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I hope reading
7 Questions with Miriam Gluyas
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Miriam Gluyas
Name: Miriam Gluyas
Current title: Divisional Commander (NSW/ACT)
Current organisation: The Salvation Army
I was born into an amazing family, who told me that I could do anything and be anything. I was well loved, beautifully cared for, wanted for nothing, and have known Jesus for as long as I can remember. I thought that I would be a professional golfer, and sports teacher, but felt called by God to be a Salvation Army officer. What a journey that has been. I have served in Australia and PNG, had amazing opportunities in all of those places, in church planting, multicultural ministry, youth and children’s ministry, and supporting and resourcing our people. I have seen God do amazing things. I continue to believe that God will grow His church. I am single, love my nieces and nephews - I get to take them to all kinds of exciting places, and am blessed to still have my mum and dad alive. I have lived a blessed life, and continue to live by my mission statement of live (life to the full), love (God, others, self) and make a difference (in someone’s life every day)
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
Being a visionary who loves to see things happen, I am sometimes impatient. Living in PNG for 3 years and seeing the joy of the people, their love for God, and the lack of resources, they know that if God doesn’t come through, probably no-one else will. So, it’s God or nothing.
When I came back to the West, I had a picture of God with His arms folded, saying, “When you’re ready in the West! When you are done with all of your money, and your clever ideas, and consultants etc., I’m here”. And, I knew exactly what He meant.
It can be challenging both personally and as a church leader, to keep the dependence on God, to believe that the Spirit of God will come through, to seek Him first and to keep the focus. And…usually when we do, God comes through, because we do need Him!
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I was on the way to be a professional golfer and sports teacher, and then God clearly said to me that He wanted me to be a minister of the Gospel. It actually wasn’t a big deal. I said yes, entered our training College a few years after that calling, and have never regretted making that decision. I love what God has called me to.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I have always tried to balance my life around the 80/20 rule.
80% of my time is spent on what I am passionate about and 20% on the “have to’s”.
My 5 biggies each day are…SPELT:
Sowing into someone’s life
Learning something new
Being responsible for The Salvation Army’s mission work in NSW/ACT, there is a fair demand on admin, but that is one of my gifts and I have a brilliant EA, so I make sure that doesn’t take the time that I want to give my effort to, which is really, seeing the Kingdom advance, raising up leaders, people of the nations etc. I am creative and structured, and I stick pretty much to what is above, even though no two weeks will look the same.
4. What's one book apart from the Bible that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
I love reading and especially biographies. It would be hard to limit this. I think God always speaks through story and there is something to learn from each person and the journey that they have taken. So, over recent time, I think the stories of Mandela, Michelle Obama, Ruth Bader Ginsburg , Jelena Dokic and even Gary Ablett. All so different and all so powerful.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
I think the big one is “Find my identity in Christ”. It is not found in a title or a position, it is found only in Christ. I had a significant moment in PNG when I had been praying for a few months about whether I should come home to my parents, with my mum having dementia. I was jogging in our compound one day, and God clearly said to me, "Go home to your family, be an apostle of love, and never worry about a title or a position." So, I did. No regrets. Love that!
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
Healthy culture takes time to set. It is easier to develop this in a plant, than to turn it into an established church.
So define it, buy in from the leaders, live it, correct it when it is wrong and keep speaking it up (Good words for Wayne Cordeiro).
Have an eye for leadership, put a 10 on their head, and put everything into them to raise them up. Set the vision with them. God speaks to us all. Find our place in the team and don’t be threatened by one another. Keep the focus. Stay strong spiritually. Have a lot of fun. Make sure family is key.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
I love raising up the next generation, and being a bit of a “potential spotter”. In one church I was leading, we had brilliant young adults. I, along with others mentored these young people, and gave them permission to shine, to try new things, to work in their areas of passion. I watch them now and I am so proud of them. I saw a photo on Facebook a couple of years ago. A young girl graduating from Uni, flanked by 2 young adults that I mention above. The young lady graduating came to us through her mum having a real need. These two young adults loved this young girl, included her, went to her birthdays and significant occasions with her, and saw her come to know Jesus. And, they then had the privilege of seeing her graduate, the first person in her family to do so. Beautiful!
What's one question you'd love to ask other leaders in our audience to generate discussion about leadership? Eg. 'How do you do difficult conversations well?', or 'What's one tip for leading a remote online team?'
In times when people are not so keen to “come to church” what are some ways you are sowing into your people to “be the church” and create new ways of “doing church”.