One of the steepest learning curves for a young person is in the area of leadership. Whether you’re in ministry, in management, customer service or any job, inevitably you’re managing people. And while you may have exceptional skills in one particular field, chances are, you can use some wisdom on leadership. At least I know I do. That’s why I try to read books and articles, attend workshops, and consult with leaders.
One of the more popular leadership guys online is Ron Edmondson. What’s great about Ron is that he has wide experience both in the business world and in the ministry. His blog: Ronedmondson.com is a widely read blog on leadership and 32,000 plus read his Tweets on Twitter. He is the teaching pastor at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Ron was kind enough to take time to stop by the blog for today’s Friday Five:
1) You’re a pastor who writes quite a bit on leadership. In your view, why is the issue of leadership so vital in Christian ministry?
Every Christian ministry and church is also an organization. Organizations all have similar characteristics. They require structure, rely on people, have strategies for success, involve planning, risk-taking, dreaming, vision casting, conflict resolution, funding, etc. Leadership is about pulling all these aspects together to create a healthy organization. You see it in the advice that Jethro gave to Moses or how Nehemiah pulled the people together to rebuild the wall. The Kingdom of God needs good leadership now more than ever. Our competition is not other churches. Our competition is that people have so much to draw their attention away from the cause of Christ. Like the illustration or not, throughout the Bible God used men and women to accomplish His plans. We need leaders who can do that today.
2) What is the most common leadership mistake made by those in ministry?
That’s a great question, but I would say number one is demanding too much control of the outcome. When we empower people to do what God has called them to do everyone wins and the potential for Kingdom growth is so much greater.
3) You’re a popular blogger and you use Twitter quite effectively to communicate your message. Why should pastor’s blog and use social networking tools?
I don’t know that popular is a correct term; prolific might be a better word. For me it’s about intentionality. I know God has challenged and equipped me to use my influence for His glory. I am at a middle-age point in life and I don’t want to waste another moment. Right now, again, like it or not, social media is one of the best ways to reach people.
4) You’ve been a business-owner and now you lead a church. Is there some carryover, some overlap in the way both are led? And what is different?
Absolutely. I can’t help but draw from the experiences I had in business. I was there longer than I’ve been in the ministry world. David said, “I killed the lion and the bear; God will deliver me from the hands of this Philistine.” I think that’s by God’s design that we utilize past experiences to benefit present opportunities. (2 Corinthians 1 is another example.) The main thing my business experience has helped me with is that I’m very methodical in my approach; very strategic. In business, without a plan the business fails. A business that stagnates will die. In God’s economy…without a vision…the people perish!
5) What is one piece of advice you would give to a young pastor or church planter?
Well, I’ve probably worn it out already, but be intentional. Let me expand on that thought, though. I would be intentional in relationships, developing ones that will help you grow as a person, hold you accountable, and challenge you. I would be intentional in my career purpose, never forgetting why you do what you do and always working to fulfill the purposes you say you have for your life. I would be intentional with my family, remembering that when all else fails, these are the people who should still be in your corner.