Having the full presence and attention of a coach, who is focused on you and your goals and desires, brings a partnership that many need these days to face fears and achieve goals.
Congregations are starving for leadership in these challenging days marked by increasingly complex family issues, community and cultural shifts, greater fear and anxiety, and increasing expectations for pastor-led pastoral care.
I'm convinced that most of the deacons I encounter want to be involved in a meaningful ministry that is fulfilling and challenging to who they are as believers in Christ. I am also convinced that many deacons do not have the spiritual life to enable this to happen.
We can't lose sight of the fact that a congregation will never move beyond its spiritual leadership, and that deacons are part of that spiritual leadership team. If a deacon body gets stuck in maintenance or control issues, a congregation is likely to have maintenance or control issues at its core.
Many people are comfortable in "their churches" while the world around them deteriorates and yearns for God. To many church leaders and members, being comfortable with the way they do church is more important than risking discomfort and unfamiliarity in order to reach the world with the Good News.
This time of year, many congregations begin seeking deacons for service in the new church year. The nomination-election-selection-ordination process is as varied as Baptist churches these days.
For many church leaders, summer is the time of preparing for the new church year—leadership retreats, planning and evaluation.
I've had several conversations recently with pastors and deacons who are struggling to minister effectively to today's changing family models. The biblical model for marriage and family hasn't changed, but the family in our world has.
Deacons deal with more than the "power people" in the church. Unfortunately, they must also sometimes face ministerial incompetence.
All kinds of churches have "power people"—members who, by many accounts, prevent the church from moving forward.
Many churches and denominations are moving beyond denial and discovering that, in many instances, what they have been doing for decades is no longer working. We haven't been making disciples and now our world and our church are facing the consequences.
I met Charlie Bris-Bois about five years ago in Winston-Salem while doing a seminar on preparing the church for the 21st century. Charlie voiced skepticism about some of my ideas and even confessed he "liked things the way they were."
How have your life, church, family, business and community changed since Sept. 11th?
With the dawning of a new year we are all learning to live with many changes and with courage and faith in the face of the 'new normal' caused by terrorist attacks on our country.