What Not to Do: Top 10 Résumé Mistakes from My Recent Children’s Minister Search

You can tell a lot about someone by their résumé. This is something I learned by looking at almost one hundred of them for my church’s search for a new children’s minister. (By the way, God sent us someone, and he is awesome.) A couple were great. A few were good. But many of them […]

The Best Way for Leaders to Delegate

Every authority on leadership recognizes the importance of delegating. We are not omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, or omni-temporal. In other words, we can’t do everything, be everywhere, know all the answers, or work all the time. Since we aren’t born with ten arms, we need help getting things done. God is the only one in the […]

Be What You Want to See in Your Church

From Jared Wilson in The Pastor’s Justification: Applying the Work of Christ in Your Life and Ministry (p. 47): “God forbids pastoral domineering but commands instead ‘being examples to the flock’ (1 Pet. 5:3). Therefore, pastor, whatever you are, your church will eventually become. If you are a loudmouth boaster, your church will gradually become known for […]

Strength to Lead Grows through Resistance

Here is a preview of my article this month for Pastors Today, “Strength to Lead Grows through Resistance”: Have you ever realized how easy leadership is? A vision statement is pretty easy to write if you toy around with the verbiage long enough. Dreaming up big hairy audacious goals is a blast. And reading leadership […]

Make Your Next Pastoral Hire a Good One

An open church position poses an opportunity for your ministry to move forward or go backward. Despite relentless interviews and prayer, you never really know which way it will go until the new person is in the role, off and running (or crawling, as the case may be). How can you know if you are […]

How Basic Economics and Effective Church Leadership Go Together

I’m currently about halfway through Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics: A Commonsense Guide to the Economy. Not only have I learned a lot about economics, I’ve gleaned many lessons that can be applied in a church context. So much so that I wanted to share some things even before I finish the book. First of all, […]

The Blessings and Curses of Being an Introverted Pastor

Here’s a preview of my most recent article at Pastors Today: The stakes are high when it comes to being an introverted pastor because our job is people. The very nature of our role requires us to engage with our congregation relationally, but the nature of our personality inclines us toward alone time. To the […]

Thinking About Starting a Blog? 4 Important Questions to Ask Yourself First

If you have been thinking about starting a blog, you may be interested in my latest article at Pastors Today. Here’s a sneak peak: “We are in a digital age, and our effectiveness as leaders will be measured in part by the extent that our influence reaches to the digital realm. Pastors are seeing the […]

Your Three Options When Instituting Change

Change is hard no matter where it happens, but it seems like it can be hardest in churches. People have a vested interest in keeping things the same. Maybe they are comfortable with where the church is. Perhaps it has taken a lot of work to get there. Or maybe certain ministries suit their interests. […]

Why Playing it Safe as a Pastor Is the Riskiest Move You’ll Make

My article this month at Pastors Today was posted this morning. My wife said it’s one of the best articles I’ve written, so I hope you will click over and give it a read. Here’s a preview: The call to ministry is a call to confrontation and controversy. It’s impossible to read the Bible and […]

5 Quick Tips for Giving a Great Job Performance Review

I just finished a rough draft for new job performance reviews at my church, and it got me thinking about what makes a review go well. Here are five tips I hope aren’t painfully obvious. 1. Nothing should be a surprise, nothing should be news. The review is not the time to unload weapons grade […]

5 Warning Signs Your Relationship with God Is Strictly Professional

I’m excited to have the opportunity to contribute to a new blog at LifeWay called Pastors Today. It is written by pastors for pastors, and addresses many of the challenges pastors face in ministry. My first article was posted yesterday: 5 Warning Signs Your Relationship with God Is Strictly Professional: “Ministry is more than a job. It’s […]

3 Wrong Roles Pastors Cast for Their Church Members

Between school plays, little league teams, and numerous other ways, we have all been given roles that we thought were below us. We wanted the leading role, but got curtain duty. We wanted to pitch, but got stuck in right field. What was that role for you? (Or maybe I’m just speaking for myself.) Like […]

The Relationship Between Masculinity and Pastoral Authority

I remember the first time I worried if I was masculine enough. It was three years ago (I know, probably should have come sooner, right?) when my wife and I found out our second child would be a boy. Being a man is hard enough. How am I going to raise a man? Someone somewhere once said […]

Programmatic Ministry or Organic Ministry? Here’s a Third Option

My latest post at Christianity.com: “Moving the ministry of your church forward requires a delicate dynamic of giving and receiving between the leaders and members. If not monitored closely, this dynamic morphs into a tug-of-war match, which always ends up with one side tumbling. If not both. When the effort behind the ministry tugs toward […]

My Top 10 Quotes from Albert Mohler’s “The Conviction to Lead”

I immediately ordered The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership that Matters by Albert Mohler after reading this review. I was barely able to to put it down. Mohler’s book is full of leadership insights that I have not read anywhere else. Let these snippets inspire you to buy it and read it yourself. 1. […]

Interesting Stats on Multisite Church Campuses

I recently came across the short ebook Multisite is Multiplying by Warren Bird and Kristin Walters, of Leadership Network. It contains many interesting stats about the current trends (as of 2010) of multisite churches. Topics covered include: How many churches have launched multisite campuses? Does multisite church ministry hurt church planting? What is the success rate of a multisite […]

6 Objections Good-Idea-Snipers Use to Shoot Down Your New Ministry Opportunities

You have attended a frustrating meeting or two if you’ve been in ministry long enough. One of the most frustrating elements of meetings are good-idea-snipers. When someone floats a wild, new idea for a ministry – that’s so crazy it just might work – they raise their scope to their eye, and start firing off […]

Why Basing Your Next Ministry Decision on Precedent Might Lead You to the Wrong Choice

When a leadership team faces a dilemma, “What did we do last time?” is a question that tends to pop up. The assumption is that past precedents help you make the right decision now. While this is true, it’s not true as often as leaders expect. Here are five reasons why arguing from precedent might […]

The Pastor’s Guide to Twitter: 10 Tweets to Impact Your Church

Not knowing what to tweet is a common obstacle for pastors who want to impact their church through Twitter. Without a plan, your tweets will lack purpose, or you won’t tweet at all. When I first joined Twitter, I waited several days before I finally tweeted something. I was clueless about what to post and […]

My Philosophy of Ministry in 4 Words, Drawn on a Napkin

If you want to be a complete pastor, you gotta do all three.

7 Ways to Become an Entrepreneurial Pastor (Without Becoming a Risk-Taker or a Businessman)

More and more these days, we are hearing that successful pastors, especially church planters, need to be entrepreneurial. But what does that mean exactly? What does it not mean? In a previous post on this topic, I pointed to renowned business and management author, Peter Drucker, for a definition of entrepreneurship. He says an entrepreneur […]

What It Means to Be an Entrepreneurial Pastor

Entrepreneurship is one of the new, hot characteristics pastors are claiming for themselves. But many operate, I am afraid, on the wrong definition of an entrepreneur. Because they focus more on personality than skills, more and more pastors are slapping an “E” on their uniform, but can’t play ball. What entrepreneurship really is The entrepreneurial […]

5 Ways to Imitate John Stott: Tim Keller’s Message at Stott’s Memorial Service

It is always inspiring to hear stories of a life lived well for God’s glory and kingdom. I had the privilege to attend John Stott’s memorial service last week. His was very much one of those lives. Tim Keller gave the sermon for the service from Hebrews 13:7, “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to […]

5 Ways to Reinvigorate Your Church By Thinking More Like a Church Plant

Brandon Levering has a great article at The Gospel Coalition entitled, “5 Ways Established Churches Should Think Like Plants.” If you’re looking for ways to reinvigorate the gospel impact of the church, you would do well to shift into the five church plant mentalities Brandon lists: 1. Church plants clearly define their mission and keep it […]