A few days ago Tony Morgan did a live interview with Perry Noble, Mega-Church pastor/stand-up comedian/slash tell-it-like-it-is-guy.  You can check it out here.

Perry’s become very popular among next-gen pastors, especially for the way he has grown New Spring Church in Anderson, South Carolina, from a few people in a living room to more than 10,000 people in under 10 years, with numerous locations throughout SC today.  He’s also gotten quite a reputation for saying things that make people squirm in their seats, at first – then laugh, first uncomfortably -then uproariously. Like Mark Batterson says, “you can always count on Perry to tell it like it is.”  Perry’s got the kind of authenticity that makes others feel uncomfortable at first, then gives everyone around him permission to be real very quickly.  He is fast emerging as a leader many other leaders are looking up to.

It was interesting to go inside Perry’s mind during the interview, and hear how he views his role and responsibilities at his fasting-growing mega-Church.  He simply described his leadership responsibilities as follows:

1.  He spends the majority of his time on sermon preparation.

2.  He does what he calls ‘point leadership’ which he gets from Andy Stanley.  Which I think refers to appointing other people in key positions, or to delegate various tasks.

3.  He is only involved in big picture decisions at the Church.

4.  His primary responsibilities is to develop himself as a leader: his personal growth through conferences, books, resources, relationships etc.

5.  His major HR concern is to maintain his relationships with his key staff members.

6.  He’s not involved with the day-to-day operations of the church.

Some things this tell me:

1.  He understands that he is part of the New Spring team, not separate from it, and his key role is that of communicator.  As a result he spends the majority of his time on sermon preparation.

2.  His focus:  he knows he cannot do everything at the Church and he feels no personal obligation to do everything.  This allows him to focus as a leader on his key responsibilities and gifting.

3.  His commitment to personal development.  This ties in exactly with a post I did a few ago about The Relationship Between Knowledge and Exceptional Leadership. This commitment to personal development is true of every great leader.

4.  His most primary leadership responsibility is to his executive leadership team, or the team that reports directly to him.

5.  He guards against ministry overload.  He’s not doing a 100 m dash, he’s doing this for the long haul, and as such he guards against overloading his schedule, and he’s not involved with the day-to-day operations of the Church (here’s where ‘point leadership’ comes in).

My Observations (And Potential Leadership Blind-Spots):

One of the things I tend to notice with many leaders is, that while they have a high commitment to personal development, many leaders tend to leave organizational or staff development – to individual staff. In other words, staff are expected to be responsible for their own development instead of looking to the organization they work for to facilitate their personal growth.  Staff members are basically hired for their ability and skill they already have, and then additional development is not considered the responsibility of the organization or the leadership team.  Yet in the top performing companies and organizations like GE, personnel development is a high priority.  This is true of many exceptional companies and organizations, including North Point Community Church: development of the leader and staff go hand in hand.  That way staff grows as the leader grows and ultimately – the organization excels.


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