One of the most challenging tasks of leadership, and life, is perspective. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: The years teach much which the days never know. I spend much of my time with pastors and leaders from around the world. The surface questions vary, but the underlying ones are similar: “Where is God in all these difficulties? Why is leading so painful and slow? How do I make it long-term?” In this podcast I attempt to give a long view of leadership around God’s process of making us “great” leaders. (“Greatness” refers to remaining faithful to become the person God has called you to become, and do what He has called you to do.) Highlights include: Illusions we must unlearn; The most significant book that helped me stay the course in my most difficult years; Great counsel given to me that has stood the test of time; Practical tips for young leaders in. Read more.
Robert A. Caro’s towering biography, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power, offers a penetrating insight about power and leadership: Although the cliché says that power always corrupts, what is seldom said, but what is equally true, is that power always reveals. When a man is climbing, trying to persuade others to give him power, concealment is necessary: to hide traits that might make others reluctant to give him power, to hide also what he wants to do with that power; if men recognized the traits or realized the aims, they might refuse to give him what he wants. But as a man obtains more power, camouflage is less necessary. The curtain begins to rise. The revealing begins. (xiv). Nothing reveals our character like succession and transitions. It reveals not just the character of the Senior Pastor or CEO, but the Board, the senior staff, and the congregation. Why? Power always reveals.. Read more.
I have had multiple conversations these past few weeks with pastors and leaders about the importance of healthy transitions, particularly as it relates to succession. Why? I am passionate about Jesus and the proclamation of His glory to the next generation. Over the decades I have repeatedly seen the destructive consequences of leaders who hand over power poorly. Andy Crouch says it best: “It is hard to think of many things that do more damage to an organization than leaders who have no plan for how they will hand over power…When leaders do not actively plan for the end of their power, and when we who are led by them allow them to indulge in fantasies of unending influence, they are idols, no matter how well disguised” (Strong and Weak, IVP 2016). I describe my own 4½-year interior succession process in the final 17 pages of The Emotionally Healthy Leader. Almost three years have. Read more.
Every new year marks an ending and a new beginning. In fact, embracing endings in order to receive new beginnings is one of the fundamental tasks of the spiritual life–and this is especially true for Christian leaders. Join Pete Scazzero and Rich Villodas in this month’s EH Leader Podcast as they look deeper into this central leadership theme. Click the video below to watch or the link to listen to the audio file. LISTEN HERE
Why are endings and transitions so poorly handled in our ministries, organizations, and teams? Why do we often miss God’s new beginnings, and the new work He is doing? We miss seeing what is ahead 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 as signs of failure rather than opportunities for something new. Use the list of statements that follow to briefly assess your approach to endings and new beginnings: 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 or to allow for the. Read more.
Rich Villodas, who is now Lead Pastor of New Life Fellowship, led one of the workshops at our recent Emotionally Healthy Leadership Conference on “Emotionally Healthy Preaching.” Once again, it made a large impact on all who attended. One of Rich’s greatest gifts to the larger body of Christ is, I believe, in the art of preaching. The following is the core of what he shared: Preaching is foremost not about preaching. It’s about a life with God; a life of integrity, out of which we speak. This is the core of emotionally healthy preaching. Like many pastors and preachers, I love the art and science of preaching. I work hard for stories and illustrations that make biblical content accessible to our congregation. I work hard to understand the text exegetically. I think critically about how a passage of Scripture applies in our NYC context. All of these things are important. In addition to. Read more.