Leaders must work with people. People have emotions and emotions drive our decision making and our behavior. For a simple explanation of how this happens, check out this short article by clinical psychologist, Dr. Mary Lamia: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/intense-emotions-and-strong-feelings/201012/it-or-not-emotions-will-drive-the-decisions-you-mak. If you want to lead people effectively, you need to be very aware of not only what your emotions are signaling to you, but also of what is happening emotionally with the individuals and teams you lead.
Recently I was reminded of a quote from Benjamin Franklin that I have used quite often as a good one in reference to empowering and encouraging ministry through hands-on doing ministry and getting involved. The quote is: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
On the ABC political drama Scandal, DC fixer Olivia Pope leads a team of “gladiators in suits” who make the problems of Washington’s rich and powerful disappear discretely. As the series progresses, we learn the backstory of how she assembled Pope and Associates and why the group works together so effectively.
Take a quick look at this 30-second ad from Southwest Airlines: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpV41xfGcuw.
“If it matters to you, it matters to us.” Sometimes in ministry, we prefer to reverse that statement and add a word for the guilt effect. We might say, “If it matters to us, it should matter to you.” Churches can become so wrapped up in their own preservation that they forget their mission. They forget that their purpose is to serve the needs of others… from the perspective of the others.
A lot of church work is done in meetings, and church leaders often resist making meetings better and more productive. Church meetings are about ministry, church leaders say, not about business. Yet, often churches have a lot of business leaders who participate in church meetings. If you don’t adapt your meeting style somewhat to make business leaders feel more at home, you’ll end up with only relational people in your meetings. You want both: business people and relational people in addition to those called to ministry. Try these tips.
Vibrant, healthy, lifelong faith formation in our congregation is the goal. Isn’t it? It seems it would be easy to provide programs, Bible studies, and resources for Christian education for all ages in our congregations. Then one day we ask someone to volunteer their time to do it. This person finds out that not only is the budget shrinking to buy materials, but that people aren’t coming. They plan, publicize, and hope for the best. After a few months, they may find themselves feeling alone, getting slightly burned out, and developing a very negative feeling about faith formation happening at all. Those negative feelings begin to grow like cancer and begin to seep into other parts of their life as well. Where do they turn? Who can they talk to? Discouragement comes easily. How can we give support and help them?
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