Eight strategies during a crisis

Eight strategies during a crisis

“In the early stages of a conflict, it is almost impossible to overinform.

As much information as possible is needed.

Providing information tends to minimize the need for people to create information for themselves through gossip and embellishments of what…

Leadership 101

Here’s what we know: no organization, be it a corporation, firm, or congregation, will thrive or live fully into its purpose with the absence of effective leaders.

Leadership is the singular irreplaceable element in the formula for success, effectiveness, and…

Amateurs and Professionals

One thought from author Edwin Friedman that has stayed with me is about the difference between a professional and a hack.

He wrote that leadership competence is not about knowledge or expertise; a professional and a hack may know the…

The Times They Keep a Changing: Bivocational Ministry as the New Norm?

Most of the pastors in the world are bivocational.

That has always been true, asserts Karl Vaters, author of The Grasshopper Myth and Small Church Essentials.

Most people attend larger churches, so a larger multi-staff congregation is perceived to be…

Toxic Leadership

The measure of successful leadership is how well a group performs, over time, in terms of valued outcomes, or the realization of its mission.

Benjamin J. Inyang considers leadership as a process which “involves the use of non-coercive influence to…

Is your triangle “bad”?

The Leadership in Ministry workshops at The Center for Lifelong Learning use Bowen Theory (or Bowen Family Systems Theory—BFST) as a framework for interpreting the dynamics of congregational and organizational life, and, to help participants work on their…

5 Ministry Quotes to Use Right Now

It’s okay to be green:”

My Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor assured me after I relayed a mistake that I had made in a pastoral conversation that day.

I glared at her.

As I prepared to enter into my final year…

An aid to coping with anxiety

Reflecting on their challenge with generalized chronic anxiety, one person found they fell into five fairly distinct classifications:

 

Worries about disasters which, as later events proved, never happened (about 40% of their anxieties). Worries about decisions they had made…

Thinking Changes Things

In October 1929, the U.S. Stock Market crashed.

Investors lost billions of dollars; were drained of their sense of invincibility; and confronted with the limits of industrialization and human power.

This unprecedented event set in motion the Great Depression—a deep…

Your Advice Isn’t Helping

Some time ago someone sent me an e-mail asking for advice on a matter.

I wrote back saying, “I don’t give advice,” though I did provide some resources related to the question.

Later, this person asked me to explain what…

The Balancing Act

When I was a teenager I had the opportunity to play in a woodwind quintet for a wedding. It turned out to be a highlight of my musical experiencemy clarinet joining in with the flute, oboe, bassoon, French horn.

Each…

Post-COVID Prognostication

The Post-Covid impact on congregations, and their responses, is a topic of much discussion these days.

There is lots of pondering, articles—popular and scholarly—guesses, prognostication, and no lack of angst on that topic.

Prognostication is not my spiritual gift, and…

The hardest lesson I’m grateful I learned: letting go 

The title “The hardest lesson I’m grateful I learned: letting go” is a bit of a misnomer.

I am in a years-long process of learning to let go.

As the oldest daughter, of an oldest daughter, (who was a minister’s…

Losing a Job, Finding a Calling

“Do you think you can find a new job in six months?” asked the committee chairperson.

I had just sat down on the parlor sofa for the annual personnel review, the one the senior pastor had always dismissed.

But there…

Self defeating behaviors in leaders

On any given day we may read about a leader, in corporations, government, business, or religious institutions, who has lost a job, prestige, reputation, or respect due to self-defeating behavior.

A common first response upon reading these instances is, “What…

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