5 Things Every Church Leader Can Learn from the Mark Driscoll Situation

So let me start here.

I struggle with pride.

Do you?

Doesn’t everyone?

Pride is at the root of all sin. It is pride—the pursuit of self, of knowing better, of being right—that caused our fall in the first place. It is a daily struggle for me.

My heart broke this weekend as I read of the latest developments at Mars Hill Church as their Pastor, Mark Driscoll, temporarily stepped down. There’s a very (from what I can tell) balanced and fair article about the events here in Christianity Today if you want some background.

I need to say I don’t know Mark Driscoll. I’ve never met him.

And this is not a post where I’m going to pass any level of judgment on Pastor Mark or Mars Hill. He needs our prayers as does his family and church (My heart really hurts for his family in a season like this. They love their husband and dad. So does Christ.)

And even as I say “he needs our prayers” I realize that often in Christian circles we say that with a sense of superiority, as though he needs our prayers or she needs our prayers in way that I don’t.

Not even close to true.

No one prays with clean hands. I don’t. You don’t.

I need your prayers as desperately as Pastor Mark. So do you. So when we pray, we need to pray as those who come alongside each other before a merciful and just God and a Saviour we all so desperately need.

We are in this together.

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13 Little Known Facts About Change Too Many Leaders Miss

You’re probably trying to change something right now.

And — if you’re honest — you’ve already thought about backing off.

Change seems too difficult.

You’ve watched friends get hurt trying to lead similar change.

You’ve heard the voices of opposition get a little louder.

You really don’t want to be afraid to open your inbox every morning.

But what if this is true?

Change is harder than it needs to be because it’s more mysterious than it needs to be.

And it doesn’t need to be quite that mysterious.
Here’s what I believe about change.

Change has dynamics; and the dynamics can be learned.

A couple years ago,  I wrote a book about leading change while facing opposition. I’m passionate about change because I’ve lived through it and can vouch for the fact that change is more than possible.

I’m also passionate because if the church (and other organizations) are going to reach their potential, change isn’t optional, it’s inevitable.

 

13 Facts About Change Many Leaders Miss

So, if you’re navigating change, here’s a short cheat sheet of 13 key principles that I hope will help you maintain clear thinking amidst the sea of emotions that leading change brings:

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3 Leadership Secrets That Can Help Young Leaders Gain an Edge

We have had a lot of young leaders join our team over the last few years, some straight out of school.

I absolutely love working with young leaders, but one of the challenges is helping them acclimatize to working in a team setting with others.

Over the last few years, we’ve discovered a few key practices (call them secrets if you like)  that can help create traction fast when trying to optimize a young leader’s contribution to the team.  When adopted, these three can make a significant impact quickly.

I love these practices because anyone can learn them quickly, and frankly, they’ve served as great reminders to me.

To that end, the secrets are not really just for young leaders, they’re for all of us. Personally, the more I exhibit these traits, the better things go.

Three Secrets For Every Young Leader

So what are the secrets?  Here they are:

1.  Proactivity

So many problems emerge when people fail to take action.

Inactivity, uncertainly and hesitation create all kinds of confusion in organizations.  Things fall behind schedule, issues never get dealt with and frustration rises.

Uncertainty can plague people who are starting out because they are trying to figure out whether they are allowed to act or not.

Proactivity solves so much of that.

Take the initiative.  Don’t wait for someone to ask you to solve a problem, start tackling it.

If you’re not sure, ask.  They’ll at least be grateful you saw it, if not give you full authorization to handle it.

On the other hand, if it’s in your area and you see it, solve it.  I

If you are wondering, stop wondering, and do something.  It will solve a host of potential problems.  It might even get you promoted.

2. Responsibility 

Often in a team setting, responsibility for tasks is unclear.

Take responsibility for moving a project from inception to completion.

Even if you are engaging lots of other people to get it done, a project well executed from start to finish creates a great track record for young leaders.

Just assume responsibility.

Another situation in which responsibility comes into play is when clarity is lacking.

A team generates an idea, but isn’t clear about follow through.  Or an email lands in several inboxes but questions remain about next steps.

 This is a young leader’s chance to do two things.

First, clarify responsibility. Ask “what would you like me to do?”

And second, offer to assume responsibility.

Seasoned team members love young team members who take initiative.

3. Communication

I am convinced you almost cannot over-communicate.

Marriages and families collapse because of poor communication, and so do teams and organizations.

When in doubt, communicate.

This takes at least three forms.

Where there is a lack of clarity, ask for clarity.

When you have completed something, tell your boss (I love progress reports from my team).

When something is falling behind, let the team know.

If your supervisor has to ask you a list of questions about where projects stand, it’s a sure sign you could communicate more.

I also say to my team “Communicate, communicate, communicate.  If you are over communicating, I will let you know.”

I don’t think I’ve ever told a team member to stop over-communicating yet.

I’ve seen young leaders move from green to great in just a few months using these three practices as a go-to recipe for developing skills in the workplace.

Try these three practices in your workflow and with the people who work on your team and see if it helps manage both workflow and communication.

In the meantime, what have you learned about proactivity, responsibility and communication?

How has working on these three skills helped you?

Leave a comment!

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