I had the privilege of attending a 5 day residential for the Arrow Leadership Programme last week. 5 days of highest quality input from people at the top of their game, and rubbingshoulders with leaders from lots of different churches and para- church organizations.
One of the session leaders was Tim Dyer from JohnMark Ministries, talking about conflict resolution. He made reference to this excellent diagram and the process it represents.
Tim was full of practical wisdom and insight, and I highly commend his two free resource websites, The Leadership Exchange and The Mentor Exchange.
1. A personal record of what I’ve done – people I met, decisions I have made, how I used my time, how I served people and fulfilled my personal life statement.
2. Self-reflection on my mood, attitudes, feelings, health, stress, dreams – what I’ve thought and felt, the highs and lows of the day, ways I’ve experienced change within myself.
3. A record of spiritual experiences – ways I’ve been aware of God’s presence, and what these experiences might mean.
4. Working through relational issues – how to engage with a particular person, why I struggle in particular relationships, coming to terms with a bereavement.
5. Saying things to God – hopes, longings, dreams, worries, fears.
6. Pondering problems – decisions I’m concerned about, discerning God’s perspective on life and seeking his will for the future.
James Lawrence, Growing Leaders (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2004), 124.
To this, I would add ponderings on God’s word – questions raised, challenges posed, rebukes that have landed, encouragements that have lifted.
Busyness, over commitment and pressure take their inevitable toll. Emotional, physical, relational and spiritual depletion lead to burnout, a clinical condition with a long, hard road to recovery.
Unfulfilled dreams, discouragement and disillusionment lead the person to either leaving their area of ministry to engage in a different occupation, or continuing their ministry role but with little heart or energy for it, often finding personal fulfilment in a peripheral area of ministry that eventually becomes central.
The person reaches a plateau and, for whatever reason, stops growing as a leader.
Fuelled by unmet emotional needs and over commitments, the leader succumbs to escapist sin in a desire to meet the increasin sense of hollowness within.
With a growing uncertainty about the focus of their ministry, the leader dabbles in an ever-widening array of activities. Often gifted in many areas, they may be competent for most of the tasks, but the lack of focus leaves a rising sense of dissatisfaction.
James Lawrence, Growing Leaders – Cultivating Discipleship for Yourself and Others (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2004), 30-31.
Wisdom from the trenches:
“Captaincy is about empowerment, about making your players responsible fot their actions and, in turn, accountable. It’s about treating everyone equally but differently by recognising there are varied characters and personalities who need to express their individual flair and instincts inside the ultimate team vision. It’s about setting an example and not expecting anything of your players that you aren’t willing to do yourself. It’s about mentoring and at times protecting individuals, and taking on their problems so that the team will benefit. You must recognise mistakes and not be above criticism, and be prepared to swallow your own pride in order to move on. Crucially, its about seeing the good in people and focusing on the positives and the things you can control. It’s making sure your time managment is spot on and that you continue to earn your place in the side. At times for me it was about being an advisor, psychologist, mate, mentor, mediator, selector, mouthpiece and politician.”
Everything up until know I agree with, and think is useful to think about minstry, especially in teams. The lats line of the quote is where I would differ…
“Above all, it was about being me and doing it my way.”
Steve Waugh, Out of My Comfort Zone (Camberwell, Vic: Penguin, 2005), 668-9.