Ok, so a nuclear submarine and a church don’t seem to have a whole awful lot in common… at first.
Take a closer look, and you will find two complex organizations loaded with similar leadership challenges. While the mission of the local church is not to go around sinking enemy vessels (in case you were wondering), the need for church leadership to develop and maintain a healthy organizational culture focused on expanding God’s Kingdom is remarkably similar to the duties of a submarine’s senior officers as they set out on their mission to defend our country.
Today we feature a special interview with David Marquet, a retired captain in the United States Navy, and the author of Turn the Ship Around! The way David went around totally redefining the culture of the USS Sante Fe is an excellent blueprint for pastors engaging in church revitalization work.
Today, I am excited to share a conversation between David, Matt Steen, and me. Over the course of fifteen minutes, we share a little bit about the story of the Santa Fe, how David’s view of leadership changed over the course of his career, and what a pastor needs to know when entering a church context that is in need of revitalization.
Click below to watch the video, and let me know what you think:
This week’s Ministry Briefing Conversation is with Mykey Robinson, the author of Cheaper Than Therapy: How To Forgive and Overcome Anger, Anxiety, Fear and Stress. Mykey has spent years on church staff, working as a counselor, and serving in hospice settings, and through it all has learned a good bit about forgiveness, and how important it truly is.
This conversation will be helpful for church leaders in two ways:
Click the link below to watch the video, and let us know what you think:
Are you ready for this? One word. Audit.
When was the last time your church did an external audit?
True, it’s expensive.
But it’s necessary.
It’s the one way to be absolutely, independently sure that your church has the highest form of financial integrity and accountability.
When was the last time your church did an audit?
I think I may have met a few of these in my day…
Here’s a great infographic that supposedly tells you the three biggest time-wasters while you are at work. See what you think…
Scott Cochrane gives you three ways that he thinks you can actually measure your effectiveness as a leader (and in your development of other leaders). Here they are:
1. You are attracting higher capacity leaders into your orbit.
In short: high capacity leaders will be drawn to you because of your own leadership.
2. Your opinion is not only being heard, it is being sought out.
In short: Heads will turn in your direction to see what YOU think.
3. There are increasing numbers of leaders in your circle.
In short: not because you’re attracting new leaders, but because you’re producing more leaders.
Read more of Scott’s thoughts here. It’s worth your time!
So… how are you doing on the three points above? Anything you would add to Scott’s list?
I’m happy to let you know that the NINES is returning on November 12-13.
If you’re not familiar with the NINES, it is an online conference that I produce for Leadership Network. This year’s two day FREE online event features over 100+ speakers (each with 5 minutes!) talking about “What’s Working” in their church.
I’ve watched the videos… and you’re definitely going to want to watch with your staff this year!
You can register for free by clicking the graphic below!
A very provocative Josh McDowell says that pornography is the greatest threat to the body of Christ in 2,000 years, according to quotes reported in the Christian Post.
Here is part of the article. WARNING: It is graphic.
McDowell emphasized that young people are increasingly becoming addicted to pornography, adding that it is the greatest threat to the body of Christ in 2,000 years.
“This is destroying pastors, youth pastors and more Christians than anything by far in history,” said McDowell. “The number one demographic is 12- to 25-year-olds, there’s no difference in and out of the church.”
He added that 50 percent of fundamental, evangelical pastors watch porn while 80 percent of youth pastors have a problem with porn as well. McDowell pointed out that porn provides only a momentary satisfaction and porn addicts often seek other opportunities to satisfy their sexual desires.
“The average person starts with heterosexual sex then after a while, that no longer satisfies, then there’s anal, from anal there’s oral, from oral to homo, from homo to bestiality then to children,” said McDowell.
He continued, “The sad thing is, after child pornography doesn’t satisfy, where do you go? Pornography is why sex-trafficking, sex abuse and rape are major issues, they (addicts) end up living it out, it becomes a reality.”
He also advised parents to not shelter their children from “what’s out there” but rather prepare them for the first time they will inevitably encounter information overload on the Internet and porn.
“You cannot protect your child from watching pornography, if you think you can, then you’re the problem, mom. If you’re sitting there thinking, ‘I can protect my child,’ then you’ll end up losing them and the stats are on my side.”
He added, “It’s as dumb as saying, ‘you can’t ever listen to music,’ in our culture. You can’t go through life without listening to music, and now, you’re not going to go through life without watching porn. Those mothers who say they’re going to prepare their child will win, those who say they will protect them will lose.”
Wow. There’s a lot to unpack there.
But I’d like to first hear what stands out to you from this little excerpt.
What stands out, and do you agree?
Please leave your comments below.
Agree or disagree?
The next time I hear a pastor argue that what the church really needs is more innovative pastors I might lose my hair. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against innovation or against innovative pastors in principle. The church certainly needs transformation and we desperately need folks with new ideas. My problem is with our temptation to locate innovation with the clergy and the way it perpetuates a savior mythology, one that oppresses them as much as it does us we lay folk.
That’s a quote from Patrick Scriven, Director of COmmunications and Young People’s Ministries for the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church.
When a skilled pastor brings a new idea to an existing community I imagine they would have little problem getting that group of early adopters to agree to how amazing their innovation is. Together, they might plot out a course for those new small groups, or for that trendy evening service, but how many of you can relate to the difficulty of getting the pragmatists on board? Might we consider that this is Moore’s chasm at work?
When the pastor is the chief innovator of the church they are less able to apply their authority and influence toward helping the community to bridge this chasm between the early adopters and and early majority because they’ve already expended it by advocating for the idea originally. It stretches a pastor’s credibility to keep saying how amazing their idea is in the face of some resistance. Gifted pastors, or new pastors, may be able to push such change through but eventually their social capital comes to an end unless they’ve found a way to bank some more.
If we are to move forward, what the church really needs are innovative lay people; willing to adopt, suggest, and try new things. When a lay person puts forth a new idea and builds their group of advocates (early adopters), their innovation, particularly if it challenges the church culture, will still hit Moore’s chasm. The difference however is that now the pastor is free to insert their authority and influence to help good ideas to bridge this gap. And when they do so, they also create goodwill and affirm the gifts of their laity to boot.
Our churches need, desperately, to become places of change. While the occasional new idea from the pastor can be good modeling, the pastor that innovates continuously sucks the air out of the church and leaves no room for innovation elsewhere. Our churches would be better served by clergy who excelled at creating and nurturing cultures of innovation.
I would expect that some might say that this sentiment is nice but they know, or serve, churches where creating a culture of innovation is impossible. Where we find this to be true we should be quick to lock the doors and shutter the windows. Before we do this however, we should consider that there is a difference between a church that continuously rejects its pastor’s new ideas and one that refuses to create their own when given a chance.
The Spirit of God is the church’s true innovator. Relocating the process of innovation where we know the Spirit resides – the community – is our most faithful path forward.
What do you think?
What is the lead pastor’s role in innovation in the church?
FaithStreet is an app that will help people find a good church fit. At least that’s the hope of it’s founder Sean Coughlin.
Churches fill out an online profile with key info on their church. App users can then find churches that interest them.
The app is funded by online giving (with FaithStreet taking a cut of any giving that comes as a result of people using the app).
It’s kind of like a Yelp app, only for church hunters.
But there’s one difference: There are no customer reviews. Coughlin says: ”We reject the idea of reviewing churches…A church is much more like a family than it is a restaurant or a mechanic. That means you’ll never be crowned mayor of your church based on how many times you check in. But you’ll also never read a scathing review of the community you love.”
Thoughts? Great idea?
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