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Jeff Woods

Although one’s context may be larger than another’s, leadership tasks are still leadership tasks–no matter how many followers are in the room. For people who function primarily as followers rather than leaders, I have listed a few items below under the heading, “What followers should know about church leaders.” Some of the statements are unique […] Read More

For congregational leaders, courage is lived out on a rope held taut by the priestly function of the clergy on one end and the prophetic function of the clergy on the other. Rudolph Giuliani’s popularity suddenly escalated, as well, as he bravely tackled the problems caused by the terrorist attack on New York City. He […] Read More

One of the reasons that rituals are so important is because they mark seasons of change. We remember change by recalling the ritual. Someone once said, “We give ourselves permission to change only through the form of ritual.” With that in mind, should we have more rituals? Most congregations mark entrance into the kingdom of […] Read More

Conflict is a natural part of the changing identity and ministries of a congregation, and in many instances it can be managed appropriately. When the conflict becomes unnatural, however, additional interventions become necessary. The key to working with conflicts in congregations is to recognize that people do not resist change itself. Rather, they resist the […] Read More

Why are so many congregations experiencing conflict these days? The answer is simple. By design, conflict in church life is unavoidable. The very nature of a congregation brings it into conflict with individuals and groups outside of the congregation and also creates conflict within congregations themselves. Ever since it was founded, the church has been […] Read More

What would happen in your congregation if you suddenly made an announcement that you would like for members of the congregation to be more welcoming of guests who come to your church? What if you announced that you would like for your leaders to rely more on the Holy Spirit in their decision-making and ministry […] Read More

Last month, I described four leadership styles that emphasized control over empowerment. This month, I describe five more styles of leadership, all of which emphasize empowerment over control. In the pacesetting style of leadership, the leader displays excellence through his or her own archetypal behavior. The leaders “sets the page” for others to follow by […] Read More

What is your leadership style? Are you a forceful leader? Do you express yourself with flair? Do you lead from behind the scenes? There are several leadership styles, and each has benefits and limitations, as well as obstacles that often surface when practicing that particular style. Leadership consultants have described many different sets of leadership […] Read More

This column makes two primary assumptions: that fruits of the Spirit, as described in Galatians 5:22-23, form an excellent set of benchmarks for Christian maturity, and that a unique spiritual pathway for pursuing each benchmark exists. In the last column we explored spiritual paths to love, joy, peace and patience. Now, let us examine kindness, […] Read More

Congregational leaders have been in the news again, with “character” being the focus. One of the leadership responsibilities of a pastor is to lead by example. Pastors and priests are called to lead by displaying the characteristics of Christian maturity, not by becoming the subjects of scandals. By virtue of office, pastors are leaders, and […] Read More