mgpcpastor's blog


Leave a comment

“A System Of Perfectionist Teenage Girls”

This article in Melbourne’s Age newspaper caught my eye.
It’s an interview with Claire Shipman and Katty Kay authors of a book called The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance – What Women Should Know.
Part of the article deals with what they describe as a “system we’ve all set up is one that creates this army of young girl perfectionists.”
The rationale behind it is explained in these terms:

Not surprisingly, it’s a mix of nature and nurture. It does seem that girls’ and boys’ brains develop a little differently. Girls, especially at puberty, start to really have much higher emotional intelligence than boys. They did before, but this is the time they double down. It leads girls to be more cautious, and boys don’t have that. Boys get a big boost of testosterone, stuff that encourages risk-taking. You build confidence by taking risks and struggling and failing and eventually mastering something. You need to be taking action to build confidence. But the system we’ve all set up is one that creates this army of young girl perfectionists.
From preschool through university, it’s all about sitting still, colouring within the lines, doing more than expected, trying to please teacher. So they don’t take risks, fail, mess up. There’s this whole conversation about boys struggling academically. But that means in the real world they know what to do. They’re learning lessons about taking risks, so they’re more ready to try something.
We were really struck by this idea of how is this happening with young women. They are outperforming boys academically. Then they enter the work world, and their confidence plummets. They’re just not learning it’s okay to take risks and fail.

The takeaway is setting up mechanisms for encouraging both girls and boys to learn from failure.

Read the interview here.


Leave a comment

Twelve Principles For Change In The Established Church (via Sam Rainer)

These twelve principles for guiding established churches through change by Sam Rainer make sense.
Since every healthy established church is continually changing through growth, these need to be observed everywhere.
In my observations, three, five, eight and ten are consistent areas of stumbling in fostering change.

If we believe in the body of Christ, then ministry leaders must be change agents. Leaders quickly understand what needs to change, but the how of change is just as important. I’ve been guilty of rushing the what of change without taking time to consider how change should happen. Below are twelve principles to help ministry leaders understand how change needs to occur.

  1. Begin with prayer. If you don’t pray through change, then you will rely on your abilities instead of God’s sovereignty. Change without prayer is dangerous and foolish.
  2. Love people more than change. Loving change more than people is not leadership. It’s selfishness.
  3. Choose your battles. Everything may need to change. But if you want to change everything all at once, then you demonstrate two undesirable leadership traits: Unwillingness to compromise and an inability to prioritize.
  4. Admit your mistakes. No one changes everything perfectly. Don’t pretend like you’ve got it all figured out. No one would believe you anyway.
  5. Affirm traditions. Not everything in the past is bad. Speak positively of past traditions that still work.
  6. Build on successes. Give credit to others for successes. Take personal responsibility for failures.
  7. Allow for open discussion. Do not withhold information. Give people time to digest your proposals. Let the people have a voice.
  8. Be wise in timing. Change can be emotional for people. Create buffers. Keep a long-term perspective.
  9. Stay focused. When change needs to happen, don’t let distractions derail you.
  10. Allow for a trial period. Change-resistant members can be comforted that the intrusion into their comfort zone may not be permanent. At the end of a trial period (I recommend one year), one of three decisions can be made. Extend the trial period. Reverse the change. Make the change permanent. In most established churches, after something has been going a year, most will say, “It’s the way we’ve always done it.”
  11. Expect opposition. Some people will never be pleased. Some will initially push back. Work with those who are willing to listen. Pray for and love those who never listen.
  12. Evaluate change. Not every change is good. Not every change will work. Be willing to admit it and move forward with new ideas.

All growing, healthy churches change. Every new person added to the body is a change. Great churches change. Great leaders know how to lead the change.
source