Why Leaders Fail

Why Leaders Fail

February 11, 2019—Decades of leadership studies have produced well over 50,000 books with ‘leadership’ in their title but almost none on leadership failure. Adrian Furman called this “the elephant in the boardroom.”(1) Furnham noted that “more leaders fail and derail…

Your Congregation Is Not Your Family

January 7, 2019—The fact is that, despite the warm metaphor we commonly use, a congregation is not a family. A congregation is a localized, institutionalized expression of a larger social system: the organized religious system.1 The relationship clergy have with…

Effective Leaders Focus on Process

December 31, 2018—Effective congregational leaders know the difference between content and process—and they focus on process rather than content. Content has to do with what people say, while process has to do with how people function. Beliefs, doctrines, mission statements,…

A Leader’s Responsibility

December 17, 2018—One major trap for clergy leaders is the demand for them to take responsibility for things that rightly are not theirs. This is exacerbated by the propensity of pastors to accept that demand. After all, they are in…

The Burnout Cycle

November 19, 2018—During a recent conversation with a new clergy friend, he shared his experience of burnout. After five years at his previous church he’d not taken a vacation. Weariness led to seriousness, then a neglect of self-care, then a…

The “Window of Tolerance”: A Tool For Self-Regulation

October 1, 2018—Psychiatrist Dan Siegel developed a model called the “Window of Tolerance” in 1999 to describe an area in which each person is able to maintain emotional regulation, think clearly, and function effectively. Each person has their own window…

Size Mattters, But Not Like You May Think

September 24, 2018—One common and practical schema used to understand congregations is the congregational size approach to classifying churches. Looking at congregations through this lens is used not only by denominational strategists in assessing and planning, but also by sociologists…

When We Can’t Take Our Own Advice

September 17, 2018—We’ve all done it; we have all recommended that a church member, client, or patient take advice that we ourselves find hard to follow. We advise them to establish healthy boundaries with family members, to maintain self-care plans,…

Church Conflict Can Take On A Life Of Its Own

July 23, 2018—Chris Hedges states that after a period of time, war begins to develop its own life. The former theology student turned journalist wrote in his book, War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, that those involved…

Could Emotional Intelligence Have Kept Me From A Forced Termination?

July 9, 2018—Have you ever met someone and the longer you talked the more distressed or angry you became, but had no apparent reason for your reaction? Have you ever walked into a meeting and soon realized there was an…

A Non-Canonical Text Discovered!

July 2, 2018—Archaeological discoveries have made us aware of other versions of sacred stories that were lost for previous generations. For example, the full text of the Gospel of Thomas was only discovered in 1945. These non-canonical texts provide alternative…

Don’t Waste Your Pain

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Center for Lifelong Learning has partnered with the Ministering to Ministers Foundation to help address the crises of clergy forced termination. If you have experienced a forced termination from your ministry consider attending the Healthy Transitions Wellness…

Forced Terminations and Ethics

May 14, 2018—Ethics are often a victim of forced pastoral terminations and for that matter, the continuing conflicts in church life which lead to such traumatic moments. Nearly every minister who has suffered an involuntary termination or a ‘near miss’…

Termination Hurts More Than Just the Minister

When we hear of a minister being terminated, we may think about a “gang of three” as the instigators and carriers of bad news that a minister must leave.

Or we may think about the minister who was terminated and…

Spouses Too Are Casualties in Church Conflicts

I have had many restless nights and feel the Lord is nudging me to tell my side of what actually happened to my husband and me.

Many people have been hurt by the termination of my husband from the church…

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