Friday, April 11, 2014

All Around the Web - April 11, 2014

Denny Burk - PBS profles “new Calvinism” and the SBC




Thom Rainer - Ten Fears of Church Leaders
  1. Fear of critics. Leading a church means the leader will have critics. Sometimes the criticisms become so frequent that it seems easier not to lead. For pastors and other church leaders, the steady inflow of negative comments becomes emotionally, spiritually, and physically draining.
  2. Fear of failure. This fear is almost universal, and church leaders are not exempt from it. Leadership requires faith-based steps, what the world calls risk. Some church leaders do not lead forward because they fear they will not succeed.
  3. Fear of power brokers. These church members often are the informal but true decision makers of the church. Some of them have great influence. Some of them are big financial givers to the church. Some of them are both.
  4. Fear of failing to please. All of us want to be loved, and church leaders are no different. Sometimes this desire develops into a people-pleasing attitude. When it does, the leader is constantly confronted with the reality that any decision or action is likely to displease someone.
  5. Fear of change. Most of us have our own comfort zones. Some pastors and church staff are willing to move and lead out of their comfort zones. But some are not.
  6. Fear of nitpickers. There is obvious overlap in this fear and the fear of critics. The nitpickers often don’t view themselves as critics; they offer suggestions about points of minutia. For example, this group includes those who remind the pastor to make announcements of minor matters five minutes before a worship service begins.
  7. Fear of finances. This fear takes at least two different forms. The first is a general fear of anything financial because the church leader was not trained in this area. The second is a fear to take prudent steps of financial faith lest the finances of the church are harmed.
  8. Fear of others seeing weaknesses. Pastors, in particular, are often expected to be omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. But the reality is that no leader or no pastor is good at everything. Some leaders are fearful that those areas will be exposed to church members.
  9. Fear of offending others. Those who are in vocational ministry often must take stands and speak truth that goes against the grain of culture, and even can offend church members. While all church leaders should speak truth with an irenic spirit, many do not do so because they don’t desire to hurt the feelings of others.
  10. Fear of success. A number of pastors have shared with me their fear of doing well in some area of ministry, but then not having the ability to build on their successes. One pastor told me in a moment of vulnerability that he tries to keep his church small, because he fears he doesn’t have the skillset to lead a larger church.

CCEF - Pastoral Wisdom and the Mandate to Report Abuse
I am a mother of five and, as a counselor, I work with children almost every day. Sadly, many of the children I meet experience tough, heart-breaking problems and some have suffered abuse and mistreatment. I am committed to educating myself and others on the importance of protecting the vulnerable. It is a personal passion for me. It is the way I have built my family and live my life. My goal for myself, and for the larger Christian community, is that we are knowledgeable, competent, and biblically wise when it comes to handling allegations of abuse. 

Tim Challies - The Bestsellers: The Purpose Driven Life
Rick Warren was born in 1954 in San Jose, California, the son of Jimmy and Dot Warren. Jimmy was a Baptist minister and from a young age Rick determined to follow in his father’s footsteps. He received an undergraduate degree from California Baptist University before going to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to receive his pastoral training.

In 1980, Warren founded Saddleback Church in Laguna Hills, California. The church’s inaugural service was held on Easter Sunday in Laguna Hills High School with nearly 200 people in attendance. Under Warren’s leadership and winsome personality, the church grew rapidly, outgrowing facility after facility until they finally purchased land in Lake Forest and began construction there in the early 1990’s. By the time the church settled in the Lake Forest campus, they already had 10,000 people attending their services each week.

In 1995, Zondervan published the semi-autobiographical The Purpose Driven Church, a book that soon proved popular and influential in teaching the principles of church growth. While the book was targeted squarely at pastors and church leaders, it introduced Warren to the leaders who would be key to the success of his next work.

Thom Rainer - Seven Reasons Your Church Needs a Social Media Director
  1. Social media is fast becoming a preferred method of communication. It cannot and should not be ignored by church leaders. We miss opportunities to minister and share the gospel when we neglect social media. Just like any major ministry in the church, this ministry needs one person to lead and drive such efforts.
  2. Having one individual lead social media will avoid the pitfalls of mixed messages. Though this church may be an exception, I know one congregation that was sending out contradictory information from Twitter and Facebook. There were different persons handling each form of social media, and they were not communicating with each other. There are many different venues for social media. Congregations need one person to keep the messages consistent.
  3. A congregation’s social media expressions need a consistent voice. I am differentiating here between “message” and “voice.” A consistent voice has a consistent tone. The writing style is consistent. The level of responsiveness is consistent. The length of message is consistent (Yes, there are some verbose persons even on Twitter). Church members and potential members need to hear a consistent voice regardless of the social media platform they are engaging.
  4. A good social media director understands the language of the people. He or she can engage others on Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, Instagram, and others. And the more he or she is involved, the more adept at the language that person becomes. The director can also coordinate with the pastor and other leaders if they happen to have blogs or podcasts. The social media director helps provide “translation” to get the message out to others engaged in social media.
  5. One person acting as social media director can help give priority to the different messages the church needs to send. Ideally, that person is in regular contact with the pastor and other church leaders about the ministry priorities in the congregation. Those priorities should then be communicated via social media. Undoubtedly, every church has members with different ideas about what is more important. A social media director, working with the leadership of the church, can make wise decisions about communication issues.
  6. A social media director can help find the church’s  “sweet spot” in social media. No one person, and not many organizations, can be active in every conceivable social media expression. So people and organizations begin to gravitate toward those areas where communication is most efficient and effective. In my world, for example, my blog and Twitter are the two media platforms in my sweet spot, though I am involved in other social media.
  7. Effective social media needs ongoing attention. When a church has one person leading, directing, and coordinating social media, that person has an important and busy ministry in the church. Constant attention is necessary to make the communication relevant and effective. The social media director is just the person to provide that attention.

27 Fun Facts About Fun

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