I’m, I’m sure as you’ve, you know, people have been starting to pre-read the book and you’ve started to share some of this content. Um, I’m sure there’s some of it that’s bumped up as being like, wow, this is like the most helpful. This is the part that people seem to be really be resonating with. What is that, Léonce, that they keep coming back to and saying like, oh, this, this part particular—I know all of it’s amazing, I know every part of it’s amazing—but, but is there any piece of it that particularly has been the most helpful, uh, as leaders have been engaging with these ideas?

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — So, so my feedback, and, and I’m sure Warren can, uh, speak to this as well, but with the folks that I’ve had in my immediate circle read the book, the two things, um, that have really, uh, energized them the most has been the idea of clarifying your purpose, which is movement number two. We, we really, really find, um, that a lot of teams – now we may know the church’s purpose, but what is your team’s purpose within the scope of a church’s purpose? Uh, and then how to build a a great team -movement number three. We call it gathering all stars [inaudible] reminding people that you don’t have to settle. Uh, you can actually build a team of top performers if you’re intentional and strategic about it.

Rich Birch — Love that. Well, Warren, one of the things I love about your work, uh, is that it is often infused with these great stories, like you are, and even before today’s call, you were digging for, Hey, what about insights and let’s, you know, find stories, find people… Uh, is was there a story in this book that stands out to you that particularly typifies, you know, what the resilience factor looks like? Is there a story of a, a church or a team that, uh, you know, that kind of captures your imagination around what that looks like?

Warren Bird — The opening story is about a fire. And, Rich, how ironic I’m talking to you in Canada and in the news, uh, for quite some time, it’s been, uh, Canadian fires that uh…

Rich Birch – Yes.

Warren Bird — …the smoke has drifted, uh, to where I’m based in New York, uh, just outside of New York City. But, uh, Paradise, California – the town, uh, in essence burned down. And so many people left, but there was one church, Paradise Alliance Church, that said, no, we’re gonna stay. And all the rules are different about who we are, even as a leadership team, and what we’re trying, what our roles are. But we are going to, if you will, find the resilience necessary to take on the challenges of rebuilding the community. And, and for at least the first year, they became the community gathering point. They did meals for the community, they helped the community bond—those who stayed and all—and they demonstrated the power of resilience and, and the pains that that, that each team member of the church’s leadership team had to, had to deal with their own needs of, of grieving and, and adjustment, and of playing a new role on the team.

Warren Bird — And yet, looking back, they would all agree, together, God used us to do something far beyond what any of us could have imagined, and way far beyond what any of us could have done alone. And we have loved being on the team. It became a high trust, psychologically-safe environment, uh, to growing.

Rich Birch — Fascinating. Uh, good alliance story there too. I, you know, my childhood was in the Christian Missionary Alliance. Always good to get a, a plug in there for A. B. Simpson’s, uh, crowd. So that’s a good thing. Uh, Léonce, uh, one of the things that’s interesting in church leadership is, um—and I’d love your perspective on this—you know, you are clearly, you’re a dynamic communicator. You are, um, you know, the kind of person that people follow. And I think there is a misnomer that often, uh, churches that have dynamic communicators in the leadership position, it’s like, it’s all about them. That’s just not true. Like, that isn’t, a church doesn’t grow and have a kind of impact if, uh, leaders haven’t built teams around them. Uh, but maybe you could talk about that tension of how do you, as a, as a dynamic communicator, as a, you know, um, a dynamic leader, build a team of other people around you that are also, Hey, these are go-getters. These are stallions that want to get lots done, these they wanna, you know, make, change the world. How do you, how do you live that tension out? How does that, how do you attract those kinds of people?

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — Yeah. I am a huge proponent of Ephesians 4, and, uh, and, and really do believe that the strength of our mission and the strength of our ministry can’t rest on one gift. Uh, it can’t rest on one set of skills. It can’t rest on, on, uh, you know, one leader’s capacity. And, and in fact, the bottlenecks that we’ve experienced over the years at the church, uh, and some that we’re still wrestling through now on the other side of Covid, you know, just to give you kinda our, our story arc. You know, we’re a scratch plant in downtown Atlanta. Three people in the living room, uh, before Covid, we were about 13- 1400 people. After Covid were half that and, and trying to build back to it. Uh, my preaching alone is not gonna get us there. Uh, in fact, I, I know some of the most dynamic communicators that I know are leading churches that are averaging 100 to 150 people. Uh, preaching doesn’t build a church, and even great leadership doesn’t build a church. It’s, it’s the ability to lead through others and even be led by them in their area of expertise and specialty that actually builds great teams. And so, I try to put myself in a position where, where I’m not a material expert or even the point authority over a particular area, uh, I put myself in the submission of the leadership of my team. Uh, and that makes us a stronger unit altogether.

Rich Birch — Love that.

Warren Bird — Rich, could I say something about Léonce that he probably won’t say? And that is, uh, as we were investigating doing this book together, uh, Ryan Hartwig, the lead author, and I went to his church and sat with his team, and, uh, and were wowed. And then as we worked together as authors, we not only had to figure out how do you do team with the three of us, but really each of our effectiveness was contingent on the team that was supporting each of us.

Rich Birch — Oh, that’s good.

Warren Bird — And so it really, as we went, so they went and as they went, so we went. And, uh, boy was the idea of health in teams, uh, abundantly apparent as we worked together on this book about unbreakable teams.

Rich Birch — Yeah. I love it. And yeah, shout out to Ryan Hartwig. I just, he what a great guy. And he, even in my own life, he, when he when we were at Liquid Church, when I was at Liquid Church, and he came and spent some time with us, and, you know, he asked this haunting question there that day, which still haunts me to this day, which is, well, it wasn’t a question, it was a statement. He said, Hey, you have to lead with more questions. Stop answering so many questions. Like, stop, because all you’re doing is getting everybody to, you know, come to you. And I was like, oh, no. That is like, uh, it still bugs me. So, Ryan, you’re still in my head, uh, you know, effective, uh, piece of coaching for sure. Uh, definitely. So, Léonce, a book like this, as you’re working it, uh, you end up reflecting on your own leadership, your own, your own, Hey, like, what am I doing and how am I changing? The, the work of trying to, you know, externalize ideas changes us. Um, when, how did this book change your leadership? Was there something as you went through this that it was like, oh, hey, I, I maybe need to change my game a little bit, or, or, I’m growing, or maybe asking new questions. What does, what’s that look like for you?

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — Yeah. It, it really surfaced for me a lot of great questions about our team and where we are and what we need and, and, and where there are missing pieces, where I’ve missed the mark on even, uh, applying some of my own principles that show up in this book. And so, um, much like a Sunday sermon from time to time, there was a great deal of conviction that as I was writing and advising, I was looking at things that I have not been doing consistently. Uh, and then getting the book in front of my team as well, uh, brought great new challenges because we realized that even as well as we function, and, and, and I, as Warren said, I wouldn’t say that about myself, uh, you know, to, to try and take care and not, um, not over, uh, uh, oversell my leadership or our team’s dynamics.

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — But, uh, I found that there were gaps in congruence and incongruencies, even in our perspective on the vision. Like, we are, like, we’re sharing the vision, but, but how we’re looking at it, the angle from which we’re looking at it, we found gaps even as we worked through some of this material, uh, to operationalize it before we handed it out to the world. So it was really a growing and challenging time, writing with two other authors, trying to find a common voice, uh, realizing what my tendencies are and what they are not, uh, and what is most helpful and what’s not. Uh, all of those things kind of came to a, a, uh, boiling point there as, uh, as we did this work and, and, and really saw the effects of it across my internal team as well as the team of, uh, of Ryan and Warren and myself.

Rich Birch — And was there anything, when you look even like a specific behavior or…

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — Mm-hmm.

Rich Birch — …you know, an approach that shifted, could you let us in a little bit insight on that?

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — I can. Um, one specific behavior that I am, uh, diligently working on is not speaking first. Because when I speak, um, even at a table of, uh, of co-leaders, and I do treat them that way, uh, if I speak, it becomes a dictum. And so in order to, to actually draw the best outta the people I’m leading with, uh, I’m the last with a solution. I’m the last with a response. It creates a lot of awkward silence, uh, from time to time. Uh, but that is a very specific thing. I, I am, uh, are you familiar with the working genius?

Rich Birch — Yep, yep, yep.

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — So, so I’m I.D. So, so I’m inventing, and then I’m discerning. So it’s very easy for me to get from A to Z without talking to anybody, because I’ve thought through, uh, all of the potentialities. Uh, but what that does is completely neutralize other people’s contributions and talents and giftings. So that was one very specific thing that surfaced during this time.

Rich Birch — Well, like that alone, friends, is gold – what you just heard. Uh, that’s great coaching for us to be thinking about. Hey, even just functionally in conversations, let’s not be the first to, let’s not be the first to answer. Let’s not be the first to jump in.

Warren Bird — So, Rich, you wouldn’t say this about you, but you had Patrick Lencioni himself…

Rich Birch — Yes.

Warren Bird — …on your podcast, talking about his, uh, latest book.

Rich Birch — Yeah, “Working Genius”. It’s great. Yeah, Patrick’s amazing.

Warren Bird — So insightful. Yes.

Rich Birch — Yeah, absolutely. So, Warren, one of the things that you promised in this book is a series of exercises, team exercises, individuals, uh, things that we can do. We don’t wanna make our listeners buy the book, although we do want to buy it. Give us a, a description of one of those kinds of activities that’s in it that could, you know, help us think about how we increase our resilience factor.

Warren Bird — Well, case backstory, we really argued, we, we held up, uh, max Donald Miller books to the publisher, and we said, this is what we want our books to look like with actually, like exercises in the book. And, uh, they translated that as, oh, like study questions at the end of the chapter.

Rich Birch — Yes.

Warren Bird — And that’s not it at all. These are, Okay, pause and talk about it. We have, we have group exercises to do as a team, and we have individual exercises that, you know, write down your understanding of your team’s purpose.

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — Mmm-hmm.

Warren Bird — And answer these questions about the purpose, and now compare that with others. And by the way, that exercise is just so rich, because as Léonce said a few minutes ago, so often the leadership team of a church just takes the purpose statement of the church and says, well, that’s us. Well, if you think about that for just a second, that falls apart because then you’re doing everything and the purpose of the church? Then why is anybody else needed?

Rich Birch — Right.

Warren Bird — And really, can you do the whole mission of the church? So you gotta figure out what our niche is as a team. And when we, when we read some people—you were in the same room on the same team, and this is the purpose statement that each of you wrote—as different as night and day. That’s a really helpful exercise. And we try to do it in, in a framework of psychological safety and, and trust. And we’ve got that, those elements, trust-building, sprinkled throughout the book. By the way, trust-building is not from doing trust falls and other…

Rich Birch – [laughs]

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — That’s right.

Warren Bird — Those, those create bonding. But it’s the little wins together as a team that actually creates the durable trust to now go for a bigger win as a team. And there’s an exercise on that too.

Rich Birch — Love it. So good. It’s like a whole training curriculum for, uh, you know, our churches. What’s such a, what a huge gift that you guys have put together. This is what I always find astonishing about books, is it’s like the amount of work that goes in to, to compress all of this down, to get it into, you know, and it’s tons of time and effort and research and thinking, and then it’s like 15 bucks or whatever you’re charging for it. Uh, man, we get to access all that, that what a gift that is to, uh, you know, to the church. I really appreciate you guys, uh, you know, pulling this together. Um, so Léonce, where can people get this book if they’re, I know you’ve got a website, resiliencefactor.info, uh, we could send them there. Are there other places that they could pick up copies of this book?

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — Yeah.

Warren Bird — Well, Léonce, why don’t you tell ’em what’s on that website, because it’s, it’s not just a picture of you and me.

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — And, and, and, uh, Ryan.

Rich Birch — Yes.

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — Yeah. Um, actually, resiliencefactor.info is an interactive site. Uh, where we have provided some, some extra, or we have provided some extra tools and materials, uh, and things that will help to further your leadership. There’s also an opportunity to interact with us. And so, uh, we, we shot a little video on management versus leadership. We provided some, uh, worksheets and some other tools that, that go beyond the book itself. So the website will be a great resource no matter what not, not just to order the book. As far as getting the book itself? Anywhere books are sold, uh, it will be available. Order in bulk from IVP and, uh, take all of your teams uh through it…

Warren Bird — Well, and in fact, InterVarsity had this idea of, well, if this is a book about team building, then we should give generous discounts…

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — That’s right.

Warren Bird — …to people who buy them in bulk. So go to the InterVarsity site if you’re thinking, oh, I’ll get one for each team member or staff member or whatever. There’s some sweet discounts.

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — Yeah.

Rich Birch — Yeah. And that, that’s what struck me as I’m, you know, thinking about this, is I’m, you know, lots of us are looking for a training resource and we’re looking for, Hey, what, you know, you know, maybe we’re thinking about a Christmas gift even this time of year. Like, hey, maybe for the end of this year, or, you know, we’re looking for a fall training. And this really struck me as that. This would be a great resource to get for our entire team. Hey, let’s go through it. We’ve got some great activities here. Uh, it’ll push us, it’ll get us to ask those questions. So yeah, I’d strongly suggest again that that website is just resiliencefactor.info and the link to the IVP, uh, pages on there. So just go there. You can click through that if you’re gonna buy, you know, the, the bulk books and all that, you can just get that there. That’s, uh, you know, that’s amazing.

Rich Birch — Well, what’s, what are, what’s your hope here, Warren, with this book? What’s your, your dream? Like, uh, you know, what, what, when you’re, you’re hoping for transformation in the teams that are, you know, that are gonna read this, what did you have in mind as you were working with these two fine gentlemen to pull this together?

Warren Bird — Well, my second purpose comes outta my research hat, and that is, I wanna get good information for people about team dynamics and what does success look like, and how do you go from one level to another. And we really took the best literature in the field. We translated into very user-friendly ideas, and we built it into different vignettes in the book. So I, I love, you know, I’m kind of the myth MythBuster lover. And, uh, so to me, I’m, I’m putting good information. This is not just how our team did something. This is what the best research says. But even beyond that, I really want to challenge people to go beyond the, the mediocre. We, we so often doesn’t, I, I mean, when we got married, nobody says, well, I take you to, and we’re gonna have a mediocre marriage. But, but too often things settle down because that’s what we see all around us. But, but there’s a spark still inside us that says, no, there’s gotta be more. And I hope people read this book and they say, ah, I, I’ve always known our team could be a whole lot better than it is.

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — Yeah.

Warren Bird — You’re gonna help us get there.

Rich Birch — Yeah, I love that. What a great, what a great vision. And part of what I appreciate about your leadership, Warren, and your, your writing is, uh, you do push for, like, these aren’t just like soft ideas or like, like those are, it’s rhymes so it must be true.

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — [laughs]

Rich Birch — You know, you’re trying to find based stuff on research, and have pushed me in my own work and have been in a very kind way, I don’t know if I’ve ever said this publicly, but in kind way you’ve given me feedback that’s like, Hey, you know, you could do better. We didn’t quite say it like that, but you could do better. And, and that I think gets, that’s why people come back to you time and again, Warren. I just want to honor you in front of, uh, you know, in front of everybody today, cuz you do such a good job on that.

Rich Birch — Well, Léonce, we’re gonna give you the last word as we kind of wrap up today’s episode. Is there anything else you want to share before we close up today’s conversation?

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — Yeah, I, I just wanna encourage all of the leaders out there, uh, to not be discouraged. God’s hand is still on you. There’s great work for you to do. Don’t take the disruptions as a sign, uh, that things are coming undone. Take ’em as an opportunity. Uh, something that our team has been talking about recently is reframing the situation and saying out loud, God chose us to lead through this time. What a privilege.

Rich Birch — Amen.

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — And, uh, and I hope the book will be helpful in cementing that [inaudible].

Rich Birch — That’s so good. That’s so good. Well, um, Warren, if people wanna track with you, where do we want to send them online? Do wanna send them to the ECFA, uh, website or, you know, how do we, if they want to kind of continue to follow the Warren Bird story?

Warren Bird — ECFA for Evangelical Counsel for Financial Accountability, which I was so impressed you said. So just rattle it off, Rich.You, you’ve got my wow book early on here.

Rich Birch — Sure.

Warren Bird — ecfa.org/surveys – and then you can find the stuff that we’ve done like, uh, The New Faces of Church Planting, which Rich, you were so good in helping promote the largest ever study of, uh, in nor across North America, not just, uh US of what’s happening in church planting, including, uh, through the pandemic. Uh, so that’s the best place. And then I’m on LinkedIn is I’m probably, that’s my most active social media.

Rich Birch — Love it. And then Léonce, where do we wanna send people, if they wanna track with you or track with the church?

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — @leoncecrump, uh, on any social media, uh LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, I’m there. And then @renovationatl, uh, on Instagram or Facebook.

Rich Birch — Love it. And I, I was on your website earlier and I noticed that you had your workout regime on your website and I was super intimidated. I was like, man, I gotta step up my game. So I, uh, I appreciate that you posted that publicly. That’s a great thing. So…

Warren Bird — And those of you who are listing and not seeing, uh, Léonce is a former NFL football player and also former wrestler. Uh, so he, he literally picks up a lot, including me, in…

Rich Birch — Yeah, that’s great

Warren Bird — …one of our gatherings.

Rich Birch — That’s great. Well, I appreciate you gentlemen being here today. I really hope this book helps. I know it’s gonna help tons of people. I hope lots of people pick it up. So thanks so much for being, uh, here today on the show.

Warren Bird — Thanks, Rich.

Léonce B. Crump Jr. — Yeah, thanks for having us.

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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.