Ministry Leadership

Joey Bonifacio: Why I Like a Church That’s ‘Messy’

f-Strang-MakingDisciplesCall it intuition, call it instinct, but there’s a nagging sense in me that says “church is messy.” To be clear, what I mean by that is simply “untidy,” not perfect, can be disorderly. Even as a young man I was always suspicious of things that looked too tidy, too perfect—too sanitized, too "Stepford Wives."

Think Corinth, then Ephesus and Sardis, and you know that church is not perfect. That’s the reason young people get turned off by church. Self-righteousness, which projects an unreal piety that covers up mistakes—or worse, pretends to not make any—is nothing more than hypocrisy. Like preachers who call out errors in others, but have secret lives.

Herein lies the importance of discipleship, of life exchange, of being real, of acknowledging that while we are sinners, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is capable of transforming us into saints. Discipleship that speaks of a journey of ever-increasing trust blooms into faith as we encounter Christ’s love each day.

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3 Critical Steps to 'Leading Up'

Gina-McClainWe all find ourselves in the position of “leading up” at some point in our lives. Whether it’s in the workplace or where we volunteer, we all have an opportunity to lead our leaders.

There are times when I’ve led my leaders well and times I have not. Here are three critical steps I’ve learned to take in order to lead up with success.

1. Meeting before the meeting.  I watched this play out in a scenario I’ve been walking through. It’s brilliant. Have a ‘meeting before the meeting.’ If you’re leading into a challenging topic with leadership, it serves you well to make a quick connection in advance, letting the other person know what the meeting is about. No details. Just a quick overview that gives them something to digest. A brief snippet that sets the stage for the conversation. This puts your leader in a proactive posture rather than a reactive posture.

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What Are You Doing to Keep Yourself Sane?

Kim Martinez photoEvery leader faces overwheming moments. Elijah had one of those moments after he faced and killed the entire squadron of Baal prophets while simultaneously calling the people of Israel back into right relationship with God.

Elijah did everything right, but he was completely worn out. There are times in ministry when you just have too many critical issues at once. These times can wear you out.

So, how do you recharge and maintain stability in the maelstrom of ministry?

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Leadership Skills Begin and Flourish in the Brain

thinking-brainAs neuroscientists have shown in recent years, the very best leadership skills are rooted in how people think, in how our brains are constructed and how they operate. Our brains are designed to work in specific ways, in specific conditions, with specific requirements. When those conditions are met, smart and talented people flourish. They win.

On the other hand, when those conditions are not met, they flounder and do not perform up to their potential. It turns out that it really is all in your head—that is, your brain. It will not work well when leaders are doing things that inhibit brain functioning, or are leading teams and organizations in ways that literally make it impossible for people’s brains to work to their full potential. Let's take a look at how and why we need focused attention, positivity, unity, control and other factors in order to excel.

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Pressure of Responsibility Comes With the Territory

Brad-Lomenick-headshotI get asked all the time by young leaders “How do you handle the responsibility of leading something like Catalyst?” Good question.

Reality is, anyone who leads a church, a company, a community, a nonprofit ministry, a team or even a family feels and knows the pressure of responsibility. And responsibility is part of leadership. Always.

You’ve heard this before, "You’re responsible for what happens. Don’t screw up!" Right! We hear this all the time from our parents, our boss, our board, our friends, and from our spouse.

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7 Secrets to High Achievement

success-achievementI get asked frequently: “Pastor, how do you get so much done and still take care of yourself and your family?”

Honestly, I never feel I’ve accomplished as much as I would like, but after receiving the question so many times, perhaps I should attempt to answer.

I do have a lot of responsibility. I pastor a large church undergoing transition and change. I have an active (some would say over-active) online presence. I blog regularly to a growing audience and interact daily with my readers. I maintain a separate nonprofit ministry I’ve managed for more than 10 years where I provide consulting and teaching to pastors and churches.

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