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When Going Backwards is a Good Idea By Alec Hill

In Praise of Strategic Retreats Shortly after the American Revolutionary War began, General George Washington faced a dilemma of epic proportions. He had to decide whether his 10,000 troops should stand and fight 32,000 British soldiers in New York City. If he left the battlefield, he might be viewed as a weak leader. The Continental…

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The Accidental Mentor By Alec Hill

Five Lessons Learned by Becoming a Mentor The path to becoming a mentor can be accidental. In 2016, I faced a challenging situation. Following a bone marrow transplant, my long-term disability benefits were running out. Given my illness, I still needed six more months of living in quasi-isolation and could not return to the job…

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Is Strategic Planning Bad? By Alec Hill

Strategic Planning: The Pros and Cons I recently had the privilege of interviewing an old friend, Roger Parrott, on a Wheaton College podcast, specifically on the topic of strategic planning. The focus? Why ministries ought not to engage in traditional strategic planning. In his new book – Opportunity Leadership: Stop Planning and Start Getting Results,…

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Different Perspectives on Time By Alec Hill

Each Generation Views Time Differently Most young adults see the future and time as having a long trajectory. Looking ahead to a seemingly endless time horizon, they prize having novel experiences, meeting new people, and learning new things. Priorities include exploration and achievement. By contrast, those of us who are older tend to live more…

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Understanding Post-Traumatic Growth By Alec Hill

The Beautiful Truth About Post-Traumatic Growth   There is a beautiful truth about post-traumatic growth that might be easy for many to miss. A decade after the Vietnam War, a Yale University research team interviewed American pilots who had been prisoners of war. Despite horrific conditions, 61% reported that they had actually benefited from their…

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Wonder By Alec Hill

We all need wonder in our lives. Wonder makes us gasp, causing us to say, “oh my.” It may be experienced while walking on a shoreline, watching a newborn enter the world, or listening to incredible music.   As ministry leaders, we sense wonder when our mission is fleshed out before our eyes. This may…

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Downsides of Moral Convictions By Alec Hill

Moral Convictions Drive Behaviors Moral convictions are good. They drive us to feed the hungry, evangelize the lost, protect children, and correct past wrongs. This is particularly true when we sense God’s call. The apostle Paul spoke of being “compelled” to share the good news. Martin Luther King Jr. felt that he had no choice…

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To Conceal or Disclose By Alec Hill

Conceal or Disclose: When Keeping a Secret Can Be Good or Bad It takes wisdom to discern the right time to conceal or disclose sensitive information. When I became InterVarsity’s president, my intent was to be fully transparent. No secrets. But overtime, I began to rethink my approach. I came to see that some secrets…

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Creating a Sabbath Culture By Alec Hill

Five Practical Ways to Create a Sabbath Culture Creating a Sabbath culture leads to transformation. When I joined InterVarsity, I was overwhelmed by the piety of my fellow staff. They prayed diligently, studied scripture fervently, and took solitude retreats regularly. But there was one area that was seriously amiss – an almost cavalier disregard of…

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Ministry Bullies By Alec Hill

The Reality of Encountering Bullies in Ministry Recently, I drafted a list of bullies whom I’ve known over the years. Schoolyard ruffians were easy to recall. They were usually big, not-so-bright, and angry at the world. Workplace bullies came next. Generally more intelligent and subtle, they used psychological and emotional intimidation rather than fists. Webster…

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