Tag Archives: ministers

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…

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Elders and Ministers: Working and Praying Together

Earlier this year the Barna Group published a major report on the status of ministers. [1] The report is full of great information, challenging insights, and valuable data that would help congregational leadership teams support and empower their ministers. One small section of the report focused on elder-minister relationships, and I want to highlight…

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An Update and Reflections on the Church Health Assessment

When church leaders seek a meaningful place to assess the health of their congregation, where do they turn? Late last summer, the Siburt Institute launched the Church Health Assessment (CHA) to provide just the resource. The CHA is an online research tool designed to measure a congregation’s health in nine critical areas. Those…

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Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

In my frequent work with church leadership teams, I find that a constant challenge for ministers and elders is the way they address the relational dynamics that are constantly present in a congregation. When all is said and done, a critical component of leadership is how to relate to people! One way to…

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Who Decides Who Decides? Developing an Action Plan

Elders and ministry staff can easily get sideways with each other when it comes to who decides who decides. Clear decision-making processes are vital for healthy leadership, and having written guidelines can help. However, the conversations that help to set guidelines can often become complex! Adapting the research of Richard Chait, I offer…

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Interpretive Leadership: Seeking God’s Preferred Future

Last month we explored leadership as relational work—shepherding to nurture emotional and spiritual well-being. This month we turn to another dimension of leadership: paying attention to God. In any group or organization, one of the critical aspects of leadership is asking the important questions, “Where are we headed?” and “What is our goal?”…

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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…

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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…

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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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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…

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Leading in Anxious Times

In teaching a graduate course at ACU on Church Leadership, I enjoyed reading once again a wonderful book by Peter Steinke entitled Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times. Steinke offers wonderful insights into realities of congregational life and highlights the challenges leaders face. More than that, Steinke presents cogent wisdom to guide leaders to be non-anxious…

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Preaching as Leadership

One leadership function that is often not recognized as leadership is the practice of preaching.  What usually commands attention when leaders talk about leadership are things like vision-casting, pastoral care, and identifying meaningful goals that extend the mission of the church.  But preaching, not so much! Yet every week in nearly every church,…

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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…

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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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