Once we get to the point of lifting our heads from the calendar and demands of ‘Sunday’s always coming’, a professional will realize the skills that got us the job will not lead us to a place of health and thriving without some additional skills. What else do we need to know?
There was so much I really enjoyed in Rev. Dr. Carolyn Moore’s book I listened to it on Audible, as well. Filled with honorable storytelling and diligent fact-gathering, every turn of the page held greater weight for leading with authority and intentionality. This resource is for women AND men navigating the tension of what one naturally brings to the table and what is needed in reality.
Chapter 8: Equipping: Real-World Stuff Everyone Needs to Learn was the chapter of greatest interest for this less-than-formally-taught Christian Educator.
Dr. Moore begins the chapter with the reminder that the ‘activity of strategy’ is what most church folk are looking for. But “until I’ve done the foundational work of discovering my identity in Christ, of understanding what it means to take spiritual authority over my call, of making peace with the fact that I live in a fallen world, no amount of strategy will stick.” p. 137
If you are in this discovery, acceptance, and submission phase, I’m here for you. If you are lacking a liturgy for suffering, hurt, and perseverance to get you to the next place of perseverance, I’m here for you, too.
“Ministry leaders are more likely to survive when they know what they are getting into and how to navigate the challenges.” p. 138
Rev. Dr. Moore suggests an emphasis on focused, professional training in at least four major areas. I’ll list two below and add where I’ve discovered the most valuable for me.
Fund Development and Management – training in how to negotiate and financial leadership
Only the Lord knew that my dad’s insistence that I attend the local business college in finance the summer between my senior year of high school and freshman year of college would equip me with the language and rhythm of finance. Dr. Moore writes, “Discipleship gets real when we begin teaching and training in the area of money.”
Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey
Not Your Parent’s Offering Plate by J. Clif Christopher
Getting the Word Out: How to Market Your Ministry by Bunnie Jackson-Ransom
One thing I did because of what I’ve learned?
I was hired by a church to start a Family Ministry which included a weekday preschool and connections with the incoming students on the college campus on which the church was located. After six months the US economy tanked and the church leadership, led by retired professors, held their giving tightly. My salary had been provided for three years by an anonymous gift, but now there was no money for ministry. Looking at what was in my hand, I began selling hot pizza and cold Gatorades 10pm-1am Monday-Thursdays in the dorm parking lots to all the summer camps. I did this for all three summers I served there to fund the effective ministry for which I was hired.
One thing I still do today because of what I’ve learned?
I write thank you notes with stories twice each year to those who give to the children’s ministry designated account and other stakeholders in the ministry I’m responsible for. Without knowing the amount, I ask our financial lead for the list of donors who have given directly. Compiling stories in a google doc I’ll prepare a letter of thankfulness. ‘Let me tell you how your investment in the kingdom is making a world of difference.’ 75% of the letter will be about the immediate past. 25% of the letter will be about the vision and plans for the upcoming season with an invitation to participate with their prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness and bring your neighbors. This a best practice for all non-profits.
“Thankfulness strengthens relationships.” – Network for Good, LinkedIn
Leadership Development – training in team-based leadership
The Servant by James C. Hunter
Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
Every book written by Patrick Lencioni
When Women Lead by Carolyn Moore
Small Groups For The Rest of Us by Chris Surrat
One thing I did because of what I’ve learned…
Years ago the only leadership development opportunities were led by and for Christian men, yet I still attended and brought other Christian women with me to such events at Catalyst, Children’s Pastors Conference, Drive, Stephen Covey, and read everything I could get my hands on about organizational leadership. I would start and lead Bible and book studies in small groups when I was available and when it would fit my own personal schedule. I hoped folks would come. They did. They do.
One thing I still do today because of what I’ve learned:
I make it a priority to attend any free online training by people in the trenches, not just authors, such as She Leads Church (Christian women leaders in the marketplace and church space), Bible Creatives (those in the trenches of teaching Sunday school each week), and Children’s Pastors Conference (intentional leadership for me a disciple-maker AND as a disciple of Jesus).
Where have you received training in the areas of organizational money management and leadership development?
Next week I’ll cover the other two all-important skills Rev. Dr. Moore suggests. In the mean time, consider reading or listening to at least two books this summer in one of these areas especially if you intend on taking your ministry leadership to the next level and building those perseverance muscles.
“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn, entrepreneur and author, 1930-2009
Pingback: What Else Do We Need to Know? (part 2) | DeDeBullReilly