Learning from Larry Osborne

November 19, 2013, 0 Comments

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve shared some of the lessons that I learned at the Young Lead Pastors Gathering held in Southern California. I was honored to be invited by Wade Olinger to teach a breakout session during the gathering. You can read the previous posts:

In this post, I want to give you a portion of all that I learned from Larry Osborne. Since 1980, he has served as the senior pastor of North Coast Church in Vista, California. It is a multi-campus church that started with just over 100 people in a school cafeteria and now has an attendance around 10,000. His books include Sticky Church and his latest book is Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret.

During the time he taught at the gathering, Larry focused our attention on some key insights from his latest book on innovation. Because I want you to read the book, I’m going to give you everything he taught but I do want to highlight a few of the ideas.

Innovators know both how to start something new and how to end it. The life of leader will sometimes call for you to stop something you really believed would work. Great leaders know how to stop things well without breaking everyone’s spirit.

Faith is not being risky for God. Too many times, we equate faith with a dangerous circumstance. Larry emphasized that more often than not, our faith will be revealed in our simple obedience to what God has said to do in the normal circumstances of life.

Learn the art of mid-course corrections. I loved hearing Larry talk about this. Having led his church for over 30 years, he has needed to make a lot of changes in the middle of the busy activity of ministry. Much of the wisdom Larry shared was around how you seek permission to experiment rather than buy-in to permanence. If a leader can keep a sense of constant experimentation, then making changes becomes easier.

Know who creates well and who critiques well. In Larry’s mind, individuals create well and groups critique well. So, as leaders, know how many people you need in the room to get done what has to be accomplished. If you want to create something new, less than three people can do it. Any more than that and you will have too much competition and critiquing of the ideas will commence.

As I stated, this is just a small sampling of all that Larry shared. So, go get his new book on innovation and learn from one of our faithful friends who has a great track record of leadership in the church.


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