Category Archives: Quotes

Where are they now? – Andy

andy's blog header

Andy, a 2012 Tempo participant, now teaches in a primary school in Northern Ireland.

What are you doing and why are you doing it? 

Andy: I am currently teaching in a primary school as a key stage 2 learning support teacher for a class of eight children with moderate learning difficulties. I have always been passionate about working with children and young people on the fringes and this job gives me the opportunity to do that daily. It is incredibly challenging at times, but the rewards outweigh the struggle!

What impact has Tempo had on your work and/or life? What have you put into practice from the Tempo content? What has stuck with you since the training?

Andy: Tempo gave me the opportunity to develop my leadership abilities and organisation skills. As a teacher, I now am responsible for casting a vision in my planning and preparation for the year. I also need to delegate constantly, working with and managing additional classroom and learning support. These were all skills I learnt over the course of the Tempo programme.

How can we and others be praying for you?

Andy: Pray for me as I seek to continually learn from others on my journey as a teacher. There is so much still to learn and I make mistakes daily, yet, with reflection and planning I know I can stretch and challenge myself to be the best leader and role model for the children in my classroom.

Where Are They Now? – Emma

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Emma, a 2014 Tempo participant, now works as the School Chaplain to Wilson’s Hospital Boarding School and Diocesan Youth and Children’s Officer in the Church of Ireland Dioceses of Meath and Kildare.

What are you doing and why are you doing it? 

Emma: I’m currently working in dual roles as School Chaplain to Wilson’s Hospital Boarding School and Diocesan Youth and Children’s Officer in the Church of Ireland Dioceses of Meath and Kildare.  At the time of Tempo I was a secondary school teacher and I’ve moved into these roles for a couple of reasons.  I became more convinced that I wanted to be involved in youth and school’s work, but in a more unconventional role than teaching.  I felt very restricted by the Irish examination system and since I can’t single-handedly bring it down, my new role allows me to a bit more creative in how I come alongside pupils as they navigate these difficult years.  Another reason I went for this job was that I was curious to see how I would get on working in a more explicitly “Christian” job where I could be a bit more straightforward in conversations about faith and letting people know they are loved.  The main reason was that, in spite of myself, I knew I was being called into the roles as I came from a rural Church of Ireland and Boarding School background and I knew I would be able to “speak the language” and hopefully be of some use in building the Kingdom in that context.

What impact has Tempo had on your work and/or life? 

Emma: Tempo provided inspiration and direction at a time when I was really in doubt about what I was doing with my life professionally.  The single most important question I have ever been asked professionally was at the centre of the Tempo experience: how would your context look different if the Kingdom of God came?  That reflective question was the catalyst for so much of the activity I began in my last year as a teacher in a secondary school. At the time I was heartbroken when, during the Tempo course, it became clear my time at the school was coming to an end (career break cover that had always been uncertain).  Looking back now I see that a great future was around the corner and that in the meantime I lived so much more confidently, meaningfully and faithfully because of the dreams and plans that the Tempo course caused me to put into action in work.  Even though some of the projects never had a chance to develop into what I had dreamed, the experience I gained by starting them, and the relationships that I built because of those “start ups” were so invaluable – both personally and professionally in my new roles.  I know I would have stayed in the comfortable rut that year if I hadn’t had the input from the course and the encouragement and accountability of the other participants on Tempo.  Tempo also linked me in with the work of Innovista in general and I really benefitted from their Leading for Life event as a kind of top up of inspiration after Tempo had been done for a while.

What have you put into practice from the Tempo content? What has stuck with you since the training?

Emma: Listening to your context was an important principle that has been useful in the move to a new part of Ireland and a new job.  I’ve been navigating the difficult terrain of trying to pitch in to “the way we do things round here” and at the same time, injecting some energy and new perspectives, so the listening piece has been great to help me do that more sensitively.  I do struggle with throwing myself into different opportunities as they arise, but I constantly have the Tempo lessons about vision and strategy floating around the back of my mind.  That knowledge has been making me really determined to set aside some time to think about the bigger picture and think more long-term.

How can we and others be praying for you?

Emma: In terms of prayer my biggest problem is definitely that the jobs can be all-consuming, because they require so much creativity and energy.  This coupled with the fact that I can become a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to a project I care about, is a bit of a recipe for fatigue and losing your sense of purpose.  I am always happy to be prayed for about discipline, forming healthy routines, taking space to spend time with God and remember what it’s all about!

Leading for Life 2015

Leading for Life 2015 blog pic

Three weeks ago we were in a church in Berlin, Germany with 78 young leaders from 8 different European countries. As an Innovista team, we are still in awe of the service, dedication, and drive these leaders have to see their communities changed by and for Jesus.

As we look back on our time together in Berlin, we remember what was said. This year’s theme was ‘Unconditional‘ which focused on the fact that when we know we are loved (unconditionally by God), we are free to truly lead. Remembering some of the quotes from the speakers helps summarise and pin point the amazing moments of the 3 days of training.

Here are some of our favourites:10869819_877071632386769_8336061919075376624_o

with Charlie Hadjiev

  • “God simply loves us because we belong to him.”
  • “A love that requires a response.”

The Surprising Practices of Servant Leaders 11924354_877071765720089_5676075165359071676_owith Jason Lane

  • “Dealing with pain with lament moves us away from resentment and revenge towards peace-making.”
  • “Shouting at God, is a statement of faith.” (on rediscovering lament)
  • 3 practices of servant leaders: Nurture Feedback, Ask for help, and Lament
  • “Not asking for help steals the opportunity from others to make their best contribution”
  • “Not asking for help denies others the opportunity to grow.”
  • “3 questions to ask those you’re leading:
    • 1. How do you experience me?
    • 2. What do I do well?
    • 3. What can I do better?”
  • “Feedback matters because it’s helps us to see clearly.”
  • “Nurture a feedback culture! It enables you to see ways to improve and not to break or hit those you lead.”
  • “We are greatly loved. We don’t have to pretend we have it all together”

Leading to Lose Control with Jason Lane

  • “We can do more together than we can alone so build partnerships!”
  • “Partner in mission – We need to work together for the sake of our communities.”
  • “Let’s focus on building the Kingdom, not on building our tribe.”
  • “You can’t make something grow but if you plant a seed and water it you’ve got a better chance of seeing growth.”
  • “Question: Which comes first? Mission or Discipleship? Answer: Yes”

Building Strengths-Based Teams with Insur 11888162_877069919053607_6667220901328757830_oShamgunov

  • “Paul says we are all part of the body. God gives different gifts to different people. Playing to our strengths is not new!”
  • “What does a strong team include? Strategic thinkers, Influencers, Relationship builders, and people who will execute.”
  • “How can you be more intentional about using one or more of your top 5 strengths to attack your biggest challenge?”
  • “Burnout is not about the number of hours we spend at work, but it’s about what we do at work.”
  • “We think that if we focus on our weaknesses, we can become great people. We’re wrong.”
  • “Focusing on weaknesses prevents failure. Focusing on strengths leads to success.”
  • “Our biggest potential for growth, is in the area of our strengths, NOT our weaknesses.”

11927459_877072819053317_6700263477040623037_oDare to Ask with Rachel Gardner

Immeasurably More with Rachel Gardner

  • “What if God is the immeasurably more God who we say he is? How could he work through us if we let him?”
  • “Stepping In: make yourself available to the Spirit.”
  • “Stepping Up: pursue a bigger revelation of God.”
  •  “Stepping Out: dare to imagine that God can do immeasurably more.”
  • “As leaders, are we reading the Bible just to prepare for our next talk, or are we expecting Jesus to reveal himself to us?”
  • “Whether leading in the media, the church, or fighting trafficking, we know that Jesus is our hope.”
  • “Sending our ‘what if’ prayers up and lifting our expectations of God.” –Sarah Lawrence (participant)
  • “Forgive us for our when the way we expect things to be done becomes the limit on what we allow you to do.”

neil and david

Leading Others Into Life with Neil Young

  • “Focus on Jesus’ presence, not your preference.”
  • “So let your structures be fluid, fast, and flexible.”
  • “The bigger something gets, the slower it often gets.” (on the challenges of leading mission growth)
  • “Expand the vision. Narrow your focus”

For more quotes check out the hashtag #LeadingForLife

Check out all the photos from Leading for Life 2015 here.

For more about Leading for Life, visit the website.

Quote of the day

I see now that there is a difference between being good at leading and being a good leader

Participant in a training session today. From a discussion on what is leadership and what makes good leaders. For example, what was the difference between Hitler who in many ways was an effective leader versus Martin Luther King who was a ‘good’ leader in terms of seeking the good of those he led?

Good strategy almost always looks simple and obvious and does not take a thick deck of Powerpoint slides to explain.

It does not pop out of some “strategic management” tool matrix, chart, triangle, or fill in the blanks scheme.

Instead, a talented leader identifies the one or two critical issues in the situation – the pivot points that can multiply the effectiveness of the effort – and then focuses and concentrates action and resources on them.

Richard Rumelt


“You will often find that people who are most effective are those who have taken the long route to leadership. They are often in the background as youngsters. You often find that the people sitting in the back row [of the college debating society] listening are running the country 30 years later”

Brian Maurer

Interesting perspective on Irish leadership, and one I’ve heard before. Does this mean that it is more difficult for young leaders in Ireland to be heard/respected?

From Leadership in Ireland: Insights from Contemporary Irish Leaders in the Public, Private and Voluntary Sectors ""which I happened upon in the local library.

Post to follow next week.