Category: Church

Would You Rather?

Which of the two did what his father wanted? Matthew 21:31 (NIV) During our trip to the Gospel Alliance Conference at Faith Church in Dyer, Indiana last fall, a number of our group that had traveled from Pella enjoyed some time in the hotel’s lobby sharing stories and laughs. At one point, the conversation turned […]

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Communications and the Church

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 This has been one of my favorite verses because it reminds me to evaluate the words of my mouth and the things on my heart, that they may honor […]

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A Wellspring of Mercy

A fountain of compassion, a spring of hope, The Well Resource Center is a place of community where individuals and families can find help and hope when facing difficult circumstances. We use a wholistic approach to meet physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. It is a place to explore long-term solutions and receive the love of […]

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When Leaders Fall

This year has been another year marked by headlines of church leaders being removed from their leadership positions due to misconduct. However, this year the stories have been even more notable because of the prominence of many of these pastors and also the nature of the misconduct. These abuses of power and misconduct hurt not […]

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Give Thanks

1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Coming back from the Gospel Alliance gathering, most of […]

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The theme of this year’s Gospel Alliance gathering hosted at Faith Church was “Love and Justice.” The gathering consisted of sessions that encouraged church leaders to keep the call of the church to be inclusive of all ethnic groups (Revelation 5:9-10; Ephesians 2:13-16) and marked by love and justice while waiting continually for our God (Hosea 12:6). There […]

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Disability Ministry: The Church’s Great Frontier

I write this month not only as a worship leader in a congregation, but also as the provider of Spiritual Services for an organization that offers services for people with mental and physical disabilities. One of my responsibilities in this position is to stay in conversation with congregations and leaders about ministering to people with […]

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Strengthening Churches

Sitting in the middle of a church one night as a young girl, I watched as passionate people yelled and argued, some cried, as their church unity had weakened. These people could not get along. A split followed, a new church planted and young children looked around wondering why people could not just love one […]

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Don’t Give Up

I just passed the 30-year mark of full-time ministry to my calling from the Lord. I cannot believe I just wrote the number 30! Often times over the past 30 years I have wanted to quit, bail, run, hide, stop, move, etc. Ministry is hard. However, I can now say with confidence, quitting is almost […]

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Strong Leadership Development Systems

Encouraging Reminders for Effective Leaders Here are some simple reminders a mentor gave to me years ago as snapshots of some of the things effective leaders do. Please share these ideas with younger leaders in your sphere of influence and share your stories connected to these ideas.Have fun! Know the difference between leading and managing.Warren […]

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Encouraging Reminders for Effective Leaders

Here are some simple reminders a mentor gave to me years ago as snapshots of some of the things effective leaders do. Please share these ideas with younger leaders in your sphere of influence and share your stories connected to these ideas.Have fun!

  1. Know the difference between leading and managing.Warren Bennis on this:“Leaders are people who do the right things; managers are people who do things right. There’s a profound difference.” The challenge is that leaders must also manage at some level in their organization. When Noah heard the weather forecast from the Lord, he ordered the building of an ark – that was leadership.

    The he looked around and said, “Make sure that the elephants don’t see what the rabbits are up to “–that was management

  2. A leader must build trust.True story. A young and capable leader-pastor took a solid traditional church call understanding a transition from tradition to mission was going to be the order of the day.He was asked by a friend how long he thought it was going to take him to make the transition.The leader-pastor replied, “It will take at least ten years of building trust…if I survive.”He did.Don’t be in such a hurry.

    A leader is “a person who influences a group of people towards the achievement of a goal.To be a leader, one must have followers.To have followers one must have their trust.A leader gains trust over time.”

  3. Unearth your personal and corporate sense of purpose.Purposes are often buried in personal and corporate DNA brought to light by the Holy Spirit.Proverbs 22:6 instructs parents to: “Train up a child (grow a church) in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”(NASB)

    Commentary: The proverb’s injunction not only contemplates the broad principles of education, physical, intellectual and spiritual which are the same for all, but it contemplates a deeper recognition of their adaptation to each particular case, in a study of individual character and capacity, with a thoughtful regard to a future course in life.PARTICULAR WAYS, INCLINATIONS AND CAPACITIES ALREADY RESIDENT WAITING TO BE RECOGNIZED AND ACTED UPON (in your church).

  4. Use candor.Build a culture of “real, mercy, honor and transformation” in personal relationships and then the truth can be shared in love.When you say what you really think, you encourage the people you lead to do the same.

    “Candor is a compliment.It is how true friends talk.”-Peggy Noonan

  5. Limit yourself to key objectives and initiatives tied to organizational strategic planning. Choose the right people, allocate organizational resources and transmit ideas and messages precisely and timely.

    The Pareto 80/20 Rule means that in any situation, 20% of the inputs or activities are responsible for 80% of the outcomes or results. This is a useful construct when analyzing our efforts and outcomes. It is priceless when applied to task or goal lists, and it provides a useful analytical framework for many problem situations. Use this mental framework liberally but don’t accept it as an absolute or you are likely to misstep. 

    As Christian leaders the leading of the Holy Spirit always trumps!

  6. Borrow the best ideas and methods from others who have time-tested them and simply recontextualize them. Jesus Christ has already given the church its purposes:worship, evangelism, discipleship, community and mission.

    “Stop trying to be unique.Be effective.”Rick Warren

  7. Remember that great leaders are both born and made. Clearly, some people are born to lead—or at least their DNA is predisposed toward leading, and they were brought up in a way that allowed this leadership predisposition to be expressed. However, it’s also clear that with training, a supportive environment, and real-life experience, anyone can become a leader—and a great one at that. Great leaders inspire others with a compelling vision of the future, they sincerely listen to their people—and respond to their suggestions and input—they create an environment of experimentation and constant improvement where mistakes aren’t hidden and everyone learns from them, and they build the kind of organization that people want to work.

    “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.2 Timothy 2:2

  8. Be yourself. Do you like you? Are you comfortable with who you really are? Do you know what you are really good at? Don’t fall into the trap of comparison and mimicking other leaders. You are not that good of an actor.

    I praise you Lord for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”Psalm 139:14