I often ask leaders to tell me stories about their church or place of business.  People love talking about themselves. Hence, I listen for themes and learn about the church or the individuals involved.

Stories tell me more about an organization than hours of interviews and pouring over Annual Reports. In one of my career moves, I worked in a major hospital corporation. It became obvious that staff and community attitudes to the organization were extremely poor. I encouraged our staff that we should listen for stories. What were our 1,300 staff really saying about our patient care, systems and management?

What would our people and our community tell us about our church?

Healthy churches will tell you what they believe in. The successes, what God is doing in their midst today and where they are headed in the future. Unhealthy churches tell stories about the past preferring to tell you what they don’t believe in.

One church I worked with celebrated a tragedy that had happened 20 years previously. The church hadn’t moved beyond the tragedy and that was a focal point by which everything else was measured.

Many churches and business organizations try to drive forward with their eyes clearly focused on the rear view mirror.

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14 NIV)

Let’s listen, pray, share the positives and look ahead.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy

Author of Leadership is Devotions for Servant Leaders (Amazon)