Last month, the LO Team had a BLAST at Alpha’s Leadership Conference in London, England. It was full of leaders from literally ALL over the world. We learned a priceless amount of wisdom and insight from our time there.
Remember as you read this, each one of you are leaders and have been given something in your life to steward well, and we pray you are encouraged and equipped after you read our list of takeaways.
Here are our top ten takeaways from London:
1. The church is the sleeping giant and it is time to wake up: Nicky Gumbel, founder of Alpha, kicked off the conference by explaining that we have been given immense power as the body of Christ (the Church) and it is time for an awakening. He said that instead of being mindful and awake for what God wants to do, we have become a “head down generation.” Leviticus 26:13 says,“I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.”
2. 5 values of Leadership: Nicky went on to speak about the values we should be using as our guiding principles. These are the values that make up true leadership.
Audacity: Aim high. Jesus was a risk taker and we can be, too!
Unity: Jesus prayed that we would be one as Jesus and the Father are one. A good leader listens, apologizes, and forgives in order to maintain unity. Remember, the war is over.
Generosity: Give it away. The son of God loved us and gave himself for us. However, take caution he warned: You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving. Something will be expected of you if you really love God.
Humility: Have a heart that bows down just as Jesus did. Jesus didn’t come wrapped in the clothes of a king, He came with an humble heart. Be someone who doesn’t care about your own name, but live to exalt the name of the savior.
Tenacity: Never give up! Jesus endured the cross to the end so we can endure all of lifes battles.
3. Showing weakness in leadership: Craig Groeschel, head pastor of Life Church, shared that leading will never go without its struggles, setbacks, and temptation to quit. But, anything that is worth accomplishing will never be easy.
If it’s going to be hard, we might as well embrace our weaknesses and struggles and let others see them. He explains that people may admire you for your strengths, but they will connect with you because of your weaknesses. Be a leader who meets people where they are while being relatable and empathetic.
4. Sometimes you just need to re-enter the room:
Spiritually, God can take us out of something that is lost — and take you back in. Does that hit you? Does that relate to you? Charlotte Gambill opened our eyes to the reality that there are times in our life when we need to step out of a room, whether it be a relationship, a job, a position, a perspective, etc. When we step out of the room it allows God to adjust you, your heart, and your perspective.
There is space to re-enter the room. Sometimes we fear stepping away from something because we will miss out. Or perhaps we will be forgotten, replaced, or un-welcomed back in! That’s not the case! When we come back to those rooms, places and situations with an adjusted heart and a renewed perspective, there is room for us.
People who let God adjust them walk differently when they step back in. How many of us feel like we need adjusting? Raising our hands over here. There are always ways God can adjust and refine perspectives. And especially as a leader, as a friend, whatever your position is, you will need adjusting at times. Lean into this!
How do we re-enter the room? Peter is a great example of this:
- Re-enter the net (aka your skills!). Jesus asked Peter to throw his net back in the water. What do you need to pick up and try again?
- Re-enter the water. Peter was passionate and stepped (literally) into the water. What kind of renewed attitude or passion do you need to step back in?
- Re-enter commitment. Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” Then lead and build and be a fisher of men. What kind of people, places or situations do you need to re-commit to?
Friends–lead with love and patience. If you’re about to re-enter the room, do so with thankfulness for who God is and what He has already done.
5. Stride, don’t strive:
There is a pace of grace. Mike Todd shared about when God asked him to let go of his striving to discover his stride. There’s a deep revelation in the meaning of stride.
Stride: to walk, with long, decisive steps in a specific direction. There are so many of us striving, trying hard to use our energy and efforts for the wrong things. Everyone is trying to use our own power to provide what God said He would do. Check your pace. What are you currently striving for? What do you need to say no to? Do you believe that God can do more with less? Are you leading and walking by your own spirit or God’s power?
When we stop striving and start striding, our lives will change. Begin to ask God where He is leading us in the here and now. He has set out steps for us. And when we begin to change the pace of our lives, things will look differently. Psalm 37:23 says, “The Lord directs the steps of the godly and he delights in every detail of their lives.”
Soak in this truth. Let’s learn to lead and walk with dependency on God. It’s not too late for you to step into the pace of grace. So today friends, stop striving, start striding.
For the full series on STRIDE, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OoNGGttnTk
6. God is moving in our generation and we all have an influence:
In the historic Royal Albert Hall, in a room full of leaders across the globe, Sadie had an opportunity to take the stage, along with another young gentleman who has overcome a severe physical disability and share their heart for their generation. Make no mistake, God is moving among the young people in this generation. He is calling our generation to stop looking down at our screens, to stop looking around at those around us and to start looking upward to see what God is doing! Will you join us? Sadie had a unique opportunity to challenge leaders across the globe with this same encouragement – and we are inviting you on the journey with us!
7. No matter what you are creating, always create with the purpose to touch someone’s heart: Charlie Mackesy, brilliant English artist, who is famous for his paintings of the Royal Albert Hall, explains that his core motivation of being a leader in his craft is aiming to be a storyteller and a stirrer of people’s affections. He says, these days people overthink things, and, through that, they miss the whole point of doing what we do: to love. “People don’t always like religion, but they can understand love. Keep the bits about the reason you’re alive and cut the fluff.”
When asked what makes people look up to him as a leader, he says it isn’t just the paintings. “You’re most impressive when you’re kind.”
Whatever you are called to, do it for God’s glory and to touch people’s hearts and God will bless your work.
8. Leaders are willing to make big change: During this powerful talk by Craig, he point blank said that the difference in a decent leader and a great leader is their willingness to lead change. Although change is hard, these points on change can lead us to more confidence in order to take the steps that are necessary for a healthy life.
- Change how you think about change. People don’t hate change, they hate the way we try to change them. Great leaders don’t cast blame, they take responsibility. When trying to affect change, don’t shame those who you think need help, encourage them by kindness and setting the example.
- Discern what needs to change: If we try to change the wrong thing, we will have the wrong outcome.
- Obsess about the “why” over the “what.” People will go along with the “what”, but they will give their life for the “why.”
Friends, it’s time to be bold. And be encouraged! Obedience is our responsibility, and the outcome is God’s responsibility. He will guide you through the tough decisions.
9. Shared Experiences Deepen Friendship: It was such a privilege that the whole Live Original team had the chance to travel to London TOGETHER! We laughed together, cried together, drank way too many oak milk lattes together, created inside jokes (Cashews, anybody?), spoke in British accents and explored a delightful country together! Although we all have the privilege of working alongside each other on a daily basis, it was truly special to carve out time with one another to intentionally get to know each other on a deeper level! It doesn’t have to be London, it could just be grabbing your friends, putting phones on silent for a few hours and going for hike together, but don’t miss out on taking time to pause and intentionally invest in the friends around you — even the ones you see every day!
10. LONDON or BUST: Okay, closing with a very practical takeaway – London is worth visiting! If you ever have the chance to travel there – you must go! The city is home to some of the kindest people, incredible coffee shops, stunning architecture, deep history and let’s be honest, the accents are absolutely lovely to the ears. Shout out to all of our readers living in London – your home is delightful.