Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Leadership quotes from Robert Clinton

One of my all time favourite leadership books is Bob Clinton’s The Making of a Leader. It is a leadership book which deserves more than one reading! Recently I called in to see my friend Simon Allen as he recovered from a knee operation. He had just begun to re-read this classic leadership book, and we shared our favourite quotes - this coincided with my plan to share my favourite quotes in this blog over the next few weeks. So I hope you enjoy the series and perhaps it will encourage you to read this book for the first time... or maybe pick it up again!

Upon successful completion of the ministry task, the leader is usually given a bigger task. (p 34)

Occasionally, you meet leaders who have great Vision, and are always talking about it, but this leadership principle earths vision in present reality. The best way to fulfil your potential in God is to be faithful in the small matters, serve well and complete the ministry task before you currently. Then in due time God will give you further opportunity... (1 Peter 5).

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

London Churches Update

At the beginning of each term I plan a week of prayer, preparation and planning. Recently I went for a prayer walk (in the rain!) - on this occasion I decided to walk from my home to the Thames. When I arrived in Greenwich Park, I stood at the top of the slope by the Greenwich Observatory and prayed for our great city. As I looked out across London, I prayed for all our churches and leaders, that God would continue to bless all we are doing as local churches working in partnership in the capital together.

Our movement is far from perfect. At times our desire and commitment to reach this city and the nations means that our relationships get stretched, making it easier to take for granted the amazing family of which we are a part. I recently met with a young pastor involved in the Baptist network. I have much to thank the Baptist movement for, but at the same time this conversation brought into focus for me how much we gain as leaders, in fellowship and support from one another, by being part of Newfrontiers.

And the work is building! We continue to plant new churches - our latest five are in Bow, Haringey, Islington, Newham and Richmond upon Thames. I have listed them by name below, along with their leaders - and commend them to your prayers!

East End Church, Bow – Tom Head

Freedom Church, Haringey – Mark Tebb

Jubilee Church, Islington – Clive Sharpe

Hope Church, Newham – Mark Waterfield

Richmond Borough Church, Richmond upon Thames – Roger Smith

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Know yourself - spiritual gifts

In my early development as a leader, when I looked at the list in Ephesians 4, I didn’t know what my gift was. I was mission-focused – did that make me an evangelist? I used to prophesy regularly in our meetings – did that mean I was a prophet? I looked after a team of people – was I a pastor? What about teaching?

I was part of a Baptist church that joined Newfrontiers – I had no framework of the apostolic ministry as we had been an autonomous local church now connected with a trans-local Ephesians 4 ministry. At that time there was a lot of teaching around this subject which came out of this passage from the Bible. This was primarily because we were seeking to re-establish and restore this ministry structure throughout the church and the movement. Apart from Ephesians 4, we also spent time in Rom 12:3 - 8 and 1 Cor 12:27 – 31.

From Rom 12 I learned that it was not down to my natural ability but was the grace of God! That took some pressure off me as a leader – I realised that the worship I was leading was not down to my leadership primarily but His grace! And from the 1 Corinthians passage I learned again the importance of the primacy of love as your motive in serving and exercising gifts.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Know yourself - know your history

Your history shapes you – often far more than you realise. The path you have taken to get where you are will often define your thinking. To be aware of these things is important; knowing the formative elements in your development is an important part of your self-knowledge.

If you want to know yourself, know your history. A trivial but revealing example of this for me would be what happened when Deb and I got married - with the wedding gift list. Deb and her Mum compiled the list – I stayed well clear of the process until it was nearly done and Deb suggested that I had a look to see if there was anything I wanted to add. I went through it and – in all seriousness – said to Deb, ‘Where’s the trolley?’
‘Trolley? What trolley? What do you want a trolley for?’
‘The one that sits in the kitchen, where we put the newspapers so we know where they are when we want them. And when we have a family ‘do’ or Sunday tea, the trolley comes out to the living room with the tea and sandwiches…’
My Mum had a trolley in her kitchen and guess what, so did my Nana! And when we went to visit and had tea – out would come the trolley! (Anyone relating to this story?) So of course I asked, ‘Where’s the trolley?’
Deb said to me, quite firmly – more firmly than I thought necessary, really, ‘We are never having a trolley in our house.’ Well, now we have a sort of IKEA thing – but that’s another story!

Your upbringing, your history shapes you! Sometimes you’re in reaction to it; sometimes it’s a model that you use for reference. I would suggest that as you become older your history impacts you more and more – I’m certainly finding this! Into your own adulthood and marriage you bring your own upbringing and the examples of your parents – good and bad.