22 August 2007

Women in Ministry

I am preaching on Labor Day weekend about “women in ministry” and I wanted to get some real world thoughts about the issue. Here’s my question:

1) Do you believe it is biblically sound for only men to be in positions of pastoral authority? Why or why not? What scriptures shed light on your view?
2) Do you believe God created males and females with different, complementary gifts so that there are certain things that men do and certain things that women do? Why or why not? What scriptures shed light on your view?
3) Do you believe that leadership roles in the church and in the home should be determined based on giftedness, not gender? Why or why not? What scriptures shed light on your view?
4) Would you (as either a male or female) feel comfortable under the direction of a female senior pastor at your church? Why or why not? What scriptures shed light on your view?

Post your comments and let’s engage in some dialogue.


09 August 2007

Leadership Summit: Session 4

Marcus Buckingham: Go Put Your Strengths to Work
Marcus Buckingham is one of the funniest and most energetic business speakers that I have ever heard. Even though he chastised himself for using “British humor” during his talk, he engaged the audience and kept my attention the whole time (a hard task after such a long day). He had plenty to share and I pray that I read the book of his that I purchased almost a year ago very soon.

Here are some of the notes that I took during his session:

• “Build on my strengths and manage around my weaknesses”
• Gallup asked: Which do you think will help you be more successful?
o US (2000) 41% build on strengths; 59% fix weaknesses
o US (2006) 37% build on strengths; 63% fix weaknesses
o US (2007) 41% build on strengths; 59% fix weaknesses
• Many times we try to learn about good by studying bad, but the inverse of bad is “not bad” which is different than good.
• Three Myths & Three Truths
o Myth: As you grow, your personality changes
o Truth: As you grow, you become more of who you already are

o Myth: You grow the most in your areas where you are weakest
o Truth: You grow the most in your areas where you are strongest

o Myth: A great team member puts his own strengths aside and does whatever it takes to help the team
o Truth: A team member volunteers his strengths to the team most of the time
• Three Skills to Learn
o Identify what your strengths are
 SIGNs of a strength in your life
o Change something
 Make the best of your job the most of your job
o Talk about your strengths without bragging and your weaknesses without whining
• “Let tomorrow be a slightly stronger day than today”


Leadership Summit: Session 3

Floyd Flake: The Heat of Responsibility
The Rev. Dr. Floyd H. Flake pastors the Greater Allen AME Cathedral of New York in Queens and he had plenty to say to the Summit participants. It almost seemed like he had two hours worth of material that he had to condense into 45 minutes. Did anyone else think that he never seemed to breathe? His thoughts on different models in leadership came fast and furious, so I didn’t catch everything (nor do I think he had time to say everything), but I caught what I could.

Here are some of the notes that I took during his session:

• Model 1: Transitional Leadership - Often set in motion the plans for change, but may not see that change thru to the end (ex. John the Baptist)
o Must begin with the end in mind because if you begin a process without knowing where you are going then it is difficult to get others to follow
o In the transitional stage you begin to get a glimpse of what can happen
•Model 2: Transactional Leadership
o Get buy-in and then decide when to take action
• Model 3: Transparency in Leadership
o Make sure your financial house is in order
o Choose competent and qualified partners
 People you trust
 People trusted by others
o Trust God enough to be honest
• Model 4: Transcendent Leadership (I don’t think he actually talked about this, I think they just put up the slide as he moved right past it)
• Model 5: Transformational Leadership
o Many of our plans fail because we lack the vision to build for future generations – need to have a “transcendency plan” – have to have something that future generations can take up when we are gone
• “Be the best leader you can be so that those who come behind you can be even greater”


Leadership Summit: Session 2

Interview with Carly Fiorina: Tough Choices
This session was an interview with Carly Fiorina, CEO of HP until her untimely firing in 2005. She wrote a book called Tough Choices (which I am really enjoying reading) after her dismissal and spoke at length with Bill about the defining moments in our leadership that make us who we are. Her thoughts on the complexities of being a woman in leadership were great!

Here are some of the notes I took during the session:

• Carly didn’t feel gifted as a child, but learned lessons from her parents that character, integrity, and authenticity were of highest priority
• Logic – the power of asking the right question
• “Nothing worthwhile happens with one person alone”
• Everybody’s afraid of something
o Many people are afraid of people who are different
o “Don’t let other people’s smaller ideas about you become reality in your life”
• Leadership is about seeing something in people that they don’t yet see in themselves…unlock their potential!
• Leadership is about “passion” and “dispassion”
o Passion – not only can motivate, but also blind
o Dispassion – ability to see the truth
• “the HP way” – begins to mean whatever people want it to mean; becomes a roadblock to change/innovation


Leadership Summit: Session 1

Bill Hybels: Vision to Die For
The opening session by Bill Hybels was packed with content, passion, and application for my ministry at Trietsch. I am always grateful for what Bill has to say about being a leader in the church, so I was looking forward to this session with much anticipation. And once again, he “brought it.”

I took so many notes on this session that I have distilled them down to a few quick points. You can see my whole set of notes here.

•We have the opportunity to write the next chapter in the history of the church
•Developing a “prayer mantra” for ministry events can go a long way to focus our efforts on what God wants rather than what we want
•God can speak thru academics, politicians, government officials, pastors so that we can grow as a leader – and I need to listen to them

•A vision that is handled by only one person (or unilaterally) will most likely fail to be owned on a deep level by those who need to buy into it most - Unless a vision is owned deeply it will most likely not be fully realized
•John 10 shows us that hired hands (who have no stake in a vision) run off when wolves appear and owners (who do have a stake in vision) protect the sheep because they know them; ownership matters – in the sheep protection business and in the vision business
Do I own the vision enough to walk against the opposition to the vision?
• How do we cast a vision that people are willing to die for? PROCESS (this scares me just a little!!) - To cast a vision without process devalues those who must own it/make it happen

Vision Formation
Sinai Approach (Exodus 3ff) – Moses gets the vision from God on Mount Sinai and brings it back to the people – how cool is this way to those who are not the leader? (answer: not very)
Team Approach
Ask: What does God want for our church to look like 5 years from now?
o This makes people search scripture
o This makes people want to talk
o This increases likelihood of ownership greatly
o This builds community and demonstrates value
o This is incredibly slow
Which approach are you going to choose?

Vision Refinement
First Draft – one that crystallizes around the table after team discussion
Subsequent Drafts – take 1st draft to small groups for “shopping” so that new insights can come and ownership increases when the vision is cast publicly
Ask: What excites, scares, needs changing in this vision?

Vision Declaration
Not best as a solo activity
Subjecting vision to team activity can create a better vision and increased ownership

Vision Leaks!
• People have real lives, jobs and vision leaks out because of those things
• Use whatever way possible to remind/recast the vision in order to refill the “vision bucket”
• Celebrate progress
• Share stories whenever you can

Would you be willing to die for the vision that God has given you to carry out in this world? Are you a hireling or an owner?

Acts 21 – Paul’s willingness to die for God’s vision
Are we, as leaders, willing to die for God’s vision? Single-most determining factor -> people will follow to the level of our ownership (they can sense when we do or do not own it) -> we must lead the way in vision ownership

Leader’s Path diagram (I will see if I can scan mine in) – where are you?

What a great way to launch Summit '07! Bill is such a powerful speaker and an excellent visionary - I could listen to him all day...but there are other sessions to hear, so I will pay attention to them too.