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What’s the difference between an ’embattled’ leader and a ‘challenged’ leader in the church? Margaret Marcusun tries to answer this question in a post over at Here’s part of Margaret’s assessment: What is the difference between a church leader who is embattled, and one who is challenged? From one perspective, nothing is different. Circumstances may look exactly the same: A big budget deficit. Members up in arms. A media frenzy. A staff crisis. And yet. And yet….you can see the difference in the leader’s eyes. Embattled leaders are frantic. They turn from one possible solution to the next one, unable to make a choice. Or they withdraw, hiding away like the captain of the Titanic or Ken Lay of Enron. Leaders who are challenged look different. They stand on two feet. They are ready for anything that comes their way. They take responsibility. Harry Truman is the archetypal example of a challenged leader, with his well-known desk sign, The Buck Stops Here. Leaders who are embattled can’t think clearly, seeing only negative options. By contrast, those who are challenged think: What information is important, and what should I ignore? Whom should I pay attention to and whom should I ignore? What decisions need to be made now, and how can I think clearly about hem? So… a challenged leader can think straight; and an embattled leader loses the ability to cope and think rationally. I can buy that. But that’s a fine line. Many pastors don’t have a sounding board, friend, or service that will allow them to get out from under all the stress, bounce off ideas and scenarios, and help them to think straight.  That’s a problem. I think there are a lot of embattled pastors because they have no confidants. A person you can confide in will help even the faintest of heart work through a situation. What do you think? You can read more here… Todd [box type=”info”]Has there been a time in your ministry that you felt ’embattled’? How did you win the battle and move on?[/box]

Mars Hill has a tremendous problem. They’ve seen phenominal growth in numbers… in fact they’ve grown 50% in the past year (over 5,000 people). That includes a 12% increase in attendance SINCE LAST WEEK. SINCE LAST WEEK. Church-wide… they are at 82% capacity during 36 weekend services at 14 different locations. Jesus has definitely stepped on the gas. Add to that, 551 small groups (with 60 new groups added this month). Whether you’re a fan of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill or not… something big is happening there. And the stress and pressure from a pure administrative side must be extremely difficult. How about today, instead of criticism and uttering things that make us sound like jealous idiots, we actually take time to thank God for what he is doing at Mars Hill and other churches across the country. The big churches, the tiny churches. The churches with imperfect leaders and flawed followers. The churches that are growing gangbusters and those that are fighting for existence. For your church; and mine. For yourself as a leader; and the guy down the street also entrusted with God’s children. Let’s pray for those for whom God has ‘stepped on the gas’.  And if we’re on empty, let’s pray that God would fill us and that we’ll be ready when and IF he decides to gun it a little. Just a few thoughts today… You can read more here…