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 point them towards www.cpas.org.uk/leadon. Thank you.

Servant leadership

‘The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between a leader is a servant and a debtor.’ Max De Pree
  
Defining reality: helping those we lead to see things as they are. Saying thank you: expressing appreciation for what people do. And in between, suggests DePree, a leader is a servant and debtor. What does this look like?
  
Christians follow a servant king, one who came not to be served but to serve (Mark 10:45). The defining symbol of this sort of leadership is a towel. Yet servant leadership is often misunderstood. For Christians it doesn’t mean serving people, but serving God and through our service of God serving people; a subtle, but significant difference.
  
Serve people and we end up becoming a doormat, dutifully doing whatever they think best. Serve God and then we become a doorway, through which we enable people to walk into the priorities of the king and the purposes of the kingdom. Servant leaders serve God first, which means there will be times when we don’t do what people ask, when we say no (see Matthew 20:20-28). Such leadership is often difficult.
  
For example, most of us would rather avoid difficult conversations – the PCC member who is ‘bullying’ others into agreeing with what he wants. Perhaps he has been doing it for years, and no one has challenged his behaviour. The servant-leader plucks up courage, even when they would rather avoid the conversation, and does what is required.
  
So the critical question for servant leaders is ‘what is required of me in my leadership role today that will further the purposes of the kingdom and bless others?’
  
Let’s pick up our towels this month, and serve.
  
Lead on
  
James

From anecdote to evidence

Graham Archer, director of ministry at CPAS, reflects on the report on church growth recently published by the Church Commissioners and asks if there are lessons we can learn…
   
The findings of the Church Growth Research Programme have now appeared, shedding light for the Church of England on what often appears to be the gloomy statistics of church decline. Its aim is to understand what helps churches to grow and what has the opposite effect. 
    
Read the full article

Resources

Leadership on display - Benjamin Zander
'Leadership is as much caught as taught' is a well known truism. But also, some of the most compelling lessons we learn are from an oblique vantage point, i.e. a very different context but with the ability to inspire within our own leadership situation.
  
This video vividly captures both these truths in illustrating the potential of mentoring, through specific, focussed guidance and generous encouragement, to tangibly make a difference.     
 
Benjamin Zander is leader of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and a regular speaker on leadership.

Watch the video.

Additional resource material

Ventures
Every year we take thousands of young people away on fun-filled Christian holidays called Ventures. Many of those who attend describe it as the best week of their year. The camps are for those aged 8-18, and you can find out more at www.ventures.org.uk.
  
Stronger
Bill Hybels started 2014 teaching a series called ‘Stronger’ at Willow Creek Community Church. Vintage Hybels on faith, character, self control, love and the body of Christ. The sermons are available as audio or videos here.
  
Church Times
The Church Times is publishing a series of four responses to the church growth research published in January (www.churchgrowthresearch.org.uk). They include some fascinating statistics and articles. If you haven’t seen them in the paper, some of the content is available on their website.
  
Who am I?
Want a personality test with a difference? Try this image oriented test to gain insight into your personality and how that affects the way you relate to others.
 
Women and the Church
Women and the Church: a day to consider God’s call – Oxford diocese, Wycliffe Hall and Awesome are jointly running a day for women thinking about ordination in the Anglican church on 17 May 2014. More information is available from Facebook or by clicking here for the advert. 

Leadership talk


'Servant leadership is not an impossible ideal in our day. Rather it should be the foundational cornerstone of our thinking about spiritual leadership. Christ lived, taught, and modelled it for us, and it is our true distinctive as believers.'
Stacy Rinehart

Next month...

The importance of leaders asking for help

Rhiannon Jones writes on the importance of leaders asking for help.  

Resources

Pam Macnaughton recommends some useful apps. 

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