The Surprising Trait that Wins Over Pastoral Search Teams

I have learned a lot about how churches search teams and elders boards look for new lead pastors. In my role as a transitional pastor and transitional coach, I’ve been able to see the other side, not just the side of the pastor applying, but the side of the search teams, boards of elders and the churches and how they deal with applicants.

Sometimes it’s a little scary to see how they process applications and kind of exegete what they think the person is saying, and not always accurately. There’s a language it seems that pastors have, a ministry language that is more like a code that we use which are not fully understood by people who aren’t pastors. It’s kind of left me, in some cases, wondering how does search even happen when a pastor is not involved on the receiving end of the process?

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The Pivot No One Is Talking About

If there’s one word that I find more irritating than covid right now, it’s the word pivot. Everybody’s pivoting. They’re pivoting from offline to online and physical to virtual, and all other kinds of pivots. It’s all the same thing, really. 

Before this whole crisis where pivot became the most popular word next to covid, I always just thought of pivot as a basketball move, but now it’s something that businesses and churches and people or are all doing. 

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A Theology of Crisis

Today I’m going to share with you part of a larger interview I did with Stuart McKnight of theologynow.ca. We covered a lot of ground in the interview and this little segment had to do with the question I asked him about a theology of crisis, specifically a theology of Covid and how we handle it and respond to it theologically. I think you’ll find this useful and stimulating and you’ll see that it applies not just to Corvid. So jump in and have a listen. 

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What’s Your Default Hammer

There’s an old saying that says, if your only tool is a hammer, you’re going to see every problem as a nail. What is your hammer? What is your nail? What is your default setting when you’re in crisis or under stress? 

Some kinds of personality and leadership tests seek to discern in part what your default operating mechanism is. When you go under stress, do you operate differently than you normally do? There’s a lot of pretty good leaders who are good leaders in normal times, but under stress they become tyrants and really controlling and non-collaborative, which is their default setting. Other people kind of withdraw and get quiet. 

When it comes to crisis, whether it’s a national/international crisis like the Covid-19, whether it’s in business or in church or a family crisis, the same kind of thing happens. But it’s not necessarily just about our personality; it’s about our skill set. As leaders, we have some skills. We have some things that we’re really good at, which are different for each one of us, that when things go sideways, we might fall back on those skills, whether or not that skill is what is needed at the time. It’s our hammer. It’s our default hammer. 

Are you aware of what your default hammer is? 

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The 8020 of Leading in Crisis

I want to take a look at the 8020 of disruptive, crisis leadership. Or maybe it’s better stated “the 8020 of leading in disruption and crisis”. 8020 Pastors and Priority Pastor are about crafting a focused, sustainable life and ministry. 

When it comes to disruption and crisis, if you’re a leader and you want to maintain this focus, stability, and sustainability, the 8020, is very clearly in my mind, self leadership. It’s about taking care of yourself and putting on your own oxygen mask first, as the flight attendant says before take-off. This can be a little bit counter to our pastoral bias towards self-sacrifice, rightly or wrongly. 

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