Deep thinking, powerful ideas

Deep thinking, powerful ideas

Quick quiz: What philosopher said, “To think is easy, to act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult of all.”?

Answer: None. I pulled that quote out of a fortune cookie after lunch at a local Chinese restaurant….

15 Common Sense Practices for Pastoral Ministry

Emotional Intelligence is one of the fields of research applied to pastoral leadership.

I think it holds great promise for effective pastoral leadership because the nature of leadership in the context of congregations is more about understanding relationships in the…

Education by Israel Galindo

Thriving Congregations. Part 1: Challenges to Becoming and Sustaining A Thriving Congregation

NOTE: Columbia seminary’s Center for Lifelong Learning has launched its Lilly-funded Thriving Congregations program, “reKindle: A Congregational Development Initiative.” Selected congregations will be awarded grants of up to $15,000 to execute a thriving congregation initiative in their ministry context. Applications…

Coaching:  We’ve Come a Long Way From Kansas, Dorothy 

The Wizard of Oz is one of the most-watched movies of all time, actually in the top three according to some rating agencies. 

Why would a 1939 movie still resonate with modern audiences?  

Yes, it is a family movie, lacks violence, and has a happy ending. 

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…

Adapt and Thrive Through Coaching 

Our world is in crisis.

COVID-19 has left unprecedented challenges in its wake for leaders and organizations.

Sheltering-in-place, social distancing, and historic unemployment have become our current realities.

Adapting to the “new normal” requires retooling.  

Coaching is a great…

Leading from the Right Side of the Brain

I’ve been a lifelong doodler. At times doodles have turned into sketches and sketches into drawings. This graphite drawing of a sharecropper titled “Toil,” done several years ago, started as a doodle which eventually became a favorite rendering, which today…


Goals vs. Magical Thinking

In my consultations I often have to help folks think through what is a realistic goal and what is aspirational, or, as I call it, “magical thinking.” Their ideas for a goal are often fuzzy (“more,” “better”). People consistently overreach…

How to Avoid Choice Overload

A friend called asking for help. She was stuck trying to make a decision. After months of discussion she and her family finally convinced her mother of the need to move her into an assisted living facility. That’s never an…

People Need a Narrative: Clergy and COVID-19

I’ve been gratified for, and impressed with, at the presence of our pastors on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have jumped in reluctantly onto social media. The learning curve is evident, sometimes amusing.

As is often the…

A Healing Experience for Clergy

Author Tim Sledge, in Goodbye Jesus: An Evangelical Preacher’s Journey Beyond Faith, wrote about the silent epidemic of clergy forced termination. Citing a survey reviewed by Leadership magazine, he wrote:


“Squabbles that end in the ouster of ministers are…

Overcoming obstacles to change

Leading is a challenge even in the most tranquil of circumstances within congregations today. When you add the layer of introducing or working toward change on top of the myriad of things already required, “challenging” may feel too soft a…

Eight Ways to Kill an Organization

I’ve done enough consultations long enough and studied organizations carefully enough to recognize a pattern in some organizations. I refer here to those whose organizations, some young, some old, that ended their institutional lifespan. Though many were surprised by the…

How To Take A Stand

Inevitably, leaders will encounter times when they will need to take a stand in the midst of crisis and polarization. At those times, common temptations are: (1) make people feel better, (2) try to reason with unreasonable people, (3) win…

Physics for Leaders

A friend of mine, one year into his leadership role, asked in frustration, “Why is this work so hard?!” I’m not sure I know the answer to that question. Some jobs are just more challenging due to the complexity of…