Connecting the Dots in an Unconnected World

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Leadership Blunders of Baptist Leaders – Blunder #2

As we continue our series considering Leadership Blunders of Baptist Leaders we come to:

Blunder #2 - Assuming a title is a place of leadership.

Many Baptist preachers assume because they have been called to a church or elected to any other position they are automatically the leader. Leadership is not a title bestowed it is a privilege earned. By the action of a church you can become their preacher but by proving yourself to be trustworthy and committed to Christ and His church you become their pastor/leader.

Words like trust and respect become a reality when people come to trust those elected to positions of leadership. Authority and respect are earned not bestowed. Baptist leaders are much like the Lone Ranger with a finite number of silver bullets. Each time a leader exercises his authority he uses up a silver bullet. The only way to replenish these silver bullets is through engendering confidence in your decision making processes and exhibiting a desire for the betterment of the entity you lead rather than the furtherance of your personal goals.

My observation is that Baptists do not take well “being told what to do.” However, they follow well those who invest themselves with integrity in the process of leading them. Leadership is all about trust. Anyone can be a dictator; it takes time and personal sacrifice to become a leader. The process cannot be hurried.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

“Trust is earned by many deeds, it is lost by one.”
~ John Sullivan

Friday, December 11, 2009

Leadership Blunders of Baptist Leaders

For the past nearly 33 years I have served in a leadership capacity of a Baptist Church and in multiple areas of Southern Baptist life. I have been immeasurably blessed by the men and women who I have been privileged to associate with during this time. Some of these leaders have been among the most prominent in our Southern Baptist mission’s efforts and others are known only in the record book of eternity. They each have encouraged me and both intentionally or unintentionally impacted my philosophy of leadership.

For the near future I am going to be dealing with the theme, “Leadership Blunders of Baptist Leaders”.

I am very conscious that most people do not desire to deal with a negative theme. However, I have discovered that I learn more from my mistakes than my successes. The “blunders” I will address are at times blunders that I have made; at times they are blunders I have observed. Regardless of who made them are blunders that should and can be avoided by Baptist leaders in general and leaders of any organization in particular. I present these “blunders” in no particular order of priority.

Blunder #1: Not being able to say “I’m sorry”

All leaders make mistakes. When a leader a leader makes a mistake he/she needs to recognize not as a sign of weakness but rather a sign of their humanity. This recognition on the part of a leader will not weaken their position of leadership but rather it will strengthen it. The willingness to say “I’m sorry” will go a long way to bolster relationships with those you lead. It will help them to see a side of the leader with which honest people can easily identify – everyone makes mistakes. It will show a genuine spirit of humility – not just one that is a public persona.

Why are those in places of leadership unable to say, “I’m sorry”? First, they fail to recognize the mistake. Sometimes this is simply not realizing what has been done. Secondly, it is sinful pride that does not allow the leader to see his/her own “blunders”. Thirdly, it may be caused by a refusal to take responsibility for the blunder. Leaders must not only accept the credit for successes they need to also accept responsibility for “blunders”. Sadly, the leader may have developed a spirit that portrays “I am the leader deal with it”.

Ultimately saying “I’m sorry” is simply the right thing to do. An apology for a mistake should not be qualified with a phrase such as “If I have offended you” or “_________ (insert the person who labors on your behalf’s name) should not have done that”. If you or those whom you lead have blundered the only recourse is to apologize and then do everything possible to correct the “blunder”. It is very difficult for honest people to not accept a sincere apology.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

“When you realize you've made a mistake, make amends immediately. It's easier to eat crow while it's still warm.”
~Dan Heist

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Quotes About Preaching

Every day of my life I am grateful God called me to be a preacher. I am honored to say with the Apostle Paul, "For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!"

I came across the following interesting quotes concerning preaching:

“The test of a preacher is that his congregation goes away saying, not, 'What a lovely sermon!' but 'I will do something.'”
Billy Graham

“Preaching is effective as long as the preacher expects something to happen-not because of the sermon, not even because of the preacher, but because of God.”
John E. Hines

“A preacher must be both soldier and shepherd. He must nourish, defend, and teach; he must have teeth in his mouth, and be able to bite and fight.”
Martin Luther

“Preaching is personal counseling on a group basis.”
Harry Emerson Fosdick

“To preach the Gospel requires that the preacher should believe that he is sent to those whom he is addressing at the moment, because God has among them those whom He is at the moment calling; it requires that the speaker should expect a response.”
Roland Allen

The hope of America is not found in politics or economics but rather in her pulpits. May God raise up men who fear no potentate save Jehovah God, who bow no knee before rulers save the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and who passionately preach the good news of God’s love to a lost and dying world. God grant it to be so.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

“When I hear a man preach, I like to see him act as if he were fighting bees.”
Abraham Lincoln

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