Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I may be old...

I read a fair number of blogs written by senior pastors. Pastors of huge mega churches and small churches. Pastors with big staffs and little to no staff. I have noticed lately that I am seeing a lot of them talking about pouring into their young staff members by spending 1 on 1 time with them, mentoring them and teaching them to be better leaders. I love this trend. The only way to have great leaders in the future is for them to spend time with great leaders.

When I was in training as a Surgical Assistant, the montra of the surgical training program was, "See one, Do one, Teach one." This is a tried and true training method for several reasons. You learn by watching someone who has done it before, you learn by doing, and you learn by teaching someone else. This is great for the one being taught, and the one doing the teaching. In a teaching hospital, there are the young ones and the old ones. There are very few in the middle. This is not the case in ministry. Church staffs are made up of young, middle aged and older ministers and leaders.

I say all this to say, I may be old (ish), but I still need to be taught and mentored. Those of us in the 40 - 50 year old range need the same kind of mentoring. Part of the call of a senior leader and really, all ministry leaders is to shepherd, pastor and set up for success, his or her staff, no matter how young or old, no matter whether they are seen as senior leader material or just the one who is just good (or even just ok) at what they do.

This is an important lesson for all of us in ministry. For those of us who lead teams, we need to remember that just because that member of our team has tons of experience and is really good at what he or she does for the ministry, it doesn't mean that they don't need to be poured into as much as the newbie that needs to be trained from the ground up. Pour love into them all.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Not just a friends and family plan

Who gets your grace? Why is it that we can be so ready to extend grace to people in our family, people in our community (church or otherwise), even that guy who just stole our parking spot that we have been riding around the mall parking lot looking for for 20 minutes, and yet the minute someone gets on television and is accused of a crime, they are suddenly not worthy of grace any more.

Over the last few months, I was horrified to watch the media, and the world, call for the conviction of Casey Anthony. On the day the jury came back, horror turned to nausea. Not Guilty... Let the flame war begin. I watched as people called for Casey's death, beating and re-trial. The thing that bother me the most was the writings of people who wrote how they couldn't wait for her to die so she could spend eternity in hell.

The other story that came out of the Anthony trial was that Casey Anthony was beyond redemption, unlovable by society, and most shockingly, unlovable by God. This hurt me to my core. This is, in my opinion, in no way the way we, as followers of Christ should feel and act.
At what point did we become a people who can flippantly talk about another human being going to hell? At what point did we become a people that are blinded by indignant rage? At what point in our lives did we become a people without grace?

As a people that believe in the redemptive grace, who the person is should not matter at all in our ability to offer grace. We are not called to offer redemptive grace only to those we like, or to those who think like us or look like us. Grace is not a Friends and Family Plan.

I have a question for you. Who is beyond your grace. Who is that one person that screwed up so bad, that there is no chance for redemption? Post it in the comments below.

This post is part of a group of posts for The People of the Second Chance called Never Beyond. Please join in the conversation at POTSC is a group of people that believe in radical grace for all.