There is a phrase that always amuses me. It’s “the elephant in the room”. We all know that it means that there is some big issue that is not being addressed. Well, organisational stress is most times a silent elephant in the corner of the room. It needs to be dealt with but no one will, and people who are …
Stress is part of life and to some extent stress, or at least benign stress (let’s call it pressure), helps to motivate us to perform well. To that extent it can be considered positive. With too little pressure performance is sub-optimum. Witness the difficulties and boredom generated by too little work as well as insubstantial work that you can’t “get your teeth into”. The problem is that as the pressure increases performance peaks and then declines as the pressure turns to high level stress.
“The truth is we should minimize negative stress in the workplace if we want to maximize productivity. If you really want to get the best with your people, from your people, then actually minimizing work-related or occupational stress is really something worth looking at.” Colin Buckland
If stress allowed us to die, perhaps a little sooner but feeling comfortable that we, as a Christian leader had achieved our full potential for God and made a Kingdom difference, then we might think the trade worthwhile. Unfortunately it is seldom so clean and tidy, and perhaps even less so when, well before any part of our bodies give up, burnout’s devastating consequences wreak havoc in the church.
The life of a Christian leader, especially a church minister, is surrounded by more than enough stressors for any ten others. What is more, they are often unobserved by them, their loved ones and their church board, waiting to strike. This may seem over dramatic but it is oh so real to oh so many.
The aim of this short series is to enable Christian leaders and those around them to be alerted to the risks and consequences of ministry stress and the devastation of burnout that so often follows.
When it comes to doing things to fulfil God’s Kingdom plan we both need and rely upon methods. Think about it for a minute; you use a method to make the porridge in the morning. I am using several methods as a write these words. The question is as Christian Leaders in Churches and organisations, when seeking to determine and do God’s will, how far can we go with methods? When are methods helpful and when do they hinder?
In the first article in the “Mans Plans and God’s Purposes” series we learned about implementing God’s plan from the failures of Joshua. In this article we look at experiences of both Paul and Peter to learn a little more about the ways God uses to reveal his plans and some of the challenges that we face in working out how we align what we do with God’s plans and purposes.
Joshua lay face down in the dirt. Things had not gone according to plan. He had been there all day and had failed to work out what had happened. It was only now that God said to him “What are you doing down on your face?”
It had all been going so well, Jericho had fallen just as God said it would, albeit in a very strange way and the Canaanites had melted in fear. Now Joshua had instructed his men to attack Ai and they had been defeated, routed with 36 men had killed. What had gone wrong?
While it has liberated communication it has also turned modern workers into the hi-tech equivalent of the industrial revolution’s mill workers. But there are ways to take control of email and make it an effective tool, to be a responsible emailer. Given the amount of time that cane be lost serving email this is especially important for the Third sector where money and resources are scarce. So, why not learn how to be a responsible emailer!
The irony of effective communication skills is that the most powerful tool at your disposal is not speaking but listening. If you fail to listen you will fail to communicate. Here are some tips for the servant leader on responsible listening.
The listener’s learning style can play a big role in how well they keep up with and understand what we have to say. In this post we look at how learning styles affect our ability to communicate with others. We each have a different learning style, which is a description of how we learn best.