Scripture provides us with multiple examples of God’s leaders making plans without him since the beginning of recorded history. Abraham and Sarah grew impatient and decided Abraham would sleep with Hagar (Genesis 16:1 – 4). Moses impulsively killed an Egyptian in a misguided effort to deliver God’s people (Exodus 2:11 – 23). Solomon planned and negotiated deals to build a bigger and better kingdom on the earth without consulting God. The list goes on — from King Saul’s decision to remain on his throne and kill David, to the prophet Jonah running away from God’s command to go to Nineveh. Making plans for God without listening to him has been standard practice for thousands of years. In this podcast, I talk about the 3 indispensable questions I ask to stay anchored in making plans and decisions that flow out of deep inner life with God – whether they be in my personal leadership or with a team. They are: What. Read more.
Keeping Sabbath is a core spiritual practice – an essential means God uses to slow us down and mature us. This applies to everyone, and especially to us who lead others. The integration of Sabbath delight in the midst of an active, missional life is one of the more subversive, radical and powerful gifts we can offer our people and the world we aim to serve. In this podcast, I begin by exploring a number of related Sabbath applications and tangents (e.g. Sabbath as play, re-framing vacations as longer Sabbaths, the importance of longer sabbaticals, Sabbath as a weapon of warfare against powers and principalities). After this, I answer a number of common FAQ’s such as: How do I go about deciding what specific activities are acceptable and unacceptable on the Sabbath? Do I need a day-off and a Sabbath? What do I do about my tendency to perfectionism? Isn’t Jesus our Sabbath-rest? Is. Read more.
Practicing Sabbath is, as Eugene Peterson said, “a workshop to practice eternity.” In fact, he equated a busy pastor with an adulterous or embezzling pastor considering both to be scandalous. In this podcast, I share a sermon I gave as part of a series on work and calling (you’ll note that in the introduction. Click here to find that sermon). Why? Sabbath is God’s foundation for our work. It guards us against the powerful idol of making our work the center of meaning for our lives, protecting us from defining ourselves by our work. The following is a brief assessment from The Emotionally Healthy Leader around your practice of Sabbath. Take it and see how you are doing. How Healthy Is Your Practice of Sabbath Delight? Next to each statement, write down the number that best describes your response. Use the following scale: 5 = Always true of me 4 = Frequently true of. Read more.
Evangelicalism has many great strengths for which I am deeply grateful – love for Scripture, commitment to mobilize people to use their gifts, a passion to spread the gospel – to name a few. One of our great weaknesses, however, is our overactivity and busyness, our lack of a sufficient being with Jesus to sustain our doing for him. In this podcast, I build on the chapter, “Slow Down for Loving Union,” from The Emotionally Healthy Leader, offering additional insights on how to allow Jesus full access to our lives in a posture of openness and surrender. I attempt to give a larger perspective on the unique challenges of leading when, at the same time, we’re seeking to deepen our abiding in Jesus. I also mention the 10 signs that indicate we’ve wandered from loving union with him. See how many apply to you today. You know you’re not experiencing loving union when you. Read more.
This week’s podcast explores the second pillar of building a deep inner life out of which we lead for Jesus – lead out of your marriage or singleness. The default thinking about marriage and singleness in most churches goes something like this: A leader’s highest priority is to build an effective and successful ministry to reveal Jesus’ love to the world. Marriage or singleness is important, but secondary. A leader’s oneness with Jesus is separate from his or her connection to a spouse (if married) or close friends and family (if single). Leaders need to get as much training and equipping as possible to improve their leadership skills. Training and equipping for marriage or singleness is primarily for when you have problems or a crisis. I begin the podcast by summarizing the material found in The Emotionally Healthy Leader, reviewing briefly a theology of marriage/singleness as a sign and wonder that bears witness to. Read more.
This week’s podcast explores the first pillar of building a deep inner life out of which we lead for Jesus: face your shadow. This requires confronting those parts of who we are that we prefer to neglect, forget, or deny, and it is our most difficult leadership task. Parker Palmer expresses this process best: Everything in us cries out against it. That is why we externalize everything — it is far easier to deal with the exterior world. It is easier to spend your life manipulating an institution than dealing with your own soul. We make institutions sound complicated and hard and rigorous, but they are simplicity itself compared with our inner labyrinths. I build on the material found in The Emotionally Healthy Leader in this podcast, providing additional avenues to get at this largely unconscious, damaged but mostly hidden version of who we are. Why? As we begin facing our shadows, we discover it is. Read more.