Defying Gravity: How to Survive the Storms of Pastoral Ministry

Defying Gravity: How to Survive the Storms of Pastoral Ministry - eBook

Leadership is tested in storms. You may be in the midst of one as you read this book. If not, you will be soon.

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Storms come with leadership. The names and circumstances are surely different for all of us, but the perplexity and pain are essentially the same. You may be a pastor in a hurting and dysfunctional church or an executive who's navigating an unprecedented downturn in the financial stability of the company. You might be serving as a community leader, trying to deal with unfriendly and needless opposition. Whatever the situation, leaders have to learn to navigate and survive the storms.

I remember many years ago while still in college hearing a businessman say, "I pay people according to the problems they can solve and the pain they can endure. Now I understand the reality of this wisdom. Just as pilots avoid storms by flying around them or even landing the plane beyond the thunderheads, leaders are wise to steer clear of threatening situations.

But often raging storms are unavoidable. When a storm comes, leaders must know how to manage their own thoughts and emotions so they can make decisions in a way that those entrusted to their care are safe and growing toward the objectives God has established for their lives. Sadly, there are still those rare occasions when a leadership storm results in disaster for a leader, his family, and those he leads.

In most media reports of plane crashes, we hear about the infamous "black box. One is the cockpit voice recorder, and the other is the flight data recorder. These black boxes are essential in discovering the cause of an aviation accident, as well as providing plane manufacturers and government agencies vital information to help make air travel as safe as possible. Fireproof and impact proof, the boxes are built and located to survive a disaster, even when little else does.

I guess you could say that on two occasions I was left holding the "black box" after a leadership crash. In both cases, lessons would emerge about what went wrong and how to prevent similar disasters in the future. I've had the privilege of stepping into three megachurch settings as the new senior pastor at high-risk moments.

How to Survive the Storms of Pastoral Ministry

Each experience was marked by incredible stress. But all involved some wonderful people who have enriched my life in countless ways. Through these parishioners, their stories, and the journey God was taking us on, valuable lessons for avoiding a leadership crash emerged—the nine truths found in part 2 of this book. You read about the first situation in the introduction.

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Defying Gravity: How to Survive the Storms of Pastoral Ministry [Daniel Henderson] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Satan is a strategic. Defying Gravity: How to Survive the Storms of Pastoral Ministry Pastors and church leaders need to learn about how to prepare for and protect themselves so .

The church spotlighted in the Los Angeles Times that Tuesday morning eventually called me as their next senior pastor. This is the rest of the story: In addition to the tragedy of the previous pastor's moral failure, the congregation was embroiled in a multimillion dollar lawsuit over a church discipline case. In the year between my predecessor's resignation and my arrival, the church lost hundreds of attendees and experienced severe reductions in the budget.

At the ripe age of thirty, I was in way over my head. The second church knew the privilege of a faithful, Bible -loving senior pastor who served the congregation as their only pastor for forty years. I had the challenge—and pleasure—of being the guy to follow in his footsteps. This gracious leader stayed in the church supporting me the entire eleven years of my pastoral ministry.

Despite being "the rookie" showing up after this seasoned pro, God did a profound work in this northern California church. We saw significant renewal and growth as the church planted daughter congregations and increased our impact literally around the world. The highlight of that assignment was a powerful prayer movement that sparked transformation in thousands of lives, launched several national conferences, and eventually led to the formation of the organization I lead today, Strategic Renewal.

The third assignment was the toughest. A congregation in the Midwest had relocated to a new campus in On their sixty-two acres they built a large, beautiful facility that included a worship center seating more than four thousand. In spite of the generosity of the congregation toward this project, a devalued U. Then, only a few weeks after moving into the new facility, church members were jolted by the revelation that their enterprising pastor of fifteen years was engaged in an extramarital affair. The people were devastated.

About a year later, I was called as the next pastor of this hurting megachurch. Again, God's work of spiritual renewal saved the day as we faithfully taught His Word and aggressively sought Him on our knees. The Lord was so gracious to us. Today I have the joy of returning a couple times a year for ministry, and visiting my dear and faithful friends, since the church supports me as one of their missionaries.

They are growing again under the leadership of their new pastor. In both the first and last assignments, I came into a situation where I had to analyze and deal with the "black box" of a leadership failure. By God's grace, I had to discern the cause and effects of an embarrassing and hurtful crash. There were lessons to learn here—lessons about brokenness, grace, prayer, determination, and restoration.

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There were also lessons to learn about leadership. Just as the "black box" on a plane will help you understand what went wrong, so the task of sorting through the ashes of a leadership failure provides powerful lessons about keeping other leaders in the air. A few observations stand out:. It is a point of optimism and gratitude that most leaders fly straight and end well.

The nine gauges he refers to are applied truth, spiritual intimacy, personal integrity, Biblical identity, genuine accountability, eternal significance, healthy family life, indispensible pain, and a captivating call. His commitment to encourage pastors has allowed him to speak in plenary sessions and lead prayer experiences at dozens of national and regional pastors' conferences including the Moody Bible Pastors' Conference, Alistair Begg's Basics Conference, and John MacArthur's Shepherds' Conference. With a passion for world missions, he has traveled to over 45 countries.

Defying Gravity: How to Survive the Storms of Pastoral Ministry

Daniel is also the National Director of The 6: Daniel is the author of nine books and his articles have appeared in publications like Leadership Journal, Pray! Magazine, PrayerConnect , and ChurchLeaders. He and his wife, Rosemary, live near Denver, Colorado.

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Preview — Defying Gravity by Daniel Henderson. How to Survive the Storms of Pastoral Ministry 4. Satan's strategic darts and doubts are designed to undermine the power of truth. He knows the importance of destroying the integrity and well-being of spiritual leaders in order to decimate the church of Jesus Christ. Pastors and church leaders need to learn about how to prepare for and protect themselves so they can lead effectively and without "losing altitude. Published January 1st by Moody Publishers first published December 17th To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

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