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Tag Archives: growing

Am I Growing as a Leader?

There are few things the world needs more than leaders who know themselves and know God, who are able to differentiate from the countless voices around them and do the Father’s will. The following are a few makers of a life with a growing, differentiated self: Life becomes easier. More ability to choose between thinking and feeling. More ability to choose one’s emotions. Less worry about what other’s think. People in one’s family are doing better. Goals become clearer. An ability to “stay out” of others’ emotions. More curiosity. Clearer thinking. Thinking systems more often. Better health, fewer symptoms of all kinds. Able to take a well, thought-out position. More goals become realities. Better, cleaner relationships Are you progressing on this difficult journey of leading others? Let me encourage you to read, or re-read, chapter four in Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (“Know Yourself that You May Know God”) and The Emotionally Healthy Woman (This is. Read more.

Clean Pain and Dirty Pain

Examples of dirty pain are found throughout Scripture. The Israelites wander for forty years in the desert due to their unbelief. Jonah finds himself in a stormy sea as he runs from God’s will. Abraham experiences years of pain after birthing Ishmael rather than wait on God. Much of our dirty pain in leadership comes from a failure to wait and listen to wise counsel. Hasty staff hires, half-formed plans, sloppy meetings, a turbulent spirit due to a failure to set boundaries, rushed sermons – are a few examples. We don’t learn in dirty pain because we are defending, denying, and avoiding.  It is the pain of repeating the same mistakes.  I know it well. Examples of clean pain are also found throughout Scripture. Jesus struggles with the Father’s will in Gethsemane.  Paul’s pleads to remove a thorn in the flesh. Abraham climbs a mountain to obey God and sacrifice his son. Clean pain. 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.

Reading, Leadership and the Long View

Reading broadly is foundational to growing and providing good leadership. I love reading and am usually in 3-6 books at a time. They inform my development and preaching. The following is my answer to the question I have often been asked:  Where do you find such unique, different kinds of books to read? The following are my 10 top sources for books: 1. Magazines and newspapers that review books – e.g. Books and Culture, Sojourners, NY Times Book Review, Oprah, USA today, Time, Newsweek, Atlantic Monthly.  A Books and Culture article, for example, led me to read 2 books on prisons recently that profoundly impacted me. 2. Bookstores – Used and new, anywhere and everywhere.  I love walking around, looking for anything that strikes my interest. 3. Libraries. I wander the aisles, looking at new arrivals, history, biographies. 4. Friends, mentors, therapists, other leaders – I ask them what they are reading and what has impacted them. For. Read more.