We've talked a lot about Tim Stevens' newest book, Vision: Lost and Found, so we're not going to remind you again how amazing it is. But we thought you'd want to know that Tim's publisher, Exponential, is giving away a free six-chapter excerpt of the book! So in case you haven't gotten your copy yet, this is your chance. Get a free sample of the book that was recently chosen as part of Leadership Journal's 2012 Leadership Book Awards and we're sure you'll want to buy the whole thing.

Check out Exponential's description:

In this excerpt, Stevens focuses on the evolution in thinking that he and other Granger Community Church leaders went through as they evaluated both missional and attractional approaches to doing and being the church. Stevens shares that in February 2010, Granger leaders looked at each other and asked a hard question: Is the sheer number of “unchurched” people in our area any less than it was 25 years ago before Granger existed? That question–and this excerpt–set the stage for what would eventually define the church’s well-known transition to “both/and,” choosing to be both attractional and missional. Stevens’ story-telling compels readers to download the full book to discover the rest of Granger’s unstuck story still being written today. Stevens offers an in-depth look at both missional and attractional approaches and gives us an insider look at why and how he and Granger leaders wrestled with both. He also includes a mini glossary of terms central to the missional movement. Download the free eBook (excerpt) here.


Tim Stevens' newest book, Vision: Lost and Found, is the behind-the-scenes story of a church that grew from nothing to be labeled as the second most innovative church in the country—and then got stuck. In it, he shares some of the early wins the church experienced, as well as struggles that arose with rapid growth. It reads as partly biographical, telling the story of Granger Community Church from the beginning, and partly as a leadership book, giving insight into how church leaders came together to craft and cast a new vision for the future.

It's the leadership component of the book that landed Vision a spot in Leadership Journal's 2012 Leadership Book Awards! Congratulations, Tim! The award is well-deserved, as this book and the wisdom conveyed in its pages have already helped hundreds of church leaders across the country. As one reader wrote:

"Tim shares step by step the process the Granger leadership team went through to craft the new vision, get feedback from the people and ultimately implement it. Whether or not you agree with their vision, you will discover a lot of transferable principles of how to cast a great vision for your church or organization."

If you could use some inspiration in a tough time, help crafting your organization's vision or just some extra insight into how other leaders are doing it, get your copy of Vision: Lost and Found today!

There's also a chance for a few people to get up-close, practical help for your church with Tim Stevens. Launching this spring, there are still openings for the Communication Strategy network with Kem Meyer, the Connections Strategy network with Mark Waltz and the Executive Pastors network with Tim Stevens.


by Tim Stevens, Executive Pastor

It could be assumed that a guy who writes a leadership blog has never made any leadership mistakes. And that assumption would be wrong. I am a student of leadership by learning from others, as well as from my own mistakes. Here are a few notable ones:

  • Jumping to a conclusion before waiting for all the information.
  • Not following my gut until it was way too late and I had a big problem on my hands.
  • Skipping the ‘meeting before the meeting’ to help rally the stakeholders.
  • Spent too much time trying to convince people of a direction, and losing the window of opportunity to move forward.
  • Letting other concerns divert my focus from my ministry.
  • Letting ministry become my mistress for a season.
  • Firing too slowly, convincing myself attitudes will improve or capacity and competence will increase.
  • Hiring too quickly. This happens when I’m desperate for a solution and so settle for any person rather than the right person.
  • Allowing misalignment to go unaddressed, or assuming it will get better on its own.
  • Releasing someone for misalignment before giving them an opportunity to improve.
  • Not speaking truth to power when I might have been the only person who could.
  • Speaking truth to power at the wrong time or in the wrong way.
  • Putting progress or projects in front of people.

I hope you can tell by this list two things: First, I’m not a perfect leader. In 27 years of leading as an adult, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. If you are afraid of making mistakes, you should not be a leader. If you fear the day you have to stand in front of others and tell them you were wrong, you should pump gas or sell Cutco. Innate within leadership is the probability that you will make mistakes.

Secondly, leadership is not an exact science. If you do the same thing twice—it can be exactly right in one instance and the absolute wrong action in the next situation. Leadership requires prayer, discernment, collaboration, intuition, research, experience, confidence, self-control and the guts to take risks.

Continue reading on Tim's Blog...


by Tim Stevens, Executive Pastor

“You have to give up to go up.”

I first heard John Maxwell say this in 1993 in a small leadership conference in Anderson, Indiana. Nearly 20 years later, I couldn’t agree more.

Many of you are pastors, the top dog in your church. You’ve either started the church from scratch, or you’ve come into an existing ministry. You want your church to grow. You may be looking for ideas to give your church a jumpstart. Or perhaps you’ve implemented changes, and the church is starting to grow. Now you want to take it to the next level.

Here’s a startling fact: Many of the things you do to help a small church grow are the very things that will eventually kill the church if you continue doing them.

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I’ve said it before, and it’s still true today: One of the most enjoyable things I get to do is lead a Coaching Network for Executive Pastors. In a couple of months, I’m going to offer this again. I will be meeting with 12 church leaders for a coaching experience that begins in March and concludes in May. I’m designing it specifically for Executive Pastors (or leaders in a similar role) who want to take their leadership to the next level. I’m not quite sure how to describe it, but here is my best attempt… 

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