Archives For Leadership

For the past few weeks, I’ve been writing a series of articles looking back at my 60 years of walking with Jesus and describing some of the faith and ministry lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Read Part 1 HERE, and Part 2 HERE.

The world has changed greatly in the 42 years since I started Saddleback. When we held our first service in the spring of 1980, cell phones didn’t exist. We didn’t have the Internet. No one had a personal video camera. Only a handful of people had personal computers.

I remember we bought three computers for 10,000 dollars in the first few years of Saddleback. I lost three leaders in the church over it. They called the purchase a waste and said we’d never use three computers. But times have changed. 

Change is inevitable. You don’t have to like change, but you can’t stop it. The world will continue to change every day. You can count on that.

You can resent or resist change. Or you can use it for your growth and God’s glory. The choice is yours.

But…

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In my previous article, I started a series looking back at my 60-plus years of walking with Jesus and describing some of the faith and ministry lessons I’ve learned along the way. If you missed that article, you can find it here.

I’ve had a lot of people throughout the years come into my office and tell me that my plans for Saddleback are impossible. You’ve probably had it happen, too. You start a new building campaign with a huge goal. Or you commit to a new mission project that looks overwhelming. Whatever it is, people will tell you it’s impossible to do.

So what I’ve done is remove the word impossible from the dictionary in my office. I did this at the very beginning of Saddleback Church. I got that idea from the Bible. Luke 1:37 says, “Nothing is impossible for God” (GW). If impossible isn’t in God’s vocabulary, it’s not in mine either.

Many years ago, we had a traffic bottleneck coming onto our campus. We had only one entrance, and we…

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By Roger Stanton, National Ambassador Coach

I’m a grateful believer in Jesus, who is overcoming an addiction to pornography and lust, and my name is Roger.

I spent most of my Sundays and Wednesdays at my local church growing up. I learned to emulate what I thought was a solid faith in Jesus. However, the faith “I built” wasn’t strong enough to hold up to the temptations life would bring along. To make matters worse, the religion I subscribed to disallowed my ability to be a sinner and a “good person” at the same time. As I grew into adulthood and racked up my sins, I faced a true coming to Jesus moment.

Shortly after getting married, my wife caught me in my addiction. That day I had to own the fact that I was indeed a sinner. I had heard my whole life that Jesus could help the sinners, but I didn’t know how to be the sinner that accepted Christ’s saving. I was full of pride and needed change.

Seven years of relapses later, our local church launched a Celebrate Recovery ministry. I was coerced to show up to the opening night for…

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Unity within our churches has been stretched and challenged over the past few years. The world has become more polarizing, causing people to take sides on a whole host of issues.

Pastor, you need to guard the unity of your church. 

For God to move in your church, it needs to be united—no matter what’s happening in the culture and around the world. I’m convinced that when we have the unity of the church in Acts, we’ll have the power of the church in Acts. Then we’ll be able to set aside our petty differences and unify around one thing: the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 4:32). 8

So how can you maintain unity when the surrounding forces are trying to tear it apart?

Here are five ways you can protect the unity of your church. 

Develop an attitude of acceptance in your church.

Accept people where they are, not where you want them to be. Don’t major on minor issues. You don’t need to insist that everyone agrees on every minor detail.

Romans 14:1 says, “Accept the…

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God has wired me in such a way that I like to watch things grow. He’s given me a passion for gardening. And every gardener knows that if you don’t have changes in seasons, your plants will not make it. You need seasonal changes in order for plants to grow.  

The same is true in your life. You need to experience various seasons in order to mature and grow.  

In fact, you’ll go through many seasons in your life. You’ll experience joyous seasons, like a new marriage, a new ministry, or a new child. And you’ll experience tough ones too, like when you are grieving, experience a job loss, or struggle with a new family dynamic.

But here’s the good news: God wants to use every one of the seasons you’re in for your good. 

From my personal experience, the following four questions will help you make the most of every season:

1. What can I learn?

We can only learn certain things through experience. Deuteronomy 11:2 tells us, “Remember today what you have learned about the Lord through your experiences with him”Continue Reading

I know many church leaders who struggle with time management. But the good news is, it’s something you can learn. 

You might think that some people are just naturally good at managing their time. But that’s not true. 

The Bible tells us that time management can be taught. Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should” (TLB).

If you’re struggling to get your time under control, follow these four steps from Paul to help you manage your time and make your life more effective:

  1. Analyze your lifestyle. “Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people)” (Ephesians 5:15 AMPC).

Paul tells us to have an objective and to manage our lives in a way that helps us achieve that goal. He urges us to be purpose driven. 

The starting point to a life of purpose, Paul says, is to

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Ministry can be stressful. You know that as well as I do. But there is hope for the crushing stress many church leaders face today—and we find this hope in the example of Jesus.

Nobody experienced greater stress than Jesus Christ. He was criticized constantly and pulled in so many directions. He had little privacy, and people often tried to kill him.

Yet Jesus’ ministry was characterized by amazing peacefulness. No matter how difficult the situation became, he modeled calmness and resilience in the face of outrageous demands. 

Here are seven principles we can learn from Jesus’ example of resilience amid stress.

Remember how much God loves you.

God loves us extravagantly, and Jesus clearly knew this. He says this in John 10:17, “The Father loves me” (NLT). When you realize that God loves you and that nothing you ever do will stop his love, you have the foundation you need for resilience.

God’s love for you is the basis for your personal security. If you aren’t absolutely convinced God loves you unconditionally and completely, you’ll…

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How to Lead Like Moses

By Rick Warren

How to Lead Like Moses

We need more Christian leaders in the world today. Everything—including our churches and our communities—rises and falls on leadership. Without a leader, nothing that needs to be done will ever get done. 

Unfortunately, there is a shortage of servant leaders in our world. God has called you to lead. You may not think you have the ideal personality to lead, but God can use any personality. 

You can see this in the life of the greatest leader of the Old Testament, Moses. He once led a million slaves out of bondage. He wrote the first books of the Bible. God used him in incredible ways.

Why did God use Moses? 

He settled four important issues that all effective leaders need to settle.

1. Moses knew his identity.

Leadership doesn’t begin with understanding those you lead. It begins with self-awareness. You need to come to grips with who you are and who you are not. You need to know your background, your strengths, and weaknesses.

Moses had an identity crisis. He had to figure out who he was. He…

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Five Kinds of Goals God Blesses

As you look ahead, I hope you’ve already penciled in some goals to pursue over the next 12 months. January is a great month to rethink your priorities and refocus on what really matters. 

In my last Ministry Toolbox article, I shared with you five reasons goals are important. But that doesn’t mean every goal is good. There are some goals God won’t bless. For example, you could set a goal to watch every television episode this year, and it’s likely God won’t bless that kind of goal.

On the other hand, God blesses goals that honor him. What are those goals?

Goals that bring glory to God.

The Bible tells us everything we do can bring glory to God if we do it in the right attitude and with the right motivation (1 Corinthians 10:31). Any goal that makes us more grateful to God, draws us closer to him, or involves sharing Jesus with others brings God glory.

This means the same goal can be one God blesses and one he doesn’t, depending upon the motivation behind it. If…

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Why You Need Goals in 2022

Most of the people in our congregations are stepping into 2022 hoping it will be better than 2021. Many have already identified specific changes they want to make in their lives. They want to get healthier, heal their marriage, or get serious about their spiritual growth. 

But despite their best intentions, many of those changes will fizzle out. 

That’s where goals come in. It’s critical that you have a vision for what God wants to do in your life. You have to see the goal before you can reach the goal. But once you’ve seen it, you must believe you can achieve it. That’s where your faith in God comes in.

A few years back, I asked a world-famous psychologist, “In all of your work over the years, what has been the most helpful thing you’ve given to people that has made a difference in their lives as they were seeking change?” 

His answer was surprising. 

“There’s no question about it,” he said. “I’ve discovered the most helpful thing I can do for people in a personal or relational…

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Five Steps to a Fresh START

Our God is the God of second chances and fresh starts.

Pastor, as you head into 2022, you may be ready to let go of a dream or a vision that God has given you. But don’t give up, because the year ahead is another opportunity to pursue the dream God has given you.

God’s Word gives us five simple steps for seizing the fresh start he wants to give us. I’ve created an acrostic, S-T-A-R-T, to help us remember these steps as we try to apply them in 2022.

Stop making excuses for not starting.

The biggest barriers to your success are your own excuses. God has a lot to say about your excuses. Just look at the four most common excuses we make when giving up on a dream. 

  • “I don’t have what it takes to go after my dream.” Many people in the Bible tried making this excuse, including Moses, Jeremiah, and Gideon. But God reminded each one that he is with them as they fulfill his calling for their lives. And God’s answer to your insecurity is to also…

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Once your Christmas services are completed, you’ll likely be ready for some time off before the new year begins. And since it’s been an eventful year in ministry, you’ll need this time to recharge, relax, and soak in the holidays with your loved ones.

But don’t forget about making plans for the beginning of 2022. The new year is a time when people are particularly open to making spiritual changes in their lives. In fact, many non-believers questioned God more than ever this past year. Whether or not some of them attended your services physically or virtually, they were likely thinking about their relationship with Jesus. Attending church and getting to know God better are common resolutions people make as they head into the new year.

Plus, with kids heading back to school again in January, many families are looking to begin new habits. They’re more open to adding new commitments to their schedules than they will be at other times. (When kids start school in the fall is another key time when families are open to changing up their schedules.)

That…

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