Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Proactive Leadership

There are all sorts of tensions in our culture that, in my opinion, as leaders, we need to be proactive in addressing.  Unfortunately, many times we tend to just let them come to us (and then react to them) rather than proactively leading our people and equipping them to navigate conversations like:
  • same-sex attraction/partnership
  • gay marriage
  • legalization of marijuana
Then there are some other topics that we tend to just let go unaddressed in the church context, like:
  • the role of women in the church
  • specific (defers from context to context) spiritual gifts
  • navigating the church and state boundaries
These are all issues that are too often left unaddressed and therefore they become "unspoken truths" that leave people to drown in their own assumptions.  And this creates confusion.  We tend to think that people will be able to navigate these issues on their own and clearly understand our position as a local church.  Both assumptions are wrong.  And, it's my firm belief that we must proactively shepherd people in areas such as these.  So, here are 3 general guidelines for being a proactive leader in these areas:
  1. Provide Clarity.  Clearly state your position AND the underlying convictions that drive your conclusions.  Articulating the underlying convictions you have (such as scripture being our standard) are critical for these conversations.  
  2. Provide Framework.  Clearly lay out the expectations you have for people as they dialog about these types of things.  I recently did a forum for our church on the LGBTQ conversation (more on that in a future post) and one of the things I set up as a framework is the following statement: "Humility and love, not shame, is our mutual aspiration."  These types of things set a tone for dialog and are necessary to "posture" our people to be able to handle these conversations in God-honoring ways.
  3. Provide Freedom.  People need to be given freedom to discuss topics like this in our churches.  Everyone gets super tense when these types of topics come up in conversation and much of this is due to our lack of articulating the freedom they have to do so.
More on this to come...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Advance Reader Giveaway...

Well, I have extra Advance Reader Copies of my forthcoming book and I want to give them away!  So, like I have done in the past, I thought I would include my daughters into the process.

So, here is how you can get a copy:

  1. Retweet
  2. Share the post on Facebook
I will send out tweets that say, "RT for a chance to win a free copy of Losing Your Religion" and I will also be posting on Facebook, "Share for chance to win a free copy of Losing Your Religion."

I will give it a few hours and then my two oldest daughters will be choosing the winners - one for Facebook and one for Twitter.  To keep this fair (because my daughters will always pick a girl!) I will assign a number to each person that either RT's or Shares the post.  I will ask my girls to pick a number and if your number is picked, I will contact you for your address...and then I will mail you the book.

BUT here's the best part about it...whichever daughter picks your number will also write you a little note.  It's a way they feel a part of my ministry and a way that you can have a smile put on your face.  Their drawings are awesome - I may be a little bias, but that's the way that works.

If you're interested, click here for a brief description of the book. 

So, keep your eye out...hope you get a copy!