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18
May

Great Leaders are Great Listeners

Posted on May 18th, 2017

The fruit of a mature spirituality is to be an incarnational presence to another person. It was for Jesus. It is, I believe, for all his followers, especially for those of us in leadership. The Gospels are filled with accounts of Jesus’ interactions with individuals — Matthew, Nathaniel, a prostitute, Nicodemus, a blind man, a Samaritan woman, and many others. When the rich young ruler came up to him, Jesus “looked at him and loved him.” He listened. He was present, never in a rush or distracted. He took the time to explore stories. When is the last time someone said to you, “Let me tell you about those Christians — they are fantastic listeners! I have never seen a group of ¬people more sincerely interested to know my world, who are curious, who ask questions — who actually listen to me!” Listening is not simply a key discipleship issue. It is a core. Read more.

11
May

When Geri and I became committed followers of Christ, we learned about spiritual disciplines – Bible Study, worship, giving, community, prayer, spiritual gifts, etc. We immersed ourselves in the best of Christian training and discipleship for years. It was always confusing, however, that people in the church were supposedly growing in love for God, but they clearly weren’t growing into greater love for people. We couldn’t figure out why people with “great passion” for Christ and Scripture were often defensive, judgmental, critical, unapproachable and unsafe to be around. (Sadly, this was often true for us as well.) We gradually acknowledged a painful truth – the quality of love inside the church was not really that different from the quality of love among people outside the church. How could this be, especially when Jesus repeatedly linked love for God with love for others as the essence of true spirituality? The answer lies, I believe, in. Read more.

Over the past few years, I have become acutely aware of what may be one of the greatest problems confronting the church today: We have large numbers of people who enjoy attending church and small groups, love great worship, and serve in ministries, but do not have a personal relationship with Jesus. In a very real sense, they live the “Christian” life without Jesus. People need pastors, teachers and leaders like us to equip them. Yet if they connect to us without connecting in loving union (i.e. abiding/remaining) with Jesus, we are simply rearranging chairs on the Titanic. The churches’ effectiveness in bearing lasting fruit to impact our world for Christ will be short-lived. In this podcast I share my reflections on this massive problem and what we can do to equip our people to create space to allow God’s will and presence full access in every area of their lives. LISTEN HERE Join. Read more.

Last week, I explored the 5 top challenges for being an emotionally healthy leader: remaining in deep loving union with Jesus, taking time to grow in high self-awareness, embracing limits, choosing brokenness and vulnerability, and remaining a lifelong learner. This week, I want to you to consider the 5 remaining top challenges we consistently face as leaders: 6. Organizational Integrity. Exercising power and setting wise boundaries in leadership is complex, especially when we add in the “God factor.” Dual relationships, clear expectations and job descriptions, hiring and firing (even of volunteers) all require skill and high differentiation. Antidote: Include a wise, outside consultant into your process. Seek counsel from mentors who have led healthy ministries. Master the 8 skills from The Emotionally Healthy Relationship Course in your own life so you can apply them in your ministry. And carefully study chapter 8, “Power and Wise Boundaries,” from The Emotionally Healthy Leader. 7. Truth. Spirituality is not an. Read more.

I have been thinking and writing about the qualities of emotionally healthy leadership since 1996. Each book (e.g. The Emotionally Healthy Leader) and theme in The EH Discipleship Courses touches a different facet of emotionally healthy leadership. Yet, as I continue on my own growth journey and interact with leaders, my nuancing of these challenges continues to sharpen. The following are the first 5 of my 10 challenges to being an emotionally healthy leader: Deep Loving Union and Surrender. Behind the pressure and demands that seek to cut us off from abiding in Jesus are powers and principalities of evil. To follow Jesus’ voice and will, regardless of where He leads, requires a deep trust developed through a long, slow history of being with Him in secret. This kind of depth cannot be learned in a class or book. Antidote: Faithfulness to spiritual practices. Obedience in the small things. Initiative to position yourself in. Read more.

12
Apr

5 Core Issues for Leading Millennials

Posted on April 12th, 2017

According to a Pew Research study, Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation. Millennials, whom we now define as those ages 20-36, number over 75.4 million, surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 53-71). Businesses such as Goldman Sachs are studying this trend, recognizing they will “change the ways we buy and sell, forcing companies to examine how they do business for decades to come.” I too have been thinking about this new culture of Millennials as they increasingly become the dominant culture in many of our churches. What are the critical issues we must address to make mature disciples, build sustainable communities, and reach the world effectively? The following are my top 5: Practice Presence in a Digitally Connected World. Millennials are the first generation where social media and smart phones are the air they breathe. But screens can’t teach empathy or face-to-face conversation. We have an amazing opportunity. Read more.

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