This week the podcast returns after a gap of 4 months – largely down to the host having had a heart attack in October! The guest on this episode is Jude Cairns. Jude is the Chief executive of Love for Life, a Christian charity that aims to equip young people so they are able to make good choices about relationships and sex.
Jude has previously worked for Youth for Christ, and Habitat for Humanity. She has been in her current role for 9 years and her work involves leading a team 12 people.
In the course of our conversation she talks about her desire to ‘make things better’ – a driver of leadership, the experience of living overseas for a year and the defining moment of losing her father to illness. She also talks about the influence of the Arrow Leadership programme and shares some of the things she has learned about leadership along the way.
For your own reflection:
1 – Do you think the Church in the West needs to be more courageous in its witness?
2 – What would you say are the main things you have learned about leadership?
In our conversation Peter talks about the influence of his father, Norman. At the time of posting this, Norman is in rehab following a serious stroke suffered in August. The most recent news is that he has been making a remarkable recovery. He is able to walk with assistance and able to chat with people. There is still a road to travel, but progress has been encouraging.
He talks about the concept of calling (listen out for his non-traditional take on this) and traces his story through his professional academic study and his work, which has included time with the Jubilee Centre in England.
Peter includes some of other people who have influenced him along the way and our conversation also includes issues such as sabbath and technology. He also talks about the work of the Evangelical Alliance and his passion for connecting faith with the public square.
He shares his key leadership learning:
Understand who you are
Have a rich understanding of the God story
Be in rooms with leaders who are better than you
Beware of leaving a generational gap
Recognise the loneliness of leadership
If you would like to know more about the public leadership initiative that Peter mentions, you can read about it here.
This week’s guest on the podcast is Stephen Cave. Stephen is Senior Vice President for Translation with Biblica (The International Bible Society). He has also served as a Baptist pastor in Northern Ireland and has had leadership roles with the Evangelical Alliance where he is a member of the UK board.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for someone involved in the work of Biblica, one of his strong ministry passions is his desire to help people engage with the Bible: another is his heart for the wider Church.
In our conversation we talk about his early relationship with the Bible, the role of some people who were key influencers, how his faith was affected by an experience of tragic loss, and how his leadership journey has allowed him to combine his ministry passions.
Along the way he discusses some of his convictions about leadership, including the idea that a leader is someone who is prepared to have a tough conversation.
As you listen to the conversation, you might like to reflect on some of these questions:
1 – As a leader, how easy is it for you to delegate responsibility to others? What might prevent you from doing more of this? 2 – As you listen to Stephen talking about foundational ministry passions, can you identify the things that are key in your calling? 3 – How do you experience God speaking to you? 4 – How easy it it for you to have ‘tough conversations’ with people in your church or organisation?
I’m making a couple of changes to the podcast:
Each interview will be one episode rather than two (or occasionally three), previously.
Rather than a new episode every week, I’ll be aiming for two per month.
While you can always listen to the podcast via this blog, remember that you can also subscribe via Apple Podcasts or Castbox: just search for The Leadership Journey Podcast. Subscription costs nothing and you will get each new episode arriving automatically on your phone/tablet. New episodes will appear on Friday afternoons – hopefully in time for some weekend listening.
The guest on the next episode will be Peter Lynas from the Evangelical Alliance.
This week’s podcast was recorded with an audience (and live-streamed) at New Horizon in Coleraine.
My guest is Gilbert Lennox, who was responsible for the Bible teaching each morning at New Horizon. Gilbert’s initial career path took him into teaching, but after a number of years left school teaching and devote himself to church leadership and Bible teaching. He was involved in founding Glenabbey Church just outside Belfast, a church that celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018. Although he has retired from his staff position in Glenabbey, Gilbert is still involved in the teaching ministry of the church.
Once we get over Gilbert’s reticence to describe himself as a leader, we talk about some of the early influences on his life, growing up in Armagh: not only were his parents ‘profound believers’ but there were opportunities to encounter various people along the way – not least Professor David Gooding, who has been an influence for decades: starting a Bible study in an old henhouse became an impetus for regular study with David Gooding
Gilbert taught in school for 15 years before he sensed God calling him to move more fully into church work. As sometimes happens with new callings, his move from school to church was severely tested.
He talks about some of what has helped him to be resilient in ministry: specifically, the part played by his wife, and having a bedrock of Scripture.
Reflecting on leadership, he notes that Jesus talked about what it is not! ‘Leadership [is] a partnership with God and with others.’
His advice to his 20 year old self includes the need not to take himself too seriously and the realisation that you can’t fix everything (though you can help).
The time you spend in Scripture is never wasted.
For your own reflection:
Gilbert discusses a couple of significant mentor figures in his life: what people can you identify in your own life and how would you respond to the challenge of being a mentor to others?
Gilbert talks about the importance of *learning* to be content: are you learning this?
Especially if you are involved in any way in theological education (either as student or teacher) – how do you respond to what Gilbert says about the possibility of theology getting in the way of our knowledge of God through the Bible?
How do you respond to Gilbert’s challenge to the thinking where we are often keen to use labels in church leadership?
Barry Forde is back on the podcast this week. Barry is the Anglican and Methodist chaplain at Queen’s University in Belfast. If you missed the first part of the conversation with Barry, you can catch up here.
For your reflection:
1 – What do you make of the idea that a leader is ‘someone with a magnet in their heart and a compass in their head’? How important is it for a leader to be ‘personable’, as Barry describes it?
2 – ‘Hold the present responsibly and the future lightly’: how do you respond to Barry’s idea of being alive to opportunities in the present rather than attempting to anticipate 5 years hence?
The series of talks on leadership by Eugene Peterson can be purchased here, and
Here is more information about the book on Irish preaching to which Barry has contributed a chapter.
The podcast will be taking a few weeks off, but we plan to be back in August.
This week’s episode continues the story of Ken Clarke’s leadership journey. Ken (who recently celebrated the 49th anniversary of his 21st birthday) is one of the most respected Christian leaders in Northern Ireland and further afield. Ken has served the Church in several roles, including as a local church minister and as a bishop.
Among other things, Ken shares these four important pieces of advice for leaders:
And there are these four key pieces of advice:
Don’t be a maverick: think team!
Remember that team members have different capacities;
Have soul friends;
Guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23).
Next week the podcast goes international when the guest will be Sladjan Milenkovic a young Serbian leader. He is the director of HUB (Christian Trust Belgrade) which includes a small Bible school which I have had the opportunity to visit over the past few years. He has a wonderful story to tell, and the interview also throws some light into a part of the world that is easily overlooked by many evangelicals.
This week, a previous guest on the podcast, has a special birthday. Bishop Ken (Fanta) Clarke is celebrating the 50th anniversary of turning 20! It’s about a year since I posted a couple of podcasts featuring his story. Here again is part one, with part two coming next week. Beyond that watch for some new episodes.
Happy birthday, Ken – and God bless you in the new decade ahead!