Killing Cockroaches

This morning I had the privilege of attending the “Killing Cockroaches” Summer Tour with author Tony Morgan. It was held at Grace Church in Powell, just a bit north of Columbus. Kary Orberbrunner was the host for the event and he and the rest of his colleagues at Grace did a great job welcoming those that attended. It was a small gathering of pastors and leader which gave way to great discussion and networking in a relaxed atmosphere.

I took several notes and am going to post them here in two posts. One today and one tomorrow. Then I will follow up with some thoughts. I am still reading his book with the same name and will post a review when I finish it.

5 Reasons We Get Stuck Killing Cockroaches…

Reason 1. We settle for something that’s not God’s plan.

  • Abram’s father, Terah, settled in Heron instead of finishing the journey to planned destination of Canaan
  • Leadership is hearing from God and then obediently doing what He says


Reason 2. The ministry outgrows us.

  • It will happen if we are following God
  • We must have enough confidence and security in our leadership that we can empower others to do great things. This will allow the ministry to continue to grow beyond us. We cannot try to hang on and control things.
  • The trap is being involved in God’s ministry instead of being true to God’s calling. What has He called you to do? NOT… What activities are you involved in?
  • Leading is a cycle os training and raising up to send and release others into leadership. Like parenting, the goal is to get them to move from dependence to independence.


Reason 3. We stay too focused on execution instead rather than outcomes.

  • Move from delegation to empowerment.
  • Let those leaders you raise up take care of the how as long as you make the expected results clear. Otherwise you are a backseat driver. They are driving, but you are barking out the instructions the whole time. You might as well drive.
  • We should only get involved in the execution details when the results aren’t what was expected. (In the parable of the talents, the master didn’t worry with what the servants did with the money or give any advice when they got a return. He only spoke to the execution of the one who did not bring the desired results.)
  • Potential leaders are asking:
  • Am I really needed?
  • Will I have input?
  • Will I be kept in the loop?
  • Do they care about me or are they just using me?
  • Will I get to lead something significant?

Reason 4. We avoid giving volunteers the opportunity to serve and lead.

  • We have become to professionally minded thinking that it takes a staff member or position to lead a ministry.
  • A healthy progression of ministry:
  • Lead by example (early on in planting, beginning something new, small churches, etc.). The leader must do much of what needs to be done and show others how to do it.
  • Lead others (after a time of growth and stability is setting in). The leader is now overseeing others who are doing the bulk of the tasks.
  • Lead other leaders (the step that many never take in growth, it requires a major change in the leader and his/her relationship with people). The leader is now directly leading fewer people who are overseeing the ones doing the bulk of the tasks.
  • Lead thru vision leaders who lead other leaders (only a select few make it to this step and then actually follow thru with it). The leader is now setting the tone and casting vision to a group of high quality leaders who then impart that to others who are raising up people who do the bulk of the tasks


Reason 5. We embrace and are controlled by fear and/or pride rather than humility.

  • We must embrace humility!
  • EVERY leader does or will deal with one or both of these.
  • Fear and worry are just as much about self and about control as pride is.
  • These can paralyze a leader or destroy a leader. Either way, he/she become ineffective and God’s Kingdom suffers.
  • Trust God enough to follow through and take the risk stepping out into the unknown.
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