Tag Archives: accountability

Tug and Not War Part 3 – Positive Tension on a Team

This is part 3 in the “Tug and Not War – Tension on a Team” series. See Part 1 and Part 2.

tug-of-war3In Part 1, we looked at four words associated with tension. They are: conflict, stress, strain, or pressure.  In Part 2 we discussed the word tension and how it can be defined as, “the act of stretching or straining.”  Both are action words and both create a pull in different directions; therefore, we get “tension”.  Note there is a positive side, “stretching”, and a negative side, “straining”.

Negative tension is a strain on a team, but positive tension will stretch a team.  The object is to rid a team of negative tension and foster an environment for positive tension.  How is that done?  The leader must immediately deal with the negative and never allow it to grow.  I call this process the Barney Fife model, “Nip it in the bud.”

Let me share 5 ways to develop positive tension on your team:

  1. Plan proper balance – I believe it is critical to have a diverse team as I have mentioned in Post 2.  Through Personality Assessment tools and personal coaching you can assemble a team that complements each other.  They do their part well, but are cross-trained to help their fellow team member when needed. The balance keeps the boat from turning over.
  2. Promote creativity – Each team member should be qualified and passionate about their area or they shouldn’t be on the team.  If that is the case, allow them to share their passions and goals.  When positive tension is taking place, the entire team will take their ideas and grow them together.
  3. Demand accountability – Once the team is in place and the road toward success has been defined, get ready, negative tension will surface.  It’s not a question of “if”, but of “when” and “how”.  The leader of the team MUST set up a plan of accountability.  A checks and balance system keeps things from going down a wrong road too far.  Don’t be shy as the leader to deal with something quickly and severely.  It may hurt for a moment, but will feel much better in the long run.  It will also set the boundaries for the team.
  4. Allow for personal growth – Every organization should have systems in place that allows everyone to know the rules, objectives, and what a win looks like.  When they are in place the leader begins to lead his leaders.  In turn each leader begins to train a third layer of leadership.  Give each team member opportunity to grow as an individual and the team will grow.
  5. Focus on a goal – When people get their eyes off of a common goal they will soon define their own individual goal and go in separate directions.  Work hard to achieve a team goal then celebrate when it is achieved.  When a goal is defined everyone will walk in the same direction. That way when the destination is reached, the entire team will be there.  You do not want to leave people behind.

Negative tension will kill you, but positive tension will energize you.

Do you have comments about positive tension?

To read more material by Dr. Agan, go to www.rodneyagan.com

Article by Rodney Agan

@rodneyagan

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A Right Response to the Jack Schaap Scandal

You’ve probably heard the news by now. It’s hard to grasp how big this is in the Independent Baptist world. I assure you I’m no rabble rouser, but this demands reflection. I sense a tsunami running through the ranks, bowling things over and destroying as it goes. Many of the thoughts I’m hearing, however, miss the whole point.

First, I take no pleasure in another man’s fall. Some out there are not doing as well as they imagine in hiding both their glee and the fact that it’s all a political game to them. You know the type–I stand taller when my enemy falls down. I know we are told it is doctrinal issues, but I haven’t been convinced it is so.

I know Mr. Schaap has literally wrecked his life. I always pity that sort of thing. I know there is an innocent wife who has been shamed beyond what any lady should endure. I know there is an ashamed congregation that is feeling all kinds of pain. I also know there are many pastors and college graduates who are horrified to answer for something they are in no way responsible for. Finally, and this is the worst, there are many who looked up to Mr. Schaap to such a degree, who hung on his every word, who followed his counsel, who are now struggling with the idea of walking out the church door never to return. Of course, we can wax eloquent about how they should never have looked up to a mere man to such a degree in the first place, and of course we’d be right, but it won’t change the fact that they did and that they stand bewildered today.

I do not, nor have I ever, counted Mr. Schaap an enemy. I have no desire to pile on, but we must call a spade a spade. What he did is egregious sin. That the girl was young enough to be his granddaughter makes it abusive and more perverse. Worst of all, he took the highest calling, a call to be a pastor of God’s people, and abused it.

Having labeled it the sin that it is, I pray he is restored as a Christian man in the spirit of Galatians 6:1. I pray someone is ministering to him. I do believe we need to feel something of “there but for the grace of God go I”. I pray for Mrs. Schaap and her family for healing. I pray for First Baptist Church of Hammond because a church crashing hurts us all. I pray for those who are feeling carried out to sea on the wave of this tsunami and can’t quite get their hands around what to think. I pray that they can see that Jesus Christ stands as tall as ever.

Let’s get this straight–we can’t change it. It’s been in the news and that can’t be erased. We must be on record as being on God’s side and make no excuses or cover up for such a grotesque thing. People are hurt and there’s no magic wand to take it all away. We must love and encourage and lift up those hurting and struggling as the Lord gives us opportunity. This is no time to have a marketing campaign to convince the world how great Baptists are. No, let’s just humble ourselves, go on, and be as Christlike as possible.

This should cause us to look at ourselves more carefully.  (Gal. 6:1c)

There is, though, one more thing we need to do. We need to look at ourselves more carefully. Everyone is doing it to us and, perhaps, you feel defensive. Corrective measures are needed. We need a debriefing time here to analyze how did we get here. Every Christian group has scandal–such is the nature of sin. Still, what positive steps could be taken? Would you permit me to suggest a few-especially to the church’s leadership? Here they are in random order:

1. Church Leaders must have accountability.

I know we are told that “the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers” (Acts 20:28) and that we are to take the “oversight thereof” (1 Pet. 5:2). We do have a leadership role in the local church, but what New Testament example could you honestly cite that allows us to scold, yell, or manipulate? In fact, that same 1 Peter passage tells us that our ministering and leading not be that way, “neither as lords over God’s heritage, but being an ensamples to the flock.” Please don’t imagine that it’s fine to degrade in the pulpit either. It’s the coward’s way to attack an individual under the cover of God’s sacred desk. We must be ethical and our leadership is open to honest scrutiny in the church. We should have honesty, integrity, and be fully above reproach in all we do.

2. We Pastors must extend that accountability to our personal lives.

When scandals like this come to light it tells me that the fallen pastor was able to go around with no one knowing where he is. It’s clear the wife wasn’t allowed to know either. Gentlemen, that is an abuse of our husband role. My wife always knows generally where I am and who I am with. She knows every password for my email, facebook, or any internet thing I do and can check it any time she likes. She can pick up my cell phone and look at any history she likes. In fact, if she picked up my phone in front of me, it wouldn’t even cross my mind to be concerned. She has full access to all bank or credit card information. There’s no way I could wine and dine another lady unless that woman paid for the whole thing! Plus, I’d still have to account for my time! It’s not that she even demands all of this, but I know accountability is a good thing.

3. We Pastors must maintain a sense of decorum and purity in all we do.

There’s a crudeness that is being accepted that is fully unacceptable. This is the age of shock value but we surely realize that we don’t have to take up all the habits of the age we live in. There are details of sin that don’t inspire us away from that sin. In fact, those details do the opposite. They fascinate us and lead our thoughts down dusty, dirty paths. A pastor trying to outdo the shocking statement he made last sermon not only puts himself under enormous stress, but also pushes himself to the edge of places dangerous to be. No wonder that circles that start doing this more find themselves in a rash of scandals. The pureness of God’s Word is greater than the filth of the world. That is doubly true in preaching.

4. We Pastors must cultivate our own marriages.

The Lord knew we men would need a lady in our lives. And yes, the sexual side is part of it. I encourage us all to look again at that beautiful lady we already have. Focus on her. Love her, romance her, enjoy her, immerse her in all areas of your life. You might find that you can have all the thrills you could ever want with the lady you already have. Look deeply into her eyes, really kiss her, praise God for her, and enjoy a wonderful part of life the way it was intended, and for the record, without sin.

5. Pastors must put the sheep first.

It’s time that every independent Baptist pastor quit imagining that his every thought is superior to those of the flock. The people I pastor (be careful here, read slowly, this may be a great shock to many of my fellow pastors) might know more than me about which house or car to buy, or who to date or marry, etc. A good pastor will show you when something is clearly a sin, but he lets you run your own life. You know what we have done? We are robbing those we pastor of something Baptists historically have died for–soul liberty. Instead of shepherding them into becoming stronger Christians, we stunt their growth by taking away that which is vital to becoming a stronger Christian–the ability to seek God’s face yourself.

6. Church Leaders must quit riding hobby horses.

Some like to ride some subjects to death. If you preach in great detail more than twice a year on adultery, you are a little over the top. If a preacher man preaches on women and their dress, etc., particularly with emphasis on body parts, all the time, then you are obsessed. We know where your thoughts are most of the time! People everywhere are starting to figure out that when you work things like that into every sermon it is likely because you are struggling personally in that area. Before you get angry remember that a day before a fallen pastor gets caught he likely would have ripped your head off for saying this. A word to the wise–make Jesus your hobby horse and that will never shame you. Emphasize the Gospel and you will never have any backlash. Could I put a little plug in for expository preaching here?

7.We Pastors must remember Who we serve.

Pastors face peer pressure just like anyone else. We want to be loved by the group we run closest to as much as anyone else. We must, however, live by principle. We must have an allegiance to God’s Word, not what our clique says is God’s Word. We must get to where we only need His smile upon us and then we will be free. Free to be the pastor the Lord asks us to be.

The tsunami has rolled through. Destruction is all around us. Let’s rebuild with Christ’s aid something stronger than we had before.

Follow-up Post: –The Backflow of the Schaap Tsunami

 

Article by Jimmy Reagan

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How to Have an Affair

This is a satirical look at how to best destroy your life according to Proverbs 6:23-29, 32…

Begin by talking loosely about sensitive, private matters

“For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:” (1 Peter 3:10)
“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” (James 1:26)
“He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.” (Proverbs 13:3)
“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”(James 3:6)

• It’s easier to have an inappropriate conversation via txt or facebook – the walls are down!
• Work slowly into talking about body parts & sensual actions – don’t just jump right in, it might scare them off
• The faster you master words with sexual ‘double meanings’ – the quicker you will have an affair

Surround yourself with mediocre Christians

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)

• Remember, a friend who flatters is a whole lot more fun than a friend that is honest! This type of friend will help to hide your affair!  The last thing you want is somebody to make you feel guilty for having a little fun!

Good Example: David & Jonathan  //  Bad Example: Amnon & Jonadab
“But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man.” (2 Samuel 13:3)

Schedule some free time alone

• Make time when you are accountable to no-one. If you never do this, you’ll never have ‘time’ for an affair.
• Browse the www long enough – you’ll find something you shouldn’t
• Watch TV late enough – you’ll watch something you shouldn’t
• Stay in the bookstore long enough – you’ll read something you shouldn’t
• Keep flipping through the stations – you’ll listen to something you shouldn’t

“An idle mind is a devil’s workshop.”

“And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.” (1 Timothy 5:13)
“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.” (Ezekiel 16:49)
“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-11)

Learn how to separate your public & private lives

• Master the life of the hypocrite! Let’s act like one thing (what we do) – but then know that we’re living a lie (who we are). I’m sure you’ve heard of all the preachers who have had affairs while being so-called ‘spiritual leaders.’
• Don’t worry about lust. It’s really no big deal! It will take care of itself. Just keep doing what you’re supposed to be doing and everything will be OK.

“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:” (1 John 1:6)
“In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:” (Proverbs 7:9)
“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)
“And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19)
“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”(James 1:14-15)

 

Article by Patrick Nix

@patchnix

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