Tony Morgan’s “Killing Cockroaches”

On the way to Africa a week or two ago, I took the chance to read some books that had been sitting on my shelf for far too long. One of the books was Tony Morgan’s “Killing Cockroaches, and other scattered musings on leadership”. I picked this book up a few years ago when it came out, and simply haven’t gotten around to reading it. I knew it would be a good read; I’ve enjoyed Tony’s other books and appreciated the connection I’ve had with him in the past through my work with The Sticks.

Don’t have time to read the book? Why? Well, that’s probably another discussion; leaders are readers, research backs it up. For your sake however, I have your back. Here are some highlights that I had, that I thought I’d share:

• Surround yourself with problem solvers, not problem-messengers.

• “…mediocrity – it’s a place where there are very few critics”
If what you’re doing is done with excellence, the critics will come out. If you’re not garnering criticism, you’re likely not doing it very well.

• Develop a “not to-do” list for your ministry

• God reveals his plans as I begin to take steps of obedience

• People will follow vision. They won’t follow information.

• People aren’t necessarily afraid of change. They’re afraid of being changed.

• “Sometimes I think television is more concerned with reaching this generation than churches are…”

• “The reality is that there certainly is a consumer mind-set in our culture, and unless we acknowledge that and deal with it, our message – the gospel message – won’t be heard.”

• Spend less time on what’s urgent and more time on what matters.

• Are you doing it because it works, or because it’s cool?

Concerning church services and sermons:
• The topic needs to connect with a theme that’s already captured people’s attention.

• Did we address a relevant topic?
• Did we connect it to a theme that’s hot in the culture?
• Did we offer biblical truth?

• Track the attendance for each service

• If your church shuts it’s doors today, would your community know it?

• “I think we’re making a huge mistake if we assume young adults will continue to come to our buildings to experience community”.

While these cliff notes are simply some of the items that I highlighted in my first pass, I highly encourage you to read the whole thing. There are some great, practical thoughts and metrics that I’ll be implementing soon at K2, and I think you’ll find highly helpful to your ministry as well.

Can’t get enough? You can read Tony almost daily at



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