Whether you are trying to get out of debt or lead a ministry, you need grit.
Grit has become recognized as a significant factor is a person’s ability to pursue and achieve their goals. Angela Duckworth, well known for her research on grit, defines grit as perseverance and passion for long-term goals. The absence of grit is seen when people decide to stop chasing their goals because of the difficulty achieving them.
Gritty people live out the saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
One of the encouraging pieces of Angela Duckworth’s work was its focus on developing grit. You see, grit is not like your physical height, where you can do little to increase it. Grit can be increased over time. It is something on which you can work.
And you can start working on it today. Here are four practical ways to do it:
Control your calendar. Make sure that your activities align with your passion and priorities. Duckworth identified consistent practice as essential to grit. Make time to practice, to learn, to develop your skills. If you do not, the day will get away from you, and you will never have spent time on your passion and priorities.
Listen to / read about gritty people. I love the “How I Built This” podcast. Each episode is an interview with a founder of a well-known organization. And it is amazing the similarities you hear. Most founders experienced major challenges, setbacks, and failures on their journey. Yet they persevered. The podcast provides real and inspiring examples of grit.
Do something that you don’t feel like doing. There is something that you know needs to be done, but you have been putting it off. Do that thing today.
Think long-term. One way to get through the daily grind is to set your sights on the bigger picture. This is what gritty people do. They understand that each day, even the difficult days, are important stepping-stones toward the future.
Don’t underestimate what developing grit can do for you. Most goals worth chasing are difficult to achieve. Reaching them requires persistence and passion. They require grit.
Here are a few additional resources on grit that I recommend:
For those who oversee their church’s budget, budgeting season creates personal stress and a series of complaints. Everyone wants more. No one wants less.
Very few envy the person who has to make the final budgeting decisions. Most would rather have a root canal.
But like personal budgets, church budgets are incredibly important. And they often get a bad rap. A church budget is not only vital for a church’s financial health, but for their mission. A church budget is an essential tool for every church leader. It should not be ignored or avoided.
They reveal mission. If you are a church leader, you know the mission of your church well. You are passionate about the mission. You talk often about mission. But does your budget reveal the mission. You have heard it said that an individual’s checkbook provides a glimpse of their priorities. Church budgets are similar. The way you allocate resources throughout the course of a year should reflect the church’s mission.
They reveal the game plan. You have goals for your church. Your budget should demonstrate how those goals will be reached. Year after year, too many churches simply tweak the prior year’s budget. The result can be a decade old game plan. Your budget, your game plan, should show how you plan to achieve your church’s current goals, not those developed ten years ago.
They keep everyone accountable. They keep people from overspending, and they keep people from underspending. I know. Underspending sounds like a point of celebration, not concern. But if your budget reflects the current mission and game plan, underspending may be a red flag. Let’s say that one of the year’s goals was to ramp up the children’s ministry. Underspending in the children’s ministry’s budget may be an indication that there is a lack of follow through with the game plan. Overspending can be a problem. But so can underspending. And a budget can keep everyone accountable.
Church budgets are tools for mission, not just necessary evils.
Envelope3 was created to help those who develop and oversee church budgets to make better decisions. In addition to ongoing resources, Envelope3 provides members with an incredible budget analysis and comparison tool.
Be sure to check out Envelope3. It’s more than a church budget. It’s a blueprint for mission.
Experienced leaders are those who have been in leadership roles for a significant period of time. These experienced leaders have led well throughout their career. Their lives and leadership have impacted many, which is why they have remained in their role.
Experienced leaders are susceptible to the fears leaders of all tenure face. However, because of their tenure, the impact of dwelling on these fears is often magnified, sometimes leading to an unfortunate deterioration of their legacy.
What are a few of those fears, and how do they wreck an experienced leader’s legacy? Here are five fears to consider:
Fear of losing power. They realize that, potentially sooner than later, they must step down from their leadership position and abdicate the power attached to it. When this happens, their words will no longer have authority over the recipients. This can be a fearful thought for experienced leaders as they have grown accustomed to this power.
Fear of losing influence. Leadership is more than a place on the organizational chart. Experienced leaders are often able to influence even beyond their own organization. And rightfully so. But this influence is rarely enduring for any leader. New leaders with new influence enter the scene. Experienced leaders can become fearful as they watch their influence wane.
Fear of losing respect. Experienced leaders tend to gain the respect of others. Their track record makes this respect well-deserved. But as they approach the latter end of their career, they begin to wonder if this respect will persist or die quickly.
Fear of losing identity. Experienced leaders sometimes find a large portion of their identity wrapped up in their leadership role. Experienced leaders can begin to wonder who they will be once they step down from their role. And they can be struck by fear when they are unable to come up with an answer.
Fear of wrecking their legacy. They have watched other experienced leaders wreck their legacy. They witnessed others, in an attempt to hold on to power, influence, respect, and identify do and say things that injure their legacy. And it scares them. They do not want to follow suit. They do not want to be like them.
Many experienced leaders realize that aggressively trying to maintain power, influence, respect, and identity is exactly how you can lose all four. They realize that the great leaders continue to focus on others and their success, even in their latter years. And it is the focus on others, rather than self, that solidifies their legacy as a great leader.
Aggressively trying to maintain power, influence, respect, and identity is exactly how you can lose all four.
Changing yourself is difficult. Getting others to change sometimes seems impossible.
Many leaders face the need to lead their organization through some type of change. If you find yourself in this position, you are not alone.
Here are eight quotes on change leadership to help you get started:
Successful transformation is 70 to 90 percent leadership and only 10-30 percent management. – John Kotter
If you want to make enemies, try to change something. – Woodrow Wilson
The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic. – Peter Drucker
Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed; the culture reflects the realities of people working together every day. – Frances Hesselbein
Don’t underestimate how hard it is to drive people out of their comfort zones. – John Kotter
Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. – John F. Kennedy
Change before you have to. – Jack Welch
I have never seen successful and sustaining change take place in a church without prayer. – Thom Rainer
Many pastors want to avoid knowing their church members’ giving recordings. There are a few reasons for their avoidance. They don’t want to be perceived as showing favoritism, desiring to spend more time on other ministerial duties, and receiving advice from their peers who recommend avoiding it.
But some pastors have a different view. While they understand the reasons why pastors avoid giving records, they feel that reasons to access the records outweigh the reasons for avoiding them.
Here are three reasons pastors have access to their church members’ giving records:
They view access as critical to discipleship. Jesus spoke on money more than any other topic while on earth. Why? Money is not just a bank account issue but a heart issue. Money management reflects heart management. The way one manages their money reveals their life’s priorities. And one of the main outcomes of a heart that is aligned with God’s design for a person and their money is generosity.
They view access as critical to leadership placement. Pastors want to ensure that their church leaders, whether volunteer or paid, are giving to the church. There are two reasons—discipleship and buy-in. The discipleship issue is addressed in prior point. Beyond discipleship, pastors want leaders that are invested in the church, they have skin in the game. Pastors, and most church members, do not want detached leadership. They want oversight and guidance from those who put their money where their mouth is.
They view access as critical to navigating conversations with disgruntled members. Disgruntled members can take up a lot of a pastors’ time. It’s the squeaky wheel effect. Sometimes, the disgruntled member even threatens to discontinue their giving. Knowing the member’s giving record aids the pastor with this conversation, both in content and time allotment. Conversations with disgruntled members who are invested, both with their time and money, should be approached differently than conversations with disgruntled members who have no skin in the game.
Money management reflects heart management.
Both pastors who avoid giving records and those who view it as critical to their ministry have valid positions. Of course, church culture should be considered as well. Even is a pastor has a strong preference, it is probably not the hill to die on.
What about you? Do you have a preference? And why?