Those who know me well understand that I am an introvert. This means I’m pretty good with quiet environments, working alone, taking long bike rides by myself, and not having to be the life of the party. I’m good with all of that. I’m OK in my own skin (so don’t feel sorry for me – it’s how I roll!)
However, I live a very public and people oriented life. The life of pastoral ministry includes leading groups of people – in worship, in study, in prayer, in group work, and in mission. So I’ve learned to function as an introvert in what many perceive to be an extrovert role. I’ve come to understand when I need to push myself beyond isolation to take part in the group. And I’ve come to appreciate our need to act together as the body of Christ and people of God. Continue reading
“Crisis creates chaos that calls for clarity.” This is a phrase that came to me as I’ve been preparing for a second message in the “Live Simply” series – “Live Simply: Face the Truth” – we are sharing at FBC Columbus, IN.
Consider how often you’ve seen this to be true, either in your own life or the life of someone you love: When faced with a crisis, whether of our own making or by an unfortunate fate, we often react by taking steps to simplify our living. Perhaps a grave health diagnosis is received, causing us to simplify life to its very basics: a focus on our physical health, family, friends and faith. Or, maybe the crisis is more of a relational nature – a marriage that fails or the unexpected loss of a job. Again, in those instances, we commonly react by drawing back into a more simple expression of living. Crisis creates chaos that calls for clarity.
In Mark 4:35-41 we find Jesus sleeping in the back of the boat after keeping a grueling schedule surrounded by multitudes of needy people. Continue reading
Today was a good day. It wasn’t good because I accomplished things of great significance. It was good because I got to listen to how God is at work in the lives of others. And I got to think about, and give thanks for, how God has been at work in my life through the influence of others. Let me explain.
In the world of basketball, long tenured and successful coaches often have a coaching tree. That is they have a list of persons who’ve both played or coached for them that have gone on to take the coaching reins elsewhere and become successful. Well, today I spent some time in my leadership tree.
Leadership tree? Continue reading
Overcoming Tunnel Vision
The difference between a mid-summer bicycle ride and one of an early spring variety is measurable. You can literally measure the growth of the crops as you ride past. By this time of year, especially with all of the summer’s rain, the corn forms tunnels along some of the county roads that I ride. What began as a small kernel has emerged into a tall plant, fully tasseled, and producing grain.
To my untrained eye those corn fields look pretty healthy and Continue reading
One of the hardest parts of leadership can be disappointment. It doesn’t matter where you are leading; if you dare to lead, you will experience disappointment. You might be disappointed in the outcome of an event, project or initiative. You might be disappointed in those you lead and those with whom you collaborate. The disappointment might center on a colleague who didn’t follow through, or a volunteer who proved less committed than first thought. It might settle around how your group did or did not engage. You may even be disappointed with yourself. Disappointment is inherent to leading. It’s not a matter of if, or even so much when it will hit; what’s important is how you deal with it.
So, what do you do when you are disappointed as a leader in any of the above mentioned possibilities? What do you do with disappointment?
As I reflect on that question I want suggest just a few steps that have emerged over time, in my own practice of leading. These are steps I try to follow when disappointment makes an appearance:
Step One: Examine the source of your disappointment Continue reading