Tag Archive - criticism

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Blame Goes Up and Credit Goes Down

It’s one thing when people have to follow you because you sign their paycheck or you’re the “boss.” It’s another thing when people want to follow you. Becoming the king of leader that people want to follow is the kind of stuff you should be paying attention to and spending your time on.

People want to follow leaders who take more blame than they should, and people want to follow leaders who give away more credit than they should. And I want people to want to follow you.

Blame Goes Up

Ultimately every problem in the church is the Pastor’s/Leader’s problem. If you’ve been in your seat for more than three years, it’s your problem. Before that, feel free to blame the prior administration. If you’re facing a problem most likely it’s because of somebody you hired, something you trained or something you allowed. And you know what? You’re never going to go wrong taking responsibility for what is going wrong. Being quick to take ownership and get on the solution side of issues deescalates tense situations. It also teaches people on your team that it’s okay to make mistakes and it frees them up to lead.

Credit Goes Down

Instead of taking the credit when things go right, start giving it away. The world is few of leaders who take. Instead be a leader who gives. Be quick to point out what went right and what your team did to make things go right. Blame them for what went right instead of what went wrong. They’ll love you for it and they’ll do it again. Because, what gets celebrated gets repeated.


Posted in Leadership

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Top Posts of 2014 #1: “6 Things I Bet You Don’t Know about Your Pastor’s Wife”

This past week I’ve been counting down the top 10 posts of the year and I’m happy to share with you the #1 post of the year! I’m especially glad to share this post with you because my wife, Lisa, actually helped me write it…hmmm…maybe she should write more often on my blog.

One of the least thought about people in the church today is a Pastor’s wife. While leaders get all the attention and accolades their families and private lives are thought of very little by the public. In fact in a moment in church history where we are inundated with volumes of leadership ideas and training very little is written about pastor’s wives. I recently sat down with Lisa, my wife, and asked her about her experience being married to a full-time pastor for the past 18+ years. Here is some of what she had to say…

1. Every Criticism of the Church is a Criticism of my Husband

Whenever people complain about the church, I feel like they’re complaining about my husband. After all every criticism of leadership is ultimately a criticism of my husband. It could be a sermon series they don’t like, a new building project they don’t agree with, services times, parking, the music being too loud, Children’s Ministry, a staff member they don’t like…on and on the list can go.

2. I wish my Kids were treated like Every other Kid at Church

I wish my kids were treated with the same love, grace and enthusiasm that every other kid was treated with at church. It goes both ways. They either receive preferential treatment because they’re the pastor’s kid or they’re overly criticized for every peep they make in church. They deserve to have the same experience that every other kid who walks in those doors has. I want my kids to grow up to love Jesus and the church not feel criticized by it.

3. Sundays are the most Difficult Day of the Week

I wake up and get the kids ready alone. We go to church alone. I check my kids into children’s ministry alone. I sit in church alone. I come home alone. And when my husband comes home from church, he’s tired because he’s given his all to serve the church that day. It’s tough, because my kids are off from school 2 days a week, and one of those days is a workday for dad.

4. I don’t Always want to be in a Bible Study

There’s this unspoken (and sometimes spoken) expectation that if you’re a pastor’s wife that every time the church is open you should be there and leading in some capacity. Sometimes I just want to volunteer in my kids school and in the community and be outside the 4 walls of the church around people who are far from Jesus. Don’t’ get me wrong, we’re in a small group with other Believers and love it. It’s just sometimes I don’t want to be around Christians, I want to be around people who are far from Jesus, because that’s who Jesus came for

5. Holidays are Lonely

In other words Christmas and Easter. They’re Super Bowl moments for the church. They’re 2 of the most likely times when people will come to church each year. So when everyone else is hanging with family and celebrating holidays together, my husband is at church. We don’t get to travel and be with family. We don’t get to be together on Christmas Eve.

6. I’m not Married to Jesus, my Husband is Human

Believe it or not my husband is not always the same guy that everyone sees on stage. There’s times he’s grumpy, tired, impatient with the kids, and selfish. He has bad days just like everyone else. And he’s not walking around spouting off scripture all hours of the day. We have arguments just like every other couple. Contrary to popular belief he’s human just like every other guy.

Before you think I hate being a Pastor’s Wife: Every wife has things she likes and dislikes about her husbands job, no matter what he does for a career. But it seems like a lot of people think that a pastor’s job is a cakewalk, and that he only works on Sundays. No, he’s not traveling 40% of the nights each month like a lot of men in business world. No he doesn’t commute an hour to work each way, and he doesn’t work 3rd shift. Even though being married to a pastor is not as easy as you may think, it does however have it’s own unique set of blessings. It’s an incredible privilege to be a small part of leading a church. It’s no small thing that people would trust me and that I would have the opportunity to help shepherd and care for people, and see people take ground in their relationship with Jesus. And there is a real sense that I have a huge extended family in the body of Christ. There really are some really sweet people in the church that help take care of my family and me. They minister to us as much as we minister to them. It may not always be easy, but it’s worth it.

Photo Credit: swirlingthoughts via Compfight cc


Posted in Family, Leadership

2

6 Things I Bet You Don’t Know about Your Pastor’s Wife

One of the least thought about people in the church today is a Pastor’s wife. While leaders get all the attention and accolades their families and private lives are thought of very little by the public. In fact in a moment in church history where we are inundated with volumes of leadership ideas and training very little is written about pastor’s wives. I recently sat down with Lisa, my wife, and asked her about her experience being married to a full-time pastor for the past 18+ years. Here is some of what she had to say…

1. Every Criticism of the Church is a Criticism of my Husband

Whenever people complain about the church, I feel like they’re complaining about my husband. After all every criticism of leadership is ultimately a criticism of my husband. It could be a sermon series they don’t like, a new building project they don’t agree with, services times, parking, the music being too loud, Children’s Ministry, a staff member they don’t like…on and on the list can go.

2. I wish my Kids were treated like Every other Kid at Church

I wish my kids were treated with the same love, grace and enthusiasm that every other kid was treated with at church. It goes both ways. They either receive preferential treatment because they’re the pastor’s kid or they’re overly criticized for every peep they make in church. They deserve to have the same experience that every other kid who walks in those doors has. I want my kids to grow up to love Jesus and the church not feel criticized by it.

3. Sundays are the most Difficult Day of the Week

I wake up and get the kids ready alone. We go to church alone. I check my kids into children’s ministry alone. I sit in church alone. I come home alone. And when my husband comes home from church, he’s tired because he’s given his all to serve the church that day. It’s tough, because my kids are off from school 2 days a week, and one of those days is a workday for dad.

4. I don’t Always want to be in a Bible Study

There’s this unspoken (and sometimes spoken) expectation that if you’re a pastor’s wife that every time the church is open you should be there and leading in some capacity. Sometimes I just want to volunteer in my kids school and in the community and be outside the 4 walls of the church around people who are far from Jesus. Don’t’ get me wrong, we’re in a small group with other Believers and love it. It’s just sometimes I don’t want to be around Christians, I want to be around people who are far from Jesus, because that’s who Jesus came for

5. Holidays are Lonely

In other words Christmas and Easter. They’re Super Bowl moments for the church. They’re 2 of the most likely times when people will come to church each year. So when everyone else is hanging with family and celebrating holidays together, my husband is at church. We don’t get to travel and be with family. We don’t get to be together on Christmas Eve.

6. I’m not Married to Jesus, my Husband is Human

Believe it or not my husband is not always the same guy that everyone sees on stage. There’s times he’s grumpy, tired, impatient with the kids, and selfish. He has bad days just like everyone else. And he’s not walking around spouting off scripture all hours of the day. We have arguments just like every other couple. Contrary to popular belief he’s human just like every other guy.

Before you think I hate being a Pastor’s Wife: Every wife has things she likes and dislikes about her husbands job, no matter what he does for a career. But it seems like a lot of people think that a pastor’s job is a cakewalk, and that he only works on Sundays. No, he’s not traveling 40% of the nights each month like a lot of men in business world. No he doesn’t commute an hour to work each way, and he doesn’t work 3rd shift. Even though being married to a pastor is not as easy as you may think, it does however have it’s own unique set of blessings. It’s an incredible privilege to be a small part of leading a church. It’s no small thing that people would trust me and that I would have the opportunity to help shepherd and care for people, and see people take ground in their relationship with Jesus. And there is a real sense that I have a huge extended family in the body of Christ. There really are some really sweet people in the church that help take care of my family and me. They minister to us as much as we minister to them. It may not always be easy, but it’s worth it.

Photo Credit: swirlingthoughts via Compfight cc


Posted in Family, Leadership

1

The Dark Side of Vision

Many tout the most important aspect of a leader is the ability to paint a clear vision of the future. If you’ve been around church-world for any length of time you’ve probably even heard a sermon or two about it, after all “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29:18) right?  What many leaders often fail to realize is that there is another side to vision, a downside, that if not understood and artfully led through can derail the vision before it begins.

The Clearer the Vision the Louder the Critics

Many leaders often naively think that everyone is going to automatically love the vision as much as they do. They strongly and clearly cast the vision, and much to their surprise, they are often met with resistance and criticism. The truth is the clearer you articulate the vision the more criticism you will receive. There are always naysayers both inside and outside the organization. Jesus was criticized to the point it ended up costing His life. If you’re the leader and you’re not prepared for criticism, then be careful how clearly you articulate the vision.

The Clearer the Vision the More People Will Leave You

Vision is not only a rallying cry but also a jumping off point. The clearer the vision is articulated not only will people join you, but people will leave you as well. This happened to Jesus Himself when in John chapter 6 He literally goes from 1,000’s of people following him to by the end of the chapter it’s just the twelve. If you’re the leader and you’re not okay with people leaving you, be careful how clearly you articulate the vision.

I’ll be the first guy in line to say that clear vision is needed in any effective organization or church. But clear vision by itself simply isn’t enough.


Posted in Leadership

1

Top Posts of 2012 #1: 5 Reasons why the Church is an Anti-Leadership Organization

You made this the most popular post in 2012! Apparently you resonated with the idea that the church is a leadership starved organization and that the church that decides to “operate as normal” actually repels leaders. This means you and I have to lead our churches to operate and act differently in 2013 if we want to build a healthy leadership culture in our churches this year!

 


 

There are all kinds of threats and challenges facing the church these days. But underlying them all is one common denominator. The greatest crisis facing the modern day church is a crisis of leadership. Churches don’t naturally attract, develop, or keep leaders. But why?

1. Pace of Change:

Leaders live in the future. They dream about what should be. Most churches are consumed with preserving the past.

2. Pride and Fear:

Growing and developing young leaders requires giving leadership away. But when the organization is driven by a personality rarely are young leaders given real leadership opportunities to experiment with and grow from.

3. Misalignment:

A majority of churches are stuck, not because they don’t have a vision, but they have not aligned the systems and ministries of the church to move people and the church towards that preferred future. Leaders grow frustrated in silo oriented misaligned organizations.

4. Criticism:

Leaders by their very nature are change agents. Because the unstated goal of most churches is to preserve the past, church leaders find themselves fighting the family instead of fighting the enemy.

5. Compensation:

High capacity leaders can use their skills in a variety of industries and participate in meaningful work. Many churches simply aren’t willing to, or can’t pay leaders what they’re worth.

How are you addressing these underlying issues of an anti-leadership culture in your church? What’s missing from the list?


Posted in Leadership
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