Seth Godin Asks a Crucial Institutional Question

At the congregation down the street, they’re doing things the way they’ve done them for the last few hundred years. Every week, people come, attracted by familiarity, by the family and friends around them, part of a tribe.

And just past that building is another one, a different tribe, where the tradition is more than a thousand years old.

This is not so different from that big company that used to be an internet startup, but all the original team members have long left the building. Work tomorrow has a lot in common with work yesterday, and the safety of it all is comforting.

Che, Jefferson, Edison, Ford… most of these radicals would not recognize the institutions that have been built over time.

The question each of us has to answer about the institution we care about is: Does this place exist to maintain and perpetuate the status quo, or am I here to do the work that the radical founder had in mind when we started?

via Seth Godin’s post “(re)Radical

Dr. Tom Morris at powerful and entertaining talk on the 7 Cs of Success at the NC Annual Conference (2010, via Vimeo)

Tom Morris’ summary of his 7 Cs of Success.

From Plato and Aristotle to the present day, the wisest people who have ever thought about success and excellence have left us bits and pieces of powerful advice for attaining true success in our lives. I have put them all together as a framework of seven universal conditions which I call “The 7 Cs of Success.” For the most satisfying and sustainable form of success in our lives, we need:

(1) A clear CONCEPTION of what we want, a vivid vision, a goal clearly imagined.

(2) A strong CONFIDENCE that we can attain that goal.

(3) A focused CONCENTRATION on what it takes to reach the goal.

(4) A stubborn CONSISTENCY in pursuing our vision.

(5) An emotional COMMITMENT to the importance of what we’re doing.

(6) A good CHARACTER to guide us and keep us on a proper course.

(7) A CAPACITY TO ENJOY the process along the way.

These seven conditions provide the most universal framework for making things happen in a positive way, for putting our talents to work in the world, and for creating a better future for others as well as ourselves. They give us the most general strategic principles for success.

Would you follow a faithful, reluctant leader or an inspired, impassioned leader? (via Susan Beaumont @ Inside the Large Congregation)

Why are so many of us drawn towards the image of the humble &reluctant leader, and not drawn to the image of the inspired, impassioned leader with a dream?  I’m aware that my own vocational story can be told from either perspective, and I most often choose to relay it through the lens of humble reluctance.  Does this say something about me as an individual, about our culture, or about the times that we find ourselves in?

Here’s the bottom line. If I am a humble, reluctant leader then the primary means by which people will measure my ministry is through my faithfulness. They will admire the fact that I gave up an easier path in my determination to be faithful to God’s call on my life. They won’t really expect much from me, other than my faithfulness. On the other hand, if I tell my story through the lens of the gifted and called, passionate leader with a vision for something more for the Church and the determination to pursue that call, then I had better be prepared to deliver something substantive. It’s a lot safer to be reluctant and humble in our leadership narratives, than it is to be bold, passionate and persistent.

Would it make a difference, in this chapter of church life, if we reexamined our vocational stories and more carefully told the part of the story that focused on our pursuit and passion for ministry?  Might we energize our congregations in some different ways? I wonder.

via insidethelargecongregation.com