I love Perry Noble. God has used him in my life as a friend, a coach, a cheerleader, and once as a boss.
You see, a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I was on the Senior Management Team at NewSpring Church.
I love that team, have a strong loyalty toward Perry, and learned a TON while serving on staff under him.
Recently I was reflecting on my time in Anderson, South Carolina and came up with the Top 5 lessons that stretched and shaped me as a leader:
5. Work Hard Together, Play Hard Together - Church-work is passionate business - - we're a rescue organization with eternity on the line! That's why it's important for team members to enjoy each other. It's not about a job; it's about doing life together. My fondest memories at NewSpring were the random silly moments in hallways and hanging out together at someone's house watching LOST. This is my biggest personal goal with our new church start-up - - to bring people onto our team who we can do life with deeply.
4. Loyalty is Everything - Relationships are built on trust which is expressed through loyalty. One thing I've always loved about Team NewSpring is their strong sense of loyalty to one another. Loyalty means I have your back no matter what - - if I see a truck coming your way, I give you a big heads up. Loyalty produces staff confidence which in turn fuels bigger steps of faith together. If loyalty is broken on a staff, I guarantee you that the team will whither and disband.
Case in point: the 1998 Chicago Bulls team. They were championship-caliber with back-to-back threepeats in the NBA. Sadly, upper-management (the two Jerry's) said some dumb things in the press and made some amateur moves. This quickly broke the Bulls' (and public's) trust. Within a year, their all-star team of players like Jordan, Pippen, Rodman had all disbanded. Disloyalty hijacked the vision and broke the team apart. It took Chicago over twelve years to recover from that fiasco.
3. Boring Inspires No One - Life-change is stunted in a church if everyone's drowsy. It's OK to be creative in presenting biblical truths (just like Jesus!). God is creative, we are made in His image, so when we are creative, it's an act of worship! It's hard to create momentum with boring. As I've said before, Boring Preachers Can Actually KILL You!
2. Open-Handed with Other Leaders - Perry always encouraged us to be completely open-handed with other church leaders. I love that! There is NO competition/jealousy/insecurity between churches (and if there is in your church, its a reflection of your leadership's hearts, not God's heart!). If we all love Jesus and serve the same King, can't we learn to like each other and share what the Spirit gives? Whether it's sharing techniques or leadership tips or ideas, I still strive to do ministry transparently and in a posture of humility.
1. Family First - Most important of all, Perry has always ingrained in me that I can always get another church, but I can never get another wife and kids! When it comes to my schedule, my family will always win. If they call my cell, wherever I am, even if it's a big meeting, I answer the phone. My wife and kids need to know that they always, always come first.
I'll always be thankful for how the Lord allowed my life to cross paths with the gang at NewSpring. And it's Perry who shepherded me out of student ministry and into church planting. Here's what I shared with Catalyst a few years back: