Thursday, May 19, 2011

Staff Infection: Collected Thoughts

I had the privilege yesterday of participating in Leadership Network's online conference on church team leadership (unfortunately) entitled "Staff Infection." There was some great stuff packed into the four & a half hours... and I just wanted to take a minute to share my personal highlights with you.

Doing this kind of post-mortem on an event like this not only give you a snapshot of what I experienced but also helps me get a better picture of what God is doing through & with the information I received.
  • The theme of appropriate rest in ministry came up a lot - I especially liked Kim Trobee's image of the oxygen mask on an airplane - "put on your own oxygen mask before helping others." She suggested that too often we Christians help others before tending to our own spiritual walk & end up passing out, no use to the people we're helping and/or ourselves!
  • Kevin Queen talked about giving the gift of a "non-anxious presence" in the midst of crisis... and my mind immediately jumped to some of the difficult situations I deal with in the lives of my congregation: death, tragedy, legal troubles, etc. He, however, was suggesting that leaders can give this "non-anxious presence" (peace) in the midst of church conflict & change... which seems obvious but yesterday was like a light bulb clicked on over my head.
  • DC Curry pushed hard on an important question: "Is who we say we are who we are being?" That's a question we have to face here at NewLife - an excellent way of evaluating if our stated vision lines up with our strategy.
  • That vision/strategy dichotomy showed up a lot of places - which isn't really a surprise in a leadership conference. Jeff Brodie spoke about leadership misalignment happening NOT because of disagreement on vision but instead because of disagreement on strategy - it's not where we're headed but how we get there that can cause major problems.
  • Dan Reiland talked about investing in volunteers & staff through leadership development - something I really struggle with. I like his ideas but am really unsure how to implement them here in Easton.
  • I was really moved by Mark Meyer's talk on "safe is the enemy of great". Our desire to 'be nice", to make "can't do" lists to keep bad stuff from happening, and to stay busy enough not to actually have to chase vision keeps us from making a real & meaningful Kingdom impact.
  • Finally, on a humorous note, Bill Hybels should get royalties for the character/chemistry/competency hiring rubric - lost count of how many folks mentioned it during the conference. (Some added an extra "C" - commitment or call... but at the heart, it's straight from Willow Creek.)

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