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 from this, we labor to slow down for healthy relationships between us. 3. Discernment – We are committed to the discipline of discerning God’s will among us. We bring this to our strategic planning/thinking process and are committed to the time needed for this. We seek to intentionally bring the gifts of the examen process (consolations and desolations) to our decision-making. 4. Truth-Telling –“We believe all truth, no matter now delicate or painful, or seemingly inconsequential, contributes to the discernment process.” The Holy Spirit is the author of all truth and we resist exaggerations, denial and our fears. We are committed to both the data before us and hearing God together. 5. Spiritual Warfare – We remember that we are in a battle with demonic powers and principalities that seek to destroy and divide the work of God in and among us. We recognize there are seasons of great intensity when we are under great pressure. So we commit to support one another and “not give the devil a foothold” (Eph. 4:27). 6. Brokenness and Vulnerability – We affirm God’s power is made perfect in weakness. We acknowledge our need to self-confront and do our own work so that we can create safety in conversations foundational for healthy life together. 7. Celebration – We believe celebration is critical, and we look for every opportunity to note God’s grace and activity among us. 8. Kindness – We treat one another as image bearers, seeking to be kind to one another and to others as we lead. 9. Grieving – We affirm our humanity and the challenge of the unique losses that come to us in our life together in leadership. We aim to give ourselves space for this, both personally and as a group. We choose to humbly learn from our mistakes and wait on God through that process. 10. Limits – In carrying out the mission, we gladly embrace our God-given limits as His gift. We seek to remain prayerful around God’s will as opportunites present themselves to us. At the same time, there are times God places limits before us that we are called to break through. Again, we recognize the discernment process in this. 11. Conflict as Means for Transformation – We will have conflict and disagreements in our life together. Difficult, challenging times around staff roles, future directions, and key decisions are inevitable. We remain committed to grow into emotionally mature adults, embracing these challenges before God’s presence, remembering this is one of God’s primary means to mature us. What might you add? Delete?