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Tag Archives: planning

The 4 Questions in “Christian” Decision Making

Christian leaders ask 4 “beneath-the-iceberg” questions before making important decisions and plans: 1. How might my shadow be impacting my decisions/plan? Is this about me proving something? Am I looking for validation from others? Is this about my own ambition? Am I free from my anxieties, disordered desires, and unhealthy attachments? Do I need to talk with a trusted friend first? 2. What impact will this decision have on God’s call for me to lead out of my marriage or singleness? Will this lead to a diminishment in my oneness and closeness with my spouse or enhance it? As a single leader, will this decision hurt my closest, delightful relationships and ability to have a joyful life outside of work? 3. Am I making this decision from a non-anxious, anchored place of loving union with Jesus? Is there a sense that I am striving or making something happen? Am I abiding in Jesus (John 15:1-5). Read more.

The 4 Questions in "Christian" Decision Making

Christian leaders ask 4 “beneath-the-iceberg” questions before making important decisions and plans: 1. How might my shadow be impacting my decisions/plan? Is this about me proving something? Am I looking for validation from others? Is this about my own ambition? Am I free from my anxieties, disordered desires, and unhealthy attachments? Do I need to talk with a trusted friend first? 2. What impact will this decision have on God’s call for me to lead out of my marriage or singleness? Will this lead to a diminishment in my oneness and closeness with my spouse or enhance it? As a single leader, will this decision hurt my closest, delightful relationships and ability to have a joyful life outside of work? 3. Am I making this decision from a non-anxious, anchored place of loving union with Jesus? Is there a sense that I am striving or making something happen? Am I abiding in Jesus (John. 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 Christian Leader's Most Difficult Task

“But they soon forgot what he had done, and did not wait for his counsel.” (Ps. 106:13). In other words, they did not wait for “God’s activity in and around them to unfold” (literal translation of the Hebrew). They were in too much of a hurry. They allowed mistrust and impatience to blind them. This may be our most difficult task. Like my friends in 12 steps groups for alcohol and drugs, I remain in recovery as an “impatient leader” who will wrestle till I die with the slow, unfolding plans of God. God is shaping the work we do for Him as an expert potter. There is no way we can understand what He is doing from our limited perspective as clay. We must do our due diligence in strategic planning, thinking, and setting goals. At the same time, we must pray with an open hand and wait. God’s plans always take time. Read more.

Leadership and Differentiation: Part 3

Having too much to do in too little time is normal. Leighton Ford, my wise mentor for over 30 years, once told me: “Pete, the problem is that if you are faithful to Christ over the long-haul, the demands on your time and energy will only increase as you get older. This problem of having too much to do in too little time is never going away.” The great challenge is to lead yourself first. Consider the following reflections (written to myself) from my journal: Be calm and clear about yourself.  You can only be clear about where you are and your own “true self in Christ.” Your inner tensions today are a call from God for additional time for prayer and reflection to wrestle with your “inner demons”  so that you can to listen to His will and priorities (See Matthew 4:1-11). Hold onto what God has given you to do and do. Read more.

Bust through the Wall to Maturity

Leadership is sacred, holy work before God. Whether it be leadership of our own lives, our churches, our famlies or our finances, it is a challenge to mature through the walls and challenges that confront us. It is easier to remain in anxiety, ruminate needlessly, or become reactive when we are stuck. This happened to me recently at New Life around a complex administrative issue before us. As a result I returned to the following simple,but difficult, emotionally healthy skill called, “Bust through the Wall to Maturity.” After working the simple steps below, over many hours and days, God’s pathway became clear. And I found myself flourishing before Him once again. Give it a try: 1. Identify one specific situation about which you have anxiety or feel stuck. 2. To what conclusions might you be jumping? Pass what you think to be true through the “distorted thinking” lens. Ask yourself: Am I doing… —. Read more.