Effective Church Leaders

Justin Lathrop - founder of Helpstaff.me (now Vanderbloemen Search), Oaks School of Leadership, and MinistryCoach.tv - recently shared a top ten list of characteristics of effective church leaders that was created by Hillsong Church for its staff members.  That list includes: being a can-do person, delegating but never dumping, having an attractive spirituality, serving with gladness, and empowering others. So What? Expectations matter.  When your nominating team/committee Read More …

Benefits of Church Task Forces

In addition to standing Boards and Committees, many congregations form task forces or other temporary working groups to manage specific projects.  Jenni Catron, Executive Director of Cross Point Church (Nashville, TN), recently shared a list of some of the positive outcomes of these temporary teams.  Her list includes: the hierarchy is flattened, new relationships are formed, and great leaders emerge. So What? While Boards and Committees have important roles to play in the life of Read More …

One Man’s Greener Grass

Jason Savage's recent explanation of his decision to leave parish based ministry is an excellent example of the-grass-is-always-greener-on-the-other-side-of-the-fence thinking. Savage is concerned by a decades long trend in the church toward what he calls "professionalism," a broad term that seems to include everything from leveraging the best marketing and management practices from the wider non-profit and for-profit world to accepting the evolving demands of leadership and roles of Read More …

Leadership Archetypes

Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries, Distinguished Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change at INSEAD, recently shared his eight leadership archetypes on the Harvard Business Review blog. The strategist: leadership as a game of chess. The change-catalyst: leadership as a turnaround activity. The transactor: leadership as deal making. The builder: leadership as an entrepreneurial activity. The innovator: leadership as creative idea generation. The processor: leadership Read More …

Doing Things a New Way

Brian Dodd works for the Rocket Company, an organization committed to helping churches increase weekly giving and pastors preach better sermons.  Recently, he listed 15 reasons why people don't need to do things the way they have always been done (based on a video featuring Kevin Kelley of the Pulaski Academy).  Included on the list are I've done my research, I am continually learning, the current situation calls for something different, I think differently than others, and I asked Read More …

Becoming an Intergenerational Church

Scott Cochrane recently shared how Bill Hybels responded to a question about how congregations can become more intergenerational. Hybels',  Founder and Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, answer focused on intention.  Congregations that seek to value the intergenerational dynamic must create structures that affirm persons from all age cohorts, including selecting them for leadership positions. So What? Becoming more intergenerational doesn't happen overnight, and won't work Read More …

Leaders Let Go

Scott Williams, author of Church Diversity: Sunday the Most Segregated Day of the Week (2011 – read my review here) and leadership guru, recently shared an important leadership truth: "If you want to be a leader, you must learn to let go." So What? Williams rightly recognizes how frustrating it can be when someone in a leadership position is unable and/or unwilling to let go of things (e.g., details, leading to micromanaging behavior) or of people.  Real leaders know when it is time to Read More …

Growing Beyond 200

Most congregations are relatively small.  While small is not bad, small and plateaued or small and declining are.  In reality, churches of any size are either growing or declining.  Healthy congregations should be growing congregations. Carey Nieuwhof, lead pastor of Connexus Community Church, recently wrote about many of the reasons why churches can grow to a certain size, but not beyond such. In a great deal of the literature on the topic of church size, the number 200 is deemed Read More …

Pastoring Isn’t Glamorous

Eugene Peterson (b.1932) is a pastor's pastor. He is the author of the best-selling The Message, which is his translation of the Bible into contemporary American language.  He is an ordained Presbyterian (PCUSA) pastor who served as the founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland for twenty-nine years before retiring in 1991. Following his retirement from parish ministry, he served in academia until retiring from that role in 2006.  Peterson is the author of over Read More …

Common Pastoral Mistakes

Eric Geiger, Vice President at LifeWay Christian Resources, recently shared three common mistakes pastors make: not offering clarity, underestimating the power of culture, and switching strategies too frequently. So What? This short list can serve as a helpful tool for those interested in sincere introspection. If you serve in pastoral ministry, which of these three areas is most challenging for you?  How might you focus on strengthening your competency in that area before the Read More …