Ron Edmondson is a pastor and student of leadership. He blogs regularly on church and organizational leadership, family and God.
Posted 6/30/16 at 11:32 AM | Ron Edmondson
When I’m talking to a pastor or other leader who has accepted a new position or is in a time of transition — after I hear the excitement in their voice of what they see God doing — I almost always ask the same question:
There is usually a pause, followed by an “umm” of some sort, then a statement such as, “She/He seems to be doing okay.”
Push a little more (which I usually do) and I’ll hear something like:
“It’s been harder on him/her than I thought it would be.”
Pushing even further, I might hear, “I don’t understand why he/she is not as excited as I am. We agreed this was what God had for us.”
Many times, when the leader is honest, the transition hasn’t gone as well for the spouse as for the pastor. It will likely come in time — if given time — but for now, the spouse is simply not as excited about the change in positions as the one who made the change in career is. FULL POST
Posted 5/11/16 at 11:28 AM | Ron Edmondson
Have you ever heard the phrase “odd person out”?
It means you don’t fit. You don’t measure up for some reason. You are excluded. Being odd person out can hurt if for some unfair reason one is descriminated against.
While I certainly can’t claim discrimination the way many people understand the term, I’ve been odd man out numerous times. I’ve been there because I’m pastor at times. People assume I can’t also be fun – or I would judge their activities – so there are many social events I don’t get invited to attend. I remember feeling this way as the only person from a single-parent home among my friends in high school.
We’ve all been excluded at some point in life for some reason.
It’s a bad thing to be “odd person out” by no choice of your own, but some people actually place themselves in the position by the decisions they make and the way they respond to others. It happens all the time in team dynamics. FULL POST
Posted 4/28/16 at 9:12 AM | Ron Edmondson
Everyone wants to be successful in life, but the truth is many people never really achieve what they set out to accomplish. Many of us fall short of obtaining our dreams and goals. This is true in life and leadership.
After years of observing a lackluster success rate among some of the people to whom I minister and to leaders I coach, I began to examine why some people never seem to succeed.
What is it which keeps people from being achieving what they claim to want most in life?
Are there some steps which can be taken to enhance our chances of winning in this “game” of life?
If I am asked to coach someone to be a winner, these are some of the steps I will start.
Step One: Get in the right race.
Many people never achieve the success they wanted, because they entered the wrong competition. They are aiming for the wrong targets. We should ask ourselves “where do I want to go in life and what do I eventually want to accomplish?” Until we know how we want our life to end we will never know the steps to take to succeed. This is true for leaders. If you don’t have a vision for your leadership – where you’re leading people – you’re failing before you get started. Of course, I believe in life this starts with a decision to allow Christ to set your path. Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” FULL POST
Posted 4/28/16 at 9:09 AM | Ron Edmondson
I love the story of Manoah and his wife. They had been unable to give birth to a child. It was apparently their greatest desire in life. One day an angel of God brought them good news a child was to be born.
I think one reason I identify with the story is the huge number of people in our ministry who have struggled with infertility. It’s a huge hidden pain in the church. It’s one reason we have always highlighted adoption and foster-parenting.
But, when Manoah’s wife came to him with the news they were having a child, Manoah immediately did what happens to many men and women when they discover they are about to be parents. He grew up – literally – and he indicated this by what he did first. He prayed!
He asked for God’s provision!
It’s funny how “life” has to happen sometimes before we fall on our knees.
In the moment – realizing they were about to be blessed with one of life’s greatest blessings – Manoah prayed the most important prayer a parent can ever pray: FULL POST
Posted 3/28/16 at 10:08 AM | Ron Edmondson
I have frequently preached on the danger of pride.
If you follow this blog, you know I tend to think a great deal about leadership. I have a heart for developing good leadership in the church and in ministry. As I wrestle through this particular Biblical subject, I always think about places I see pride creep into leadership – even my own leadership. If we are not careful, our attempt at good leadership will be derailed by the pride of our hearts.
Remember, “Pride goes before destruction”. (Proverbs 16:18)
Have you ever known (or been) a proud leader?
Refusing to listen to advice from others – Proud leaders “know it all”. Of course, not really, but it’s often their perception of reality. Pride causes people to want you to believe they know more than they actually do. Sadly, their attempt to perpetuate the perception of superiority causes them to ignore the wisdom of others. FULL POST
Posted 3/14/16 at 1:07 PM | Ron Edmondson
There’s always an excuse if we’re looking for one.
I’ve made so many excuses in my life. For years I may have sensed God was calling me into vocational ministry, but I had to provide for my family. I would be leading with the limps of previous failures – how and why would God use me? I didn’t have the most pastoral qualities either. For example, I’m far more of an organizational developer than I am a caregiver for the sick. There were a dozen others. If anyone had an encouragement for me to be in ministry – and I received lots – I had an excuse why it wasn’t a good idea.
Even when we are certain God has called us to something, we will stall because an excuse is always near.
And, most excuses seem reasonable at first glance. Common sense even. Think about the excuses Moses made for following God. I have to be honest – when I hear them, they make sense to me. I mean, if you’re not a good communicator – why send you as the chief spokesman for God? FULL POST
Posted 3/14/16 at 1:01 PM | Ron Edmondson
I’ve learned through working with dozens of pastors and leaders, if we are not careful, leadership can become a game we play rather than a mission we live. One leader tries to impress another leader and all leaders, at one time or another, try to impress the people we are attempting to lead. Part of the key to “winning the game” is supposedly the leader bluffing everyone into thinking he or she has everything within his or her sphere of responsibility under control.
Leader, be honest – How often has that been true for you?
As leaders, we aren’t always honest about how we are feeling – especially the fears we have as a leader. It’s almost as if there’s an unwritten rule we have to hide our true emotions because, if people knew what we were really feeling they may not respect us, they may not follow us, and – just being candid – they may not even like us.
Which, being unliked is some leader’s greatest fear. FULL POST
Posted 1/6/16 at 7:31 AM | Ron Edmondson
I previously posted 10 dangerous paradigms in the church. Obviously, there are positive mindsets in the church also.
I decided to share some from the perception of a pastor.
We can do it Pastor
The “can do” attitude. Is there anyone who can’t work miracles with that?
Jesus will make a way!
So, if that’s your paradigm, then all we have to do is follow Him – right?
It’s not about me.
Wow! Really? You’re serious. Because to hear someone say that – makes a pastor’s day.
Let’s walk by faith!
Yes, let’s do. Because, without faith, it’s impossible to please God. At least, according to the Bible I read.
What can I do to help?
Imagine if everyone showed up at church ready to do whatever it took to make the day work. Just imagine. We can dream, can’t we? FULL POST
Posted 1/6/16 at 7:28 AM | Ron Edmondson
I’ve been in church all my life. Along the way I’ve seen and observed a lot. Almost all the insight I have into church has come by experience.
I have observed, for example, paradigms can often shape a church’s culture. A paradigm in simple terms, is a mindset—a way of thinking. In this case, a collective mindset of the church, often programmed into the church’s culture.
If the church is unhealthy part of the reason could be because it has some wrong paradigms. In this case, it will almost always need a paradigm shift in order to be a healthier church again.
Recently, I’ve been thinking of some of the paradigms which impact a church. I’ll look at some of the negative in this post and in another post some of the positive paradigms of the church.
Please understand. I love and believe in the local church. I believe in the ability to impact a community, to provide hope and, of course, in the promise Jesus made about His church. My goal of this post and this blog is to strengthen the local church. Sometimes we do this by exposing the parts, which needs to improve. FULL POST
Posted 12/17/15 at 2:26 PM | Ron Edmondson
Wasting time and energy may be one of my biggest pet peeves as a leader. Some days I leave work and feel I never got off a treadmill. It’s physically and mentally draining.
Does it ever happen to you?
It can be frustrating to feel your most valuable commodity – time – has been wasted – or you invested good every on the wrong things.
I firmly believe when we get rid of some common drains on our time and energy we dramatically improve our performance as leaders. With this in mind, I’ve observed in my own personal development some ways to eliminate time and energy wasters.
Focussing too much attention on the naysayers.
I have found worrying over what critics are saying, especially the ones I have learned I will likely never make happy, delays progress and takes time and energy from me. Plus, it only detracts my focus from the positive people who believe in the vision and are supportive. Every decision a leader makes will make some happy and some unhappy. I need to be humble, make sure I’m not making decisions alone, and filter through the constructive criticism I need to hear – but then give my best attention to moving forward. FULL POST