Name: Ken Howard
Title: Executive Director
Organisation: The FaithX Project
A Jesus follower of Jewish origins and an ordained faith leader for 30 years, Ken founded The FaithX Project in 2016 to help congregation survive and thrive in challenging times through data-grounded missional assessment and planning.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Ken's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Having drive without being driven.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I did not set out to be a leader, yet in every situation I found myself helping diverse groups of people from find a common vision and the motivation to pursue it together.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Whenever possible I try to prioritize my activities according to importance and urgency, then order them accordingly: first, those things that are both important and urgent; second, Important but not urgent; third, urgent but not important; and finally, if at all, neither urgent nor important. Also, when possible, I try to allow for periods of quiet, prayerful discernment at the beginning and end of the day, and prior to each major task.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Most Important Now: always try to do what is most important now.
5. What's one book 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?
Writing my own book (Paradoxy: Creating Christian Community Beyond Us and Them), because it required me to synthesize information from more than 100 different books: scripture, theology, religious history, quantum physics, and more.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Ground your discernment in data.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
When I am working with congregational leaders to study the demographics and psychographics of the neighborhoods they serve so that they can better serve them, we encounter what I call the “holy crap moment,” when they learn of a population segment in their neighborhoods of which they were entirely unaware. I one case a leader became aware of a thousand millennials living in the neighborhood across the street from the congregation. A leader in a different congregation discovered a large population of Latinos living in neighborhood of which they were unaware. This teaches them (and me) that learning about your neighborhoods cannot be accomplished by osmosis (passively). It requires starting with population data, making hypotheses, then going out into the neighborhoods and talking with those who live and work there.