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Brady Boyd writes: The leaders of most local churches generally are influenced by either pragmatism or idealism when making decisions and leading their congregations. Leaders who are pragmatists tend to assess situations and solve problems in a practical, matter-of-fact way. Idealists tend to be moved by all the possibilities, while pragmatists immediately see the limitations. The truth is we need both influences in our churches. The problem is when one or the other dominates the church leadership culture. When the pragmatists are in charge, budgets are met, schedules are kept, and things tend to be predictable. When idealism dominates, songs are written, music is created and creative energies are released in full measure. When the pragmatists are in charge, the creative community flees to more open waters or simply shuts down and concedes to the system. When the idealists are in charge, much is done, but sometimes very little is accomplished. Sometimes, the idealists and the pragmatists can produce, as Brady calls it, a civil war in your church. But we all need each other. The idealist and the pragmatist. Which are you? Does the other annoy you?  How do you deal with them? Or do you see them as a valuable member of your team… a member so valuable that you’d be at a real loss without them on your team? It’s really your decision… your call as to how you deal with the idealists and pragmatists on your team… especially the ones that are the total opposite of you. Read more of Brady’s post here.  It’s good.
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Casey Tygrett shares three measurement devices for elders and local church leaders regarding spiritual growth and formation that will bring light and life to situations stuck in darkness. Are you regularly engaging with Scripture, both individually and as a leadership team? Leaders committed to wrestling with the narrative of God both alone and in their group have put themselves in a position to be corrected, humbled, and augmented for the sake of others. Being open to the Scriptures is a posture that embraces the mission of God in the world today. Scripture refines the lenses through which the mission and purpose of the church, as well as the mission and purpose of eldership, are seen. Scripture shows God on a mission as he calls sweetly, but firmly, to elders to fall in step and become missionally minded regarding where the flock they’ve been commissioned to lead is headed.  Are you praying specifically, honestly, and regularly? In my current ministry, I am often asked to help teach people to pray. I’ve found the most critical question in developing a prayer habit is whether or not people are willing to bring up the raw, uncensored, and unfiltered contents of their heart to God. Are you, as a leader, honestly expressing both your joys and struggles to the God who constantly leans in to listen (Psalm 10:17)? The most helpful aspect of prayer in my development in leadership over the last five years has been the opportunity to see myself through the objective lens of God’s Spirit; I’ve grown to understand there are things in my soul that, when applied to leadership in ministry, create issues I couldn’t see on my own. The opportunity to pray with and for other leaders is constantly in front of us—are you taking advantage of the times you could offer prayers that encourage and strengthen others on your eldership or leadership team? Are you reproducing leaders through spiritual friendship and mentoring? Leaders aren’t meant to be irreplaceable. If we have stepped into the stream of leadership in God’s kingdom with the expectation that we aren’t expendable, it is a clear and unmistakable sign we’ve skipped question number one in this list! The truth is, engaging in Scripture and prayer—especially reading Acts and praying for our leadership of God’s people—will shine a light on the reproductive nature of the church. The churches we find in Acts had leaders who understood what it meant to give away what they’d learned. Many elders and leaders may say they have read 2 Timothy 2:2—“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” Great. Here is a follow-up question: are you giving away your leadership and ministry to reliable folks? // Read more here:  A Past Mistake and Three Challenges for Elders Thoughts? Todd
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Leadership
Mac Lake puts out some GREAT leadership stuff… like today’s post on non-negotiables when developing your team.  Mac writes: Here are 5 Non-Negotiable actions I would require as a team leader that will help build a culture of leadership development among your team. 1.  Require written goals – Have the individuals on your team turn in a one page written summary of their goals for the next 4 months.  This lays the ground work for shared expectations and gives you a basis from which to coach their performance. 2.  Require regular 1-1′s. Meet with each person on your team at least once a month if  not twice a month.  During those meetings review their goals, ask what problems they are encountering and use it as a time for individual coaching. 3.  Require reading – A team that reads together learns together.  Reading a leadership book and discussing it during team meetings creates an atmosphere of shared learning and development. 4.  Require reproduction – Leaders should be producing leaders.  Ram Charan in his book Leaders at All Levels recommends that everyone in your organization have “raising up new leaders” as a part of their job description.  When someone is teaching others to lead it reinforces those principles in their own life. 5.  Require evaluation – Have times of regular evaluation as a team.  Ask them:  What have we been doing well?  What can we learn from that?  Where do we need to improve?  What can we learn from that? via Mac Lake » Blog Archive » Non-Negotiables for Developing Your Team.  Subscribe to Mac’s RSS feed for daily great stuff! QUESTION:  What’s been the hardest part of developing YOUR team? Todd
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Leadership
I saw this over at LeadershipNow.com… it is a compilation of things from a new book by productivity expert Laura Stack entitled SuperCompetent.  Laura has identified six key attitudes or mindsets of people she says are ‘supercompetent’. Actually, these are all alliterated perfectly.  They’d make a nice sermon.  🙂 Key 1: Activity. They are driven by intense focus on priorities and have a clear sense of direction. Action: You need to determine what you should be working on. Key 2: Availability. They control their schedules. Action: You need to make time for it. Key 3: Attention. They develop the ability to pay attention to the task at hand. Action: You need to focus on those tasks. Key 4: Accessibility. They are organized and can locate the information they need to support their activities. Action: You need to organize the information you need to complete your tasks. Key 5: Accountability. They are self-disciplined and don’t blame others. Action: You need to be responsible for your results. Key 6: Attitude. They do what needs to be done to make things happen. They are proactive decisive and fast. Action: You never give up. QUESTION:  How ‘supercompetent’ are you?  What areas are you strong in?  And what areas are you ‘undercompetent’ in? You can read more here… Todd
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Leadership
My friend Brad Lomenick had a great post yesterday at his blog about four traits that every leader should have.  These come from the book “The Leadership Challenge” by James Kouzes and Barry Posner.  See what you think: 1. HONESTY– telling the truth. Your team needs to believe you are worthy of their trust. Knowing in your heart that you truly believe what you are saying, and they can believe it too. 2. FORWARD-LOOKING– having a sense of direction and concern for the future of the organization. You must know where you are going if you expect others to willingly join you on the journey. People won’t willingly follow you until they can see how they share in the future you envision. 3. INSPIRING- people on your team expect you to be positive, upbeat, and optimistic. Your energy signals your personal level of commitment. Sharing enthusiasm, excitement, and energy. You have to give your team reason to believe that tomorrow will be even better than today. 4. COMPETENT– your ability to get things done. People have to believe you know what you’re talking about and you know what you’re doing. Competence inspires confidence in the team that you’ll be able to guide the enterprise in the direction it needs to go. Are there other ESSENTIAL traits that you think a leader must have?  What would you add? Which one is the most important?  (IS one more important than another). It seems to me that if you stick at even one of these… it could be a deal breaker.  Maybe you’re inspiring and competent, and you have a great vision for the future; but you’re not honest.  You’re not my leader. Or if you’re honest, inspiring and competent; but you don’t look to what could be in the future.  Also… not what I’m looking for. Maybe you’re as honest as can be, inspiring, and forward looking; but you’re as competent as a potato.  Again, deal breaker. I guess that’s what the title of this post actually implies… every leader MUST HAVE these four attributes. Do you agree? Todd
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