A Personal Leadership Tune Up

The people we know deserve our best, so we ought to work on getting better. When we delay our personal growth, we aren’t just limiting our potential, we also have a weaker impact in the world around us. When it comes to personal growth, we get to choose our own adventure: either we decide to have consistent check ups or …

How to make an impact, a brief look at Romans 15:14

I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. (Romans 15:14) Paul’s encouragement to the church in Rome is clear: Goodness—Impacting others begins on the inside because it takes the integrity to consistently make good decisions. This doesn’t mean perfect, it means influencing others requires …

Three principles from Jesus for every mission

Jesus said: These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust …

Bible Study: Psalm 23

One of our small groups recently used the Psalms Bible study (download here for free) and decided to also study Psalm 23. I wrote the following to help guide their personal reflection and group discussion.   Psalm 23 The twenty-third Psalm is a classic! The imagery is simple, yet powerful and profound. It is easy to read for the first …

Elements of Effective Evaluation

It’s hard to look back and learn from the past, especially when we’re looking forward to the next thing. Here are a few habits that I believe are essential for an effective debrief: HONESTY: Evaluation isn’t helpful if it’s not true. It’s great to be an optimist, but not at the expense of facing the hard truths. Actually, that’s not …

Three Warnings From Jesus

Jesus taught the crowd: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” (Luke 12:1) A little yeast, when worked through the entire dough, radically transforms the bread. The yeast of the Pharisees was hypocrisy. Some of the things they said weren’t true, they lacked a consistency believers ought to have. Presumably they had a “Do …

Leadership Principles of Jesus, part 1: Matthew

A survey of the book of Matthew yielded the following reflections. But first, a few notes. (a) Reading Matthew’s gospel in two sittings showed me things I wouldn’t have seen if I was reading smaller sections. Both kinds of readings–small parts and large parts– are needed for a healthy spiritual life. (b) I read with the intention of discerning the …

How To Build Fear and Trust as a Leader

Exodus 14:31 paints a wonderful picture of what leadership in God’s kingdom ought to look like: “And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.” God calls us to obedience, and it’s not always easy. Sometimes it’s soul staggeringly …

RELATIONAL MINISTRY 101

RELATIONAL MINISTRY 101 How To Build Stronger Biblical Fellowship Learn Names A name is a person’s most valuable possession and nothing communicates care like remembering a student’s name. It’s easy to say, “I’m not good at names.” Resist the temptation to rest on this excuse! It takes hard work to remember names. When you learn a new name, try to use it immediately …

Four essential leadership responsibilities

“The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD?’ Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols.” (Jeremiah 2:8) 600 years before Jesus, the prophet Jeremiah spoke out against the rebellion by ancient Israel. They followed “worthless idols” and became “worthless” themselves (Jer. 2:5). In this …

Inspiration trumps intention

“Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.” (Matthew 1:19) His intentions were sound and unassailable: Joseph was kind and he had no intention of disgracing Mary. Joseph was righteous and he had no intention of being associated with godless …

shaping your leadership culture

Recently, our staff had a conversation about what it might look like if we were more aware, accepting, and welcoming of our visitors. I captured the ideas, refined them a little, and then got feedback. We wanted to make an impact beyond the staff, so after a discussion with our key leaders, we challenged everyone–staff and key leaders– to walk through the …

Leaders Worth Following

Follow a leader who: Authentically loves Jesus, not simply appearing to follow him Knows God’s calling on their life Listens to their convictions, instead of their critics Acts with confidence, not bravado Cares about people, rather than controlling them Has a plan to move forward, rather than just keeping people busy Earns trust, rather than expecting it Demonstrates integrity, rather …

HELP! I can’t do it all!

In my last post (which you can find here), I examined what I think are the fundamental elements to ministry. Ministry starts with a real need that is seen by someone who is passionate enough to meet that need. Eventually, every leader comes to a point in their ministry where he or she is seeing more need than can be …

ministry is more than motion

“But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.” Luke 10:33 We can learn a lot about ministry–loving our neighbors–from the parable of the good Samaritan. Here’s what I’ve learned: Ministry starts with real needs. In this case, the poor man was beaten and left on the side of …

Struggling Spiritually as a Leader

When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”  (Matthew 11:2-3)   Have you ever wondered, in the quiet recesses of your heart, “As a leader, is it ok for me to struggle spiritually?” YES, it’s …

Who’s power made it happen?

The Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men.” (Judges 7:4) Think about the last great accomplishment in your ministry. How sure are you that it came from God’s power and not your own? Could you prove to yourself that you were used by God? When have you crossed the line from serving out of your Spirit given …

Don’t Be The Best

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come …

why building new things is exciting

Recently, I was working at a starbucks and I overheard a conversation between the store manager and a general contractor. What captured my attention was the passion and excitement in their voices. Their anticipation was infectious, I wanted to pull out a radial saw and help.