The Jesus-Hearted Woman…

You would be hard-pressed to find a more thoughtful writer or masterful storyteller than Jodi Detrick.  Always quick to defer attention to others and even quicker to encourage emerging leadership.

Though I confess that I am probably not the primary audience of her book titled The Jesus-Hearted Woman, I still enjoyed it immensely.  To be honest, I read at least two to three books a year that are targeted to women (in leadership).  I wholeheartedly believe that every Christ-follower is to be a minister . . . one reason why our leadership teams at Blue Bridge Church are diverse in gender.  With that in mind, I must grow regularly in the way that I communicate to and with women.  Resources such as this remind me that we share similar struggles as well as differ in perspectives and gifts.

My favorite chapter dealt with the “ten reasons behind humility”…

  1. Quality God loves and is looking for
  2. Puts others at ease
  3. Makes more like Jesus
  4. Lets you be a part of his secret work
  5. Allows us to repair broken relationships
  6. Allows us to ask for help
  7. Is a crucial part of enjoying healthy relationships
  8. Gives us a new perspective
  9. Helps you find greatness in unexpected places
  10. Protects us from crashing
Detrick concluded her thoughts with a couple of questions to consider…
  1. How do you feel when you’re around a prideful person?  What can you do, especially as a leader, to put others at ease?
  2. Think about the statement “you could always go lower.”  What might “lower” look like in your current setting or life circumstance?
What are your thoughts?
The Jesus-Hearted Woman…

Scary Close…

I recently finished reading (and would highly recommend) Donald Miller’s latest book titled Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy.  

My favorite chapter aimed to identify the five forms of manipulation within a relationship.

  • The Scorekeeper.  This is when someone “makes life feel like a contest, only there’s no way to win.  [They] are in control of the scoreboard and frame it any way they want, but always in such a way they’re winning” (103).
  • The Judge.  These individuals “strongly believe in right and wrong, which is great, but they also believe they are the ones who decide right and wrong and lord it over others to maintain authority and power” (105).
  • The False Hero.  This particular person “lead[s] people to believe they have something better to offer than they do” (106).
  • The Fearmonger.  An example of this characteristic would be when someone “make[s] people believe they are strong.  They are never vulnerable and fear being perceived as weak” (108).
  • The Flopper.  This would be anyone who “assume[s] the role of victim whenever they can… In order to be a victim, a person needs an oppressor… sooner or later that oppressor will be you” (109).
Miller concludes his thoughts by loosely quoting Henry Cloud and John Townsend when he suggests, “…the only hope a manipulator… [has] to become a safe person [is] to surround [himself or herself] with safe people” who speak the truth in grace (112).
Scary Close…

Preventing Ministry Failure…

I would recommend Michael Todd Wilson and Brad Hoffmann’s Preventing Ministry Failure: A ShepherdCare Guide for Pastors, Ministers and Other Caregivers. I was fortunate enough to be provided a copy in a special release directly from the publisher for review purposes.  

My favorite chapter dealt with one’s calling (what the authors refer to as the power for effectiveness in ministry).  For example…
What doesn’t point to a false calling 
  • Discouragement:  Human measures or responses such as attendance, giving records, number of converts or praise within the Christian community don’t necessarily validate calling (76). 
  • Struggle with sin:  While not a sign of being falsely called, ministers who regularly struggle with a particular sin should take this very seriously and discuss it openly with a spiritual advisor, a Christian counselor or an intimate friend. 
  • Removal from a particular ministry location:  Forced exits sometimes result from mismatched talents or personality differences between minister organizations (77). 
What might point to a false calling
  • Seeing ministry as simply a job:  If the ministry opportunity was “simply one of our options” for employment, we will most likely lack not only the passion but the power to be effective in long-term ministry”. 
  • Lack of passion: An absence of passion, particularly where it’s been there in the past, may be due to other problems, such as discouragement or burnout. 
  • Self-Centered Desire:  When God calls, he sends us to influence and serve. 
  • Satisfaction doing something besides full-time ministry:  Both secular and religious vocations are sacred endeavors before and God and equally blessed and used by him (78). 
Which, if any, of the potential signs of false calling listed above resonate with you?  
Preventing Ministry Failure…

Coaching Questions…

I recently reread my copy of Tony Stoltzfus’ Coaching Questions: A Coach’s Guide to Powerful Asking Skills (which came highly recommended to me from Terry Gurno)

This resource reminds me why to ask good questions to begin with…

  • All the information is with the coachee.  You are the resident expert on you 
  • Asking creates buy-in.  The key to change is not knowing what to do – its being motived to do it  
  • Asking empowers.  A person often knows what to do – they just don’t have the confidence to set out and do it 
  • Asking develops leadership capacity.  Ability to take responsibility 
Great book.  Again, I am so grateful for the voices in my life!  To all those who have not shied away from asking me the difficult questions during my various decision processes. 
Coaching Questions…