Archives For Leadership

Leadership roles come with great responsibility and the burden of knowing your decisions can have a significant impact on people’s lives. Serving in leadership within the church raises the stakes as we’re seeking to lead people into a relationship with Christ and help them grow in their faith.

If you’re not the point leader, you have the opportunity to serve the person who does carry that responsibility. As a leader it’s a wonderful feeling to know your team has your back and is working faithfully.

Here are 5 statements that can help your leader sleep better tonight:

Statement #1: Let me handle that for you

Maybe your boss isn’t good at delegation. He remembers what it was like to do (or at least try to do) everything and has a hard time letting go. The next time he mentions needing to do a task he doesn’t really need to do, offer to take that responsibility off his plate.

Statement #2: I’ve noticed this issue and have a few ideas for how to handle it

Leaders love problem-solvers. They especially appreciate it when a team member sees the issue, comes up with 2-3 ways to fix it, and…

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Alone in a Crowded World

By C. E. Stowers

guy in mask in venicePeople who live in Chicago know this: Our seasons are uncontrollable and unpredictable.

The same is true about life. It’s unpredictable and include good times and bad times. There are four weather seasons, but there are many seasons in the seasons of life, especially the Season of Loneliness.

Some of you are thinking, “I can stop reading now because I’m not lonely.” Keep reading because one day you’re going to need this message. Loneliness in an inevitable season of life. You will go through it many, many times.

What Causes Loneliness

It is not good for man to be alone. Gen. 2:18

Genesis 2:18 says God made us to need each other, that we are made for relationships. When God put Adam in the Garden of Eden, He had every single thing he could want.  There were no stress or problems. God looked at Adam and said, “It’s not good for man to be alone.” The very first thing that God said is not right about the earth is loneliness.

Change Can Cause Loneliness

Life is a series of transitions. Any significant change in your life can cause isolation. Why? Because every…

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Ministry Emotion

As I was reading through 1 Thessalonians a while back it struck me when I got to the end of chapter 2 and into chapter 3 how Paul was speaking clearly about his emotions as he discussed his ministry to the Thessalonians. Some are “negative” emotions, some are “positive,” all are important. Understanding these emotions is vital to understanding God’s direction and to gaining God’s power in your ministry.

Read part one to catch up on the first two emotions of ministry…


The concern that Paul had for the Thessalonians was answered when Timothy brought a report back to him: “But now Timothy has just returned, bringing us good news about your faith and love. He reports that you always remember our visit with joy and that you want to see us as much as we want to see you” (1 Thessalonians 3:6 NLT). He was thrilled that they were growing, and took great joy that they still remembered his visit fondly.

How often do you need encouragement to stay healthy and motivated in ministry? Hebrews 3:13 tells us to encourage each other each day – so you need it at…

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Remember the Once-ler? From The Lorax by Dr. Seuss? He was a fairly normal guy who wanted to build a big business at the expense of the environment, so he kept “biggering and biggering” until all the trees were gone, the wildlife had vacated the landscape, and his business crashed. The little children’s book seems to leave us with the impression that biggering is bad. But I’m not convinced that should be the big lesson.

The story is told of Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, that he once sat quietly through a board meeting listening to his executives brainstorm about how to get bigger. He suddenly interrupted the chatter with a declaration: “If we get better, we won’t have to worry about getting bigger.” Talk about an Aha! moment!

We can make the church grow, or we can watch the church grow, and the difference boils down to bettering instead of biggering. This clip from an upcoming movie called When God Left the Building illustrates, from Pastor Rick Warren’s perspective, why biggering is simply not the right goal. (And hat tip to Joshua Griffin for the find.)

I often warn people who attend Grace Hills that if they’re just looking…

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The United States is rapidly becoming multiethnic. Within ten years we will probably no longer have a majority race. Every facet of our American culture is transitioning to multiethnic . . . except the church. The church remains the most segregated institution in America. It will take multiethnic churches to reach a multiethnic America.

So how can your church transform into a gospel-centered, mission-shaped, multiethnic local church?

In The High-Definition Leader author, Derwin Gray, issues an invitation for church leaders to help their congregations embrace Christ’s call to the early church—a call that crosses ethnic and socioeconomic barriers to create heavenly colonies of love, reconciliation, and unity.


  • understand that planting and transforming churches into multiethnic groups is a biblical calling church leaders must encourage
  • identify and implement the best practices to help leaders build multiethnic churches
  • recognize that reconciliation between ethnic groups in the church is not just a social issue but a theological issue church leaders cannot ignore

The apostle Paul built multiethnic, socioeconomic diverse local churches of Jews and Gentiles. We must follow his godly wisdom and leadership if we want to be the church for which…

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Our culture is changing. Things that were common only 20 years ago are becoming impossible. Things that were rare 20 years ago are becoming common place. Disaster seems to strike nearly every day somewhere in America or in the world.

Our world is changing and it’s not becoming more like Christ.

I do, though, believe that there’s hope.

There’s always hope with Jesus.

A big part of that hope is the Church. The Church is still God’s plan to reach humanity. However, as the Church, we stand at a crossroads of opportunity. One way takes us down the same path some of the church has been down for quite some time. That path says, “Look at us and see us. We’ll impress you into believing like us.” That path worked in the past and still works to some degree. However, there’s another path of opportunity. It’s the path that seems to give the Church and those outside of the Church real hope. It’s the path that sheds new light on what really makes Christianity special. There are some real advantages to the Gospel message and those trying to get it out.

Here are 4 advantages the Church has…

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How does ministry make you feel? The simplistic first response would be to say, “It doesn’t matter how it makes me feel, because I do it by faith regardless of my feelings.” There is a level on which that may be true, but it ignores the deeper reality of how emotions impact your ministry. Allowing our emotions to completely control our lives or ministries is, of course, a bad path to take, but in trying to avoid that path we can find ourselves taking the equally bad path of ignoring the place of those emotions in our life and ministry. When you look at the example of Jesus you see in his perfection a model of incorporating emotion and faith in a way that deeply empowered ministry. As a person who is deeply in need of better getting in touch with my emotions – hello, I’m a man! – I want to learn to be more like Jesus.

As I was reading through 1 Thessalonians a while back it struck me when I got to the end of chapter 2 and into chapter 3 how Paul was speaking clearly about his emotions as he…

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Danny Kirk, Grace Hills’ Community Pastor, started a back porch discussion off the other day with this question: what do you think are the basic, essential qualities a leader must have to be an effective church planter?

The more we talked, the longer our list became. And I even thought of Charles Ridley’s excellent list of 13 characteristics of a church planter, which I can’t improve upon. But before I get into it, let me issue this disclaimer to ward off those who will nail me for being overly pragmatic… God can use anyone he wants to use to do anything he wants done. Skilled or not, talented or not, charismatic or not, God can do amazing things through ordinary people.

Having said all of that, some people seem to lead well while others struggle. In general, these are the characteristics of leaders I see influencing growing numbers of people for the kingdom’s sake…

Character in the heart

Every leader’s influence is merely temporary, no matter how large, if there isn’t solid character being developed at the core. Trustworthiness is really the foundational quality of a leader. It’s not the product or the fruit; character is the root….

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A few weeks ago, I wrote an article called 5 Ways To Know If Your Team Is Inconsistent.  If you haven’t read it, would you click on the link and check it out?

Now that you’ve evaluated the team that you lead and you’ve discovered that they’re not as consistent as you’d like them to be…now what?  How do I help them become more consistent?

Well, I’m glad you asked!  Here are five ways to help increase consistency:

  1. Over communicate.  When leading a team, I’m not sure that it’s possible to communicate too much.  I’m sure that it is, but far too many of us woefully under-communicate that an increase in our communication would be welcomed.  But, when we communicate with our teams we are setting expectations.  And the more that they hear from us the more likely we are to adequately shape the culture and that leads to consistency and excellence.
  2. Have a system for development.  Often, one of the main reasons a team is inconsistent is because they lack training.  Especially in any kind of on-going way.  And, if there is training present, it happens haphazardly and without any clear system….

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Do people respect you more or less the closer they get to you?  This is a question I’ve been pondering lately. We all have leaders we admire or respect from a distance. It could be a pastor, a business executive, a non-profit leader, an author, etc. We’ve learned from their preaching, writing, or speeches. We’ve seen the fruit of their ministry or business and admire their impact.

However, we’ve also heard of leaders who looked great from afar but led inner lives of turmoil. Maybe they got caught in an affair, made poor financial decisions, or their staff is exhausted from consistent stress and long hours. These leaders seem like they have it all together – if you don’t look too closely or get into their inner circle.

How does this happen? More importantly, how do we prevent it from happening to us as leaders?

How does this happen? Here are a few ideas:

#1 – We live in a culture that reveres and desires celebrities

We want to follow someone. Look at reality television or the gossip magazines at the checkout counter. We’ve built entire industries around seeking to know the intimate details of people we’ll never…

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The 4 Keys Of Delegation

By Tim Parsons

Any time that we’re working with teams, delegation is going to be central to our success.  As a parent, we ask our kids to clean up their room or make the bed or brush their teeth.  At some point in their lives, we were probably the ones doing those things.  But, we want them to learn responsibility, so we delegate those tasks to them. In business, our capacity or skill level to do everything that needs to be done is limited.  So, we delegate tasks to those that we lead in order to accomplish the mission of the organization.

But, good delegation – whether its with a child or an adult – can require some skill.  Early on in my leadership, I was a horrible delegator.  In fact, I would say that I’m still growing in this area in some respects.  I’m not sure if it’s an introvert thing, but I definitely struggle with giving up control.  I have a mindset that if I want it done right, it’s better to do it myself.  But, I have definitely found some keys that must be present in order to delegate effectively.

1.  Be clear about the…

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Leaders are always defined by self-imposed standards. I’m not talking about standards set by other people, but standards they set for themselves. Great leaders always expect more from themselves than they do from their followers. They put forth more effort as well. That’s leadership.

If you were to look through the New Testament for the phrase “make every effort,” you’d find it six times. They represent six important vows we need to make as leaders. I believe these six vows will lead to an effective and productive ministry.

1) Vow to maintain integrity

“Make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with him” (2 Peter 3:14).

God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. No one is perfect. To be spotless and blameless means to live with integrity. How do you maintain integrity if you’re not perfect? You need to be transparent. A person of integrity is not claiming to have it all together in every area. On the contrary, the person of integrity is willing to be open about their strengths and weaknesses.

Having integrity also means living what you say you believe. You model what you teach. And you tell the truth,…

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