I’m about a quarter century (crap) into entrepreneurial missional ventures. 10 years with Youth For Christ, 2 church plants, and I am again considering a brand new vision. As I consider another ‘new work’ I realize that God is recycling me through a very similar process, one that I believe He does with every leader He intends to keep using.

We know a good majority of leaders eventually punt, tap out, or take the looser limp and drag themselves off the field, but some make it. Some stay pliable. Some press in further and listen harder and actually get better.  Some come clean, and cloister up with like-minded and like-hearted comrades who are going to commit come hell or high water to let God use them in fresh ways. These are the leaders of 2015-2020.

Leaders need time with leaders to remain leaders. Conferences deliver 10% of this, your own staff retreats deliver another 10% but many leaders I’ve talked with desire a fraternity of brothers, outside their context that can help them get to the next level.

Here are four proven realities about whether or not you will be a leader 2, 5 or 10 years from now.

1. Leaders hit their most effective stride after 2-3 significant ministry seasons.

It doesn’t seem to matter if the first ministry seasons were successful or not. What matters is what God does in the life of a leader along the way. Clarity of calling is a constant widdleing down, and knowing who you are, where God is most powerful in you and where you suck and need to stop trying to be good are essential points of clarity you need for the next leg of the journey.

2. Leaders learn best when they are away from their context.

When you are home, the tyranny of the urgent always delays or dwarves fresh revelation from God. That’s why even getting away for 2-3 days can be the most powerful and practical use of a leaders time and money.

3. Leaders listen to God better when they are with other seasoned learners.

No matter the level of success, we are all insecure and unsure whether what we hear is from God or from the bad pizza we ate the night before. Being with others, who have no stake in your personal ministry, are often the safest people to help you discern true revelation.

4. Leaders need down time as much as they need God time.

Why do most tap out? One thing. Exhaustion! In my life, the moments where God actually broke through the haze was when I have been with some friends, laughing, enjoying great food and wine, and letting myself loosen the perennial grip of ministry.  I’ve now learned party is true sacrament and a gift God gives to keep us not only in the Spirit but in good spirits.

If you’re interested in a unique environment where these four realities come together join Caesar Kalinowski and myself at my ranch.

Missional Leadership at the next level… The things you’ll wish you had talked about 10 years from now–TODAY!

Hope to see you,

Hugh and Caesar

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