Leadership

Celebrate Failures Too

Pastor, as you and your pioneers love and care for the unchurched in ways that bless their lives, those you serve will be skeptical, initially. They’ll be wary that church people would actually serve without a hidden agenda, a “gotcha,” a hook.

As you continue to be with them for their benefit, and not for yours, their skepticism will be replaced with gratitude.

When those you serve express their appreciation, communicate this broadly through the congregation. Your belongers will be listening!

Raise the visibility of your pioneers. Make them your congregation’s “heroes” and make a big deal of their willingness to risk, innovate, and lead change especially when a new attempt fails. Celebrate that too.

 

 

-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #ccourageousleadership #LeadershipCourage #discipleship

GET OUT!

 

The most effective ministry leaders I know live with their congregation’s pioneers. Pastor, ask your pioneers about their passions for the things God has laid on your heart. Listen for alignment between your vision and theirs, your heart and theirs, your passions and theirs. This area of overlap is where you and they get to play!

Pray with them. Dream with them. If your hope is to touch the unchurched, envision the kinds of impact you’d most want to have on the lives of those you serve you’ll serve. Imagine yourselves serving authentically, regularly, and generously for their benefit.

Do some planning and strategizing, but please don’t get a brain cramp trying to figure it all out in advance. Excessively planning for ministry is an almost irresistible temptation for church people. Don’t waste your vigor over-planning in the comfort of your church conference room.

Quick, before you lose your nerve, get out of the church and begin to bless people. Thrust yourself into action with your pioneers. Get off the property. Meet with civic leaders. Learn where your congregation can help, where you can make a God-honoring difference, and go after it. Love people. Serve them.

For Heaven’s sake, experiment. Incubate.

Pilot. Test. Adjust.

Go-again, fearlessly and flexibly.

When what you try doesn’t work—do something else.

Do anything else.

Let these be rich times of learning and of enjoying the adventure together.

 

 

-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/

How to respond to “Pioneers, Belongers, & Resisters”

Pastor, proactively schedule your office appointments with your “pioneers:” those who are most responsive to your leadership. Invest generously in their lives.

Take risks together.

Experiment.

Face the challenges that arise together. Support them as they grow in their willingness to trust God and as their character rapidly grows to mirror that of Christ. You’ll enjoy your life and ministry a lot more, and greater Kingdom fruit will be born, as well.

Nine months from now, you could be leaping into your work week with a vigor, optimism, and enthusiasm that most of your folks have never seen in you.

 

 

Make your Pioneers your Priority!

 

I’ve suggested that people have trained themselves, over their lifetimes, as to how they respond to change. Pastor, your job is to assess individual change posture of each of your key people are and lead them accordingly. In any community, you’ll find that people will posture themselves in one of three ways: “pioneers,” “belongers,” and “resisters.”

Jesus’ method was to make invitations, then watch to see how people chose to respond: pioneer, belonger, or resister. Like Jesus, effective leaders will lead their pioneers a certain way, their belongers another way, and their resisters a third way.

Here’s one application:

Pastor, live with your pioneers! Make sure they populate your appointment calendar. Every week, ensure that you spend most of your time with pioneers.

Work to clear your calendar of resisters, and to fill it with pioneers. It may take three months or more to wean yourself away from the passion-extinguishing complaints and tantrums of the unmotivated.

Do it.

Begin now.

 

 

-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/

#leadership #courage #pastor #jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage #discipleship

 

Pioneers and Resisters interpret life in mutually-exclusive ways

I’ve suggested that people have trained themselves, over their lifetimes, as to how they respond to change. Pastor, your job is to assess individual change posture of each of your key people are and lead them accordingly.

In any community, you’ll find that people will posture themselves in one of three ways. We’ve looked at “pioneers” and “belongers.” Now, we’re examining the behavior and motivations of those I call “resisters.”

Resisters and pioneers interpret life in mutually exclusive ways. When a pioneer is confronted with an opportunity, as soon as she sees the possibility of improvement, her default is: “Why not?” The resister will intuit the possibility of failure or loss and think: “Why take an imprudent risk?” The belonger will be hesitant, moving only when the group concludes it will be safe.

The culture that’s been established in your congregation will determine how predominant each group is. Sadly, churches are one of the few places in American society where resisters often congregate en masse. I suppose government is the other.

Contrary to almost everything you’ve ever read about leadership, I want to assert, that a great leader is not one who somehow inspires belongers to become pioneers, or resisters to transform into belongers.

No.

A great leader is one who leads her or his people appropriately.

 

-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/

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

“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, 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, Leadership Courage more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/

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

“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, Leadership Courage more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/

#leadership #courage #pastaor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage #discipleship

Leadership Courage!

 

Twenty five years ago, Edwin Friedman, psychologist, rabbi, lecturer, and author observed that the US had become “chronically anxious.” In this condition, he said the least mature wield the greatest influence. A cursory glance at our culture today reveals just how prescient he was. In A Failure of Nerve he described a distinctive kind of leadership necessary in such a context.

If his observations apply to the US in general, they even more describe the condition of the Church. Leadership Courageis an attempt to apply the brilliant insights of Friedman to the local pastor in America who is laboring to provoke growth and maturity in the congregation.

Leadership is primarily a matter of the heart. And, the heart of an effective pastor can be developed to conform to the postures and practices that Friedman suggested and Jesus modeled wonderfully.Leadership Courage is a provocative and contemporary examination of both.

It is available now for pre-order at: https://www.amazon.com/Leadership-Courage-Culture-Cowardice/dp/1628657561/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=kirk+kirlin&qid=1589406594&sr=8-1

“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 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. Yesterday, we looked at “pioneers.”

The majority in any established congregation, however, are not pioneers. I call them “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 group, 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’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!
 

-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/

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

People Have Trained Themselves

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, Leadership Courage more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/

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

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