Friday, November 21, 2008

Kompidenz, U Haz It! Part Three

Here's the third and final part of the meme based on The Pastor Competency Model. This is where we really get organized!

How Organized Are You?
Part Three

PLANNING AND ORGANIZING--Establishes appropriate procedures to complete work efficiently and effectively.

If you play, go from your own professional and personal experience. If you feel like passing this meme along, cut and paste from the block quote above.

1. Tell about a time when it was difficult for you to focus on the most important tasks of your work. How did you handle the situation?

2. Describe a time when you had to coordinate resources (people, processes, funds, etc.) as part of some complex initiative. How did you ensure that everything was handled effectively?

3. What have you done to ensure that the administrative tasks of your [job] were handled effectively?

4. Tell about a time when you faced conflicting priorities in your ministry [professional responsibilities, volunteer duties, family management, et al.]. How did you determine the top priority?

5. Describe a time when the day-to-day requirements of managing your responsibilities seemed overwhelming. What did you do?

Well, that's it for this time around. Let me know in the comments if and where you played.

As for me, I'm thinking! I'm thinking!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Howe Kommpident U Iz? Part 2

Did you have fun yesterday thinking about decision making? Or are you still deciding how to answer those meme questions? Well, ready or not, here's Part 2 of the Great Competency Model Meme on organizational skills.

How Organized Are You?
Part Two

DELEGATING AND EMPOWERING-- Appropriately transfers responsibility to others; uses the gifts of others effectively; creates a sense of ownership; establishes procedures to monitor results.

If you play, go from your own professional and personal experience. If you feel like passing this meme along, cut and paste from the block quote above.

1. Share one success story about how you have mentored and empowered someone to become a true disciple [effective employee, committed volunteer, el al.] who could then lead others.

2. Describe a time when you were able to cultivate the personal gifts of an individual so that he/she was better prepared to serve the mission of the church [company, organization, et al.].

3. Tell about the last big decision that you delegated to someone else to make. What was the situation? How did you monitor and follow up?

4. As a pastor [manager, supervisor, executive, et al.], what have you felt compelled to handle personally and what have you been comfortable delegating to others? Give examples.

5. Provide an example of how you communicated trust and confidence in someone to whom you recently delegated an important task.

Part 3 to come!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Haow Kompittint R U? Part 1

Couple months ago I blogged about the Pastor Competency Model that's coming into play in my church synod as a pastor hiring tool. I floated the idea of presenting some of the prescribed interview questions as a meme. There was enough positive response to go ahead with it, so in view of the fact that tomorrow begins the second two-day retreat for training based on the PCM, here's Part 1 of the meme for Organizational Skills, Skill One, "Decision Making."

How Organized Are You?
Part One

DECISION MAKING--Identifies problems; analyzes information to draw conclusions; considers alternatives and risks; makes effective judgments with the involvement of others; accepts responsibility for making effective decisions.

If you play, go from your own professional and personal experience. If you feel like passing this meme along, cut and paste from the block quote above.

1. Describe a difficult decision you had to make. What things did you consider when making that decision? What happened as a result of your decision?

2. Describe a complex problem you recently faced. How did you work toward resolving the problem? Whom did you include in the decision process and why?

3. Tell about a decision that involved some risk. What did you consider? What was your final decision and why?

4. Describe a time when it was very important for you to understand all of the underlying issues to avoid drawing a faulty conclusion.

5. Tell about a time when you decided to involve others when making a decision. What was the situation? Whom did you involve and why?

Have fun! Parts 2 and 3 to follow.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Of Things to Come

It's been two weeks since The Election, and I've been thinking about the outcome and its implications.

To my friends and readers who supported Mr. Obama, may we all have joy in your choice. For will-we or nil-we, you have dragged a large number of the population along with you. May none of us have cause to rue it.

For those of us who would have preferred the results to have been otherwise, I present, with some amendments, this list of resolutions I made late on Election Night, November 4th:

With the help of God . . .

1. I will not succumb to Obama-derangement syndrome the next four years, as so many Democrats have wilfully and luxuriously subjected themselves to Bush-derangement syndrome the past eight;

2. I will remain involved in Republican party politics, and resist the temptation to feel like It’s No Use. I will do what I can at my grassroots level to steer the party away from the Democrat-lite thinking and policies that landed us with such a lackluster presidential candidate in the first place;

3. When I supply a pulpit, I will pray for Barack Obama as president, as I have previously prayed for Bill Clinton and George Bush, according to the command of St. Paul in 1 Timothy 2:2;

4. I will resist the temptation to hope that Mr. Obama proves himself to be as harmfully radical and socialistic as his own mouth and associations have declared him to be, and I will support his policies whenever they seem to lead to good for our country;

5. I will exercise my rights as a citizen under the coming administration, affirming Barack Obama as my legally-elected president;

6. I will resist the temptation to feel that it’s pointless for me to keep working on my house, stymied by my fears that under an Obama administration I’ll probably lose it anyway;

7. I will resist the temptation to feel that I will never get a fulltime job given the likely business climate under an Obama administration, or let that give me the excuse to throw up my hands on looking for one;

8. I will not allow myself to believe that everything would be wonderful in this world, if only Mr. Obama had not been elected president;

9. I will not confuse the kingdom (nation) of the United States of America with the kingdom of God, and I will not let any awareness of decline or error in my earthly country cause me to lose hope in my heavenly city.

I do not resolve, however, to refrain from an occasional quiet but ironic laugh over how "Change!" currently seems to mean bringing back everyone and his dog from the Clinton administration . . .

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Be of Good Cheer

I'm not preaching anywhere this morning; in a few minutes I'll break off and attend worship at a church in the area.

But I wish I were in the pulpit this morning, for, God leading, I'd give a rousing sermon on the Two Kingdoms.

No, that's not something out of The Lord of the Rings. It's the biblical teaching that we as Christians are citizens simultaneously of some kingdom of this world (in my case, the representative republic of the United States of America) and of the kingdom of God.

Trouble is, a lot of my American fellow-Christians tend to confuse the two. They believe that the coming of the kingdom of God depends on their reforming and remaking this their earthly nation to conform to their vision of God's righteousness. That the kingdom of God actually is America made perfect and holy after the model of Scripture.

Ergo, there are Christian partisans on both sides of the American political divide who believe that the inauguration of the kingdom of God depends on their particular candidate being elected this coming Tuesday. And upon the other party's slate being soundly and roundly defeated. Somebody's bound to be disappointed, and if you feel your God and your faith, as well as your political party, have been dealt a crippling blow, you're going to be devastated indeed.

But this identification between the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ is not biblical. Yes, at the end of this age the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (Revelation 11:15), but not by any party politics or social activism or theocratic initiatives or any other piddling human promotions of our own. This will happen by God's own effort through His Son Jesus Christ, on the day when Christ puts all enemies, especially death, under His feet and delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father of us all (1 Corinthians 15:24-25).

Meanwhile, we Christians live and operate with dual citizenship. We pledge allegiance to our earthly nation, whatever it may be, and to its rulers insofar as they are not usurping the rights and prerogatives of God. For we know that all authority is delegated to human rulers by God to promote good and suppress evil. And that includes those human rulers whose policies we don't happen to agree with, who might not even believe in or acknowledge Him. And we owe fealty to Jesus Christ as our eternal king, who has made us fellow-citizens with all the saints by the new covenant, the new constitution, if you will, sealed by the blood of His cross. God sheds His grace on both kingdoms, but with the former it is common or providential grace, given alike to the just and the unjust, to those who worship Him and those who do not; with the latter it is saving grace, which is reserved for those whom He has called to eternal life in Christ. God ultimately is sovereign over both , but only the kingdom of God has to do with matters of salvation, and only the kingdom of God will last forever.

Yes, God wants us Christians to do good in and through and for our earthly nations. He wants us to be responsible citizens of America or wherever He has happened to place us in this world. But being a good American is not the same as being a good Christian. And if God forbid! America should someday be no more, the kingdom of God and our citizenship in it will stand.

I've picked my party. I will be voting for those whom I believe will do my country the best good in the foreseeable future. God may well work things out the other way, for our blessing or our judgement. However it comes out, it helps me to remember the last two lines of Martin Luther's great Reformation hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God:

God's truth abideth still:
His kingdom is forever.