Church Life, Ministry

Are You A Leader?

It is a topic we hear about almost incessantly. Churches are seeking, developing and empowering leaders. Your boss at work is looking for a leader on the team.

Many of us decide whether to read a book or an article, to download a podcast or to have our ears open at all based on whether we believe we are leaders. Our answer to the question, “Am I a/the leader?” is powerful. And it has more impact on our lives other than which section to browse through at the bookstore.

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Ministry

Shaping Culture: Digging the Right “Well”

We often hear about what we are supposed to be doing well. If we were to line up all of the things we are trying to do well and consider which of those are the most important and the most valuable, we would find ourselves facing a difficult reality. Our efforts are not all the same in value and consequence.

What if we were to think of all of our tasks and goals as various wells that we are drilling? If you were going to make a fortune in oil or provide for needs with water, where you would be sure to dig? On which wells would you focus your effort and energy? Would you choose those few with the most significant return, or do you dig a large number of wells that show how busy you’ve been but reward you with less for your work? Five weeks into my seven week course from Willow Creek Association’s LIFT Project, and I may have been reminded of the greatest well worth digging in ministry and church leadership.

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Church Life, Ministry

Tested: Before You Serve Your Church

This post is made up of portions of a chapter in my current book writing project.
You can find out more about what I am working on here.

Many people are aware of their gifting and passions, as well as the needs of their church. Each week when they walk through the door, they wait. Not to be escorted to their seat by an usher, not to hear God’s Word spoken through the pastor, and not to surrender their heart in personal worship. They wait to be asked to do what they believe they should be doing.

Is this you? You know your gifting. You know the church can be blessed by your use of that gifting. You are even available to jump right up and be part of what you know you should be doing. So why haven’t you been asked to do it yet?

Maybe you are being tested. No, you don’t have to rush home and pull out an old textbook or sharpen half a dozen Number 2 pencils. You may not have a clue that you are being tested, but you probably are.

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Ministry

Shaping Culture: Values & Vision

Personal development is always important. As I recently reminded our congregation, there is always a next level for us to pursue. As a pastor, I try to focus part of my own development in ways that will strategically impact our church. This summer I am taking part in “The LIFT Project” with the Willow Creek Association. (I encourage you to find out more about LIFT.) The course I am taking right now is about Shaping Culture. During the course I will be sharing some of the things I learn and apply through the reading, videos and personal interaction.

Culture is vital to a church. It is the foundation of the life and expression of the local body. Some cultures are healthy, while others allow for and even invite danger to the church. Pastors and church leaders have to be aware of the power of culture and be diligent in shaping the culture.

I am three weeks into a seven week course. Thanks to the way the material is presented through online video and downloads, I am catching up after missing the first week due to vacation. Because of this some of the material is blending into one immense lesson that is really challenging and forcing me to look at things in a different way. I want to share one piece of this that I shared with our online discussion group recently.

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Book Reviews, Ministry

Book Review: “Every Leader’s Everest” by Jim C. Molloy

molloy_everyleaderseverestAs a leader, do you know what your greatest struggle is? Various answers may be running through your head. “Getting people to follow.” “Knowing how to make good decisions.” “Coming up with some kind of vision or direction for the people I lead.”

While all of these are genuine concerns, they are not your greatest struggle. It is not an external force, but an internal one; one that lies within you and threatens all that you hope to accomplish. Jim Molloy reveals the worst enemy of leadership in “Every Leader’s Everest.”

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Book Reviews

Book Review: The Character of Leadership

The Character of Leadership: Six pillars of a leader’s character is a book that is easy to read, probably won’t take you long to read, but will challenge you to build up who you are before you seek to increase what you are. A primary thought behind the book is this: “Leadership will destroy the man whose character is not prepared for it.”

I was introduced to Pastor Gregg Johnson at our Maritime District fall pastor’s conference. He had made the journey from New York state, was our guest speaker for the event, and he had the opportunity to share on some of these thoughts. It was obvious that Pastor Gregg was not writing and speaking about leadership so he could make a lot of money. He never once mentioned the size of his church, how many leaders he led or how many he had groomed over the years. Pastor Gregg’s goal was to challenge pastors and church leaders so that their ministries, families, even their personal lives, would be protected and blessed by God. So when we all received a copy of the book at the conference, I was excited to read it.

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