And now, “Resisters”

I’ve suggested that people have trained themselves, over their lifetimes, as to how they respond to change. As a pastor, your job is to assess where each of your key people are and lead them through change based on their individual change posture. In any community, you’ll find that people will posture themselves in one of three ways. We’ve looked at “pioneers” and “belongers.”

Now, to the third group. I call them “resisters.” These are the people whose primary orientation in life is pain avoidance. They’ve trained themselves to steer clear of the possibility of loss, whenever they can. It’s important to your “resisters” that they avoid being wrong. For them, it is essential not to fail. Thus, resisters are unlikely to implement any change that can be avoided or delayed.

They too, are God’s gift to you! They are steady. They are loyal. They’re likely to show up whenever the doors are open. Traditionalists, they engage in church life in much the same way people have for fifty years or more. They still tithe.

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

 

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

Understanding Belongers

I’ve suggested that people have trained themselves, over their lifetimes, as to how they respond to change. As a pastor, your job is to assess where each of your key people are and lead them through change based on their individual change posture. In any community, you’ll find that people will posture themselves in one of three ways. We looked at “pioneers.” Now, “belongers.”

A belonger is willing to change when two conditions are met. Belongers will embrace change when they’re convinced that it is safe and successful to do so—and not before. And, herein is the rub. Pastors keep wanting their belongers to be on the leading edge of change. The trouble is, they never have, and they never will!

No change at first is guaranteed to succeed, nor is it absolutely certain that people won’t get hurt in one way or another if they embrace a proposed change.

Pastors all over the land exhaust themselves trying to inspire, encourage, cajole, and manipulate the great many belongers who are faithfully laboring inside their churches in the hope that they will embrace change along with the pioneers.

They don’t.

They won’t.

It’s not in their nature or their training to put themselves at risk like that.

You will never find a belonger on the leading-edge of change!

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

 

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

Belongs and Pioneers

I’ve suggested that people have trained themselves, over their lifetimes, as to how they respond to change. As a pastor, your job is to accurately assess where each of your key people are and lead them through change based on their individual change posture. In any community, you’ll find that people will posture themselves in one of three ways. Last time, we looked at “pioneers.”

The majority in any established congregation, however, are not pioneers. They are what I call “belongers.”

The belongers are also God’s gift to you! They build community. They are stabilizers. Many are wonderfully reliable workers in the bowels of your organization. But, over their lifetimes, they’ve trained themselves to move with the majority, and not in front of it or behind it. It’s important for a belonger to fit in—or, more precisely, not to stand out.

Pioneers, by contrast, don’t care at all about fitting in. They’re not worried about standing out, because pioneers simply want to make a difference.

However, belongers are a different breed. Not bad. Not good. Just different.

A belonger is willing to change when two conditions are met. Belongers will embrace change when they are convinced that it is safe and successful to do so—and not before.

And herein is the rub. Pastors keep wanting their belongers to be on the leading edge of change. The trouble is, they never have, and they never will!

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

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

Pioneers. Yes!!

Working with scores of churches across the country in dozens of denominations, I’ve had the opportunity to watch thousands of Christians respond to change. As I have, I’ve made a rather startling observation. I’ve been testing it for more than a decade. See what you think.

My thesis is this: People have trained themselves, over their lifetime, as to how they respond to change. Pastor, your job is to accurately assess where each of your key people are and lead them through change based on their individual change posture. In any community, I suggest you’ll find that people will posture themselves in one of three ways.

There are some in your congregation who have trained themselves to take risks, to try new, untested possibilities, to leap into the unknown just to see if something better can result. Their focus is almost exclusively on the merits of the change. Once they are convinced that the change is preferable to the status quo they will embrace the change you propose.

These people are “pioneers.”

They are God’s gift to you!

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

 

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

Who’s Leading Whom?

Pastor, your courageous, decisive leadership is so important. Your will, your resolve, and your stamina in the face of opposition from people you love dearly, is essential to the Kingdom’s advance in American society.

This concept: Don’t “push on the rope:” the unmotivated are invulnerable to insight is offered so you’ll avoid the energy sapping, confidence-draining effect of the unmotivated on your leadership.  IF you are motivated enough to change.

To lead, you can’t “push on the rope.”

Rather than focusing on those most resistant to your leadership, give yourself to the people who are most willing to go with you. Give your time, your creativity, and your energy to them!

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

 

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

Don’t Push on the Rope

We’re continuing to look at the fifth principle of Leadership Courage: Don’t “push on the rope:” the unmotivated are invulnerable to insight.

In more than thirty years of ministry—most of it to ministers—it is stunning how much of a pastors’ time, thoughts, and prayers are consumed with those who are the least motivated to follow.

While you are breaking yourself to provide compelling insight to inspire the unmotivated, they are breaking your will to lead. They are standing in the way of the change you believe God wants. They are preventing the advance of God’s Kingdom in your city.

Once the pastor’s will has been broken, it’s “lights out” for that church. When that happens, it’s also “lights out” for those outside. God assembled your congregation to be His redemptive provision for the community around you. When your church surrenders to the selfish demands of the least mature among you, the neighborhood and city you were meant to illuminate with the lived-and-proclaimed Gospel remains darkened.

 

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

 

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

Leadership Courage

More than 20 years ago 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 in our day.

Friedman goes on to describe a unique kind of leadership for such anxious times. To my surprise, Jesus modeled the very leadership traits Friedman prescribes!

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

Becoming a Spiritual Provocateur

Pastor, can you remember the thirst you once had to learn to preach, lead a staff, or work well with elders and trustees? When you had no idea what to do, you were motivated to stretch, to risk, to try as-yet unproven approaches, and when they failed, you learned from them.

You stayed close enough to people that they “got” your heart. Because you did they trusted you as you and they experimented together.

But now, years later, you’ve found ways to avoid the riskiness of your early days. You’ve erected well-identified “guardrails” on your ministry. Staying safely within the rails, much of ministry flows according to plan. Of course, there are always those outliers, when people you assumed were mature and dependable prove to be anything but. Yet, aside from the occasional meltdown by a volunteer, ministry is predictable. And achingly uninspiring!

Imagine becoming a spiritual provocateur—like Jesus was—in your ministry context. What if you challenged your people the way He challenged His?

Why wouldn’t you?

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

 

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

The Hunger Provocateur

We’re considering the fifth principle of Leadership Courage: Don’t “push on the rope:” the unmotivated are invulnerable to insight.

And, the motivated are vulnerable to insight.

What might occur if you got really good at provoking your parishioners’ hunger for God’s Word?

What if, this coming year, you devoted yourself to provoking their hunger for maturity?

What if you saw to it that your parish became a more uncomfortable place to stay spiritually and emotionally immature?

You might get to reinvent yourself in the process.

You would have the opportunity to trust Jesus in ways you haven’t in a long time. You could trade familiar patterns and skills for fresh, provocative, people-changing ones.

Why would you do that?

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

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

What are you Doing?

In the Parable of the Sower [Mark 4:15-20] Jesus’ directs our attention to the condition of the soil. “Some people are…” he begins. The unmotivated are invulnerable to insight.

So, why is it that we devote ourselves to sifting, sorting, cleaning, massaging, and polishing the seed?

Sermon preparation in post-Enlightenment Christendom consumes the largest portion of most Evangelical pastors’ workweeks. When I was in seminary, my preaching professor told me to invest an hour in preparation for every minute in the pulpit. Thirty hours preparation for a thirty-minute message. Imagine that! Thirty of my fifty-five-hour work week spent away from my people, away from preparing the soil of their hearts, and away from provoking their hunger for God’s Word.

I began to ask myself why pastors give so little attention to tilling the soil of their hearer’s hearts?

Could it be that we’ve forgotten what business we’re in?

Maybe we’ve inadvertently supplanted the make-mature-disciples-who-live-like-Jesus business with the faithfully-proclaim-the-Word-of-God-business. Yes, you and I have been commissioned to faithfully proclaim God’s Word, but we do it so that people around us will live like Jesus.

Don’t we?

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

 

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

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