1. What to include in a youth ministry interview. "What I would do prior to hiring anyone to work in the youth ministry is for the church to develop a really clear set of guidelines that you expect to be upheld. I would present those to the candidate. Question different scenarios of what that person would do, like, Taking a kid home alone? What if they're stuck? What would you do? And I would really go with that. You can learn a lot when you ask about situational standards" ("Beyond Trust," Draw the Line: Relational Boundaries for Safe Youth Ministry, ChurchLawAndTaxStore.com).
2. Why informal meetings can improve collaboration. "There are many ways to do effective meetings, but a few key practices make a big difference. Four practices can make a difference for top church leadership teams, including this one:
Teams do more than formally 'meet' together. They collaborate continuously. On top teams, meeting times don't bound their teamwork. Instead, teamwork is ongoing, not just occurring during meetings. In fact, we found that meeting informally for more than one hour per week was a contributing factor to differences between top and mediocre teams"
("4 Steps Toward Better Meetings," by Ryan Hartwig and Warren Bird, LeadershipJournal.net).
3. Get face to face with conflict. "Leadership should be a blessing, not a curse. But to receive the blessing there are often bumps along the way. Leaders who lead God's people receive the blessing of discipleship just as Jesus did. Confronting others out of love shows your servant attitude toward leadership. A face-to-face meeting acknowledges the person and her concerns. It says to her, 'I value you and what you are about to say.' It also says, 'In what ways can you help in building me up to be a better leader?'" ("Make Conflict Work for You," by Michelle S. Lazurek, GiftedForLeadership.com).
4. Does your small group need a summer break? "(T)he longer I am in ministry with groups, the more I relax and understand the benefit of these short or extended breaks. And the more I understand the benefits, the more I am willing to even encourage groups to take a break—under specific situations, including this one: change things up a little bit—even if only for a short time. That doesn't mean group members need to take a break from ever seeing or contacting each other; it may just mean a break from the normal meeting time and agenda. ... The idea is just to provide something different than the norm as a kind of 'refresh' button" ("Does Your Small Group Need a Vacation?" by Mark Ingmire, SmallGroups.com).
5. Start small to disconnect from work. "We know that working excessive hours leads to exhaustion and impaired judgment. Yet it's still so hard for many of us to disconnect. Make it easier by thinking small. … (F)ind one thing you can change about your behavior and start there. For example, try leaving your smartphone in another room when you get home at night so you won't be tempted to check your work email" (Adapted from "Working Too Hard Makes Leading More Difficult," by Ron Friedman, hbr.org).
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