Friday, November 23, 2012

The Truth About Leadership - Kouzes & Posner

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The Truth About Leadership is written by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner (2010). This blog contains leadership tips and leadership insights taken from this book. I highly recommend you grab a copy of this book, which is a great read and provides a decent broad sweep of the topic of leadership.

  • After critically analysing over a million respondents to a questionnaire Kouzes and Posner found that age made no difference on whether a leader was effective or ineffective. It is worth noting, that the context of leadership may change, but the content of leading (and how to lead) changes only slightly (page xvii). The fundamentals of leadership barely change, regardless of context!
  • It is much easier to write about leadership than it is to practice leadership (page xxv). I must agree with this. I could rattle off theory on emotional intelligence and how strong leaders are emotionally intelligent people, but to practice that theory is a step up from merely communicating about it.
TRUTH 1 on Leadership: You Make a Difference
  • Is leadership accessible to anyone? Yes. 'Leadership is much more broadly distributed in the population, and it's accessible to anyone who has passion and purpose to change the way things are' (page 5).
  • The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership (Kouzes & Posner) are
    • Model the Way
    • Inspire a Shared Vision
    • Challenge the Process
    • Enable Others to Act
    • Encourage the Heart (see page 13)
  • Marianne Williamson once wrote: 'Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us....Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you....And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.'
TRUTH 2 on Leadership: Credibility is the Foundation of Leadership
  • After years of research (Kouzes & Posner) amongst varied demographics, people groups, etc, one characteristic continues to rate the highest on what people seek most from great leaders: Honesty. People will willingly follow, good, honest leaders.
  • The top 4 characteristics of admired leaders are being honest, forward-looking, inspiring and competent (page 21).
  • Credibility is built when your actions and your words are consistent. See also John C. Maxwell on the Law of the Picture. He picks up on the same thing. 
--> Also have a look at the TOP 100 Leadership Tips here.

TRUTH 3 on Leadership: Values Drive Commitment
  • Kouzes and Posner quote Olivia Lai who writes, 'Becoming a leader is a process of internal self-discovery. In order for me to become a leader and become an even better leader, it's important that I first define my values and principles. If I don't know what my own values are and determine expectations for myself, how can I set expectations for others? How will I convey confidence, strong will, and empathy? Without looking within myself, it's not possible for me to look at others and to recognize their potential and help others become leaders' (page 32).
  • The authors quote another emerging leader, 'You have to understand what you really believe deeply. People won't follow you, or even pay much attention to you, if you don't have any strong beliefs' (page 33).
  • Values are what drive you, they are the essence of who you are. They affect every facet of your life, including things like whether you return the extra money the sales assistant gave you, or where you will invest your time and energy.
  • Values will drive your commitment. To drive this point home, Kouzes and Posner quote Arlene Blum, an experienced mountain climber. She said, 'As long as you believe what you're doing is meaningful, you can cut through the fear and exhaustion and take the next step' (page 35).
  • Some interesting research from Kouzes and Posner, show that if people have clarity of organizational values, but low clarity on their own values, their commitment to the organization will be lower than if they had clear personal values, but were unclear of the organizational values!
  • Integrity is maintainted when your personal values align with organizational values.
  • Leaders are good at building and affirming a 'community of shared values' (page 43).
TRUTH 4 on Leadership - Focusing on the Future Sets Leaders Apart
  • The Truth About Leadership speaks of people who dream, who believe for a better future. The difference between a dreamer and a leader, is the leader takes 'dreams seriously and act to make them happen' (page 45).
  • Remember I mentioned the top 4 characteristics of admired leaders (above), and only second to honesty, is forward-looking.
  • Future-minded leaders know how to envision the future (page 50). In fact, they spend more time in the future (page 51). Leadership requires an element of being visionary. Also, see my post on 'What is a Visionary?'
TRUTH 5 on Leadership - You Can't Do It Alone
  • We are reminded by Kouzes and Posner, that, 'no leader single-handedly ever gets anything extraordinary done' (page 62). Leadership is always best expressed in a team context. In fact effective leadership is not effective without others!
  • Kouzes and Posner begin discussing the importance of emotional intelligence and how good employers seek to employ people who are good at working with others. They quote Egon Zehnder who writes that all the evidence, '....clearly demonstrated that the classic profile organizations look for in hiring a senior executive (relevant experience and outstanding IQ) is much a predictor of failure than success, unless the relevant emotional intelligence competencies are also present. In fact, serious weaknesses in the domain of emotional intelligence predict failure at senior levels with amazing accuracy' (page 64).
  • The point is, IQ is quite often overrated! You need emotional intelligence! Leaders must know who to interact with others! Kouzes and Posner write, 'When leaders are in tune with the emotions of others, they create resonance between leader and constituent and among constituents, much like the musicians in an orchestra create resonance when their instruments are in tune' (page 65-66).
  • This chapter is saying more than just having people along side you in order to achieve a vision. Good leaders  help others feel more confident and capable.
TRUTH 6 on Leadership - Trust Rules
  • Trustworthiness is a component of credibility (page 75).
  • The Truth About Leadership highlights four actions to keep in mind in relation to developing trust.
    • Behave predictably and consistently
    • Communicate clearly
    • Treat promises seriously
    • Be forthright and candid
TRUTH 7 on Leadership - Challenge is the Crucible for Greatness
  • Think about any leader and you can probably think of challenges that came their way; whether it be poverty for Mother Teresa, war for Winston Churchill, injustice for Martin Luther King Jr; challenge is present.
  • Brick walls test commitment and can strengthen resilience.
  • 'It takes determination and strength to deal with the adversities of life and leadership' (page 99) and this is what Kouzes and Posner label as grit. They quote Angela Duckworth who writes that grit is, 'perseverance and passion for long-term goals'
  • The authors assert that learning doesn't take place in the absence of mistakes. I would rather assert that leadership is strengthened when you learn from mistakes. Challenges are the building blocks to great leadership.
TRUTH 8 on Leadership - You Either Lead By Example or You Don't Lead at All
  • Kouzes and Posner like the phrase, 'Do what you say you will do'. Other ways of putting it are, practice what you preach, walk the talk, put your money where you mouth is, etc (page 107).
  • Tony Simons (a professor) calls this 'behavioral integrity', and he firmly believes that research shows that managers who lead by example and followed through on promises and demonstrated good values, were better leaders than managers who scored low on these aspects.
  • Good role models will always trump bad role models and good leaders understand this!
TRUTH 9 on Leadership - The Best Leaders are the Best Learners
  • Research completed by Bob Eichinger, Mike Lombardo and Dave Ulrich report that the best predictor of future success in management is 'learning agility'. They define learning agility as, 'the ability to reflect on experience and then engage in new behaviors based on those reflections (page 123). They are then quoted as saying, 'Learning agility requires self-confidence to honestly examine oneself, self-awareness to seek feedback and suggestions, and self-discipline to engage in new behaviors' (page 123).
  • The crux of the chapter in The Truth About Leadership is that if you want to be a better leader, then have the discipline to learn! You need to have what psychologist Carol Dwech labels as a 'growth mindset'. This is, 'based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts' (page 124). You can grow, and therefore you can learn, and your can improve in your capacity as a leader. If you fail to believe that simple princple, then you will not bother reading and learning.
  • There's no fast track to success. You don't become an expert pianist by looking at piano keys! Deliberate practice is needed. A great reminder, that as Jim Collins labels it, fanatical discipline is required.
  • Deliberate practice has five elements:
    • It is designed specifically to improve performance
    • It has to be repeated a lot
    • Feedback on results must be constant
    • It is highly demanding mentally
    • It is not all that fun (pages 128-130) See also Geoff Colvin, Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else (2008).
TRUTH 10 on Leadership - Leadership is an Affair of the Heart
  • Without heart, leadership is void of something essential. No one wants to follow a leader who is not inspired by the path in which the leader wants others to embark on. Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt (author of Freakonomics) write, 'When it comes to choosing a life path, you should do what you love - because if you don't love it, you are unlikely to work hard enough to get very good' (page 146). I would note, if you don't love it, you are unlikely to be fulfilled in life, and you will be very unlikely be able to motivate others to follow your cause.

Let's finish this outline on The Truth About Leadership by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, by quoting them, 'Leadership begins when you believe in yourself and that you can make a positive difference in the world' (page 159).


Find more extensive blogs on leadership here, written by Pete Brookshaw.
Also: What's the difference between a manager and a leader?


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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Woman, you be that Bishop! (Church of England, Please Do Not Read This)

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The Church of England synod in London have voted against the ordination of women as bishops. Anglicanism has come under fire today, after a two-thirds majority within the three houses of the General Synod did not eventuate. Ironically, the bishops voted 44 in favour of female Bishops (89.8 %), and only three against. The male bishops voted FOR the change. The clergy, they voted 148 in favour of female Bishops and 45 against (76.7 %). What caused the Church of England to fail to allow ordained women Bishops was in fact the 'laity' (that is, the people allowed to vote from within the church congregation). They voted 132 in favour of female Bishops, but 74 were against which failed to reach the required two-thirds agreement (64.1%).
Join the discussion happening NOW on Facebook. Disciples in Training Page.
The Church of England dates back to its separation from the Roman Catholic Church during the time of King Henry VIII in the early 16th Century. King Henry VIII resisted coming under papal authority of his day, and through the English Reformation, became the supreme head of the Church of England in 1534. Since those times, men have been appointed as bishops and priests and not women.
In fact it has only been recent decades in which the Church of England in various countries have began voting to allow women to be priests. It seems some parts of the Church of England still have a way to go before they recognise women in leadership. Complentarianism is still in vogue.
I have been asked on different occasions, 'What's your thoughts on females in ministry'? Call me simplisitc, but personally, I don't even think there is an argument to be had today. Women and men. Men and women. Either can be leaders and either can be in ministry. To me, involvement in ministry and/or leadership relates more to spiritual gifts and skill sets, than the sex of the person in question. I know full well that some Christian traditions still hold very passionately to only men being allowed in leadership positions. I rarely come across Christian traditions though that fail to recognise women's involvement in ministry.

So what is the big deal with women being appointed into positions of leadership? In the New Testament we know that the twelve disciples were male. Our assumption is that the Jewish leaders in the Synagogues were all male, and when and if they converted to Christianity, they would have kept their strong views on men in leadership. Though, for me, the message of Christ, and the freedom that is found in him, sought to challenge the Pharisaical views of his day. I would argue that if Jesus was here on earth today, he would not have an issue with women in leadership. This is an egalitarian view. While he did not challange every social issue of his day, that is noted, he was nonetheless very revolutionary in his approach to being a Rabbi in the first century.

I would like to comment and say, while women in leadership and eldership can be an issue in some Christian circles and a debate that flairs up occassionally, the fact is, women in ANY form of leadership in the world today find themselves in a minority (CEO and senior management roles mostly). More must be done to seek after equality (especially when men are chosen over women when the women clearly has the greater skill set, and is the better Godly choice).

To support my argument from a biblical perspective I quote Galatians 3:28 that says, 'There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.' This was not a sudden burst of compassion for the Apostle Paul, but rather a shifting mindset in his previously strongly held Jewish faith. What a paradigm shift over time for the Apostle Paul! With all respect, it would be helpful if there were more people in the Church of England, that shifted their mindset on their view of women serving as Bishops.
For more on women in leadership, Bishop of Durnham, N.T. Wright pens the article, 'Women's Service in the Church' - Click here.  He unpacks 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 which is a prickly passage on women in ministry. I will not seek to delve into that passage here, but by all means, check that one out.

From being deeply involved in The Salvation Army, I have witnessed God use women significantly in ministry and leadership, and thank God for their contribution to the growing of the Kingdom of God. In fact, our current worldwide leader, the General, is a woman.

Church of England, please stop the nonsense. Woman, you be that Bishop!

See also:

--> ABC News report on Women Bishops.

--> Top 10 Reasons Why People Don't Go to Church


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Friday, November 16, 2012

Public Speaking Tips - So you 'wanna' Communicate Effectively?

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Depending on your line of work, you may well be public speaking. As a Salvation Army Minister, I am constantly speaking publicly, whether it is preaching a sermon, leading a commemorative service, being the MC of a fundraiser or sharing the vision to a bunch of leaders. Effective communication is vital in every instance.
If you value the importance of good outcomes when you are speaking, then you value learning to communicate more effectively.
Here are some tips of public speaking.
Begin Confidently
I remember reading Dale Carnegie mentioning this in his book on public speaking. If you have lacked preparation or are feeling nervous, try not to stand up and say, ‘Ahh, umm... I haven’t had much sleep trying to put my thoughts together...’ What does this achieve anyway? People literally slump back in their chairs and begin to consider whether they will even listen to the next part of what you have to say. You may not feel confident, but act yourself into feeling!

Finish Strong and Actually Finish
An old preacher in front of a congregation used to use the phrase, ‘And now in conclusion...’ The problem was, it was not a conclusion! It was another point! He would then ramble for another 5 minutes! Land the plane I tell you!!
If it is appropriate sum up the points you have made and sit down. Sometimes, mirroring the first couple of sentences you began with, to conclude with, is a popular technique. Plan beforehand to finish strong, and then... finish!

Know your Audience/Demographic
Whether you are a Christian or not, you must hand it to Jesus Christ of Nazareth, for his capacity to inspire a crowd, whether small or large, with content that challenged his listeners. He would use agricultural language to communicate to farmers, fishing lingo to speak to fishermen. He would inspire scores of people through his capacity to engage with his listeners.
You must know your audience. You speak differently to a group of teenagers than to a group of business executives. You speak differently to Baby Boomers than you do to Generation X.
Understand the demographic, and know a little of your audience before public speaking.

Understand the Event
Are you called to motivate and inspire or teach and inform? Are you meant to be reflective and contemplative or are you called to rouse the crowd? See, a funeral is different to a wedding. Being the MC of a large Christmas event is different to trying to convince a bunch of investors to lay down the money.
The reason I mention this, is because some people do not get it. Maybe you do, and that’s great. I have seen too many people speak at weddings as if they’re at a funeral. You know what I am saying, right? Understand the event, and speak accordingly.
 If the event or moment calls for you to inspire people, then INSPIRE people! Get them excited! Help them believe in the cause you are communicating about! Speak with conviction and passion about the topic!

Stop Fiddling or Repeating Words Unnecessarily
If you are unsure whether you fidget while public speaking, the best options are to either have someone give you positive, yet honest feedback, or film yourself and watch it back.
I have been known to repeat words like, ‘You know?’ My wife is known to fidget with the music stand (which is holding her notes). Maybe you are exempt from this category, but many are not. You actually need to do two things. Firstly understand whether you fit this category or not, and pinpoint what you need to work on. Then secondly, which is the most difficult, is you need to become aware of it WHILE you are speaking the next time. Then while you are considering what to say next in your speech/message, you need to make a concerted effort to stop doing what you just realized you were doing! Try not to be too frazzled at this point, but simply become AWARE of your fidgeting or your repetitious words WHILE you are speaking.

For more tips of effective public speaking, here are t
wo of my popular posts on public speaking:
For posts on everything leadership - Click here!


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Friday, November 2, 2012

Essential Qualities for a Church Planter - Charles Ridley

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What are the essential qualities need to be a great church planter? Following a study back in 1988 across church plants in the U.S.A and Canada, Dr. Charles R. Ridley (PhD - University of Indiana) produced a list of 13 qualities that church planters needed. Below are the 13 qualities, with descriptions under each. I wonder if you are a church planter, or a leader of a church, how many of these qualities you excel in.

This excerpt is attributed to Charles Ridley:

Visioning Capacity
  • Being a person who projects into the future beyond the present.
  • Developing a theme which highlights the vision and philosophy of ministry.
  • Coping effectively with non-visioning elements.
  • Not erecting artificial walls or limits either overtly or subconsciously.
  • Establishing a clear church identity related to the theme and vision.
  • Believing in God’s capacity to do great things.

Intrinsically Motivated
  • Having a desire to do well and a commitment to excellence.
  • Stick-to-itiveness and persistence.
  • Having initiative and aggressiveness without the negative connotations.
  • Having a willingness to work long and hard.
  • Being a self-starter with a willingness to build from nothing.
  • Having a high energy and vitality level; physical stamina.

Creates Ownership of Ministry
  • Helping people to feel responsible for the growth and success of the church.
  • Gaining a commitment of the people to the vision.
  • Establishing a congregational identity.
  • Avoiding stereotyping of the congregation by imposing unrealistic goals.

Relates to the Unchurched
  • Communicating in style that is understood by the unchurched.
  • Understanding the psychology or mentality of the unchurched.
  • Moving and functioning in the personal space of the unchurched without fear.
  • Quickly getting to know the unchurched on a personal level.
  • Breaking through the barriers erected by the unchurched.
  • Handling crises faced by the unchurched.

Spousal Cooperation
  • Having an explicit agreement regarding each partner’s involvement in ministry.
  • Having explicit rules regarding the use of home as an office.
  • Evaluating the consequences of ministry demands upon the children.
  • Functioning as a team through individual and collective action.
  • Having a strategy for dealing with strangers.
  • Modeling wholesome family life before church and community.
  • Agreeing upon and sharing the ministry vision.
  • Deliberately planning and protecting private family life.

Effectively Builds Relationships
  • Responding with urgency to expressed needs and concerns of people.
  • Displaying Godly love and compassion to people.
  • Getting to know people on a personal basis.
  • Making others feel secure and comfortable in one’s presence.
  • Not responding judgmentally or prejudicially to new people.
  • Appreciating and accepting a variety of persons.
  • Spends time with present parishioners without ignoring them for new people.

Committed to Church Growth
  • Believing in church growth as a theological principle.
  • Appreciating steady growth without preoccupation with quick success .
  • Committing to numerical growth within the context of spiritual and relational growth.
  • Recognizing that non-growth is threatening and self-defeating.
  • Establishing the goal of quickly becoming a financially self-supporting church.
  • Not prematurely falling into a ministry of maintenance.
  • Seeing the church project within the larger context of God’s kingdom.

Responsive to Community
  • Understanding the culture of the community.
  • Identifying and assessing community needs.
  • Responding to community needs on a priority basis.
  • Determining successes and failures of other attempts to respond to the community.
  • Not confusing what the community needs with what the church wants to offer.
  • Acquiring and understanding of the character and pulse of the community.
  • Adapting the philosophy of ministry to the character of the community.

Utilizes Giftedness of Others
  • Understanding the culture of the community.
  • Releasing and equipping people to do the task of ministry.
  • Discerning of spiritual gifts in others.
  • Matching the gifts of people with ministry needs and opportunities.
  • Delegating effectively in areas of personal limitation.
  • Avoiding personal overload by delegating effectively.
  • Not prematurely assigning ministry positions before people are equipped.
  • Not placing unwarranted restrictions on other’s spiritual giftedness.

Flexible and Adaptable
  • Coping effectively with ambiguity.
  • Coping effectively with constant and abrupt change.
  • Adapting oneself to the uniqueness of the particular church planting project.
  • Shifting priorities and emphasis during various stages of church growth.
  • Doing whatever is necessary whenever necessary.

Builds Group Cohesiveness
  • Developing a nucleus group or groups as a foundation.
  • Quickly incorporating newcomers into a network of relationships.
  • Engaging others in meaningful church activity.
  • Monitoring the morale of people.
  • Utilizing groups effectively.
  • Dealing with conflict assertively, constructively and tactfully.

  • Experiencing setbacks without defeat.
  • Riding the ups and downs (i.e. attendance).
  • Expecting the unexpected.
  • Rebounding from loss, disappointments and failure.

Exercises Faith
  • Possessing a conviction regarding one’s call to church planting ministry.
  • Believing in God’s action.
  • Having expectation and hope.
  • Having a willingness to wait for answers to specific prayer requests.


That's Charles Ridley's 13 Essential Qualities of a Church Planter.

--> 10 Reasons Why People Don't Go to Church

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Walls are Half Built - A Test for Nehemiah

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There’s a story of a guy named Nehemiah, who found out the walls around his home city had been burned down and the place was in disarray. After a stirring in his heart, he felt he was called to move back to his home town, rally people around him, in order that he might rebuild the walls.
A few weeks went by, and the wall was half built, and in fact people had been working tirelessly to even get to that point. The Bible says, that they worked with all of their heart (Neh 4:6). 
Some opposition arose. People outside the city of Jerusalem were threatening to attack, and not long after even people from within his own group were whingeing. They wanted to give up. They said it was no good. They said it was useless in continuing to pursue such a dream.
Maybe you’ve been in those situations, where things are half done, half completed, and there’s still more work to be done, but it seems everything and everyone is against you. Well it’s at this lowest point, that Nehemiah chooses to STAND amongst the crowd, and defiantly declare that the people would continue to rebuild the walls despite all the negativity and hostility. In the end, the people were motivated and the vision was fulfilled. The walls around Jerusalem were rebuilt.
All it took was someone to have a holy discontentedness to unfinished business. All it took was some tenacity to persevere and to finish what was started.

Maybe you are half way through that vision, that degree, that resolution and you need to simply STAND and declare before God and others, that you will complete what you started!

No unfinished business.


Other posts on Nehemiah:
-> Leadership principles from Nehemiah
-> Standing amidst adversity - Nehemiah

Most popular:
-> The Most important truth about Leadership


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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Way of Holiness - A Summary of a Samuel Logan Brengle Holiness Classic

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What is Holiness? What is The Salvation Army's view on holiness?

In April 1902, Bramwell Booth notes that he requested Samuel Logan Brengle to write 'The Way of Holiness'.

Brengle unleashes important thoughts on holiness, still relevant today as it was in the early 1900s. He writes, 'Holiness...for you and for me, is not maturity, but purity: a clean heart in which the Holy Spirit dwells, filling it with pure, tender, and constant love to God and man' (p. 7). He makes it clear that holiness is not just about the stopping of anger or bitterness, but rather, becoming like Christ. Holiness therefore is not just about 'not smoking' or 'not swearing', etc, but is deeper than that. Holiness is about reflecting the love of God through your own life. It is not about legalism, rules and regulations, but about consecration to God.

What about this quote from Jonathan Edwards about consecration (when he was a student), 'I have this day solemnly renewed my covenant and dedication. I have been before God, and given myself and all that I am and have to Him, so that I am not in any respect my own, and can claim no right to myself- to this understanding, to this will, these affections; and have no right to this body- to this tongue, these hands, these feet; no right to these senses. I have given every power to God, so that for the future I will claim no right to myself' (p. 27).

In Brengle's chapter on the sanctification of the body he uses two well known quotes on holiness:

1 Thess 5:23 (KJV) - 'The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.'

Romans 12:1 (NIV) - 'I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.'

You may well know that The Salvation Army's tenth doctrine that derives itself primarily from the 1 Thessalonian 5:23 verse: "We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Find The Salvation Army Doctrines here.

Brengle speaks on sanctifying the tongue. He says, 'While we cannot control the tongues of others, we must control our own, and while we may not be able always to avoid hearing wicked and evil and unclean things, we can avoid saying them' (p. 48). What about the reminder here of the words of the hymnist:

Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
The Way of Holiness from Brengle continues. How about this, 'And one of the blessed things about a holy life is its supernatural, constant, and unconscious influence for good' (p. 52). 
Brengle in typical Salvation Army style, challenges his readers to have a passion for souls. He links holiness with having that passion.
'The zeal of other people blazes up, burns low, and often dies out, but the zeal of a man with a clean heart, full of the Holy Ghost, increases year by year. Others run away from the prayer-meeting, but he holds on. Others do not grieve if souls are not saved but he feels that he must see souls saved, or die. Others are zealous for ‘big goes,’ tea parties, ice-cream suppers, and musical festivals, but nothing pleases him so much as a prayer-meeting where souls are crying for pardon and cleansing, and others are shouting for joy (p. 77-78). 

Samuel Logan Brengle - passionate about holiness as a way of life. A mindset Salvationists and Christians should embrace today.

See also: The greatest challenges facing The Salvation Army today


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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Australia Southern Territory General Change - FIND the Moves here!

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For the 2014 Appointment Changes CLICK HERE.

The Territorial Commander has approved the following appointments: TERRITORIAL HEADQUARTERS OFFICE OF THE CHIEF SECRETARY
Margaret Collins Extension Training Officer (including Candidates & Envoys)
(Additional Appointment) Sandy Crowden Field Program Officer John Farquharson Co-ordinator for Training of ESL Cadets & Curriculum
Development Officer (Title Change) Captain
Catherine Spiller Assistant Field Program Officer (Title Change) Rhys Spiller Personnel Officer Brenda Young Assistant Personnel Officer
Bunita Pittaway Employment Plus, Chaplain – Victoria

Stacey Cotton Territorial Planned Giving & Public Relations Consultant
(SAD) Alan Milkins Territorial Finance Projects Manager Gwyneth Rowe THQ Audit Dept, Auditor Peter Walker Territorial Planned Giving & Public Relations Consultant Peter Wright Territorial Public Relations Officer / Chaplain
Jean Cassidy Pastoral Care Officer Ron Cochrane Personnel Projects & Administrative Officer Marjorie Ellis THQ Chaplain Alan Meredith Professional Standards Officer Karen Walker Chaplain to Retired Officers OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY FOR PROGRAMME
Donna Bryan Mission Resources Officer (Title Change) Pam Marshall Territorial Cross Cultural & Indigenous Ministries Consultant /
Melbourne Staff Songsters, Executive Officer (Additional
Appointment) Geneen Wright Assistant Territorial Social Programme Secretary DIVISIONS EASTERN VICTORIA DIVISION
Robert Evans Cranbourne, Corps Officer Vanessa Evans Cranbourne, Corps Officer Gary Grant Ringwood, Corps Officer Julie Grant Ringwood, Corps Officer Bradley Potter Waverley Temple, Corps Officer Katrina Potter Waverley Temple, Corps Officer Leanne Ruthven Divisional Secretary Lisa Venables Divisional Secretary Women's Ministries Captain
David Ebsary Sale, Corps Officer Craig Exon Divisional Youth & Children's Secretary & Divisional
Candidates Secretary

Karinna Exon Divisional Youth & Children's Secretary & Divisional
Candidates Secretary

Nari McGifford Dandenong, Corps Officer Stuart McGifford Dandenong, Corps Officer Allan Morrison Boronia, Ministry Assistant (Additional Appointment) (Title
Change) Naomi Shelton Assistant Divisional Secretary Women's Ministries / Assistant
Divisional Mission Resources Secretary Gaylene Walker Eastcare - Gateways, Chaplain Kelvin Young Eastcare Network, Chaplain Lieutenant
Karen Agnew Boronia, Assistant Corps Officer

Margaret Cochrane Melbourne Hospitals, Chaplain Simon Damen Brimbank City, Corps Officer Graeme Eastley Courts & Prison Services, State Office, Administrative Officer
(Title Change) Colin Eldridge Melbourne Magistrates Court, Chaplain Stephen Ellis Melbourne Magistrates Court, Chaplain Graeme McClimont Special Projects Helen McClimont Special Projects Denise Milkins Northcote, Corps Officer Kaye Reeves Thornbury, Corps Officer Raymond Reeves Thornbury, Corps Officer Andrew (Drew) Ruthven Courts & Prison Services, State Office, Senior Chaplain & State Co-ordinator

Joyleen Stewart Courts & Prison Services, State Office, Administrative Officer/
Relieving Chaplain (Title Change) Elizabeth Wallis Greensborough & Macleod, Corps Officer / Court Chaplain
(Additional Appointment) (Title Change) Elizabeth Walmsley Children's Court, Chaplain Captain
David Davis The Open Door, Chaplain Debbie Serojales Preston, Associate Corps Officer (Title Change) Rod Serojales Preston, Associate Corps Officer (Title Change) Lieutenant
Joanne Brookshaw Craigieburn, Corps Officer Peter Brookshaw Craigieburn, Corps Officer Kathleen Pearce Assistant to Divisional Secretary Aaron Stobie Plenty Valley, Corps Officer

Adye Viney Regional Social Justice Coordinator (Additional Appointment) Karina Wood Top End Social Network, Chaplain / Regional Youth &
Candidates Secretary (Additional Appointment) Captain
Lynn Jones Sunrise Centre, Manager / Drug & Alcohol Services Top End,
Manager (Commencement date to be confirmed) Simon Pickens Palmerston, Corps Officer NORTHERN VICTORIA DIVISION
Christine Ellis Divisional Children's Ministries & Candidates Secretary Richard Ellis Divisional Youth & Candidates Secretary SOUTH AUSTRALIA DIVISION
Bruce Cassidy Court Chaplain Rhonda Elkington Divisional Social Programme Secretary Graham Hill Adelaide Congress Hall, Outreach Worker (Pro Tem)
(Effective 15 October 2012) Dulcie Parnell Retired Officers Chaplain Glenda Savage Noarlunga, Corps Officer Grattan-Jon Savage Noarlunga, Corps Officer Captain
Robert Casburn Campbelltown, Corps Officer Roslyn Casburn Campbelltown, Corps Officer Joy Cassidy Divisional Secretary Women's Ministries Jenni Frost Arndale, Corps Officer Lindsay Frost Arndale, Corps Officer Lieutenant
Adam Mackenroth Berri, Corps Officer Catherine Mackenroth Berri, Corps Officer Debbie Wilson Copper Coast, Corps Officer TASMANIA DIVISION
Heather Jenkins Divisional Candidates Secretary / Divisional Mission
Resources Secretary Linda Miller Kingborough / Huon, Corps Officer Stephen Miller Rural Outreach Chaplain (Title Change) Beth Roberts Clarence City, Corps Officer Kaye Seccombe Divisional Community Care Ministries & Companion Club
Secretary (Additional Appointment) Lieutenant
Katherine Dent Clarence City, Corps Officer Paul Lorimer Hobart Citadel, Corps Officer Robyn Lorimer Hobart Citadel, Corps Officer
Kirsten Elliott Divisional Children's Ministries Secretary / Officer Appraisals
Secretary Warren Elliott Divisional Mission Resources Secretary WESTERN VICTORIA DIVISION
Denise Ashby Ballarat Community Church, Associate Corps Officer /
Community Support Services Manager Andrew Craib Geelong, Corps Officer Jenny Craib Geelong, Corps Officer Diane Romari Horsham, Associate Corps Officer Janette Shepherd Divisional Social Programme Secretary & Victorian State

Major Lyn Cochrane Major Leasa Eldridge Major Dabak Lynn

Lieut-Colonel Robyn Clinch FROM: The Philippines Territory Lieut-Colonel Ronald Clinch FROM: The Philippines Territory Major Alan Milkins FROM: International Headquarters Major Denise Milkins FROM: United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland Major Andrew (Drew) Ruthven FROM: International Headquarters Major Leanne Ruthven FROM: United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland Captain Craig Exon FROM: New Zealand, Fiji & Tonga Territory Captain Karinna Exon FROM: New Zealand, Fiji & Tonga Territory Captain Lynn Jones FROM: Caribbean Territory

Lieut-Colonel Ian E Hamilton Retiring 9 January 2013 Lieut-Colonel Marilyn Hamilton Retiring 1 March 2013
Major Beverley Fernée Retiring 1 January 2013 Major Ronald McMellon Retiring 1 January 2013 Major Patricia Rowe Retiring 1 January 2013
Major Lynette Lindstrom Retiring 9 January 2013 Major Peter Lindstrom Retiring 9 January 2013 Major Brian Rowe Retiring 9 January 2013 Major Christine Watson Retiring 9 January 2013 Major Marsha Watts Retiring 9 January 2013
Major Graeme McClimont Retiring 1 February 2013 Major Helen McClimont Retiring 1 February 2013 Major Wally Spinks Retiring 1 February 2013

Appointment announced with Proclaimers of the Resurrection Cadet spouse Captain William Ng Lieutenant Penny Cooper

APPROVED signed by :
Commissioner Raymond A Finger Territorial Commander The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory
DATE Thursday 11 October 2012

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Friday, October 5, 2012

What is a Visionary and when should I eat that Pie in the Sky?

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I love thinking about the future. My wife asks, 'What are we having for dinner?' I reply in a daze... 'Hmm... In ten years time I wonder whether curried sausages will still be popular?' She then rolls her eyes and says something like, 'Can you just focus on the here and now for a minute!'

Some people disregard visionaries, because they always have their head in the clouds, looking for a pie to eat. Surely visionaries can be more than just dreamers?

Let's looks at what encapsulates the essence of visionary people.

What is a visionary?

When I speak of someone who is a visionary, I do not have a picture of some naive person living on cloud nine, hoping the world will change. When I think of a visionary, I think of someone who is wanting to transform the present, because they have a picture of the future. A pragmatic visionary is what I advocate for; not some dreamer who lays around all day who is no earthly good! Someone who merely dreams dreams, is a dreamer. A visionary by definition should encapsulate working towards the fulfilment of a vision, so as to set it apart from a dreamer.

A visionary leader is someone who can gather people together to fulfil a particular cause that impacts the future. They help lead people towards a preferable future.

Are we all called to be visionaries?

That's an interesting question. I think we are all called to see an alternative future and work towards it; maybe that's a healthier body, a more cohesive family, etc. If we consider personality profiling, some simply lean towards a visionary nature, while others are administrative junkies, while other personalities are focused on the 'here and now'. My consensus then is that not all are called to be visionaries, but all are called to attempt to understand visionaries and live in a way that seeks to build and grow a better future.

If you are a follower of Jesus, the Spirit of God has inherently woven in you a passion for witnessing the future extension of his kingdom in this world and the life to come. A Christian surely cannot help but have vision of some expression of this kingdom, even though they may not be called to be visionary leaders. A Christian to some degree then should be a visionary.

Leaders as Visionary Leaders

Consider the story of Nehemiah. Nehemiah heard about the walls of his home town Jerusalem had been burned down. Nehemiah prayed and fasted and realised he was to go to Jerusalem, rally the people together and rebuild the walls. Now Nehemiah was a visionary leader. Let me explain why I make that assertion. Half way through taking on this mammoth building project, opposition ramps up, and in fact his own people begin whingeing. (For more on leadership from Nehemiah click here) What does Nehemiah do? He continues to follow through with the vision laid on his heart, and continues to rally the troops to rebuild the walls. He was a visionary leader. He worked hard on the ground, no doubt, but he never lost sight of what he was trying to achieve. The vision drove him to work. The vision inspired him and the people around him to continue to build the walls.

So, are you a visionary?

If you are or desire to be, then pray this with me:

Lord, we pray that we would capture your preferred future for our church, our family, our workplace, our city and our nation. Let the vision drive us to action. Let our passion for redemptive ministry, allow us to overcome any stumbling blocks that seek to hinder our progress. Will you stir in us the presence of the Holy Spirit, that ignites visionary qualities within us, that in turn equips us to lead others to faith and active ministry? Help us have the tenacity of Nehemiah, and the conviction of purpose that he had, in order to fulfil the vision you place on our heart. In Jesus' name we pray! Amen!

If you are a visionary, or your personality leans you that way, then FAN into FLAME the capacity to capture vision, to communicate it and work on achieving it.

God bless.

~ Pete.

--> MORE on Visionary Leadership Here.


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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

An Innovative Salvation Army

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The church is called to be innovative, creative and able to adapt to changing circumstances.

Click here to see an article I wrote published recently in the Journal of Aggressive Christianity on The Salvation Army being an innovative movement.

I think you will enjoy the read.

Thanks to Major Stephen Court for his ongoing passion to be editor of this journal.


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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tips on How to Stop Whingeing and Whining

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Some people have been whingeing and whining and my ears hurt. Not you of course. Not me either. It's always that 'other' person.

What is God's opinion of whingeing? How do you stop whingeing and whining? Below you'll find some tips on how to curb the grumbly nature.

Even if you are not a Christian, have a read of the following. Get a different perspective on grumbling.

It became apparent to me today, that in fact the Bible has quite a few instances of people whingeing and whining. Let's have a look specifically at three stories in the Bible:

Genesis 26:19-22 - Isaac Re-digs the Wells
19 Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there. 20 But the herders of Gerar quarreled with those of Isaac and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek, because they disputed with him. 21 Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah. [Sitnah means opposition] 22 He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, “Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.”

In Isaac's time, a deep well full of water, was a source of influence. People were whingeing and whining about who owned the wells. Interestingly that Isaac speaks of 'flourishing in the land', after people had stopped whingeing! What can we learn from this? Is it that God will allow us to flourish if we do not whinge?

Exodus 16:1-8
The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. 2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”

6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?” 8 Moses also said, “You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”

You have a sense of the graciousness of God in this situation. The Lord heard the grumbling. The Lord heard the constant complaining. Even despite all this whingeing, God chooses to be gracious and provide for the Israelites. Talk about a patient God! I do not think this passage encourages us to whinge in order to receive from God, but rather gives us a clear picture of the grace and patience of God.

Nehemiah 4:10-14
10 Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”

11 Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”

12 Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”

13 Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. 14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”

Nehemiah is seeking to rally the troops and rebuild the walls around his home city, Jerusalem. Not only does Nehemiah have to deal with those outside the area fighting against him (Sanballat, Tobiah and others), but he has to content with whingers from within the camp. Maybe they lacked faith? Maybe they were concerned about their well-being? Either way, they were whingeing and whining.

What was Nehemiah's response? Did Nehemiah step onto the band-wagon and start saying, 'You know what, you're right guys, we are under attack. Let's step back and have a whine. In fact, let's start a focus group and establish our whingeing with a chairman and secretary to take minutes.' No. Nehemiah, continued on with the vision placed in front of him, despite the grumbling. There's a leadership lesson right there!


We could think of other stories in Bible about grumbling and whining. What about the story in Acts 6 about the Greek and Hebrew women and the whingeing about the distribution of food?

What seems to be the biblical consensus?

When we glean into these passages about God's view of grumbling, we have the sense that God is pleased with those who rise above the whining. God seems more concerned with Nehemiah rebuilding the walls, or Moses leading the people into the promised land, or Isaac actually re-digging the wells. God's perspective in a sense is less on our problems and issues, but on working through the issues to come up with a solution!

God did not whinge and whine about the sinfulness of humanity. He simply sent Jesus.

How do you stop whingeing and whining? What are the best tips?

Take a Godly perspective. Look beyond your current situation. Look to the potential. Understand God has better days in store.


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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cutting the Fat - Best Management Practices for Leaders

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Best Management Practices - Cutting the Fat!

No, I'm not talking about my latest weight-loss fad. I'm probably not the right person to listen to in relation to that. I'm talking about cutting the fat in business. Let me explain.

I spoke with a political leader whose Government was recently voted in across their state. As he flew to a remote town to conduct business, he noticed that five different small planes, from five different governmental departments had flown to this small town on the same day. There were twelve people all together, all fulfilling different functions within the government. Step back for a minute and notice the problem. There's a leadership problem here. Five different departments on five different small aircraft. The politician went and spoke to one of the pilots. He asked whether it would have been possible to fly all 12 people in a slightly bigger plane to the same town. The man mentioned, 'Oh, of course.' Think about the savings! One slightly bigger plane, as opposed to five pilots, five tanks being refuelled, etc, etc.

If this particular state government learns to cut the fat in this particular situation, they will save thousands of dollars! I'm not even talking about cutting jobs, offending people or anything sinister, I'm just mentioning about how to be a good leader and steward of the resources given to you. Sure there are four pilots who are not flying in that particular instance, but I'm sure there would be other flights to fly. This is cutting the fat. Making the business lean. Cutting away the excess. It's a best management practice!

My father for instance has a black belt in Six-Sigma (What is Six Sigma?). I barely know what that entails, but I do know that it involves coaching businesses on how to improve their policies and processes in order to bring a greater quality end product, in a quicker space of time to the end customer, with a greater profit margin. To do that, you need to cut the fat. (It is also linked with intuitive leadership.)

Why is it when you order a bunch of books from an online retailer (Amazon, Book Depository, TheNile, Dymocks, etc), some businesses will have the product on your doorstep in one or two days and other businesses will take ten or more days? That's no doubt because the latter business has terrible lag time between the order being made and the product being sourced, and then terrible lag time between when the product is packaged and to when it is sent. Let's cut to the chase - you need to cut the fat.


In Christian circles we get touchy about talking on such matters, like organisational and leadership structure is some sacred cow that was instituted by Jesus himself. We somehow believe we are being unfaithful to the movement/denomination that God birthed if we make systemic changes. No.

After reading some of Neil Cole's Organic Leadership, I got fired up about this. I'm not advocating the Christian church simply start meeting in houses and become anti to everything that smells of Christendom. What I am saying, is that we need to do more to be intentional about being good stewards of our resources, and finding ways to cut the fat in our bureaucracies. Some may argue we need to flatten the hierarchies. I would argue we need to ensure quick, sound, decision-making occurs, and if that can happen within a hierarchy then there's no issue. By cutting the fat we may well place a whole other bunch of people from administrative desk jobs, to front-line missional practice.

Leadership in all fields of work should embrace this best management practice of cutting the fat.

Meanwhile, I will work on bringing you the latest weight loss literature to help those who need it! God knows I do.


* The most important truth about leadership
* Leadership and Management Similarities/Differences

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Leadership is not a Dirty Word

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When you think of leadership, what comes to mind? For many, leadership conjures up images of authoritarianism, control and bureaucracy. This view of leadership is a top-down view, that involves generally the CEO, manager, commander-in-chief, etc, who wield the decision making power, and are in charge of shaping and leading an institution.

I argue that leadership need not be seen that way, especially in a negative sense.

What if we took a different view? What if the God-given capacity to lead a group of people to fulfil a particular God-given cause, came from anyone willing to be used by God in that capacity? What if that leadership was expressed in a myriad of different ways and contexts? I have read stories of teenagers changing the course of history, because of their courage to stand for their convictions. I have seen people of many different personalities, ages and cultures become leaders, not because of some institutional position afforded to them by an organisation, but because of a passion to take people on a journey to make a difference.

Leadership need not be authoritarian.

Leadership can and should be life-giving, purposeful, compassionate and overall a tremendous privelege.

  • See the most important truth about leadership here.
  • See the truth about influence and what most secular people won't tell you.
  • Also - addicted to mediocrity? How to beat apathy and half-heartedness.


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