Ron Edmondson is a pastor and student of leadership. He blogs regularly on church and organizational leadership, family and God.
Posted 3/13/15 at 12:55 PM | Ron Edmondson
What fosters team spirit? What makes a healthy team?
All of us want that. I would even say especially leaders.
Most of us understand that progress towards a vision is more possible if a healthy team is working together.
Also, all of us want to go home at night feeling we’ve done our best, were appreciated for our efforts, and are ready to go at it again tomorrow. That’s part of serving on a healthy team.
How do we get there?
I’ve served — and led — many teams through my career. Some I would say were healthy, some weren’t, and some were “under construction”. I take complete ownership of each of those. Team spirit — healthy teams — are greatly shaped by the leadership of the team. (And, that’s a hard word when, as a leader, we know the team isn’t as healthy as it should be.)
Among the healthy teams on which I’ve served, there have been some common elements.
Clear strategy. To feel a part of the team, people need to know where the team is going and what their role is on the team. An understanding of the overall goals and objectives fuels energy. When the big picture objective is understood each team member is more willing to pull together to accomplish the mission because they know the why and can better understand where they fit on the team. FULL POST
Posted 3/11/15 at 4:18 PM | Ron Edmondson
Leadership is so much different today than when I first started leading over 30 years ago. To lead today we must learn to think outside the once considered normal lines of leadership.
Much has been written about the informal aspects of leadership being as important as the formal aspects of leadership. In addition to a set of systems and structures — for a leader to be successful today — leaders must engage a team. We must build team spirit. Energize. Motivate. Engage. Even sympathize. Those have always been important, but these days they may trump some of our policies and procedures.
In informal leadership environments, the way a leader leads is often more important than the knowledge or management abilities of the leader. Again, that may have always been important, but now it is critical.
Adapting leadership to followers individual needs and expectations. FULL POST
Posted 3/9/15 at 1:10 PM | Ron Edmondson
I was talking with a church recently that had explosive growth, but things have slowed. They wanted to know why they were not growing any longer.
Honestly, I do t know. There are probably different reasons for every church that stops growing.
But, this church is seeking answers. So, I decided to share Some thoughts to consider. And, I’m sharing them here.
Obviously, God is ultimately in charge of a churches growth. There are times where God is giving a season of rest and preparation for a church for something to come. In some situations, God may have even taken His hand from the church.
God is into church growth, however. I’m convinced He likes it when a church grows.
It’s our mission as believers to produce disciples and our model example of the first century church was a growing church, so outside the God factor, there are usually reasons for stagnation in a church. Because the church is an organization made up of people, these reasons are often similar to those you may find true as to why growth stalls in the life of an organization also. FULL POST
Posted 3/5/15 at 3:11 PM | Ron Edmondson
In this post, I want to share some gifts you can give your pastor.
How’s that for a self-serving post?
Those from the church where I serve as pastor should read this post knowing I minister to hundreds of pastors every month. In my latest blog survey, over 50% of my readers are in vocational ministry. But, even more important, only about 10% of my readers actually know me personally. So, this is not a personal plea. It’s written for the hopeful benefit of others. Thanks for being the kind of church that — for the most part — protects the pastor.
Most churches love to bless their pastor. I get asked frequently how the church can help me. But, that don’t know how.
To be a pastor of a local church is a privilege and a high honor. But, it’s the hardest work I’ve ever done.
Your understanding of time
Acts 6:1-2, Ephesians 5:31 (applies to the pastor’s marriage too.) FULL POST
Posted 2/26/15 at 11:08 AM | Ron Edmondson
“Pride goes before destruction…” Proverbs 16:18
We are all capable of pride. Some of us more than others.
Here’s what I’ve learned over the years — mostly from my own personal growth and experience —
Many times what may appear to us — or we may label as — a leadership style or personality is actually a leader’s personal battle — and sin — of pride.
And, pride is very dangerous.
“Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Proverbs 26:12
“I need to know everything that is happening around here.”
“If I don’t do it — it won’t be done right.”
“Look what I’ve accomplished.”
“I know all there is to know about this.”
“They’ll do what I say or else.” FULL POST
Posted 2/25/15 at 11:55 AM | Ron Edmondson
A few years ago I was running in Philadelphia. It is one of my favorite cities in which to run. I love the Fairmount Park System, because I can run for miles in new territory.
On this particular day, I set out to explore a several mile loop around a portion of the park. Shortly into my run, I entered the park in front of a young college-aged girl running at the same pace with me. (I assumed her identity based on the college sweatshirt she was wearing — and the proximity to a local college.)
We had been running at the same pace for about a half-mile when she apparently became impatient with my pace and decided to run faster. She gave me a look that seemed to speak “get out of my way old man” and quickly disappeared from my sight. I continued my steady pace through the park and encountered her again a couple miles later. She had looped around the park and was heading back, still continuing at her faster pace. We smiled at one another as we passed.
And, then the story took a change in my favor.
After 3 or 4 miles I returned to the place we had originally met and who did I see? My college “friend” was walking, out of breath, holding her stomach and in obvious pain. She couldn’t finish the track. FULL POST
Posted 2/19/15 at 11:49 AM | Ron Edmondson
To dream – Give your team permission to dream the seemingly impossible. The lid of possibilities will often be when your sense of realism trumps your sense of imagination.
To fail – People need to know they can mess up and still have another chance on your team. Do they?
To have fun – Let’s get this party started! Work hard, but take time to laugh along the way.
To experiment – It might work. It might not. Let’s give it a try.
To ask questions – People only know what they know. Let them ask about that of which they are unsure?
To collaborate- Build a team. That’s the healthy view of leadership. Isolation can lead to destruction.
To gain recognition – Those who own all the acknowledgement limit people who will ever attempt to achieve it.
To be challenged – People perform up to the expectation. Seldom beyond. FULL POST
Posted 1/8/15 at 11:24 AM | Ron Edmondson
Years ago I became fascinated with the questions of Jesus.
It occurred to me that if Jesus was asking a question it must be an important one.
In fact, depending on our response, they could be life-changing questions.
I realize that in the culture in which Jesus lived asking questions was a method of learning, but Jesus always knew the answers. He didn’t need to ask them. He IS the answer. What does He need to know?
His questions were to cause His listeners to think. And, they do.
Consider some of these 7 questions of Jesus.
“Do you believe that I am able to do this?” (Matthew 9:28)
“Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 8:26)
“What do you think about the Christ?” (Matthew 22:42)
“Do you love me?” (John 21:17)
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’, and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46) FULL POST
Posted 1/7/15 at 12:36 PM | Ron Edmondson
I only read one statement of Jesus, but I couldn’t go any further in my reading.
It was a statement I had read hundreds of times before, but this time it hit me differently. Deeper. More impacting.
I love when that happens.
I realized I often take a statement like that from Jesus for granted.
Jesus — the Son of God — said something. Something so profound, so life-giving, and yet it has become so familiar to me that I almost gloss over it when I read.
This time I stopped.
I stopped and thought about the many other truths Jesus shared — often in a single sentence — which are life-changing.
Perhaps some of these will be meaningful to you.
Read through the list — memorize a few of them (you probably already have many of them.) But, don’t read them as familiar quotes that are usually written in red. Let them soak deep into your heart and mind. Let them add life to you. Be better with truth.
“Take heart, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) FULL POST
Posted 1/6/15 at 11:17 AM | Ron Edmondson
I’ve been online since 1996. Those were dial-up days. I’ve learned a lot, made plenty of mistakes. If you want to find typos — you’ve come to the right place.
Along the way, through consistency and patience, I’ve developed a small platform. Weekly — almost daily — I hear from people wanting my opinion because they somehow think I have something to offer. It’s so easy to clean up your game and appear to actually know something online.
Seriously, I’m honored people would care what I think. I don’t consider myself an expert by any means. I’m still learning new things everyday. But, for whatever reason, people’s boredom probably, last year my blog realized just a few numbers shy of 3,000,000 page views. Amazing.
It’s not huge. I have friends with far more. But, it’s huge for me. And, it’s humbling. Thank you if you’re one of those.
But, reflecting on that fact reminded me of something sobering. It’s true for bloggers, and Tweeters, and those who popularize Facebook and Instagram. (And any other social medium.) FULL POST