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.

Conversations

Leaders spend a lot of time talking with people – formally and informally, in one-to-one settings and meetings of many people.
  
Some of the conversations will be catching up with what happened yesterday or asking how someone is. These are important. They establish relationship and show we care. Leaders who can’t engage in ‘small-talk’ or ‘banter’ can appear distant or stand-offish.
  
There is another type of conversation though. It is intentional, focused and enables people or things to move forward. We see Jesus having these conversations with those he meets with startling results: for example the woman at the well (John 4:1-26) or Peter (John 21:15-23).
  
Here are three categories of intentional conversations that I find it helpful to have.
  
Encouraging conversations. A few well-chosen words can build someone up. Yet my tendency is sometimes to think encouraging things but not say them. For example in a meeting yesterday I was thinking what good questions someone was asking, but that is not enough. I had to intentionally say: ‘It’s great to work with you on this. You always bring such good questions to the issues that really help us explore things from a different perspective.’ I could sense them stand a little taller.
  
Developmental conversations. Someone comes to you asking for you to make a decision about something. It is far quicker and easier to make the decision and move on to something else. But that doesn’t develop the person. It may take more time to ask ‘What are your thoughts on this?’, explore other options with them, ask some pertinent questions and then say ‘I’d be really happy with either of those options, why don’t you decide’, but it will help the person grow in their confidence in decision-making.
  
Tricky conversations. We all know these. The ones we’d rather avoid. They often fall to a leader because no one else wants to have them, and because it is part of our role. Poor behavior that needs to be addressed, an attitude that could do with toning down, a broken relationship that could do with some attention. Tricky, but necessary. One leader speaks of daring to enter the ‘tunnel of chaos’. I constantly need to remind myself to not walk away from such conversations.
  
Claire Pedrick offers some helpful insights in her article this month that will help us to have such conversations, for these are crucial to healthy leadership. I wonder which conversation might God be prompting you to have this week?
  
Lead on
  
James
  
PS Scroll down for a chance to win David Suchet’s audio Bible.

Crystal clear enough

Claire Pedrick, Director of 3D Coaching, offers some helpful ideas on how to have clear and helpful conversations with those we manage or supervise. 
   
As churches grow and develop their ministry, they often bring in more staff such as full-time volunteers, interns, curates or employees. With different ages, backgrounds, experiences and expectations it can be confusing to navigate our way through the communication minefield. Yet, clear communication, clear working engagement is vital for healthy leadership.
   
 
    
Read the full article

Resources

This month Graham Archer, Director of Ministry at CPAS, reviews a landmark book on new types of Churches.
  
Church for Every Context
Michael Moynagh with Philip Harold (SCM)
   
The book claims to be an academic reflection on the phenomena of ‘new contextual churches’ that addresses some of the critics and provides a theological foundation for further reflection. Church plants, fresh expressions, missional communities etc. are all reminders that over the past few decades, the inherited church has been trying to move outside its walls and attempt to engage with those who don’t gather within them. Like the seeds of the sower, some have flourished while others have withered or had the life choked out of them.
  
Continue reading

Additional resource material

Competition time!
David Suchet has recently finished recording the entire Bible (you can find out more here), and due to the generosity of Hodder we have four copies to give away, so it's time for a competition. Over the next two editions of Lead On we will run two competitions, with a copy of the CDs as a prize for the top two entries each month. Here's this month's competition. Entries have to be submitted to James Lawrence by 31 May and we will let the winners know by 20 June:

  • Competition
    ‘What I wish I knew about leadership then that I know now.’ In a single sentence, for someone starting out in leadership.

iSingWorship
If you are looking for an excellent way to help lead sung worship without a musician/band, and have an iPad or iPod, download the app iSingWorship. Music, words, and chords are all accessible in a simple and easy to use format with some stunning functionality. More information is available from www.isingworship.com/.

Leadership talk


'At its core, we speak the truth in love when we care enough to speak the gospel into the lives of those around us. This is God's everyday calling for every Christian.'
Tony Reinke

Next month...

Maintaining the spiritual life as a leader

John Fisher reflects on how to maintain the spiritual life as a leader.  

Resources

James Lawrence reviews Gordon MacDonald's book Building Below the Waterline

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