All posts in leadership

My Favorite Sermon Preparation Software

A friend recently asked me to do a post about the Bible study software or sermon resources I use. Here’s a quick snapshot of that part of my world, for what it’s worth. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do benefit from posts like this written by others. Maybe I’ll share…

Top

Five Reasons to Come to Idea Day!

Culture is a moving target. The gospel is not. Connecting the gospel to lost culture is a challenge that requires continual growth in grace and understanding. Are you a learner? Me too! I love to learn from others! Every chance I get, I spend time with other pastors—older, younger; larger churches, smaller churches; longer tenure,…

Top

The Value of Good Break

As I write this, our family has just returned from two cherished weeks of vacation. I’m speaking to a group of pastors and their families, not far from home, but reflecting on our family time together. Word associations from our trip—Solitude. Rest. Family. Laughter. Reading. Photos. Sand. Silly games. Quiet mornings. Golf. Sunsets. Thunderstorms. Shopping. Twins….

Top

The Anatomy of a Great Decision

What do you do when the euphoria of a great decision suddenly vanishes? The journey between sowing a great decision and reaping a great outcome is more difficult than we expect. Last year I planted some peach trees in my back yard. Why? Because I’m crazy about peaches. But peaches aren’t instant. In fact, peaches…

Top

What the Long-Termers Get Right!

Have you considered the contrast between ministry that is impressive in the short-term vs. ministry that is effective in the long-term? What values possess the “long-termers?” What do they get right? This week I crossed the twenty-five-year mark of ministry—but I still feel like a beginner. Almost incessantly, I contemplate and attempt to learn from the…

Top

What I Appreciated about Spiritual Leadership Conference

The past few days, I had the privilege to attend the Spiritual Leadership Conference in Lancaster, CA. It was good to be back at LBC and to reconnect with so many people that we dearly love! Our hearts are full from the encouragement of seeing and fellowshipping with so many wonderful friends from CA and…

Top

The Life Story of Don Sisk—Now Available!

About ten years ago, Don Sisk and I first had a conversation about publishing his biography. At the first mention, in his typical humility, he laughed out-loud and said, “I seriously doubt anybody would want to read it.” About a year later, Dr. Sisk asked, “If we were to do that biography, would you be willing to…

Top

Family Traditions that We Cherish Today!

Families that PLAY together STAY together! I’m going to admit up front, this post is not my most spiritual, but it may be one of the most valuable and practical. Our “little kid” family years flew by like they strapped on a jet-pack! Much faster than I would have ever anticipated, and at a ridiculously…

Top

How Healthy Pastors Build Balanced Weeks

A guy jumped off a ten-story building because he wanted to fly by flapping his arms. As he passed by, somebody on the fifth floor asked him how it was going. He said “so far so good!” Nobody wants to be that guy! Too many have gone “splat.” In an effort to avoid this, I’m addicted to…

Top

Five Great Books for Productivity

Are you striving to live a balanced life of good stewardship? Several times a month I’m asked “what are the best books on time or life management that you have read?” So here they are. Please note: this list is not a full endorsement of these writers or of everything these books contain. This is simply a great body…

Top

Five Reasons NOT to Overwork

Are you prone to working too much? Many are. Let’s face it—our present culture REWARDS overwork! And many ministry cultures reward overwork. Our identities crave significance and importance—so overworking temporarily salves our longing for meaning and the feeling of importance. Our bank accounts scream for more—so overworking provides additional living and operating funds. Our employers…

Top

11 Ways I’m Trying to Grow in Bible Communication

Every Saturday I imagine how difficult it must be for regular attenders of my church to have to sit through another couple hours of hearing my voice again. It makes me both nervous, and cautious. It makes me review my entire message looking for things that need to “go.” It makes me critically listen to…

Top

A Standing Ovation to Younger Leaders!

The past three days, I have been privileged to spend time at a marriage retreat led by young pastors and relatively new churches. Call them younger leaders, millennials, generation whatever—the labels are irrelevant. What I marvel at is the moving of God’s Holy Spirit through these godly pastors and their kind! I hope I encouraged…

Top

Guest Post: Qualities of a Healthy Church Team

By Josue Ortiz A Guest Post—The following post is from a friend of mine, from whom I have learned much. Josue Ortiz and his wife Bekah are currently on deputation to plant churches in Mexico. They are heading to the field very soon. I met Josue a couple of years ago, and my respect for…

Top

When Voices Say “Don’t Think!”

(Note: The context of this post is in regard to reading Christian writing and material related to understanding God’s Word as well as the thinking of the world around us. It is not in reference to fiction, entertainment, and other reading contexts.) I have two adopted Cambodian brothers. Their family escaped communist genocide in Cambodia…

Top

The Dangers of Lording Leadership

What Lording Over God’s Heritage Looks Like? Bad leadership can be found in any organization or institution. It can be found in secular or religious groups. It can be found in families or corporations. Abuse of power and people is nothing new, but in Christian ministry it is especially hurtful and ugly. When it comes…

Top

3 Simple Pastoral Priorities

I wrote this blog post two years ago, but never published it. Recently, a friend encouraged me to publish it regardless of my hesitations. I’ve rewritten it six times, so here goes. Twenty-nine months ago, I became the ninth pastor (in the past 30 years) of Emmanuel Baptist Church. God thrust our lives together by…

Top

Repost: Qualities of Unjust Criticism

Anyone who serves the Lord is going to face criticism. Some of it just. Some of it unjust. Just criticism is helpful, coming from a loving friend, handled personally, and can produce great strides of growth and maturity in your life. It flows between healthy relationships where hearts are like iron sharpening iron. No criticism…

Top

Escaping Bad Motivations, Embracing the Best One!

(Note: I apologize that this is a longer post than normal—I hope you will read its entirety.) Motives matter. There are really great reasons to do right, and really bad reasons. Right is still right, but if you aren’t driven by right motives, you’re on a collision course as a Christian. And if you aren’t…

Top

8 Priorities that Will Transform Your New Year

Psalms 90:12 “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” The new year offers us a new opportunity to look forward, put the past behind, and chart the course anew. It’s a fresh start. Last year is in the books. There’s nothing we can do to change it….

Top
1 2 3 7 Page 1 of 7

[email protected]

Thank you for reading Encouraging Words!