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Leadership
Every time I hear about a pastor or ministry leader that “falls from grace”, it makes me sad. And angry. And introspective. I never want to judge, because I know what I’m capable of. And I pray I never go there. But I can’t imagine putting my job, my family, my livelihood on the line just for a few moments of pleasure or temptation. Yet leaders do this all the time. Derwin Gray wrote a piece recently about DRIFT that I found extremely helpful. keep reading
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Controversy, Leadership
I’m sure you’ve heard the story from the past week about NBC News anchor Brian Williams. If not… here it is (the short version) as I’ve read it. Brian Williams has said numerous times that he was in a helicopter in Iraq that hit and crippled by enemy ground fire back in 2003. The only problem was… Williams wasn’t on that helicopter, but rather was riding in another helicopter following the one shot down.  He was called out on Facebook by someone who actually was on that helicopter that wrote,  “Sorry dude, I don’t remember you being on my aircraft… I do remember you walking up about an hour after we had landed to ask me what had happened.” Oops. Strike one. Williams reaction?  An apology of sorts.  According to the New York Timeskeep reading
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Leadership
Scott Williams writes:  There are many attributes that various leaders possess, many of them positive and unfortunately some not so positive. People are looking for particular attributes in leaders they want to work for. Leaders that possess these attributes generally have a positive, healthy work environment with minimal turnover. Below are 11 Attributes People Are Looking For In a Leader. We will creatively title them: keep reading
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Leadership
To paraphrase Mel Gibson’s quote on marriage, “Ministry is a tough gig.” And yet, tough as the gig is, when you are called, you cannot back out lest the Hounds of Heaven run you down. If I were a betting woman, I would bet that every minister called of God stands in the pulpit each Sunday praying that someday he will hear, “Well done, Good and Faithful Servant.” No one plans to get off track. Last Sunday, my Pastor said, “I am so sick of seeing ministers fall!” I think we all are. In my years of reading MMI, it is a recurring theme. “How does it happen?” “How could they?” Amid anger and angst and forgiveness, we all struggle against being painted with that same broad brush, and yet, the headlines continue. Obviously, integrity matters. Obviously egregious sin matters. Obviously we are sinners saved by grace. Obviously “there but for the grace of God, go I.” Obviously. But what about the small things? God says he who is faithful in small things will be faithful with much, but what are those small things? Like I said, “No-Brainer.” and yet I see married Christians who flirt on Facebook. Bend the rules in fantasy football. Hang on with both hands to money God has given them to save it “for a rainy day.” I see ministers who troll for disgruntled church members of a struggling church. I see ministers who encourage their members to invite friends who are already established in a local church to come to their church where they have the “real Gospel.” Sheep rustlers. Small things to most. Not like drunkenness or meeting with a prostitute or having an affair with your secretary. Small things. But it is the little foxes that ruin the grapes. We are all just sinners saved by grace. But those who desire to teach are held to a higher standard. When you bend the rules in something that “doesn’t matter,” it does. The world is looking for someone or something that they can look up to. Something real and authentic. Do we all have clay feet? Obviously. Do we still sin? Certainly. But if we have the same power within us that raised Christ from the dead, do we not have to power to live to a higher standard than the rest of the world?  Can we not at the very least, live in every way with integrity? A lost and dying world is asking us to. And so is He. Kim Zweygardt kim@kimzweygardt.com www.kimzweygardt.com Follow me on twitter @kimzzzzzs or FB Kim Zweygardt Kimberly Zweygardt is a Christ follower, wife, mother, writer, blogger, dramatist, worship leader, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, a fused glass artist and a taker of naps. For more information: www.kimzweygardt.com
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Controversy

I found myself in the middle of a little firestorm (again) last week with one of the stories I published at MMI. It wasn’t the first time, and it probably won’t be the last (Todd says jokingly).

At the center of the issue was a post about Benny Hinn and Paula White. I simply gave some personal thoughts on the issue that had recently hit the tabloids (and some mainstream news outlets as well).

I was immediately greeted with comments about how terrible it was that I would even mention the subject (sinced both Hinn and White had denied its truthfulness); and how I shouldn’t write anything negative about people. (Oh, I was also accused of slander, and of name dropping for the sole purpose of increasing twitter and blog numbers).

That leads me to a couple thoughts this morning; both about MMI and about how we communicate in our Christian ‘church worker’ subculture.

MMI has always been a personal blog for me. It’s a place that I share my personal thoughts… things I like, my pet peeves, and most importantly, a place that I can share things that interest me. That could be anything from something on leadership; to something on technology; to something on church trends or leadership. All of those things interest me.

Communication and relationships are also something I have a lot of interest in. Serving on a church staff for nearly twenty years taught me that working at a church was probably the toughest job I ever had. The good and bad relationships, the politics, and the positive momentum and personal scandals make church work the most interesting, difficult, and at times, rewarding work in the world.

That’s why I’m drawn to the positive, leadership-enhancing resources that I share. I love a good article or post that challenges me to be a better leader. That’s why posts like 7 Questions that will lead to a stronger partnership between you and your senior pastor, or Is your church an equipping church or a non-equipping church? catch my interest (as they did this week). They allow me to become a better leader and learn from other’s experience; and even their mistakes. My thought in sharing these types of resources is that if they can help me, they may be able to help someone else.

To be honest, that’s probably why I’m drawn to the negative, shake-your-head, or typical church scandal type article as well. In my church staff employment, I saw many things that made me sad, angry, and simply want to give up. I’ve lived through the scandal of a watching a good friend in ministry disqualify himself from ministry right under my nose. I’ve dealt with churches that don’t know how to deal with conflict and take a bad situation and screw it up even more. It happens over and over, everyday, in churches all across America. When I read an article on a church conflict, or scandal, or something that makes me shake my head, I seriously look to see what I can learn from that. That’s why stories like Benny’s or Ted’s interest me. When I see a leader with negative traits, or someone who finds himself in a conflict that instigates a public press story, I am interested because I want to learn what has happened… if for no other reason that so that it doesn’t happen to me. I think this type of analysis, at least for me, is very helpful.

I also enjoy watching trends in the church and culture. When a foundation donates $400K for Episcopal gay liturgies, I think that’s something I should know about. Not because things like this infuriate me or stir emotions, but because it’s part of the church world and the culture in which I live. Call it ‘shop talk’ or whatever you like. For some reason, I’m interested in comparing my property tax bill to Joel Osteen’s. I think as church workers, we have at least a working knowledge of things like the house church movement or church planting. It’s part of our ‘trade’. We need to be knowledgeable.

Other stories… I just find interesting. Like why Ed Young, Jr. would make this video. Or about the church that claims it invented the vuvuzela.

Some people think that only positive stuff should be highlighted… that anything negative or personal should be avoided in the church world. I disagree. I think there has to be a proper balance. While I’ve not always acheived the balance I’d like here at MMI, I think overall, it features a good balance of the ‘good’, the ‘bad’, and the ‘ugly’.

Whenever I’ve written a post like the Benny one, some people accuse MMI of being sensationalistic. In fact, a friend once described MMI as one half Bible, and one half National Enquirer. To be honest, that doesn’t bother me. In fact, you only have to open your Bible to the old testament to find stories that they couldn’t print in the National Enquirer!

So… as you read MMI, remember… you’re reading my personal blog, not the New York Times (or Christianity Today for that matter). You are reading a compilation of things that interest me. In fact, that’s always been my standard for what I write about and link to here. I’m silly enough to figure that if I find something interesting, that maybe someone else will as well.

And, above all, I hope you find the links, articles, and posts to be helpful, in some way at some time, to your local ministry. That, at least, is my prayer!

Have a great week!

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