Tag Archives: Leadership

Empowering Leadership: Mopping Floors?

Our recent discussion about Creativity and Collaboration is about empowering people to lead and create together.  Jay Voohrees has some insightful things to say in his post Mopping Floors… :

Frankly, being an authoritarian leader is easier. One can get more done. Empowering others takes time and can be very messy for it involves dealing with people in their brokenness. And, most of all, taking time to do empowerment well is often interpreted as the pastor trying to get out of doing something by having someone else doing it.

Read the full post here. 

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does this sound like any of your meetings?

Think of this:

You are in a meeting. It is the first of the year and your church would like to make some goals and action points for the upcoming year.

At first you all sit there–awkwardly. Then the well-rehearsed people (you know, the ones who have called the meeting, thought about it for weeks, and hope everyone will agree with them) chime in. Everyone else is so taken aback and they feel like their ideas aren’t thought through enough to contribute. No one says anything for a few more minutes.

Then the one known as big mouth opens up. Silently people groan. “If no one will talk,” he says, “then I’ve got a few things….” He proceeds to name everything wrong with the church. People begin to agree, because they are, after all things that are wrong with the church. A lively conversation occurs—-for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, some wise one chimes in and says, “okay, now what are we going to do about it?” No one can agree or no one wants to take the effort to do the things suggested. Some people call the ideas stupid, or they won’t participate when their ideas are shot down.

Finally, you decide to do a car wash–after all your church will “reach unchurched people for Christ,” its evangelism, its mission, the finance chair loves it, the SPRC chair puts the youth director in charge, and the UMW/UMM will provide pies and fried chicken. There. 3 hours later, your church is doing a pie and chicken car wash in the church parking lot. The next 3 hours is dedicated to delegating who will bring the hose, soap, and sponges followed by an argument on whether to use Armorall spray or Armorall wipes (or to do interiors at all…). And who will donate the money for the excess water use for that month?

Does that sound like any meeting you have ever been in with the church, work, school, or otherwise?

Stay tuned for Creative Collaboration as Problem Solving for Church Leadership–we may have some solutions.

(see this post, Creative Collaboration as Church Leadership, to get an idea about where we are going here)

Creative Collaboration as Church Leadership

I am writing a book (and possibly expanding it into a research based study) on creative collaboration as church leadership. Here is an excerpt:

Art as communal expression–an expression of who we are.  This expression becomes evident as we collaborate. One impetus for a creative expression (in the communal sense) comes when a problem (something to be solved or explored) enters the picture. This is not a problem with a simple solution, but one with an unknown solution. This problem is a nexus of a million possible futures. The way a community solves this problem identifies who they are as a community and it ultimately affects their future direction. As beings created in God’s image, we are designed to create–to care for creation, but built with an innate desire to create. Whether that manifests itself in logic, writing, reading (what you choose to read), painting, music, dance, drama, electronics, automobiles, government. We create. We create new pathways, new bridges to the desired outcome–new ways to unknot the problem. Even in the small acts of problem solving, we are often creating. Even in problem solving, the complex matrix of decisions we make to unknot the problem have, in effect, created a new pathway.

As beings created in God’s image, we are also communal beings. In the beginning “we” created the earth. God was present with his spirit, present with the plurality–more exactly, with the complete fullness of who He is. God created man and saw that it was not good for man to be alone and created a community for him. God made a covenant with Abraham, not to make Abraham great, but to create a communal greatness from him. The fullness of God is seen in each of us, but magnified in the entirety of the creation. Therefore, to act as a community is to magnify God and to work towards revealing His kingdom.

A creative act is in our nature. A communal act is in our nature.

An individual act is not possible in community. Therefore every thing that must be done in community must be creative–you must take into account the being of the communion–this new being: who is this?

What do you think? Have I missed anything?

c. Jim Morrow

The Place of Ministry

This week has been slightly discouraging.  I can’t put a name to why, but I’ve been forcing myself from falling into a kind of despair.  Yesterday, I finally got back to some devotional reading. As you may remember, I usually augment my Bible study with Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost For His Highest.  This is the devotion from yesterday:

The Place of Ministry

He said to them, ’This kind [of unclean spirit] can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting’ —Mark 9:29

His disciples asked Him privately, ’Why could we not cast it out?’ ” ( Mark 9:28 ). The answer lies in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. “This kind can come out by nothing but” concentrating on Him, and then doubling and redoubling that concentration on Him. We can remain powerless forever, as the disciples were in this situation, by trying to do God’s work without concentrating on His power, and by following instead the ideas that we draw from our own nature. We actually slander and dishonor God by our very eagerness to serve Him without knowing Him.When you are brought face to face with a difficult situation and nothing happens externally, you can still know that freedom and release will be given because of your continued concentration on Jesus Christ. Your duty in service and ministry is to see that there is nothing between Jesus and yourself. Is there anything between you and Jesus even now? If there is, you must get through it, not by ignoring it as an irritation, or by going up and over it, but by facing it and getting through it into the presence of Jesus Christ. Then that very problem itself, and all that you have been through in connection with it, will glorify Jesus Christ in a way that you will never know until you see Him face to face.

We must be able to “mount up with wings like eagles” ( Isaiah 40:31 ), but we must also know how to come down. The power of the saint lies in the coming down and in the living that is done in the valley. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” ( Philippians 4:13 ) and what he was referring to were mostly humiliating things. And yet it is in our power to refuse to be humiliated and to say, “No, thank you, I much prefer to be on the mountaintop with God.” Can I face things as they actually are in the light of the reality of Jesus Christ, or do things as they really are destroy my faith in Him, and put me into a panic?

Trends and Churches. My recent article.

I have been writing for the UM GBOD Young Adult Network for a few weeks now.  Each week I’ve sent a question, based out of the article, to the discussion board.  We’ve had some wonderful discussions!  I’ve also “met” some great folks.  One of which is a young student pastor in seminary, Mellisa.  Check out her blog.

The response to this particular article has been quite varied.  I expected that it may have been a bit edgy, possibly not well communicated; however, I think it’s alright.  It has gotten people talking on many levels and opinions.

Here is the link to my article.  Please check out the discussion, too.

This is what Rev. Logue had to say regarding the article.

Episcopalian Church Planting?

I’m guilty.  I never thought that the Episcopal church was progressive (not in a political way, but in a “change for Christ” kind of way).

King Of Peace Episcopal Church is in my community.  It is a relatively new church start-up.  I was introduced to this church when I was a high school drama teacher; I taught the pastor’s daughter!  It wasn’t until I attended the funeral of a young man in the community that I realized the power and annointing that was on this church.  The Rev. Frank Logue was a channel for the Holy Spirit during this service.

Rev. Logue has been involved in more than one new church.  This is an exciting thing that I didn’t realize was happening right under my nose!  We’re going to spend some time together this week (maybe next, depending on schedules).  With his permission, I would love to share some of his thoughts with you.

Episcopal church planting…God is amazing!

Read Rev. Logue’s blog, Irenic Thoughts.

Boiling Blood (I ain’t talkin’ ’bout no voodoo…)

Things happen that boil my blood. It used to be bad. I’ve gotten better control over it as of late, but sometimes I still get furious with people and situations. Today it happened. Today I also realized that I was wrong. I’ll do the right thing. I still don’t feel good about it, though.

What a mighty God we serve that could compel us to act against our nature!