Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Leader's Insight: Under-Communicating

Why aren't people listening to what I think I'm saying? Conclusion of the series The Three Legs of Trust.

by Angie Ward, guest columnist

In several earlier columns, I pointed out the three legs of trust: character, competence, and communication. All three are necessary to gain and maintain credibility as a ministry leader. But of the three, communication often seems to be the least recognized as a component of trust.

By communication, I don't mean the communication of God's Word from the pulpit. I'm talking about leadership communication, the kind of communication that can help or hinder your church's attempts to row together in the same direction. Whether at the visionary, missional, strategic, or tactical levels, good communication is crucial to ministry effectiveness and to your personal credibility as a leader.

Years ago, when my husband and I signed the contract to purchase our first house, our real estate agent told us, "Congratulations, you're halfway there!" We didn't realize that agreeing on a price was only the first step of the process. Next, we had to find a lender, arrange for an inspection and appraisal, work through the entire loan process, and secure insurance, not to mention manage all the documentation needed to actually close on the house.

In the same way, many leaders fail to realize that reaching a decision on an issue is not the end of the process, but the beginning. The communication (or lack thereof) that follows is just as important as the decision itself.

How can you tell whether your communication is effective? There are several indicators that can help you evaluate this element of your leadership.

Read more at CT Leadership Journal

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

5 Moral Fences

Fact: Some kids like to play "near the edge," and some kids don't. I always did! Whether the "edge" was rock jumping into a cool mountain lake or "bumper jumping" moving cars to slide along an icy winter street, the potential of peril invigorated me.

But "when I became a man, I put away childish things" (1 Cor. 13:11). I was a pastor and in seminary when the moral failures of the late '80's hit the news. In addition to the big names, I heard a shocking number of similar tragedies from my own circle of pastor/friends.

One Sunday night in 1987 I remember crying all the way to church. I was terrified. I asked over and over, "How does this happen? Could this happen to me? How can I protect myself, my family, and my ministry from the devastation a moral failure would cause? How can I keep myself pure when men better than me are falling like flies?"

As I prayed it through, I figured that those who fell morally must have disregarded the warning signs. They didn't go from Spirit-led to stepping off the cliff in one day. They must have crashed some social barriers before their slippage became sexual.

Read more at CT Leadership