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No Other Way

Pastor, what might be gained were you to love that problematic elder enough to challenge the irritating and demeaning way he engages those around him?

What benefits would accrue if you were really to champion your people to a lifestyle of financial sacrifice until it becomes the norm? What do you think we in the Church are perpetuating when 60-80% of long-time church attendees give nothing in return for the services and benefits they receive? When fewer than ten percent of Church members actually tithe?

Why, I wonder, do pastors take such pride in attendance numbers when most of those we count contribute neither time nor money to the welfare of the community of faith, let alone the waiting and watching community outside our doors?

If you are in the religious education and entertainment business I can understand why you’d eschew adventure and risk, but if you’re in the people-development business, committed to make mature followers of Jesus, there’s really no other way.

Is there?

-Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

 

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage

Your Next Adventure…

Pastor, what an adventure it could be to…

  • Trust Christ as you call people to distinctively demonstrate the way of Jesus to the world. [I Corinthians 6:20]

  • Trust the Father as you lead your people off the church campus to love people and meet real needs in your community. [Matthew 5:16]

  • Trust the Holy Spirit as you confront sin so clearly and confidently that those you influence regain their capacity to blush. [Jeremiah 6:15]

  • Love your spouse so consistently and spectacularly that no one would wonder if the congregation had taken her place in your heart. [Ephesians 5:15]

  • Invite your people to take responsibility for their own well-being and destiny in Christ, serving their commitment to mature in Christ-likeness. [Ephesians 4:13]

  • Break up whatever fallow ground remains in your own heart [Jeremiah 4:3], to commit to love as if you’ve never been hurt [Luke 23:34], to reach to reconcile with those from whom you’re now estranged [Romans 12:18]…and do it all in full view of your congregation, so they can learn to live like Jesus from your example as well as your preaching [1 Peter 5:3].

-Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

 

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage

You? Adventure??

What has become of adventure in your life, pastor?

I’m not advocating that you risk for the thrill of it, that you put yourself in harm’s way for the emotional rush some get when they do dangerous things, or that you behave erratically just to break up the boredom.

I’m inviting you to the adventurous life for the advancement of God’s reign and rule in your community.

This is not adventure for adventure’s sake. It’s returning to the biblically normal life of risk and trust as we presence the way of Jesus in a culture more dark and desperate than any of us may fully appreciate.

-Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

 

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage #discipleship

More on Jesus’ Adventure

You may have forgotten that Jesus “emptied himself” of his divinity to the degree that he had to figure stuff out in the moment. [Philippians 2:6-8] Why do you think he knelt to scratch in the sand when the angry religious mob was about to hurl rocks at the woman who’d had the affair? [John 8:6] Could it be that he had to hear from his Father to know what to do? [John 5:19]

Jesus suffered every temptation as a fully-human human being. He learned obedience through the things he suffered. [Hebrews 5:8]

Jesus showed us the adventurous life.

When facing important decisions, the Son of God had to withdraw to pray. This wasn’t just “an exercise” to demonstrate for us the prayer life we’re to have. He needed to receive insight from his Father. [Luke 6:12-13]

His life, the life he modeled for us, was an adventure.

Was not his experience in the garden of Gethsemane an adventure? I suggest that Jesus had no idea Peter would lop off the soldier’s ear! In classic Jesus form, he used this as a teaching moment about how citizens of his Father’s Kingdom were to live. [John 18:10-11]

What has become of adventure in your life, pastor?

-Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage

Wayne Stapleton Book Review

Grateful for the in-depth Leadership Courage book review by Pastor Wayne Stapleton, Vice President of the North American Baptists.

Thanks, Wayne!

https://lnkd.in/gkxHiWmr

How Far Have We Come??

Do you find incomprehensible the pathway from the behavior of the Church described in the Book of Acts and that of most any Sunday morning gathering in the US today?

How on earth did the Church get from being a vibrant, exciting, world overturning, status-quo challenging, and Kingdom of God-advancing powerhouse to a predictable, regimented, backward-looking, tradition-bound, safety-dominant, repository of religious relics?

When were ministers of the Gospel transformed from courageous, God-trusting, whole-hearted, catalytic change agents to providers of religious education and entertainment, chaplains of religious tradition, scholar-rhetoricians, and caregivers to the devout?

-Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

 

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage

A Pastor’s Courage

Edwin Friedman, in “A Failure of Nerve” concluded that the US had become “chronically anxious.” One characteristic: the least mature wield great influence. His observations apply to the US, and also describe the condition of the Church—pre-Covid, pre-George Floyd, pre-election chaos.

Friedman goes on to describe a unique kind of leadership for such anxious times.

Leadership Courage” applies Friedman’s brilliant leadership insights to the local pastor desiring to provoke growth and maturity in her or his congregation.

Leadership Courage” is a must-read for ministers, lay leaders, and serious Christians right now.

It is available:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/leadership-courage-kirk-kirlin/1136885084?ean=9781628657562

https://www.amazon.com/Leadership-Courage-Culture-Cowardice/dp/1628657561/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Leadership+Courage+Kirlin&qid=1600297890&sr=8-2

Who has Removed our Spine?

You might remember a Flo TV ad that debuted in a Super Bowl several years ago. Sports announcer, Jim Nantz voice-overs the sad spectacle of Jason Glasby being led around the lingerie department by his girlfriend. Nance says: “Hello, friends. We have an injury report on Jason Glasby. As you can see, his girlfriend has removed his spine, rendering him incapable of watching the game.”

I’m wondering about the injury report on the Church in North America. Who has removed our spine?

To lead your church well pastor, re-introduce yourself to the adventurous life.

Edwin Friedman, in “A Failure of Nerve,” observed: “What our civilization needs most is leaders with a bold sense of adventure… Our nation’s obsession with safety ignores the fact that every American alive today benefits from centuries of risk-taking by previous generations… every modern benefit from health to enjoyment to production has come about because Americans in previous generations put adventure before safety.”

-Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage

Leadership? Really?

Where and when did the role of pastor become so closely associated with the characteristics of terrible leadership: anemic, people-pleasing, comfort-oriented, weakness-honoring, safety-bound, consensus-collecting, approval-seeking, distress-abating caretaking?

How did we get from the decisive, principle-inspired boldness of Jesus with the money-changers [Matthew 21], Paul provoking a riot in Ephesus [Acts 19], and Peter’s boldness on the first Pentecost [Acts 2], to this?

Consider the frightening judgment of Ananias and Sapphira [Acts 5], the way the power of God rested on Stephen at his stoning [Acts 6], and the arrest of early church leaders for “turning the world upside down” [Acts 17:6].

How have we settled for a religious experience so predictable, routinized, and boring that men of any age, and people under the age of 40 stay away in droves?

-Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

 

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage

A Final Word on PBR

In light of what I’ve written about Pioneers, Belongers, & Resisters, the key, Pastor, is to disproportionately invest your time and attention in the pioneers. These are the risk-takers, and the adventurers in your congregation. Lead the ones who are willing to be led by you!

Suspend that very powerful impulse to convince the resisters and to involve the belongers on the leading edge of any change you are trying to initiate in your church. Trust me, your belongers will watch from afar, and once it seems safe to them, they will begin to play.

In the meantime, have a blast with your pioneers.

Make a difference in the lives of those you’re serving.

Enjoy what God does in, through, and around you.

–Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/

 

#leadership #courage #courageousleadership #leadershipcourage #Jesus #pastor #discipleship

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