Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Insights from Adam Hamilton, Part 1

Last week I attended the annual gathering of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Annual Conference typically consists of a lot of business stuff, reports, and debates that are boring at best and downright depressing at worst. But this year was different. This year a large portion of time was devoted to some really good teaching by Rev. Adam Hamilton.

Adam is founding pastor of CHURCH OF THE RESURRECTION in Kansas City. COR is now the largest church in our denomination.

Some insights he shared that grabbed my attention:

  1. Leaders set the tone of an organization. Your personality shapes the organization. People "get it" more from how you act than from what you preach.  (This scares me. Sometimes the way I act is not near as exemplary as how I preach!)
  2. Leaders clarify and champion the organization's mission. You have to keep it before people. You have to keep asking whether a considered action serves to accomplish the mission. Otherwise we drift off and start doing good things instead of God things.
  3. Leaders radiate hope ("positivity") rather than contribute to a "downward spiral of negativity." That downward spiral only gets deeper and worse as people contribute to it.
  4. Leaders produce chaos! That's right ... our natural inclination is towards comfort and routine. Growth, however, requires change--and change often results in (or results from) chaos. That's an insight that challenges me, because I definitely gravitate towards comfort and routine, and I really don't like chaos! (Especially as I get older.)
  5. Leaders discern by nausea. What is "discernment by nausea?" Well, it's like this: Adam shared that many times when faced with a choice between several options, it was usually the one that made him sick to his stomach that turned out to be the one God wanted the church to do! This is to say that God likes to lead us out of our comfort zone into things beyond our natural ability. Things that will only work if He is in them.
Adam said that there's one thing leaders don't do. And I'll tell you what that is in tomorrow's post ...

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