Doing a Cultural Audit of your Organization / Church
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May 16, 2017
2pm EST

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Category Archives: spiritual formation

The Great Temptations of Leadership

Christian leadership, like few other vocations, exposes us to levels of temptation that require a depth of spirituality. Why? Jesus’ sheep are at stake. The Evil One knows that. So splitting us from loving union with Jesus, and from our true selves, is his number one aim. Without an interior life that enables us to stand in what we are doing, we will find ourselves obsessing with numbers in our ministry, popularity, or power. In this podcast I speak with Rich Villodas about the great temptations that confront each of us at the different seasons of leadership. Take a few minutes and listen to us talk about the spiritual warfare in which we find ourselves. Warmly, Pete LISTEN HERE Save Save Save

Serving a God Who is Not in a Rush

Human beings have always been in a hurry. God has never been in a hurry. God waited a very, very, very long time, after Adam and Eve, before He called Abraham. God waited almost two thousand more years before entering human history in the person of Jesus. God (in the person of Jesus) waited almost 30 years before beginning his public ministry. God waited to gather and disciple the Twelve. God waited through his arrest and crucifixion rather than call on the legions of angels at his disposal. From the beginning to the end of Scripture, we discover stories of God teaching his people patience. Abraham had to wait 25 years. Joseph waited between 15 and 25 years. Moses waited until he was 80 years old to begin his ministry. Israel waited 40 years in the wilderness. It was Tertullian (204 AD from North Africa) who wrote that, when the Holy Spirit descends, patience. Read more.

Wanted! Shepherd Leaders

We desperately need leaders today, particularly Christian leaders. How else will we effectively make disciples and bring Christ to the world amidst the enormous challenges confronting the church today? In Jesus’ commissioning of Peter in John 21:15-21, he lays down four indispensable truths about Christian leadership for us. They describe what I call: a shepherd leader. Jesus uses problematic humans like Simon Peter as leaders. Jesus addresses Peter as “Simon Peter,” reminding him he is more “Sandy” (up and down) than “Peter” (an immovable rock). Maybe he is first among the apostles because he is the chief sinner and the most broken? Be encouraged. Jesus seeks one quality from leaders above all else – love for himself. Three times, Jesus asks, “Do you love me?” This one simple, penetrating question is the first item Jesus wants on our job description. So simple, so clear. Be encouraged. Jesus gives us one major mission — to. Read more.

Discerning God’s Gifts in a Crisis

I received a phone call to turn on the news as a story was breaking about a local supermarket burning to the ground. Images of fire trucks, destruction, and towering flames filled my computer screen. A New Life Fellowship Church member had invested 25 years of his life to build that business. His life work was now in ashes. We met over dinner a few weeks after the tragedy, and Geri and I listened to the story. What surprised me most was not his response but mine. His grief and disorientation were so great that my first thought was that he speak with a good Christian counselor. It was only when Geri and I were in the car returning home that I realized how I had failed to ask a far more important question – that of discernment. Where was God in the fire? This is what I failed to remember: Death and resurrection. Read more.

5 Words that Ground My Leadership

The greatest danger in Christian leadership is to forget God. It happens so slowly we scarcely notice it. What we do notice are the symptoms. The easy, light yoke of Jesus becomes heavy and hard. We start looking for quick fixes. We begin relying on unmodified business practices to navigate our ministries, grafting secular branches onto our spiritual root system. Five words help me to keep my feet on the ground. Each summarizes a different characteristic of Jesus’ upside-down kingdom: Slow. Like most of you, my goals take at least 2-3x longer than I think. The kingdom of God is, and always will be, a mustard seed that grows slowly. Paul compares leadership to the slow pain of a woman giving birth (Galatians 4:19). This slowness frustrated Judas and the Zealots. They rushed and missed what God was doing. So I ask myself daily, “Am I rushing?” Discern. The rhythm of death and resurrection. Read more.

The Spirituality of Supervision

Supervision of people is one of the most important tasks for every leader, especially for Christian leaders. We are concerned, not simply with the task they are commissioned to do; we are also concerned with their personal development and spiritual formation. Why? Work performance and spiritual formation are inseparable. So a spirituality of supervision is not simply coordination of their work with the larger whole. And it is different than mentoring (i.e. pouring into another to resource their growth). Supervision is all about stewarding—bringing out their best contribution in the context of your particular mission. Supervision involves a unique exercise of power (i.e. “the capacity to influence”) as I help my supervisee reach my goals. For this reason, it must be learned and is more an art than a science.  The most effective supervision is carried out in a coaching mode—equipping and releasing others to do the goals we have agreed upon, and holding. Read more.

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