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Tag Archives: Waiting

Patience and the 4-Year Rule

When we take on a new role or position, it is helpful to remember Tertullian’s (155–222 AD) wise counsel: “It is God’s nature to be patient. One of the signs the Holy Spirit has descended is that patience and waiting is always by its side.” A few years ago Bobb Biehl, one of my mentors, shared an application of this principle that has served me well. It is the 4-year rule: When you take on a new position or role, it will take you 4 years to learn it.  (This applies even if you have been in the organization for 20 years yet are moving to a new role). Year 1: Orientation – It takes one year to adjust to your new role. By the end of the 1st year, you are beginning to understand where things are, how to relate to co-workers, the strengths and weaknesses of the ministry, etc. Year 2: Experimentation – By the. Read more.

Patient Leadership

“Impatience is, as it were, the original sin in the eyes of the Lord.  For, to put it in a nutshell, every sin is to be traced back to impatience. I find the origin of impatience in the Devil himself.” Tertullian (160-220 AD) In a brilliant essay entitled “Of Patience,” Tertullian wrestles deeply with a theme we rarely talk about today – i.e. God’s nature to be patient. I have been pondering this essay for the past few weeks, reflecting on the intersection of leadership and patience, especially in my own life. The following are a few challenging quotes from Tertullian’s exegesis of Scripture worthy of prayer and reflection for every one of us in leadership: God allows Himself to become incarnate: in His mother’s womb He awaits (the time of birth) and after His birth suffers Himself to grow into manhood, and, when an adult, shows no eagerness to become known, but bears. Read more.

Are You a Foolish or a Prudent Leader?

One of the great themes of the book of Proverbs is about wise (i.e. prudent) and foolish people. Note the following: The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways -Prov. 14:8 A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.-Prov. 14:15 It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. – Prov. 19:2 A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. – Prov. 22:3 The word prudence refers to people who have foresight to take everything into account. They think long-term and give careful thought to their ways when they plan or make decisions. The simple, or foolish, as described in Proverbs, function very differently. They don’t want to do hard work of thinking things through and asking hard questions. They are hasty, impulsive, thinking only short-term, and. Read more.

Are You a Foolish or a Prudent Leader?

One of the great themes of the book of Proverbs is about wise (i.e. prudent) and foolish people. Note the following: The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways -Prov. 14:8 A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.-Prov. 14:15 It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. – Prov. 19:2 A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. – Prov. 22:3 The word prudence refers to people who have foresight to take everything into account. They think long-term and give careful thought to their ways when they plan or make decisions. The simple, or foolish, as described in Proverbs, function very differently. They don’t want to do hard work of thinking things through and asking hard questions. They are hasty, impulsive, thinking only short-term, and. Read more.

AA, Two-Steppers, and Leadership

AA has Twelve Steps to recovery for their program. The twelfth step is an act of gratitude when recovered alcoholics help other alcoholics stay sober. The gift received is passed along as the final step. In AA they speak of people who are “two-steppers” — people who take Step One (accepting they are powerless in their addiction) and then jump directly to Step Twelve (helping others) without the in-between steps where the hard work lies. They try to pass along something they themselves have not yet received. The desert fathers (3rd-5th century) talked about this temptation also. It is one of the great temptation I face, and I think we all face as leaders, talking about things of God that we have not lived. “Another brother spoke…about matters of which he had no experience. Theodore said to him, “You’ve not yet found a ship to sail in, not put your luggage aboard, not put. Read more.

AA, Two-Steppers, and Leadership

AA has Twelve Steps to recovery for their program. The twelfth step is an act of gratitude when recovered alcoholics help other alcoholics stay sober. The gift received is passed along as the final step. In AA they speak of people who are “two-steppers” — people who take Step One (accepting they are powerless in their addiction) and then jump directly to Step Twelve (helping others) without the in-between steps where the hard work lies. They try to pass along something they themselves have not yet received. The desert fathers (3rd-5th century) talked about this temptation also. It is one of the great temptation I face, and I think we all face as leaders, talking about things of God that we have not lived. “Another brother spoke…about matters of which he had no experience. Theodore said to him, “You’ve not yet found a ship to sail in, not put your luggage aboard, not put. Read more.