Category Archives: Leaders

Being Available: a life coaching journey

2015 has been a challenging year. Part of Atlanta Arts Network is a fundamental commitment to be involved in the lives of others.  I get the privilege to be engaged in “Life Coaching” worship leaders.  I meet with a variety of men, some more frequently than others. This part of ministry to leaders is significant as it provides a way for me to see God speak into the lives and situations and see practical results.

The challenging part in discipling another person, it is often that you get the most out of the process. Life Coaching isn’t just a one sided event. It is often that I learn and grow along with the person I am coaching.  Many times God reveals something or some area I need to grow in just by showing up.  For example, when I listen to a leader share a story about their church, I am many times in the midst of a inner struggle to connect with them. Honestly the struggle is there because I am mostly a self focused, prideful, and distracted person.

Let me create a scene for you. Imagine a table at a local BBQ restaurant, where a worship leader is sharing the latest in a drawn out story of church disfunction and pain. I’m sitting there listening to them share how painful it has been this past week. Buzzzzz. My iPhone vibrates and my mind wonders if there is a problem at home? Are my children ok? Is my wife in a tough work situation? Do my I need to help my parents with a computer problem? I wonder who it is?
Buzzzzz.

I refocus my mind and think…. I wonder what they just said. I figure out a way to get them to explain more. “Tell me more about how that made you feel.” ….. Whew, dodged that embarrassing moment.  My friend continues to share more about the situation and I listen on. After about an hour, we both realize it is time to head back to work. I’m wondering how long its gonna take me to get back to my home office through Atlanta Traffic.

This is exactly what many conversations are like, for me as a Life Coach. I battle to stay present and help. I don’t know if you find yourself in situations where after meeting with a friend you ask yourself, I wonder if I did any good at all? I wonder all the time. Exactly what are they getting from our time?

As I think about the last year,  the different appointments I’ve had, the situations that I have learned about, and the relationships that have been built, I am realizing there is something to showing up. Just being available.

I would like to think that every appointment is a homer, that every problem is solved, that I am able to get my Life Coaching Notebook out and design a clear plan of action for each person. I would love to see the clear progress and change: Needs getting met, Goals set and Plans put in motion.

But the truth is…. I’m just happy that God has been faithful to use me as a Life Coach. I am grateful that by just being available, I have seen friends encouraged, tough situations get better, and God is using our time together to make us both like Christ.

Getting results from a Life Coaching appointment isn’t as important as us leaving seeing God at work. I desire that we leave a little more hopeful and committed to pray faithfully for each other. I hope that just by being faithful to connect we continue to move forward on the journey.

We both grow, imperfectly yes, but toward a better understanding of God’s will and purpose for our lives.

May the next year be a time of continued growth toward Christlikeness in you and in all those you care for.  Yes God is excited that you have just been available!

Buddy

Conflict-photo

Facing Conflict at work? 6 Skills to help you through

One of the hardest things, I deal with is helping worship leaders work through conflict and brokenness in their churches.  If you have spent any time around the church you will realize that conflict resolution skills and experience are a must for a team.  People will hurt you! People will disagree with you! People will sin!

The challenge for the worship leader is to develop and maintain a healthy relationships with all the staff that he works with regularly as well as the others in leadership at his church.  Whether you serve at a church of 100 or 4,000, the skills that will help you survive the certainty of conflict are essential.

Here is my short list.

Meet regularly with a colleague outside your situation. Don’t do this alone!  If you have opportunity to meet with other like minded leaders do it.  Don’t meet with an opposite sex leader, recipe for disaster there.  You don’t need to confide in you co-worker or assistant.  The best place to begin isn’t your wife either!  Take time to find another worship leader or person you trust and begin to talk regularly about the stresses and challenges of your work.

 

Humble Yourself! Remember The enemy is roaring lion!  You are a target! Don’t ever forget that!  The evil one wants to make you completely unfruitful and unproductive, angry, hurt, bitter and toxic.  Remember and memorize this verse.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:6-11 ESV)

Learn about conflict  read a few good books and take a class or two!

The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
Related Article from Peacemaker Ministries: Accountability: The Mark of a Wise and Protected Leader

 

Develop good boundaries No one needs to be taken advantage of.  If you find yourself, in a hurtful and abusive situation you need to know how to recognize it and deal with it.

Boundaries: Henry Cloud and John Townsen

Safe People: 

Necessary Endings

 

Remember Sin and conflict is not always intentional!  One of the most important things I have learned over the years is that people are sinners!  People and leadership teams don’t think! People and leadership teams are unwise  and sometimes People and leadership teams are intentionally sinful!

One of the best books to read about his concept is Bold Love by Dan Allender.

 

Choose Joy! You will grow to be like Christ!  I hate it when i grumble to my wife about some issue that is bothering me. (yes I’m also prone to talk to my wife)  She looks at me and says, “you’re gonna be so shiny.”  As much as it bothers me, she is right!

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4 ESV)

It is my prayer that you never have to encounter a situation at your church and ministry that causes conflict and pain, but you will!  Don’t despair!

Jesus hasn’t left his throne! He is praying for you! You are not alone!

 

What is arts entrepreneurship? And why do artists in the church need it?

The field of arts entrepreneurship is exploding right now, as a response to changes in technology and the arts economy in the last twenty years, and particularly in the last five years. We now live in a “do it yourself” world, where artists have many more tools at their disposal with which to advance their careers. At the same time, the traditional economic models for arts careers are drying up and changing. Chicken or egg? It’s hard to say. But the fact is that artists now have to take matters into their own hands if they want their creative work to get seen/heard/experienced, whether or not they’re seeking to earn a full-time living at it.

As artists of faith, we have access to supernatural power for our lives. Yet, at the same time, we live within “the law of gravity.” In nearly 20 years of working with artists in the church, I have yet to see anyone entirely levitate over the challenges and processes that are ingrained in way the arts work “in the world.” And, if our godly calling is to serve and renew those systems, it can only happen if we’re present within those systems.

So, two of the issues we’ll be looking at in the workshop, ““The Path Between: Entrepreneurship for Artists of the Church,” are:

  • The arts economy today, and how artists are responding to it
  • The artist of faith, and how we can serve the world
  • The meaning of entrepreneurship, and how we can embrace it to advance our creative work

 

I’m looking forward to sharing this information, and this time, with you!

Luann Jennings – Workshop Facilitator, Church & Art Network

 

Atlanta Arts Network is proud to offer an Artist Workshop on March 15-16.

Workshop Signup and more info can be found here!

[More topic previews to come, watch this space…]