On Productivity, Part 3 of 3

Rick Mattson Bible, Devotion, Leadership Leave a Comment

In the last post I mentioned my decision to slow down and place rest ahead of work. Here are three things I learned: 1. You can’t rush rest. It takes a long time. 2. For me, the backlog of personal items coming to the surface was eye-opening. I was overdue on many, such as grieving years of losses and wounds, …

On Productivity, Part 2 of 3

Rick Mattson Bible, Devotion, Leadership Leave a Comment

Part 1 is here. Due to covid confinement this past year, I stayed at home, worked alone . . . overdosed on Zoom calls. It was an unwelcome slow-down. One of the blessings, however, was that I was forced into a period of personal reflection, with no chance for escape. I couldn’t bolt over to campus or church, couldn’t engage …

On Productivity, Part 1 of 3

Rick Mattson Bible, Devotion, Leadership 4 Comments

In his fine book, The Unhurried Life, Alan Fadling reminds us that Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day. Thus, instead of plunging into a full work-week where the original couple would tend the garden (Gen 2:15) and rule the earth (1:28), they entered quietly into the seventh day: sabbath rest. Fadling asks a profound question: What if …

On Being a Performer (part 1 of 3)

Rick Mattson Devotion, Leadership Leave a Comment

First Post: Are you a performer? A sharp student at Macalester College where I worked for many years said to me one day, “I’m a performer.” I could see it in him. He was (and is) talented academically and musically, and when he was “on” he was really on. The idea of being a performer stuck with me from that …

On Being a Performer (part 2 of 3)

Rick Mattson Devotion, Leadership Leave a Comment

Second Post: Liabilities In my prior post I shared how performers tend to have an altar-ego that kicks in when things need to get done and done well. In my own case, when funds need to be raised for the ministry, or I’m literally on-stage with Muslim or atheist dialogue partners, or I’m bouncing around a college campus meeting students …

On Being a Performer (part 3 of 3)

Rick Mattson Devotion, Leadership 2 Comments

Post #3: A theology of performing In my prior post I tried to affirm the legitimacy of a “performer” profile, while also pointing out certain side-effects that often plague performers, such as loss of identity and performance fatigue. In Be Different: Finding the Resilience to Lead, authors Christopher Howard and Andrew Gross insist that leaders in general — and for …

Growing a Ministry 5: Getting Wins (part 2)

Rick Mattson Leadership Leave a Comment

  In my previous post I promised to talk about the Hand-Picked-Model. Honestly, it’s not for everyone. Not only does HPM not “take all comers,” it doesn’t even appeal as a method to many leaders. They prefer the Inclusive-Faithful-Model, where everyone is invited to all events and the job of leaders is simply to be faithful to whomever shows up. The example …

Growing a Ministry 4: Getting Wins

Rick Mattson Leadership Leave a Comment

My friend Vince Miller once commented to me that the ministry he was working on needed some “wins.” I didn’t quite get it at first. What’s a win? Through our discussions I learned that a ministry win is an event or program or curriculum that draws people in and leads to an increase in their commitment to the work. For example, …

Growing a Ministry 3: Create a Magnet

Rick Mattson Leadership Leave a Comment

What I mean by “create a magnet” is to make your group attractive. Give it some pull. At Macalester College in St. Paul, MN where I work, a student named Rut and myself started a discussion on Roger Olson’s The Story of Christian Theology. A wonderful book that surveys the development of theology throughout the centuries, from the early church through the Reformation …

Growing a Ministry 2: Evangelism (cont.)

Rick Mattson Evangelism, Leadership Leave a Comment

Last week I mentioned a fictional ministry context — a hundred people at my church (or yours) in their 20s and 30s — that we are trying to move forward in evangelism. After convincing Pastor to preach a three-part series on evangelism, we invite everyone to a big training weekend, and 90 folks show up. They watch a video series by a …