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 […]

Are You a Hypocritical Preacher?

The last thing a pastor wants to feel like is a hypocrite. Yet for so many of us, it seems inevitable. When was the last time you stepped out of the pulpit feeling like you preached to yourself more than your church? What sin were you calling your church – and yourself – to repent […]

Pastoral Idolatry: 10 Common Forms of False Righteousness in Ministry

Brothers, we are all idolaters. If Calvin was right when he said that our hearts are idol factories, and he was, then pastors are no exception. Which insufficient form of righteousness are you guilty of seeking from ministry? Or – if you are like me – which one are you not guilty of seeking? 1. […]

When Interruptions Help You Become a More Complete Pastor

A common frustration in ministry is when demands on our time and energy surprise us. The result is that we can’t focus on what we planned to work on because what came in unplanned is urgent. What I’ve discovered about these surprises is that these interruptions are often not interruptions in the truest sense. A […]

Relief for Pastors Stressed-Out by Their Complex Job

Stress is an inevitable byproduct of the complex nature of the pastor’s job. The pastor has three jobs, not one: he’s a prophet, a priest, and a king. If every pastor were honest, he would admit that one of those jobs brings more stress than the others. Which role – prophet, priest, or king – […]

Why Pastoral Work Is So Complex (And Why You Shouldn’t Try to Simplify It)

Pastoral ministry is the most difficult job in the world. I don’t think that’s an overstatement. One contributing factor to this is the complexity of the job of a pastor. There are lots of bad ways to deal with the complexity of pastoral ministry. You could put in more hours. You could cut down on […]

Subject Yourself to a Pastoral Punch to the Gut from D.A. Carson

D.A. Carson is like Mike Tyson from the Nintendo game Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. At least, when it comes to convicting pastors of how much sanctification we need. For those of you who never played the original Nintendo (dating myself, I know), Tyson was the only opponent in the game who could knock you down with one  punch, […]

5 Quick Things to Consider When You Are Stuck Writing a Sermon

You just finished studying your sermon passage. You’re ready to make the transition from hermeneutics to homiletics. But you’re stuck. You’re not quite sure how to proceed with your sermon. One solution may be to determine what kind of sermon you want to preach. What do you want to accomplish with this sermon? John Stott […]

Let Karl Barth Turn You Into a More Spiritual Theologian

Every pastor goes through periods of theological drought. Sometimes the congregation can see it, sometimes they can’t. But the pastor notices it immediately. It gets difficult to plumb theological depths in sermon prep. Leadership becomes a matter of pragmatics. Cliches abound in counseling meetings. Indeed, the theological drought withholds rain from all aspects of ministry. […]

10 Things That Make a Pastor Remarkable

The thing that makes pastors remarkable is not what they do for God. It’s what God has done for them. Marvel at the work of God that makes your life and ministry remarkable: 1. He saved you from your sin and his wrath by making you alive in Jesus (Eph. 2:1-5). 2. He gave you […]

4 Ways to Overcome the Monday Preaching Hangover

Ever experience the Monday “preaching hangover”? Ever not experience it? Brian Croft, over at Practical Shepherding, has a great post answering the question: how do you overcome the Monday morning preaching hangover? He gives four ways: 1. Pray and read Scripture. 2. Know your limitations. 3. Exercise. 4. Assign yourself achievable tasks. Read the rest.

How NOT to Deal With Your Frustration In Ministry

Frustration is common in ministry. The pastors who avoid frustration best tend to be best at avoiding preaching the gospel. But if we follow the Lamb wherever he goes, and preach his blood, we will encounter slices of the conflict and opposition that eventually got the Lamb slain. So the question is not how do […]