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Tag Archives: death

Endings and New Beginnings In Leadership

Why are endings and transitions so poorly handled in our ministries, organizations, and teams? Why do we often miss God’s new beginnings, the new work he is doing? In part because we fail to apply a central theological truth—that death is a necessary prelude to resurrection. To bear long-term fruit for Christ, we need to recognize that some things must die so something new can grow. If we do not embrace this reality, we will tend to dread endings in the same way our wider culture does, as signs of failure rather than opportunities for something new. You Know You’re Not Doing Endings and New Beginnings Well When . . . • You can’t stop ruminating about something from the past. • You use busyness as an excuse to avoid taking time to grieve endings and losses. • You have a hard time identifying your difficult feelings (sadness, fear, anger). • You often find. Read more.

Lead Out of Your Singleness

For the first 1500 years of the church, singleness was considered the preferred state; it was considered the best way to serve Christ if you were a leader. Singles sat in the front of the church. Marrieds were sent to the back. After the Reformation in 1517 AD, single people were sent to the back and marrieds moved to the front – at least among Protestants. Yet the New Testament describes, and deeply affirms, two types of Christian singles. The first is a vowed celibacy, for those who “renounce marriage because of the kingdom of heaven.” They freely choose not to marry but to set themselves apart in a total, exclusive and lifelong gift to Christ and His church. A very few are invited to receive this grace and gift from him (Matt. 19:11-12). The vast majority of Christian single leaders fall into the category of dedicated celibates. This term encompasses a broad range. Read more.

Death, Struggle and Discipleship

Ron Rolheiser’s provides a unique perspective on our journey with Christ by breaking it up into three distinct phases. They are: Essential discipleship – The struggle to get our lives together. This is when we are struggling to figure out who we are. As my friend/mentor, Leighton Ford said recently. “We can’t give ourselves away until we know who we are.” Generative discipleship – The struggle to give our lives away. “How do I give my life away more deeply, more generously, and more meaningfully?” Radical discipleship – The struggle to give our deaths away. There comes a point in our lives when the question becomes: “How can I now live so that my death will be an blessing for my family, my church, and the world?” We are meant to leave this planet in such a way that our diminishment and death is our final, and perhaps greatest, gift to the world. Three points resonate with me.. Read more.

Death, Struggle and Discipleship

Ron Rolheiser’s provides a unique perspective on our journey with Christ by breaking it up into three distinct phases. They are: Essential discipleship – The struggle to get our lives together. This is when we are struggling to figure out who we are. As my friend/mentor, Leighton Ford said recently. “We can’t give ourselves away until we know who we are.” Generative discipleship – The struggle to give our lives away. “How do I give my life away more deeply, more generously, and more meaningfully?” Radical discipleship – The struggle to give our deaths away. There comes a point in our lives when the question becomes: “How can I now live so that my death will be an blessing for my family, my church, and the world?” We are meant to leave this planet in such a way that our diminishment and death is our final, and perhaps greatest, gift to the world. Three. Read more.

The Gift of Winter

Parker Palmer’s work on the seasons is among the best I have read. The following is a part of what Geri used with our NLF staff team this past Tuesday to help us anchor ourselves in Him. There are few things more important for us as leaders than discerning the season of God -personally and corporately: Winter is a demanding season – and not everyone appreciates the discipline. It is a season when death’s victory can seem supreme: few creatures stir, plants do not visibly grow, and nature feels like our enemy. And yet the rigors of winter, like the diminishments of autumn, are accompanied by amazing gifts. One gift is beauty. I am not sure that any sight or sound on earth is as exquisite as the hushed descent of a sky full of snow. Another gift is the reminder that times of dormancy and deep rest are essential to all living things. But, for me,. Read more.

Succession and New Beginnings

The center of Christianity is endings and new beginnings, death and resurrection, leaving and launching into new unknowns. I have written and preached it. Now I am living it in a new way. Tonight is the Celebration of our 26 years at New Life Fellowship Church. This Sunday I preach my final message as Senior Pastor on “Lessons Learned in 26 Years at NLF.” I then officially transition to a new role within New Life under the new leadership (i.e. Rich Villodas and the Elder Board) on October 6th. I am continually asked by leaders around the country: “Really, Pete, how are you?” My answer: “I am thrilled and excited beyond words. I could never have imagined such a gift. Yes. I have some normal apprehensions, but this has been one of the highlights of my life. I would recommend it to every senior pastor!” This is the culmination of a 4½ year succession process.. Read more.