All posts in leadership

14 Qualities of Toxic Leadership

Leadership is hard, and biblical leadership calls for gospel maturity more than many leadership roles. I’ve been exposed to many Christ-like and some toxic leaders. The road of toxic leadership is a bad one. The stories don’t end well for either the leader or those he leads. Eventually, the leader implodes; and those he led…

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How to Down-Size Your Problems

“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12) Have you felt overwhelmed by problems you can’t solve? Have you struggled to find solutions to issues you can’t wrap your brain around? Have you been crushed by…

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Remember and Pray—Reagan On Memorial Day

On May 26, 1986, President Ronald Reagan shared these stories: “Here in Arlington rests a sharecropper’s son who became a hero to a lonely people. Joe Louis came from nowhere, but he knew how to fight. And he galvanized a nation in the days after Pearl Harbor when he put on the uniform of his…

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How Leaders Can Foster Resentment

If you are a leader, you’re probably not planning to foster resentment or to hurt people. But you might be on a road that leads there, and not know it. May I begin with this quantifier: resentment is always a bad choice and never justified. Those who become resentful are making a choice to respond wrongfully. Never-the-less, do…

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My Non-Endorsement, Election-Season Gut-Check

(Note: You will not find an endorsement, a political agenda, or any mention of current politicians in this post. This is purely a biblically objective “gut-check” to challenge our thinking and encourage our hearts, lest we lose our minds and emotional sense amidst the constant flurry of election-season opinions. This is probably more for myself than…

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Make Meetings Great Again!

Ministry involves a lot of meetings. We meet for church, for fellowship, for planning, for relationships, for outreach, for discipleship. We meet with church family, with staff, with guests. We meet for lots of reasons and in lots of contexts. How are your meetings? Do people want to attend? Are they well done? Well planned?…

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Hope for Our Hurt

Nearly every Christian I meet has been hurt on some level in some context, and many have been hurt in spiritual contexts—environments and relationships that promised to be a haven from hurt. Hurt is not the exception, hurt is the norm. Everyone has a story of someone who hurt them at some point, or many…

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Help Your Graduates Prepare for the Future

A Tool to Help High School Grads Understand Their Own Hearts and Direction This is a repost that I pray will spur some ideas related to your teenage graduates as they chart their course forward. I want to encourage those who work with students to have a “senior appointment.” We have sit down appointments each…

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The New Year Plan that Trumps All Others!

The Single Greatest Value for an Effective New Year Six years ago this week (2010), Dana and I were driving home from my chemotherapy appointment, listening to Christmas music. We were still recalibrating our lives and emotions to the seeming “invasion” of life-threatening illness. I was feeling sick, she was being supportive, but generally life was…

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Brand vs. Belief

Are You Perpetuating a Brand or Passing Forward Belief? What is your cause? What is your flag? What are you passionate about advancing? If it’s less than Bible truth, then perhaps it’s a “brand.” Belief is greater than brand. The perpetuation of biblical truth is far more critical than the perpetuation of a brand. And…

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Take-Aways from Idea Day!

Idea Day East is now history, and what a FANTASTIC day is was! It was a privilege to welcome about 100 Bible-believing, good-spirited pastors (and some of their wives) for a full day of fellowship and idea sharing. Together we spent eight hours covering six broad topics of church ministry—Evangelism, Media, Financial Stewardship, Ministry Growth…

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Tips for Enjoying Idea Day East!

In two days, EBC will welcome a group of pastors from around the country who are coming together for a single day of fellowship and encouragement. If you are planning to attend, I wanted to share some information for making the most of the day. If you are not attending, please join our church family in praying…

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Life Lessons from 25 Years…

Twenty-five years ago, Dana and I were newly-weds starting out in ministry. Looking back, the time has evaporated, our family has grown, and God has given us more ministry joys and challenges than we could have ever imagined. I’m grateful to be married to Dana and to take this adventure with her. So here’s a…

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What’s Worse than Falling Behind?

Several weeks ago, I walked into the office after a morning of study. Our pastoral staff men were finishing up a meeting in the conference room. I poked my head in and said with an exasperating sigh, “I feel SO behind!” The statement immediately struck two nerves—first the one in front of me. The faces…

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Why Spiritual Leaders Should Care about Criticism

Have you ever considered the value of helpful criticism? Have you ever known someone, who from your perspective, was too sensitive to criticism? I’ve been on both ends of this spectrum. At times, I’ve been the one criticized, and others thought I was too sensitive. At other times, I’ve seen friends criticized and thought they…

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Compromise, Liberal, Emergent, Repentance…

Some Thoughts on Important Words Like: Compromise, Liberal, Emergent, and Repentance. A friend in my church recently asked me “Pastor, what’s an emergent church?” It was a delight to answer him biblically and provide him with several good books I had read on the subject, in hopes to built his discernment and love of truth. That…

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What Christians Can Learn from Piranhas

When your Christian journey is complete and your ministry on earth comes to a close, what will you leave in regards to your relationships? Will you have spent more time building up or tearing down? Edifying or demonizing? Encouraging or discouraging? God’s Word warns us repeatedly about devouring each other, but it’s too easy to fall…

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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…

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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,…

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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….

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