I recently rediscovered these “Turning Point Lessons” that emerged out of a strategic planning retreat of our New Life Fellowship staff team in 2010. At this point, the church was twenty-two years old. What struck me as I re-read these is how timeless and relevant they are for today. The following are my edits and summary out of that discussion: Character is more important than gifting. Being is more important than doing. When we have overlooked issues of character because of anointing, effectiveness, or natural abilities, we have always paid a price. Do not rush. When decisions were made quickly, without pausing to pray, think and process implications, we always experienced regrets. Seeing the Promised Land without carefully discerning God’s timing led us on detours and painful disciplining from God. Be sure each leader takes responsibility for their growth and development. Our world and church are constantly changing. Thus, every leader needs to be. Read more.
The fruit of a mature spirituality is to be an incarnational presence to another person. It was for Jesus. It is, I believe, for all his followers, especially for those of us in leadership. The Gospels are filled with accounts of Jesus’ interactions with individuals — Matthew, Nathaniel, a prostitute, Nicodemus, a blind man, a Samaritan woman, and many others. When the rich young ruler came up to him, Jesus “looked at him and loved him.” He listened. He was present, never in a rush or distracted. He took the time to explore stories. When is the last time someone said to you, “Let me tell you about those Christians — they are fantastic listeners! I have never seen a group of ¬people more sincerely interested to know my world, who are curious, who ask questions — who actually listen to me!” Listening is not simply a key discipleship issue. It is a core. Read more.
My life passion is the glory of Jesus and that the world might know Him. A high quality, loving, vibrant church is His primary means for that to happen (cf. Eph.4:11-16; John 13:34-35). So, like many of you, my life work is to offer leadership to the church for this to become a reality. That is why we must become experts at dealing with elephants in the room. Elephants in the room refer to obviously inappropriate or immature behaviors that remain unacknowledged and unaddressed. Such elephants commonly roam wild and free among our teams, limiting our witness for Christ. Why is this so pervasive? The influence of our family of origin. Many of us grew up in families where multiple elephants lived. We are accustomed to elephants, large and small, freely roaming among us. We hate mess. We fear that if we address the elephants on our teams, things may actually worsen. They will. Read more.
We desperately need leaders today, particularly Christian leaders. How else will we effectively make disciples and bring Christ to the world amidst the enormous challenges confronting the church today? In Jesus’ commissioning of Peter in John 21:15-21, he lays down four indispensable truths about Christian leadership for us. They describe what I call: a shepherd leader. Jesus uses problematic humans like Simon Peter as leaders. Jesus addresses Peter as “Simon Peter,” reminding him he is more “Sandy” (up and down) than “Peter” (an immovable rock). Maybe he is first among the apostles because he is the chief sinner and the most broken? Be encouraged. Jesus seeks one quality from leaders above all else – love for himself. Three times, Jesus asks, “Do you love me?” This one simple, penetrating question is the first item Jesus wants on our job description. So simple, so clear. Be encouraged. Jesus gives us one major mission — to. Read more.
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.
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