All posts in leadership

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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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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