5 Questions To Help Team Members Clarify Their Personal Vision

Without vision, people perish (Proverbs 29:18). On the other hand, where there is vision, people thrive.

Will Mancini describes the importance of vision well in his book God Dreams. “Clarity isn’t everything, but it changes everything…A clear vision…:

  • Creates energy on a team.
  • Provides hope in difficult times.
  • Pushes us to be our best.
  • Deepens our dependence on God.
  • Reminds us of the payoff of hard work.
  • Defines the significance of our lives.
  • Gives meaning to the mundane.
  • Fuels progress towards our goals.

Despite how impactful a clear vision is, most individuals and churches don’t invest the time to create a clear picture of where they believe God is leading them. Without a defined preferred future, people lose hope, meaning, and understanding.

One of the most important traits of a great leader is the ability to help others see a clear vision of the future, not just for the organization, but for themselves. Very few people both know how they are uniquely designed and have a clear picture of the unique destiny that God desires for them. By helping team members articulate their personal vision, they gain catalytic clarity that unleashes their God-given potential.

Here are five questions I ask my team to help them clarify and articulate their vision:


7 Questions To Discover What Your Team Members Value Most

Our personal values are our deepest priorities in life. These are the truths that we embrace not just as most important, but also most beautiful. They function as the foundational reasoning for all important decisions in our life. They influence the thoughts we think, the feelings we feel, and the decisions we make.

Knowing what your team members value most is crucial both to loving and leading them well. Knowing their values helps you care for them best as a person and helps you guide them and the organization towards fulfilling their God-given potential.

If you can identify the personal values of your team members, you can speak to the heart of a person. You will know:

  • What makes him feel heard and seen.
  • What best motivates her.
  • What offends him most.
  • What’s most influential in her decision-making.
  • What brings significance to her work.

Below are seven questions I ask to help me better understand what my team members value most:


5 Reasons Why Leaders Should Ask Questions More Than Give Answers

Leadership is about asking great questions more than giving great answers.

If I were to sit down with 21-year old Vick and share with him a few of the most important ministry and leadership insights I have learned, this would undoubtedly be on the list.

There is a perception that the number of questions you ask should decrease as your leadership influence increases. In recent years, I have discovered that the number of questions I ask doesn’t decrease, but increases. The more I learn, the more experience I gain, and the more people I lead…the more questions I ask.

Below are five reasons why asking questions is better than giving answers.


How Will You Grow Next Year? 7 Ways To Invest In Your Professional Development

How fast are you learning?

How fast is the world around you changing?

The difference between your two answers is your speed towards irrelevancy. The fast-paced, ever-changing world we live in requires us to constantly evaluate, adapt, and innovate. 2020 has only increased the pace of change and the demand for continual learning.

Howard Hendricks said, “If you want to continue leading, you must continue changing.” In today’s world, this couldn’t be more true. In today’s learning economy, knowledge acquisition now trumps knowledge retention. Gone are the days where the degree you earned years ago is sufficient for the leadership you need now. Strategies that worked today, won’t work tomorrow.


My Top 10 Favorite Books of 2020

2020 has changed everything. As leaders respond to the rapidly changing world, the old adage, “leaders are readers,” has never been more true. With fewer sports on the television and with more time at home, I was able to read more than usual. Below is a list of the top ten books (in no specific order) that are shaping my leadership in the church, workplace, and home.


The Pandemic People Aren’t Talking About And How To Flatten The Curve

Currently, our world is facing two pandemics. The first is a health pandemic. COVID-19 is sweeping across countries and leaving a tragic trail of sickness and fatalities. Even for those who don’t know anyone who has caught the virus, this pandemic is greatly impacting their lives. This virus has changed everything about our day-to-day as we all do our part to stop the spread of the virus. These drastic, but necessary, measures are helping slow the health pandemic, but unfortunately are also causing a second one.

The COVID-19 outbreak is not just impacting people’s physical health, but their emotional health also. It not only causes fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, but it can trigger anxiety, fear, helplessness, and deep sadness. Where many are directly impacted by the health pandemic, everyone is impacted by this emotional pandemic.

The constant communication about COVID-19’s impact on the news and our social media is causing anxiety and fear. Social distancing and shelter-at-home laws are causing loneliness. And the indefinite timestamp on this new normal is leaving many feeling overwhelmed and depressed. From parents who are balancing working from home and homeschooling their kids to employees who have been let go, everyone is feeling this emotional pressure.

Unlike the virus, the existence of emotions isn’t bad. The problem is not that we have moments of anxiety and fear. The problem is when we don’t respond well and the emotions become uncomfortable. It’s when we no longer are in control of our emotions, but they are in control of us.

Much like the virus has the potential to overwhelm our hospital’s capacity if we don’t take steps to flatten the curve, our emotions can overwhelm us if we don’t flatten the emotional curve caused by irrational beliefs. Taking a similar approach to the health pandemic, we must take proactive healthy steps and we must catch the problem early.


Redeeming Ambition: My Greatest Struggle As A Young Pastor & 3 Questions I Ask Myself Everyday

No matter what life stage or context I am in…ambition is there. Whether I am playing a sport, working a side-hustle, or leading a church…ambition is there. Whether I sit in my room alone with my thoughts or I am brainstorming in a conference room with others…ambition is there. Whether I am spending a Saturday with my family at home or sitting in an office on Monday-Friday…ambition is there.

Dave Harvey describes ambition as chasing glory (Rescuing Ambition, 20). We all, to some extent, are chasing glory. This is because God has designed us this way and he commends the pursuit of glory (Romans 2:6-8). The question is whose glory are you chasing?

This question has rattled me as a young pastor because despite what may have an outward appearance of working for God’s glory, there are many days my motivation is more focused on making my name great. On my good days, I truly am striving to do great things for God, but on my bad days, I am doing great things for me under the name of God.

Early in ministry, I thought that I had an ambition problem and that I needed to suffocate this inner-drive. But over the last decade, I have come to realize that God loves my ambition…he hates my arrogance. My ambition is a gift from Him. The problem is that I have corrupted this gift by chasing my own glory, not His.

When this light bulb went off, my perspective and prayers changed. God doesn’t want to remove my ambition but redeem it. I don’t need to deny it but direct it.

Over the last decade, directing my ambition towards God and not myself has been an ongoing battle that I have to regularly ask for God’s forgiveness and help. Nearly every day, I ask myself one of the following three questions to assess if my ambition is selfish or Godly.


How To Have Better H.E.A.R. Journal Discussion

If you have been in a D-Group before, you know how impactful H.E.A.R. Journal discussion can be. It’s powerful to hear everyone share what God showed them through His Word and see them respond to those insights with steps of obedience. As 3-5 people share their H.E.A.R. Journals each week, the different passages and perspectives highlight the many beautiful facets of God’s Word. When the H.E.A.R. method works, it often creates the most meaningful moments in our D-Group.

But, let’s be honest, we have all been there. You go to share H.E.A.R. Journals and discussion falls flat. One person didn’t do a H.E.A.R. Journal; another person goes off on some rabbit trail about his boss. The third member shares some incredibly detailed breakdown of why the dimensions of the tabernacle are so important and the last guy gives a cop-out application response like, “I just need to trust Jesus.”

Your conversation finishes and there were no sparks, no “AHA” moments, no confession and repentance, and no real steps of obedience. The H.E.A.R. Journal discussion comes and goes and you as the leader are left wondering where the issue is: with the process, with the people, or with you?

Take comfort in that everyone has had the experience above. Here is a simple framework that will help you facilitate better H.E.A.R. Journal discussion.


3 Things I Am Learning During My Transition

A month ago, Sophie and I shared the news that I accepted a job as the D-Groups Pastor at Long Hollow Church and joined the Training Team with Replicate Ministries. This decision has been the hardest decision of our lives as we uproot from a place we love and move away from friends, family, and a church that means the world to us. (We share our gratitude and love for The Chapel in this video.) Along with the sadness of leaving, we are excited and honored to serve at Long Hollow and start this new adventure in the Nashville area.

The transition process has been difficult, but sweet. I greatly underestimated the breadth and depth of emotions that come with transitioning from a place you love so deeply. I have felt excitement, sadness, peace, turmoil, curiosity, cynicism, courage, fear, and much more. Through all of the pain and celebration, God has lovingly given me three lessons that I am reminding myself of daily.


5 Guidelines For Healthy Group Discussion

Have you ever been in a small group discussion that you wish you weren’t? One of the members monopolizes the time by answering and responding to every person. Another person thinks he is Mr. Fix-It as he gives the whole group unsolicited advice on how to fix everybody’s issues but his. Another member has a special ability to casually bring up every hot button issue and leave everyone cringing. And then, of course, you have the person who derails every conversation by throwing into the discussion a “theological grenade” like, “What’s everybody’s thoughts on predestination and free will?”

If you have been a part of a small group for more than a couple of weeks, you most likely have experienced an awkward group discussion. Though we cannot prevent every awkward moment from happening (see why here!), we do want to have a healthy discussion that benefits all its members. We want to provide a safe and authentic place where people can be real and honest and truly encounter Jesus Christ. Here are guidelines that you can give to help foster an environment where this can happen.