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Category archives: Leadership competence

What about pastors in recovery?

Anyone living in our culture today is vulnerable to addiction — including pastors. And anyone struggling with addiction needs recovery — including pastors. But recovery is hard for pastors; harder than it needs to be. Recovery is hard for pastors for many reasons. Because of their position as spiritual leaders, pastors have a hard time admitting to problems in their lives, and reaching out for help. This is partly the […]

Overcoming Overwhelm in Ministry

I’ve noticed a theme in the lives of leaders I work with — most of whom are involved in church work: they are overwhelmed. They are overwhelmed by the demands of church ministry, they are overwhelmed with the needs they encounter, and they are overwhelmed by the amount of information available to them. There is a virtual flood of ideas washing over them every week for how to do their […]

Great advice for parents of teens experimenting with drugs and alcohol

Teen drug use freaks parents out more than just about anything. Parents desperately want to keep their kids safe and healthy, and when they find out – or even suspect – that their kids are using drugs, they don’t know what to do. The two most common mistakes are the opposite extremes: Some parents under-react, making excuses for their kids and/or denying reality. They may not be sure what’s going […]

What addiction and recovery taught me about "believing in God"

The Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines belief as: “A state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing.” The experience of addiction messes this up for Christians, whether they want to admit it or not. They say that they “trust God” to help them be happy in life, and to help them overcome their addiction … but somehow this “faith” doesn’t seem to be […]

The work of spiritual care

The work of spiritual leadership includes providing spiritual care … what people used to call “The Care of Souls.” This care involves ministering to people in the crisis times of life, but it’s much more than that. It is also about helping people grow spiritually. It’s about equipping them to go through the normal ups and downs of life. Helping them navigate through life as it unfolds. In this regard, […]

Bullying - on the playground and in the pew

We’re paying more attention these days to the subject of bullying. Maybe we’re just more sensitive these days, but more likely it’s because the problem is getting worse. Kids’ participation in social media means that they are exposed to more of their peers, and therefore more bullies. Not only that, but the dynamics of electronic communication lend themselves to bullying. (If you don’t believe me, just observe the “discussions” that […]

The sociology of friendship, groups, and church size

Small groups (like home Bible studies, Care Groups, and the like) have an upper size limit of 10-15, depending on the people involved. The reason is obvious, and it’s pure sociology. We can only relate meaningfully to a small group of people. Beyond that size, relational dynamics get too complex and we naturally sub-divide into smaller “groups within the group”. Churches without associate program staff rarely grown beyond 200. The […]

Teleseminar interview with Jim Herrington on leadership, church systems, and spiritual vitality

Date: Tuesday, July 23 Time:  2pm Central Like any gathering of people, a church is a complex system with many elements connected in interdependent relationships. Without seeing the way this system is built, spiritual leaders are left in the dark when it comes to effectively organizing and moving their church in a positive direction. Jim Herrington has been a pastor since he was 19, serving congregations in Arkansas, Texas and […]

Lead but remember that the world doesn't revolve around you

Beware of of the “great man / great woman” image of leadership. Leaders don’t lead because they are better / stronger / wiser / more spiritual than others in the organization. Leaders lead because they accept a certain role and exhibit certain skills. I just read an interesting article by Jurgen Apolo about what he calls “Egocentric Leadership.” I’m going to quote it at length here, because it’s really helpful. […]

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