Thriving leaders expect criticism. They know ways to learn from, cope with, and survive denigration from others. Leaders who fail in this area tend to wilt, get angry, retaliate or quit the job altogether. Here are some examples (chosen from many) in my years of serving the church. Continue reading
If you missed my blog on boundaries, go to Thriving Leaders: Lessons From the Front Lines of Ministry (pt. 9 “The Boundaries”)
Here are some resources I recommend for further study and reflection:
A good read by an articulate physician helps us think through what it’s like to live in a fast-paced world and to establish ‘margins’ that feed our weary souls.
Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard A. Swenson. NavPress PO Box 35001, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80935
An article for pastors who don’t know how to say “no”.
Billy Graham, the famed evangelist, with his team, in the 1940’s wrote the Modesto Manifesto, four rules they observed as boundaries that preserved their ministry through the years. Here’s a good article on adding a few more:
The Soul of Ministry: Forming Leaders for God’s People by Ray S. Anderson, the late professor at Fuller Seminary who has a good section in his book on the misuse of power (p. 187) and the proper use of power (p. 199) in leadership.
God’s kingdom purposes in the world require thriving church leaders. The work of joining Jesus in God’s kingdom work of evangelism, social justice and cultural renewal can be as challenging as it is exciting. God empowers us with his Spirit to reflect Jesus’ love to others in need, inviting them to know God’s love in Christ and to become followers of Jesus in and through the fellowship, worship and mission of the local church. God calls us to bring to rights the cultures of the world, the people of which will one day bow and praise God in the new heaven and earth. Continue reading
If you missed my blog on the thriving leader and his/her family, No. 8 in the series, click here Thriving Leaders: Lessons From the Front Lines of Ministry (pt. 8 “The Family”).
Resources for this week’s important blog on the family:
Nick Stinnett. Building Family Strengths, Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1979.
The above book may be out of print. I found an article online summarizing Stinnett’s work. He interviewed 14,000 families to find out what made strong families strong. A worthy read:
Here’s an article by a pastor on the importance of guarding one’s ministry from hurting the family:
Thriving leaders pay attention to their families. They put a high priority on speaking of them, spending time with them, honoring them in word and deed and living out a family commitment that surpasses the value and worth of their work and and ministry.
It’s not that thriving leaders don’t know what to do when it comes to family. Continue reading
Today I post two books as resources for dealing with temptation. I made references to these books in my Monday blog which you can read by clicking Thriving Leaders: Lessons From the Front Lines of Ministry (pt. 7 “The Temptations”).
One of my favorites is by Henri J. M. Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership: The Crossroad Publishing Company, New York, N.Y., 1989. The late Catholic author casts the three temptations of Jesus in contemporary language that is very helpful to all in leadership.
Then a reminder from one of my favorite authors who tells us that Satan does his best to trip up the leader in the holiest place in the church. See C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters with Screwtape Proposes a Toast: Revised Edition: Collier Books, MacMillan Publishing Company, New York., 1982. p. 173.
This coming Monday we will look at the leader and the leader’s family. Enjoy.
“The more a leader thrives the less the leader is likely to be tempted. A strong leader moving in the Kingdom purposes of God has long passed the point of struggling with any evil desire or distraction that would dog one’s steps and trip up the leader. A thriving leader is shielded with divine Immunity that prevents him or her from Satan’s snares.” Jesus’ example blows that thinking clean out of the water. Continue reading
Resources for Part 6 on Conflict: (If you missed Monday’s blog on handling conflict, click Thriving Leaders: Lessons From the Front Lines of Ministry (pt.6 “Conflict”)
Two good articles I found on the Internet are:
- Ten ways to NOT deal effectively with conflict. Copy and click the link:
2. Four ways to deal with conflict in a positive way. Copy and click the link.
Then I found a section of Bonhoeffer’s Life Together that deals with Confession and Communion, chapter 5. The German Lutheran pastor talks about confession of our sin with others in the church and forgiving others as we have been forgiven.
May your conflict be manageable, with God’s grace.
A speaker disappoints someone by telling a story about the person without permission.
Two people chat about something they dislike about someone else in the church and the word gets back to the person about whom the two had talked.
A member of a Bible study in the group openly and continually criticizes other Christians in other churches in the area.
Two church members no longer speak to each other following a disagreement.
A small group member violates confidentiality and tells someone’s story outside the group.
The pastor’s sermons are seen by some as too long. People feel conflicted. Some say nothing. Some do and nothing changes. Some quietly leave the church.
A church member feels squelched when a leader manipulates the group in a committee or board meeting to achieve the outcome the leader wants.
A group makes a decision but the leader does nothing to make sure that action follows the group’s decision. Hard feelings toward the leader result.
These examples of conflict come from my experience as a pastor. I’m sure you could list your own as well. Conflict in any church, staff, team or committee is inevitable. Sadly, conflict can result in resentment, hostility and even the ending of the relationship and/or members leaving the congregation. Continue reading