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
In the second of a three-part series, Rick Warren gets down to the practicality and simplicity of Jesus' teaching.
We Christians claim to believe the Bible is God's Word and that it's divinely inspired. Yet, we aren't reading it.
Discover the value of a daily time tithe.
These wonderful things are taking place and you may not even know it.
Unfortunately, it's a way of life for many in the ministry.
It is time for the women who have been waiting for prayers to be answered to be inflamed with the passion of faith.
Effective leaders know that less is more.
Most Christians want holiness and forgiveness, but are they willing to pay the price for it?
People often have opinions they won't share until they are given a direct invitation to share them. Think about these questions.
Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, used these principles. Give them a try.
The easy way out is not an effective leader's choice.
How would you address these concerns? What is your church doing now? What more would you like your church to do?
There is so much we can learn from Jesus' style of communication, not just his content.
Before you take a pastoral assignment, here are some things you should think about.
When leaders fret, progress declines.
As citizens of the kingdom, shouldn't we be dedicated to truth?
By Tim Smith
Here's why churches that have learned how to use the power of technology in their day-to-day activities have seen great results.
Why are so many pastors in the American church reflecting these things?
Show and tell is a favorite tool of leaders.
The scales are tipping, and here is why that reality engenders fear in some members.
By Dannah Gresh
Here is how the church can help its youth stay pure in a culture that glorifies sexual choice.
What are some of the ways you deal with these situations?
Sacrifices precede accomplished missions.
Everyone faces roadblocks. How we handle them is the key.
By Rachel Cruze
Young people need all the help they can get these days in handling their finances. These 3 important budgeting principles are a great start.
If you've ever doubted the effectiveness of your ministry, take this to heart.
Effective leaders worry about the outcomes of others.
Unmet expectations can be very frustrating. How much do you experience it?
By Tim Elmore
Is technology altering the minds of our youth?
It was Ruth Bell Graham who said many unhappy husbands and wives expect their spouses to be to them what only Jesus Christ can be. Here's why that's so true.
Some transparency is over sharing.
It's an age-old question. Which way do you lean?
By Aaron Crumbey
Here is why it's so important for help your church's youth to grasp that they are made in God's image.
Should your church have any guidelines for this?
Do we want our children to be led by this guy?
Here's why churches and individual believers in Christ should never experiment outside the Word of God.
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.