ask mission central

When and How Should I Ask for a Raise?

At some level, when you ask for a raise, you’re telling your boss how to do her job. You’re saying, “It’s in your best interest to change compensation for one of your employees; here’s why.” So, before you ask, consider this: If you had your boss’s job, would you give you a raise? Why?

How Do I Move Truth from My Head to My Heart?

When a truth rests in our heart, it means that how we live will be different because of it. First, someone understands the truth in their head. Then they believe it in their heart. Then they bear out that belief through the actions of their body. In reflecting on the results of their actions, they gain a deeper understanding, and the cycle repeats.

How Do I Respond to Disagreements About Race?

I confess that I’m not sure, at the level of larger social and denominational structures, what can be done about this disagreement. Bonnie Kristian has spoken to the possibility of division in sobering terms; for many of our institutions we may have to say “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.” But I do know that at the scale of interpersonal relationships and local congregations, Scripture calls for us to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3 NIV) and to “bear with each other and forgive one another” (Colossians 3:13 NIV). To that end, I recommend four difficult steps for conversations about race:
1. Practice a Posture of Prayer
2. Have Humility
3. Hold Your Ground, Gently
4. Champion Cultural Change

When Do I Let A Team Member Fail?

The example of surgery is instructive, because the costs of failure are so stark. The “July effect,” so-called for the month when U.S. medical residents begin their work, has an even bleaker nickname in the United Kingdom: the killing season. That irreverent moniker reminds us that there is no “failure free” option for teaching human beings new skills, even in life-and-death disciplines. Every summer, the experts grimace and hand over the knife to those who have never held it before. Whatever our line of work, we can learn to do the same for those who need the chance to learn.

What Are the Best Emotional Health Practices?: Part 2

How we respond to suffering sets the bounds on our personal growth, including our emotional health and maturity. Our response to suffering is not just a one-time act of the will. It’s a whole set of habits that are reinforced over time as we encounter small difficulties, either preparing us or leaving us empty-handed when a bigger trial comes our way.

What Are the Best Emotional Health Practices?

Thankfulness is not just an action we perform, but rather a disposition of life that, Lord willing, increases over time and shapes our responses to our experiences more and more readily. Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). That daily petition is completed by daily gratitude for the daily bread God does supply, tracing the pattern on our hearts until the thankfulness comes easy, like the fit of a well-worn pair of shoes.

How Can I Make Time for Prayer?: Part 2

Scripture invites us into something far richer than a stale duty when we pray. Think about how energizing a genuine friendship can be. You look forward to spending time with the other person. You enjoy conversation with them. You feel close to them. Although we all will face times when prayer doesn’t feel like this, it’s also possible to experience times when it does.

How Can I Make Time for Prayer?

Making time for emotionally honest conversations with God is an exercise of the virtue of faith. When we take time to be emotionally present to ourselves and to God, we’re acting in confidence that God is real, even if we feel anything but confident.

Can I Be A Quiet Leader?

People who are quiet by dint of personality have a particular gift to offer the broader Christian community… the habit of paying attention and being receptive comes much more naturally to some than others. The people who “take up the most space in the room” may not notice everything going on in the room. It’s hard to listen while you’re talking; those who talk less can take in more.

Subscribe to the Mission Central Blog

Thoughtful insight on leadership and spiritual formation every other Thursday. Subscribe to receive notifications of new posts by email.