“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” -Red Adair

While it’s not as often as I wish, occasionally I’ll teach a leadership lesson to our staff and leaders. As we’ve added more staff and worked to make changes to my schedule, I’m hoping to be able to provide more and more leadership content and thoughts around this subject in language that is applicable to myself and our team. If some of these items help you, great. Feel free to pass along and share with your team and others.

A few months ago, I talked to our team about going to a higher level and how we must shift from being a makeshift church plant to a warehouse of resources, healing, and restoration to our city. As our prayers shifted, so did our structure, systems, and language. Below, I outline some language we’ve identified to remind us of how to be better at serving our community, our church, and each other. I used some acronyms to help us remember and identify areas we can improve in. 

The AMATEUR could carry traits reflective below:

A – Apathetic

We cannot lose the wonder, passion, and excitement of what we get to do. Often amateurs lack motivation to press on when exhaustion or monotony sets in. We fight against apathy and remind ourselves of all the life change through stories, prayer, and time with God.

M – Make Excuses   

While we make room for reason and data, we don’t use our lack or difficulty as excuses to not succeed. We don’t look at the next guy and say, “they’ve got a better situation.” Amateurs lose site of the opportunity and make excuses. That’s not us!

A – Aimless

We refuse foolishness and constantly check our motivation. Amateurs don’t define the win and enable foolish decision making and a foggy environment with little clarity to be prevalent on their teams.

T – Talk too much

We know when to speak and when to be still. Amateurs, out of nervousness or fear, open their mouth and release unseasoned information. Amateurs have bad timing and aren’t focused on bridling the tongue. 

E – Energy in the wrong places

Amateurs make the mistake of putting resources into the wrong places consistently and wonder why they aren’t experiencing the progress they hoped for.

U – Unpredictable

While we want to keep people comfortably uncomfortable, we also don’t want to be consistently unpredictable. We want our teams and those we lead to feel confident in the environment they’re walking into as well as the atmosphere we facilitate by our attitude and workload.  

R – Risk without Reason

Risk is necessary, but it must be calculated. Amateurs might take a risk that is out of desperation or without the necessary safeguards and systems in place needed to sustain the risk. 

The PRO carries traits reflective below:


-Communicating the WHY, not just the WHAT

-Sending cards of encouragement and postcards to people who need to be recognized

-Praying for your team

-Making phone calls on the way home, finding and utilizing time efficiently

-Strategically gathering the right people

-Knowing when someone is near burnout or red lining

-Getting a gift card

-Who needs one on one?

-Who needs private praise, which person needs public praise?

-Making it fun and light

-Spiritualizing the role (how important and spiritually significant it is)

-Building relational equity (don’t overdraw your relational accounts)

-Continuing to educate yourself on trends and personal growth

-Intentionality and thoughtfulness around the future, what could be around the bend

-Verifying and thinking through possible misses and details


-Unwavering commitment to the mission in front of you

-Not giving up until I find a solution to the problem

-See obstacles as growth opportunities

-Develop thick skin

-Staying prayerful and doing quiet time

-Not giving up on people (many beautiful stories develop from near breakdown)

-Keep inviting

-Keep recruiting

-Cast vision always

-Work it until you watch it

-Start it – Share it with someone else – Fix it when they make a mistake – Leave it to them to lead


-Take it personal

-Make it personal

-Make changes or offer suggestions that make your role better

-Receive continual feedback and ask for it

-Quarterly reviews of documentation and old processes that need adjustment based on growth

-Be incredibly clear with your team and the expectations you have on them

-Develop camaraderie unique to your team

-Hear from God for your people, leaders, and team

-Open your home

-Be a friend & be a leader, know the difference and when to apply the different t

-Provide accountability & correct-ability

-Look internally and be quick to apologize

-Accept responsibility