About George Yates

George Yates is a Church Health Strategist working with churches across North America. With 20 plus years experience as a practitioner, George brings a fresh eye and insight into your ministry setting.

A Recent Experience of God in the Midst

Sitting in my hotel room Wednesday evening, my cell phone rang just after 8:00. The caller ID showed a pastor who is taking his church through Reaching the Summit. In fact, I had been with his team just two nights prior. Reaching the Summit is a year-long process where I meet once a month with the pastor and a team from his church, looking at various principles and practices of reversing declining trends in the church. Included is a Vigorous Face to Face Summit with Reality. This church (as many do) realized their need to get into the community and be the hands and feet of Jesus.

On Monday evening we had discussed the church’s discovery of their perceived strengths – what they are godly-gifted at doing as a body of believers. The pastor had led the church members to determine and list these in the previous month. The church had also reached out to school administrators and the local Sheriff’s office asking for their opinion on the greatest needs in the community. These  are two parts of a four quadrant matrix in helping the church in determining that one thing it can do better than anyone else in the community.

Knowing the pastor was to address the church on this particular evening with the results of their community assessment (sheriff’s office & school report), I presumed he might be calling for clarification about something that had been brought up in the church meeting. I was wrong.

Instead, the pastor, with controlled delight in his voice said, “I wanted to tell you what happened tonight.” He went on to tell me that as they were discussing the findings in their community assessment, which included helping the poor in the community and praying for individuals in the community, a lady unknown to anyone in the church and of a distinguishingly different ethnic background walked into the church meeting.

“She came in, walked towards the front of the room, and I asked her if I could help her.” The pastor shared.

Her reply was, “Yes, I need you to pray for me and I need $94 for rent.”

The pastor said he froze for a moment. He realized immediately, this was God. His actual words to me were, “George, this was a test from God on the very night we were discussing what we could do for the community.” My reply was, “It was not a test. It was an opportunity.”

On the very night they were speaking as a church family about becoming God’s witness to the community by relieving some of the true needs of the community, God sent this lady into their midst to give the church an opportunity to join God in His work.

The pastor stopped his presentation and discussion, prayed for the lady. The church then took up a collection for her and collected $146.

I do not think it will be difficult for this church to find their way to serving God in the next few months.

What a blessing! God will give us the desires of our heart when we seek Him. And His desire is for us to join Him in His work. How about your church? Are you seeking to truly join God in His work to the people around you and your church?

To learn more about Reaching the Summit: Avoiding & Reversing Decline in the Church contact George Yates and visit SonC.A.R.E. Ministries.

Empowering Leadership

In the church as in many organizations leadership fails to recognize the potential of the workers/volunteers. Perhaps we are afraid “they” will not do the job the way we would. Leaders (managers) assign a task and fail to empower the people to accomplish said task. Successful leaders – true fruit producing leaders understand Empowering Leadership.

Empowering Leadership is critical to productivity, higher retention and greater morale. Empowering Leadership is more about the workers than the leader. It is empowering the people assigned a task the leverage to accomplish the task. Here are two key factors for developing an Empowering Leadership model.

  1. There is no other factor where such rapid progress can be made in a relatively short time frame.

The expectations for “empowering leaders” change rapidly and consistently in growing churches/organizations.

Every leader should have an apprentice. The Apostle Paul was always looking to train the next generation of leaders. Multiplication of leadership is a great growth factor.

Every leader that invests himself into other people needs mentors who invest themselves into him or her. Even the Apostle Paul had Barnabas, Silas, the other Apostles.

2. Gift oriented leadership will produce more positive results than any other.

The more extensive our responsibility the more we need people who are interested in our personal growth, and bringing out more and more of that God-given potential. It is important that every leader has a clear understanding of his/her gifts and limitations.

We need to know our gifts and limitations because it is our responsibility to lead others to works of service using their gifts and special abilities.

We are to lead them to ministries and areas of service that fit their gifting and abilities.

If you are not willing to realize the need of others in your organization/congregation you are living in a very narrow self-minded realm. You are not trusting God and His gifting of others.

Your employees/volunteers may not come at the task the exact same way you would. – They might have a better way. Do not get wrapped up in a “my way” syndrome. Guide them, but don’t rule over them with an iron fist or suppressing thumb. Empower your people to take on the task with personal pride. Then allow them the freedom to accomplish the task. You will see greater productivity, personal growth, and higher morale.

To learn more about Empowering Leadership for your organization, contact George Yates, read more of these blog posts from George, and visit SonC.A.R.E. Ministries.

George Yates is an Organizational Health Strategist and Life Purpose Coach , assisting individuals, churches, and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.

Leadership: You Can’t Do It Alone

Leadership cannot be practiced in a vacuum. It is not effected alone. Leadership requires others, multiple people. To be an effective leader you must have people following your lead. Position doesn’t make a leader. Just because you were elected or appointed to a leadership position, does not make you a leader. As a person in leadership you should ask yourself, “Are people following me because of my leadership personality, or because of position?” If they are following because of the position or title you hold, you need to seriously consider your leadership skills and ability.

Truly effective leaders understand effective leadership stems from the followship of others. The success of any leader depends upon those who will follow.  When people see value in your abilities and skills, they will follow. When people follow in this manner, you will see a productive workforce (team) and high morale amongst employees/volunteers. Retention rates soar while turnover shrinks. Every leader should have three groups of “others” assisting him/her in leadership.

First, someone to whom he or she is responsible. Every leader is responsible and accountable to someone or some group. In large corporations most leaders have a “higher up” or up-line supervisor. The CEO or president has a Board of Directors. Even the founder and owner of a small business is accountable to someone. If no one else, his business clients. Without accountability he will not keep clients. I have had pastors tell me they are accountable to no-one but God. This is dangerous, and not the plan I read in God’s word, The Holy Bible. Most churches, like other organizations have a leadership accountability ladder. Every person in every organization from family to a fortune 500 corporation is accountable.

God has positioned these accountability systems in place to allow us the ability to grow and learn from others. Even if you are in an organization where you hold the highest position of leadership, find other leaders to whom you can learn and be held accountable. You will see your leadership ability grow.

Second, every leader needs a group of peers for support and discipleship. If you are a leader, you should be a disciple of leadership – healthy leadership practices. Your peers hold similar positions, either in your organization or similar organizations. These peers face similar trials and successes as you. They also can spot your weaknesses and support you in growing through those weaknesses. Your peers can be a great learning and building resource. However, a word of caution; do not build a volley of peers who will only be sympathetic moaners, agreeing with your grievances. Your group of peers should be supportive encouragers, who care enough to correct you and assist you in strengthening your effective leadership.

Third, every leader must have followers. Too many leaders see these as underlings or subjects. A leader should always view the people serving under our leadership as the individuals who will make or break our leader potential. When we view and treat these as lesser than ourselves, we are setting the organization and our own leadership on the course of failure. As a leader, your greatest desire should be to elevate the people you lead to their greatest potential. You are leading people, not numbers or statistics.

Leadership is not done in a vacuum, nor can it be accomplished alone.

For more on strengthening your leadership contact George Yates and visit the resources pages of SonC.A.R.E. ministries.

George Yates is an Organizational Health Strategist and Life Purpose Coach , assisting individuals, churches, and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.

Get in Touch With Reality

This is a repost from April 2013 and one of the most important and critical items needed to transform your organization and reverse declining trends.

One of the major ways to begin assessing the reality of your situation is to take a vigorous look at the truth. Most people do not like confrontation. However, confronting is a good term to use, because to reverse decline in your organization, you must be willing to meet head on the things that may be detrimental and causing decline. A vigorous look at all the truth of the reality of your ministry situation will be essential in reversing or avoiding decline.

With the phrase a vigorous face-to-face summit with reality we are speaking of a completely open and honest assessment—a vigorous face-to-face meeting with reality as the result of an intense investigation of who we are and how we arrived where we are today. It is my belief that a church cannot successfully and thoroughly conduct this assessment without the assistance of an objective experienced and qualified person from outside the church.

If you are serious about turning your church around or even avoiding decline, you should seek a church consultant and coach with experience in assisting churches in growth and reversing decline. Appendix 2 in Reaching the Summit is written as a help with choosing a consultant or coach for your church. You want someone on your turnaround team who does not have the biases that you and your church members have but has a passion to see the church thrive in building God’s kingdom.

For more information on conducting a Vigorous Face to Face Summit for your church or organization purchase a copy of Reaching the Summit: Avoiding and Reversing Decline in the Church or contact George Yates at SonC.A.R.E. Ministries.

George Yates is an Organizational Health Strategist and Life Purpose Coach , assisting individuals, churches, and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.

Leading by Caring: an Undercover Boss Revelation

I recently watched an episode of Undercover Boss, Epic Bosses. This particular episode looked back at some of the former participants to see how their lives continue to be impacted since appearing on the show. I noticed a common theme in the lives of these bosses. Each of these bosses identified how he/she realized the need to spend time with their employees. The greatest insight for them and change in their life and leadership was to reinvest in the greatest company resource – its employees.

This is a very valuable lesson for all leaders to capture. Unfortunately, in our society today, greed has replaced value in corporate America. Not only greed, but it has steered leadership into lower standards of operation. Yet, those leaders who recognize their people as the greatest resource of the organization, will likely have not only quality production, but also, higher morale.

One general rule of human nature is to know that someone cares about me. When people realize you care, they pay more attention and respect to you. Therefore, their performance will be of greater interest toward the organization’s interests. I often share with churches and church leaders, “You’ve got to show them that you care.” If you expect people to be their best for you and your organization, show them that you care – for them.

There are varying ways to show you care and caution is to used in how you choose to show you care. One way certainly is through gifts; financial rewards as raises, bonuses, special dinners, etc. But as we’ve shared in an earlier post, throwing money at employees is not a cure all. Any morale boost from financial reward is most often short lived. While these are good and should be practiced as can be afforded, it is not the best way to show you care.

Continued safety improvement and care for employees (volunteers) is a good way to show you care. Safety includes providing proper equipment and proper rest periods for employees. Some companies in Silicone Valley provide on-site childcare, free cafeterias, and game rooms for employees. Some of these can be good, some perhaps habit forming expectations. The point is they are relating to the morale of their employees. (There are valid reasons behind the game rooms for some of these particular companies)

On the Undercover Boss episode, some of these bosses continue to return to the trenches, traveling to spend the day with some of their ground forces. This has been known for years as “walk around management.” They are not doing this to manage. These bosses realized the need to walk with and amongst the ground forces of their business. They interact and find out about the employee’s job and personal lives. This perhaps is the number one morale builder any leader can undertake. Show them that you care. Your organization will flourish and, You’ll be glad you did.

George Yates is a Life Purpose Coach and Organizational Health Strategist, assisting individuals, churches, and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.

Can One Book Revolutionize Your Leadership?

Can one book revolutionize your leadership? Pastor Jason Price thinks so. I had the privilege of working with Jason and his church for about a year as they walked through Reaching the Summit: Avoiding and Reversing Decline in the Church. Jason’s church, Cornerstone, Nicholasville, KY, was not necessarily in decline. However, they had fallen into some routines and knew some adjustments were needed. I am a coach. As I coached Jason and his team through that year, God began doing some amazing things in their midst. Here is some of Jason had to say at the close of our time together and after reading the book, Coaching: A Way of Leadership, A Way of Life. Be sure to read down to what learning these coaching techniques has done for his personal and professional life.

Reading this book, you will explore the two greatest fundamental practices of coaching. How many senses do you use when listening to others? Do you realize you can utilize all five senses to become a better listener? It is true, when you learn to listen with more than your ears, you will become a better listener, and a better communicator. You will become a more effective leader and coach. If you’re listening only with your ears, you’re missing the point.

You are asking the wrong questions! This is true in most every organization and casual conversation in society today. Have you ever considered the nature and purpose of a question? Learn these two characteristics and you will be on the road to formulating the right questions. Learn to ask questions leading to greater effectiveness.

“George Yates is a master at asking questions. Even before Reading, Coaching: A Way of Leadership a Way of Life, I have seen first-hand how coaching can radically change the culture within a church, his coaching helped change ours!  George masterfully uses the art of asking the right questions, to lead churches and people on a road to self-discovery, helping them identify the God-given purpose for their church.”

”The principles taught in this book, are highly practical and transferable to any setting. They reveal the personal insights of an effective coach with decades of experience. If you have a desire to revolutionize the way you lead in your professional or church life, you need to read this book!  George has changed my leadership style for life!” R. Jason Price, Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Nicholasville, KY

Why not set 2018 as the year of marked improvement in your leadership through coaching?

You can purchase your copy of Coaching: A Way of Leadershp, A Way of Life at Amazon or from SonC.A.R.E. Ministries. You can also contact George personally about leading a Coaching workshop in your area.

George Yates is a Life Purpose Coach and Organizational Health Strategist, assisting individuals, churches, and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.

Prepare for 2018

This past Sunday, the first Sunday of the New Year, I presented a message to our church titled “Prepare for 2018″. At the close of the message I led the congregation in a Responsive Reading and time of prayer. This seemed to impact people in a great way. Not only did we read it aloud, each person had a copy to carry home and use daily this week and throughout 2018.

Following our morning worship service, I attended a Pastor Search Committee for the church. The committee chairman began the meeting by reading the responsive reading and applying it to the committee’s task. It was then that I realized the impact this Responsive Reading could have on the life of many others. So, though I wrote it for our congregation, I now share it with you.

In the worship time, we read the bold print together, and I read the regular print as a challenge to each of us for 2018. My prayer is it will be of great value to your spiritual being and life for 2018.

Consecrate yourselves, because tomorrow, the Lord will do wonders among you.

Lord, as your children, we realize we have been sanctified by you to carry out your tasks of fulfilling the Great Commission. May we be found faithful in 2018.

Consecrate yourselves, because tomorrow, the Lord will do wonders among you.

As your messengers to 2018 we have been blessed. Our blessing comes from you alone in carrying out Your mission. May we be found faithful in 2018.

Consecrate yourselves, because tomorrow, the Lord will do wonders among you.

As believers in Christ, may we devote ourselves for the year 2018, to your purpose in our lives; opening up to others about your wonders and grace. May we be found faithful in 2018.

Consecrate yourselves, because tomorrow, the Lord will do wonders among you.

God Almighty, you have left us here to fulfill Your works. Therefore, we know we are set aside by You for great wonders. May we be found faithful in 2018.

Consecrate yourselves, because tomorrow, the Lord will do wonders among you.

Lord, you have set us apart, so today, we dedicate ourselves to Your service. Embolden us to share Your story and Your wonders. May we be found faithful in Your eyes.

Prayer: Lord, YOU have set us apart. You have called us to this great supernatural work of yours. So, today, this first Sunday of 2018, we consecrate ourselves for all of 2018 to be watchful, obedient, and willing to share with others at every opportunity You avail to us.

Father, help me to be prayed up and studied up, so that I can lift up the name of Jesus. Teach me and guide me in how to share in every situation so that I will experience the wonders of Your Holiness around me.

O Lord, it is only with Your help that I will be found faithful. Lead me in being faithful to Your cause, that I will enjoy the wonders of Your work. In Christ’s name, Amen.

The message was based on Joshua chapter 3 with a focus on verses 4-5, 9-10.

May God bless you richly as you prayerfully use this through 2018. Drop me an e-mail or social media message with your thoughts.

George Yates is a Life Purpose Coach and Organizational Health Strategist, assisting individuals, churches, and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.

Bring Them In, Build Them Up, to Send Them Out

Ron came into my office to blurt out, “I’m quitting. I just want you to know, I’m going to quit teaching.” This caught me by surprise. I asked, “Why? What do you mean?” You see, Ron was doing a good job as a Bible study teacher in our church. I truly did not see this coming and did not expect Ron of all teachers to make this proclamation.

Ron went on to say, “Every time things seem to be going good and we are growing (as a class), some of them leave. They go off to start new classes or work in children’s Sunday School. We can’t get ahead. We keep losing people.”

“Ron,” I said. “You are not losing them. You are doing exactly what you are supposed to do; build them up and send them out to work in other areas of ministry. When they go out to help start new classes, it is not to abandon you. It is part of their growth.” I assured Ron, “We need every class to do what yours is doing.”

Whether in Bible study groups, church, ministry, or any corporate organization the goal should be the same: Grow people to be effective and fulfill their life purpose. Unfortunately, too many leaders and even entire corporations operate with wrong motives. Instead of growing people up and encouraging them to spread their wings, we want to use them for our own selfish interests and clip their wings, so they cannot fly and flourish.

Doing this does not improve morale and proves our selfish behaviors. Whether in a volunteer non-profit organization or a fortune 500 corporation, it hurts to see your best people leave and move on. Who is going to fill their shoes? How long will it take to hire someone and get him/her up to speed? So many questions. So many uncertainties.

Yet, building people up to let them go should be our joy and our goal. Not everyone is going to leave our organization, but if leaving is part of their growth and satisfies her life purpose, letting her go should be our delight. Not only our delight, it should be with our encouragement to continue in her growth.

Pastors, CEOs and other leaders demonstrate their understanding as they hire and recruit people with the expectation that they may someday leave, spreading his/her wings to move on in fulfilling their God-given purpose. Great leaders recruit with the intent of helping every employee/volunteer to be his best. Assisting him in becoming the greatest, most effective worker/person possible. Yes, great leaders recruit this way even knowing some of these will leave. If leaving is helping her become her best, who am I to stop her. Instead, my words should be of encouragement.

As we enter this new year, will you spend some time contemplating your role in helping others to become the best, most effective person possible – even if it means God moving them to other opportunities? Treat others as if they have the potential to surpass your abilities. Doing this will move you down the road to becoming a great leader.

May God bless you in great supernatural ways in 2018.

 

George Yates is a Life Purpose Coach and Organizational Health Strategist, assisting individuals and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.

The Goal is Life Change

The Goal is life change. Perhaps this should be the mantra for all leaders. As a coach, this is an imperative for me. I am privileged to serve individuals, pastors, leaders, followers, teams and organizations. My coaching has come out of leadership training and experience. Fortunate to have had good mentors, leaders, and coaches in my life, God’s blessings on me personally and professionally are innumerable.

The goal for all coaches and I believe all leaders should be life change. As a leader, my number one objective should be to assist you in becoming a better, stronger, person who desires to help others. I say this not because I am in the ministry. No matter what occupation or leadership position, your goal should be the same.

I fear many leaders have it backwards; believing their job is to use people to reach company goals or for self-interests as climbing a corporate ladder. As long as you lead with this mindset, you will never be satisfied. Nor will you experience high morale among your employees/volunteers.

Great leaders have never let people become objects to maneuver for his/her own success. You can find out what a leader values by how he treats the people who cannot add value to the leader’s reputation or success.

Great leaders and coaches have something most leaders do not possess. Great leaders accept the responsibility of helping others, challenging them to rise above their current level, striving to reach greater heights. Great leaders will build an environment or culture that builds others who will also build others.

It all starts with accepting the responsibility of building others, not reaching company goals, raising the numbers, increasing volume, or climbing my own ladder. You see, great leaders are successful leaders who have realized to build morale and increase productivity, you must pour into your people.

I was recently engaged in a conversation where one person believed the only way to build morale was for the company to increase the money flowing into the employees paycheck. Honestly, this is not a morale booster. Money may bring a temporary fix, but it will be short lived. Yes, pay your employees an honest wage, but other personal investments will lead to greater productivity and morale.

An intrinsic part of our nature is to be better than we were yesterday. We value improving. Therefore, when as a leader, you assist others in reaching greater heights in their personal or professional life, you build confidence and morale. You are building a person who will be likely build others as well. This is building a culture of great leaders and high morale. You are building a culture of Life Change!

George Yates is a Life Purpose Coach and Organizational Health Strategist, assisting individuals and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.

Family is a Team Effort at Home & Church

I remember it well. Well, I remember it as well as I can from a child’s eyes. We would all pile in the car, Mom, Dad, & five children, and head out to retrieve a tree for our family Christmas. Some years Dad would take a saw to cut a tree from a friend’s farm. Other years, later in my childhood, he would stop at a tree lot where he and mom would pick a cut tree just right for our living room.

Once we returned home Dad always cut the lower two to three inches off the base of the tree. He would say it needs a fresh cut, fresh opening to drink while in the stand. I’m glad Dad taught me things like that. Once it was cut and any other trimming completed, Dad would carry it in the house and place it in the tree stand.

My siblings and I would wait, eagerly anticipating our part in this family tradition, decorating the family Christmas tree. The order was always the same. First, Dad would string the lights (G7’s or 9’s) the big colorful lights of days gone by. Next, he and Mom would wrap the tree in silver or gold garland.

While Dad was stringing the lights on the tree, Mom was placing tree hooks on the ornaments to be hung. As we got older, we were entrusted to carefully hang some of the glass ornaments on the tree. While we were younger, though, we had to wait until all the ornaments were hung. And we waited with enthusiastic expectancy, because we knew our part was coming. As a child, the last part, to me, was the most fun and worth the wait.

What was the final act of decorating the tree? It is when all members of the family grabbed a handful (or two) of those thin silvery, shiny decoration strings called Icicles. Each person found a spot around the tree and began to toss them one at a time, so they would land loosely hanging from the branches of the tree.

I have wonderful memories from my childhood Christmases. I trust you do as well.

One thing I take away from this memory is, decorating the Christmas tree was a family team effort. Every member of the family was involved. We, may have had to wait for our part, but we were all involved – and eager to participate.

Church is the same way. Church should not be an event we attend where one (paid) person does all the work. Your local church body is a family of believers. Church should involve all members of the family. Don’t sit back and let someone else do all the work and service. Find your part and decorate the ministry with your participation. Enter God’s house with eager anticipation of your involvement.

And back to the Christmas tree. I am saddened when I hear of one person in the family (usually mom) decorating the tree without any help. Make it a family team effort. Build lasting cherished memories. Decorate the tree together. My wife and I do not have children, but, decorating the tree each year is still a joyous, highly anticipated family event.  I would love to have children to pass on this tradition and team spirit. Will you pass it on in my proxy?

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

George Yates is a Life Purpose Coach and Organizational Health Strategist, assisting individuals and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.