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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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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/…

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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.

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We can't ignore the numbers. The United Methodist Church is in decline. Many ask, "Why do you stay? Denominations are useless these days."

But I face that reality with overwhelming hope and excitement. I see the Holy Spirit weaving its way through our current & new leadership in ways I've only dreamed of. A couple years ago, I thought about leaving. But I decided to ask some hard questions about why we're in decline. And that journey to the heart of the United Methodist movement has lit a fire in me to see it renewed.

Why I Stay...

1. Our faith is active. We get our hands and hearts dirty in service & relationships.
2. Every United Methodist church is connected through a network of gatherings, prayer, service, money, agencies and leadership. I would never want to serve in building God's kingdom by myself.
3. I see God changing hearts and lives every. single. day.
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