Friday, July 03, 2015

Issues in Church Leadership: Eight Articles

7 Ways to Keep a Leader on Your Team

One of the biggest challenges for any organization is to attract and retain leaders.

I previously posted reasons leaders tend to leave an organization. (Read that post HERE.) The goal then is to find ways to keep a leader energized to stay with the team — so I thought a companion post was appropriate. I’m writing from the perspective of all organizations but keeping leaders should certainly be a high priority in the church.

I never want to stop someone from pursuing a better opportunity, but I don’t want to send them away because I didn’t help them stay.

The reality is that leaders get restless if they are forced to sit still for long. Good managers are comfortable maintaining progress, but a leader needs to be leading change. In fact, leaders even like a little chaos. Show a real leader a problem ready to be solved and they are energized. Keep reading

7 Reasons Leaders Tend to Quit Your Organization

If any organization expects to grow, they need to attract, develop and retain quality leaders.

Any argument with that statement? If so, you just like to argue. And, I get that too.

But, new growth always requires new leaders. Period.

Certainly the church needs good leaders.

One of the highest costs an organization has is replacing leaders, so ideally once a leader is hired, you’ll want to keep them. So it’s equally important to know how to keep them. And, to know why leaders tend to leave an organization, apart from finding a better opportunity. I don’t want to stand in the way of a leader leaving to an opportunity I can’t match, but I don’t want to lose them because of something the organization did wrong. Keep reading

Six Places Leaders Are Developed

Where does leadership development happen? What environments are beneficial to leaders in their development? From a Christian perspective, leadership development is not constrained to one environment. Because the whole world is His, leadership development can happen in a plethora of places. Because He continually matures His people, God will use anything to conform us more to the image of His Son.

Here are six places leaders are developed.... Keep reading

Want to Expand Your Ministry? Admit Your Weaknesses

I think there are two great confessions in the Bible. One of them is Peter’s great confession in Mark 8:29: “You are the Christ.” Our faith is built on that great confession. Then there’s what I call Paul’s great confession in Acts 14:15 at Iconium: “We too are only men, human like you.” (NIV) I know a lot of pastors who are quick to agree with the first confession, but they’re more cautious to proclaim Paul’s confession. A lot of us are more interested in proclaiming our spirituality than admitting our humanity. We want to deny that we are mere mortals and appear super human.

But to deny your humanity is not only untruthful, it’s a disservice to both yourself and those you serve. The fact is that God likes to take weaknesses and turn them into strengths.

In this context, I’m not talking about sins of character – like greed, overeating, or laziness. I mean any limitation in your life or ministry that you’ve inherited and can’t change.

Maybe it’s a circumstantial limitation or a disadvantage that you’re facing in your church. It could be emotional limitations, scars we all carry from childhood. It could be personality or temperament characteristics. Or it could be physical or talent limitations that you have.

But we’re all limited by something. We all carry the Gospel in jars of clay. Yet the limitations that God allows in our lives can actually be a blessing in disguise if we’re honest about them. Here’s how.... Keep reading

Four Tips for Dealing with Church Antagonists

The most difficult realization I experienced fresh out of seminary was that not everyone in the church was as enthusiastic to live out the gospel as I thought they would be. There were in fact some opposed not to just what I was called to accomplish but what the whole of the church was trying to be accomplish. It took some time, mixed with much trial and error, to finally realize that it was not those who were in opposition to me and other leaders in the church that caused the greatest heartburn and frustration. It was the antagonists; those who at first were with us and then began to continually criticize and work against us.

For some reason it seems every ministry will have antagonists. Those who—for a variety of motivations—set themselves against you as the leader, the ministry strategy, and, in extreme instances the church, itself. Most often—at least it has been my experience—antagonists are not evil people. They are men and women who say they love Jesus and are concerned about the church. However, they become antagonistic when the pastor and other ministry staff do not conduct ministry they way they think it should be done. When decisions that are made that are not decisions they would make. Often their preferences and their issues–theological persuasion, political temperament, worship style, etc.–become elevated as dogma and those who are not full agreement with them are quickly dismissed as spiritually immature and intellectually faulty.

Those whose are in step with a particular ministry philosophy, practice, or strategy are much easier to work with. The antagonist on the other hand is a source of great heartburn. How then do you address in a healthy and biblical manner those who are being antagonistic and are disgruntled? Let me share four possible way.... Keep reading

4 Tips For Dealing With Procrastination

magine you have read Douglas Adams’ quip before: “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” It’s funny because we can all identify with it. We all know the panic of approaching deadlines, the pain of watching them fly on by, the guilt of explaining why we missed again. We all the know problem of procrastination that leads to so many of those misses.

Procrastination is a tricky little problem that can take different and even opposite forms. Procrastination can come in the form of laziness or the form of busyness. We procrastinate lazily when we neglect productivity in favor of entertainment—getting lost in a novel instead of cleaning the house, or watching Netflix instead of writing that report. We procrastinate busily when we neglect the most urgent and important tasks in favor of ones that are less important but a whole lot easier—we answer emails instead of working on the sermon, or we sweep the house when we should be painting it. Procrastination can take a million different forms.

There was a time in my life where I was awfully good at procrastination. Or awfully bad, depending on your perspective. I still can be if I don’t watch it. But along the way I learned how to (mostly) beat it (most of the time). Today I am going to offer you 2 big-picture tips and follow them with 2 very practical ones. These are the very things that I have found so helpful in my own life. Keep reading

You Can’t Avoid the Afternoon Slump, So You’d Better Learn to Work Around It

If you are often ending your days wondering why you weren't able to get more done, you might want to start paying closer attention to when you're completing your trickiest tasks. For most people, energy and the ability to focus peaks twice during the day, first in the morning and then in the late afternoon. These are your "optimal windows for doing your most creative and focused work,” Christopher Barnes, an assistant professor of management at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, told Harvard Business Review this week. Keep reading

Also see
How to Overcome the Midday Slump

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