Effective Leadership

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All Things to All People?

We can’t keep everyone happy, and it’s torture to try
All Things to All People?

For several years now, I’ve participated in a private Facebook group for women in theology and biblical studies. The group started with some of my friends from graduate school and now has more than 450 members—professors, grad students, seminarians, and pastors. We ask pedagogical questions like “What readings should I assign in my intro theology class?” ...

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Back to Basics

What I learned from my husband, who trains pastors in third-world countries
Back to Basics

My husband, Brad, was a pastor for 27 years when he resigned his pastorate to train pastors in third-world countries who would otherwise receive little or no training. He mostly goes to areas of Africa that are away from the major cities. In these small villages, a church often is started when someone has a conversion experience and realizes his or her village needs a church. ...

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Before You Open Your Mouth

10 tips for “pre-public speaking”
Before You Open Your Mouth

As a ministry speaker and part of our church’s teaching team, I still fight nerves every time I’m preparing a presentation. So I am constantly on the lookout for public speaking tips. There’s fantastic advice for the speech itself—start with a bang, use your lower register, make eye contact, use a visual aid, end with an application—but in ...

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Say Goodbye to Leadership Overload

And say hello to the right priorities
Say Goodbye to Leadership Overload

“What you are doing is not good.”

Jethro said it to Moses in Exodus 18. God said it to me at a time when I was experiencing major leadership overload. “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself” (Exodus 18:18).

Moses had lived for decades on the back side ...

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Pastoring Your Church through a Leader’s Misconduct

Tips for a redemptive response
Pastoring Your Church through a Leader’s Misconduct

When the assistant pastor called the church’s key leaders to his house for an urgent meeting, my husband and I both suspected something serious had happened. We could not have guessed just how serious. Once all 20 of us had packed into the living room, our senior pastor came in and simply said, “I have something to tell you.”

His subsequent admission ...

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Where Were You When It Happened?

Helping when mass tragedy strikes your congregation
Where Were You When It Happened?

For the past century, and arguably longer, generations have self-identified with their own answer to this question. Where were you when Kennedy was assassinated? Where were you when news broke that Dr. Martin Luther King was shot, when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, when the World Trade Center collapsed? Sadly, recent events have set up our younger generations with ...

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When You Just Can’t Care Anymore

Preventing and healing compassion fatigue
When You Just Can’t Care Anymore

It’s late evening and you’ve finally settled in bed. You are pastor-on-call, and the last thing you want is for the phone to ring.

Your cell rings.

Your adrenaline pumps. Immediately you swing into “pastor mode.”

The woman on the other end of the phone is crying. The ambulance just left her house and is headed to the ER. She thinks her husband ...

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Make Conflict Work for You

Handling disagreement can help your relationships
Make Conflict Work for You

During a routine ministry meeting, I expressed my opinion on a particular topic relevant to our meeting. “Whoa!” said one of the members. “I’m not sure I agree with that.” This began a long discussion, with heated exchanges on both sides. At the end of the meeting, I felt awkward and nervous about the exchange, afraid that this would be the ...

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Connect Your Church with Its Community

An interview with Dana Baker, pastor of multicultural ministries, church partnership, and prayer
Connect Your Church with Its Community

Dana Baker has had an exciting and unsuspecting journey to leadership in the church and community, and she is glad to share her experience with our readers. Dana is pastor of multicultural ministries, church partnership, and prayer at Grace Chapel, a non-denominational church in Lexington, Massachusetts. She has served on the ministry staff since October 2000, serving in ...

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Create Your Church’s Vision Statement

It starts with a dream
Create Your Church’s Vision Statement

Every church has the tools necessary to attain a clear vision for their future. Leaders must dream what their ideal church will look like and then implement a specific plan so they can achieve those dreams. Churches that are achieving their dreams started through creating vision and mission statements.

All churches need to have a vision statement and a mission statement ...

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