Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chapions of Change

I am reading Remarkable Leadership by Kevin Eikenberry.

He asks, "When you read or hear the word change, what do you think of? My six words/phrases . . .

  1.  Essential
  2. Life
  3. Buzzword
  4. Hard
  5. Resistance
  6. Hope
What are your responses?

Are our responses to the word change positive or negative?

Eikenberry writes,
“The reality is that resistance is a wonderful thing. If everyone on your team thought exactly the same way, had exactly the same opinions, and lived in perfect harmony, would you have the most effective team? That description might sound blissful, but the reality is that without the dissonance that comes from different opinions and perspectives, you will never get new ideas, creative solutions, a competitive edge, or the synergy that creates greater results.

Remarkable leaders have a different attitude about resistance. They know it is natural and not by definition negative"

Resistance = engagement   p. 58

What if we could carry that idea of change into our process? What if we truly surfaced and honored resistance instead of hiding from it or driving it out?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thriving as a Prophet

This morning I read Nehemiah 9:26-38. Nehemiah criticizes Israel because they "were disobedient and rebelled against you and cast your law behind their backs and killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies." I began wondering about the role of the prophet in today's American culture.

Who are our prophets? How do we distinguish between a prophet and a false prophet?

When I was in seminary, it was the Millard Fuller, Ron Sider, Tony Campolo. These voices challenged American culture and how we treated the poor. I missed the Civil Rights Movement, but there were many powerful voices for justice born out of the Scriptures. These challenged Christians to think beyond "getting people saved." They emphasized the need for personal transformation, but taught that the church has an obligation beyond this to the world as a whole.

At the same time, Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority came into prominence. They also claimed the role of the prophet calling American Christianity to conservative political action.

Today, we have pastors who are openly praying for Obama's death. We have people saying we shouldn't get the H1N1 because we will get "micro-chipped." We have doom and gloom political commentary (masquerading as news) from all sides. People spread the most outrageous ideas on the internet without ever checking them for truthfulness. It seems like the only time we hear people talk about serving the "common good" is when we are seeking to violate individual rights.

Is there a role for prophetic Christian voices? It certainly isn't a safe context in which to speak for the "least of these" and the "aliens" of our culture.

How do pastors seek to do right, speak for these, without being labeled "liberals?"

If I were serving as the pastor of a local church, what would I do? Would I have the courage to be a prophet? Would I try to speak for sanity? Would I challenge those who spread unfounded rumors? Or, would I like so many others, simply keep my head down?

God forgive us for being afraid to speak. Forgive us when we follow other voices and ignore yours.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What does it mean to thrive?

So many pastors just survive in ministry. They get through the next sermon, the next meeting, the next visit.

How do pastors thrive? Enjoy ministry. Feel like their ministries are moving forward. How do pastors make sure that they are not, as a friend once said, wasting years in this assignment that isn't making a difference.

I am working on my Doctor of Ministry and I am focusing on this general area. I hope that this blog provides an avenue to explore this topic.