This from LarkNews.com:
After repeated conflicts with his church board about the direction of Family Life Center, pastor Dave Chandler decided to leave the church. But on his way out he used a little-known clause in the bylaws to singlehandedly hire a new worship leader: Bill MacNerny who specializes in “alien folk music” and “tunes for chickens and other intelligent beings.” MacNerny was last employed as a street performer in Key West, Fla., and has made several albums of himself playing the ukelele and making barnyard sounds.
“We’re in a true bind,” says board member Jeff Garrety. “We couldn’t believe when this bozo showed up to lead worship.”
The quirk in the bylaws gave Chandler sole authority to hire and fire the worship leader and to define contract terms. The contract includes a severability clause of $150,000 if MacNerny is fired before two years. It also specifies that he must lead worship on Sunday mornings and any other time the church meets. Lawyers informed the board that the contract is legitimate and must be respected.
On a recent Sunday morning, MacNerny opened the service with a rendition of “Amazing Grace” in which he encouraged audience members to make “Martian noises.” Few people joined in. He then segued into “This Old Man, he played one, he played knick-knack on my thumb” and seemed unfazed by people’s non-participation.
I think this should be pretty explanatory for most of us…
Scott Belsky says there are really three types of deadlines:
1. Data-Driven Deadlines: You break an entire project down into concrete steps, each with a specified amount of time it takes to be completed. And then, when you add up the time for all of the steps, you get an estimate of time required for the project. After taking into account the number of people working on the project, you get an actual target date for completion – otherwise known as a deadline. Of course, if you miscalculated – or altogether miss – a step in the process, then you will miss your deadline. Upon reflection, you will learn why you underestimated the steps. And such knowledge, while painful to learn the hard way, will be valuable in future project planning.
2. Arbitrary Deadlines: You put your finger in the wind and attempt to feel, based on past experience or a wild guess, when something will be done. Or, you pick an upcoming event and arbitrarily make it a deadline. Often times, this practice has the sole purpose of just having a milestone in mind. Common in start-ups or in projects with client-imposed deadlines, you are relying on a lot of luck and hustle. An arbitrary deadline is certainly better than no deadline. No doubt, the mental benefits of a deadline are helpful in pacing the project. Arbitrary deadlines are most effective in an iterative project planning process. You must consistently reassess the deadline as more information reveals itself. Ideally, arbitrary deadlines evolve into data-driven deadlines as more information reveals itself.
3. Bureaucratic (Padded) Deadlines: When you’re tasked with creating a deadline and reporting it to the higher ups, you have incentive to “pad” the deadline with extra pockets of time. While it helps to manage expectations and protect your reputation, the practice of padding deadlines will compromise the learning. The causes of miscalculated projects and missed steps may pass unnoticed because of the margin of error providing by the padding. While the higher-ups may be pleased, in actuality your team is robbed of valuable learning.
USA Today recently did an article about churches that have no buildings.
We’ve known about this trend for a long time… but this is totally new to many people.
A church without a building? uh-huh.
Pretty good video, until the end with the screaming woman and mostly unfilled room.
Tony Morgan lists 35 low-risk changes that churches can make today.
I want to re-title that just a bit to correlate with my last post on making decisions.
Every change starts with a decision… and here are a few of the 35 that Tony and his team came up with that are a good start.
(Granted, some are actually riskier than others… but most of these decisions will show movement on your part, and empower you and your congregation for the future):
Ever feel stymied?
Ever have a big issue that you’ve needed to make a decision about for some time, but just haven’t?
You keep putting it on the back burner hoping the decision will make itself.
Maybe it’s a staff member that you need to release. You’re hoping it will work its way out. It probably won’t.
Maybe it’s a decision to shut down a ministry. To start a new campus. To start a new service.
Most of us don’t make hasty decisions… and that’s not what I’m asking you to do.
What I’m asking you to do, is get off the pot and make A decision. On something.
We all probably have a decision that we’ve needed to make for some time now, but we’ve been putting it off.
Well… today’s the day!
Craig Jarrow, the Time Management Ninja shares ten reasons you should make that decision today.
Drum roll please:
I believe the most overlooked key to growing a church is this: We must love unbelievers the way Jesus did. Without His passion for the lost, we will be unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary to reach them.
Love draws people in like a powerful magnet. A lack of love drives people away.
How loving is YOUR church?
How loving are YOU?
According to Pastor Steve Murrell, there are four ‘mad skills’ that every pastor and church leader needs.
How are your MAD SKILLS?
1. All pastors must develop theological skills: Systematic theology, New and Old Testament survey, and hermeneutics.
2. All pastors must develop relational skills: forgiving people, asking for forgiveness, and encouraging the discouraged.
3. All pastors must develop leadership skills: strategic planning, communication, and branding/marketing
4. All pastors must develop ministry skills: preaching, making disciples (and, being charismatic, Murrell suggests ‘ministering the baptism in the Holy Spirit’).
OK… that’s a pretty mundane list, Todd. Of course, all pastors and church leaders should have these MAD SKILLS.
But think about the other pastors and church leaders you know.
How many have honed those four skills?
How many do you know that you’d say… wow… they’re really missing #2; or #3?
There are many pastors I’ve met that have very little relational skill.
Some have really horrible ministry skills.
And some couldn’t lead their way out of a paper bag.
This isn’t a put down to pastors or church leaders.
Not at all.
The reason I bring this up is that these pastors usually don’t have a clue.
They think they’re great at leadership; or that vision and communication is a strongpoint in their ministry.
But everyone around would be quick to tell you otherwise.
How are YOU doing in these four areas?
And who do you have in your life that can give you a good assessment?
Writer Donald Miller says that a therapist recently asked him to write a few lines about what integrity means to him.
He says it changed his life, and his thinking.
Because integrity… when it comes right down to it… is a very personal thing.
You can hide things from people, but not from yourself.
Here’s what Don came up with for himself:
Don has integrity when he:
to much has been given much is expected
What does integrity mean to you? I mean… PERSONALLY… mean to you?
Try this exercise.
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