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Tag Archives: busy

Toxic Success in the Church

Are you suffering from “success” that is making you spiritually sick? The toxic success for most of us pastors and leaders has more to do with numbers and growth than it does with money or “things.” Nonetheless, it remains a very real sickness in the church. Here is a survey I adapted from an inventory Paul Pearsall developed in his provocative book, Toxic Success. Would the people how know you best say that: 1. Your success is coming at the price of being insensitive, and even oblivious, to the needs around you?2. You vacillate from high energy to total crashing.3. You are grumpy and don’t laugh easily.4. People are afraid to bother you because you’re too busy.5. You’re almost always doing several things at once.6. People have trouble getting and keeping your attention.7.  You don’t touch or hug much.8. You are perfectionistic and controlling.9. You’re critical and intolerant of other people.10. You often feel annoyed. Read more.

Toxic Success in the Church

Are you suffering from “success” that is making you spiritually sick? The toxic success for most of us pastors and leaders has more to do with numbers and growth than it does with money or “things.” Nonetheless, it remains a very real sickness in the church. Here is a survey I adapted from an inventory Paul Pearsall developed in his provocative book, Toxic Success. Would the people how know you best say that: 1. Your success is coming at the price of being insensitive, and even oblivious, to the needs around you? 2. You vacillate from high energy to total crashing. 3. You are grumpy and don’t laugh easily. 4. People are afraid to bother you because you’re too busy. 5. You’re almost always doing several things at once. 6. People have trouble getting and keeping your attention. 7.  You don’t touch or hug much. 8. You are perfectionistic and controlling. 9. You’re critical. Read more.

Jim Collins on Great Organizations and a Great Life

“Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls. The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached. The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than 10 years to live. What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?” Jim Collins tells this story while a student at Stanford’s graduate business school. His teacher said to him, “Instead of leading a disciplined life, you lead a busy life.” This led Collins to make a major shift in his how he allocated the most precious of all resources: time. In his monograph Good to Great and the Social Sector, Collins argues that great organizations have piercing clarity about the intersection of three questions: 1) What are you deeply passionate about? 2) What can you be the best in the world at? 3) What drives your. Read more.

The "Tiger Pastor"

I read Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother with ambivalent emotions. It is true that many Chinese parents raise stereotypically successful kids (at least as defined by academic achievement and upward mobility) through discipline, parental intensity and a narrow view of what constitutes intelligence.  But I think Howard Gardner’s seminal work on seven types of intelligence -linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, musical, interpersonal, and intra-personal — is more holistic and more in line with God’s view of what makes “intelligence.” Nonetheless, I believe there is a “Tiger Pastor” in the Western church, and in me. I was trained as one actually. What might a “Tiger Pastor” look like? To begin, I think they are: 1. Workaholics. Life is growing the numbers in the church, the buildings, the budget, the next hill to climb.There is little time for life outside of work for play. Life is, sadly, very narrow. 2. Delight-deficient. Again, there just. Read more.

Ishmael

I preached yesterday on Abraham and Sarah’s impatient decision to move ahead of God as they waited for His promise of Issac (Gen. 16:1-4). It is hard to pass judgment on them since I have birthed many an “Ishmael” in my life. Sarah skillfully develops a plan that had worked well for other “ministries” of their day. The only problem is that it was not God’s plan for them! Strategic planning, goal setting, determining our priorities and our “to do” lists are all essential leadership skills. Yet I am also aware how easy it is to use my goals and plans to eliminate the mystery and mess that come with following our living, “wild” God.  So I developed this little “Ishmael Test” out of my pondering that I shared with our church family yesterday: 1. Am I afraid to ask God what His will is in this situation? 2. Am I uncomfortable exploring my hidden. Read more.