I received a phone call to turn on the news as a story was breaking about a local supermarket burning to the ground. Images of fire trucks, destruction, and towering flames filled my computer screen. A New Life Fellowship Church member had invested 25 years of his life to build that business. His life work was now in ashes. We met over dinner a few weeks after the tragedy, and Geri and I listened to the story. What surprised me most was not his response but mine. His grief and disorientation were so great that my first thought was that he speak with a good Christian counselor. It was only when Geri and I were in the car returning home that I realized how I had failed to ask a far more important question – that of discernment. Where was God in the fire? This is what I failed to remember: Death and resurrection. Read more.
The greatest danger in Christian leadership is to forget God. It happens so slowly we scarcely notice it. What we do notice are the symptoms. The easy, light yoke of Jesus becomes heavy and hard. We start looking for quick fixes. We begin relying on unmodified business practices to navigate our ministries, grafting secular branches onto our spiritual root system. Five words help me to keep my feet on the ground. Each summarizes a different characteristic of Jesus’ upside-down kingdom: Slow. Like most of you, my goals take at least 2-3x longer than I think. The kingdom of God is, and always will be, a mustard seed that grows slowly. Paul compares leadership to the slow pain of a woman giving birth (Galatians 4:19). This slowness frustrated Judas and the Zealots. They rushed and missed what God was doing. So I ask myself daily, “Am I rushing?” Discern. The rhythm of death and resurrection. Read more.
Measuring ministry impact is biblical. The question is how do we that? The world’s way is measuring only numbers. How many people attend? How many are in small groups? How many people are serving? While measuring numbers as one measure of success is biblical (we do see this in Scripture), when it is ALL we measure, it is unbiblical. (We also see this in Scripture e.g. Jesus, John the Baptist.) Success is first and foremost doing what God has asked us to do, doing it his way, and in his timing. Have you ever considered that your ministry, organization, or team may be growing and yet actually failing? Join me on this podcast with Rich Villodas on this very theme! Warmly, Pete LISTEN HERE Space is limited. REGISTER TODAY! Save Save
Supervision of people is one of the most important tasks for every leader, especially for Christian leaders. We are concerned, not simply with the task they are commissioned to do; we are also concerned with their personal development and spiritual formation. Why? Work performance and spiritual formation are inseparable. So a spirituality of supervision is not simply coordination of their work with the larger whole. And it is different than mentoring (i.e. pouring into another to resource their growth). Supervision is all about stewarding—bringing out their best contribution in the context of your particular mission. Supervision involves a unique exercise of power (i.e. “the capacity to influence”) as I help my supervisee reach my goals. For this reason, it must be learned and is more an art than a science. The most effective supervision is carried out in a coaching mode—equipping and releasing others to do the goals we have agreed upon, and holding. Read more.
Thomas L. Friedman released an important book a few months ago called Thank You For Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations. I usually take notes on the blank white pages in the back of a book. For a few seminal books, however, I actually type out key things God might be saying to me personally and as a leader. Thank You for Being Late was one of those books. My goal here is not to do a book review, but to share with you my top applications: We must be self-motivated, life-long learners. The world is changing at a pace so fast it has risen above the rate at which most people can absorb all the changes. Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, says it best: “The 21st century will be equivalent to 20,000 years of progress at today’s rate of progress; organizations have to be able. Read more.
The word “listen” or “hear” is found more than 1500 times in the Bible. The problem is that it is easy to lead FOR God without listening TO God. That is why the most important question every one of us must ask throughout our days is: “God, how are you coming to me, what might you want to say?” The question then needs to be applied specifically to different areas of our lives. Let me provide you with a few examples of what that looks like in my life: Time with God. “God, how are you coming to me in Scripture and silence today?” At times he leads me to linger over a passage, a phrase, or a text for days – even weeks. At times he leads me to read whole books of Scripture in one sitting. While I practice 20 minutes of silence and stillness each morning, I am also listening to. Read more.