As leaders, we know that PRAYER is the heartbeat of life in Christ. But often, our vision of prayer can become lop-sided, leading to a heavy weight on our shoulders. For my first 17 years as a Christian, I had a one-dimensional view of prayer. I thought prayer was a tool I was supposed to use to make God’s kingdom come. So I would devote 6-8 hours a week in prayer meetings, interceding for revival and believing that unless I prayed, God wouldn’t come. I thought that was what Jesus called us to. But over time I learned to see something different in the prayer life of Jesus. The gospel of Luke highlights a way of being with God that is less about striving and more about attunement. It is true that prayer DOES require perseverance and devotion but for reasons different than we think. In today’s podcast we explore the prayer life of Jesus. Read more.
Leaders in a digital age face a unique pressure to always be in front. Our social media platforms entice us to be seen, to be recognized, and to be liked. Underneath this is a lie that to be hidden is to be forgotten, and to be unknown is to be unloved. This is why one of the greatest temptations leaders face is self-promotion. Even Jesus faced this very temptation in the wilderness, yet rightly perceived it as a deadly trap from the evil one. Like Jesus, we must resist the many ways we are tempted to elevate our name and ministries into prominence. Is all self-promotion really sinful? Aren’t we called to reach people? How do we live and lead publicly without being robbed of joy and contentment? I address these questions and more on today’s podcast episode.
In 2024, church leaders will be sifted left and right. Mature from immature. Wise from foolish. Substantial from surface level. This I know – the most effective leaders (and the ones worth following) will draw a line in the sand and put a full stop to accepting a rushed, cluttered, and constricted life. They will reject speed, crowds, and noise in favor of a graceful, unrushed way of life. I call this lifestyle “spaciousness”. It’s one of the secret weapons of true spiritual mothers and fathers of the faith. On today’s podcast, I explore the theme of spaciousness, making applications for how leaders can resist the way of the world, and decisively shift into a new way of life with Jesus.
Leaders in 2024 are facing pressures and challenges greater than any other in my lifetime. Elections, wars, rumors of wars, economic pressure, global instability, scandals, artificial intelligence, etc. This may seem overwhelming, but there is a unique opportunity before us. As leaders, this will require the decision to radically re-align ourselves to God’s purposes and plans in the world today. On today’s podcast, I share some personal reflections on what I believe “radical realignment” looks like and then offer 3 specific invitations from God in this season.
As we approach 2024, there couldn’t be a better time to revisit your discipleship strategy. Here’s why… In North America, we are ramping up towards another election year. For most Americans, this has become a time of increased anxiety, stress, and relational volatility. As a culture, we lack the tools to have difficult conversations (especially political ones) without resorting to blaming, name-calling, avoiding, and “dirty fighting.” Sadly, we do this in the church as well. For the first 17 years of my Christian walk, this was all I ever knew. I simply mirrored what I learned from my family of origin. My mother yelled and screamed. My father was an appeaser who later exploded in anger. I learned to become an appeaser, which cost me dearly in my marriage, leadership, and church. For both Geri and I, we had to completely re-learn what it looks like to fight (and negotiate differences) in the new. Read more.
We’re in the thick of the holiday season – a time full of joy, yet jam-packed with people, parties, and productions. This season has a dizzying effect on everyone – but especially leaders. One temptation is to put a smile on our face while skimming over the frustrations, disappointments, and other inner workings of our souls. We have people and situations that are bothering us at a core level, but rather than leaning into difficult and heartfelt conversations, we choose instead to avoid them. When we do this, we step out of integrity. This was how I operated for years as a pastor. I had people that were getting under my skin, but no tools to communicate what I was feeling in a healthy way. I chose instead to pretend I was feeling one way when secretly I was angry. Take a moment to reflect. Is there a situation that is bothering you? A. Read more.