Get free email updates as I write new articles (no more than once a week):

Leadership that Matters Is All About Conviction

Just two quotes that grabbed me, from Al Mohler's book The Conviction to Lead: Congregations and Christian institutions need effective leaders who are authentically Christian - whose leadership flows out of their Christian commitment. Wherever Christian leaders serve, in the church or in the secular world, their leadership should be driven by distinctively Christian conviction... If our leaders are not passionately driven by the right beliefs, we are headed for disaster. At …

Keep Reading

You Can Have Growth, Or You Can Have Control

If Proverbs could have a 32nd chapter of nuggets of wisdom, David Chrzan would write it. In the five years or so that I've known and worked with David, he's repetitively dropped advice that has shaped my own philosophy of leadership. For example, in a recent conversation David said, "You can have growth or you can have control. And you have to decide how much of each you want." Wow. So true. David wasn't implying that control is a bad thing. In fact, some level of control …

Keep Reading

10 Ways to Raise the Spiritual Temperature of Your Church

There is a cold, hard fact I remind myself of often as a Pastor. No one does more to determine the spiritual temperature of my church than me, the Pastor. It's part of shepherding. I'm the lid. I'm the limit. I define passion as the heated desire with us to do or to be something. Paul talked about being on fire (ready is prothumos or "on heat") to preach (Romans 1:17) and told Timothy to "fan into flame the gift of God within him" (2 Timothy 1:6). I believe Pastors are the …

Keep Reading

A 4-Part Definition of Ministry

Here it is: Ministry takes place when divine resources meet human needs through loving channels to the glory of God. - Warren Wiersbe, On Being a Servant of God According to Warren Wiersbe, one of America's long-term leading thinkers on ministry issues, this definition consists of four vital parts. Our church staff just walked through his definition of ministry this morning, which includes... Getting to know the divine resources God has made …

Keep Reading

The Abiding Church: Calling Church Leaders Back to Jesus

When I first moved back to northwest Arkansas to plant a church, not everyone understood. Even quite a few church leaders wondered why the neighborhood needed another church. But Nate Sweeney embraced us and has encouraged us all along the way. I so appreciate his ministry in northwest Arkansas, and I'm excited about the release of his first book, The Abiding Church. Nate Sweeney has walked through a plethora of leadership issues in his young life, transitioning a church …

Keep Reading

A Dozen Ways to Kill a Great Idea

Ever watched a really good idea crash and burn? Me too. Here's some brutal honesty... entire movements have gone down in flames because of boneheaded approaches to good ideas. This isn't to say we can't afford to make mistakes. In fact, the only way to know we're taking risks is to make mistakes. We can't afford not to make them. But we also can't afford to ignore timeless principles of leadership effectiveness. In honor of our most fatal leadership mistakes, here are …

Keep Reading

Three Prerequisites to Leading Others Well

Being loud doesn't make you a leader. Neither does being popular. Leadership is influence, and influence means taking people in a direction they wouldn't otherwise be going - hopefully forward. Ambition isn't enough to qualify you to lead. There is more to the equation. You need to be led before you can really lead. This one is tough for eager leaders, but in order to lead well, you must first be okay with being led. One of the greatest leaders I know who was in charge of …

Keep Reading

Building Rhythm Into the Life of Your Church

Ministry is a marathon. This is true for church leaders, for volunteers, and for the church body itself. When we drive and push people to sprint all the time, burnout is inevitable. You can grow a large church by constantly creating mountain peak experiences and pushing for the top. But you will create a healthy church only as you discover the appropriate cycle of moving forward at an aggressive pace, and taking moments to breathe. There is plenty of discussion about …

Keep Reading

5 Truths About Empowering People to Change the World

In the Bourne series, the assassins (who are the central characters) are referred to by their controlling agency merely as "assets." Sometimes I fear that within Christian ministry, we fall into the terrible habit of treating people as assets - instruments to help us get ministry done successfully rather than people with souls. One of the values I remind myself of often is that people are not a means for getting ministry done. People are the ministry. And those who volunteer …

Keep Reading

It’s Easier NOT to Lead

Leadership is a hot topic with plenty of aspiring and hopeful people clamoring for success in its arena. But the reality is that it's easier NOT to lead. When we aspire to leadership, we envision the good stuff - the people who will look to us for direction, the success of our organization, and the accolades of those who follow us. What we can't really anticipate is the tough stuff - the people who will question us, leave us, and criticize us unfairly. If you're reading …

Keep Reading