Ministry Today proudly presents Greenelines, a new blog from Dr. Steve Greene.
Dr. Greene writes on a wide range of topics important to leaders, church administrators and young leaders in development.
He has lead business organizations, served as a dean of a college of business and lead as a senior pastor. Greene's primary focus is to equip the leaders of saints.Read Greenelines
By Paul Daugherty
Here's how one church walked through a sudden change in the pulpit and continued to thrive.
There are three stages to sermon writing. Make sure to take advantage of all three.
Leaders must know the end of a thing.
If you wanted either one to lead you, which would you choose?
Here is how to revive your enthusiasm when you're feeling that deep-down tiredness of soul.
If you're frustrated with your discipleship program, check to see if any of these things are hampering your effort.
Faulty thinking leads to flawed outcomes.
Whenever we focus on a truth to the exclusion of other aspects of truth we end up in error.
By Ron Lewis
414 is going to the streets of Manhattan for Christ and is seeing big results in youth salvations.
In the religious and nonprofit world, a leader's moral failure still has a major impact.
Along with the theological and scriptural issues, there's also a significant trust issue involved. The common thinking is that if he or she can't be trusted to honor marriage vows, then the leader is likely untrustworthy in other areas as well.
However you personally fall on the spectrum of that thinking, the truth is, churches, ministries, and nonprofits take a heavy hit when a leader has an affair, or worse, is involved in illegal sexual behavior. In these cases, how the organization reacts in the first 24 hours is critical.
Having advised numerous organizations through these difficult situations, here's my recommendations for the first 24 hours of the crisis:
1. Act quickly. In the digital era we live in, it's not just our theology or moral principles at issue, it's about telling the story and getting the facts straight. Otherwise, in our media-driven culture things can spin out of control pretty quickly and rumors and lies will mount up. In a text message world, word travels fast so you're living a dream if you believe you can hide it or keep a lid on it for long.
2. Call your attorney and get his or her advice. Especially if it involves minors, or downloading child pornography, not reporting it immediately can be a crime in itself. A good attorney can help guide you through that process and will know which authorities to notify.
3. Scrub the leader from all communications. If your pastor, executive, or leader is a public figure and featured on TV, radio, online, social media, or in fundraising, pull it immediately across all platforms. He or she may eventually be proven innocent, but once the accusations go public, people will use those images and clips to ridicule the organization. So get your web and media team to pull TV spots, programs, websites, or social media platforms that feature that leader.
4. Activate a crisis team. These are key leaders in your organization who understand the situation, can be trusted to deliver the accurate story, and are good on their feet. Get them together, go over the situation and implement your strategy. (You've already developed a crisis strategy just in case, right?)
5. Lead with the facts. Don't hide, embellish, or deflect. It will always come back to haunt you. That doesn't mean you blurt out everything you know, but it does mean whatever you say must be true—according to what you know at the time.
6. Be concerned and sympathetic to all parties. For instance, in the case of a pastor having an affair, never criticize or demean the woman involved. Particularly at this early date, no one knows everything about the situation, so never come across as harsh or unfeeling towards anyone. You need to express genuine sympathy, assure the public that you're arranging counseling, and are working to resolve the issue. In the midst of the initial chaos, remember that counseling and dealing with the spiritual and psychological issues are paramount.
7. Don't guess about the cause. I blogged here about not wasting precious time in the first 24 hours speculating why it happened. The problem happened, so let's deal with it for now. We'll have plenty of time in the future to look back on what caused the problem and make the proper changes for the future.
8. Develop a statement for the press that you've written with the advice of your attorney and media consultant (if you have one). It needs to be clear, express the truth about what happened, and outline the steps you're taking to remedy the situation.
From that point on, you should keep the press informed on a regular basis, work on any counseling for everyone involved, and make the necessary changes in the organization's leadership structure. Remember—the more you hide, the more people will assume you're not telling the whole truth.
While some may think a strategy like this is harsh or insensitive, the scrutiny can be white hot, and without the right response, negative press coverage and word of mouth can destroy an otherwise great church, ministry, or nonprofit. And that's the primary point here. You don't want a great work undermined or destroyed because of the innapropriate actions of one person. Don't act out of fear, anger or retribution, but act, and act now.
My advice is to keep this as a reference for the future. And if you'd like to discuss creating a "crisis plan" for your church, ministry, or nonprofit, please contact us here, and we'll help you navigate this difficult and challenging time.
Phil Cooke is a filmmaker, media critic and adviser to some of the largest churches, ministries and nonprofit organizations in the world. He's the founder of the Influence Lab.
For the original article, visit philcooke.com.
It probably isn't what you think.
By Thom S. Rainer
Over the past few decades, the seeker-sensitive movement—and before that the church growth movement—taught us much about contextualization in the church.
Here's the story of a pastor who committed a heinous crime many years ago and his struggle to to keep that shame in the past.
The people you lead need help in overcoming their past.
The content of this article could very well save someone's job and ministry.
By David Santistevan
We've all been there. The last thing we want to do is sing "How Great Is Our God" or "Here I Am to Worship" again. They feel old, tired and worn out.
It's tough sometimes to get leaders to stay at your church, but here are some things you can do to encourage them.
All work and no play is just work.
Here is why we should not lose our confidence when all looks bleak in the world.
By Dr. Mark Rutland
There are some unexpected lessons to be learned from the secret love life of crows.
Ed Stetzer points out three trends that may surprise, and anger, some.
Many good ideas pass through the air without ears to hear.
Satan knows what buttons to push with some people. Here are some practical ways to take a stand.
By Ken Walker
Here's how the founder of Robertson Tire is making an impact for Jesus within the marketplace.
Can you admit than you're human and that you can't do it all?
The use of blind copies in emails reveals more than it hides.
It could be many things, including these.
By Dr. Steve Greene
Make sure to ask six key questions to develop greater clarity as you lead.
The conflict with the enemy rages on, and here are some things we need to remember when we go into battle.
This concept is interesting, and it's critical for leaders to embrace.
Be quick to connect vision with action.
By Ron Edmondson
Here is how to not let their negative actions and complaints dictate your relationship.
Lack of discipleship is a problem in many churches, but don't go these routes in trying to repair the situation.
Don't forget what matters most.
I am convinced that tomorrow's outpouring is wrapped up in today's answered prayer.
By Selma Wilson
Avoid hurting those you lead by moving forward with unwavering purpose.
As citizens in the Kingdom, we must constantly remind ourselves who is in control, especially in times of economic crisis.
It's time for a front-door checkup.
Do alternatives exist?
It's not a new struggle. As long as the church has been in existence, people have fought over music.
The Bible says we will all experience trials and tribulations. During those times, avoid doing these.
New projects siphon high-level talent at serious cost.
Many Christians don't understand exactly what it is. This should help.
If you think you're done with church for any of these reasons, here's a challenge to prompt you to think differently.
As pastors and leaders, don't you think we must set an example with our time management as a point of accountability?
What went wrong?
The internationally known author and evangelist has challenged pastors to stand up for God's truth about marriage in their pulpits Sunday morning.
With the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage, churches should take action quickly on these points.
What's keeping you from worshiping today? Two missionaries in a Philippian jail cell (Paul and Silas) would have been interested in hearing your answer.