Years ago, we were doing some strategic planning at the church I had founded in Queens, NY. We were reflecting on what contributed to our growth over a 26 year period. A single word kept reappearing on the whiteboard – “BASEMENT”. How did we disciple so many quality leaders, many of whom are still leading today? Hint: it wasn’t what happened on the stage. It was what happened in the basement. Matthew 28 tells us to “make disciples of all nations”. But many leaders today feel pressure to make discipleship strategies big and public rather than small and hidden. Jesus modeled a different way of making disciples. In fact, he flipped the entire thing upside down. In today’s podcast, I share with you why real discipleship starts in the basement.
Eight years after planting New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, I was exhausted. The pressure of preaching and teaching weekly messages, along with the rest of my leadership responsibilities, left me depleted. Although our ministry was growing, I often felt like I was gaining the world but losing my own soul. This crisis launched me on a profound inward journey that ultimately led to a whole new way of doing both discipleship and leadership – including the fundamentals of preaching and teaching. What I lacked, and what so many of us still lack today, is a way to teach and preach for Jesus that properly flows out of a deep inner life with him. What I discovered is that there is a way to engage in this weighty work of speaking for Jesus that is light and easy rather than heavy and hard, that strengthens rather than diminishes our relationship with him, and that. Read more.
Affliction. It’s a topic that nobody wants to talk about (including me). But as it relates to TRUE LEADERSHIP, it is a costly mistake to avoid our afflictions. Why? Because this is how God matures us into spiritual mothers and fathers of the faith. By “affliction,” I’m referring to any kind of hurt, loss, betrayal, broken relationship, abandonment, or disorienting circumstance. While these are obviously things we don’t want, they are also unavoidable. Many of us run from our afflictions, seeing them as obstacles to our life and leadership. We distract, jump over, sidestep, and ignore. But Jesus called us to take up our cross and follow him. And when you’re on the cross, you can’t just jump off! The good news is that God doesn’t abandon us in our hardships. In fact – if we’re willing to PAY ATTENTION, God uses our afflictions to develop us into the type of leaders worth following.. Read more.
One of the greatest threats to leading with joy is giving into the temptation of overcommitment. When our lives are crowded, cluttered, and cramped, it is difficult to hear God and live in loving union with Him. The irony is, we can “fit in” regular practices of Sabbath and silence while still being driven by an overscheduled life. But how do we resist this temptation? Silence, solitude, and sabbath must become our practices. AND spaciousness must become our mindset. In order to live spacious lives, we must avoid the critical traps that keep us settling for an overcommitted life. What would it feel like to live with breathing room? How would it feel to limit your “Yes” and claim more margin in your schedule? What if you could build in time for extended thinking, praying, and being? On today’s podcast, I identify several traps that keep you from the gift of spaciousness and offer wisdom that. Read more.
Many leaders today “know” the importance of a slowed-down spirituality. So why do so many continue to feel overloaded and over scheduled, often working 3 jobs, taking on new side hustles, and remain driven by the fear of missing out? Why can’t we stop overcommitting? Listen, I know this struggle firsthand. And I’ve found that it goes deeper than knowing intellectually and theologically the right thing to do. We know many things. We know we need to slow down. We know about Sabbath and Daily Offices. We know we need silence and solitude. We know we need margin and spaciousness in our calendar. But if we want to experience breakthrough, we must get to our root systems so we can live in freedom. On today’s podcast, I tackle this question head-on in two parts: How do you break free from the roots of overcommitment inside yourself? How do you help others break free from. Read more.
Recently we crossed an unbelievable threshold with the Emotionally Healthy Leader Podcast with over 10 million lifetime podcast downloads. I couldn’t be more surprised, humbled, and thankful for this milestone moment. I say “surprised” because back in 1996, when we first started, the term “emotional health” was considered heretical in much of the church! Now 25 years later, we can see that the cultural landscape has changed dramatically. Not only is emotional health received, but in many ways, it is now considered a promotional buzzword. This is both a step forward AND presents a new challenge… While many leaders are doing the hard work of living and leading from true emotional and spiritual health, there are also many who use the right language but have settled for a surface-level version of the real thing. In today’s podcast, I share my observations of what I consider 3 counterfeit versions of emotional health that we settle for, but then. Read more.