One of the great questions confronting the church today in the face of our growing secular culture is: Can you be a believer and not a disciple? In this podcast, I talk with Rich Villodas about this question and the challenges facing leaders today. How do we make disciples when people are already over-committed and busy? What can we do to address the many under-developed, stunted, nominal Christians filling our churches? Click below to listen and wrestle with us on what it will take to make disciples who are deeply transformed so we can change the world for Christ. LISTEN HERE Tuesday, January 10th @ 2 PM ET — REGISTER TODAY Save Save Save Save
Building healthy leadership teams and cultures is one of the most important tasks we engage in as leaders. In this unique podcast, Pete and Rich share how understanding genograms has served as a powerful tool to create a healthy, transformational, team culture at New Life over the last twenty years. Click below to watch the video or the link to listen to the audio file. LISTEN HERE Save Save
In Stephen W. Smith’s recent book, Inside Job, he cites the Rule of Life Mother Teresa laid down for her nuns in their work among the sick and dying in Calcutta. It reads as follows: The Sisters shall spend 1 day in every week, 1 week in every month, 1 month in every year, 1 year in every 6 years in the Motherhouse, where in contemplation and penance together with solitude she can gather in the spiritual strength, which she might have used up in the service of the poor. (p. 344, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light) Imagine 1 Sabbath day every week, 1 Sabbath week every month, 1 Sabbath month every year, and 1 Sabbath year every 7 years. What I like best about this is 1 Sabbath week every month! Every one of us ministers among the sick and dying. Yet we consistently underestimate how much emotional/spiritual life is flowing out from us.. Read more.
Almost every church, nonprofit organization, and Christian community I know bears deep scars and hurt due to a failure to steward power and set wise boundaries. I was no exception. My understanding of how power affects relationships and the need for wise boundaries was woefully inadequate for many years. I tried to be a good friend and a good “boss,” but I was neither. I lost relationships I treasured that I had spent years building. I didn’t understand two key concepts – stewardship and dual relationships. Every leader exercises stewardship of power, i.e. we have a capacity to influence others. That power is God-given. When we under-use our power out of fear, a need to be liked, or an aversion to conflict, we hurt people. When we over-use our power to manipulate and push, we also hurt people. Exercising power like Jesus requires we know our shadows and vulnerabilities, and build in healthy safeguards.. Read more.
The first inner life issue addressed in The Emotionally Healthy Leader is our need to face our shadow. Why? It is one of our greatest challenges. Our shadow undermines our ability to serve others and undermines the best of who we are. This is nowhere more true than in our preaching. The following are ten signs your shadow is negatively impacting your preaching: You are overly concerned with people’s approval and affirmation after you preach. You exaggerate, spin, or tell half-truths from the pulpit for impact or to get laughs. You preach about things you don’t live. You spend an excessive amount of time focusing on being clever, smart, and finding great illustrations rather than taking time to allow the biblical text to transform you. You use the pulpit to inappropriately manipulate a particular response, failing to do the hard work of developing your speaking gifts. You use the pulpit to indirectly address conflicts. Read more.
For the last month I have been deeply affected by the pictures and stories of tens of thousands of refugees pouring into Europe. Then, this past week Geri and I were in Germany, speaking and interacting with church leaders from Eastern and Western Europe. We saw refugees in the streets, railway stations, and small villages. We had dinner with one of our German pastor friends about his small “suburban” village of 600 that recently received 57 refugees. The town formed a task force of over 50 people to serve their massive needs (from clothing, to language study, to integration into schools, etc.). It was inspiring. This crisis goes beyond Europe to the world as a whole. We can expect greater migrations of peoples seeking stability and opportunity for years to come in the West. So how do we look at the news of what we are seeing – both theologically and practically? I offer. Read more.