All posts in leadership

3 Emotions that Oppress Difference-Making Christians

Do you ever feel overwhelmed as a spiritual leader or growing Christian? Do you ever wonder if you’re making any real difference? Do you battle with feelings of failure, impatience, and awkwardness? Read on… I recently read a fantastic book entitled “Prophetic Untimeliness” by Os Guinness. It’s a small book of incredible depth. (As a…

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If Following God Scares You…

Twenty-six months ago our family began serving the Emmanuel Baptist Church, in answer to God’s call. We were scared to death! Truly, this was the most fearful, most difficult, and yet most exciting thing God ever unfolded in our lives. One reason I write about this journey is that God has taught us much through…

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The Land Between Frenzy and Apathy

A rubber-band was designed to be stretched. Yet every rubber-band has a limit—a red-zone of danger and breakage. So long as you stretch a rubber-band within its safe-zone, you’re good. But cross into that red-zone, and breaking the rubber-band is only a matter of time. When rubber-bands break they become unusable for their intended purpose, not to mention the…

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The Power of Solitude with God

Flourishing through Solitude with God Have you watched any news lately? It’s numbing isn’t it? Is it possible to flourish in a world that is truly floundering? Is it possible to abound with joy in a world that is abounding with chaos and confusion? The Psalmist in Psalm 92 believes so. “The righteous shall flourish…

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No Generation Gap!—What I Learned from Don Sisk

Dr. Don Sisk just spent two days with me and our church family. For many years, my office was about six feet from his office, so we talked and visited often. I have missed him. Few people have had as profound an impact on my life as this godly man. These past two days, he preached…

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6 Simple Words to Navigate God’s Call

Are you facing the possibility of a call to ministry? Or a call to the pastorate? Are you wrestling with God at the depths of your soul? Entering the ministry or the pastorate is not a light thing, and discerning that call and its implications can be a gut wrenching process. It was for me….

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15 Encouraging Thoughts for New Pastors

Last week, and young pastor who is about to transition to New England wrote to me asking for advice. This post is simply the first random fifteen thoughts that came to mind when looking back on my own transition. I’m admittedly NO expert! I’m still limping my way along, trying to be faithful in all…

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Six Steps to Kill a Church

I recently came across a powerful quote from an 18th century English pastor named Job Orton. Ironically, he wrote to the ministers of his day about doctrinal compromise. The struggles of churches nearly 300 years ago are the struggles of churches today. Read what he says: “I have long since found (and every year that…

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The Church I Dream of Pastoring

Joy and optimism ought to characterize every Christian and every church family. The fact is, a lot of Christians are miserable and they show it—they project it. Their lack of joy is like a giant negative billboard for Jesus, the gospel and His church. The same could be said for many churches—they radiate defeat, judgmentalism,…

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Understanding Anointing…

Do you ever feel called to responsibilities that are BIGGER than you? Do you ever cry out to God, “I can’t do this!” You’re not alone! Think Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others. Much of my Christian life I’ve heard the word “anointing” presented in public contexts. Few Biblical words are so skewed and misappropriated than…

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How God Revives a Dying Church

Recently, I fellowshipped with a missionary couple who served for more than 40 years on the foreign field. A huge portion of their focus, for many years in the UK, was to help restore dying churches. In post-Christian America, in this and coming generations, we must not only plant churches—we MUST see older churches renewed…

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The Crisis of God’s Call

Examining the Disruptive Call of God… Not long ago a young ministry leader facing a clear call wrote to me and asked about dealing with the painful reality when God’s call collides with everyone and everything you love and have given your life to. He is being called to leave people he dearly loves and…

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15 Reasons Spiritual Leaders Should Rest

Ministry doesn’t stop—EVER. When do the needs of people “clock out?” When does opportunity to witness “pause?” When do emergencies take a “break?” When are all the church members fully discipled? It doesn’t happen. Therefore, there are only two ways to find durability and sustainability in ministry. The first is to be Superman. (Notice I…

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Are You a Spiritual Leader or Fleshly Leader?

Several years ago, I had a conversation with a wonderful servant of God who has worked for several “high-profile” Christian leaders in the past two decades. This is a person for whom I have the utmost respect—an individual with a very gracious spirit, incredible gift mix, and true servant’s heart. And this is a person…

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A Story of Guardians and Innovators

I was wonderfully surprised and grateful for the overwhelming positive response to Thursday’s post about Millennials. I believe understanding these generalizations is critical to benefiting from godly relationships and growing in effective ministry in our day. Thank you for your kind responses and encouragement! I was surprised that what I wrote resonated so intensely, and…

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Things that Discourage Millennial Christian Leaders

I believe in the millennial generation—perhaps because I worked with young adults for over two decades! Because of my age, I regularly find myself on the receiving end of “concerned” conversations from two generations. Those older than me are fearful of where the millennial’s will take the gospel and biblical Christianity. Those younger than me…

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Passion—Life-Changing Lessons from Caleb!

Recently, in conjunction with our Sunday evening series from Joshua, I’ve been studying Caleb. Man, I love this guy! He just didn’t stop. He was a powerful picture of biblical, God-orientated passion in action. In Joshua 15, Caleb is 85 years old, and he’s waited for more than forty years to receive his promised inheritance….

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Who’s Doing Your Thinking?

Pharisees say “Don’t think!”  A manipulative person says “I will think for you—listen ONLY to me.” A spiritual leader leads you to think biblically for yourself, with discernment. “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men…” (Matthew 23:13) “But in vain they do worship me,…

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13 Critics You Should Listen To…

Critics are a dime a dozen, some should be heard but many are self-appointed sounding brass. The internet and anonymity empowers them. I’ve had my share is covert critics, and generally they are the same—intentionally deceptive and gifted at distortion. One thing is consistent, they NEVER contact me to get the truth. Truth would nullify…

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Manage Your Exhaustion for Other’s Sake!

Exhaustion is a physical, emotional, intellectual, relational, and spiritual state. It’s not just one, but all of these. We make a big mistake to think it’s just physical. Responding properly means responding biblically to each dynamic. Exhaustion impacts others—and not in a good way. If you are serving God, raising a family, or meaningfully engaging in…

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