Ron Edmondson is a pastor and student of leadership. He blogs regularly on church and organizational leadership, family and God.
Posted 1/5/15 at 11:53 AM | Ron Edmondson
I’ll never forget the day a young college-aged girl told me recently that she didn’t enjoy reading her Bible and asked if there was an alternative book.
At first, I didn’t know what to say. Then I realize she was very serious.
“Well…no!”, I thought, but didn’t say.
The Bible is THE BOOK!
There is no substitute. There are plenty of great Christian books, but none compare to this one.
That wasn’t a new concern. I’ve heard similar concerns many times. The Bible intimidates many people; even those who are avid readers of other books.
I did suggest this girl could listen to the Bible on a CD or mp3. YouVersion will even read the Bible to you. But then I told her I’d give her some more suggestions.
That’s what prompted this post. The reality is I think we need to figure out how to enjoy reading God’s Word. Part of maturing as a believer is to fall in love with the Bible. FULL POST
Posted 12/30/14 at 10:34 AM | Ron Edmondson
Tremendously improve them. Every. Single. One.
Whether in business, ministry, marriage or friendships – improve in this one area — and every relationship of your life will improve. Guaranteed.
How, you ask?
I’ll tell you how.
That’s it. And, it sounds simple, but if you’re honest. You know it is not.
Listening is a dying art. There are truly few good listeners in the world it seems these days. We hear lots, but we listen so poorly. And, in fairness to all of us, there is far too much noise to really listen.
The word listen is defined so much stronger than just to hear. There’s an attentiveness. An intentional effort. A designed purpose for hearing.
And, one secret to improving every relationship is to improve your own listening skills.
I’ll admit. I’m not one of those naturally skilled at listening. Ask my wife. (She’s an expert listener.) FULL POST
Posted 12/29/14 at 11:19 AM | Ron Edmondson
Do you want to guarantee your success in the new year?
If you could figure out a way, that’d be worth it, right?
Here’s a Biblical example of how to have the best year ever.
The Lord said to Abram:
Go out from your land,
and your father’s house
to the land that I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation,
I will bless you,
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
I will curse those who treat you with contempt,
and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
Genesis 12:1-3 (Emphasis mine)
The secret, for lack of a better word, for any success Abraham would ever had would be found in moving from his will to God’s will — allowing God to shake his direction and the outcome of his life. FULL POST
Posted 12/22/14 at 11:29 AM | Ron Edmondson
A very successful business mentor of mine once gave me a vital tip about a necessary meeting all leaders should consider. Unfortunately, I have had to use his advice several times.
You don’t ever want to have this meeting. You certainly don’t want to have it very often.
But, having this meeting could avoid you having other even harder meetings than this one. And, it could turn out to be a blessing for everyone.
It’s a meeting you have when —
Someone who is not performing well on the team.
You’ve warned them numerous times.
They have exhausted their chances with you.
You’re at the point where you believe it would be better for them to leave the organization.
Before you release them (which is one of the hardest things a leader has to do)…
Have one more meeting.
The meeting before the last meeting. FULL POST
Posted 12/19/14 at 11:27 AM | Ron Edmondson
I’ve seen it so many times.
A leader could even be doing everything else right and one flawed mindset can overshadow — jeopardize all the good leadership principles we know.
One constantly repeated action. One trait. One habit. One mindset.
And, sadly, many times it’s not even that the person isn’t a good leader — it’s that one mindset that gets them off track. And, so I believe leaders should constantly be working on bad mindsets that keep them from being as successful as they can be.
In full disclosure, I’ve been guilty of some of these — sometimes for a season — sometimes until someone helped me discover I had a poor leadership mindset.
Allowing small details to overwhelm a view of the big picture.
There will always be details that have to be handled, but the smaller a leader is forced to think, the less he or she can focus on the larger vision ahead. I can get bogged down in minutia that wastes my energy and drains me. Sometimes it’s a systems problem that requires too much of my time and sometimes its a failure to delegate. Interestingly, I have personally found that when I’m free from the responsibility of handling as many details I’m more likely to notice the smaller things that greatly need my attention. FULL POST
Posted 12/18/14 at 11:35 AM | Ron Edmondson
One sign of a great leader — in my opinion — is to be bold enough to say, “I don’t have all the answers”.
Perhaps even harder, “I’m not the one to carry this task forward.”
That takes humility.
I observed the pressure some pastors and leaders place on themselves to have all the answers and to be good at everything they do. And, churches and organizations sometimes hold leaders to this level of excellence and expectation.
The fact is, however, that most of us only do a few things really well. Understanding that and being willing to admit it is an indication one is becoming a mature leader — and will actually help them be better leaders.
I love the story of King David in 1 Chronicles 28. The preceding chapters outline how David had diligently organized the kingdom, but then David humbly handed over reins to his son.
Of course, he did this at the command of God, but his speech to the people is not filled with bitterness and anger, but with encouragement and challenge to keep the vision moving forward. There are several Biblical examples of this type leadership. FULL POST
Posted 12/11/14 at 10:38 AM | Ron Edmondson
The Christmas season can be hard on relationships. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met with a couple after the holidays because of problems that developed — or were exaggerated — between Thanksgiving and New Years.
How can you protect your marriage this Christmas? That’s a good goal, right?
Plan a budget together. Stick to it. There will often be one spender and one saver in a relationship. Or two spenders. The principle is this: Don’t spend in December what you’re going to regret in January. Be wise on the front end.
Protect your family first. Even if that means saying no to some extended family events or time with friends, put your immediate family needs ahead of other obligations. Have time together as a family. (For years we did this wrong — and we regretted it later. It wasn’t until our boys were in high school and they could voice that they wanted more time with just us.) As a couple, agree on where you’ll spend your time before you spend your time anywhere this holiday season. You may have to support each other with the spouse’s families. (Wives speak to their families. Husbands speak to their families.) FULL POST
Posted 12/10/14 at 3:08 PM | Ron Edmondson
I love leadership. I feel called to it. I realize the need for good leadership,but the fact is that leadership is hard.
I meet regularly with some high-level, senior leaders to glean from them. We talk about our common challenges in attempting to lead others. One shared discovery we have made in our time together is about the perception of people who haven’t served as a senior leader have about people in that role. It’s the same one we had before we were in senior leadership. It often looks easier — and maybe even more glamorous — from the outside than it is in reality.
As a student and blogger of leadership, I want to be realistic with people who desire to be senior leaders.
You will at times be unpopular. Every leader is at some point. Change is hard and people will agree and disagree.You open emotional wounds through change. In fact, they will often blame you for changes happening in their own life because of the change you are making as a leader. FULL POST
Posted 12/9/14 at 2:20 PM | Ron Edmondson
At least once a week a pastor contacts me about church revitalization. I always tell them I’m still learning, but we have seen God do some pretty amazing things in our church. Through this blog I’m trying to share some of the things I’m learning.
The primary question I receive is where I spend my time. What am I doing to lead the church to grow again?
And, I understand the question. It’s the question I’m asking other church leaders also.
One of the things I’ve learned is that there are some things I have to micromanage.
It’s important to know I’m not a micro-management leader. It goes against everything I stand for in leadership and even how I’m wired personally. I have written extensively about the need for delegation in leadership. I’m not good with details. I have a problem focusing minutely, So, I really do control very little that happens on our team. Plus, I love the team process. I don’t like the word “I” as much as the word “we”. (Even though I’ll use “I” more than “we in this post.) FULL POST
Posted 12/8/14 at 2:26 PM | Ron Edmondson
“Serving a useful purpose; tending to build up.”
“The act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything.”
You’ve heard the term. As a leader, I hear it all the time.
If you’re a leader then you’ve certainly had people offer criticism. Some even say they are just giving “constructive criticism”. Or, they believe so at the time.
Most of my pastor friends have heard, “Pastor, let me give you a little constructive criticism” — (Sometimes just as they are about to deliver the weekly message. )
So, what does “constructive criticism” mean?
I’m thinking we often misuse that phrase.
And, it’s not just with leaders. It’s in every phase of life. I think it’s a societal issue. It’s even on social media. We think we are offering “constructive criticism” when we update our Facebook status or Tweet about our service with an airline or a restaurant or a school system — for example. Or anywhere else we feel a need to criticize for some reason. We may not label it that way, but I’m convinced it’s what we think we are doing — offering constructive criticism. FULL POST