Archives For Leadership

Every leader is a steward. God has given you a ministry team full of people with specific gifts and talents. He hasn’t only done that for your benefit or for your church’s benefit. He wants you to help them grow and develop.

You’ll never know what God wants to do through the people you lead. But you do know that God has given you an opportunity to shape their lives and ministries while they are in your life.

So how can we bring out the best in the people we lead?

During my years of experience in church ministry, I’ve seen good leaders—the kind of leaders who make others better—consistently show five traits in their leadership. I’ll share the first two in this article and three more in Part 2 of this article.

  1. Accept their uniqueness completely.

God made everyone unique. Start by recognizing the unique value of each person on your team. It’s not an accident that God made each of us different. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we…

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Everything you have is a gift from God. God has given you your family, your health, your ministry, and even your freedom. 

If God didn’t give you the ability to work for what you have, you wouldn’t have anything. 

God expects you to be a good steward of everything he has given, including your influence. He wants you to use your influence to help others. 

What is influence? It’s not fame. You can be famous and not influential. Many people know celebrities, but they don’t care what they think. It’s also not wealth. You can’t buy influence. The Cambridge Dictionary defines influence as the power “to affect how someone or something develops, behaves, or thinks.” God expects you to use that kind of influence for good.

How can you do that? Start with these three steps.

1. Recognize your influence.

Everyone has influence. You’re likely aware of some of your own influence at church and at home. 

Yet you might not be aware of all the influence you have. You influence everyone you come into contact with, such as your relatives, neighbors, and even…

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You can’t succeed in ministry without getting people to work together. It’s a crucial leadership skill. 

Chapter 3 of Nehemiah is a powerful illustration of effective leadership. When God put a dream on Nehemiah’s heart to rebuild the wall around the city of Jerusalem, he successfully led a team to finish his goal. 

Pastor, as you rally your team around the dream God has given you, these six principles can help you get the most out of those you lead.

  1. Divide a big dream into smaller goals and tasks.

Nehemiah broke down a huge dream into manageable chunks. If you read Nehemiah 3 in the Contemporary English Version of the Bible, you’ll see the word “section” used 28 times in 32 verses. Repeatedly, the Bible tells us that particular groups of people helped to build specific sections of the wall. A section is simply a smaller part of a whole. Nehemiah took this very large dream and split it into manageable tasks. 

I followed Nehemiah’s example when I started Saddleback Church. Before we began, I split my 40-year dream into 480 monthly…

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God wants all of us to grow. Maturity is one of his purposes for our lives. In fact, Hebrews 6:1 tells us, “Let’s press on to maturity” (CEB). God intends for us to always pursue spiritual growth so that we may “be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29 ESV).  

One of God’s five purposes for your church is to help your congregation grow in spiritual maturity. But there’s a lot of confusion about what Christian maturity looks like. As you’re making disciples, it’s important that you are clear about what it means to grow more like Jesus. 

Maturity isn’t about age. You can be a Christian for 50 years and still not be mature. 

Maturity isn’t about appearance. Some people may look spiritually mature, but they aren’t. Just because someone appears dignified, it doesn’t mean they are holy. 

Maturity isn’t about achievement. You can accomplish much without being mature in your faith. 

Maturity isn’t about academics. A seminary degree or a Bible college degree doesn’t make you spiritually mature. 

You…

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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 was born…

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