Here’s a collection of interesting, thought-provoking articles from around the web from recent weeks. For more links, check out our Flipboard magazines: Leadership Network Today, Leadership Network Deep Trends, and Ideas to Implementation to Impact, where we curate the best in innovative ideas for church leaders.
1. Why teens leave the faith and what churches, families are doing about it (Deseret News) Today’s high schoolers are growing up in a culture that’s changing rapidly, and they’re not afraid to challenge religious doctrines that feel out of step with reality, said Dave Brunetti, director of campus life at Juan Diego Catholic High School in Draper, Utah.
2. Literal interpretation of Bible ‘helps increase church attendance’ (The Guardian) The results of the new study are likely to fuel anxious debate among church members about the reasons for decline and what measures or approaches might stimulate growth. Those promoting evangelical styles of worship and strict adherence to what they see as biblical truths will be bolstered by the findings.
3. Top 10 articles on Identifying and Recruiting New Group Leaders (MarkHowellLive.com) I shook my head when I heard what the plan was. It seemed crazy at a time when the connection strategy was working so well. But…when Kerry Shook asked our congregation who would be willing to host a group in their home nearly 1000 people stood up. Hello!
4. A People Ops Veteran on Navigating the Gnarliest Conversations (People and Culture) Delayed terminations. Companies outgrowing senior leaders. Compensation rumor mills. These challenging scenarios can perplex even veteran HR leaders. While it may sound basic, the key to all of them is to find the entrypoint to bolster relationships, because the harder the situation, the more challenging it is to find it.
5. When Charismatic Leadership Goes Too Far (Harvard Business Review) Charisma, when it’s based on deep conviction of shared success and when it’s skillfully projected, can help a leader be very effective and an organization thrive even during difficult times. But avoiding its dark side requires the leader to add attention to the culture, self-awareness, self-management, and, perhaps most of all, the humility necessary to truly listen.
6. Generous Buckets Turn Dollar Bills into Life Change (Leadership Network) “Transformed community is our ultimate goal as a church,” Gary says. “My goal is to help people to understand that they individually should be radically generous without using our Generous Bucket. They can go buy groceries for Suzy next door, they can be selfless, that’s transformation.” Sometimes though it takes a community coming together to handle the complexities of poverty. Generous Buckets is just a vehicle that allows this church to do that.
7. Ministering in the Shadow of America’s ‘Prison City’ (Christianity Today) With seven prisons housing thousands of inmates—roughly a quarter of the town’s population—Huntsville has earned its nickname “Prison City.” The town is also the headquarters of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (the largest employer in town), and 20 percent of the students at Sam Houston State University are criminal justice majors. Prison life isn’t a far-away notion here. It’s an ever-present reality—and First Baptist is playing a big role in facing it.
8. Communicate Change Using the Power of Momentum (Vision Room) The communication of a new initiative is often as important as the initiative itself. A leadership team may have an incredible strategy, but if the communication is poor, the strategy will not be embraced. Leaders who communicate well have prepared the new initiative for momentum, while those who communicate poorly doom it to failure or a slow start.
9. Why You Might Not Want People In Church Every Sunday Panic at the Church (Part 5) (Tony Morgan Live) Engaging a community begins with recognizing where life happens within it. Which activities are the unchurched families around you involved in? What are they doing on Sunday mornings? Is it reasonable to think someone could develop influence with their friends and attend your church every Sunday? I’m sure it is for some but certainly not all. Once you recognize that, your perspective has to adjust.
10. He used to arrest Fresno gang members. Now he’s turning them into ‘warriors for Christ’ (The Fresno Bee) “I literally cried out by myself, not knowing I was crying out to God, I said, ‘I want change, I need change, I’ve got to have change,’ ” Gomez recalls. “No more than five minutes after that, I got arrested.”