1. “Manage yourself.” These are the words of my friend Charles Siburt, longtime ministry professor at ACU. If you as a minister approach ministry from a systems perspective, there is nothing more important than managing yourself. Yet, managing yourself is not simply a matter of working harder or trying more. It is examining how you are functioning in your various roles (leader, minister, preacher, married person, parent, etc.) Quite often, to address your relationships in one sphere can have real benefit in other spheres.
For example, one might be a minister working with a group of church elders. Perhaps this person needs to improve his functioning with this group. Where does a person begin? Years ago, I heard Edwin Friedman (Generation to Generation) say that one of the best things a minister can do is deal with his own family of origin issues. I knew that I had some of these issues from the past but had never processed or worked through them. I reconnected with several family members in order to gain clarity about some of the issues that I was grappling with. I began to see how the way I was functioning within a church was very much related to the way I had functioned in my family of origin. This was extremely helpful.
We are whole beings or systems. One of the best things we can do as we seek to grow and mature is to declare that nothing is off limits and that we are willing to do the hard work of looking at how we have been functioning through the years.
2. I am reading Tim Keller’s new book, Generous Justice. This is an outstanding book. Keller makes the case biblically for why matters of justice ought to be in the sphere of ministry for a Christian individually and for the church collectively.
Drew Dyck has written a fine post entitled “Why Do You Write?”
Daniel Offer has written a very good piece (posted on Michael Hyatt’s blog) entitled “The Leader as LifeLong Learner.”