• faith

    [Advent Week 2] The Prophet’s Candle

    Hope. This has been a theme in my personal reflections since my husband suddenly moved to heaven 3 months before Christmas last year. A reminder that Jesus’ very existence means even people grieving or hurting in this season – can have hope.  The biblical prophets were true champions of hope. Their resilience and faith bolsters me during the darkest times. And in this season I want more than ever to be able to share hope with others who need it.  The first candle we light on the Advent wreath is often called the “Prophet’s Candle.” In the Advent season of waiting, it’s a wonderful practice to reflect on those who…

  • faith

    [Advent Week 1] The Advent Wreath

    As we finish up our turkey leftovers and (hopefully) bask in some fond Thanksgiving memories, the season is already turning to Advent. Each Sunday next month, many church traditions around the world will reflect during this period of waiting for the Messiah’s arrival – or “advent.” Growing up, the Advent Wreath was a hallmark of my family’s church services during the season of Advent. With the lighting of each candle and the readings and testimonies shared during these times, my anticipation grew. When my children were young we kept the tradition of the Advent Wreath in our home. The traditional symbol and practice helped me focus on the significance of…

  • What Story Will They Tell?
    communication,  education,  leadership

    What Story Will They Tell?

    Original article published in Outcomes Magazine by the Christian Leadership Alliance. “Our board would like you to come fix our Millennials.” The administrator of a small nonprofit was on the phone explaining that her organization established a “Junior Board of Millennials” as part of their succession plan. The Board of Directors, composed of Baby Boomers and Traditionalists, wanted these Millennials – at the time a group of 20-somethings – “fixed” so they would embrace the organization’s mission and operational strategy Board’s way.  The catch: Board members didn’t want to invest their own time or resources in the fix.  You can guess what happened. Every invested Millennial volunteer left that organization –…

  • Life-giving intergenerational Team
    leadership

    What Sucks the Life Out of Your Team?

    For the past several weeks, I’ve been exploring the importance and nature of successful intergenerational teams. We’ve considered what it means to be entrusted with our people, a mentoring model we can incorporate, God’s design for intergenerational ministry, and the characteristics of a belonging culture. Now I want to look at one of the qualities of a thriving intergenerational ministry or leadership team: it must be life-giving.   So, here’s a question: what sucks the life out of you? What is not life-giving? Take a minute and list some things that come to mind. Actually, write them down. One thing that sucks the life out of me is complainers. I…

  • communication,  leadership

    Does Your Team Have a Belonging Culture?

    Today I want to talk what it means to have a belonging culture on our intergenerational teams. In this series about intergenerational ministry, I’ve been addressing several characteristics of successful ministry teams. We talked about what it means to be entrusted with people, explored a model for building mentoring into our teams, and dove into some ideas around God’s design for intergenerational ministry. Let’s start with a minute of reflection this time. Consider these questions: Do you feel you belong on your team or on the teams you serve on? Do you believe your teammates belong? When I was growing up in the church, here’s how I thought belonging worked:…

  • leadership

    Designing the Best Teams

    One of my favorite models of intergenerational ministry is the relationship between the apostle Paul and his mentee Timothy as described in Paul’s letters to Timothy.  As his Wise Guide, Paul continues mentoring Timothy as he pastors one of the world’s first mega-churches in Ephesus.  In the community I serve, we often refer to “Leadership 412.” This refers to what Paul instructs Timothy to do in chapter 4, verse 12 of Paul’s first letter to him. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12, NIV) Paul…

  • leadership

    Three Essential Mentoring Relationships We All Need

    In my research, I discovered three key mentoring relationships that foster growth on teams. Let’s take a look at each and consider how they might already be showing up in your life and workplace. Open a new document or grab a pen and paper. You’ll want to make a few short lists of these mentoring relationships in ministry (etc.) to get the most out of this discussion. The first type of mentor is the Wise Guide. One of the first Wise Guides in my life was my grandmother. I remember driving as a young mom with my kids in the car. Grandma would be in the passenger seat listening to me rant…

  • communication,  leadership

    What It Means to be Entrusted with Intergenerational Ministry

    In your ministry or organization, I’m sure you want God’s design for perpetually-renewing intergenerational ministry and leadership.  And you want your organizational team to embrace it, too. In my organization, we have a structural design that means every year we have many intergenerational teams working together in ministry and leadership. Our mission is to help the next generation get ready to speak, and to do that effectively with lasting impact, we had to get intentional about how intergenerational mentoring and collaboration works best. You have been entrusted with people. As leaders, we have been entrusted with people. What does it mean to be entrusted? I think about that quite a…