Great Minds think….Different.

Jimmy Smuda writes:  I just got back from one of those staff retreats that make you feel you can really do something with the team that’s around you. For some (including me who is not a big “meetings” guy, but is growing into that role) it can be grueling. 11 hours of hashing, rehashing, coming full circle back to the original….hash! It can be absolutely exhausting. Especially if you’re in a room where you feel almost everyone thinks different then you do. See when you’re talking business, you WANT that. Different types of thinking. Churches are on a kick of...
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Messed up measurements

Jonathan Falwell on ‘ministry measurements’. In a post over at the Christian Post, here is some of what he had to say: “I believe that we have self-imposed measurements of success that are skewed, that are wrong… The measurements of success are all messed up.” While there is nothing wrong with the “Top 25″ or “Top 100″ largest churches or most influential lists, trying to make it to those lists has forced many pastors to focus on the masses rather than “the one.” “Stop focusing on the ‘big ministry’ and the ‘big...
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Leadership & Church Size Dynamics

One of the most common reasons for pastoral leadership mistakes is blindness to the significance of church size. Size has an enormous impact on how a church functions. There is a “size culture” that profoundly affects how decisions are made, how relationships flow, how effectiveness is evaluated, and what ministers, staff, and lay leaders do. We tend to think of the chief differences between churches mainly in denominational or theological terms, but that underestimates the impact of size on how a church operates. The difference between how churches of 100 and 1,000 function may be much...
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Embattled or Challenged?

What’s the difference between an ‘embattled’ leader and a ‘challenged’ leader in the church? Margaret Marcusun tries to answer this question in a post over at ChurchCentral.com. Here’s part of Margaret’s assessment: What is the difference between a church leader who is embattled, and one who is challenged? From one perspective, nothing is different. Circumstances may look exactly the same: A big budget deficit. Members up in arms. A media frenzy. A staff crisis. And yet. And yet….you can see the difference in the leader’s eyes. Embattled leaders are...
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Driscoll: 16 Things I look for in a Preacher

At Mars Hill Church they have what they call a preacher’s “Qualifying Day”.  This year they have about 50 elders at Mars Hill, and about that many more in training. So they thought it would be fun to give them all a different text to preach a week ahead of time, then have a ‘preach off’ of sorts… They’ll show up to preach and be evaluated. Well… only 3 will preach in the first round (date) of competition. Mark Driscoll wrote on his blog: This will be fun…for some of us. For our Mars Hill version of American Idol for preachers, I’ll play the part of...
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Why we romance poor leadership

An interesting take on followers and leaders from Sam Rainer… see what you think… If followers have power and influence, then why might they fall prey to bad leaders? How can the leader-follower relationship break down? What makes followers susceptible to toxic leadership? It is followers who are more to blame than leaders. Allow me to share three ways this breakdown occurs. Safety. In most situations, unfollowing a leader is almost as simple as the aptly named Twitter button. Most people are not locked into a leader. You can leave a church. You can transition out of a job. You can transfer...
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Top Ten from November: Keller, Stanley, Church Growth, Leadership, and Things Pastors Hate…

Interesting… Here are the top ten posts from the website for the month of November.  It’s a good insight into what most pastors and church leaders find interesting: 1.  Tim Keller or Andy Stanley:  Who’s Correct? 2.  Stylish Adult Baptisms 3.  Is Joel Osteen Smilingly Leading People to Hell? 4.  Three Areas You Can’t Neglect As a Pastors (But Probably Are) 5.  Andy Stanley Talks About Quitting First Baptist and the Healing Process 6.  Megachurch Opens $55 Million Facility in Anaheim 7.  5 Things Pastors Hate to Hear About Their Messages 8.  Church Growth: It’s...
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Stuff people say to pastors

Christopher Keating is a PCUSA pastor who wrote this piece for a St. Louis newspaper.  He writes about the most common things people tell him as a pastor.  Take a look at the list and see if this rings true in your ministry: I don’t know how to pray. In my experience, this is hinted at more than it is clearly stated. A family is going through a difficult time, or a protracted illness. The person feels detached from their spiritual moorings, isolated, exhausted, lonely. Their experience of God has gone stale, and yet, they still long for God’s presence. I’m angry at God. It is...
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How to get your people to do extraordinary things…

David Kelly, the founder if IDEO has this to say about motivating those you work with: “If you want the people you work with to do extraordinary things, you really have to understand what they value. I’m trying to get people to remain confident in their creative ability. In order for them to have that kind of creativity, you have to be very transparent. Understand them and involve them in the decisions being made…The worst thing you can do to a creative person is have commands come down from the top so they don’t see their role and don’t see the trade...
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Patience vs. Peristence

Todd Gongwer writes: Last year, I had lunch with a very successful marketing professional. He had been impacted by the message in the book I’d recently written and asked if we could get together to chat about the principles within. After about an hour of meaningful dialogue, our conversation shifted. “Todd, you’ve got to get this book out to the masses. Everyone needs to read it,” he exclaimed with urgency in his voice. “There’s so much you could be doing to get it on the fast track.” As he continued, I listened quietly, nodding occasionally to affirm his ideas. Finally, in response to my...
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