Lead On - January 2016
 
Welcome to the latest edition of Lead On, the monthly email with leader-to-leader input from CPAS. Please forward this on to others who may be interested, or point them towards www.cpas.org.uk/leadon. Thank you.

One Thing


Imagine for a moment that God has one thing he wants to address in your life. What would it be? I know, just one thing… certainly a joke in my life, there are so many. But imagine with me, just one thing. 

Is it a character fault, a hidden sin, a relationship that needs addressing, an aspect of competency in your leadership role, a discernment issue, a health concern… One thing. 

My hunch is that some of you reading this already know what it is. Others have a reasonable idea. And others aren’t at all sure. Perhaps a bit of time in prayer at the start of the year is a good way of discerning how we may co-operate with God’s ongoing work of transformation in our lives. 

I’ve made it a personal discipline over many years to ask God for that one thing. Then to work with that over a year, praying for his grace to be at work, changing me ever more into his likeness, equipping me ever more for the work he has called me to. 

Some years have been easier than others, some more fruitful than others, but every year it has been worth addressing one thing. 

The starting point of all good leadership is to follow Christ and to lead ourselves. One thing… what might it be?

Lead on.

James

Feature Article - A Place To Lead From


The place we lead from affects everything we do. An insecure leader is very different to an appropriately secure one. A leader who lives from a place of grace is different to the one struggling to receive grace. In this article Tamsin Merchant, a vicar in Islington, explores how her experience of adopting children has led her to reflect on what it means to lead from a place of being an adopted child of God. 

Galatians 5 is a wonderful passage of scripture as a leader. It states ‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.’ The passage sets out how we as Christians have been set free from the yoke of slavery to the law, and how we are to live by the Spirit. 

Read the article...

Review

What's Best Next by Matt Perman
Published by Zondervan

I’ve read lots of books on personal management. This ranks as one of the best. It helpfully sets productivity in the context of a biblical understanding of God’s creation mandate and Christ’s great commission. 

His thesis is that we are on planet earth to be fruitful in God’s good works by putting others first, and improving our productivity is a way to increase the good we can do. In the early part of the book he explores the place of grace, the reality that we can’t have everything under our control, and how prayer and the Scriptures shape our approach to productivity. 

The second half then offers a framework for thinking about how we organise ourselves (Define, Architect, Reduce, Execute) with loads of practical suggestions. One of the great strengths of the book is that he has read so widely on the subject that you are actually learning from some of the best thinkers on the subject without having to read their books. Each chapter concludes with a helpful summary section and recommended reading. 

I find reading a book on this subject at least once a year is a helpful way to reflect on my current practice. There are always ways to improve. This book will be a rich resource for quite a time, as there are so many helpful and perceptive insights into how to live a life that seeks to bless others. 

Review by James Lawrence.

Leading Links


Soul Food 
There are many occasions in church life where having a little something for people to take away and make a connection with what they have experienced is a good thing: baptisms, weddings, funerals to start off with, and then Christmas and Easter services, parent and toddler groups and so on. Soul Food provides small cards which link to online bite sized thoughts direct to people’s phones. Find out more here

Authentic Leadership
What does it mean to be an authentic leader? CPAS Ministry Partner Rod Street has written a helpful article exploring the contemporary interest in authentic leadership and offering some critical assessment of what actually it means to be authentic 

Scrapper and Silver Spoons
You’re about to employ someone. You have a choice. Someone who has all the right qualifications, background and experience. And someone who is equally competent for the role, but for whom life has been a tough journey. Which one will you choose? Scrapper or silver spoon? Take a look at Regina Hartley’s TED talk for an interesting perspective. 

Starting the New Year 
A couple of things to reflect on at the start of the year. First a helpful series of questions to use as we start a new year from John Mallinson’s website.

Second, a blog post from Ian Paul on ‘Are resolutions the best way to change?

One thing I've learned about leadership...

 
This month in the series where a leader speaks about the one thing they have learned about leadership, Libby Talbot, Chaplain at Dean Close School, speaks about the place of courage in leadership.
 
Leadership quote

‘We can’t run our lives without some sort of approach to getting things done. The issue is not whether we have an approach to personal productivity; the issue is whether we our approach is a good one or a bad one.’ 
Matt Perman

Next month...

Graham Archer on wisdom and leadership.
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