Tony Miltenberger is a husband, father, and follower of Christ. He is currently serving as the lead pastor at Restoration Church Centerville, ohio.

I WON A CONTEST and I’m Rethinking Leadership (Blog 1 of 3)

I am yet again at ReThink Leadership conference held in Atlanta, GA. This is the second year in a row that I’ve attended the conference and at the end of day one found it to be an enjoyable experience.

What I love most about this conference compared to others is how niche the conference is: It is a conference for senior leaders. So, the moment you walk into the room everyone speaks the same basic language. I also really appreciate the connections and accessibility to other leaders.

One of the really cool things that happened to me is that I am getting to enjoy this conference for FREE. Yup, for free, I won a contest on Carey Nieuwhof’s blog that covers my ticket for the conference AND coffee with Carey (on Friday of the conference).

So, this will be the first of three blogs about ReThink. I’ll be posting one blog for each day of the conference and the last blog covering the in-depth conversation with Carey (who I happen to think is a church strategy genius).

Here are my thoughts from day one of ReThink:

A conference that makes you question your leadership is a good conference. At the end of day one, I find myself in deep reflection around how I lead. I’m thinking about my vision, my strategy, and how I lead my team. If I didn’t have an opportunity like ReThink it would be easy for a leader like me to stay isolated in the bubble of my world. A good leadership conference is like a check-up on how I’m leading, and it is worth its weight in solid gold.

Jon Acuff at ReThink Leadership 2017

Jon Acuff at ReThink Leadership 2017

Honor the medium in which you are having the conversation (or lack of conversation). I attended a breakout with Jon Acuff where we discussed what it means to be criticized as a leader.  It was pretty profound. The most important takeaway was the idea of the medium and the conversation. The more removed the medium is from actual human interaction the more the leader has to be critical of the reception. For example; an angry Facebook conversation is much easier than having that conversation in person. At one point Jon said, “When we get online everyone gets a little braver.”

Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Kara Powell said this in one of the main sessions, and I just can’t seem to get it out of my head. Maybe it is because I think I’m strategic, maybe it’s because I don’t always do a good job of celebrating culture. Either way, I left the day thinking about a plan to be a little more intentional with how I develop culture.

It was a great day. It was like drinking from a fire hose, but I can’t wait to go back and do it again.


Day 2 of ReThink Leadership: The Church Doesn’t Need You to Be a Savior (Blog 2 of 3)

So Focused I Lost Focus