Robert A. Caro’s towering biography, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power, offers a penetrating insight about power and leadership: Although the cliché says that power always corrupts, what is seldom said, but what is equally true, is that power always reveals. When a man is climbing, trying to persuade others to give him power, concealment is necessary: to hide traits that might make others reluctant to give him power, to hide also what he wants to do with that power; if men recognized the traits or realized the aims, they might refuse to give him what he wants. But as a man obtains more power, camouflage is less necessary. The curtain begins to rise. The revealing begins. (xiv). Nothing reveals our character like succession and transitions. It reveals not just the character of the Senior Pastor or CEO, but the Board, the senior staff, and the congregation. Why? Power always reveals.. Read more.
The principle of limits as a gift from God is one of the most profound and important truths in Scripture. It touches the core of our relationship with Jesus and the core of how we lead our ministries. Limits ground us so we don’t hurt ourselves, others, or God’s work. While Pete discovered this truth 20 years ago and wrote about it in The Emotionally Healthy Church (Zondervan, 2003/2010), he has continued to mature in his understanding of this truth in significant ways. In this podcast, Pete talks with Rich about these learnings, offering specific ways we can befriend the rich gifts that come from the hand of God through His limits. Click below to watch the video or on the link to listen. LISTEN HERE Sa FREE Webinar – October 18th @ 2 PM ET – REGISTER TODAY Save Save
I have invested my adult life in studying and understanding Christian leadership. I’ve attended conferences, earned advanced degrees, and read broadly – for decades. But I cannot recall any discussion of discretion. For the first 500 years of the church, discretion was considered the most precious gift, or charism, for the church (John Cassian’s Conferences). They understood that without discretion individuals and communities could easily be ruined. In fact, all abbots of monastic communities were to be distinguished by discretion (The Rule of St. Benedict). Without it we are dangerous – speaking too freely, giving people burdens they cannot bear, and offering superficial spiritual counsel. Discretion is the opposite of our 21st century leadership culture that emphasizes bigger, better, and maximum impact as quickly as possible. Discretion is the ability to wait to see what unfolds, to not act. It involves the humility and patience to know when to leave things alone, knowing when. Read more.
Jesus said we must lose our lives to find it. One essential way we do this is by learning the art of interior silence. This choice to turn away from internal and external noise in order to be with Jesus is work…a difficult work. Externally, we face the unrelenting pressure of our culture– the noise, the clutter, the grasping, the confusion, the distractions, the excessive amount of information – all of which make it difficult to hear ourselves think. Internally, our stillness and silence muscles are weak. As beginners, we have problems focusing attention and facing the normal distractions of body and mind. Just like we cannot simply read a how-to book on running a marathon and run, so we must build up muscle and stamina slowly over time. Maggie Ross, in her Silence: A User’s Guide – Volume 1: Process, argues that the tradition of silence was handed down unbroken from the time. Read more.
Every year at our Emotionally Healthy Leadership Conference I am asked: “How is supervision in an emotionally healthy church different? What makes it distinct?” In emotionally healthy teams, role expectations are openly talked about and agreed upon. We evaluate how we are doing. But that is not enough. How people care for their inner lives is also important. The question is, “How important?” The answer is: “Very important.” Minimally transformed leaders will always result in minimally transformed teams doing minimally transforming ministry. How could we expect it to be any other way? As a result, there are four areas that we ask about on a regular basis: 1. How is your walk with Jesus? In other words, tell me about your rhythms of being with God and doing for God. How are you living out of your Rule of Life in this season? How has God been coming to you? I was so blessed. Read more.
I believe in the indispensable place of building the local church, preaching sermons, and speaking at conferences. The problem is we can do these things and still not make disciples who make disciples (Matt.28:18-20). That involves focusing on a few. It is one thing to know about Jesus’ plan of discipling the 12 over a three-year period for the sake of the world; it is another thing to actually follow Him in a similar strategy. I think I am finally getting it. Geri and I drastically shifted our global strategy in our trip to Korea and Singapore this August. Instead of doing large EH Leadership conferences, we chose to invest ourselves in a small group of highly committed people in both countries. This picture below is Geri and I speaking last year. (We are the little dots on the stage). Are you impressed? Don’t be. Now this picture below is Geri and I speaking. Read more.