• Leadership
  • How to Find Your Robin

    Batman and Robin 4 Blog

    Right now our church is in a sermon series called Batman and Robin.  The thrust of the series is about making others great.  God has some big things in store for our congregation and our city.  And in order for us to do what He is calling us to do, it’s going to take leaders.  People that decide that they are willing to help others get from where they are to where they ought to be.  We designed this series to inspire our people to begin to intentionally invest in those coming up behind them and make them great.  

    Leadership is something I’ve been passionate about for awhile now.  I think it was a logical step for me.  As soon as I surrendered my life to Christ and began to understand that I wanted to be a part of reaching the whole world with the gospel, the need for discipleship and leadership development became apparent.  We’ve got billions of people across the globe that Jesus loves and the only way we can reach them is through multiplying leaders that will multiply leaders.  

    In college, I remember some of the guys in my dorm hanging up posters of Brittany Spears.  Not sure what they were hoping to think about as they went to sleep but you can imagine.  Instead of that, I hung up a world map.  I would go to sleep dreaming of all the committed disciples it would take to reach the whole world.  I would strategize how many people I could pour into each year.  I would envision what would happen if my disciples did the same thing year after year.  Eventually, we could reach millions and even billions of people if everyone would deeply invest in training up a new generation of disciples.  The power of multiplication captivated me.  

    Over my years as a youth pastor, I got to test out a lot of my ideas.  And although I found out making disciples that flourish over the long run is much harder than I imagined, I have seen the lives of young people dramatically changed through leaders that I had the opportunity to invest in.  Disciples that make disciples that make disciples works.

    One of the questions I’ve had to answer is this : How do I find my Robin?  

    Not just anyone will do.  I’m looking for good soil to invest my precious time into because it’s a non-renewable resource and God is going to ask me about all of it.  

    Here’s the 5 Things I’m Looking for in a Robin (The words spell the acronym FAITH, which I generally think is cheesy…but it does make it memorable):

    1. Faithfulness

    I’m looking for people that can be counted on.  I’m watching for people that do what they say they will do.  If balls are being dropped a lot, it speaks to a lack of value for the things of God.  Jesus said that he who is faithful in the little things will be faithful with the big things.  So I start by looking at the little things.  Consistency will take you a long way in my book.

    2. Availability

    This one is just practical.  There are people with great potential, but their lives are cluttered with so much stuff they do not have the freedom to bear great fruit.  I know there are different seasons of life where things get busier.  But I’m looking for people that have a hunger to make the things of God a priority over the many things in this world that clamor for attention.  If I’m going to invest deeply into someone’s life, it’s going to take us a good amount of time.  This necessitates availability.  

    3. Initiative

    One thing that I’ve chosen not to do with those I’m seeking to invest in is chase them down.  I’m a terrible accountability partner.  I’ve got my own personal life, family and church that I’m trying to take care of and I can’t make time to be someone else’s motivation.  I’m looking for people who are driven.  Even if that drive gets them moving in the wrong direction, I can work with that.  It’s easier to steer a moving ship than try to be someone’s engine.  

    4. Teachability

    One of my favorite character qualities I’m looking for in a Robin is the ability to listen.  People that listen are hungry to grow and change.  It shows a humility to listen.  It says to a mentor that you don’t already know it all.  Someone that constantly talks quickly gets checked off my list for a potential Robin.  I’m looking for people that want to learn, grow and become all they have the potential to become.  I’m looking for learners, readers, listeners, reasoners, thinkers and students.  If you are teachable, than your potential is sky high.  That’s the type of person I want to invest in.

    5. Happy

    This is a new one for me in the last couple years.  Since planting Sun City Church, we’ve been on mission to be the happiest church I know of.  I just don’t have any more life to spend not being happy.  I know there are going to be seasons of sorrow, trial and difficulty.  But I’m planning on moving through those with joy and a faith-filled positive outlook.  I’ve been deeply impacted by reading The Happiness Advantage this year.  Happiness is a secret weapon to getting the most out of life and I want happy people around me.  They bring out the best in me and will make the most out of whatever I have to give them.  

    So there you have it.  My top 5 things I’m looking for in a Robin.  What’s on your list?

  • Leadership
  • 4 Ways to Help Others Find Their Motivation


    This is the essence of leadership.  Influencing others towards a better tomorrow.  The struggle with people is that often times, they don’t like doing the things that would lead to that better tomorrow.  Parenting is full of examples. My kids need to be influenced to do all kinds of things that they don’t like doing.

    • Eating vegetables
    • Brushing their teeth
    • Reading good books
    • Cleaning up their rooms

    This list could go forever.  As the parent (leader), I know there’s a better life for them on the other side of activities that don’t enjoy.  The leadership challenge is getting them to enjoy what they don’t naturally enjoy.

    There are many areas in life where leaders need this skill.  Whether in business, politics, ministry or family, leaders who master the art of helping people find motivation are going to see success at a much higher rate.  Here are four strategies for helping people find their motivation:

    1. Allow for choice.

    Nobody likes being told what to do.  There’s something inherently demotivating when you feel like you’ve got no options and are being forced into doing what you don’t really want to do.  But often times, leaders adopt a “my way or the highway” stance that doesn’t give people freedom to choose.

    This isn’t to say that you should settle for low standards or change direction based on bad attitudes.  It’s just a recognition that people really enjoy the freedom to choose.  Many times if you can set up a couple different options (do you want broccoli, asparagus or green beans?), you can accomplish your goals and help those you lead enjoy the journey.

    Ben Franklin said it this way, A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.”

    2. Create direct experiences.

    People don’t get motivated to change something unless they have an experience with it.  We’ve seen this time and time again while leading in the church.  It’s one of the reasons why I’m convinced that if there is just one step that someone should take (after salvation), I’d recommend serving.  Involvement.  People change when they have direct experiences with something…not when they simply learn about things from afar.

    One time I went to Africa.  Before the trip, I “believed in missions”.  Afterward, I acted on those beliefs.  We give, plan trips, and sit on a board of a missionary organization because it’s a big value in my life.  Prior to the trip, I saw it’s importance in the scripture…but the direct experience brought me to a place of radical change.

    3. Tell meaningful stories.

    This year, Jamie and I have come alive to the power of story.  It’s like God built humans to respond to stories.  There’s something about the arc of a narrative that grabs emotions and influences people in a way that facts and figures can never do.  Harriet Beecher Stowe shifted the thinking of a nation about slavery with a story – Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

    At Sun City Church, we kick off every  Sunday with something we call The Rally.  We gather all those who serve as volunteers and share stories of life change we collected that week.  The whole point of this short gathering is inspiring our team to serve like world changers through the power of stories.  If an usher can see how his smile and handshake was connected to a lady and her daughter coming to know Jesus, he’ll be the best usher he can be.

    John Kotter saysThose in leadership positions who do not grasp or use the power of stories risk failure for their companies and for themselves.”

    4. Make it a game.

    Gamify it.  I love to compete and win.  If you can show me some way to measure what I’m doing…I’m likely to try and do better at it.  As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve been introducing our boys to Kahn Academy.  At Kahn, they’ve done an incredible job helping my boys enjoy something that honestly isn’t very enjoyable (math).  David and Hudson are learning and growing in their math skills while at the same time working on their “Kahn Avatar” and earning points for their activites.

    When I managed a Coldstone Creamery, we used to turn our clean up duties into a competition every night.  Who can do more dishes? Who can clean the floors fastest?  How quickly can you count out the till (negative points for lack of accuracy).  The bank I worked for put on “sales competitions” to motivate us to do something that I didn’t naturally enjoy…selling.  But once it was a competition, I led the branch in sales.   And made a lot more money for both my family and the company.

    In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and snap! The job’s a game. —Mary Poppins

    You can employ any or all of these strategies with those that you are leading and see remarkable results.  It’s not that your people are inherently stuck in their ways of laziness or underperforming…they just need some leadership to find their motivation.  That’s where you come in.  You’re the leader.