Monday, November 17, 2008

Day 1 - Meeting Royce

Royce Reynolds spoke to us today. He is the deep pockets behind the program and a passionate lay person who wants the UMC to succeed. He believes that leadership starts with the ministers and that we need opportunities to learn how to grow as leaders. That is why this program started.

During his talk he said that all ministers need to do three things good. If you do these things than you will be a good minister, if not, you won't. All good ministers need to preach well, have great character and integrity, and be good with stewardship. I found that interesting. He told us (a room full of clergy) that as a laity he wants to be challenged or offered opportunities to support ministries. HE WANTS THAT. I thought that was pretty interesting and freeing. Here is a man who made a good chunk of change in the auto dealership business who wants his clergy to challenge him to give his money away.

Of course that is because he has the right perspective about money. He believes that it is not his anyway. He cannot take it with him, and it is all God's anyway, so he wants to put it to good use. I thought that was very refreshing to hear a laity saying that to a room full of clergy.

One other thing he said that stood out and a quote I will probably use often is, "You don't know me well enough to insult me." He said this during the Q&A period. A person asked him how he deals with rejection. His answer was that quote. As we discussed his talk later, we learned that Royce is a very intellectual decision maker, not an emotional one. this means that he can be emotionally detached from his decisions. Translation: If someone doesn't agree with it, so be it.

I think I am more of a emotional decision maker and put too much of myself in my decisions. Translation: If someone doesn't agree with it, they disagree with me. That can lead to hurt feelings, passive aggressive behavior and in some cases deep rejection. Yet, if I can take myself out of the equation, then I won't feel those things as much.

I think there is a fine line between secular business models of leadership and ministerial leadership. Clergy need to be emotionally invested in their congregation, that is what love is. But they also need to learn to step back and take themselves out of it too. It is a fine YoYoing that we have to learn and perfect.

In day 2 we will be learning about how to plan and cast a vision for a congregation. Should be fun.

PS: This session is happening in the R. David Thomas Center at Duke University. I didn't catch the name until I walked in to check in. It's Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's. I am still looking for the frosty machine.

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