Browsing: Leading Ideas

Leading Ideas
Delivered every Wednesday, our free e-newsletter Leading Ideas offers articles by thoughtful, cutting-edge leaders on subjects you care about — navigating change, reaching younger people, financing your ministry, communicating effectively — to help you be the leader God is calling you to be.

The Lewis Center is committed to helping congregations and denominations thrive and grow by providing ideas, research, resources, and training for vital and fruitful leadership. Through Leading Ideas, we share vignettes of leaders and congregations, book reviews, leadership quotes, and helpful “right questions” built around the premise that leaders don’t need answers — they need to know the right questions.


Leading Ideas
0 Stages in Leadership

Lovett Weems reflects on stages of leadership through the experience of making a difficult journey. A few years ago, I was scheduled to preach on the first Sunday of January in a community about two hours from where I lived. When the day of the service came, I got up very early to begin the trip since the weather was…

Leading Ideas
0 Leading Your Congregation to New Life

Lovett Weems reviews You Only Have to Die: Leading Your Congregation to New Life, written by Jim Harnish about a church in Florida that built a vision for its future. Do the following characteristics describe your church? More than seventy-five years old. Clear sense of a rich past. Less clarity about the present. No vision for the future. Deeply committed members.…

Leading Ideas
0 Leadership Lessons from Peter F. Drucker (1919-2005)

Lovett H. Weems, Jr., writes about the influence of Peter Drucker. Weems has found that many of Drucker’s ideas apply to pastoral ministry. Peter Drucker, who died in November, was often called the world’s most influential management thinker. Over sixty-six years, he wrote more than three dozen books that have been translated into thirty languages. They shaped the thinking of…

Leading Ideas
0 I Hope They Will Know I Believed in Them

Lovett Weems notes the prevalence of a “we-they” attitude of clergy toward their members while lifting up examples of leaders who affirm laity. One study that examined differences between growing churches and declining churches found that one of the leadership factors found in pastors of churches that lost members was a “negative view of the laity.” This point was on…

Leading Ideas
0 Orchestrating Conflict

A pastor talks about practicing leadership theory learned from reading Leadership on the Line by Ronald A. Heifetz and Marty Linsky, who advocate the role of mediator for the leader. Upon returning home after a week away, I learned that several key leaders in the church were in disagreement with one another. Their disagreement had escalated to a point of…

Leading Ideas
0 Reviving Old St. Patrick’s Church

The revival of Old St. Patrick’s Church Catholic Church in Chicago offers lessons on regaining vitality through missional focus, says Lovett H. Weems, Jr. Jack Wall is a Roman Catholic priest in Chicago. A few years back he was assigned to a church that had been virtually abandoned. It was located in the heart of Chicago with four remaining members.…

Leading Ideas
0 Points of Vulnerability

A leader must always celebrate the strengths and successes of group life, but leaders must also work to define the realities and challenges faced, according to Dr. Marianne E. Inman. Dr. Marianne E. Inman, president of Central Methodist University in Missouri, keeps a list of items that she calls the school’s “Points of Institutional Vulnerability.” The list is quite public…

Leading Ideas
0 Christian Reflections on The Leadership Challenge

Lovett Weems reviews Christian Reflections on The Leadership Challenge, the leadership book that Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner wrote in collaboration with religious leaders. For more than twenty years, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner have had a profound impact on the way leaders think about their work. While their research has been primarily in the business world, their work is read and…

Leading Ideas
0 Which Comes First — Belief or Belonging?

Lovett Weems considers Robin Gill’s supposition that people tend to belong to religious communities before coming to belief rather than the other way around. Robin Gill, an English ethicist and theologian, contends that in matters of faith, belonging is primary. A more intellectualized approach to faith tells us that people first believe and then they come to belong. Gill is…

Leading Ideas
0 A Review of Leading Beyond the Walls

Lovett Weems reviews Adam Hamilton’s Leading Beyond the Walls in which the author presents ideas about the Church of the Resurrection, a United Methodist mega-church. Adam Hamilton was my pastor for thirteen years. He is a remarkable pastor and preacher and one of the most gifted leaders in the United Methodist Church today. He has given us in this book…

Leading Ideas
0 Predictors of Youth Returning to Church as Adults

Lovett Weems reviews a study of participation in church by adults who had dropped out of church as youth.  Of all the variables studied, only one was predictive of whether these youth would be active as adults – the extent of their involvement in a youth group. A longitudinal study of youth in the suburbs of Washington, DC, followed youth…

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