Sticky statements (part 1) – Go with the goers

You know how it is… someone will say something that just sticks in your head. The more you ruminate on it the more sense it makes and it soon becomes a force in your decision making process.

There have been three statements lately that have stuck with me.

  • “Go with the goers.” Shawn Lovejoy
  • “Get better to get bigger.” JR Lee
  • “Professionals have coaches. Amateurs go with trial and error.” Casey Graham

I’m going to spend a few days fleshing these three statements out. We’ll get started today with Shawn’s comment.

“Go with the goers.” Shawn Lovejoy

I spent a year of my life (July of 2007 – July of 2008) with Shawn and the team from Mountain Lake Church doing a church planting internship. Any time Sherri and I talk about being a godly man we talk about Shawn Lovejoy. He’d be the first to tell you that he’s not perfect, but I’ll tell you this, he works as hard as anyone I’ve ever seen at being a godly man, husband, father, pastor, and leader.

I love and respect Shawn so much because in the few years I’ve been away from Mountain Lake Church, I have seen them and him evolve in ministry effectiveness and influence. They just keep working on it and getting better and better.

A while ago I asked Shawn a few questions concerning leading an effective and influential ministry. His response has stuck with me. He said, “Go with the goers.”

“Go” = to move or proceed, esp. to or from something

“Goers” = a person or thing that goes

Every day is filled with decisions. Many of those decisions have to do with how you will spend your time and with whom you will spend it with. The decisions you make regarding how and with whom you will spend your time will largely determine where you will end up, and if you are a leader it will largely shape the organization you lead.

Determining to spend time with “the goers” means that you will disappoint people who are not “going.” I once had a leader tell me, “I disappoint people every day. I just have to pick who.” Here’s the thing, goers won’t be disappointed, they’ll just go on and keep going. The folks who are often the most loudly disappointed are the folks that are not going. Because they are not going they have time to complain loudly. The tendency then, for leaders, is to give their time to the “squeaky wheel.”

The problem with this is that if your time is consumed with the “squeaky wheel” you will have a wheel that doesn’t squeak, but a wagon that hasn’t moved. I’ve done this in the past… spent lot’s of time with the squeakers and watched the goers go… without me. I, and you, cannot do this. We must find out who is “going” and move down the trail with them!

As a pastor, my job is to love and lead the people God brings to the church and to lead the church to expand the influence of Jesus. The best way to do that is to create systems which assure that everyone is loved and cared for (even the squeakies) and to invest the lion’s share of my time with the goers.

If our church, and whatever organization you lead, is going to achieve maximum effectiveness it will be because the leader(s) have determined to go with the goers.


Upon further reflection I realize that this counsel has multiple applications. If you want to be a great parent… “go” with great parents. If you want to be in shape physically… “go” with people who care about their bodies. If you want to be relationally mature… “go” with people who are relationally mature. If you want to be a financial winner… “go” with people who are getting it right financially. If you want to know God more… “go” with people who are pursuing and knowing Him!

The point is this, the people around you play a significant role in determining who you are and where you go.

Figure out where you want to go and then “go with the goers.”

Thanks Shawn for this counsel.

One thought on “Sticky statements (part 1) – Go with the goers

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