Lead On - Resourcing your ministry, leader to leader


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Significant things often take time...

I am in the depths of 1 Kings at the moment, and came across 1 Kings 6. Now after the battles and plots of 2 Samuel and the family intrigue of early Kings, chapter 6 is a gentler thing - a description of the design of the Temple. Boring some might think, unless you have architectural leanings. But it got me thinking.
In the final verse we are reminded of the timescale: ‘He was seven years in building it.’ Seven years! I was chatting with a  church leader today who mentioned that after four years in post they sense that the people are beginning to trust them. And because of that things are beginning to bubble. Small things maybe, but nonetheless there was a sense of excitement in her voice.
In our quick-fix, instant-everything, if-we’re-bored-or-things-are-difficult-move-on-society, it is good to be reminded some things take time. Big things often take a long time. Bob Jackson’s research suggest the most significant changes in church life occur during years 7-12 of a minister’s time.
The other insight is in verses 1-2; this was a house he was building for the Lord. He believed God had commissioned him to do it. If we are going to invest substantially in something, it is worth taking time to discern if it is something God would have us do. We may never be 100% certain, but that shouldn’t stop us listening to God, talking with others and making a decision. Solomon could name the day of the month and the year when it started. It was that significant.
What is God asking us to invest in that will be a long-term piece of work, that almost certainly will involve heartache, frustration, and setbacks, but will honour his name and unveil his kingdom?
And if we are in the middle of just such a piece of work and finding it tough, thinking of giving up, perhaps Solomon may encourage us. Keep going, significant things for God normally are costly and take time. But there will come a point when you look back and can name the day, month and year when it all started, and rejoice  in what God has done.
Lead on,

James Lawrence
CPAS leadership principal

Taking the brakes off

In the third of our leadership articles, John Dunnett, CPAS general director, reflects on how to release growth in your leadership.
My first ever car was a white Renault 6 – affectionately known as ‘The Popemobile’ by my (now) brother-in-law. It cost me very little – had a lot of rust on it – and necessitated many hours of maintenance. But at least it taught me how to change the oil and release sticking brake pistons (which gave a better MPG and a less smelly ride!)...
Read the full article


Keith Lamdin, Finding Your Leadership Style, SPCK
What an intriguing book. Lamdin is well qualified to write on this subject after decades of involvement with leaders, both within Oxford Diocese and now as Principal of Sarum College. He is also extremely widely read and draws on an incredible range of sources.
The first two chapters are his reflections on Christian leadership, identifying core themes for leadership in the church today, critiquing the distinction between leadership and management, offering his understanding of what a leader is and does. It is thought provoking, challenging, stimulating stuff.
He then goes on to offer six ‘leadership styles’, but if you are used to some of the secular leadership styles inventories be prepared for something different. He uses the paradigms of monarch, warrior, servant, elder, contemplative and prophet to explore ways of leading that do and don’t fit a Christian view of leadership. The final chapter explores how we can 'take the strain' of church leadership, with some practial ideas around mentoring and health.
This book really got me thinking, sometimes nodding in agreement, other times having to rethink cherished views, and still others shaking my head in disagreement. I’m not sure the title does the book justice. It is far wider in its reach than might be suggested. So if you want an intriguing, thought provoking read, get this and try to find someone to read it at the same time as you. Then be prepared for some interesting conversations.

Blog spot
Mike Breen’s blog is always worth a look. One time vicar of St Thomas Crook and now heading up 3DM he is known for innovative thinking and mission practise. Take a look at this entry on mission, leadership and discipleship as a starter, where he argues the church swings from one to the next, but we need to hold all three together. You may get hooked.

Leadership talk

We need leadership, discipleship and mission functioning together to be effective. How do you do Biblical discipleship without mission? How do you train and release people in mission together without strong leadership? How do leaders invest and multiply leaders with character without a strong discipleship foundation in place?
Mike Breen

Next month...

How do I keep going as a leader

John Fisher reflects on sustaining yourself as a leader.


A review of Patrick Lencioni’s latest book, Advantage.


making disciples, developing leaders, growing churches

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