October 2012

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The Protégé Path

An introduction to a better way to train church leaders

Throughout history, if someone wanted to learn a particular skill, he or she would find a master or mentor to guide them. This person seeking to learn and grow is called a protégé. And like any skill or trade, ministry leadership involves a set of abilities that must be developed and cultivated.

There are countless protégés simply waiting for an experienced master of their ...

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Dealing with Toxic Staff

How I learned to exercise both grace and courage

I slumped on the bench in my church's main hallway. The footsteps and voices all around me receded as I let the words that had just come to mind sink deep: "For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others (Romans 12:4-5, NIV).

Slumping ...

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The Care and Keeping of 20somethings

We may need to work with them before we can expect them to step up to leadership.

It was a beautiful spring weekend for a beach retreat with our volunteer student ministry staff, most of whom are in their early 20s. We worshiped, we discussed, we ate. We shared stories from a year of student ministry. We prayed for vision and growth in students' lives. And I slept less than I did after bringing home my newborns. Even in my exhaustion, I found myself refreshed ...

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Word War, Religious “Nones,” a Leap of Faith, and a Nobel Prize

Four recent events that matter to your ministry

Consider these recent events and how they might affect your ministry.

Book Controversy

A Year of Biblical Womanhood, the new book in which popular Christian blogger and writer Rachel Held Evans charts her attempts to follow all the Bible's instructions for women, made news this week when LifeWay bookstores announced they will not carry it. The chain objects to the use of the ...

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Leading Yourself

You can’t keep going on empty

You are a leader. A leader is defined simply as someone who guides or inspires others. You figure out where you and your team need to go and then you help them envision the future. You empower them to make a plan to get there together. You take care of your team members, pour into them, pray for them, take care of their souls.

But who takes care of yours?

I was introduced to ...

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Please Lead. I Need You.

Mentoring makes a difference, even from afar

Not long ago, I messed up something for a client. She emailed me about it and I emailed back an apology.

And then I waited.

I watched the clock tick. No response.

I burned with stomach acid and shame.

It was an idiot mistake. Anyone with a little professional savvy would've known better. Sorry or no sorry, she was going to fire me. I knew it.

I went to bed that night chanting, ...

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When the World Shakes

Suffering reveals the impotence of our idols

From our cabin in Wisconsin there's a long, sweet swim to a raft anchored a few football fields' length out. It belongs to the Reeves, dear generational friends who are like family. Their men do all the work of hauling the raft out and in each summer, of rescuing, repairing, and returning it to the depths when storms on Green Bay overpower it. Those four-foot waves can break ...

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Giving Grace Away

Hero or thief, I need the power of confession

As a kid, I dreamed that people could be divided into two teams: heroes and thieves; beggars and heirs. At night, beneath a ceiling of glow-in-the-dark stars, I fully expected to be a heroine. (Everyone intends to be superman—not the victim who needs saving.) Now I know better. "Not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world where everything fits," I am what Annie ...

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Making the Most of Your Role

Finding your place in male-led ministry
Making the Most of Your Role
Image: iStock

Several years ago, I served as the treasurer of a small church. In this congregation, the treasurer was required to sit on the church's governing board, which didn't allow women. My husband, however, was on the board, so as a workaround for providing monthly treasurer's reports, I would prepare all the financial information, and he would present it. I would explain ...

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