Lessons Learned in 2012


Here are the most important lessons I learned in 2012:

  • How to be Productive – One of my major goals for growth this year was in the area of productivity. I read as much as I could on the subject. Through books like PUSH, Eat that Frog, and Getting Things Done, I’ve established systems that have helped me become more productive than I have ever been. There is still a lot of room to grow in this year.
  • Leaders go first in everything – Leaders are responsible. Leaders make decisions. Leaders are accountable. Period.
  • How to Transition Well – When I transitioned out of Champion Life Church, I wanted to transition well. Laura and I knew we were going to transition 7 months before we did. We were determined to finish well. We worked as hard as we had been working until we were done. We delegated all of our responsibilities to people who could take over once we were gone.
  • How to Help Others Transition Well – I could not ask to be under a better leader than Pastor Larry Bettencourt. Through our transition, Pastor Larry was absolutely incredible. He made sure we finished strong, he spoke highly of us in front of the church and spoke well about our transition. He continued to follow-up with us after we transitioned as a pastor, as a leader, as a mentor, and as a friend. He married Laura and I. We’re still great friends today. If I ever have a staff of my own and they leave, I hope to handle it with as much integrity, love, and grace as Pastor Larry did.
  • It’s Ok to challenge everything you believe – When’s the last time you challenged everything you believe and why you believe it? I did a lot of that this year, it was challenged, but very good for me! 
  • You aren’t doing enough. You will never do enough. Jesus did enough. –Joyce Meyer – I need to be told this several
  • Get around people that think BIG – In my new position at Light of Life, I get to spend time with some very successful people. One characteristic I’ve noticed about each of them is that they all think WAY BIGGER than I do! I’ve been challenged to think bigger than I ever have by getting around people that think bigger than I do. I want to spend time with the biggest thinkers on the planet! Who can you get around this year that thinks BIG?
  • Be Someone Worth Investing inJohn Maxwell said, “If you want to be around growing people, then you’ve got to become a growing person.” I’ve noticed that leaders like to invest in people who a hungry for growth. Leaders won’t necessarily invest in you because of what you’ve done, they’ll invest in your potential. Be humble. Ask questions. Realize you don’t know anything! Apply what they teach you. Follow-up with them. Tell them how you’re applying what you’re learning. Repeat. If you’re worth investing in, you can spend time with anyone you admire if you’ll just ask them and follow-up!
  • Delegate Faster – When I transitioned from CLC and was forced to delegate, I found myself saying, “If I would have known I could have delegated this and that it would get done even better by a more competent person, I would have delegated this so much earlier!” Now I look for opportunities to delegate!
  • Let God be as unique writing your story as he is with Everyone Else’s – Your journey will not and should not look like anyone else’s. Be ok with that. Let God write your own unique story!
  • Make your list short – Still thinking through this one. I care WAY too much about what other people think. A mentor gave me the advice to keep my list of people’s opinion I value short. I am finding that to be extremely helpful advice.
  • Think Before You Speak – No more sarcasm, pessimism, skepticism – I’ve probably made no progress in this area this year! I realize the value of this and I am going to work extremely hard at this in 2013.
  • God is real! – When you get a revelation of that, you’ll never be the same.
  • I’m smart. My opinion matters. I’m a great young man of God. People respect me. I am worth celebrating! – I’m way to hard on myself. My impulse is to think negatively about myself. I’m learning to have dialogue with myself saying the right things instead of having internal monologues saying the wrong things.
    • When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” –African Proverb


  • Stop apologizing for what’s in your heart! – Too often, I’ll stand for what I believe, say what I’m good at, or say what’s in my heart and then I’ll apologize for it as if there is something wrong with that. I should never have to apologize for what God has put in my heart, what I am good at, or what I believe. Neither should you.
  • It’s great to listen to a bunch of things, but sometimes we need a college education on one subject from God! – I listen to a ton of sermons, but Joyce Meyer convicted me one day with this statement. Instead of reading through the Bible in a year or listening to another sermon, maybe I need to focus on the one or two things God wants me to focus on.
  • If you want to be significant and relevant, focus on what is eternal, it’s the only thing that will last C.S. Lewis said, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.” That pretty much says it all right there.
  • Be a man of your Word –  If I am not, I will stop listening to myself because I don’t believe your own word.
  • It’s ok to want to be and to be great – Jesus didn’t say to not try to be great, he redefined what greatness is. Greatness in the Kingdom is to become a servant. As Christians, we should be the most influential people on the planet.
    • “Your playing small does not serve the world, who are you not to be great?” –Mendela.
    • “The purpose of your life is to let God use your life for His Purposes! –Ben Rath
  • Cities Matter to God – I’ve developed a bigger heart for Pittsburgh and a greater heart for big cities. “Work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile! For it’s welfare will determine your welfare!” –Jeremiah 29
  • The Power of Everyday Habits – John Maxwell says to everyday, go into the forest and chop trees (take small steps toward your goals), even if no one is watching, and in 10-15 years, things will start to compound and your  influence will sky-rocket. Not because you suddenly grew so much out of nowhere, but because you’ve been diligently growing every day for the last 15 years.
  • How am I feeling emotionally on a scale from 1-10? – When you find yourself become extremely emotional, ask someone else, “How do you think I should feel given the circumstances?” We often don’t see our situation realistically. We will see a situation as a 9 or a 10, when in reality we should be seeing it as a 2 or a 3. Thanks Zack.
  • Have a Body of Christ Mentality – A pastor asked me recently, “How many churches are in Pittsburgh?” I guessed, “3,000?” He said, “Nope, Just ONE!” I’ve really learned to enjoy and celebrate what God is doing all over the planet in all different kind of churches and ministries. We are the church. Let’s act like it!

If this post helped you and you believe it could help others, please “like” and share it on Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon, and the other social media sites listed below. Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Leave a comment below! Thank you!

I would also encourage you to subscribe to this blog via RSS feed or e-mail! You can sign-up for e-mail by typing your e-mail address in the box on the left hand side of this site that says “E-mail updates”.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *