Tag Archives: Church

Partnering with Churches and Ministers to Discern God’s Call

On any given day the Siburt Institute is working with about 75 churches that are looking for a minister. That number is in addition to the congregations that use our automated MinistryLink network service. And twice a month an eight-member team meets to review requests from search committees for names and resumes. So…

 Read More

Job Description for a Shepherd

In a recent Saturday retreat with an elder group, some familiar questions were raised: “What does it mean to shepherd the church?” “How is it supposed to look?” These are good questions that congregational leaders often raise. Elders want to be good shepherds, but they often acknowledge a lack clear definitive practices that…

 Read More

Nuremberg Funnel: Reenvisioning the Work of Leadership

In a newly published book titled Teaching and Christian Imagination, the authors present a common image that satirically exposes the limitations of mechanical knowledge acquisition. [1] In Europe—particularly in Germany—the image is called the Nuremberg Funnel. Imagine a funnel stuck into someone’s head while a teacher is stuffing all manner of knowledge into…

 Read More

Dimensions of Leadership

The noted theologian Jürgen Moltmann remarked that in “every period the church has a duty to be clear about its commission, its situation and its goal.” [1] These three things – mission, context and purpose – are very significant for congregational leaders. And each of these things can quickly and easily be lost…

 Read More

Not All Problems Are Alike!

Congregational leadership is often comprised of various problems that call for attention. Everything from sorting out a new insurance policy to discerning the next step for pursuing God’s mission can be on the table. Following the work of Speed Leas, [1] it can be helpful to recognize that not all problems are alike;…

 Read More

Siburt Institute – Mission Revisited

As September approaches, the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry begins its fifth year of ministry to leaders and congregations. Our executive team held its annual review day in May, and we were inspired by the development of new services and encouraging stories from people and the churches where they worship and serve. We…

 Read More

Looking for Millennials … In All the Wrong Places

A conversation I hear repeatedly in many congregations is the lament over the loss of younger adults. Even many of the younger adults who do remain within the congregation seem to be less than fully engaged in the life of the church. The question I’m often asked is, “Why?” I don’t know that…

 Read More

What is Ministry?

Sounds like a simple question, doesn’t it? And because of its simplicity, the question can often be left unexamined. However, I want to suggest that simply assuming we know what ministry is can quickly paralyze church leadership groups! The answer to the question about the nature and purpose of ministry can take many…

 Read More

Three Circles of Leadership

To practice leadership effectively requires thoughtful imagination and the capacity to see beyond current patterns of behavior. I think that, left unexamined, leadership can quickly devolve into a reactive set of actions prompted by whatever crisis the day brings. So leaders become fixers; we fix the problems so that the trains run on time and…

 Read More

Pay Attention to God

A growing number of church leaders are discovering that the congregations they serve are in crisis. Add to that nagging realization the almost daily news that Christianity is being nudged to the sidelines, and it’s enough to foster anxiety in even the most calm of leaders. Alan Roxburgh, in his new book Joining God, Remaking Church,…

 Read More

A Few Thoughts on Mentoring and Leadership

In the past few weeks I have had two great conversations with other leaders about the practice of mentoring. As I hung up from one of those phone conversations, I happened to pick up Mark Searby’s new book, The Resilient Pastor (Resource Publications, 2015). Mark is a friend who teaches at Beeson Divinity School; he…

 Read More