You Can’t Lead Beyond the Leader

Cape Resurrection
Cape Resurrection (Photo credit: DCSL)

Last week, someone shared with me an insight that they had gained serving as a volunteer at Resurrection.

You can’t lead beyond the leader.

If you are not ultimately responsible for a ministry area, worship service, congregation, or nearly any other grouping of people there is always some limit on what you can implement. The leader has to make space for engagement, different perspectives and empower those that are being lead.

As a leader, equipping others is one of the most important things that I do.

As a follower, patience, encouragement and service are valuable in making progress.

Viable or Vital: Which would you choose?

As far as congregations go:

Vital > Viable > Inviable

I would much rather lead and be part of a vital congregation than one that is simply viable.

I would much rather lead and be part of a viable congregation than one that is inviable and has not yet closed.

I believe that one of my roles as a United Methodist clergy person is to help congregations move from one to the next.

Blessings of Ministry – Mission (2 of 3)

There are many blessings of being in ministry as the pastor of a local church. One of these blessings is the opportunity to lead our congregation in mission to the community. In my role at Resurrection West, I have the opportunity to work with a great team of volunteers on the Mission team that organizes and equips our congregation to serve others and share Christ. I love being able to help people live out God’s call in their life.

What blessings do you find in ministry?

Blessings of Ministry – Babies (1 of 3)

There are many blessings of ministry as a pastor. One of those is to be with families with new babies. In the past several weeks, I have had the opportunity to be with two families who welcomed a new member to their family, as well as pray before surgery for an infant. Each one of these are doing great.

What blessings do you find in ministry?

Breathe In, Breathe Out

I recently learned that Relaxation is a Skill. One of the ways to relax is to breathe deeply. Our son is 9 months old and it doesn’t do us much good to tell him to take a deep breathe. What we can do is to hold him close and breathe deeply.

This helped me know more about my relationship with God. One of the ways to relax in life is to be close to God and breathe deeply in and with God’s spirit. Deep breathing is good for the body and soul.

Auto-Tune Assisi

I was fascinated the version of All Creatures of Our God and King from the Elevation Church worship team.

This video has prompted some response in the blogosphere, including:

I find myself back and forth between the perspectives outlined in the two posts above. I would be interested in the context for the song as part of worship.

Will you please share your thoughts, feelings or opinions about this version of an old hymn?

StrengthsFinder 2.0

Recently the Resurrection West staff all took the Clifton StrengthsFinder 2.0 as part of team development. My top strengths are:

  • Analytical
  • Learner
  • Responsibility
  • Deliberative
  • Strategic

The assessment is designed to determine our talents – what we are naturally good at. It could be a secular way of looking at spiritual gifts. One of the valuable things that I learned from the training is that these talents are what we are born with and they can be developed into strengths. The idea is that it is more fruitful to improve our strengths than to try to bolster our weaknesses.

Have you taken this assessment? What did you find helpful or unhelpful about the results?

Snippets and Smidgens of Faith

NPR Kľak, bučina
Image via Wikipedia

“The problem is: We just don’t do whole things anymore. We don’t read complete books — just excerpts. We don’t listen to whole CDs — just samplings. We don’t sit through whole baseball games — just a few innings. Don’t even write whole sentences. Or read whole stories like this one. We care more about the parts and less about the entire. We are into snippets and smidgens and clips and tweets. We are not only a fragmented society, but a fragment society. And the result: What we gain is the knowledge — or the illusion of knowledge — of many new, different and variegated aspects of life. What we lose is still being understood.”

This is a quote from a story that NPR ran titled We Are Just Not Digging The Whole Anymore. I find aspects of this to be true in the church. People may say things like:

  • I want to find the one verse that applies to my life.
  • The children’s ministry doesn’t really matter because I don’t have kids.
  • How can I continue to grow after I have gone through all of the Disciple Bible studies?
Do you ever hear things like that? What impact does this have on the community or our faith? How can the church pay more attention to the whole?
(I wanted to practice self awareness and let you know that I am aware that I just pulled out a quote from a much longer article and wrote my own short form response. In any case, I hope that you find value here.)

Scripture Monday – Jonah 3:10

10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. (Jonah 3:10, NIV)

This verse contains a powerful reversal of God’s actions based on human behavior.

God is responsive to people.

It makes a difference to us, others and especially to God if we turn from our evil ways.

Do you agree or disagree?

Vision Questions for Resurrection Online

Yorkminster

I have recently been asking those who regularly worship with Resurrection Online questions about vision. Here they are:

  • What is Resurrection Online?
  • Why does it matter to people?
  • Where do you think it is going now?
  • Where do you think it should be going?
I have received some interesting and insightful responses. How might these be applied for you? What other questions do you ask stakeholders about the church or ministry area?

Fortune Cookie #3

Fortune cookies at Moonstar Buffet in Daly Cit...
Image via Wikipedia

Not too long ago, I received a series of fascinating words from three fortune cookies. Here is the third one:

Be assertive when decisive action is needed.

This is timely guidance for me. One of my growing edges is taking and completing actions. I am great at coming up with ideas and not always so great about finishing projects that I start. What guidance, tips or encouragement would you share for me to not just complete tasks but push projects forward to completion?