Ministry Leadership

How to Lead Through Confrontation

Gina-McClainA few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to lead a breakout session at Lifeway’s Kids Ministry Conference 2012 titled, The Non-Confrontationalist’s Guide to Confrontation. Last week, we posted here reason No. 1 you want to lean into conflict. You can catch up here.

Today, let’s address reason No. 2:

Conflict Hinders Collaboration

Don’t be deceived into believing that a small conflict has a small impact. A small conflict grows over time. It slowly erodes trust between team members. If not addressed, it becomes the purple elephant in the room that everyone knows is there but no one wants to talk about.

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12 Questions on Job Satisfaction

Tony-Morgan-candidIn a recent conversation, I was reminded of a set of questions that Marcus Buckingham developed to measure job satisfaction. This list is several years old, but it still provides great insights. I challenge you to consider going through these questions with your team. (My team will.)

1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?

2. Do I have the materials and equipment that I need in order to do my work right?

3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

4. In the past seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?

5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?

8. Does the mission or purpose of my company make me feel that my job is important?

9. Are my coworkers committed to doing quality work?

10. Do I have a best friend at work?

11. In the past six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?

12. This past year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?

Which one of those 12 questions challenges you the most? You can check out the rest of the magazine article originally published in Fast Company.

By the way, Buckingham also has a resource available called The Truth about You (Thomas Nelson, 2008). It’s a toolkit including a DVD, interactive book and a “rememo” pad to help you enjoy higher satisfaction with life and work.

Among other things Buckingham confirms, “You’ll never turn your weaknesses into strengths.” I hope that sets you free.

Tony Morgan is the chief strategic officer and founder of TonyMorganLive.com. He’s a consultant, leadership coach and writer who helps churches get unstuck and have a bigger impact. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, Ga.), NewSpring Church (Anderson, S.C.) and Granger Community Church (Granger, Ind.). With Tim Stevens, Tony has co-authored Simply Strategic Stuff, Simply Strategic Volunteers and Simply Strategic Growth—each of which offers valuable, practical solutions for different aspects of church ministry. His book Killing Cockroaches (B&H Publishing) challenges leaders to focus on the priorities in life and ministry.

For the original article, visit tonymorganlive.com.

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15 Keys of a ‘Make It Happen’ Team Culture

Leading-pastorAll of us want to be part of a team that is successful, accomplishes goals and gets things done. But a “make it happen” team culture is only possible if we, as individuals and leaders, are truly committed to do our part in helping create that team culture.

So here are 15 keys I’ve found for how each of us can contribute to that end:

1. Your yes is yes, and your no is no. Do what you say you will do.

2. You take responsibility before being told.

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Giving Your Best

They were completely amazed and said again and again, "Everything he does is wonderful. He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who cannot speak." — Mark 7:37

Leaders pursue excellence. They lead their organizations, their families, their businesses, and, in fact, their very lives striving for their best.

Jesus was committed to excellence. God gave his very best--his Son. And, as the New Testament writer Mark reminds us, God's Son gave his very best--his life. He made the best wine (see Matthew 14:13-21), and the limbs he restored were perfect (see Mark 3:1-5). His followers should do no less. Less than our best is inadequate, considering the fact that God has given us his very best.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry." Whatever our role, our position, our organization, or our lot in life, we should strive for the best. The measure of our success should not be attached to our particular career or what we earn but on our character and what we give.

Excellence does not mean being the best but being your best, understanding that variation makes all the difference in the world. Excellence is being better than you were yesterday. Excellence means matching your practice with your potential.

Some people have fame thrust upon them. Very few have excellence thrust upon them. Excellence is achieved. What will you do to have people say, like they said of Jesus, "Everything he does is wonderful"?

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Why Successful Preachers Face Constant Temptation

Pastor-Prayer-smallJust because people look at us when we stand to deliver a homily, we must not automatically think we possess knowledge, authority or anything not available to the least among us. They could be listening for God.

Just because they fill the pews to worship God and, in the process, listen to our sermons and say good things afterward, that does not mean they are there to hear us. They could be there for greater reasons.

If they laugh at our jokes and weep at our stories, we are not to think ourselves gifted communicators who have mastered our craft. It could be they are people of grace and graciousness.

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A Pastor Should Exist Alongside His Congregation, Not Above It

George-O-Wood-AGGrowing up in Assemblies of God churches, I often heard preaching in an imperative—even imperial—mode. Pastors operated with a command-and-control model of leadership that carried over into the pulpit.

They thundered forth the Word of God in a high, loud and fast tone of voice. They left no time for questions and made no space for nuance. When they finished their sermons, all they wanted was a yes or no answer from the congregation.

Early on in my pastoral career, perhaps as a reaction to imperative-mode preaching, I preached in the indicative mode. I downloaded information on members of my congregation with a professional tone of voice. My sermons were long, complex and nuanced.

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