Guide Organix: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church

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Whether in your office, church, neighborhood, or elsewhere, your interpersonal relationships can make or break you as a leader. Henri Nouwen was a spiritual thinker with an unusual capacity to write about the life of Jesus and the love of God in ways that have inspired countless people to trust life more fully. McIntosh and Rima offer a series of steps for leaders to consider so they can take control of their dark side and learn to harness its creative powers.

Making Vision Stick. This book uses in-depth sociological research to get to the heart of the issue. The data is collected from interviews with real people about why they left and who they really are. Rather than working against your weakness, why not draw from a deeper well of strength?

God favors leaders who make the most of the power that comes from brokenness. Do you have the leadership skills you need to solve problems, reach goals, and develop others? Rather than provide answers, leaders ask questions to draw out what God has already put into others. Serving as a church leader can be a tough assignment. Leadership expert, Dr. Keith E. Webb, presents a radically different approach to developing leaders. Coaching allows you to develop both skills and character in other people, while doing ministry.

Hearing a young attorney speak of the faith based reasons for which he had just made a substantial monetary gift to a community youth center, Clif Christopher asked the speaker if he would consider making a similar contribution to the congregation of which he was an active member. Is a sustainable youth ministry possible, even after a youth pastor leaves?

Inside the Organic Church: Learning from 12 Emerging Congregations

Youth ministry expert Mark DeVries knows the answer is yes, because he helps build sustainable youth ministries through his coaching service called Youth Ministry Architects. What are some of the questions to be answered concerning a biblical understanding of the local church? Are Christians required to join themselves to a local church? What are the responsibilities of church membership?

How is the church to be governed? Thousands of Protestant churches are perplexed by plateaued or declining attendance, while other congregations nearby thrive. Is there a way for them to combine forces, drawing on both their strengths, in ways that also increase their missional impact? Create vs.

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Copy: Embrace Change. Ignite Creativity. Break Through with Imagination. This short, punchy book explores various aspects of creativity and imagination and leads you toward a healthy, confident, more innovative life mindset. Drawing on extensive consulting experience with congregations, the authors provide a step-by-step guide to congregational planning that grounds strategic planning techniques in a process of spiritual discernment.

Financial misconduct is destroying marriages, families, individuals, and churches. Next: Pastoral Succession That Works. Every church and ministry goes through changes in leadership, and the issue is far bigger than the wave of pastors from the Baby Boomer generation who are moving toward retirement. When a pastor leaves a church, ministries are disrupted and members drift away. If the church is already struggling, it can find itself suddenly in very dire straits indeed.

Although leadership is the hot topic on conference agendas and book tours, most people who find themselves in positions of leadership have little or no training for the role. They simply continue to make the same old mistakes. Speakers often use the words vision, boldness, and influence to describe the characteristics of effective leaders. The Making Of A Leader. This perennial bestseller presents a scriptural analysis of the philosophy, history, qualifications and practice of Christian leadership. Charts, diagrams and illustrations enhance this intriguing study of what it means to be responsible for a group of followers.

These traditions, explains author Timothy S. Laniak, provided prototypes for leaders that followed, and formed the background for the ministry of Jesus, the good shepherd. Explorers Lewis and Clark had to adapt. While they had prepared to find a waterway to the Pacific Ocean, instead they found themselves in the Rocky Mountains. You too may feel that you are leading in a cultural context you were not expecting.


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Leadership makes great companies, but few of us truly understand how to turn ourselves and others into great leaders. Church planting is not just about gathering new communities of people who are already Christians. In the book of Acts, church plants begin with sharing the gospel. Planting churches flows naturally out of making disciples. That means embracing processes of trial, failure, and adaptation as they form Christian community with new neighbors. And that means a whole new way of being church. The world is not safe. Terrorist attacks are on the rise and ever-threatening.

Christians are being targeted and persecuted in America. Church discipline is essential to building a healthy church. So how exactly do we practice church discipline? Jesus pioneered something completely new in human history. His mission is as clear and as relevant today as in the days of the early church: to make disciples everywhere, baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything Jesus has commanded. Mohler was the driving force behind the transformation of Southern Seminary from a liberal institution of waning influence to a thriving evangelical seminary at the heart of the Southern Baptist Convention.

In this revised and expanded edition, best-selling author John Piper pleads through a series of thoughtful essays with fellow pastors to abandon the professionalization of the pastorate and pursue the prophetic call of the Bible for radical ministry. Leaders try to bring about change. And change almost always elicits opposition. So how do leaders navigate change, and the opposition to it, without giving up their dream for what could and should be?

John Stackhouse boldly contends it is because Scripture in fact says both things. Does the Bible contradict itself then? Not so. Rather, in this revised and expanded edition of Finally Feminist, Stackhouse describes the single approach in Scripture that guides us with clear direction on these important matters of relationships in the church and the family. As the world around us changes at record-speed, An Unstoppable Force imagines a church that embraces change by remaining fully committed to its apostolic calling.

Having trained thousands of people to coach and to use coaching skills, Chad Hall has seen the same set of obstacles prevent new coaches from becoming great coaches. In that time a substantial literature about leading the congregation has appeared, written from a broad variety of perspectives. Think of this book as a toolbox full of leadership tools for pastors and other church leaders. Greg Atkinson has the uncanny ability to get to the heart of issues, and offer solutions and resolutions in a practical and meaningful way. He packs 34 key leadership principles into concise but powerful chapters.

Training the next generation of leaders is crucial to spreading the gospel, yet most churches have no formal way of doing this. Building Leaders provides real life examples of ways churches can unleash their true ministry potential by training staff members and laypeople to lead. The good news, as Brian reminds us, is that God gives us the growth blueprint in His Word through a number of key Bible words, such as sowing, reaping, planting, watering, cultivating, building and edifying. Find out the importance of each step in the process and get inspired to go for growth with, in and through, God!

Jesus Killed My Church. God is forever writing our story, and He gives us the dignity of being able to introduce characters that occasionally wrinkle the plot. He smiles at this. Life transformation and the eternal destinies of real people depend on the redemptive message entrusted to the local church. Leadership Handbook of Management and Administration. This substantial resource offers pastors and church leaders practical insight into the daily issues of running a church.

Conceived and compiled by the editors of Leadership journal, this book covers the full spectrum of ministry practice. Transformative Pastoral Leadership in the Black Church. Transformative Pastoral Leadership in the Black Church offers practical wisdom from comparative analysis of the experiences of a male pastor and a female pastor in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

Church leaders must be transformed themselves as they are transforming their churches to serve their communities. And how does true, transformative, lasting change really happen? Paul and Barnabas made a decisive move toward the end of the first missionary journey: they appointed elders in the churches they had established, entrusting them with responsibility to shepherd the young congregations.

This book offers practical skills and strategies that the authors have learned through years of studying nonviolent communication NVC. Using real-world case studies and examples, Hunsinger and Latini helpfully guide pastors and lay leaders through effective and compassionate ways to deal with discord. More and more churches are adopting it, and no wonder—the principles that made the early church such a spiritual powerhouse are just as effective today.

Shares case studies on some of the most sensitive issues pastors and church leaders may have to deal with in their churches—child abuse, AIDS, infidelity, homosexuality, and unexpected pregnancies. Church leadership is a demanding and challenging role. There are many responsibilities involved in leading a church, which can be difficult to maneuver without the proper tools and resources. Times are changing. The Truth never will.

Christians who stand up for what God has said are disregarded and labeled right-wing extremists. How do they shepherd the flock as the lights fade dimmer and the nights grow colder? This work describes five easily identifiable categories of church culture inspiring-accepting-stagnant-discouraging-toxic , with diagnostic descriptions in the book and a separate online assessment tool.

So do many pastors. Larry Osborne was no exception. Six months into a new pastorate, he found himself embroiled in controversy. Old members left as fast as new ones could be added. The early church did not descend from heaven on a golden string. Nor did it spring full-grown from the mind of Jesus or the apostles. The focal point of this action was Jesus—his ministry, death and resurrection. Even millennial megachurches such as Mars Hill Church in Granville, Michigan, sometimes welcome a congregant on the stage to ask the preacher questions during the sermon since the audience is too vast for everyone to shout out a query.

Even now increasingly smaller smartphones allow electronic feedback as presentations unfold. Though modern leaders might initially resist such quick and honest feedback in the church, the day is not far off when immediate, even critical feedback will be visually displayed in our churches in much the same manner that words are displayed to a song. Fact checking and further research. Allowing laptops and smart-phones into churches may at first seem disruptive, but it will enhance understanding as it allows checking of facts and further research on a topic.

I remember sitting in college classes, balancing a three-inch or so it seemed textbook on one knee, while holding in my left hand a large diagram of the human organs. Amid this balancing act, I tried desperately to write what the professor was stating. Today, multiple items sit neatly on computer desktops where only a flick of a mouse pad is required to separate sources or conduct further research. The accessible church describes a church that is accessible via as many social networks as possible.

The accessible church creates networks that reach out to those in need. Meeting the needs of the disenfranchised is a priority among millennial leaders. Expanding network access should not be limited to just Christians who attend a church, but to those outside as well. Unexpectedly, the free Internet access they offered met the needs of a large Asian-American community in the neighborhood that did not have computer access. The accessible church fosters instantaneous research and feedback at teaching venues, including during the sermon.

Because Christianity is an experience- and knowledge-based faith, access to information can foster a better understanding about God. The accessible church can offer Internet access at teaching times such as during sermons, Sunday school, committee meetings, etc. Many modern leaders bristle at the thought of laptops and Smartphones being used during church, but so did professors several years ago only to lose the battle. At one time sound systems, video projectors, guitars and even pipe-organs were banned from many churches. Though uncomfortable at first, new ways of communication and exploration will emerge, first among these cutting-edge millennial congregations, and eventually among everyone else.

When speaker Stan Toler speaks to younger audiences he often uses instant messaging so attendees can ask their questions via a Smartphone while he is still speaking. He then displays their questions on the screen and answers them during his lecture. The accessible church provides on-line communities to augment its off-line fellowship. A church offering a step program can create an online group in which participants can dialogue between meetings. Groups, committees, Sunday School classes and small groups can create, share and edit documents via Web-based word processors, such as Google Docs.

These online documents allow collaborative work such as designing a Bible study prior to face-to-face meetings. Leaders having little experience with online communities may wonder about their cohesiveness, value and permanency, but those who have seen them in action know that increasing accessibility to the church community only enhances the faith experience. Commentary by Dr. During a national, multi-phase research program among Millennials, conducted in partnership with Cornerstone Knowledge Network , participants were asked to rate how well each statement in a series describes the Christian community in America.

Taken together, a significant number of young adults perceive a lack of relational generosity within the U. Christian community. To a generation that prides itself on the ability to smell a fake at ten paces, hypocrisy is a worrisome indictment. These negative perceptions are not limited to word descriptions. A majority—from all faith backgrounds, including Christianity—chose one of the two negative images. Here are three perils to modern leadership and the flaws within these misbeliefs. A viewpoint has risen within Christianity that believes if God is pleased with our efforts, he will make the work easier.

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Flaw 1: Blessings can overshadow buffetings. Often, churches are more familiar with the promises of blessings than they are with the warnings of buffeting. While there are scriptural promises that God will bless us, there are also warnings of difficulties that lie in following Jesus. Flaw 2: Modern leaders can come to expect privilege, with a right to ease and com- fort. Prosperity thinking can thwart perseverance and persistence because a leader might conclude that if the route is not easy, God must not be in it.

This thinking can leave leaders like Joan unprepared and confused by the onset of hardships. Jesus hath. All desire to rejoice with him, few are willing to endure anything for him. Many follow Jesus unto the breaking of bread; but few to the drinking of the cup of his passion. Many love Jesus so long as adversities do not happen.

Many praise and bless him, so long as they receive comforts from him. All three flaws remind us that although God promises to bless his people 2 Cor. The modern inclination that God principally makes the work easier for the leader is not only unbiblical but also potentially debilitating. This manifests itself in several ways. Flaw 1: Modern leaders may believe visions and dreams validate their leadership and will inspire followers.

Supernatural revelation is a way that God can and does reveal his will John , but many modern leaders overly apply and misapply this to buttress personal vision. Modern leadership sometimes mutates into a view that because God has blessed and set apart the leader, followers should follow her or him and by extension bless the leader too. Modern leaders will often feel that because they have so much personal time with God, they do not need congregational times of prayer, worship, and fasting. In a large and thriving church, leaders who were once actively involved in public worship will often be found backstage chatting during worship and prayer.

If anyone wants to provide leadership in the church, good!

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But there are preconditions: A leader must be well-thought-of, committed to his wife, cool and collected, accessible, and hospitable. Used with permission. And, for an interesting examination of prosperity in African-American congregations see Stephanie Y. Mitchem, Name It and Claim It? Meyer rightly notes that when God bestows his bounty it is usually accompanied by a responsibility to help the needy p.

But, charitable opportunities and tactics are not addressed to any great degree in this book. Revell Company, Readers who want to study this topic further may wish to start with: C. Ostling, Barbara Dolan and Michael P. Here is an updated brief list:. The focus is on what is going on inside of your head and heart, not what is going on on the stage. Jerry was preparing to hire two staff members.

And, though he looked forward to adding new staff at First Church, he always felt uncomfortable with these interviews. Thus, he was taken back when he heard the sounds of merriment and laughter coming from the waiting room. In the waiting room Jerry found an older gentleman, a thirty-ish young man and a middle-aged woman laughing, conversing and chatting with such excitement that he could scarcely interject a word.

Spontaneously, they all broke into laughter again. To Jerry there was something comforting in their camaraderie. I pastored there years ago. And, a growing ministry to the Hispanic community had been positive, with a nearby Hispanic church growing because of their generosity. Jerry had inherited a badly divided church at Aldersgate. But, his hard work had brought about an improvement in unity. Jerry also tracked the number of congregants in small groups such as Sunday School classes, Bible-study groups and even committees.

These things seemed more important to measure than how many I could get to show up on Sunday morning. And, before long all had lost track of the time. Finally, a knock at the door interrupted their lively discussion. There were three of them, and only two jobs. After some uncomfortable minutes of silence, Jerry spoke again.


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I think Joel would make an excellent Young Adult Pastor. Now elation was tempered. Both Joel and Gordon felt that Joan had been their pastor, and she had been in the ministry longer. After a minute they composed themselves and congratulated the two men.

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Welcome home. And with that four circular routes reconnected and resulted in fruitful years of ministry. This chapter will discuss measurement. Yet, not just any kind of measurement, but ways to measure spiritual growth and its relationship to effective leadership. However, when the words spiritual and measurement are linked together, church leaders often cringe.

Such phrases give the impression of either excessive scrutiny or over simplification. The Scriptures are replete with examples of appraisal and assessment, especially when describing how spiritual seekers mature along their spiritual journey. The numberings in Numbers and reminded a Jewish nation that a lack of pre-exodus faith had resulted in many of them forfeiting the blessings of the promised land. Still, some argue against counting, claiming that David was punished for ordering a census of Israel in 1 Chron.

Just one modern miscue will be investigated in this chapter, because it contrasts significantly with three more organic measurements. The modern miscue is to put too much reliance in measuring conversion and attendance as an indicator of leadership effectiveness. Counting Conversion. First let me say that conversion is a critically important experience for every spiritual traveler. The old life is gone; a new life begins! You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that.

Subsequently, counting conversations is not a good indicator of leadership, for it happens at different paces and as the result of a divine intersection. Perhaps because conversion is such an inscrutable intersection, counting church attendance has become the common alternative. Yet attendance at an event, worship celebration, etc. Figure 8. In the examples above, temporary and artificial reasons, not leadership, may be driving attendance growth.

Therefore, if modern ways of measuring leadership by counting conversion and attendance are difficult to decipher at best, perhaps Luke has given hints of better indicators. The subsequent phrases indicate four goals of this steadfast striving: learning, fellowship, communal dinners and prayer. What a refreshing metric. Luke is not measuring bodies, but hunger for knowledge, unity, community and prayer. In the new millennium measurement is not about how many warm bodies show up at an event, but how much committed community emerges.

Growth in maturity is one way to label this growth. But, we shall see shortly that growth in maturity is not easily measured. Acts describes a growing trust within the fledgling church. This resulted in their selling of their possessions to help on another. Some throughout history have taken this passage to suggest that true discipleship is only to be found by living a communal lifestyle where all possessions are shared. Followers are becoming confident they could rely on one another, even with which they formerly valued most: their money and assets.

Such actions describe a deeper unity and trust among believers than they had known before. This is a second type of church growth and makes more sense to track than conversions or attendance. Growth in unity is one way to label this emerging inter-reliance. Again, measuring this will be subjective and require some effort to calculate. But, we will see that a simple congregational questionnaire administered yearly and anonymously can glean congregational perceptions of whether unity is growing or waning.

Degree of unity is an important measurement that is often overlooked by denominational measurement methods too. For instance, in the story that began this chapter and based upon an true account Pastor Jerry had inherited a badly divided congregation. Herein lies the problem. We are measuring things like conversion and attendance, which human leadership has only limited ability to influence, and we are overlooking important metrics of church growth, such as a church growing in unity. In the next section we will look at tools that can measure growth in unity as well.

Millennial Attitude 3. Here we see that manifold connections and service to the community result in favor, esteem and a good opinion from those outside of the congregation. The community does not regard the church as mongers, dogmatists or self-absorbed elitists. Instead, the church seems to have been serving the community with such joyful enthusiasm, that people genuinely respected and valued their presence.

Here is another refreshing metric which Luke choose to describe. Therefore, measuring growth in favor among non-churchgoers can ascertain if community favor is increasing or declining. But, there is a caveat. Growing in favor does not mean catering to immoral elements in a community in hopes of currying their favor. Rather this verse describes what happens when a church applies biblical principles of love, fairness, truth-telling and compassion in a non-churchgoing community. This results in the community returning to them favor and respect. Growth in favor is similar to maturity growth and unity growth, in that all three are must rely upon subjective assessment.

As noted, this may be why modern leaders often take the easy route of counting physical attributes of attendance and conversion. But subjective measurement is a reliable tool if consistent and commonsense questionnaires are employed. After years of applying the following tools among client churches and students, I have found that the following assessment tools are a helpful starting place.

This is one of the easier types of growth to measure. Thus, by counting the percentage of people involved in small groups where teaching takes place, fellowship takes place, shared meals take place and prayer takes place, a church can begin to get a general picture of spiritual progress or regress. Any regular gathering or class encouraging Christian education. Any regular gathering or class primarily fostering Christian fellowship.


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Any gathering promoting Christian community with a meal. Participation in prayer programs such as prayer triplets, prayer covenants, etc. Participation at prayer times at the altar, in the prayer room, etc. Still, measuring all groups in Figure 8. Years Number of people involved. In the example above in grey , the church has been plateaued for three years. This growth in maturity demonstrates that something good is happening, but unless the Composite Maturation Number is tracked a denomination will usually not notice this. In addition, because each church is unique, a church should not try to compare its scores with anyone but itself.

This score will show you only if you are changing in the number of people who are participating in groups that focus primarily on Bible study or prayer. Therefore, compare them only with yourself to gauge year-by-year changes in congregational commitment to Bible study and prayer. Congregants usually have a good sense of whether unity in the congregation is improving or waning.

A simple Likert-type scale with two questions Figure 8. The purpose of tracking growth in unity is not necessarily to score high, but to be moving higher. And, each question measures a different attribute of unity that should be increasing. Question 2 : Assesses perceptions of unity of the congregation with church leadership. Again these numbers should not be bantered around between congregations. These scales are not relevant to boasting or bravado. Rather these scales measure progress or regress in congregational unity. For example, a church that has a low self-esteem may initially score poorly on this scale.

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This does not mean unity has always increased, but it does indicate that something is going on that is increasing a congregational sense of unanimity. Nurturing Millennial Attitude 3. A Likert-type questionnaire is helpful here too, for it measures changes in attitudes. Here we will not poll the congregation, but the non-churchgoing community.