Blog

Approaches To Power In Church Leadership

Though the term power is fairly easy to define, “the capacity or the ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events,” it is much more complex and nuanced in application, especially in the local church. In the coming weeks I will be sharing comparisons and experiences with various approaches to power in the church:... Continue Reading

Authoritarianism and Egalitarianism In Church Leadership

After decades of observation I can say with some assurance that churches in America tend to lean toward either authoritarian or egalitarian philosophies in their polity and leadership structures. And, that an increasing number of Protestant churches have made a conscious and determined choice to embrace patriarchal authoritarianism. Further, most see patriarchal hierarchy as divinely ordained and planned by an... Continue Reading

When Religion Hurts: Gender Inequality and Health in Churches

Baptist News Global recently published the results of a study by the American Sociological Association that examined the correlation between structural sexism in Christian churches and women’s negative health. The results merit the attention of the leadership of every church. This study shows that structural sexism—defined as systematic gender inequality in power and resources—within religious institutions can negatively shape individuals’... Continue Reading

It’s Harder To Stay There Than To Get There

A question that is often asked in career discussions is, “are you willing to pay the price?” It is common to think that the price is limited to the effort to attain a position. That you can simply work hard to attain a position, then you can sit back and enjoy the rewards. In reality the price you pay to... Continue Reading

Is There Really A Silver Bullet To Running A High Performance and High Development Staff Culture?

My biggest regret, from a leadership development perspective, is that I didn’t taking coaching seriously or pursue a certification in coaching earlier in my career. My experience in the effectiveness of one on one coaching conversations with my direct reports is backed up by one of Gallup’s most famous leadership breakthroughs, based on meta-analytics of 100 million employee interviews. And,... Continue Reading

Why Ministers Need To Understand The Four Foundational Principles Of Emotional Intelligence

The idea that intelligence is more multi-faceted than simply book smarts has been widely proven. It’s now acknowledged and accepted that personal intelligence is a combination of EQ (emotional intelligence), IQ (intellectual capability), and personality (innate traits). Emotional intelligence, intellectual capability, and your personality traits help to make you uniquely you. Increasingly, those in leadership and management positions are viewing... Continue Reading

The Three Kinds of Empathy: Emotional, Cognitive, and Compassionate

In our last post we talked about the importance for those in ministry to possess the qualities of empathy and what those qualities look like. In this article, we’re going to cover the different kinds of empathy so you can choose what is appropriate for different relationships and situations. The thing is, not all empathy looks and feels the same;... Continue Reading

What Is Empathy and Why Is It Important in Ministry?

Feeling heard and understood is a basic human need. Everyone needs to feel understood. Feeling understood is not only a basic human need but it is also how we connect, help, and support one another. If we can’t recognize someone in pain, how can we support them? For this reason, empathy is a crucial practice for those in ministry. Rutgers psychologist... Continue Reading

Church Leader, Are You An Empath?

If you are in vocational ministry there is a better than average chance that you are an empath, or at least have some of the attributes of an empath, or have an empath that is prominent in your life. What is an empath? People who acutely feel the emotional, mental, and at times, physical states of others are called empaths.... Continue Reading

What Is Spiritual Bypassing and What Should Church Leaders Know About It

If you are a church leader then chances are you have at one time or another practiced spiritual bypassing, whether you are aware of it or not. What is spiritual bypassing? It is a term coined by prominent psychotherapist and author, John Welwood. He defined spiritual bypassing as using “spiritual ideas, words and practices to sidestep or avoid personal, emotional... Continue Reading

How To Pray An Examining Prayer

What is an examining prayer? Typically, it involves reflection on and evaluation of one’s thoughts, activities, and conduct. The Jesuits refer to such prayer as an “examen” or an “examen of conscience” that is based on a spiritual practice developed by St. Ignatius in the 16th Century. Many forms of “The Examine” have been developed over the years but the... Continue Reading

A Spiritual Discernment Approach To Personal Decision Making

Most of us don’t have a pre-determined process in how to discern the will of God for our lives when considering a significant or potentially life altering decision. We pray and search Scripture, seek Godly counsel and hope for the best. That’s not necessarily a bad approach and admittedly, decision making and discernment of God’s will may vary from person... Continue Reading