What Does Southwest Region Conference Need? A Manager or a Leader?

Weigh-in by making a comment at the end. Does the Southwest Region Conference need a manager or leader? Readers would like to know what you think this field needs? Also think about who should be on our short list. Do we have faith in this selected nominating committee or do we need to move from the floor this coming week to start with fresh ideas…meaning a fresh crop to really speak for the people?

Management involves making sure that tasks are completed properly and in a timely manner. In contrast, Leadership is more about dealing with people versus tasks. In effect, leadership is more complex because people are so complex.

Great leaders are able to positively influence people to do what’s necessary to complete a task. Not because a person of authority has instructed them to complete the task, but because the employees wants to complete the task.

In short, the definition we subscribe to is:

“Leadership is effectively influencing others.”

It’s important to note that as our society has evolved, so has our understanding of leadership. In the early 1900’s, leadership was seen as an innate quality.

All of the great ones had it and everyone else admired those superb individuals. Leadership was perceived simply as a quality an individual was born with.

In the 1930’s, leadership was defined as a characteristic one could learn and develop with the assistance of a respected mentor. In 1948, General Omar N. Bradley defined leadership as, “…the art of influencing human behavior through ability to directly influence people and direct them toward a specific goal.”

In 1958, this leadership definition was offered by General Maxwell D. Taylor, “Leadership is the art of influencing and directing men in such a way as to obtain their willing obedience, confidence, respect and loyal cooperation in order to accomplish a mission.” Note the shift in thinking to include the concept of willingness.

Jump ahead to 1986, and General John Wickler’s leadership definition, “the process by which an individual determines direction and influences others to accomplish the mission of the organization.”

It’s true, not only do leaders use their talents and experience to influence others; they also focus only on those activities necessary to achieve a desired outcome.

Leaders help others to believe in the vision, goal or objective. Leaders define the work environment and provide the framework to support their team. Leaders identify the priorities as well as provide the direction for completing tasks on time.

In conclusion, it is important to note that the primary measurement of leadership success is the final outcome or result. Every leader is 100% accountable for the bottom-line results of the team.

Great leaders are the first to give the credit for successful results to the team. These same great leaders are the first to accept the blame personally when the team fails to perform.

In this same spirit, President Harry S. Truman subscribed to the famous leadership definition, “The Buck Stops here!

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35 Responses to What Does Southwest Region Conference Need? A Manager or a Leader?

  1. dolomite9 says:

    Marian,you are so right on with your observations!How refeshing and astute everybody that we call “Dr” may not have an earned degree from a reputable university.Conduct and character are more important than eloquence and charisma but if you have all these qualities together in a person who loves Jesus,then that is who we need and desire.A visionary leader who loves the Lord!


  2. Jonah_77 says:

    Marian, a few points respectfully. First, we dont have the kind of leadership this blog suggest. As a fact we have the opposite. Second, I just want to be sure you understand, reprisal and reproach exist in SWRC. If it did not, then there would be no need for this blog. Even Frank was a victim of it. A seat at the table is truly when a corrupt system has been cleansed.

    My point in my last post were that you should not be afraid to speak out because you disagree. For example, we respectfully disagree here, well that does not mean that I am going to move you and your family to Iceland, so that you can assist in the evangelistic efforts there. Likewise, you would not oppose me and my entire agenda to move the conference foward if I were your president, even opposing me in the next election because we dont agree. My question is, are we saying in this conversation that climate does not exist?

    What Say You?


    • Marian says:

      I did not disagree about the mean-spiritness in the conference for those who differ in approach and method. That definitely exists – I can’t only blame leadership for that environment. Laity has come year after year and voted for that behavior! The last time I checked, the constituency votes for this type of leadership. I actually heard people say at a recent constituency that positions should remain as they are because “he’s one of us”. That frightens and dismays me! Does being from SWRC make it sufficient to hold a post?

      I would like to see the constituents elect someone who cares about ALL the members of the conference. That person must also realize God love variety – that’s why He created us as individuals rather than clones. wide-ranging thought, skills and ideas provide a dynamic field.


      • LEFT BEHIND says:

        Marian: I find your comments very insightful. As you noted God is in control. Now that we are at the eve of the session let us do our part to make sure that all are represented.

        Thank you for contributing with insightful statements, the ability to disagree in Christian love and spirit and a desire to not give up on our conference.

        In the post I think the writer may have used a quote by a very famous African-American scholar concerning Greatness and leadership. Great leaders become great because of their pursuit to be the best, the best they can be in their professions etc.


  3. Jonah_77 says:

    @ Marian, leftbehind and no limit, you will always need a forum where people can speak freely. The fear among ministers for speaking out is why the blog exist. Think about it, they were actually talking about firing people for speaking out against wrongs. 

    Just so we are clear on a couple of points: 

    1. There are many ministers who were leftbehind that I know deserve consideration for office. I watched them as they began and I see them now. They had such vigor until their hearts were cut out. The problem is they had no voice.  Speaking out, meant a possible move to a difficult church or worse. This is the sad truth. It’s true so everyone should just say it. 

    2. The cowardice created by this corrupt system has led to a crabs in a barrel hierarchy. So, instead of standing up against the formation of a political party, some ministers joined because if you can’t beat em, join em. 

    3. Leadership is a balance between attributes, faith, and direction. The next leader needs to be able to do two things, Plan and Decide. His subordinate leaders must support and execute. The SWRC will never be able to do this because they have no strategy for it. So, they constantly look to a person for strategy instead of collectively creating and implementing one. This conference needs a seasoned 15 year plus minister who has built things in this conference, has a history of reaching out to all people and who is willing to tackle every issue on this blog. 

    4. Someone said the Frat bothers have doctorates. True. However, time in school does not make up for time in the field. The status quo, is who you know, where you go, and what can you show. The Frat Brothers have had No real leadership model. They could lead, but to where? Let’s start small and work to a bigger goal. A bumble doesn’t become a master guide in three to five years.  We created this system and we should fix it. Not Dr. Byrd, nor anyone else. Someone from within.  Not Frank, Dino, Jerry, the prez, the excom or TFS. Men in the field should take back their conference. 

    What Say you? 


    • Marian says:

      I respectfully disagree – if we get the type of leadership this blog suggests, we should not fear have divergent viewpoints. There will be a place at the table for all. There will be no retaliation because we view things from a differnt perspective.

      I also would not like to see SWRC limited to only looking at those who have grown up in this field. In my experience, those who have been other places bring a fresh perspective to familiar situations. We need a leader who brings experience AND breadth.

      Just because an individual possesses a doctorate, does not imply rigorous academic pursuit. The question needs to be asked – what institution conferred the doctorate; what is the discipline the doctorate was earned in, and is it applicable to leadership?

      I John 4 says it plainly – there is no fear in love. When our conference operates in the power of God’s love – then there will be a place for transparent, face-to-face communication without retaliation or fear that one’s opinions are not valued.


      • I have been watching this conversation and did not want jump in just yet because I love that you all are talking with such vigor and substance. For those of you who are concerned…YES there will be a blog after this election and there is still a purpose. No organization should function without oversight or knowing how the people view their policies. I would love even to see the conference create it’s own blog. WE CAN SHARE THE WEALTH! Conversation in any venue is progress. We must always remember that the spirit is to discuss issues in a healthy way that opens up insight and creates the platform for new ideas. Marian I understand your concerns it is important that all constituents remember that we don’t want the same old thing. This blog I believe has had an influence and it is my prayer and hope that it will continue to have an impact in the YEARS to come. Keep talking GREAT STUFF!


      • No Limits says:

        Marian: Good morning! I am in agreement with the last part of your blog. We share the same thought. No argument.

        The first part I would like to visit from this perspective.

        Jonah77 sounds like a person who grew up looking at men for the last 30 plus years. He has witnessed the demise of ministers from these areas: church, conference, and family. Over time the stress takes it’s toll. Leadership is complicated because people are and over time men and women hit the wall in pastoral ministry.

        Jonah 77 has apparently witness the results. Whites who
        you see like our new union president, have more availability to move beyond the pastoral ministry and can become a conference president, division president or move into the GC twice or several times. African-Americans seldom get second looks.

        If past black leaders didn’t do something about it we would
        not have regional conferences and the little advancement
        as we see today.

        Now if we don’t prioritize by creating fair and sound policy concerning men and women in our workforce you will see further disintegration of families, ministry and the workforce.

        Selection from without may seem a good thing at first from a member’s view but maybe defeating for workers. Presidents, including this one,have gone out of the field for political gain and control. To manipulate the future election process by bringing men/women in who are deemed loyal. The results are low morale and further burnout.

        To balance this after FIRST considering workers in the field, and the circumstances, then look else where based on the need not on petty politics.


        Thanks Marian, your comments are always God centered.


  4. No Limits says:

    The blog was created for the purpose of dialogue with members particularly with the SWRC and others. We will all have diverging views. Communication is the key to prevent war. When there is no communication we will fight each other.

    Our different views will not stop. The blog has done a good service for the SWRC. People have read the constitution and by-laws and become more informed about the SWRC.

    What would have been helpful, would have been the SWRC to dialogue with us even if bloggers expressed opposing views. THEY THOUGHT THEY WOULD KILL THE BLOG! The blog was in it’s infant stage and is maturing.

    Ongoing dialogue helps people to grow and to see a position differently. WE MAY NEVER ALWAYS AGREE BUT WE CAN FIND COMMON GROUND.

    I am a better person because of people like Marian, Bystander, dolomite, Jonah77, King Amaziah, Me, and all the rest. Some who shot hole in my opinions. I FOUND IT HUMBLING. But yes I am a better informed person. Don’t let me leave out the Questioner who must be a Christian.

    Let’ continue. What the blog needs are articles on different area of ministry, devotions for the week ends, and issues. The Forgottenshepherdess critiques the wrings.

    In other words we can make a difference!



  5. Bystander says:

    Sorry for duplicate comments; I mean’t to ask frequent commenters including Marian regarding the continuance of the blog. I do follow the blog daily, and appreciate if the regular bloggers would give a comment on whether it is still going to be a good forum for people to talk and express their opinion. I do pay attention to what the comments have been and appreciate different points of view. I feel it may help leaders keep up with the pulse of the constituents. Appreciate comments.


  6. Bystander says:

    Marian: Should we continue to comment after Sunday good or bad or should we just go on our merry way, business as usual? What do you think? i would like to thank TFS.


    • Marian says:

      I think when we see the results of the election will can determine if we will need a blog or if we have the opportunity to have our voices heard by administration. If we find we do not have a listening administration – this blog will have missed its mark. I believe the intent of this blog was to be heard, since there was not a venue for dialogue.

      I pray the Lord will give us an administration that definitely listens for and to His voice. Then because they are confident in God’s love is willing to hear from others who may have different opinions. In fact, I believe this is another characteristic of a leader – one who is willing to listen to other’s opinions and consider how to incorporate them into what they feel is a priority for them.

      We all need to listen to the voice of the Lord. He may have something for us we have not considered.


  7. Marian says:

    I believe we SHOULD look at those in our field who have more than 15 years of ministry – a LEADER is not defined by age, but by relationships. In my years of watching in this church, it appears we, that includes laity, have wanted superstars, not pastors!

    I also don’t think we should limit our vision to just this conference – perhaps there is someone in another field who has the qualities of leadership we so need. Remaining in one field is not necessarily a sign of capacity of leadership.

    It will be interesting to see how all this dialogue will play out on Sunday. Will we stand for principle or the status quo?


    • adventquestioner says:

      Whatever happens on Sunday…The Forgotten Shepherdess needs to continue providing a venue for discussion…


    • Bystander says:

      TO MARIAN: Marian, what do you think about the TFS blog after Sunday, should we continue to communicate through this method or should we just accept what happens, good or bad, and go on our merry way.


  8. king amaziah says:

    We need a visionary!


  9. king amaziah says:

    Left behind amazing insight!We need to pray for God to give us better self esteem so that we don’t think that the answer to our problems is to go outside the territory.We need to pick men in iour field and take chances on them.We need to do a mentooring program so that those who excell in some areas can train those who don’t and as men are moved up in the ranks the understanding is that we all help each other to climb and that we are all esteemed worthy and capable and that after 1 or 2 terms,someone else from among our ranks will be promoted.We need to do this in such a way that when a president is no longer president he can feel right at home pastoring without feeling demoted but that he is working among fellow comrades who wish him well because when he was in office, he wished their wellbeing also!A tall oreder?Yes!Possible?Yes!We need to promote and foster such an atmosphere!Dr.MLK used to say “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools”!My brothers and sisters we can start a grass roots movement right now to make this happen or we will keep going around the merry go round doing the same thing over and over!Admittedly the “Falcon is doing some great stuff and some that we would do well to learn from him but God is the real source of anybody’s success!Much prayer,total commitment and real hard work can make alot of people successful!Some of the very people reading this blog, have the potential to be a great confernce president!Left behind that includes you!BTW has anyone heard from Dolomite9?I hope he has not got left behind or worse been victim to some other mishap!In spite of all the emotions expressed on this blog, we are our brother’s keeper!


    • LEFT BEHIND says:

      Man! That was worth staying up to read. Stuff like that makes you have hope. Keep inspiring!


    • New Vision 11 says:

      I found your comments refreshing and encouraging. One of the most powerful events that could happen in SWRC is for the Pastors to feel oved by the laymen and the laymen could feel trusted by the pastors. This would produce a climate of cooporation that heaven could bless.

      The administration sets the tone for that kind of break through and it seems to me we really need to added this to the prayer list !! We have put to much energy into using the stick and not nearly enough into the carrot…


  10. king amaziah says:

    the nless i misusnderstood it that is what i understood.Maybe we need to look for a Holy Spirit filled layman to lead us and then maybe not!Somehow,even when humble people et some power, they go crazy!Help us Lord!I pray we have a sweet short power packed session!


  11. king amaziah says:

    left you make some good points but personally i feel that the falcon read this blog and got the stew scared out of him.i believe he will apply again in south central or south atlantic.He is still young enough to blow us off and still be considered seriously elsewhere!We need to step up our game and stop looking so desperate!When you are desperate you can do some stupid things!Let all the pastors submit their resumes and make sommething happen!


    • LEFT BEHIND says:

      KING: I think your interpretation of the facts are correct. I think the Falcon is saying “I need to fly where there are a different species of pigeons.

      The southwest pigeons are members of the NRA while at the same time they are all on Ambien.

      By the way…I’m Left Behind


  12. Marian says:

    Well, I realize the pastorate may not look like a 9-5 job. However, a TRUE pastor is available to his flock on 24 – 7 basis! I can remember once when there was a family crisis, the pastor could not be contacted because he had an unlisted number. Not my idea of a leader.

    Yet, we are not really any different than the children of Israel when they chose Saul as king because he stood head and shoulders above everyone else. The pastors who are available, reachable and concerned about their flock are not the persons who are considered for presidency. Sermons are only as good as the soil upon which they fall. The true value of a sermon is the personal application in the life. When you leave church does the sermon have an impact upon your life?

    Those is leadership should lead by example – what does their house look like? Are they so busy taking care of the Lord’s business that their children turn out like Eli”s?

    There are a number of ways to look at leadership – Timothy tells us a bishop must control his own house as well as the church. Should we consider this?

    BTW – I have concerns about the title: “Left Behind” – if the Lord is in charge of the reward how can man leave you behind?


    • Left Behind says:

      Marian: Can’t argue with a comment like that. Won’t even try. Keep a centered message and you will convert a community.

      Left Behind is speaking for the men and women who feel left behind because of political game playing. Many wokers are left behind because constituents have given the few opportunity over and over again. Our potential may never be known because of a “rat pack” mentality who seek to look out for their own selfish interests. Here in this field too many constituents feel that if you speak well or occupy a position of influence qualifies you for President. I say, to the contrary, it does not in most cases. Constituents are afraid to choose a minister who has given a lifetime and blood to the SWRC. Outside our field we are so coined as the FARMED TEAM because so many ministers have left. Many who have gone to serve in areas they feel they are gifted in. Left Behind wants to keep in the forefront that each time the constituents go outside the field to fill responsibilities in administration, departments and churches it sends a message that you are unworthy after a lifetime of service.

      By the way…I’M LEFT BEHIND


      • Marian says:

        I guess my issue is – if you’re called of the Lord and you’rs doing your job – don’t let others define YOU! We can’t allow those who follow the world’s standards define who is successful.

        I would like to thank the originator of this blog because this has stirred up some discussions which have needed to occur. Now, if all those who are on this blog AND our delegates will vote what they claim in anonymity – we can be a part of the Lord’s change in SWRC. It’s time to walk the walk along with the talk!!!!


      • LEFT BEHIND says:

        Ok Marian, you could be on my team to win 600 souls. But remember that the sun is setting on those who feel the way I feel. WE DO NOT REJECT OR CAST A SHADOW ON A FACT THAT GOD HAS BLESSED US. Nor do we recant serving God. God is fair but politically motivated men and women are many times not. When you get to the meeting, look around at the men who have 25 plus years. Should they be kicked aside strategically for dedication and service?


    • “The pastors who are available, reachable and concerned about their flock are not the persons who are considered for presidency. ”

      You have truly said a mouthful….why is that? What can we do to change that? Why don’t we change that?


      • LEFT BEHIND says:

        Now we are talking. The outcome can be positive. We need to change the way members think and yes, reward ministers and members when they care for the flock. Pastors and members need to hold each others hands up together. We need to stop a dominating party for the last 20 years who are solely their for their interests. We need to give others who are equally skilled a chance. If you are a minister or member I’m for you too. Why? NO ONE SHOULD FEEL LEFT BEHIND AT THE END OF THEIR DAY.

        BY the way…I’m Left Behind

        That was a good post on Byrd


  13. Left Behind.

    I agree some and disagree some.

    I disagree where it seems that you are saying it is possible to be a good pastor and not be a good leader. I do not think that is possible.

    A very effective pastor must be a good leader. It is true however that we sometimes judge effectiveness by how well someone preaches. That is not an effective Gage.

    Simply put, we need the information about these folks to be able to judge if they are effective leaders. The people can’t judge people by any other criteria than hwo well they preach because we aren’t privy to important information that can help us judge. For example, I need to know about the church’s debt to income ratio. What happened after you got in there as a pastor? it is difficult for us to get that information, but we need that.

    How well does the pastor utilize the leadership in his church? That is very important to how she or he will be as a leader. We need that information.

    THEY (conference leadership) have the information to judge…they just don’t give it to us…They want us in the dark…


    • Left Behind says:

      THE QUESTIONER: I am not offended that you disagree. Anyone’s thinking needs to be challenged, including mine. You have made some good observations.

      I am saying that a minister can do well in a church but not be experienced for president. They are two different areas of ministry. I believe that most ministers who have been in churches at least 20 years could be considered for the job.

      You observed in your blog correctly that most ministers do not have work experience of working a 40-80 hour shift. Even though this cannot be compared to the sacrifice of time he/she employs, a leader should have a knowledge about lleading a workforce, and what it means to work hours as you stated. I have not known one yet as president who had that kind of qualification. I believe that this Is a huge problem for us. (see Jonah77 regarding the STRAT).

      Leadership is complicated because it deals with people, who are complicated. The problem with our present system is for a president to reach out and train, teach, and prepare men and women to take his/her place. This is missing! Why? Because most presidents are scared they will take their jobs and do it better. This is not leadership.


      • Left Behind,

        I am overjoyed that you took my disagreement in the spirit it was given. Well it probably wasn’t even a disagreement.

        It is hard for me to disagree (especially when you quoted me in support of your point…lol) I just think that the training, teaching, and preparing…should happen at the local church level as well. And in general the vast majority of our pastors fail there too..

        For example: The people hate to hear local elders preach in general…largely because they are untrained…Why haven’t the pastors trained them? Why do the local elders turn every prayer or announcement into a preaching opportunity? They have not been trained…

        Show me a church with a group of dedicated local elders who love their pastor and are equipped for ministry and that is a huge statement about the pastors ability as a leader….

        be that as it may, if we ever sat over a cup of Postum we probably would find that we are 99% in agreement…


    • LEFT BEHIND says:

      In your last comment you are right from my obervation. Elders are not professional speakers and often they want to do it their way. It takes effort to try principles taught at a theological seminary. However, they need training so they can do their jobs better. The mark of a good pastor would be to provide this training.

      I don’t really think we disagreed so much as attempting to clarify what I meant. THANK YOU for pointing out the cloudy area. We want to be understood after we understand. So what if we disagree, so far you have helped me to see it from another angle.

      by the way I’m Left Behind


  14. No Limits says:

    Well said Marian.


  15. Marian says:

    SWRC has BEEN managed – not so successfully! We need a leader who knows he is really the undershepherd – he will be led by the Supreme Leader, Jesus Christ. This type of leader will realize he has a responsibility to bring ALL of us along with him – clergy and laity! If he can’t do that, then he is not the person for SWRC!

    It’s time to stop complaining and speak the truth in love on the weekend. State facts, not personalities and allow the Lord to work. I have lived long enough to know sometimes the Lord does not do things in the way of man!

    Please watch the Lord take care of his “enfeebled, defective church” and bring forth His Glory!

    Maranatha! Even so come. Lord Jesus


    • LEFT BEHIND says:

      Unfortunately Marian, most presidents who are elected to be president lack the leadership skills and managerial ability to do a good job. I believe this is a result of what the members across the conference MISS, becasue they are overwhelmed by other skills such as preaching, teachng etc. Most ministers have not spent any time in the real world of punching a clock from 9 and 5.

      Fortunately, the Frat brothers are preparing by getting advanced degrees in the area of leadership. They need to demonstrate their ability by showing that what they have learned and studied work on a local level. They need to show that they can stay in a church long enough to get results. Some are passing these tests and in the future should make great leaders and administrators.

      Because people baptize, are on TV and have successfully pastored does not mean that they are ready to be a conference president. Byrd, an exceptional person, may not necessarily have performed well as a president. WE WON’T KNOW NOW.

      Certainly a person who has had months to think about being president in this territory should have knowN whether he wanted to accept a position as president or not. I believe it to be a case of immaturity on his part.

      The material posted on this blog concerning leadership is very good. We should study these posts so we can understand and ask the right questions about leadership skills a president should have before they get elected.



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