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February 2013
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April 2013

Doing Life With God

Another day begins. What's in store? What could God be up to? What would it look like if we did life together with Him? The apostle Paul once wrote … Col.3:17. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. NIV What does it mean to do something ‘in the name of Jesus’? Generally speaking, in the Bible a person’s name means to do it in his character. So doing something in Jesus’ name means to do it in his character. It... Read more →

Leadership Succession (Mark Conner)

The third morning was about "leadership succession." I was asked to speak and here is a summary of what I shared. Out Story CityLife Church (originally called Waverley Christian Fellowship) is a multi-site church based in Melbourne, Australia. It began in 1967 with a small group of people led by its founding pastor, Richard Holland. Richard led the church for 20 years and in that time it grew to a congregation of around 600 people. Because of some health challenges in 1986, Richard passed the baton of leadership to his associate, Kevin Conner. Kevin led the church for the next... Read more →

Leadership Wounds

The first morning of our gathering focused on "leadership wounds." Restoring Wounded Soldiers Pastor Abe Huber, who pastors a church of 60,000 people in Brazil, noted that the church is the only army that shoots its own wounded. How can we do better? 1. Don't forget the good that wounded or fallen soldiers have done. 2. Don't judge them for falling. Who are we to judge our neighbor? How easy it is to condemn and accuse. Remember, Satan is the accuser ... not us. 3. Don't ignore them ... like the priest and the Levite in Jesus' parable of the... Read more →

Learning from Leaders

Last week, I spent a few days in Dallas, USA with leaders of a number of significant churches from around the world (primarily the non-Western world). I love to be around leaders who have more capacity and experience than I do. It is a terrific opportunity to learn and grow. It stretches and challenges me. Over the next few BLOG posts, I will share a summary of what I learned and some of the notes I took. Here is a brief outline, with appropriate links: 1. Leadership Wounds. 2. Leadership Influence. 3. Leadership Succession. 4. Insights from Gateway Church led... Read more →

7 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders - #7 Pray

The more involved you become in church leadership and ministry, the greater the temptation is to lead by your own gifts and abilities rather than out of intimacy with Jesus Christ. A daily relationship with Jesus is the key to freshness in ministry and an ability to impart life to people, rather than just run programs or meetings. Let’s be honest, any ministry without the active presence and power of God has no hope of bringing change to people’s lives. Ps 127:1. Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is useless. NLT John 15:1-8. "I am... Read more →

7 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders - #6 Grow

It is essential that ministry leaders keep growing and developing their God-given potential. 1 Tim 4:12-16. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. What do people see when they look... Read more →

7 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders - #5 Innovate

It is so easy to become busy managing what currently exists, that we fail to take time to improve what we’re doing let alone consider doing things differently or doing new things. As leaders, we must work on tomorrow not just keep up with today. This is what innovation is all about. We serve a creative God who, though he never changes in his character, has designed a world full of variety and freshness (Gen.1:1). We are created in his image (Gen.1:26). It is important that we seek to make your ministry fresh and alive. Always ask, “Is there a... Read more →

7 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders - #4 Build Your Team

Much of your effectiveness as a leader will be directly related to your ability to build a team of people who are passionately committed to the ministry you lead. Team building is leadership the way God designed it (Mark 1:16-17. Eph.4:11-16). The “team building” process includes four important tasks: 1. Gather – recruit people to your team. As a leader, you must be a “people person” who is friendly, outgoing and always on the look out for new people and new leaders, so they can be gathered in and harnessed. Learn to relate to a wide variety of people and... Read more →

7 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders - #3 Manage

In addition to leading your ministry, you must also manage it well (1 Tim.3:4-5, 12). “Leadership” can be defined as “doing right things” (effectiveness). “Management” is “doing things right” (efficiency). Both are important and necessary in ministry. Managing involves a number of tasks: 1. Leading - management involves ensuring that everyone knows the specific purpose and mission of the ministry. Answer the questions, “Where are we going?” and “Why?” Mission drifts and vision leaks, so they need to be continually reinforced. 2. Planning - management then involves planning and strategy that helps the ministry achieve its mission. This answers the... Read more →

7 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders - #2 Lead

Although there is to be one mission and one direction for each church, there are many expressions or ways that these are outworked. Like a highway with many lanes, a growing church provides opportunity for many different and unique ministries to thrive and flourish within the context of its overall purpose, as long as there is integration and alignment between them. When it comes to your ministry, you need to lead with excellence (Rom.12:6-8). Most ministries rise and fall on leadership. Overall direction and broad parameters will be given to you, but the vast majority of the details of what... Read more →

7 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders - #1 Follow

Every leader needs to first of all be a good follower. In fact, your ability to lead well is directly influenced by your ability to follow well. The apostle Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” (1 Cor.11:1). As church leaders, we too are to follow Christ by imitating him in character, who we are, and ministry, what we do (see Mk.4:19. Mt.16:24. Jn.10:27. Rom.15:5. 1 Pet.2:21. Rev.14:4). Shepherds are also sheep, disciplers are also disciples, and leaders are also followers. Secondly, church leaders are to follow the overall direction of their senior leader and the church they belong... Read more →

7 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders

The Importance of Leadership Church and ministry leaders have a wide variety of tasks and responsibilities. These may include preaching, teaching, pastoral care, training and coaching others. One of our main tasks is to lead and God wants us to do this with the very best of our ability. Romans 12:6-8. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher,... Read more →

Are you a duck out of water?

Once upon a time, right after creation, all the animals formed a school. They established a well-rounded curriculum of swimming, running, climbing and flying. All the animals were required to take all the courses. The duck excelled at swimming. In fact, he was better than the instructor! But he only made passing grades in climbing and was very poor at running. He was so slow, he had to stay after school to practise running. This caused his webbed feet to become so badly worn he became only average in swimming. But average was quite acceptable, so no one ever worried... Read more →