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 …

One 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 …

Growing a Ministry 1: Evangelism

Rick Mattson Evangelism, Leadership 6 Comments

Let’s say I wish to bring positive change in evangelism to my ministry context. The context in this (fictional) case is comprised of folks in their 20s and 30s at my church, of which there are about a hundred active.   My first impulse is to ask Pastor to preach a series on the topic of evangelism. This will help get the hundred motivated …

Organizational Health, Part 2

Rick Mattson Leadership Leave a Comment

Last week I wrote of a veteran employee who tends to go against the grain in his ministry organization. He has set up his own little fiefdom where he enjoys successful ministry along with several devotees. Additionally, it’s not hard to imagine this person as somewhat intimidating to other employees and even management. So, from the perspective of organizational leadership, …

Organizational Health part 1

Rick Mattson Leadership Leave a Comment

I have a mental image of an older ministry specialist who’s been around the block many times. Could be a pastor, professor or other ministry professional like myself. Let’s say the person is male. He has a certain way of doing things that the organization has left behind or never embraced in the first place. To protect his interests, the …