Archive for the Leadership Category

The Leadership Challenge!

Posted in Leadership with tags , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Leadership is challenging!

Over the last 48hrs some extreme measures have been taken in the Australian Federal Government, particularly, the Australian Labour Party. As many Aussies would know by now, Kevin Rudd has been ousted by his own party and we now have the first female Prime Minister of Australia, Miss Julia Gillard!

I saw, via media, every speech given ‘live’ and it was an interesting and tense process to watch unfold. There is no doubt that politics has once again confirmed it’s reputation as being absolutely cutthroat. Even though Rudd’s parting speech was honourable of his party (yet painful & awkward to watch), he must be feeling a sense of betrayal and emotional wounding from some of his colleagues who under-minded his leadership, regardless of the issues at hand.

Leadership at any level is a tough gig but especially at a Federal Political level. It appears, from comments given by political commentators, that Kevin Rudd left his transparent humanity and accomplishments presentation too late. This tells me that apart from other issues, which we will never fully be aware of, leaders everywhere need to live and lead from the heart, collaborate thoroughly with their team members and never stop talking about the great things being accomplished…if that is the case.

Leading people is bound to get you tons of criticism and place tons of pressure upon you as expectations fly at you from all directions. One of the challenges of leadership is the potential for misunderstanding and the ensuing small windows a leader gets to clarify what they actually intended to say.

Leadership involves making hard decisions but making those decisions with as much information as possible and then with everything in hand, making a call. As much as we’d like to have a win-win outcome every time, the reality is, someone or something loses out more often than not.

Leadership is about inspiring people to move from where they are to where they need to be. Be it in a nation, business, church or family. Leadership that relies on titles and intimidation alone is poorly lacking. Leadership that serves people out of a love for them, collaborates through seeking to understand then to be understood, ready and willing to make a decision even if it’s unpopular, and able to communicate clearly and with integrity the BIG Idea is leadership worth following.

Is Julia Gillard this type of leader? We will wait and see. She has stepped into leadership under bad circumstances and her first speech as PM designate indicates she has strength to her character but is this enough for national leadership? I’m not aware of her ethics or theological position (I’ve heard rumors) but time will tell what she contributes to the health and future of Australia.

1 Timothy 2:1-3 says “First of all then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good and it is pleasing in the sight of God our saviour.”

One of the most important things we can do for our leaders is pray for them. This includes pastors, dads, single mums, principles, CEO’s and politicians, amongst others. This nation has a warped view of authority (it must be a convict thing) but we need to pray for God’s wisdom and intervention in all leadership endeavors whether they be in the Church, Education, Business or Political arenas.

Be also praying for Kevin Rudd and his family. He will be shattered and his family will now be cleaning up the pieces of his emotional processing. Humanity can be very harsh and we all need to be a little more respectful and gracious with our leaders who are doing their best in often difficult situations.

Leadership is a hot topic right now and it’s so important that we keep our eyes on the greatest leader of all time – Jesus Christ! He is the author and perfecter of our faith and when contemporary culture shifts and changes, Jesus Christ’s character and teaching stays the same. Stay close to him, keep your eyes on His Word and follow him, for he is a leader worth following.

Lead the Change!


Embracing Uncertainty!

Posted in Leadership with tags , , , on April 13, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

I am a leader and in the past I have prided myself on being clear on where I’m heading, what’s important to me, and what my purpose is. I have sought to bring this same level of clarity to the church God has called me to lead but the more I lead, the more I have to acknowledge that there are many things that I am uncertain about.

I used to think that being uncertain about BIG picture issues was a sign of a lack of leadership but the more I go on, the more the mystery of uncertainty actually creates space in my world for God to surprise me in the most amazing ways. CEO type leaders in the church promote clarity in everything. To me this seems a little boring and totally unrealistic. There are so many intangibles about leading in a post-modern context and in an ever changing society that I don’t think any leader if they were honest with themselves can be 100% certain about everything.

I want to embrace the prophetic adventure God has called me to but sometimes this means I need to be willing to embrace uncertainty in how the adventure unfolds. I don’t want to squeeze God out with my organisational clarity. I want to be clear on what I am clear about and what God has revealed to me but I also want the mystery of the future compel me to stay close to God and enjoy the journey. I want God to surprise me and shock me with the most amazing experiences and happenings that I can point others to them and say, “Look at what God has done in my life.

What about you? Have you just got to make sure you dot all your i’s and cross all your T’s? I understand that some of this might be a personality thing but what about relaxing a little and letting God surprise you with the unexpected. Create room for mystery in your world and embrace uncertainty.

Lead the Change!

The Leaders Identity!

Posted in Leadership, Spirituality with tags on March 4, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Romans 12:3 “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”

A person’s identity has to do with whom we perceive ourselves to be and who we actually are. Our identity is like an inner map and everything we do is in alignment with the map. We mostly function within the boundaries of our personal identity but sometimes we try to camouflage our identity and present ourselves in ways that aren’t true to who we are.

An accurate and positive sense of identity is critical to a healthy & productive life and without it we will tend to gravitate towards 2 extremes: 

  1. We will withdraw from fully engaging in life out of fear that we won’t be adequate.
  2. We will feel driven to aggressively assert ourselves to prove our adequacy.

2 responses emerge out of this:

  1. If you undervalue your worth, you will miss out on the joy of fulfilling the role God has called you to
  2. If your ID isn’t accurate you will over-estimate your worth & abilities to the depreciation of others

Personal identity forms the core reality of our leadership of others for better or worse. Because we live in a fallen world our sense of personal identity is hardly as significant as it should be. As a result we often embark on a painful search for greater significance to enhance our ID. This search impacts how we see reality, what we do with our time and how we relate to others.

The core issues of our personal identity have to do with: How we measure our worth? Whose approval am i seeking? In what or whom is my confidence placed? What am i depending upon to give my life meaning? What is my place in life?

The foundation for all these issues in our identity should be our relationship with Jesus Christ. Our identity in Christ must be the mold in which our character is formed. Genesis 1:26-27 and Galatians 2:20 must become core theological realities in our lives.

Parker Palmer says, “The great spiritual gift that comes as one takes the inward journey is to know for certain that who I am does not depend upon on what I do. Identity does not depend upon titles, or degrees, or function. It depends only on the simple fact that I am a child of God, valued & treasured for what I am.”

Lead the Change!

What got you HERE won’t get you THERE!

Posted in goals, Leadership with tags on March 1, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Philippians 3:12-15 “One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Recently I spent some time away with my family up at the Gold Coast. It was a fantastic time to stop and reflect on what’s most important. As I was reflecting over the last 10 years of life & ministry I came to the point of recognizing that everything I’ve learnt over the past 10 years that has got me to this point in my life journey is not necessarily sufficient to sustain me over the next 10 years of my life and ministry. What got me here won’t get me there.

Dave Anderson says, “The enemy of great is good. The primary reason so few leaders or organisations ever become great is because they get good and stop. They stop growing, learning, risking & changing.”

We must avoid the trap of stopping to work on ourselves. You are your greatest weapon and if you stop personally growing, everything you lead stops growing as well. Personal growth is a process, not an event and neither you nor your ministry or business ever arrives. 

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Church in Philippi (Phil 3:12-16) gives us insight into his quest for pressing forward in knowing Christ. Paul knew he hadn’t arrived and that he had to keep pressing forward. In order to do so required him to forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead. Paul had a goal before him to press for and he explained that maturity is evidenced by embracing his example.

What about you? What books are you going to read in the next 90days? What podcasts are you going to listen to and when and where are you going to spend time with Jesus? What conferences are you going to attend and what appointments with people you want to talk to are you going to make? Why is any of this relevant?

Because WHAT GOT YOU HERE WON’T GET YOU THERE! Yes, your steps in life are ordered by the Lord but you have a part to play as well. Pick up your personal growth and do something with it today.

Lead the Change!

Build According to Pattern!

Posted in activate church, Leadership, ministry with tags , on February 15, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Hebrews 8:5 “When Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.”

Recently I had the privilege of spending some time with Ps Danny Gugg… from Edge Church in Adelaide. It was a wonderful time of listening and imbibing of the Spirit inside this great man. One of the insights he shared with me and my mate was the principle of pattern. God had told him to “Build according to the pattern that I show you.”

For the last 15 years Ps Danny has been building Edge Church on the patterns God has shown him. His words resounded in my heart as I have been a massive proponent of patterns. Patterns are powerful because they shape the culture of the church or group we belong to. Every church has patterns that distinguish it from other churches. Patterns are informed by 3 elements: 1) Bible; 2) Leaders call; 3) Community surrounding the church.

Throughout Scripture there is a constant emphasis on patterns because pattern brings alignment and clarity to many things in our walk with God. A church’s culture is informed by the patterns of what is visible, what we are convicted about and what assumptions we hold.

What patterns are you building into your life, family and church? Are you building according to the pattern God has shown you in his word or are you copying the patterns of someone else?

Towards the end of last year I asked my ministry team to discard some of the stated values that we supposedly held as a church and go on a journey of observing what patterns come to the surface over a period of time. Whatever comes to the surface tells us what we hold most important. Since I’ve said this I have observed clear patterns already emerging in the life of the church. These are:

  1. Connection – Relationships
  2. Charisma – Holy Spirit
  3. Compassion – People in need
  4. Character – Integrity
  5. Commitment – God’s House (giving, praying & serving)
  6. Cause – Christ followers

Lead the Change!

Motivation for Ministry!

Posted in Leadership, ministry with tags on February 8, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Luke 22:26 “But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as the one who serves.”

One of the fundamental differences between leadership God’s way and leadership the world’s way is MOTIVATION! What motivates someone to lead in God’s kingdom should be very different to ‘Gentile’ leadership. Jesus was directional in his leadership, he commanded obedience and he challenged his enemies BUT Jesus never used his authority for his personal benefit. He used it to SERVE others.

A biblical philosophy of leadership must begin with leadership as servant-hood! Most of us in the western world are uncomfortable with the idea of being a servant because we often have a wrong paradigm of what a servant leader is – Passive! If we look at Jesus leadership style I wouldn’t call it passive, it was very active. Servant-hood is not defined by our actions alone but by the motive & goal that generates our actions.

 Servant Leadership is:

  • Self-sacrificing rather than self-seeking
  • Leading by example and through relationship not by position and pressure
  • Active rather than passive
  • Gives direction rather than allows drifting
  • Exercises authority for the advancement of the cause rather than for personal gain
  • Functions best by equipping & empowering team rather than functioning solo
  • Gets personally involved in caring for people and their needs
  • A matter of character & gifting rather than position and connections

Frank Warren once said, “If you wish to be a leader you will be frustrated, for very few people wish to be led. If you aim to be a servant you will never be frustrated.”

Lead the Change!

The Uncertainty of Vision!

Posted in Leadership, ministry with tags on January 29, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Back in 2008 I wrote a book titled, “Vision – Key to your future!”. In the book I talk about the many dimensions of vision including: How to see it; The steps you need to take to realize it; Preparing for it and the enemies of it. Since then, I’ve learnt more things about the importance and nature of vision that I’m sure I will add into the 2nd edition of the book in time to come.

One of the things I’ve discovered about vision is the UNCERTAINTY of it. What the…? You may say, “I thought vision was supposed to be a clear and compelling picture of the future…I mean clarity and certainty are what makes vision, vision…?”

Yes, to a point vision does bring clarity but certainty… not necessarily. The more I move forward towards the vision God has called us to fulfill, the more uncertain I am about the road to it. Let’s be honest, every leader who is out on the edge, pushing the limits is leading people to a place they’ve never been before.

You can go visit a church and attend a conference or even serve on a staff that looks like they have arrived but for you to actually take the journey yourself and lead people to the fulfillment of vision… It’s full of uncertainties.

Vision is a gift from God and we are to be stewards of it, work towards it and diligently pursue it but we also need to be flexible along the journey because the road to it is full of twists and turns and what it will actually look like in the fulness of time will be slightly different and hopefully more richer and fuller than you could have imagined. Stay close to the author of vision and roll with what comes up along the way. Happy Visioneering!

Lead the Change!