Archives For confrontation

Great leaders ask questions. They are always seeking to learn and grow from others.

In his recent leadership podcast, Andy Stanley looks at the power and influence questions can accomplish. This short talk has stayed with me for days. It is extremely profound, yet refreshingly simple.

Asking questions of ourselves and others do three things for us:

  1. They reveal values.
  2. They reinforce values.
  3. They reinforce behaviors.

But perhaps the greatest questions great leaders ask is the ones they ask of themselves.

Andy shares the story of something Bill Hybels shared with him about decision-making. Hybels when faced with a decision, will ask himself a profound thing.

“What would a Great Leader Do?”

Roads Academy Masterclass, Warwick University, November 2010.

This question accomplishes four things:

  1. This raises the standard of our leadership above the circumstances and emotion of the issue we face. We can make sound decisions rather than those which cater towards the loudest and most immediate need.

Gracious Disagreement

February 21, 2015

The issue is not whether I agree with someone but rather how I treat someone with whom I profoundly disagree. We Christians are called to use the “weapons of grace”, which means treating even our opponents with love and respect.”
– Philip Yancey from Vanishing Grace

Philip Yancey, in his new book, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?,  shares a Barna survey regarding the way Christians are viewed. In 1996, 85 percent of Americans who had no religious commitment viewed Christianity favorably. This number has dipped in recent years to a mere 16 percent in 2009.

Yancey offers this question to the church, and even more to us as leaders:

“As one who has drunk deeply of grace, I want to offer it to a world adrift. How can we communicate truly good news to a culture running away from it?”

He offers the following thought:

My first leadership experience was as an 11-year-old in Boy Scouts. As a newly christened “Assistant Patrol Leader”, I led as I had seen others leading. Experience said the way in which you led other pre-teen peers was through yelling and screaming, using all of your newly learned expletives until finally the group accomplished the task. Unfortunately my model came through watching the 12 and 13-year-old leaders!

Some leaders never outgrow this style.

They refine it, dropping the cursing, but maintaining the control and the “no questions asked” style. Hollywood promotes this style with military drill sergeants and gruff police captains.

As we grow in our leadership, we realize the limits of this style’s effectiveness. We come to understand a need to value people, not absolute obedience.

Drill sergeant discipline

This post represents an open discussion between missionaries and the local church. This does not come form a place of anger or bitterness. My goal to bring awareness.

We have two incredibly supportive churches behind us. When we share the concern and care these churches show to our family, our peers are stunned.

I have posted on the danger missionaries face when we feel entitled to the support of a local body. Today I would like to turn my focus to the second half of this relationship.

As a veteran of missions for over 20 years, here is my encouragement for the body of christ about their care of missionaries.

5 Ways the Local Church can serve a Missionary:

1. Communicate
It’s often lonely on the mission field. I remember calling home collect in the middle of the night when I happened to find a phone. Now with technology, we literally are always available.