For Sale…all around my city of Amarillo, TX you see these signs; where nationwide chains, such as RadioShack, are closing their doors. If you've heard of or perhaps are a subscriber to Hulu and Netflix, you are a contributor without knowing of the cards dealt to RadioShack. Uber is removing cabs, Netflix is removing cable and HBO, Amazon is removing RadioShack. The new trends are catching fire with the new generation and if a company is not willing to make changes or innovate, it seals its fate to the same of Blockbuster. The church of America needs to see these trends and learn from the “For Sale” signs being posted. Innovation must play a key role to continue to grow and expand. The church is not exempt from these patterns. As a leader I’d love to spend these next moments asking you a few questions that every leader needs to ask themselves often to continue to be a leader worth following.

Can you change? Throughout life we can be guaranteed one thing, we will go through life-changing experiences. However, only a few allow the experience to change their lives. As leaders, we were assigned because someone saw a quality in us that could be used to lead a following. Leaders are born with a spark inside that can be fanned into a flame, and with the right mentorship into a forest fire. The real challenge comes for some leaders when it’s time to transition from a spark to a flame. Can you accept the change when it comes? For years, yellow cabs would drive around and look for someone to pick up. If it was movie night, you would get into your car and drive to a Blockbuster. Or perhaps, you need a new cable to connect your new streaming device, you would drive to the RadioShack and pay 4x the amount of Amazon. Today from your mobile device you can summon a cab to your exact location, give the directions, and pay with a push of a button with the UBER app. The change came and now those that evolved are still in the game, others needed to close the doors.

Can you be around other leaders? A great leader is one who won’t be insecure when other great leaders come around. In fact, they invite and surround themselves with leaders who are on higher levels than they are. So much can be learned from being around someone who has been in the game longer. If you want to sit at the King’s table one day, surround yourself with those who frequent that table.

Can you lead without your title? The latest Marvel movie, Spider-Man, has a certain line that Spider-Man says to Iron Man after he messes up and Iron Man asks for the suit he made for him back, “But I’m nothing without the suit”. A real leader doesn't rely on his title to carry him to where he needs to go. A real leader is always seeking how to grow. How to innovate. How to make change for the better. Becoming complacent or even lazy because we have earned a title is a road to certain demise. I love the saying “Stay Hungry.” It's a saying I apply to my life in every area. Always growing keeps the water flowing, not flowing will result in dirty stagnant waters. If your title is the only thing you've learn to use, I’ll say what Iron Man says to Spider-Man, “If you are nothing without the suit, you don't deserve it”

The fate of the church is in the hands of a leader. How can we keep our church growing and moving forward? We must innovate to keep the doors open in our church. Let’s not become satisfied with how our church has done things, and be on the lookout for how to reach our next generation. 

By: Angel Mendoza

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