We often see elephants in the room as interruptions when, in reality, they are gifts and opportunities. Elephants, as I explained in last week’s blog, are those inappropriate or immature behaviors that remain unacknowledged and unaddressed on our teams. Dealing with elephants is a central part of what it means to be a leader. Of course, elephants show up on our teams. The higher up, or deeper in, people progress as leaders, the more their immaturities and gaps reveal themselves. Simply think of Jesus and his team of disciples. These are God’s gifts for us to invest in our team members and shape the culture of the ministry or organization we lead. I have 30 years of wrestling with elephants and have made innumerable mistakes, many of which are recounted in The Emotionally Healthy Leader. Nonetheless, out of these failures, and some successes, 5 elements on how to deal with elephants have emerged for. Read more.
My life passion is the glory of Jesus and that the world might know Him. A high quality, loving, vibrant church is His primary means for that to happen (cf. Eph.4:11-16; John 13:34-35). So, like many of you, my life work is to offer leadership to the church for this to become a reality. That is why we must become experts at dealing with elephants in the room. Elephants in the room refer to obviously inappropriate or immature behaviors that remain unacknowledged and unaddressed. Such elephants commonly roam wild and free among our teams, limiting our witness for Christ. Why is this so pervasive? The influence of our family of origin. Many of us grew up in families where multiple elephants lived. We are accustomed to elephants, large and small, freely roaming among us. We hate mess. We fear that if we address the elephants on our teams, things may actually worsen. They will. Read more.
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
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.
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.
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.