Archives For Leadership

Growth

Does God desire for your church to grow?

The short and simple answer is “yes.” We can make this deduction from the fact that God has called us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20) and that ultimately; disciples from all nations will be gathered together in heaven (Revelation 7:9). In the mean time, God is working through His body, the Church, to gather His children (Matthew 16:18). Therefore, as the Church grows, God’s global kingdom grows. –and that’s not just God’s goal, its promise.

But there is another answer and its slightly more complicated.

Imagine you have a friend with two wild, unruly children. When his kids spend the night with your kids, you hide every breakable item in the house and never let them out of your sight! Although you love your friend immensely, you are really concerned about his lack of parenting skills.

One day, over lunch, your friend tells you that he and his wife are praying for another child. He explains how they are confident that God wants their family to grow and he even quotes Psalm 127:3, “Behold, children are a heritage…

Continue Reading

Rick Warren's Library

If you’ve ever been to Israel, you know there’s a real contrast between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee is full of water and full of life. There are trees and vegetation. They still do commercial fishing there. But the Dead Sea is just that – dead. There are no fish in it and no life around it. The Sea of Galilee is at the top of Israel and receives waters from the mountains of Lebanon. They all come into the top of it and then it gives out at the bottom. That water flows down through the Jordan River and enters into the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea takes in but it never gives out. That’s why it’s stagnant. The point is, there must be a balance in our lives to stay fresh with both input and output. There’s got to be an inflow and an outflow.

Somebody has said, “When your output exceeds your income your upkeep will be your downfall.” There must be a balance. Most Christians get too much input and not enough output. They attend Bible study after Bible study. They’re…

Continue Reading

Peyton ManningSunday night I, like many of you, watched Peyton Manning (Quarterback of the Denver Broncos) set an all-time record for most touchdowns in NFL history. As I celebrated his achievement and performance, I reflected on what makes Peyton so special and what we, as pastors, can learn from him.

    1. Passion: Peyton Manning’s passion for the game of football is evident. He loves to play and though he may look serious (with his game face on), he’s having a blast on the field. We, as leaders in the Church, should have passion as well.
      Danger: When being a pastor becomes your identity and you are, as Craig Groeschel once said, “A full-time pastor and a part-time disciple.”
    2. Commitment: Who knows the countless hours Peyton Manning has spent studying film, practicing with his offensive line and receivers, working out and strengthening his arm and body? Peyton is committed to the game of football. He doesn’t do anything halfway. He’s all-in. If you pastor a congregation, you should be committed to that church and to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.
      Danger: When you don’t have a life outside the church. You need to be an…

      Continue Reading

WalkEvery pastor wants to make a significant impact with his life and through his ministry. This passion and vision is true regardless of the size of the ministry you lead today.

When I was younger, I wanted to make a difference in a major way. I still do today. When I was in a smaller church, I wanted to have an impactful ministry. I still do today.

What is the secret?

Deepen Your Walk

Pastor, if you want to have a broad influence in your life and ministry, it all begins by deepening your walk with God daily. I am firmly convinced that God’s pathway to impact begins with a growing depth in your personal walk with God. There are no shortcuts!

The Bible reminds us in James 4:10,

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.

Additionally, we read in Psalm 75:6-7,

For promotion does not come from the east, west, nor south; God is the judge. He puts down one and sets up another.

While there is a factor that God alone determines, the value of our unqualified pursuit of the Lord Himself is undeniable. And while we cannot control what God may choose…

Continue Reading

TargetGod is more concerned with your progress than your perfect performance. The very nature of discipleship is progressive. God’s purpose is that you become more and more like His Son, Jesus, and He will use your entire life to work that process out. As ministry leaders, we are not exceptions. We are examples. If we aren’t growing and challenging ourselves to move to the next level, personally and professionally, we can’t lead a congregation or a team to do so.

Excellence, in and of itself, isn’t a core value at our church. We’d rather launch things imperfectly than wait for perfect conditions, which never really arrive. Having said that, excelling or growing and improving is another matter. While we don’t have to have reached perfection to serve God, we must be willing to grow. Some Pastors and leaders excel and grow, while others don’t. What makes the difference? The Bible mentions at least five factors that cause us to excel…

1. People who excel work with enthusiasm.

Emerson once said “Nothing great has ever been accomplished without enthusiasm.” Regardless of whether the job is big or small, give it your best. Great performers give their…

Continue Reading

Social NetworkingI’ve been a fan of social media for as long as it’s been around.

There are the voices out there that complain about how it separates us from each other or makes us narcissistic or zombies as we do nothing but stare at our screens. And there are truths to each one of those complaints. Social media, like most things, can be used in a negative way.

But it can also be a tool for some really positive things as well. There are many ways we can use it to expand the Kingdom of God, and I’m constantly trying to learn how to make better use of it.

Something I find so interesting about social media is how it is an accurate reflection of how our flesh-and-blood world works. Things that happen in social media land are not so different from things that happen in our real lives.

Because of that, there are a lot of lessons about life we can apply to social media, and a lot of lessons we can learn from social media that can be applied to our lives!

So here are a few lessons I’ve been collecting about social media…

Continue Reading

PrayingYou’ll never have to earn God’s favor. God loves you and is pleased with you completely because of grace and not because of your performance. People, on the other hand, are a little different. If you want to lead people, you must establish credibility and earn the respect and the right to lead them.

Leadership is influence. The way you can tell you’re a leader is to look over your shoulder. If somebody’s following, then you’re the leader. If nobody’s following, you’re not the leader. The moment you have to say to the people in your ministry, “I’m the leader!” you are no longer the leader. Leadership is something that is earned. You earn the right to lead through six character qualities in your life.

1 Timothy 3:1, 7 says, “If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task… He also must have a good reputation with outsiders so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.”

If you set your heart on being an overseer, that’s a good ambition. It’s okay to have an ambition to be a leader. But if you’re going to be…

Continue Reading

GiftsAs your church honors your pastor on Pastor Appreciation Day, why not add an extra touch? Demonstrate your love for the pastor’s wife. Yes, many ministry wives may prefer not to be called onstage and pinned with a corsage, so I’ve gathered a few simple, low-key ways that your church, class, or even an individual can show love. Try one!

Love Notes Flash Mob - Distribute a card to all women of the church with a challenge to overwhelm your church’s “first lady” with notes of appreciation, prayers and compliments. Provide contact info so they can send a note this week by mail, email, text, Facebook or personal delivery.

Here’s Proof! Make a sign with big letters: “We love our pastor’s wife!” Take lots of photos of people holding the sign—individuals, couples, groups, kids, teens, peripheral members, leaders, guests. Encourage smiles and fun poses, and carefully list names to label the photos. Create an impressive photo display.

Unforgettable Bouquet – Each woman is asked to bring a single flower from her garden or florist. Bring extras for those who forget. The deacon chairman’s wife presents the minister’s wife with a lovely vase, then one…

Continue Reading

Don't FallOne of my gravest concerns about the witness of the church to our current culture is the threat to our evangelistic integrity caused by moral failures among ministry leaders. Every time a leader falls, we all suffer with that leader and his family and friends. And our collective witness to God’s truth suffers as well. For Jesus’ sake, for the gospel’s sake, for your sake and your family’s sake, decide daily that you’re going to live with integrity by God’s grace.

I Corinthians 10:13 in the Living Bible says, “The wrong desires that come into your life aren’t anything new and different. Many others have faced exactly the same problems before you. And no temptation is irresistible. God will show you how to escape.” I find this verse incredibly reassuring. First, it says everybody faces temptation. It’s man’s oldest problem, since Adam and Eve. We’ve all had problems with temptation. I’m tempted, you’re tempted. It’s not a sin to be tempted. It is a sin to give in to temptation. And God will provide a way out, a way of escape.

Here are six ways to take that escape, to avoid fatal attractions…

Make a…

Continue Reading

WritingTo all pastors and church staff,

I want you to know that I know being a pastor or church staff member is the most difficult job in the world.  While it has unbelievable highs and on its best days is the most rewarding occupation/calling in the world, it is also the most difficult.  Unlike us in the marketplace, you lead volunteer armies and face an enemy (Satan and his demons) we may or may not encounter on a regular basis.

You have given your lives to serve people like me, my family and friends.  As a result, the two most important words I and everyone else under your leadership can ever say is “THANK YOU”.

  1. Thank you for going to God on our behalf and praying for us daily.
  2. Thank you for studying God’s Word and communicating its truths to us in a compelling fashion.
  3. Thank you and your family for being willing to live in a fishbowl.
  4. Thank you for demonstrating grace, love and patience when people question your motives and competency.  Sheep may be dumb but they bite.  And they have a taste for pastors and church staff.
  5. Thank you for putting in countless hours.
  6. Thank you for…

    Continue Reading

Structure is far more important that we usually realize. Every building in the world has to have the right structure to stand up and not collapse. Living things have structure as well. An animal can grow to no more than nine inches without an internal skeletal system. And every church has a structure as well. Some churches are structured for health and growth while others are structured merely to maintain and to survive.

Jesus once said, “no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the new wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins.” (Luke 5:37 NLT) His point was that nothing can expand without a flexible structure. In fact, a rigid or inflexible structure is one of the reasons many churches cannot break through some common growth barriers.

How can you tell when your structure needs to be more flexible?

1. When your growth has plateaued. When you’re going nowhere, it is often the result of a structure that is holding your church back. It must be understood that structure does not cause growth. Re-structuring will not start growth for a church…

Continue Reading

Burned OutYou went into ministry with a passion to serve people and lead them to Christ. You knew that would require diligent work and would likely involve some heartache. We live in a messy, fallen world so dealing with people in their mess and helping them get out of it isn’t an easy endeavor. Working with limited time and resources, combined with the overwhelming needs of your community can wear out the most dedicated individual.

At times, I’ve felt completely unqualified to handle the responsibilities entrusted to me. My to-do list was always longer than the time available and, over time, I was burning out. I cared about the people I was trying to serve, but I had to drag myself into the office each day. Living on caffeine and the adrenaline rush of the next deadline wasn’t sustainable for long. Looking back on that season and combined with what I’ve learned over the last several years, here are five tips to prevent burnout:

Tip #1: Delegate

Delegate to whom? Great question. Even if you don’t have any staff reporting to you, you still have delegation options. You may have individuals within your congregation…

Continue Reading