Imagine David sitting down with you and me at the end of his life, offering us the opportunity to ask him what tips he might have for us for our own leadership today. What might he tell us? The following may well be included in his top 10: 1. Be Your Unique, God-given Self. David was a groundbreaker in his day that flowed from his high level of differentiation. His entire leadership trajectory, beginning from his earliest decision to remove Saul’s armor, consisted of one courageous act to after another. Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 1 Sam. 17:38-39 2.Remember. Read more.
Hiring is, perhaps, the most challenging tasks of leaders. Why? Poor discernment in this area results in stalled momentum, lots of extra meetings, and, often, hurt relationships. I am not an expert on hiring, but I have made plenty of costly mistakes over the years. 5 C’s summarize what I call “emotionally healthy” hiring: Competence. This is on every list of hiring – and should be. Does the person have the skills, knowledge, and ability to do the job? I overlooked asking hard questions in this area for years when I had great “chemistry” with the person, had history or friendship, or had become impatient waiting for God’s provision. I have never made a good hiring decision under pressure. Calling. Does this potential person discern God is in this for the next step of their journey with Jesus? As we pray, do we believe God is in this? What does their spouse hear from. Read more.
A friend recently asked Pete and I for some of the books that have most shaped our journey with Christ.I was surprised at how easily several came to my mind. I noticed a couple things: I follow authors more than books so each author is a person whom I respect and resonate with. I love books that, for me, are profound but nuanced in very practical ways. I read them more than once. I read them slowly and prayerfully. Here are my first three: 1. Let Your Life Speak… Parker Palmer 2. A Hidden Wholeness….Parker Palmer These two books articulated for me the essential truth that life is lived from the inside out. Leadership/churches can have all the “best” programs in the world but if one is not in touch with the interior movements of their heart, then life is just a matter of adjusting chairs on the Titanic. Doing must flow from being.. Read more.
While speaking to pastors and leaders in Armenia, Colombia this week, I was introduced to two amazing women pastors whom you can meet in this photo below: Edelmira Sanchez, the woman on my left, a married mom with 6 children lives in a town near Cali, Colombia. She was a leader in their Christian and Missionary Alliance church in 2006 when a paramilitary group assassinated their senior pastor. (The church is located in an area with significant guerrilla activity). She became the senior pastor in his place. Then the same people that killed her pastor threatened her. She was afraid but remained. She told me the story of when they arrived in the church with their guns to reinforce their point. She refused to be intimidated. The church has grown to more than 600 people under her leadership and has built a foundation to serve over 350 orphans in their area. They have also. Read more.
I receive e mails regularly from people who are troubled that I am quoting and learning from people who do not have a solid evangelical theology, who might be universalists, or tend towards a works-righteousness, or pray to saints. The following are a few points to consider to help us remain humble and teachable as we seek to listen to God. Firstly, many of our great evangelical heroes also appeared to have some large holes in their theological armor. Consider Jonathan Edwards who owned slaves like his father before him and even defended the practice, arguing the colonies were dependent on it. (However, he also was the first pastor in Northampton to baptize “negroes” and admit them into full membership.) John Calvin endorsed the drowning of an Anabaptist, that is a fellow-believer who believed in baptism by immersion for believers alone! Martin Luther was an anti-Semite. Hitler quoted those portions of his writings. CT. Read more.