I recently finished Ruth Haley Barton’s Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry (IVP,2008). I enjoyed it thoroughly and found a number of valuable insights for my own leadership at New Life. I recommend it to you. One unique insight was to clearly articulate the values of your leadership team as you enter into challenging, difficult discussions. The following is my first draft for our NLF staff team (Her team’s can be found on pp.176-178 of her book). 1. Personal Spiritual Transformation – We consistently labor to maintain balance in our lives as leaders, ensuring that we have time for prayer, rest, healthy relationships (play) and work. Our rhythms are our first work and foundational for both our lives and leadership. 2. Community – We are a microcosm of the larger New Life and seek to maintain and build unity in our relationships as Christ did with the Twelve. While the work itself can easily distract us away. Read more.
I think I am finally learning to lead. I am humbled to say that but it is true. I spent the last two days leading our pastoral staff (eleven of us in total) on our yearly Fall retreat. What was my learning? Simply, it takes a lot of time, thought and prayer to lead an excellent meeting. One can’t skim on preparing. I know. I did for years. This was our best staff retreat in 21 years. Why? I think Ed Freidman said it well: “The overall health and functioning of any organization (or ministry or sub-ministry) depends primarily on one or two people at the top, and this is true whether the relationship system is a personal family, a sports team, an orchestra, a congregation, a religious hierarchy, or an entire nation… It is rather that leadership in families, like leadership in any flock, swarm, or herd is essentially an organic phenomenon. And an organism tends to. Read more.