24 Great Links for Leaders, Readers, and Creatives – March 27, 2015

9 Major Stallers To Church Projects and Initiatives, by Tony Morgan

Churches often get a bad reputation for not being able to see things through. In fact, in nearly every church I’ve worked with, someone has shared the story of a past initiative that fell short of the finish line.

Minimum Viable Spiritual Growth Plan, from Leadership Network

Leadership Network recently surveyed over 1,600 ministry leaders of large (1000+) churches. The most frequently cited issue facing churches today is “discipleship.”

15 Essential Quotes from Bill Hybels – Global Leadership Summit, by Brad Bridges

“Legacy leaders are the only ones wiling to pay the price to fix a broken culture.” — @BillHybels

Brandon Cox on Mentoring & Releasing Church Planters

Rich Birch, from Unseminary, interviewed me on his podcast about how our church is involved in church planting even though we’re still young.

How To Promote Your Blog Posts To Get 10,289 Social Shares, by Robbie Richards

Today, I’m going to show you step-by-step how to promote your blog posts to get thousands of social media shares (without spending a penny). Zero budget.

13 Things Spiritual Leaders Do Differently, by Neal Samudre

In a world of noise and production, the spiritual leader stands in stark contrast to the surrounding culture.

Best Visual Marketing Apps to Create Social Media Graphics, by Rebekah Radice

Are you using graphics in your social media posts? Would you like to connect consumers to your business through visual marketing?

A Pursued and Purchased Prostitute, by Eric Geiger

The story of Hosea and Gomer is a shocking one, but one that reminds us of our sinfulness and God’s enduring love for His people, His bride. Hosea was a prophet who ministered during a very rebellious period in Israel’s history.

Stop Asking God to Speak and Start Praying for Better Ears, by Lysa TerKeurst

Have you ever found yourself frustrated because it seems like God’s not speaking to you? I know. It’s hard.

Effective Leaders Make Decisions, by Sam Luce

A decision is a judgment. It is a choice between alternatives. It is rarely a choice between right and wrong.

One Key Reason Most Churches Do Not Exceed 350 in Average Attendance, by Thom Rainer

Nine out of ten. That’s a lot.

The Anatomy of a Successful Facebook Post, by Shari Monnes

When it comes to using Facebook for business, many people wonder what the secret for success is. What kinds of posts get the best results, and how can you increase engagement? Are there things you should be doing that you’re not?

Installing Soft Walls in Your Church, by Kevin A. Thompson

The credit should probably go to Dale Earnhardt. While his stubbornness may have cost him his own life, his legendary status forced NASCAR to act when he was tragically killed on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.

Why God Doesn’t Remove Our Sinful Cravings Immediately, by J. D. Greear

Every Christian I know has had the experience of coming up against the same sin—again—and wondering, “Will this struggle ever end? Why doesn’t God just remove this?” (If you haven’t had that experience, just give it time.

Monica Lewinsky: ‘Shame is an industry and the currency is clicks’, via Mashable

If anyone knows what it means to be publicly humiliated, it’s Monica Lewinsky. In one of very few major media appearances in more than a decade, Monica Lewinsky took the TED stage on Thursday to champion online compassion.

7 Intangible, Seemingly Unproductive Actions Valuable in Leadership, by Ron Edmondson

Much of what a leader does can seem unproductive at times. For someone wired for production — progress — checklist completion — even wasted.

Done With Church? Don’t Quit It, Change It, by Karl Vaters

There’s a large and growing number of people who say they’re done with church.

And New at Pastors.com This Week…

Digging In: Cultivating a Healthy Church Culture, by Jim Powell

Culture is the somewhat nebulous and complex blend of norms, beliefs, attitudes, traditions, and practices that define a congregation. Every church has a culture…

Saddleback Church Staff8 Values of TEAMWORK That Keep a Church Healthy, by Rick Warren

The success of your ministry depends largely on developing a strong team with a deep sense of team spirit. I’ve witnessed the incredible power of a unified team to create growth and have counseled many churches who weren’t growing because their team members worked as individuals and not as a team.

Three Reasons Why Ministers Should Be Hard Workers, by Ronnie Floyd

Ministers have challenging jobs. In many ways, ministers are never truly away from the office…. Yet, with these realities and many more that I did not list, ministers should never be excused from working hard.

Free Ebook – Building Strong Worship Leaders, Edited by Dwayne Moore

One of the greatest needs of the church today is gifted, godly worship leaders who will not only pour themselves into the weekly corporate gathering but who will, behind the scenes and off the stage, pour their very lives into discipling and training a whole new generation of worship leaders.

Free Ebook – Skinny Jeans and a Tattoo Does Not Make You a Leader, by Brian K. Dodd

As a member of INJOY Stewardship Solutions, I have the privilege of attending some of the greatest Christian conferences possible. During the second half of 2014, several events among others stood out…

Hope for Families Touched by Suicide, by Scott Attebery

The test of eternal life is not whether or not a person takes their life, but whether or not they have received Christ’s life. No person will enter Heaven because of a good life or great deeds. Rather, eternal life comes by grace through faith in Jesus (Eph. 2:8-9).

4 Types of Unconnected People and How to Connect Them, by Mark Howell

Have you picked up on the fact that unconnected people are different in some ways than connected people? If you have, you are already moving in the right direction.

35 Great Links Leaders, Readers, and Creatives – January 10, 2015

Here’s a list of some of the best things I’ve read this week! But first, a video…

Great Links and Articles

Favorite Tweets


Why did I close two weeks in a row with a funny picture from @DepressedDarth? No idea.

33 Great Links for Leaders, Readers, and Creatives – January 3, 2015

Here’s a list of some of the best things I’ve read this week!

Great Links and Articles

4 Measurements Leaders Need to Weigh, Not Count, by Scott Cochrane

5 Sure-fire Ways to Motivate Your Son to Use Pornography, by Rick Thomas

FREE PDF: The Science of Blogging – How to Build a Tribe and Get Over 1,000 Visitors a Day, by Paul Sohn

The Most Important Church Trends of 2015 and What to Do About It, by Will Mancini

3 Ways to Press Through Unanswered Prayer, by Lysa Terkeurst

10 Facts About America’s Churchless, by the Barna Group

Grace Alone for Living Alone, by Scott Attebery

10 Ways to Make a Big Impact On a Small Budget, by James P. Long

5 Socially Acceptable Ways Church Leaders Self-Medicate, by Carey Nieuwhof

Listen to Tomorrow, by Dan Kimball

A Checklist for Intentional Living in 2015, from BE:KIDS

The Spiritual Openness of the Younger Unchurched, by Ed Stetzer

4 Things Successful Leaders Keep Doing, by Dan Black

5 Ways to Respond When Life Throws You a Curveball, by Charles Stone

6 Steps Toward a Courageous Organization, by Brad Lomenick

10 Simple Things You Can Do to Start Building a Thriving Small Group Ministry, by Mark Howell

7 Social Media Trends Your Children’s Ministry Leaders Need to Know About, by Dale Hudson

Looking Ahead to 2015, by Adam Legg via Church Marketing Sucks

Hurt People Hurt People, by Derwin Gray

The Top 30 Blogs Christian Leaders Need to Read in 2015, by Brian K. Dodd

The Top 10 Leadership Posts I Read the Week of December 29, by Brian K. Dodd

How to Create Facebook Video Ads, by Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

4 Ways to Read More Books in 2015, by Jon Acuff

A Plan for Blessing the Whole World, by Rick Warren

Clarifying Your Life Vision, by Cary Schmidt

Church Growth Begins With the First Impression, by Steve Caton

When We Grow Passionate In Prayer, by Jonathan Parnell

36 Tools and Tips for Social Media Marketers, by Michael Stelzner

How We Did Christmas Eve In a Movie Theater, by Carrie Evans

5 Up and Coming U. S. Tourism Cities (Includes Bentonville, AR), by Leah Still

Phillip Yancey on Christianity’s Negative Stereotypes, by Eddie Kaufholz via Relevant Magazine

Newsweek On the Bible – So Misrepresented It’s a Sin, by Albert Mohler

How to Know if a Dream or Desire Is Really from God, by Holley Gerth

Favorite Tweets

Fresh Stories I’ve Bookmarked This Week

My Daughter's Pretty Feet
My Daughter’s Pretty Feet

You can’t lead and pour into others if you aren’t taking in a steady diet of life-building content yourself. Here are some stories I’ve bookmarked lately, some on marriage, others on leadership, and a few on communications and design. Read what you like.

If you’ve read or written something lately that we need to see, post a link below.

Is Mad Men a Religious Program?

Mad Men
Well… no, but it certainly makes for a good illustration of a very simple biblical principle – that of consequences. The laws of “sowing and reaping” or “cause and effect” are realities we cannot escape.

I loved Russell Moore’s post on this topic so much I wanted to pass it along here. So often our approach is to write off anything non-religious as being non-spiritually-valuable. I’m not saying (and neither is Dr. Moore) that watching Mad Men or any other television program will necessarily contribute to your spiritual growth. What I am saying is that sometimes divine realities are more understood and perhaps more effectively interpreted by the culture than by the church.

It’s tough sometimes for us to broach the subject of depravity and the results of sin, but often culture presents stark pictures of that depravity, reinforcing an inborn need in us for a connection with a Redeemer. And that would be Jesus.

Read the Full Article

16 Websites Every Social Media Enthusiast Should Know About

I received an email from a young guy who is eagerly hoping to jump into the realm of social media for marketing purposes. In my reply to him, I offered some of the links I would want to know about if I were just starting out and I wanted to pass these links along here for my readers.

There are a diversity of positions and approaches represented, but it’s a well-rounded list of sites that continually offer something like a well-balanced course offering in social media. And by the way, if you want to “jump into social media for marketing purposes,” the best thing you can do is stop. Jump in for the influence, the relationships, and the fun of it. Marketing is simply a matter of being remarkable and offering help at the precise time it’s needed, whether free or for profit.

There are more – many more that I’ve named, listed, and promoted elsewhere. I read many more sites than this myself, but consider these 16 a well-rounded diet for anyone looking to learn the ropes.

Who did I miss? Who (or what site) is an essential learning source for you when it comes to the social web?