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.

Interesting times

It’s been suggested that we in the West are living in times analogous to those of Daniel. Certainly it can sometimes feel as though we are being ‘besieged’ (Daniel 1:1) by a culture that is at best ambivalent towards Christian things and often far worse. And whilst we have not been literally deported to the land of Shinar (Daniel 1:2) the responsibility of leadership wears heavy in such times. Thank God then for the book of Daniel and the ‘signposts’ it offers to those of us who are called to offer Christian leadership (whether in the secular world, local churches or Christian organisations).
Here are four ‘issues’ we are called to keep on our leadership radar if we are going to serve God in the context of our times.
Engagement without defilement
Daniel decided (presumably at the ‘nudge’ of God in his heart) that, whilst he was able to be a part of the royal court, he was not going to drink the king’s wine or eat his food.  As leaders, it’s probably helpful every now and then to revisit our own ‘engagement/defilement’ decisions to ensure that we are keeping in step with God’s nudge to us.
Service in a foreign land
Daniel saw his calling as to serve Nebuchadnezzar – even though he was a foreign and invading king. We have to be careful as to what parallels we draw here … but it does suggest that God sometimes calls Christian leaders to work with some unlikely ‘partners’ to build his kingdom.
Defending spiritualty
The stories of the fiery furnace and the lion’s den are actually all about Daniel's unwillingness to prostitute his spirituality. Even at great personal cost, he was not prepared to worship idols or to stop his daily prayer time. What about us?
A shepherd’s vocation
Daniel’s inspiring prayer in chapter 9 shows us that his heart for God’s people never fails or flags even in the midst of everything else that happens. This is true Christian leadership – and needs to be a yardstick against which we continually measure our own ‘performance’.
With Daniel, lead on …
John Dunnett
PS David Suchet’s audio Bible to be won, scroll down below.

Maintaining the spiritual life

John Fisher, CPAS patronage secretary, reflects on how to maintain the spiritual life in the midst of the pressures of leadership. 
‘Leadership is a lonely place’ said the head teacher of a large school to me recently. They were reflecting on the perceived isolation that comes with heavy responsibility, the need to take decisions, and the task of holding others to account. In ministry, leadership can be similarly isolating and sometimes more so, because of the fuzziness surrounding work/life boundaries. All this can take its toll on a leader’s spiritual life.
Read the full article


Building Below the Waterline
Gordon MacDonald (Hendrickson)
Subtitled ‘Strengthening the Life of the Leader’, the book considers the inner and outer life of leaders. In classic MacDonald style it is full of helpful biblical insights, intriguing stories, and perceptive comments to aid reflection on the deeper stuff that helps leaders keep steady: ‘the work done below the waterline (in a leader’s soul) determines whether he or she will stand the test of time.’
This is a challenging read for anyone who will take the time to read slowly, use the questions at the end of each chapter to reflect, and seek to put into practise the wise advice contained within. Perfect for a retreat or series of quiet days or team meetings over a few months. Enjoy.

Additional resource material

Competition time
Thanks for those who entered last month’s competition, winners announced by 20 June. This month we have a further two copies of David Suchet's recording of the entire Bible (you can find out more here) to give away. Entries have to be submitted to James Lawrence by 31 June and we will let the winners know by 20 July.
We want your best ideas for reaching people outside of the church with the good news of Jesus, in 50 words or less! It can be something you've done in your church, something you've seen work well elsewhere or even a completely new idea. It could be a successful event or programme, a way to motivate your congregation to reach out or anything else which has helped your church reach people with the good news of Jesus Christ.
HTB Leadership Conference 2014
Some of the talks for the conference are available to watch online here. The interview with Rick and Kay Warren about the suicide of their son is particularly moving.
Social media – yes or no?
Gary Turk reflects on the impact of social media in a beautifully crafted poem/video
An integrated vision statement (now that’s a mouthful!)
Julian Dunham writes an interesting article on developing an integrated vision for your life. No idea what that means? Then take a look!  

Leadership talk

'You don't judge an army by the number eating in the canteen. You judge it by the number of soldiers on the frontline.'
Rick Warren

Next month...

Leadership servant mentality

John Dunnett considers what a servant mentality looks like in leadership.  


Graham Archer suggests some helpful talks to listen to. 

making disciples, developing leaders, growing churches

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