Tag Archives: leaders

The Way of Wise Leadership

It’s June—one of my favorite times of the year! Abilene has not yet hit the full blistering heat of August, and our Doctor of Ministry students were here this month for classes. These men and women are usually mid-career ministers and leaders from across the nation. They arrive with thoughtful questions, eager to…

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Transforming Leadership

When you are deeply invested in something, you begin to own it. For persons in church leadership, the well-being of congregations and the effectiveness of ministries can become personal. We want them to flourish! Of course, the desire for flourishing congregations is rooted in our desire for gospel proclamation and for God’s mission.…

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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;…

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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…

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Do As I Say

Doing and saying should line up—at least that is what common wisdom suggests!  “If you are going to talk the talk, then you should also walk the walk,” is another way of getting at the importance of aligning our speech and our actions.  Thus, as disciples of Jesus, we often press toward holding…

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Discipleship, First and Finally

“Ministerial leadership is, first and finally, discipleship.” – Lesslie Newbigin Returning to his native England after 50 years of missionary work in India, Lesslie Newbigin was stunned to see the decline of the church in the west. So instead of settling into retirement in 1974, he launched a second career as a missionary…

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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,…

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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…

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When Leaders Listen

A few days ago I walked out of a two-hour oral defense for one of our Doctor of Ministry students. His doctoral project, which he successfully “defended,” focused on the development of leaders. One of the unintended results of his intervention was the deep communal connections that took place when people are called together to…

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Leadership in Global Perspective

I just returned from speaking at an international conference on ethics and leadership held in Leuven, Belgium. Scholars, church leaders, and business leaders came from Europe, Africa, and Asia. The theme focused on the rapid changes in the way leadership is understand in all kinds of contexts. Although I made a major presentation,…

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Elders: Representatives or Leaders?

Author Larry Osborne raises an important factor for the vitality for elder groups as they lead congregations.[1] He notes that congregational leaders often assume that their job is to represent the various interest groups and constituencies of the church. So Jack speaks for the older folk and Jim understands the young families and so…

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Leadership Remix

Recently I was reading an essay by Mark Lau Branson entitled “Forming God’s People.”  He makes the assertion that I’ve been thinking about a lot since I read it.  He states that leadership is generally a secondary question.  Rather than asking “how am I supposed to lead,” he offers a compelling alternative.  The…

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