As leaders, we focus a lot on making good decisions. As parents, coaches, business and church leaders, we want to make the best decisions possible. However, there are actually times when the best decision is the ability to not make a bad decision. Bad decisions will happen; they are a part of life. But, some of them can certainly be avoided.
I’m often asked about how leaders resolve difficult issues. One of the things that leaders are required to do, if they lead well, is to be able to handle the more difficult issues in a way that brings reconciliation and resolution.
All of us view life through a prism of our own experiences. All of us view life through a particular paradigm. For better of worse, our view of things is shaped by the mindset we bring to each opportunity life presents to us. Our view of people is shaped by what we have been taught about people and what our past experiences have been with people. Our view of God is shaped by what we have been taught about God and what our past spiritual experiences have been. Our views of politics, art, business, religion, and every other facet of life are shaped by what we have seen, heard, and encountered throughout our lives. To a great extent, therefore, perception becomes reality. What we come to think about people and things determines the way we see those people and things, and the way we “see” life determines our interaction with the thousands of experiences and opportunities that life sets before us. In other words, your thinking shapes your life.
Symbols are powerful. They add a richness to routine. They inspire hope. Symbols arouse emotions more quickly than reasoning. Symbols elevate the “why” above the “what.”
One of the worst feelings in the world is seeing those flashing red-and-blue lights in your rear-view mirror signaling that you’re being pulled over by a police officer. More often than not, those lights indicate that you were driving too fast for the road you were on … at least that’s my pattern. (Yes, it is, unfortunately, a pattern in my life — pray for me!)
As leaders — bosses, parents, coaches and leaders of all kinds — we often are also driving too fast for the road that we’re on in life.
In the 1970s, one researcher noted: “There are almost as many different definitions of leadership as there are persons who have attempted to define the concept.” According to these definitions, leadership is influence, power, mobilization, motivation, processes, inspiration, among many others.
The same could be said of the church: “There are almost as many different ways of leading the church as there are persons who have attempted it.”
In work or professional settings, the best feedback is face-to-face. However, I have found it is very difficult and utopian to expect that everyone will act this way. As a result, we have implemented the use of 360 feedback as a part of our annual reviews and, on occasion, as a part of time-sensitive feedback needs.
I recently had coffee with a young(er) minister. He asked a great question: What can I do right now? The young minister (he’s around 20) wanted to know how he could lead better. Starting today. He caught me a bit off guard. After all, leadership is learned and refined over time. Pastors spend years growing. He knew that, but he also wanted to know what could be done immediately.
I’m not that far removed from being a “young” pastor (at 35, many might still categorize me in this way), but I have learned — some things the hard way — from pastoring for 10 years. There are a few practices young ministers can do right now that will help them grow immediately. Here are three leadership practices I shared with him.
Recently, I convened a panel of experts for a conversation about where the Church stands relative to capitalizing on the remarkable evangelization opportunity of social media. The key questions:
• Are churches actually embracing
• If so, how are they doing managing the risks?
• How can churches establish boundaries as they row in these unchartered waters?
Churches relocate more than you think. In fact, your own church might be moving. Or, maybe you’re wondering how to relocate successfully sometime in the future. In either scenario, you’ll face some primary challenges:
• Communicating the church move to your members and regular attendees
• Communicating the church move to your neighbors (the community)
That’s why you need a communications strategy before you make the move.