July 30, 2014
July 30, 2014
July 28, 2014
July 26, 2014
By Ron Edmondson
Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Check out his blog at: http://www.ronedmondson.com
This article is taken from the Acts 29 blog site at http://acts29-today.blogspot.com/
Do you want to grow as a leader? Do you want to keep growing?
Here are seven sure ways to grow as a leader:
1. Desire growth
Sounds simple, but we tend to seek what we desire most. If you truly want to grow as a leader you will continually find ways to do so. Check your heart. Do you really desire to grow as a leader?
2. Accept correction
No one enjoys hearing they did something wrong, but many leaders view all correction as criticism rather than an opportunity to grow. Growing leaders realize that correction helps them improve so they can do better next time. (Proverbs 12:1) Check yourself. Can you take correction, even when it stings a little to hear, and turn it into something good?
3. Listen to wiser voices
Experience is the best teachers. And, all of us are surrounded by people who have grown wise through their experiences. Growing leaders glean all they can from other people. Would others consider you a wisdom seeker? Can you name specifically the voices you are learning from these days?
4. Invest in others
Growing leaders learn or reinforce leadership principles while helping others learn them. Sometimes it is not until we talk through an issue with others that we find clarity in the issue ourselves. (“Give and it will be given back to you”…) Ask yourself…Am I helping to grow other leaders? Am I allowing others to learn from my experience? Coul you name those people if asked?
5. Recognize weaknesses
And strengths. When you become more aware of what you do well and what you don’t, you grow as a leader. You start investing more energy in the strengths and seek to minimize the weaknesses. Can you admit there are some things you simply aren’t good at doing? Are you confident enough to recognize your strengths?
6. Refuse mediocrity
Growing leaders push themselves beyond the limits of normalcy. Average is common. Exceptional takes work. Are you seeking to go beyond what’s expected? Are you holding yourself to standards nothing short of your very best? (Isn’t that even Biblical?…”Whatever you do…do as if unto the Lord”.)
7. Embrace failure
Falling dow. Getting back up. Falling down. Getting back up. Growing leaders have learned this is a part of maturing as a leader. In honest evaluation, would you say you have allowed failure to shape you as a leader, or hold you back from all you could be as a leader?
I am certainly not suggesting this is an exhaustive list. I am advocating that growing as a leader requires intentionality on the part of the leader. It doesn’t automatically happen.
What are you doing to grow as a leader these days?
July 26, 2014
Dear Praying Friends,
1 down and 5 to go. My first day of chemo treatment went as well as I could have hoped for. I felt enveloped in God’s peace and care all through the day. On the way there, I told Floyd that my body was a little nervous, but my heart was at peace. I felt carried by the prayers of friends.
There were little unexpected joys through the day. As we left our house, a friend was waiting at our gate with a gift bag of “survival” items for my day. It was so loving and thoughtful. Both Floyd and I were blessed as we opened the gifts all through the day.
The staff at the chemo center were very kind, but just the explanations of stuff they tell you scares you to death! It was a 6 hour treatment day. I was the 2nd to arrive, and the last to leave. Future days will be longer. They prepared me that this was my “easiest” chemo day – it will get harder. They were caring, positive, encouraging, but very realistic. The health care here in South Africa has been excellent. They gave me a good balance of encouragement and reality. I want to know what to expect so I can prepare myself for it.
The long day of treatment passed by quickly, and soon we were headed home. I was exhausted, but was glad to have one treatment finished. Thankfully, there was NO nausea – my biggest prayer request. I think I can handle all the other stuff more easily if I’m not nauseated. The drip they gave me for nausea will wear off today, so please continue to pray that there will be no nausea.
I’ve had lots of side effects in the last 48 hours, but I’m doing well. I’ve had ongoing knife like pain in my abdomen. I’m trusting that means there’s lots of “killing” of cancer cells going on! That’s what needs to happen.
One big prayer request – they told me the treatment can affect the kidneys. They will be testing to monitor that. I now have only the 1 functioning kidney. Please pray for protection for it……and continue to pray for a kidney miracle of the other one starting to function again.
The day before my treatment I went to our All Nations family staff meeting where everyone prayed for me. Very precious! I continually think of how grateful I am for all the prayer support.
One joy for me in the day is that Floyd is with me. It was very sad seeing all the people at the chemo center who were alone. Many of them. Lots of “stories” I’m sure. One young man looked like he was barely alive. I am so thankful to be surrounded by the love of family and friends. Thank you for being part of that.
Another unexpected joy was Lulu, the nurse who assisted me throughout my treatment. She was professional, caring and attentive.
Thank you for caring for Floyd and me during this time. We are so touched by your messages and your love.
Sally & Floyd
July 25, 2014
July 25, 2014
From Thom Rainer’s great blog site comes this fascinating article
This blog has looked at characteristics of effective pastors from different perspectives over the past few years. But this information may prove to be a bit surprising.
A couple of caveats are in order. First, the idea of “surprising” can vary from person to person. I think you might be surprised at some of these traits, but you might not be. Second, the term “effective” is nebulous. I am not speaking of size of church or level of fame. I have subjectively noted several dozen pastors whose ministries have been consistent and whose impact in their churches and communities has been positive.
By the way, these same traits could apply to other church staff. Indeed, some of them could apply to any leaders. I’m omitting the obvious characteristics, like good preaching, strong morals, and faithfulness to family. Those would not be among the surprises.
What, then, are some of the surprising traits? I’m glad you asked.
1. They are persistent. Their lives could be characterized as “three steps forward, two steps backwards.” They have setbacks, but they remain stubbornly persistent.
2. They have a good sense of humor. They take their ministries seriously; but they don’t take themselves too seriously.
3. They are highly intentional about connecting with unchurched persons at least once a week. In fact, weekly intentionality is the norm. They put such interactions on their calendar. They take unchurched people to lunch. They are involved in non-religious community events.
4. They look in the mirror. These pastors have clear self-awareness. They are not only evaluating themselves constantly, they typically have a trusted advisor who tells them on a regular basis what he or she sees.
5. They are intentionally consistent learners. These pastors read a lot. They attend conferences. They expand their educational opportunities, both formal and informal.
6. Their most consistent discipline is daily Bible reading. This time in the Bible is beyond sermon preparation. This discipline is kept with greater rigor than any other discipline in their lives.
Again, these are some of the surprising traits I have noticed in effective pastors.
What do think of these six? What surprises you among them? What would you add?
By Thom Rainer
Lifeway Christian Resources
July 23, 2014
The best leaders are the ones that try to make themselves dispensable. If he or she is helping people around them not need them, ironically, people they work with want them around more than ever. That type of leader is selflessly helping people around them acquire as many skills as possible so he can let everyone else do the work and he can move on to other projects or just keep an eye on things.
July 21, 2014
“When you collaborate on something that is fundamentally creative, you get to places that you would never get on your own.” John Cleese
Ideas have a way of building when they can bounce back and forth between people working together as a team. You know an idea is good when you hear it, and you know when it gets better if there is a collaborative effort of selfless people working on it. There are no mistakes in the creative effort, even if people on the team misunderstand each other. You never know where an idea might lead if it is a free flowing green light session.
July 7, 2014
June 26, 2014
I listened to one of our teams report yesterday after returning from ministry in Lebanese Syrian refugee camps. There has been such unending sadness for the refugees… but on the last night of the two month outreach when they went to say goodbye they heard dancing music coming from the camp! “We haven’t danced in years,” said one man, “But your visit has brought back our joy!”