July 25, 2014
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!”
June 25, 2014
- Go slow to go fast!
- Outsiders raise up insiders – an inexperienced insider is more effective than a highly trained outsider
- Focus on a few to reach many
- Self-discovery learning in the Word is more powerful than instruction learning
- Disciple people to conversion – don’t wait to convert them before discipleship begins.
- Dream big but build small
- Group memory is greater than each individuals memory of what is learned – discipleship happens best in groups rather than as individuals
- Obedience is more important than knowledge
- Give 80% of your discipling attention to 20% of your most focused and effective disciple makers
- Start with creation then move to Christ – through the God story
- Raise up leaders before they are ready – start with the torch in their hand, don’t pass it to them later
- Start small groups among existing social groups
- Don’t grow bigger groups, multiply more groups
- Spend a long time discipling people but expect miraculous breakthroughs and acceleration!
June 10, 2014
I just received a message that one of our All Nations teams in the Middle East was held against their will for several hours by a very angry father carrying an AK-47. Why? Because he found a Bible in a gift box given to his 8 year old son.
The team has been doing food distribution among Syrian refugees for several weeks. We helped distribute 100′s of food parcels and gift boxes, and though we don’t normally give out Bibles or tracts to children of refugees without their parents consent, it happened this time by accident.
The father is an Iman (leader of a mosque), who came with some other angry men and closed and locked the team in where they were staying. Fortunately, one of our senior leaders was there on a visit and was able to talk peacefully to the Iman. Things calmed down, he released the team, and then when was asked for the Bible back, he refused. “It’s mine Bible now”, he said!
The gospel works in some amazing ways!
February 18, 2014
December 6, 2013
Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize winner, has died. South Africa has lost its greatest son, the people have lost a father.
During his long life, Mandela inspired countless individuals. Here is a collection of quotes that personify his spirit from USA Today:
1) “Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”
2) “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
3) “If I had my time over I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man.”
4) “I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.”
5) “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”
6) “A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.”
7) “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”
8) “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
9) “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
10) “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
11) “Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”
12) “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
13) “I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days.”
14) “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”