Lead On - Resourcing your ministry, leader to leader

Welcome to the latest edition of Lead On, the monthly email with leader-to-leader input from CPAS. If you know others who may be interested in this email, please forward it on or send them a link to www.cpas.org.uk/leadon. Thank you.

Courage

It was an extraordinary moment. Standing 128,000 feet above planet earth (that is 24 miles!), Felix Baumgartner steps off the edge of his capsule and plummets towards the Earth’s surface, reaching speeds of over 800mph.
 
Through the marvels of modern technology we watch from a camera placed above him as he takes the terrifying plunge (click here if you want to watch it). My heart nearly stopped just looking at the video! Apparently his heart was beating at a normal rate.
 
Now some will think him completely mad (me, for example), others enviously wish they could have done it (my son, for example), but wherever we are on that spectrum, there is no doubting his courage.
 
Courage isn’t the absence of fear. It is the ability to press on despite the fear. And it is an important quality in leadership.
 
Courage to do what needs to be done whatever the opposition. Courage to delay making a decision when everyone is pressing for it to be made, because you simply don’t have sufficient information or time to make a wise choice. Courage to shape a church culture around gospel values, rather than allow the world’s values to determine how you do things. Courage to challenge repeated unhelpful behaviour.
 
Jesus exhibits such courage as he rids the temple of money changers (Mark 11:15), as he talks with an outcast Samaritan woman at the well (John 4), as he challenges the prevailing view of leadership (Matthew 20:20-28), as he presses on to the cross (Luke 22:39-46).
 
How do we develop courage? It’s a combination of things:

  • Gaining clarity about God’s call, what it is he is asking us to do.
  • Growing in godly character, so that we are secure in our identity in Christ.
  • Taking every opportunity to practise courage; making small courageous decisions now that bring strength to make larger courageous decisions in the future. Felix didn’t wake up one morning and randomly decide to leap. He spent many years of his life making (initially smaller) courageous decisions that all led up to that big moment.

So, where can we exercise courage in our life and leadership today? What fears do we need to face? Which people may we need to lovingly challenge? What decision have we been putting off? What small act of courage now can help prepare us for the unknown bigger courageous act that is around the corner?
 
Lord, give us courage to follow where you lead.
 
Lead on.
 
James

Leading forward - habits can hinder

In a thought provoking article Rod Street, management expert, explores whether small habit changes may be more important than big visions to change churches.
  
We all know how difficult it can be to change a longstanding habit – even one that we know to be unhealthy and would like to give up. It is often the same with groups of people. We all have habits – even groups – and they can be highly resistant to change.
 
Sometimes even when church leaders can see the need to change...

 
Read the full article

Resources

John Dunnett recommends some helpful websites for leaders.
 
www.tablegroup.com
Patrick Lencioni is one of the most creative and stimulating writers on leadership and team issues. His website has a selection of downloadable resources to supplement his books (which are well worth reading!).
 
www.john-truscott.co.uk
John Truscott has been working with and consulting for UK local churches and their leaders for more than a quarter of a century. His website has a wide variety of administration focused resources.
 
www.businessballs.com  
A secular website with a wide range of tools, suggestions and creative ideas to help you do team building, practice good HR, and learn how to use SWOT, PEST, Porter's Five Forces and other 'vision building' tools.
  
www.cartoonchurch.com
This website is handy if you need a couple of cartoons for parish magazines.
 
Leadership Now
A website with hundreds of easily accessed quotes on leadership, 'bite size' articles, tools and much more.
 
www.biblegateway.com
If you have not yet discovered Bible Gateway, take a look at the website which enables you to cut and paste text from many different versions of the Bible.
     
2012 HTB Leadership Conference
The 2012 HTB leadership conference drew together a wide range of speakers from Tony Blair to our own general director John Dunnett.

Additional resource material

Felix Baumgartner
Felix talks about his experience of his jump and makes an interesting comment about humility. Good for a talk illustration.
 
Top 100 Tools for Learning 2012
This is a list of learning tools compiled by Jane Hart at the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies (thanks to Tim Lings for the recommendation). It is an annual survey and includes a range of technologies used to help people learn. Quite challenging to think through how we connect with some of these in our learning communities (small group, congregation, eldership etc).

Leadership talk


'I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave person is not the one who does not feel afraid, but the one who conquers that fear.'
Nelson Mandela

Next month...

Disciple-making in a consumerist culture   

Neil Hudson from LICC writes on disciple-making in a consumerist culture. How do I as a leader encourage 24/7 discipleship amongst those I lead?

Resources

John Fisher offers some books to add to your Christmas pressie list!

making disciples, developing leaders, growing churches

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