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.

Saying thank you

‘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
Saying thank you. My parents taught me from a young age how important it is to say thank you. Trying to do the same with my children is an interesting challenge! So why is saying thank you so important that it enters Max De Pree’s sentence on leadership?
Last month we considered the importance of defining reality, of naming how things are as accurately and clearly as we can. It provides the starting point for an attempt to shape things to be a little more kingdom oriented.
Saying thank you provides the ongoing energy to continue to move things in that direction.
Thank you expresses appreciation for effort, it acknowledges contribution, it affirms worth and value. Such small words, such big impact. Even more so if accompanied by a smile and good eye contact.
In First Break All the Rules, Buckingham and Coffman identify that one of the things to discover as part of an appraisal scheme is whether a staff member has received recognition or appreciation for their work in the last week. Why did they make this such a core question? Because their research revealed how little people received simple appreciation for what they have done, and how powerful such appreciation is in both motivating people and creating a healthy environment in which to work.
In my work I travel a lot, and often I am preaching in different churches around the country. I try to make sure I say thank you to someone who has contributed to the Sunday event who might not normally get thanked. I am always amazed at the impact. How about every time we gather as the people of God we seek to say thank you to someone? At the home group, the choir rehearsal, the PCC, the youth event.
And if you have responsibility for others as a leader, what about making saying 'thank you' your spiritual discipline for the year. For ultimately the more we say thank you, the more we not only encourage others but also remind ourselves of a God who is gracious and worthy of our thanks. As Paul wrote, ’Give thanks in all circumstances.’ (1 Thessalonians 5:18): thankful to God for who he is and what he has done for us; thankful to others for who they are and what they have done as well.
Lead on

Investing in the leadership potential of young people

Andy Castle is Director of Thrive Youth Ministries, based in the Midlands. In this article Andy has asked three young people to speak of what has helped them grow as leaders, and then offered five insights from their experience that can guide us to intentionally shape young people in leadership.
One way of thinking of leadership is as a spiritual gift. It can be given to any Christian at any time in their lives. What do we do when God chooses to give it to a teenager? He’s been doing this since the time of Samuel, Esther, Jeremiah and the disciples and doesn’t seem to have stopped.
Read the full article


How to do Mission Action Planning
Mike Chew and Mark Ireland (SPCK Publishing)
I bought this book because in my role here at CPAS, I spend a lot of time with dioceses which are promoting mission action plans (MAPs) and leaders who are trying to create them. It does a number of things. It informs about where the MAP initiative came from, it inspires with first hand stories and it offers some really practical steps to follow. This is what I like about the book:

  1. Many people I encounter are reluctantly trying to develop MAPs because they are told by someone that they ‘have to’. The two authors of this book share helpful stories to encourage people to use them because in their experience, they have a fruitful impact.
  2. Their step-by-step section makes what sometimes looks very complex, feel very do-able and for those who aren’t by instinct natural vision-makers, creates an easy process.
  3. Although the theological section is short, it isn’t thin. In case a small part of the reader is ready to reject it because it draws on secular models; Ireland makes theological connections which make the case rather well.
  4. Finally, the appendices contain really practical outlines for meetings and templates for documents that add to the sense that, although each leader has to put in the work to make MAPs come alive, here is a book that is genuinely helpful in the process.

So many churches have been aided by not only creating a MAP but then actioning it. If you are invited to engage in a MAP process, get this book. You are far more likely to do it well!
Review by Graham Archer, CPAS director of ministry.

Additional resource material

You and Ministry weekends
CPAS You and Ministry weekends have been helping people explore a vocation to ordained roles within the Church of England for over 50 years. Those who attend find them a great place to find out more about church leadership. There are three weekends in 2014 and you can find details here. If you know of someone thinking about ordination, do send them the link.
From Anecdote to Evidence
Some fascinating new research on Church Growth in the Church of England was published mid-January. If you haven’t seen it you can find the report here
40 Acts
Looking for a creative way to engage with Lent? Try 40 Acts, an initiative that is gaining global support. Details here.
Is Facebook on the decline? Click here for an interesting article on teenagers, Facebook and the rise of the new social media sites.

Leadership talk

'Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.'
Henry Van Dyke

Next month...

Leadership of MPBs

Pam Macnaughton writes on leadership in multi-parish benefices.  


Charles Burgess suggests some helpful websites. 

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