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Rev. Magazine

Got a copy of Rev. Magazine at the Leadership Summit that I just got around to reading today. Great stuff...

Francis Chan: God has a unique plan for every pastor and every local church. There's way too much copying. I couldn't hang around your church for a month and tell you what you need to do. I believe leaders need to get on their knees and listen to God. There's nothing like those times when you're alone with the Lord and you sense he has called you to lead a church in a specific direction. If God has convicted you about something, don't worry that no one else is going that way.

D. Michael Lindsay: Anything worth pursuing bigger is than a single congregation. Some pastors can articulate bold visions - such as building a community center or launching a homeless ministry but those ideas never become reality unless the pastor is able to establish partnerships and effectively respond to challengers.

Alan Hirsch: It's very important to experiment. If you do church well, that's good. Do it better. But have some other forum where people are trying out new ideas so that you're not reliant on the same old thing because more of the same is not going to get the job done.

David Kinnaman: Part of the job of an innovative church and leader is to allow young people the space, creativity and boundaries to participate in that innovation.

The Naked Church: We meet on Sunday afternoons in the basement of the Alley Cat, an eclective coffee shop in Fort Collins, Colorado. Our time together is a mixture of liturgical, contemporary, and alternative/progressive expressions of worship through music, prayer, community, Scripture, discussion, art, teaching and laughter - lots of laughter. We have no rent, no utility bills, no Powerpoint presentations, and no sound system. Music is piped through an mp3 player stereo, or else it's acoustic. This setup allows us to give virtually all offerings to organizations around the city.

With no leadership meetings, midweek services or programs to run, we're free to spend our time with our neighbors, the people who live and work in our city.

Francis Chan: The God of the universe - the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, calazies and E-minor - loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss.

Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo?

Bill Easum: Most great leaders are one-issue type of people. They fixate on what they feel is absolutely essential to the calling and leave the rest to ours. Good leaders try to wrap their hearts and minds around too many things.

Great leaders challenge the prevailing rules about how to conduct ministry, while good leaders work with the cards they're dealt. Great leaders are never content with the status quo; they always have a holy discontent with the way things are. They know that man-made rules are made to be broken because there's always a better way.

Great leaders see no limits to what God can do through them. They rely on God for the impossible, while most good leaders try to calculate what's possible.

Great leaders empower others; good leaders delegate ministry to others. Great leaders know their success doesn't depend on them but on how they inspire others to achieve, while good leaders are always trying to accomplish more. Great leaders define leadership differently than good leaders define it: Leadership isn't about getting people to do what you want them to do; great leadership is about helping people achieve what God created them to do and to be.

...more to come...


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Why Some Experienced Clergy (and Lay People) Have a Hard Time When Younger Clergy Take Renewal Leave

This is a guest post from my very own dad! He's a United Methodist pastor serving in Bend, Oregon. I enjoy chatting church leadership with my dad and it's fascinating to see how our generational differences bring different perspectives to our calling as pastor. We need each generation to walk with each other as we figure it out in this new world. We've been reflecting lately as I finished up a renewal leave and he prepares to retire this June. 
By David Beckett
I fall into the category of experienced clergy which is a polite way of saying I am old. I’ve been pastoring for nearly 40 years. When I was a young pastor my role models were mostly white males who presented an image of success that equated with dedication, overwork, and sacrifice. My first senior pastor talked about the 20 hr/wk he invested in sermon preparation. And he expected his staff to work beyond their stated hours. During those three years of full time seminary and a large youth group I put in up to 80 hr/…

Why pastors need collaboration, not competition

There's competition in every industry. Some get promoted over others. Some work incredibly hard but their gifts go unnoticed. Others do good work and people assume they're fine but underneath, they feel like they could never be honest about how hard life is in this season. People spend more energy figuring out how they measure up in a work culture instead of doing the actual work.

Competition itself implies there are two sides.

I remember field days at my elementary school in Alaska. The half-frozen spring ground was covered with clumps of dirty gray snow. Jackets were thrown on the ground as the fourth graders tried to beat the fifth graders at tug of war. Rope burns were shrugged off as sweat dripped down our young faces. We were determined to beat those fifth graders. Our pride was on the line.

Whether you're a fourth grader or an ad manager at a fancy marketing agency or a senator trying out for attorney general, competition runs deep in our DNA.

We want to be the bes…

99 sheep

Reading Matthew 18:10-14 on this cloudy Anchorage summer morning. Parable of the Lost Sheep. A guy owns 100 sheep. They belong to him. These sheep are loyal and depend on their owner for everything. But then one wanders away. I wonder if this sheep wandered on purpose or accident?

The guy leaves the 99 sheep grazing on the hillside to look for the sheep who got lost. One word in verse 13 jumped out to me. "Andifhe finds [the sheep]...he is happier about that one sheep than about the 99 that did no wander off." IF he finds it. This guy who owns the sheep probably knows the hillside very well and knows his sheep's behavioral patterns. But he may not find this lost sheep. 

When someone wanders off, it's up to them if they want to get found. 

When it comes to our connection to God, some of us may wander on accident. Or on purpose. 

We wait for someone to rescue us. Bring us back. Make it okay. But we have to turn towards the one rescuing us. God will leave the other 99 sheep…