Navigation
Subscribe
Wednesday
Feb222017

Ten ways pastors can be bad bosses!

Pastors don’t always make good bosses.

If you are secure enough in Jesus to have your boat rocked a bit, then read this carefully and prayerfully with your seat belt fastened.

Originally posted by Thom Rainer

I’ve been working with pastors and those they serve for over three decades.

That means two things: I have a lot of experience and I am old.

In the course of three decades, I have seen some pastors thrive and some pastors fail. And I have seen two common reasons for pastors failing. They lack leadership skills and they lack relational skills.

Most pastors have no formal training in either. Yet they are expected to lead and relate the first day they begin serving a church. Indeed, many pastors are expected to be bosses of full-time or part-time personnel even though they may have never led anyone.

So what is the difference between a good pastor boss and a bad pastor boss? We will address the good pastor bosses later. For now, I will share with you our conversations with those who served under bad pastor bosses. Here are the top ten complaints we heard:

1.  Micromanagement. “I can’t do anything without the pastor getting involved and showing me a better way, or even taking over. He drives me crazy!”

2.  Avoiding conflict. “We have tons of unresolved conflict in our church because our pastor won’t address the issues. He tries to please everyone, and so he pleases no one.”

3.  Avoiding making decisions. “Our church seems like we are stuck in molasses because the pastor just can’t make a decision. He seems to live in fear of making the wrong move.”

4.  Stealing credit. “My pastor can’t stand for anyone else to have a good idea. It has to be his own. So if we have a good idea, he ridicules it. But a few months later he ‘discovers’ the same idea and takes full credit for it.”

5.  Shifting blame. “If you listened to our pastor, you would think he is blameless. If something does go wrong, he is quick to blame someone else for the problem. Two words I’ve never heard from him are ‘I’m sorry.’”

6.  Hoarding information. “I don’t get it. He keeps all information close to his vest. He seems to think it gives him some kind of authority or control. We on staff really don’t know what’s going on.”

7.  Failing to listen. “We’ve learned not to express any opinions to the pastor. We know he is only thinking about his next sentence instead of listening to us.”

8.  Setting a poor example. “Our church doesn’t reach anyone for Christ. And guess who never mentions evangelism, much less does evangelism? Our pastor.”

9.  Having a poor work ethic. “He probably works about four hours a day, but he gets furious when he thinks we aren’t doing our job. Total slackard!”

10.  Not developing staff. “He doesn’t train us, work with us, develop us, or point us to good resources. In fact, he rarely spends any time with us. I can’t call him a leader because he’s not leading us.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday
Feb202017

Are you more like a "Hummingbird" or a "Woodpecker?"

Now, let me say before getting into this that I am neither an ornithologist nor a bird watcher. If you fall into either of these two categories, you can correct me in my analogies and set the record straight.

It seems to me that there are leaders who are more like hummingbirds in their approach to life and leadership and others who more resemble woodpeckers.  Personally, I lean toward the woodpecker.  Of course, I’m not saying one is wrong and the other right, or that one is better than the other--just saying some leaders are like one and some like the other.

HUMMINGBIRDS  

They move quickly, not spending a lot of time on each flower and give every sign of having ants in their pants (as the old saying goes.) They cover a lot of territory. Their wings (unlike other birds) move so quickly that they almost look like they don’t have any wings (like a propeller moving at top speed). Hummingbird-type people generate a lot of ideas very quickly moving at rapid speed from one idea to the next. They are known for talking very quickly and with great energy and excitement.  They can drive woodpecker-types crazy! (Usually high I’s on the DISC.)

WOODPECKERS

They are known for persistently and consistently staying focused on one thing for extended periods of time; pecking away at the same tree and the same hole. They are quite content and patient to stay put and work on one thing, before moving on to the next. They are laser focused, determined and relentless.  They can be persnickety and stay with something until it’s darn near perfect. They can drive hummingbird-people crazy! (Usually high C’s on the DISC.)

If a team had all hummingbirds and no woodpeckers, they would be in trouble. The quick changes, bouncing from one idea to the next with very with little warning or think time can wear people out in short order. A woodpecker with a hummingbird as a boss or supervisor gets tired just listening about all the flowers he wants to “attack” in a given period.

If a team had all woodpeckers and no hummingbirds, it would be exceedingly boring with little joy but with long hours of hard work. There would be little creativity, future thinking or idea generation. “Just give me one tree and lots of uninterrupted time and I’m good,” says the woodpecker. Hummingbirds, with a woodpecker as a boss, would be frequently chomping at the bit to get going; feeling like a wild horse locked in a corral with open fields all around but no opportunity to go there.

We all need each other to build and maintain healthy teams.  We need plough horses and racehorses. We need dreamers and implementers. We need relational people and task people. We need those who ask tough questions and slow the process down and we need those who see nothing as impossible, have a bias for action and speed the process up. It‘s a matter of rejoicing over our differences rather than resenting our differences.

If you are a hummingbird, thank Jesus for focused and determined woodpeckers that God allows into your life and ministry. If you are a woodpecker, thank Jesus for hummingbirds who keep the air fresh with new ideas as they flap their faster-than-the-speed-of-light wings (well, not really that fast!)

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord, and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers then all in everyone. All these are empowered by one and the same spirit who apportions to each one individually as he wills.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 and 11 (ESV) 

Saturday
Feb182017

Seven steps to developing leaders in your church

Every church and organization needs to have a leadership  development plan and  pathway.

Most churches don’t have any.

The current leaders are mostly praying that some good leaders will show up.

Brian Howard shares seven great and practical steps to developing leaders in your church.

Originally posted by Brian Howard

 7 Steps to Developing Leaders in your Church

I encounter few pastors who have any real plan for intentional leadership development.

Most, instead, rely on imported ready-made “leaders.” We say that we value developing leaders, but often times we just are not sure where to begin. Earlier this week I wrote on the biblical precedent for leadership development. What follows in this post is a clear, customizable plan for developing leaders in your church. I know that this plan works because I have implemented it 7 times over a period of 12 years with both men and women. Those who I have taken through this plan have gone on to become ministry leaders, local church elders, missional community leaders, cross cultural missionaries, pastors, and church planters. This plan will require you to put in some work in order to apply it to your context, but will help you create a leadership pipeline for your church and beyond.

Read on for 7 steps to developing leaders in your church.

1.  Define what a Leader looks like.

Imagine building a house with no idea of what the finished product will look like. This would be unwise if not impossible. This same principle applies to developing leaders. Leadership development begins with a clear and written definition of what a leader actually looks like. Take a few hours, use your mind, and write down what a leader will look like when developed. What should a developed leader know, have experienced, and be shaped in? In answering these questions, consider the following three areas:

  • Content (Head) What kinds of things does a leader need to know? These kinds of things will be likely addressed through reading, teaching, etc.
  • Character (Heart) What kinds of heart issues need to be addressed? No amount of knowledge can shape issues of the heart. You can have a lot of theological knowledge and still be greedy, be a gossip, have hidden sin etc.
  • Competence (Hands) What kinds of things does a leader need to learn to do? For example, I see a developed church leader knowing how to teach, knowing how to have a gospel conversation in a variety of circumstances, etc.

At the end of this step you should have a page or two written out that describes key issues that a leader should be developed in and what kinds of content, character, and competence issues have been addressed.

2. Begin to Create a Process.

Now that you have identified what a developed leader looks like, what kinds of things will you do to develop leaders in these areas? What will you read? What will you do? How will heart issues be addressed? How will you address these things?

3. Identify 6-10 people who you will take through your process.

You’ve defined what a developed leader looks like, and have some ideas on the kinds of things that you will do in order to develop a person. The next step is to select a small group of people who you will invest in. 6-8 is the sweet spot and 10 is max. (I know that Jesus invested in 12 but you aren’t Jesus:) I recommend hand selecting these future leaders the first time that you do this. They don’t have to be perfectly mature or have seminary degrees. They just need to be people who you are wanting to develop as future leaders. Take some time and put together a group that you plan to spend a year investing in.

4. Invite each Person you have Selected into the Process.

Invite each person that you have selected into a year-long process. I normally do this by sending a letter but you could do it face to face as well. However you do this, let each person know that you are wanting to invest in a small group of future leaders and that you have hand selected them to be a part of this group. I also recommend inviting them to an introductory meeting where you will lay out the process and commitment.

5. Meet Monthly with the Group you have Selected.

You now have 6-10 people who you have decided to invest in. I recommend (in most contexts) meeting monthly with this group for 12-15 months. In my experience a three-hour meeting on Sunday afternoons or Monday evenings works well. A weekly commitment is hard for many people but almost anyone can commit to a monthly gathering. Why three hours? There is no sense meeting for only an hour when you are only meeting once per month. Three hours will allow you to really spend time together and grow together. I also recommend meeting in a home rather than in a church building. You can mix in a meal, change houses monthly, etc.

6.  Tips as you move through your Leadership Development Process.

  • At your first meeting, devote 3/4 of your time to each person sharing their story and 1/4 of your time casting vision for the year and communicating expectation.
  • Plan, Schedule, and communicate all of your meeting dates at the first meeting so that every person in the group can calendar in advance.
  • Call for a high commitment. I don’t allow a person to miss more than twice in a 12 month period or 3 times in a 15 month period.
  • Give each person a chance to opt out after the first meeting if they do want to commit to your process. If a person shows up for month 2 it indicates that he has committed to the process.
  • Devote each month to one particular area that you have identified in steps 1 and 2.
  • Require reading and preparation for the monthly meeting.
  • Don’t require too much reading. Believe it or not, Some people haven’t read anything since college. You could easily overwhelm a person with a lot of Seminary level reading.
  • Provide audio books for those who commute. Audible.com has an extensive selection.
  • Require each person to make up any monthly meeting that is missed by meeting with you or another person in the group one on one.
  • Some of my favorite books for content foundation include Grudem’s Biblical Doctrine and Graeme Goldworthy’s According to Plan.
  • Consider having each man Write a Life Plan between months 1 and 2. I suggest having each partner up with another person in the group meeting monthly with each other.

7. Finish the year with a Retreat.

Consider finishing your year with a 2-3 days retreat. Communicate this at the beginning of the process so that each person is able to plan. (I took our groups on whitewater rafting trips.) There is something about being afraid that you will drown that brings people together!

 

Thursday
Feb162017

To stay sane, a leader needs a good sense of humor!

I usually share things of a serious nature in most of these posts. Today I want to do something different; color outside the lines,  get outside of the box, allow you to have a good dose of humor on this Lord’s day.

My wife, Susan, received this from her friend, Pat Weaver, who lives in McCall Idaho.

Enjoy and laugh as unto the Lord!

A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question,' half empty or half full?'... But, she fooled them all .... "How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a smile. Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.

If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

She continued, "and that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."

"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden--holding stress longer and better each time practiced. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down.

Don't carry them through the evening and into the night. Pick them up tomorrow.

 1 * Accept the fact that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue!

2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

4 * Drive carefully... It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

5 * If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

6 * If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

8 * Never buy a car you can't push.

9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

10 * Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

11 * Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.

13 * When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

16 * Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

17 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

18 * A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

19 * Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.

AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY

20 *Save the earth..... It's the only planet with chocolate!*

Tuesday
Feb142017

Seven ways to add value to your team!

The point of being on a team is to add value to that team that it might otherwise not have. Every team member you add should increase the ability of the team to achieve goals the team has. Here Ron Edmondson shares seven ways to make yourself  invaluable to your team.

Originally posted by Ron Edmondson

One of my first managers frequently reminded us no one is irreplaceable. He would use the illustration of placing your hands in a bucket and then pulling them out. The level of the water doesn’t change much when one or two hands is removed. While I agree with him on some levels – even though I’m not quite sure it’s a healthy demonstration for building team morale – I think there are ways a person can make themselves more valuable to a team. Perhaps, even invaluable.

Here are 7 ways to make yourself invaluable to a team:

1.  Be a chief encourager. Be one who helps people feel better about themselves and their contribution to the team. Be a cheerleader – positive-minded – willing to do whatever it takes to build upon what exists.

2.  Support the vision and direction. Be honest about it, but be a verbal proponent of the overall objectives of the team and where things are going. Be a known team player. Have more good to say about the place than you have bad. Everything might not be wonderful – in fact many things may need changing – but, if you can’t love the people with whom you work you’ll have a hard time being seen as valuable by others.

3.  Respect others. In the way you treat and respond to everyone on the team – be respectful. Recognize everyone is not like you. People like different things. People respond differently than you would respond. Other people’s opinions and viewpoints matter.

4.  Give more than required. This doesn’t mean you have to work more hours. It might. But it might mean you work smarter than everyone else. Plan your day better. Be better at setting goals and objectives. Hold yourself accountable.

5.  Be an information hub. Be well read and share what you learn. Information is king. Be the king of it. Without being obnoxious – of course.

6.  Celebrate other people’s success. Send notes or encouragement. Brag on someone else. Tell others what you admire about them. Without being creepy – of course.

7.  Be a good listener. Everyone loves the person they can go to and know they won’t just be heard they will be listened to. A good person to bounce ideas off of his invaluable to the team. Then keep every confidence.