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Past Updates

Aug 14, 2006
Andy Stanely: "Why I decided to Cheat the Church."


"One of the better sessions at this year's Leadership Summit was Andy Stanley talking about how he decided to 'cheat the church'. And he talked about the number one leadership decision he ever made, and it has to do with the balancing act between the demands of ministry life and the demands on family time...

Tony Morgan and Mark Waltz from Granger Community Church have given great blog summaries of Andyís talk on their respective blogs.† Tony writes:

He talked about the best leadership decision heís ever made. He made a deal with God. He explained it something like this:

God, I donít have time to build a ministry and take care of my family. Iíll give you 45 hours per week as a church planter. If you can build a church on 45 hours, Iím your guy. Iíll let you build has big a church as you can with that 45 hours, and Iíll be satisfied with that. But Iím not going to cheat my family. "

Take notice of this..he got the priority right. I know some people and judicatories expect pastors to work 65 hours a week. THAT IS CRAZY AND WILL KILL YOU!!!! If you can't get it down without killing yourself and your marriage and your family-DON'T DO IT!!!

Andy decided to cheat the church before he cheated his family. With his wife, he decided to be at home by 4:30 every day. That meant he left work at 4:00.

Andy explained that God has never commanded him to love the Church. He was commanded to love his wife. He was never commanded to build the Church. Jesus said he would do that. Instead, we get it backwards. We try to go build the church, and we pray that God will take care of our family.

How did this decision impact Andyís leadership?

1. It forced him to play exclusively to play to his strengths. Focus on the things youíre good at. The less you do, the more you accomplish. Youíre not very good at very many things. Only do what only you can do.

2. It forced him to prioritize the success of the church over my personal success. He had to say no to lots of other opportunities. It forced him to focus on the main thing God has called him to do. North Point has his undivided attention.

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