Archives For Leadership

Stone Tablets

Legalism is a ministry killjoy. It destroys the natural joy that comes from serving others in ministry like nothing else I’ve seen. I’ve seen more ministries ruined by legalism than anything else.

What is legalism? Legalism happens when we substitute our rules and rituals for our relationship with Christ. It’s a subtle trap that takes the focus off of what God has done for you and slowly turns it to what you have done for God.

In Philippians 3, Paul tells us flat out that he’s tried legalism. In the process, he points out five different ways he had been a legalist – ways that still haunt many of us today.

Legalism is putting your trust in rituals. Paul says, “I was circumcised eight days after I was born according to the Jewish law.” (Phil. 3:5a) Today, a Christian might say, “I was baptized,” or “I joined the church,” or “I took communion.” All of those are good, but they don’t earn God’s approval.

Legalism is putting your trust in a race. Paul says, “Of the people of Israel, I was of the tribe of Benjamin.” (Phil. 3:5b) I’ve got the royal pedigree here. It’s like…

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Church Sucks!

By Kurt Bubna

Not too long ago, a family entered our church lobby looking fairly stressed. Having had a few fights on my way to church over the years, I understand the potential for family tension on the way to worship. It also seems that Murphy’s Law is extremely active when people are on their way to something that’s good for them.

As I smiled and said, “Hello” to this family, one of their kids (a junior high boy) said under his breath, “Church sucks!” From the look his mother gave him, I suspect he was grounded for a long time following that comment. Unfortunately, the dad almost winked at him as if to say, “I understand how you feel son; I don’t want to be here either!”

As you can imagine, this is not a great confidence booster for pastors.

You see, for pastors, church is like the Super Bowl, except it happens every Sunday. We love it! We’re excited to connect with our community of faith. We look forward to investing in the lives of people we love. So when they don’t show up, or worse yet, they show up with an attitude, it’s hard for us to understand.

Sure, at times I’ve left…

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Google is amazing. Some love it. Some hate it.

I confess: Google is my trump card when I need to know something really fast. Recently, I searched “top skills you need to be successful” and I was blown away. I quickly discovered:

  1. Everyone has their own definition of success
  2. Everyone has their own list on what it takes to be successful
  3. Most results centered on power, prestige, possessions, and popularity
  4. Now I understand why we are confused

How would you define success? A lot of my Google search results considers power, possessions, prosperity, and prestige to be the highest of goals. It is true…God blesses some people with positions of power or wealth.

Success

God’s View of Success

Before you start down the path towards success, it is wise to define it. When King David was about to die, he gave his son, Solomon, the following advice:

As the time of King David’s death approached, he gave this charge to his son Solomon: I am going where everyone on earth must someday go. Take courage and be a man. Observe the requirements of the LORD your God, and…

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Growth

The New Testament says a lot about the health of the church. Consider just a few verses:

“As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing…” – Eph. 4:16b (NLT)

“The focus of my letter wasn’t on punishing the offender but on getting you to take responsibility for the health of the church.” – 2 Cor. 2:9 (Message)

“You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other…” – James 3:18 (Message)

Church health is the key to church growth. All living things grow if they’re healthy. You don’t have to make them grow – it’s just natural for living organisms. As a parent, I didn’t have to force my three children to grow. They naturally grew up. As long as I removed the hindrances, such as poor nutrition or an unsafe environment, their growth was automatic.

If my children had not grown up, something would have been terribly wrong. I would have done whatever it took to discover the disease and correct…

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Boba Fett Keeps Me On TrackTime management. Of all the people I know who ever focus on this concept, only a small handful are confident that they’re doing it well. Most of us feel out of control. We feel that our specialty is time mis-management. Why is this so?

I believe it’s because we fail to see the bigger picture. Time management isn’t enough. It’s one small piece. Typically, when we think about managing time, we’re visualizing our to-do list, as if everything on it occupies an equal priority in our lives. When we can’t get it all done, we assume we’ve managed our time poorly.

The problem is, not everything we think we should be doing should actually be done. Some things should actually go undone on purpose. But that’s not the primary reason we can’t manage our time well. The biggest reason we struggle here is that we keep thinking of time in a merely logical way. We see every hour as equal in value to all the rest and there are never enough of them in a week.

There are actually at least four dimensions to managing time well, and we need to understand all…

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I was asked a very interesting question the other day that really moved me to evaluate the answer. A pastor asked, “Ronnie, I look at your challenging schedule, and I want to ask: How are you doing this and keeping up with everything?” After thinking a moment, I told him there are two decisions I make daily that have helped me in every way.

The same things I told him, I share with you today. Please know before I continue, I am where I am and do what I do by the grace of God and the prayers of God’s people. Knowing this, here are the two decisions I make daily that help me continually.

Bible-BlogDecision #1: I Never Compromise My Daily Time With God

It does not matter if my flight is early or my schedule has caused me to be out late the night before, I never compromise my daily time with God. For those who know me and have kept up with me through the years, I always give my mornings to God. While some of this can be challenging due to appointments and speaking engagements that occur in the…

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Forces of Nature

Two thirds of the earth’s surface is water, yet there are places in the world where people will literally go to war over access to clean drinking water. In the same way, there have never been so many books, seminars, and blogs on leadership, yet the culture is still a giant vacuum desperately needing leaders to get out front.

I’ve become convinced that the world needs two things from the church and the church has the potential to offer them. The first is the gospel – the life-transforming, world-changing, culture-shaping good news that Jesus has done all that is necessary to redeem us from sin’s curse. The second is leadership, which provides the vehicle for carrying the gospel to the ends of the earth. Without the gospel, the church has no real reason to exist. And without leadership, the church’s existence is quite temporary.

That’s why I’m giving my life to two things: feeding the flock and leading leaders. Every week, I want to study and prepare to teach truth, speak into the culture, and share the depth of the riches of God’s Word with people. And every week,…

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Monster PastorIn a previous post, I wrote about “monster churches” in reference to congregations that chew up and spit out pastors on a regular basis. Monster churches are highly dysfunctional and rarely fruitful.

The congregation, however, is not always the problem. Just as monster churches are a factory of discord, monster pastors take trouble with them wherever they go.

Nicknames for monster pastors include: dictator, authoritarian, and control freak.

Biblically speaking, they may be false teachers, greedy for selfish gain, deceitful workmen, and ravenous wolves. They specialize in hijacking congregations then abusing power.

Monster pastors have little regard for the sheep (or the Chief Shepherd for that matter). Instead, their first priority is self, masked by other agendas. Such pastors may use pressure tactics, political maneuvering, and/or persuasive speech in order to manipulate a congregation into acting on their behalf. When they don’t get their way, monster pastors usually 1) move on to another church, 2) cause a stir in their current church, and/or 3) blame the congregation for not following their lead. Simply put, monster pastors are building their own kingdom rather than Christ’s kingdom.

As a general rule, monster pastors:

Pastors, Lead

By Ronnie Floyd

PastorsLeadV2A few years ago, I read an article that summarized almost 1,000 interviews with some of the nation’s top corporate leaders. The article declared that the #1 need a leader of a corporation needs to provide for everyone is clarity.        

If a leader does not lead, he cannot provide clarity. If this is true for global business leaders, it is even truer for every pastor of a local church or one who is leading a Christian ministry or institution built on the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pastors, Lead With Clarity        

Ask yourself this question and be honest in answering it: Am I leading with clarity? Does everyone around me know where I am going and where I want him or her to go with me?

If you are really daring and desire a complete, honest assessment, ask the leaders in your church: Am I leading with clarity? If you have a staff team, ask them: Am I leading with clarity?     

If any leader should be leading with clarity, it is a pastor. I did not say it would be easy, but as pastors, our mission is clear. Do…

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Some believe the local church is dead and that her best days are behind her. The church is not dead, its alive. Her best days are now and ahead. I believe, as Bill Hybels says, “the local church is the hope of the world.”

I grew up attending church. Many of my earliest memories are times spent at the Mars Hill Baptist Church of Chicago, with church people, or in church services. So when I meet people who aren’t regular attenders it’s a surprise to find that sometimes they don’t know why you might be a part of it.

Go to church

Why go to church? What’s the benefit of attending regularly? When you understand the “why” it makes it easier to understand the “when” and “where.”

Scripture Says So

Going to church is not just a “good suggestion”; it is God’s will for believers. Hebrews 10:25 says we should “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Even in the early church, some were falling into the…

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Family-BlogMy wife Jeana grew up in the home of a Pastor, and we have always worked hard together to ensure our family is our #1 priority following our personal commitment to Jesus Christ. To God’s glory, my wife did not ever resent the church as the wife of a pastor, and as our children grew, they did not ever resent the church. In fact, our church was our life!

The four of us loved the church and we still love the church! Our boys’ spouses love the church and they are now raising children who love the church!

How did we escape the testimony I often hear of pastor’s families resenting the church? By God’s grace and prayer. I also believe we made several decisions that moved us along toward a positive experience. I will note three of these decisions.

Decision #1: We Were Always Positive About the Church  

On multiple occasions, we shared with our children how blessed we were to be able to know some of the greatest people in the world, which were people connected to the church. While we did not ignore the challenges along the way, we did not ever…

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I’m considered a very “safe” person.  I tend to be very risk averse and only take a chance on something when I’ve analyzed and calculated it to the extent that it is no longer a risk.  It’s a magical place to be – full of worry, anxiousness, and procrastination.  You should really consider vacationing there sometime.

As a leader, we are always one decision away from total failure.  Or at least that’s the way I feel most of the time.  This mindset causes me to enjoy the status quo more than I should and rebel against those that try anything new or risky.  But, if any leader is to be successful, he/she must be willing to take some risks.

Risks lead to innovation.

Risks lead to higher plateaus of success.

Risks lead to longevity as a leader.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not advocating reckless risk-taking.  But, I am saying that leaders must be willing to take risks…and that can be difficult for many of us.  Because risks often go against our own conscious and comfort zone and can open us up to critique and failure.  Here are 5 risks that I believe every leader should…

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