How Basic Economics and Effective Church Leadership Go Together

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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”

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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

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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

Photo by Jasmic at Flicr

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 [...]

6 Types of Leaders Who Will Help Your Church Grow

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When I was a kid, there was a wall at my grandparents’ house where all the grandkids marked their height through the years. I have over 25 cousins, so you can imagine all the little dashes with names and dates next to them. I never noticed I was growing. But every time we visited, I [...]

6 Types of Leaders Who Stunt Your Church’s Growth

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Growth is what every church needs. Good pastors plan, aim toward, and set goals for the right kind of growth. It will look different for your church compared to others, but it will include some combination of numerical and spiritual growth. Good pastors, however, don’t grow the church by making decisions unilaterally. They operate with [...]

9 Reasons Pastors Fail to Equip the Saints for Minsitry

It’s not easy to put your philosophy of ministry into practice. Every seminary student cites Ephesians chapter 4 in their philosophy of ministry papers. Every book written on pastoral ministry exegetes this passage. And for good reason. It lays out the key ministry principle that the body of Christ works together to grow and mature in [...]

John Piper Says Efficiency Is a Non-Negotiable for Pastoral Leadership

Wait, John Piper thinks efficiency is important? Doesn’t he only care about prayer, preaching, theology, and scholarship? These things aren’t mutually exclusive, my friends. On the contrary, efficient habits are the bridge to the land of effective pastoral leadership. “A leader does not like clutter. He likes to know where and when things are for quick [...]

Do You Avoid Taking Risks on People Who Want to Serve or Lead?

When you put someone up front, it says a lot. You essentially give them your pastoral stamp of approval. This puts your reputation as a leader on the line. If they don’t work out, it shows that you shouldn’t have put them in that position in the first place. You might lose the confidence of others [...]