Episode 110 of the 200churches Podcast is, we believe, a foundational episode regarding leadership relationships. Last week on Friday (02/20/2015) I wrote a blog post about getting better, if you intend to remain in your church for the foreseeable future – and I told the story of Jonny talking to me about what he thought were my less than stellar messages over the couple weeks previous to a conversation he had with me in January.
On tomorrow’s podcast episode, I ask Jonny to tell the story from his perspective – what it is like to speak to your boss about something difficult that you believe he would want to hear. The angst goes both ways when you commit to speaking difficult truth.
There are two realities that we believe have to be present if you desire to experience successful, and God-honoring leadership relationships – those two realities are love, and truth.
How much do you really love the people you serve with in your 200church? We think that part of the answer to that question involves how much truth you are willing to share with them. And, are you more committed to the Triune God and his Kingdom that you are to your “comfort” in your relationships?
It doesn’t matter if you pastor a church of 10 or 1,000, if you’re a man or a woman, or if you’re a Vineyard pastor or an Anglican priest – love and truth are the predominant drivers in healthy leadership relationships.
When was the last time you had a difficult conversation with another leader in your church? When was the last time you should have had one? How was their reaction to you? What was your motivation going into the talk? Did you speak truth in love?
Let’s flip it – when was the last time another leader in your 200church had a difficult conversation with you? How was your reaction? What did you perceive as their motivation going into the talk? Did they speak truth to you, in love?
Hey Pastors – this is an important, fundamental issue in leadership in the Body of Christ! We believe that most church leaders shy away from loving the other leaders in their church enough to have the tough conversations. This is one of those things that really does keep small churches small! If we don’t get this one right, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot.
You will hear in episode 110 how Jonny and I both fumble at times for words to express how we felt about that day – the day Jonny had “the talk” with me. We get very personal and transparent about it, and honestly, it got a little uncomfortable for me to talk about – but we wanted to share this with you on the podcast – because we believe it is so important!
Initiatives die when silence reigns where conversation should triumph. Growth is prevented when comfort is chosen over what might be a tense interaction. Relationships are stunted when love and truth shrivel on the vine of fear and avoidance. The borders of our ministries are not expanded when we don’t love enough to confront with truth, but instead chose false peace over true conflict resolution.
So, Pastor. Listen to episode 110. It pops up at midnight Tuesday night – on, you know, technically, Wednesday. Listen, and then ask yourself if there is someone you need to invite to lunch, or out for coffee, or even to your home or office. Who do you need to love so much with the love of Jesus that you are willing to tell them the truth in order to set your ministry free?
When we speak truth in love, putting the Kingdom and lost people ahead of our comfort and security – we find a freedom in leadership that we never want to stop experiencing!
Love. Truth. The two most powerful realities in all the world. They are what God is made of. They should define our leadership relationships… and again, no matter the size of our church – none of us gets a pass.
I don’t say it in episode 110 explicitly, but since Jonny cranked up the courage to speak with me, my messages have taken on a new edge, and last week – on February 15, I was more consumed with the message God allowed me to give than I have been in a long, long time. I was up during the night with it, and it just burned within me.
Nothing magical or mystical, but in our leadership relationships, there is freedom and power in love and truth. We will keep having those conversations whenever they are necessary, either on my part or his. It’s what ministry leaders do with each other.
Enjoy episode 110.
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