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Leadership Net
Inspiring creative ways for lay and rostered leaders to carry God's love into the world
“As you consider the details of your church conflict, it may feel as if things are out of control, but they are not. They are in God’s control.”
 Tara Klena Barthel, David V. Edling, Redeeming Church Conflicts: Turning Crisis into Compassion and Care. Hendrickson Pub. Kindle Edition.
Please share this newsletter with congregational council members and key lay leaders of your congregation. The meditation can be used in small groups or as an individual
Meditation Reflection
The Conversion of Saul

Ananias resisted going to Saul because he was the enemy of the church.  The Lord said “He is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel. I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
Acts 9: 15
Ponderings and Practices For Lay and Rostered Leaders
Five Kinds of Leaders
Carey Nieuwhof

Take a quick inventory of your leadership style.  Where can you improve?

  • Deniers - Denial is a terrible leadership strategy. It doesn't change truth. Leaders who change when they see the truth always fare better than leaders who try to change the truth by denying it.
  • Reverters - It’s hard to go back to normal when normal disappeared. Old strategies applied to a new day produce diminishing returns.
  • Resigners - Being resigned to change doesn’t prepare you for the future nearly as well as embracing change does.
  • Adapters - One of the key differences between innovation and adaption is that innovation is voluntary. Adaption is not. Most change that churches have adopted in the disruption isn’t really innovation.  It’s adaption.
  • Innovators - They say, necessity is the mother of invention, so churches, this is a great time to invent with God as our co-creator.

Healing Conflict with Lectio Divina
A Spiritual Practice by Julia Davis
Lectio Divina can be used by individuals or groups to form a deeper connection with each other by moving us beyond a mind-only understanding of a sacred text to a heart-centered experience, which heals a relationship built on conflict. 

Here is a step-by-step practice to follow:

  1. Identify someone with whom you feel conflict.
  2. Ask that person to give you a favorite passage from a text that is sacred to him/her.
  3. Settle into the practice by gathering the text, two notecards, and a pen.
  4. What words, phrases, images, or feelings represent the conflict? “Set them aside,” by writing them on one of the two notecards and placing it beyond reach.
  5. If it feels helpful, set the intention to hear the text in the voice of the other, addressing you as the audience.
  6. Read the text the other gave you slowly and with curiosity as if every word were unfamiliar, introducing you to the other’s heart.
  7. Pay attention to where you feel resonance and where you feel resistance.  What phrases and feelings come forward?
  8. Read the text a second time, allowing these phrases and feelings to guide you into deeper contemplation.
  9. What do these phrases/feelings teach you about the other person and about yourself in this relationship?
  10. Read the text a final time, asking God for the openness to accept the voice of the text as an expression of the other’s values, heart, and best intentions.
  11. On your second notecard, write down 2 – 3 phrases that characterize your appreciation for the passage – for example, “unconditional love” or “passion for justice.” Use these phrases like photo frames; find memories of the other and place them in these frames.
  12. Bring the practice to a close by reuniting the two notecards. Compare them and note the contrasts.  What do you think accounts for any changes?

Musings and
Lessons for Leaders
Overheard at the Synod Council Meeting after Listening to Saul's Conversion Story
Radical inclusion means not just one or the other, but a place for Ananias and Saul (Paul)

Inclusion should be guided by God’s vision.

God’s Spirit can’t be controlled or put in a box.

Holy movement grows over time, in their own way.

We must acknowledge the intent and impact of good soil.

I wasn’t inclusive as a child, but I needed the church to help me become inclusive.

You never know what gifts are needed to encourage community vs. membership.

Lay leader, Ananias was the spark needed to change Saul’s heart. Because they listened, God acted through both.

Sometimes we lay folks fail to appreciate how our gifts can be used to create sparks of action.

I wonder, what concrete ways can we be part of growing a movement of the Spirit?

Movements stagnate if we don’t listen to the Holy Spirit and grow.
God’s Vision

Everyone is welcome and included at the banquet! There is room for Ananias and Saul (Paul). Barriers weaken when God’s greater vision of love softens our egos.
Holy Movements

Sometimes we are too busy lamenting losses or complaining about divisions that we miss the Spirit freely moving among us. Where are the waves and crests creating energy for compassion and direct care for one another in your congregation?

Our first connection is ALWAYS to God. Seeing the tears and needs through God’s eyes, sparks creative ways to combine our gifts and strengths for the sake of life and love.
Tell the story

The world longs to hear the message of creation, love, compassion, grace and forgiveness. Our programs may come and go, but the message of Jesus brings hope! Share it!