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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

5 Lessons I’m Learning in My First Year as a Lead Pastor

This is a guest post by Brandon Levering. Brandon is a recent graduate of the Pastoral Residency Program at College Church (check out the program’s intro video and info packet). He now serves as Lead Pastor at Westgate Church in the suburbs of Boston. Learn more lessons on ministry from Brandon at his blog and on […]

Do You Use “Gospel” as an Adjective More Often than a Noun?

Did you know that you can make anything gospel-centered just by adding the word “gospel” in front of it? There is contextualization. But then there’s gospel contextualization. There is church growth. But then there’s gospel growth. There are the arts. But then there are gospel arts. Gospel centrality has morphed from a movement to a culture. […]

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 […]

6 Types of Leaders Who Will Help Your Church Grow

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

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 […]

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 […]

4 Roadblocks to Achieving Your Goals

Pithy and profound, as usual, from Seth Godin. Which of these four roadblocks is holding you back from achieving your goals? “You don’t know what to do. You don’t know how to do it. You don’t have the authority or the resources to do it. You’re afraid. Once you figure out what’s getting in the […]

How to Avoid Fake Buy-In to Your Vision

Leaders know that buy-in is crucial to the success of a big vision. The chain of your vision is only as strong as its least invested link. But not all buy-in is created equal. Some is fake. Some is real. Everyone knows how to achieve buy-in: gather everyone involved into a meeting, discuss the vision, […]

Are You a Hard Worker Or a Long Worker?

Do you pride yourself in the number of hours you log each week? It makes you feel like a hard worker. But what are you doing during all those hours? Are you actually working hard? Or does getting ministry done take so long because you spend all day avoiding the hard work of pastoral 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 […]

A Not-Famous Pastor’s Take on the Evangelical Hollywood

I was reminded of the polarizing effect famous Christian leaders have on the masses at The Gospel Coalition National Conference last week. It seems to me that people can potentially fall into two extremes. First there is the cynical camp. At best, the cynic derides everyone who attends conferences as wide-eyed fan-boys. At worst, he […]

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 […]

Leadership Coaching at The Resurgence

I just happened upon some great leadership videos by Mark Driscoll at The Resurgence. I think you check them out (registration required). I just watched one on prophet, priest, and king leadership styles, which are strong in preaching, counseling, and administrating respectively. I was encouraged that Driscoll said some things I’ll be writing about in […]