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Caring Enough to Confront

One of the traits of an effective leader is being willing to speak one’s truth in a grace-filled manner. None of us typically enjoy having these crucial conversations with one another yet we all suffer when they don’t occur. When we fail to address problems or challenges when they’re small, we allow them to become

Leading From The Second Chair

Leading From The Second Chair

One of the challenges I frequently hear from congregational leaders is, “How can I provide leadership when I’m not the one officially in charge?” Frustrated and immobilized, “second chair” leaders often discount their ability to influence other people’s mindsets and behaviors. Effective second chair leaders recognize that they can make a difference. They acknowledge that

TEAMING IN TURBULENT TIMES

TEAMING IN TURBULENT TIMES

One of my loves is rafting and part of what I like about it is that everyone needs to work as a team, everyone plays an important role and everyone is in tune with what their team mates are doing. If someone isn’t doing their job, others speak up. After you’ve shot a series of

When balls get dropped

When balls get dropped

For projects to move forward, every team member needs to do their part at the appropriate time. Unfortunately, balls often get dropped by one or more team members which delays the entire project. How do we ensure that this doesn’t become a common occurrence? I find that reviewing commitments made and their deadlines at the

Members VS Disciples

Members VS Disciples

  When interviewing congregations about their hopes and dreams, I often hear about their desires to increase membership and increase giving. What I don’t hear as much about is their desire to help people grow spiritually and to help people live into their vocation. A question I often ask leaders is, “Assuming that we get

What’s Your Main Message?

As I’m preparing to lead a webinar on “How to Communicate Your Vision” this week, I’m reminded of how important it is to make our primary message meaningful and memorable. How do we make it stand out among all the messages we hear every week so people aren’t hunting for the key message like we

Fear . . .moving beyond it

Fear . . .moving beyond it

The longer I coach congregations the more I realize how much fear plays a role in congregational dysfunction. I see pastors unwilling to confront parishioners regarding their inappropriate behavior. I see congregational leaders fail to evaluate programs and ministries out of fear of what they might find out. I see youth workers say “yes” to

Turning Ideas Into Action

Turning Ideas Into Action

This week I’ve been attending an ELCA Lifelong Learning Partners event and I’ve taken several pages of notes on my iPad filled with great insights and ideas from the presentations and network gatherings.  In earlier years, I realized that I had no organized way to transfer these ideas into tangible programs, practices and methodologies and

Keeping Score

As many of us prepare to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday, I’m reminded of how easy it is in football to know who’s winning and what the score is. Sometimes I wish it was just as easy for us as congregational leaders to measure our ministry effectiveness. One way of getting at what matters

Finding a new angle of vision

Finding a new angle of vision

Looking at ministry with a new angle of vision requires letting go of old assumptions that no longer serve us, and finding new ways to frame the topics of our conversations.  So how do we begin asking questions that get at the heart of the issue? How do we make God the subject of our