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Siburt Institute for Church Ministry e-News: May 20, 2015
Reed_Carson.jpg Ed,

I just returned from speaking at an international conference on ethics and leadership held in Leuven, Belgium. Scholars, church leaders and business leaders came from Europe, Africa and Asia. The theme focused on the rapid changes in the way leadership is understood in all kinds of contexts. As the lone North American, I did a little presenting – and a lot of listening!

Let me share a few things that I learned from various parts of the world:

First, practices of leadership require openness and vulnerability. With perhaps the exception of military organizations, contemporary leaders recognize that flexibility, adaptability and paying close attention to others are indispensable factors. With the increased scrutiny that new technology brings, leaders also hold a high standard for integrity and character.  

Second, culturally diverse teams are more adept at problem-solving. Differences in background, culture and expertise are not challenges to be overcome, but assets to be leveraged. What if the task of the leader is more about getting groups of people to work well together rather than always coming up with the answer?

Third, leadership, good or bad, lives out of a particular narrative. A common narrative for leadership practices is that of power: “We will do this because I say so.”  Yet for Christian contexts, leadership emerges from a different narrative, one bound up in the Jesus’ story of relinquishment. As Jesus emptied himself (Phil 2:5ff.), so do leaders. Such a narrative creates an internal compass that guides the leader.

One evening at dinner, I was sitting with the COO of Europe’s largest retail clothing company. As we talked he observed that the Christian faith turns standard leadership practices upside down. As I nodded in agreement, he said, “The deeper I live my faith in my work, the more joy I have in the practice of leadership.” I say “Amen” to that!

May God bless you in your practice of leadership.

ACU Summit 2015!

This year’s Summit will be Sept. 20-23 on the ACU campus. The theme is Same Mind: United in Imitating Jesus. Theme speakers comprise Brady Bryce, Richard Beck, Chris Smith, Amy Bost Henegar, Raymond Carr, Phil Brookman and Mike Cope, each speaking from the book of Philippians. In addition to the theme speakers, more than 100 class sessions will address topics and issues related to culture, ministry, missions, worship, spiritual formation and congregational leadership.   

Harriston X.jpg

The Summit team is excited to highlight a two-part class titled “What Will the Universal Body of Christ Look Like in the Next 25 Years?” Dr. Andrew Hairston (right), minister of Simpson Street Church of Christ in Atlanta, Ga., will join Dr. Royce Money, ACU chancellor, for conversation about racial reconciliation. Dr. Hairston has often been called to lead in improving race relations in Churches of Christ – beginning with a conference on race relations in 1968 hosted by the Simpson Street congregation. He continued his efforts through the years and in 1999 he was one of the leaders at the "One-in-Christ Conference," convened at ACU by Dr. Money.  

Dr. Hairston has preached for more than 60 years and holds a J.D. and Master of Law degrees from John Marshall University, a Doctor of Ministry degree from Emory University, and a Master of Judicial Studies Degree from the University of Nevada at Reno. The exchange between Drs. Hairston and Money will seek to offer insights from the past while emphasizing the future.

We hope to see you in the crowd for this and many other engaging conversations. The event is free, but you'll need to register online at to reserve your spot.

2015 Ministers Salary Survey Results Now Online

The results of the 2015 Ministers Salary Survey have been compiled and are now available online. This nationwide survey, an ongoing service of the Siburt Institute, gathers information about current compensation levels for ministers in Churches of Christ. The survey 
compares minister compensation packages, including allowances and benefits, 
as well as provides information on the number of years in ministry, educational background
, experience and various other factors.

Thank  you very much to all who participated in the 2015 survey. If you would like to participate in the 2016 survey, please complete this brief online form. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to email us at
Full Week Ahead in Abilene!

The Abilene Racial Unity Leadership Summit will take place June 1-3, convened by Dr. Jerry Taylor, associate professor at ACU and a highly sought-after speaker devoted to the pursuit of racial harmony in the body of Christ. Dr. Taylor has invited presenters from across the United States, as well as a Christian couple from South Africa, to explore this important matter. Morning and afternoon sessions will be held at Highland Church of Christ (425 Highland Ave., Abilene), while a special Tuesday evening event will take place on ACU’s campus.  There’s no charge for the Abilene summit; however, everyone is asked to register.  To learn more about the summit, listen to Dr. Taylor’s recent presentation at the Pepperdine Bible Lectures (Audio Podcast #187).

After the summit concludes, the Christian Scholars’ Conference (CSC) will start June 3 and go through June 6. Within the wide array of presentations based on the theme, “One World: Remapping Culture, Trade, Information and Faith,” several offerings will tie in closely with the Racial Unity Leadership Summit. For more information and to register for the Christian Scholars’ Conference, visit the CSC website.  
Mark Your Calendars
“When we make commitments, the world assumes that we have thought them through, that we are not just running our mouths. For a commitment is not merely a statement, an exercise of the faculty of speech; it is quintessentially an act, and one on which others rely.” – Stephen L. Carter, Integrity
“Integrity is the basis of trust, which is not as much an ingredient of leadership as it is a product. It is the one quality that cannot be acquired, but must be earned. It is given by ... followers, and without it, the leader can’t function.” – Warren Bennis, On Becoming a Leader
The mission of the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry
is to promote constructive and collaborative relationships
between churches and Abilene Christian University.
For more information on the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry, visit us at contact Curtis King, coordinator, by email at or by phone at 325-674-3722 or 877-831-5413. 
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