Leadership Is Sharing Jesus #269

Laurie KennedyI have the best job in the world. I get to laugh, pray and cry with Pastors and church leaders all day long.

The newly trained car rental agent, had politely asked what I did and where was I headed. I confirmed my title was a Leadership Coach and we were heading to a conference with Pastors. The rental agent continued to question me. I shared that as a Leadership Coach I speak and consult in Leadership retreats across Western Canada. Further, I consult with people who love God, read their Bible and do their best to share God’s love with their communities. I also connect with leaders in 80 countries through Social Media. It was a short but positive conversation.

In our conference that week the speaker illustrated research that 80% of the population would respond positively if a friend (someone they knew and had a relationship with) would invite them to church, Bible study or a church activity. The data was fascinating. I haven’t met that particular Rental Agent again, but my prayer is that our brief conversation would move him one step closer to knowing Jesus. Then, someone (a friend of his) would invite him to know Christ.

“Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!” (Matthew 9:37-38 MSG)

It is a special honor. I really do have the best job in the world. I get to share with people wherever I travel about God’s love and my relationship with him.

Leadership is … sharing God’s love.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is iGen Potential #268

Laurie KennedyWhat are iGen teens worth in terms of long term leadership training?

The iGen teens are considered to have been born since 1997. They have used the Internet since preschool, are comfortable with technology and interacting on social Media. They are financially conscious, possibly due to the financial stresses felt by their parents. They are loyal, compassionate, thoughtful, open-minded, responsible and determined. They also view their peers as competitive, spontaneous, adventuresome and curious. A personal cell phone is considered a rite of passage and they believe a college degree is necessary to achieve career goals.

Entrepreneurship, technology and our computer based world is considered a higher priority for work than traditional life time jobs. They prefer person-to-person contact as opposed to online interaction and are well prepared for a global business environment. They want a feeling of fulfillment and excitement in their job that helps move our world forward while eager to be involved in their community. They are considered to be the most cause driven cohort in history.

“Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use.” (1 Timothy 4:12-14 MSG)

Our Youth Pastor invited me (a Baby Boomer) to meet with several teens in our church.

The Christ focused enthusiasm, clarity and dedication of the teens was awesome. They have a personal relationship with Christ and are focused on sharing God’s love with their world. I was impressed.

What are our iGen teens worth in terms of long term leadership training? Everything!

Leadership is …investing our time, money and mentoring resources in the lives of iGen teens.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Shepherd Board Members #267

Laurie KennedyCongratulations, you have been prayerfully asked to be a Board Member at your church or Mission. You are prayerfully considering the role. You know there are regular meetings, you also know there are other members but, what really is your role as a Board member?

“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (1 Corinthians 1:10 NIV)

The purpose of the Board is to represent the owner. That’s God! It is His church and mission. As a Board member here are 12 questions to regularly evaluate how effective you are.

  • Do you model spiritual leadership to the congregation?
  • Do you serve with integrity ensuring Board decisions are consistent with God’s word?
  • Do you love Jesus and demonstrate God’s love at home and work?
  • Do you pray consistently for your Ministry Staff, People and the church as a whole?
  • Do you provide encouragement and accountability to the Lead Pastor?
  • Do you represent the church, not your personal interests?
  • Do you encourage the established Vision, Mission and Values of the church?
  • Do you commit to the financial and volunteer needs of your church?
  • Do you actively memorize scripture?
  • Do you visit and communicate with individuals/couples within your church?
  • Do you shepherd and care for your people as the Biblical shepherd cared for his sheep?
  • Do you disciple people to know Christ better?

“Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 MSG)

Leadership is … praying and implementing God’s will for His church.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership is a Healthy Church #266

Laurie KennedyIs your church a luxury cruise liner? Is it an aircraft carrier ready for battle? Or, could your church be compared to a hospital ship striving to meet the health and surgical needs of people worldwide? Ocean going ships, (just like churches) are not designed to float looking pretty in a harbor.

Similarly, God didn’t design our Pastors and Leaders to sit comfortably in the safe harbor of meeting with friends each week. God didn’t design our Sunday School and weekly Bible studies to resemble people sitting, eating and chatting on the luxury liner deck safely in the harbor.

The presumed safety and comfort of our weekend services is not what our Leaders are striving for. Our committed leaders seek the high seas and the miracles of a Vision demonstrating God’s love to our world.  Should we sometimes go to battle like the aircraft carrier? Yes! Should we be compared to the hospital ship seeking the hurt, providing loving and caring service? Yes!

We love our churches, the body of believers, the very bride of Christ is precious. Certainly we want to present Christ and His Bride as a healthy, vibrant expression of what He called us to be and do.

The most dangerous place for a ship during a storm is anchored in the harbor. There is risk that the ship will be damaged or destroyed. During the storm our ship needs to lift anchor and launch. The harbor is the last place we need to be.

To be healthy, our churches need to seek the high seas of our world, sharing our God given Spiritual Gifts, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. (Matthew 28:19 NIV)

Leadership is … praying our church out of the perceived safe harbor into the high seas of God’s calling.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Integrity #265

Laurie KennedyIntegrity is the foremost value of the Christian Servant leader. “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness” (Titus 2:7 NIV).

A dictionary defines integrity as; “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. The synonyms are; honesty, honor, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness.”

“Leadership is about integrity, honesty and accountability.  Leadership comes from telling us not what we want to hear, but rather what we need to hear.  To be a true leader, to engender deep trust and loyalty, starts with telling the truth.” (Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek)

Integrity is personal, organizational and value based. What is right goes beyond the rules, politics, vision and mission of organizations to define the standard. The challenge for leaders is confirmed, “ethical standards are largely defined by the leadership. Leadership sets the moral tone of the team.” (Jack Kahl, Leading from the Heart)

Leaders are being scrutinized today more than ever before. Staff, volunteers, customers or those attending your church have expectations. These expectations need to be honored. It doesn’t matter your level of education, competence or experience. Our followers will only be dedicated to someone they trust.

“History is filled with examples of men who, though they were gifted beyond the ordinary, saw their labors brought to nothing because they were lacking in character,” (What is a Man? Waller R. Newell) History is repeating itself as our daily news profiles leaders who have tripped and lost over character issues. “The simple truth is this: there is a crisis of confidence in leadership.” (Joel Manby, Love Works)

Integrity is fundamental to the skill and ability of great leaders. We must integrate it into every aspect of our lives. It’s more important than anything else. Skill is important. Education and experience are important but nothing shows effective leadership more than integrity.

Leadership is … demonstrating God’s love by our character, our integrity and our willingness to live a Christ-like life daily.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Spiritual and Organizational Health #264

Laurie KennedyThere are over 14,000 moving parts in my car.

I love it when they all work together.

A symphony orchestra includes 90 musicians playing 82 different instruments together, solos or in small groups.

The sound of a full orchestra working together is awesome.

Our bodies have and require thousands of parts to function effectively. We each have 206 bones, our hearts beat about 35 million times a year. We have 5.6 litres of blood circulating three times a minute over 19,000 km per day. If all arteries, veins, and capillaries of the human circulatory system were laid end to end, the total length would be 100,000 km. The fastest nerve cells carry messages along their axons at an amazing 431 kph. There are about 700 muscles in the human body.

We all love it when our bodies work together in health.

Paul confirms the fascinating reality that the physical, spiritual and organizational health can and must work together. “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:16 NIV)

Is your church spiritually and organizationally healthy, “fitly framed together” (Ephesians 2:21 KJV) to accomplish God’s vision? If it isn’t, Jesus tells us, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” (Matthew 12:25 NIV)

My prayer for my church and yours is that each and every component of our ministries work together to accomplish God’s vision. We need to not only demonstrate God’s love but to do it collectively and cooperatively so that God is glorified in your community.

“In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvellously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” (Romans 12:4-6 MSG)

Leadership is demonstrating God’s love by working together.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Appreciating Others #263

Laurie KennedyThe Jethro Group recognizes Pastors each October.

I wrote and hand delivered three letters today. Now three letters isn’t a big deal. I send and respond to hundreds each week.

Today’s letters were different, they were personal, hand delivered and contained a gift card.

We attend a medium sized church with a weekend attendance of 300. We pray for each of our ministry staff. As a Deacon, part of my role is to pray and communicate with our staff and a percentage of our people. We attend an amazing Life Group each week. I chair a small committee looking to lead our Board, Deacons and people toward our Vision, Mission and Values for the next ten years. We love our church

Back to my three letters.

My research and experience with Pastors confirms they give of themselves, talk and share on a continual basis, but they rarely take or are offered the time for someone to listen, really listen to them. They have friends, but their closest friends are other Pastors. Friends within the church often means they are church dependent. Pastors worry about losing their church friends and relationships due to a Sunday sermon series that is delivered well but goes nowhere.

My role as a friend is to listen, and share about church and non-church activities while reinforcing our Pastors in their work. I encourage them in their prayer life and the very positive health of our church.

My three hand delivered letters were individually written. They were focused on each individual Pastor on the four points of: thank you for all you do, we appreciate you, pray for you and feel free to call when you need anything.

And now, friends, we ask you to honour those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 MSG)

Happy Ministry Staff appreciation month from the Jethro Group.

Leadership is praying for and supporting our Pastors and Ministry Leaders world-wide.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Transforming #262

Laurie KennedyI was reflecting on the number of times I’ve heard the Gospel shared, preached or explained during my lifetime. I’m very thankful to have been taught, challenged and influenced by some world class theologians, exceptional Pastors and Teachers.

My armchair analysis suggests I’ve been under the influence of Bible teaching for 10,000 hours during my lifetime. I’ve forgotten the illustrations, cute stories, unique applications and the long drawn out lectures. But, the concepts and learning are still with me. Today, you and I are the culmination of the influence of many Pastors and Teachers.

I’m humbled by the privilege of learning, yet in awe of the responsibility. Christ tells us we are entrusted with and responsible for our learning. “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48 NIV)

One of my favourite Pastors confirmed, “Our Bible knowledge is not effective if we don’t let it transform our lives.” (Rev. Ian Smith, Mayerthorpe Baptist Church)  If Ian’s phrase makes any sense at all, the estimated 10,000 times people have preached, discussed and shared God’s word with me are still transforming my life. God isn’t finished with me yet.

Pastors, you have spent ten to fifteen hours in prayer, study and preparation for your 30 minute sermon this Sunday. This sermon may be the one that God uses to transform someone’s life.

Christians, you’ll listen to another speaker this Sunday who will influence you. Will this be just another sermon that will be shared and forgotten? Or will this Sunday be the first day of a new journey to spiritual transformation and a renewed life in Christ.

Happy Ministry Staff Appreciation Month from the Jethro Group.

Leadership is learning, growing and changing for Christ’s sake.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Expressing Thanks #261

Laurie KennedyOn this Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, I’d like to start a new trend.

Research by Gerald Graham found that “58% of staff (volunteers) seldom (if ever) are thanked by their manager for a job well done, 76% seldom (if ever) receive written thanks from their manager, 78% seldom (if ever) receive public praise in the workplace. It appears that the techniques that have the greatest motivational impact are practiced the least, even though they are easier and less expensive to use.” (James C. Hunter, The World’s most powerful Leadership Principle)

This is research from the secular marketplace.  Is there any correlation with churches and Christian based organizations?

Who are you thankful for?

Have you taken the opportunity to tell them?

Have you shared with others your admiration for your family, Pastor, church, neighbour or your blessings because of where you live?

I’m thankful for a lot.

Char and I have been married for 48 years.  Wow! This is awesome. We are very thankful for our three adult kids and knowing that our eleven grandkids are in church every weekend is really special. On Social Media, I refer to our grandkids as our eleven favourite people. We take family seriously and they always come first. Thank you family.

We love our church family. With two services each Sunday and in addition, a dynamic Youth, Senior, Sunday School and Weekly Life Groups. We have the privilege of touching people in our church and community.  Thank you to our church.

We have a Deacons Board where we pray, care and share with the goal of reaching our community and influencing our world for Christ.  We have Mission responsibilities and are working with the other churches in our city. Thank you to our church leaders.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17 NIV)

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to each of you.

Leadership is expressing our thankfulness, representing God’s love on a continual basis.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Picking Up The Gauntlet #260

I love being the wife of a man who is a pastor. I distinctly remember a time as a young person deciding that being married to a pastor lacked calling, distinction, passion, or imagination plus it scared me to death! Certainly not what I wanted for my life. I had dreams of serving my Lord as a teacher on a mission field with an equally zealous man.

Mission accomplished! Teacher…check! Missionary…check! Man with Godly zeal… check!

My life was being played out as I had prayed and planned full of calling, distinction, passion, and imagination!  Living the dream… my dream.

Then God moved.

And my husband felt God’s call to, you guessed it, the pastorate. Wow! Without even consulting me!! My perfect dream… poof! Lord, why?

Well…suffice to say, I struggled for much of our first years in pastoral ministry. I fought (first loudly, then quietly) and resented God’s trajectory for our life. I remember one particular conversation I had with Father. I said with fear, “But, Lord, what if it all goes south? What if taking this pastorate leaves us hurting and wounded, Lord?” I remember the Holy Spirit whispering to me, “Will you trust me even if it does?” It was a gauntlet of love thrown.

“Will you, Wendy?”

I picked it up.

Fast forward ten years to today. I had chuckled much like Sarah did upon hearing about Isaac… the sweet, redeeming, irony of the Creator’s plans. Today, with joy, I see my life, as if I’m watching from the best theatre box seat owned by the Great KING himself and I, His child. I sit beside Him, front and center, watching and responding to an epic story of His creation and created ones. He shows me things too marvelous for words. He urges me to respond with gladness or tears. He moves me and outfits me with love towards His people. He compels me to engage Him on behalf of His people by standing in the gap by prayer. Where I sit as a partner in my husband’s ministry, I have the privilege to see and experience by His invitation God’s redemptive work first hand. This is such a beautiful gift, one filled with calling, distinction, passion and full of scope for the imagination.

Why do I love being the wife of a pastor?  I love the view from the front row seats.

Leadership is picking up the gauntlet of love.

Our Guest Blogger, Mrs. Wendy Fletcher, is a skilled Puppeteer, Drama and Children’s Director, wife of Rev. Mike Fletcher at Drumheller Fellowship Baptist Church and the mother of three dynamic grown children. It has been my privilege to call them friends for the last 15 years.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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