“That’ll preach…”

“That’ll preach…” (or at least help you get clear about how and what to preach.) Here are some of my favorite quotes. Most of them I’ve been reading and sharing with others for years. (You may notice a theme.)

“When one member of a family can calmly state his [or her] own convictions and beliefs, and take action on his convictions without criticism of the beliefs of others and without becoming involved in emotional debate, then other family members will start the same process of becoming more sure of self and more accepting of others.” (Try this at church…)

Murray Bowen, Family Therapy in Clinical Practice)  

“We do not give up our work. We act with greater clarity and courage once freed from oppressive ambition. And we cheerfully choose a new role, transforming from savior to warrior.”

Margaret Wheatley, So Far From Home: Lost and Found in Our Brave New World

“Mature leadership begins with the leader’s capacity to take responsibility for his or her own emotional being and destiny.” 

Edwin Friedman, A Failure of Nerve,

“When the gift I give to the other is integral to my own nature, when it comes from a place of organic reality within me, it will renew itself—and me—even as I give it away. Only when I give something that does not grow within me do I deplete myself and harm the other as well, for only harm can come from a gift that is forced, inorganic, unreal.”

Parker Palmer,  Let Your Life Speak

“Thinking for one’s self in a group is incredibly difficult, especially when anxiety is high. Most of the time you end up simply conforming to relational pressure, cutting off from the group, or investing all of your energy into forcing others to change. But what if you simply took the time to define your beliefs and danced them out, like a smart little bee?

Kathleen Smith, Everything Isn’t Terrible”

“Jesus gave up, at least for the moment, being responsible for what did and did not happen.  (Give this up, and your ministry will be transformed for the better almost overnight.)”

Kirk Byron Jones, Rest in the Storm

And from “Lasting Leadership: Is It Possible?” the first chapter of my own book Leaders Who Last, a quote which I still affirm: “When leaders can combine a clear sense of themselves with a wise understanding of human relationships, ministry can prosper…Being a church leader is never easy, but it is easier when you focus on what you can control: yourself and your response to others.” (Get the book here.)

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