Tag Archives: leadership

Five Personal Resources for Leadership

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

Purists of Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST) tend to eschew notions or frameworks of individualistic perspectives to therapy or interpreting families or organizations (like “personality type” or “traits” schemas). They prefer a consistent “systems” approach that focuses on the structural emotional system over the personality of individuals in the system. More weight is to be given to the position and functioning of an individual in a system than on his or her personality because both are more a product of the system than of the individual. By and large I lean toward that perspective, but I think there is something to be said for the capacities that reside in the individual. Continue reading Five Personal Resources for Leadership

Congregations as Communities of Faith

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

Congregations are, in their essence, authentic communities of faith—despite the fact that they are also organizations. That’s an insight worth keeping in mind for every congregational leader. Too often, the tendency for is to address congregational issues from an administrative approach in an attempt to control outcomes. Symptomatic of this tendency is the popularity of management books among clergy. Administration and management can work at one level, at the organizational level, but they will not work at the “communal” level. (Read an excerpt on what makes a congregation a real faith community from the book The Hidden Lives of Congregations ).

One reason why management and administration cannot effect control or bring about essential change in congregations has to do with the nature of congregations as communities. Congregations are localized, encultured, emotional relationship systems and they are more organic than organizational. They embody well what constitutes a community, despite their organizational structures. If you want to understand a congregation, you’d do better to assess its culture than analyze its organizational chart. Continue reading Congregations as Communities of Faith

What Sustains Excellence in Ministry?

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

The power of peer-group learning is explored in the book by Brenda Harwood, D. Bruce Roberts, and others, So Much Better: How Thousands of Pastors Help Each Other Thrive.” The book presents findings from the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Peer Learning Project, with contributions from a variety of denominations and educational and church institutions.

One key finding is that excellence in ministry is a product of a sustained commitment to lifelong learning. The book identifies the ways peer learning groups promote personal and professional growth. These include the following specific practices (p. 171): Continue reading What Sustains Excellence in Ministry?

Checking Your Leadership Assumptions

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

Effective teachers always check students’ assumptions and help them uncover their prejudices. Assumptions and prejudices cause students to “pre-judge” ideas, concepts, and truths and, when unchecked, can block learning since learning requires the accommodation of the new to the old: adding new knowledge to existing knowledge; dismantling old structures in order to build new ones, or giving up beliefs in order to embrace new truths. Continue reading Checking Your Leadership Assumptions

Even More (Really Exciting) Changes With Leadership in Ministry

A message from Leadership in Ministry Coordinator Bob Dibble:

My first involvement with LIM began in 1994, later joining the Faculty. In 2008 Larry Matthews asked me to consider assuming responsibilities as Coordinator of LIM so that he could more fully retire. It was an honor to be asked by not only a friend but a mentor and it has been a great privilege to serve in that capacity since 2010.

However, since the fall of 2014 through the summer of 2015, I had been in a discernment process with a close circle of friends about the most appropriate time to end my ministry as Coordinator. The result was some very real clarity and peace about the decision.

I then began the process of seeking a successor whose commitment to LIM was equally steadfast. Fortunately, the first person I thought of also has accepted. We finalized as many transitions issues as possible when we were together for the fall LIM-Atlanta workshop. Continue reading Even More (Really Exciting) Changes With Leadership in Ministry