Blog

Leadership Is Not What It Seems

Regularly reading and watching the news makes it hard not to become cynical about current political, business, organizational, sports, and church leaders. People of all stripes are beginning to question and argue what leadership means, the qualities that make an effective leader, and the behaviors that are permissible for leaders. Many are jaded by the term itself, and for good... Continue Reading

Can You Recognize Narcissism When You See It?

It’s been said that to be an effective leader requires a strong ego. Even a cursory examination of today’s movie stars, professional athletes, business leaders, politicians, and to a degree, pastors, seems to support this supposition. Possibly this is because you need a strong ego to survive the scrutiny and criticism that comes with being in the public eye, and... Continue Reading

The Church Requires Now, Near, and Far Focused Leaders

Ford Motor Company’s CEO, James Hackett, says he likes to think in the abstract and often considers problems along three time dimensions simultaneously, the “Now,” the “Near” and the “Far.” Likening the view to a bull’s-eye with those words in concentric circles his job, he says, is to manage and lead Ford in each of those circles to ensure success.... Continue Reading

Growing In Place – Reframing Church Staff Development

Career advancement is not a term frequently used in church staff circles. Why? Usually there is not a definable ladder of success in ministry as there is in the business world. Career paths in ministry are notoriously unpredictable. Moving upward in the chain of command in a church is not always desirable as many staff feel called to a specific... Continue Reading

Are You More Goal Or Role Oriented?

In determining one’s life calling and truest self, many questions should be addressed. But maybe none as important as the question, “are you a more goal oriented, or a more role oriented person?” How you answer that question will impact critical decisions throughout your life. Goal and Role Definitions For purposes of this discussion, let’s take a closer look at... Continue Reading

Preparing To Provide Feedback

“Most people want to hear the truth, even if it is unpalatable. There is something within us that responds deeply to people who will level with us.” – Susan Scott, author of Fierce Conversations Brain researchers found that people experience a similar physiological response to feedback as they do to physical threats. Even though we want honest feedback, our hearts... Continue Reading

A Feedback Focus – A Church Leader’s Priority

I gained a new understanding of “feedback” when I considered the two words that comprise the word. It is appropriate the word begins with “feed,” as in “feed me.” Appropriate because feedback is a fuel we all need to grow. Management guru, Ken Blanchard, put it best when he said, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” The second half of... Continue Reading

Focus on the Future: How to Foster Staff Foresight

Recently I talked with an Executive Pastor friend who shared the frustration his Senior Pastor had with the staff’s inability to focus on the future of the church. I find this is a chronic challenge in many churches as staff focus the majority of their time on planning for the near term and executing their day to day ministry responsibilities.... Continue Reading

Discovering, Designing, and Developing Your Destiny

“The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and not having time.  It is, on the contrary, born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life.  When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything else – we are the busiest people... Continue Reading

The Story of Three Bricklayers – A Parable About The Power of Purpose

The story of three bricklayers is a multi-faceted parable with many different variations, but is rooted in an authentic story. After the great fire of 1666 that leveled London, the world’s most famous architect, Christopher Wren, was commissioned to rebuild St Paul’s Cathedral. One day in 1671, Christopher Wren observed three bricklayers on a scaffold, one crouched, one half-standing and... Continue Reading

Restoring Midrash As A Spiritual Practice

The word Midrash is a Hebrew term with several different definitions, but perhaps the most ancient definition is the one that draws my attention. That is when Midrash is used as a mode of scriptural interpretation in which many different exegetical methods are employed in an effort to derive deeper meaning from a text. In this context Midrash is a... Continue Reading

Loving God With All Of Your Strengths

In Mark 12:28-31 Jesus tells a scribe that the greatest and first commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” How to love God with all of my strength is perplexing to me. What exactly does it mean? Does it mean loving God with all of my effort, intensity, fervor, or energy?... Continue Reading