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Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if your life depended on it by Chris Voss, FBI.
What does a terrorist hostage negotiator for the FBI have in common with a Reformed Baptist pastor? As it turns out, way more than I imagined.
Church - Stand-offs - Congregation - FBI - Experience
I’m not saying my church is any more fraught with life-and-death stand-offs than the average congregation. But I was intrigued by how closely insights from the FBI’s experience and Harvard Business School’s research presented in this book matched the seminary training I received in biblical counseling.
Pastors, like FBI agents, move in the world of tense relationships, camouflaged motives, prickly personalities, and charged emotions. Eruptive conflict is a pastor’s bailiwick. Who among us hasn’t had to talk a disgruntled organist down from her posturing threat to withdraw from the Christmas concert? We’ve all had to lobby an exasperated Sunday School teacher for mercy on behalf of an unruly kid and his embarrassed parents.
Week - Minister - Band - Leader - Drummer
One week the minister is mediating between a conservative band leader and an overly energetic drummer, the next he’s curating a hymn selection that is equally acceptable to millennials and octogenarians, and in his spare time he defuses an explosive power struggle on the missions committee, while refereeing a bitter bun fight between a volatile Euodia and a touchy Syntyche.
Pastors could teach at Quantico.
Volume - Paul - Tripp - Deepak - Reju
To be clear: there is little to glean from this volume that you wouldn’t learn from reading Paul Tripp, Deepak Reju, or the Book of Proverbs. But I found it entertaining and truly helpful to see Solomonic common sense being employed in a context alien to church life. To me, the high stakes negotiation roundtable is an exotic environment. But it is precisely this novel perspective that brought out new hues of implementation of the principles I use all the time in ministry.
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