3 approaches to leadership and parenting

words-and-wisdom-logoSome relationships are difficult because we approach them using the wrong method of communication. Effective approaches to communication vary with different people and situations.

Three approaches are helpful to consider.

  1. Directive
  2. Consulting
  3. Free-Rein

Our goal should be to identify the best approach for each situation and to adjust natural tendencies so that we can be the most effective.

  1. Directive – the aim here is following orders. This approach commonly involves giving orders and directions.

Advantages

  • Quick decision-making
  • Crisis situations; where there is immaturity, right answers needed; addresses indecisiveness
  • Might yield better results when quick decisions are necessary

Disadvantages

  • Centralizes in one person – the leader
  • encourages others to use less creativity and take less initiative
  • Fails to draw from the strengths of others
  • Doesn’t multiply through others
  1. Consulting – the aim here is commitment

Decentralizes leadership and delegates decisions and authority. Leader makes a final decision after consultation with others. Could still involve limits within which people function.

Advantages

  • Recognizes value in others – encourages positive attitudes,
  • Reduces resistance to change
  • Exchanges ideas, improves job satisfaction and individual and group morale.
  • Shared ownership and responsibility

Disadvantages

  • Time consuming and slower decision-making.
  • Could create problems when unwisely practiced
  • Requires more maturity from leaders and participants
  • Possibly opens a door to antagonistic people
  1. Free-reign – the aim here is initiative. This approach gives freedom and decision-making to others to operate as a group or individual independently. The leader uses this approach to allow free-flow of communication and he replaces authority with availability.

Advantages

  • Increases satisfaction and morale of others
  • Encourages initiative and ownership
  • Develops leadership in others

Disadvantages

  • Insufficient leadership
  • Insufficient guidance and support
  • Working at cross purposes – creating confusion, disunity and discouragement

Free-rein style is appropriate when others are well trained, knowledgeable, skilled. It is used with those who are self-motivated and prepared to take responsibility.

Application

Ask yourself which of the three is your natural or learned tendency. The ability to restrain our natural tendency when a different approach is more effective is a mark of maturity.

Parents must be more directional with children when they are small. As children grow older, the consultative approach teaches them to become involved, responsible and committed to doing what is best.

Three words

Use the three words below to help you when faced with different situations.

  1. Pause don’t react naturally
  2. Identify – the desired results
  3. Adjust – your response to produce the appropriate communication/leadership style

For a closer look at this through an audio series, see here and here.

Steve Cornell

Note – The categories above do not all originate with me but have been adapted from a number of different sources that have been widely used over the years. Please use this material as a discussion item with others.

 

 

Posted in Communication, Elders, elders in the Church, Leadership, Parenting, Parenting teens, Wisdom | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Expanded role of medical doctors

Behind the scenes, the convergence of big business (pharmacology, the insurance industry and lawyers) with the medical profession produces a tricky alliance for doctors that sometimes hurts the patient.

Wisdomforlife

treat-thumbHumans are physical, emotional, psychological, social and spiritual beings.

Although doctors are primarily charged with caring for physical health, the emergence of bio-psychology has created a crossover that requires them to address the emotional and psychological well-being of patients.

Over the last three to four decades, doctors have been called to take the role that was once reserved for the profession of psychology. Prior to this change, people who battled issues like anxiety and depression were directed to seek help through therapeutic psychology.

The work of neuroscience regarding the role of brain chemistry contributed to production of medicinal aids for addressing emotional and psychological needs. Now medicines for depression and anxiety are the most prescribed drugs by doctors – and it’s a multibillion dollar industry.

I know people who have benefitted greatly from some of the medicines available for depression and anxiety. On the other hand, the escalation of the number…

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Start your day here

Great and needed reminder!

Wisdomforlife

Start your morning with the song linked below after reading these words of Scripture:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might …. free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the…

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Never give up on prayer

images-99Never stop appealing to the One who can do what we can’t do and what others won’t do.

Look closely at an amazing parable from the Master Teacher. This is one of the few parables where Jesus gave the purpose of it at the beginning.

Always pray and never give up

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: ‘In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’”

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

“And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?’” (Luke 18:1-8).

Two main characters

Jesus used two main characters from opposite ends of the continuum of power and privilege: a corrupt Judge and a persistent widow.

Unexpected behavior

The picture Jesus gave of the persistent widow breaks significantly with the script expected of her in an unjust world. The courts were a man’s world. But this widow did not have a man to represent her so she persisted up against seemingly insurmountable odds.

Stay focused

The long view of the parable reaches to the time when Jesus returns. Jesus said, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7-8).

This does not discount the immediate application we should all make about God and prayer. This parable is for teaching the followers of Jesus that, “we should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1).

Look more closely

Although the parable itself contrasts a corrupt Judge and a persistent widow, the opening purpose statement implies two kinds of people. “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1).

  1. Those who always pray
  2. Those who give up

Persistence in prayer.

When it feels like the odds are stacked against you, keep on praying! I know what it’s like to persevere in prayer, but I’ve also been guilty of giving up. To give up is to become wearied or dis-spirited. Sometimes we give up praying because we become impatient for answers. Other times we allow doubt to discourage us.

Lacking faith

Jesus connected giving up on prayer with lack of faith, “… when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). This is important to recognize because Scripture teaches that the trials of this life are used by God to produce perseverance in us, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-5).

Persevering in prayer teaches us a lot about….

Prayer offers an opportunity to grow in maturity – to learn a lot about ourselvs and God.

  • Philip Yancey confessed, “Prayer has become for me much more than a shopping list of requests to present to God. It has become a realignment of everything. I pray to restore the truth of the universe, to gain a glimpse of the world, and of me, through the eyes of God.” “In prayer, I shift my point of view away from my own selfishness. …. Prayer is the act of seeing reality from God’s point of view.” (Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?)>

Scripture repeatedly encourages us to persevere. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9; cf. II Corinthians 4:16; II Thessalonians 3:13; Hebrews 3:12-13). “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:35-36). “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” (Hebrews 12:2-3).

Two examples with different outcomes

“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission” (Hebrews 5:7). “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (I Peter 2:23).

The content of the parable

  • Luke 18:2 – The character of the Judge
  • Luke 18:3 – The distress of the widow
  • Luke 18:4-5 – The determination of the widow and the decision of the Judge

“The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’” (NLT)

 “How much more…” argument

The primary point of the parable itself is to motivate us to perseverance in prayer – based on the goodness of God and contrasted with the worthless character of an earthly Judge. The movement is from lesser to greater. Prayer is an appeal to One who can do what I can’t do.

 “And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:6-8).

This is a prayer for intervention to bring about justice. It’s a petitionary prayer. It’s about the time when I am facing some great need and I feel that injustice should be addressed. Perhaps (like the widow) it’s something beyond my power to do anything to change things. Prayer is an appeal to one who can do what I cannot do and what others won’t do.

Questions for discussion

  • What kind of prayer is presented in this parable?
  • What does the appeal to not give up imply about prayer?
  • Why does God allow perseverance in prayer to be part of our experience with Him?
  • Why or when should someone give up praying?

Consider – Four Reasons for persistent prayer

Steve Cornell

Posted in Christian life, Coming of Christ, Despair, Disciple-making, Discipleship, discouraged, Discouragement, Doubt, feeling hopeless, Following Christ, Hope?, Jesus Christ, New Christian, Prayer, Problem of evil, Spiritual disciplines, Teaching of Jesus, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How can we know what love is?

Is there a way to know what love is? Is love something we fall in to and out of? What does “I love you” mean? What should it mean?

Look closely at 14 qualities of true love. This description removes love from the realm of foggy subjective feelings and puts it in plain view for all to understand.

Wisdomforlife

  • 3856022d5d494ce9fd63189d4a356680Is there a way to know what love is?
  • Is love something we fall in to and out of?
  • What does “I love you” mean?
  • What should it mean?

Couples who want to get married say they love each other. Couples who want to get divorced say they no longer love each other. 

  • What’s going on here? 
  • Are we victims of love?
  • Is it possible to choose to love?
  • Can we learn to love?

I will show you a much better way 

Love is indispensable to marriage, family and community. Relationships absent of love go from mediocre to miserable

  • Husbands are commanded to love their wives (Ephesians 5:25);
  • Older women are called to train younger women to love their husbands and children (Titus 2:4)
  • Christian communities are to be distinguished by their love for one another (John 13:35).

How can we identify true love? Is there an…

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The unsanitized version Christmas

Our interest in the familial details of this story must are simply strange without the relentless connections in the New Testament with the unfolding prophetic and redemptive themes leading to it.

Wisdomforlife

0.jpgThis is the time of year when millions of people throughout the world focus on the heartwarming story of Joseph and Mary as they bring Jesus into the world.

How little this couple knew of the great drama of redemption they were called to enter!

How could so much eternal significance center on this obscure rural scene?

  • Why would such a quaint story capture worldwide attention for more then two thousand years?
  • Why will thousands of reenactments take place on every continent of the globe?
  • Could such an amazing drama (over such a long time) be attributed to the power of religious tradition?
  • Or, is there more to what happened on that night? 

Our interest in the familial details of this story must are strange without the relentless connections in the New Testament with the unfolding prophetic and redemptive themes leading to it. This is the story of a God who…

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Two essential movements for protecting unity in any group

  1. Centripetall-vs-CentrifugalCentripetal movement
  2. Centrifugal movement

These are assimilating and dissimilating dynamicsThey are movements of influence to help build the interior life of a local Church (or other any other group or organization).

For more, see – Two essential movements for protecting unity

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