I am a great believer in prayerfully discerning God’s vision for our work as leaders and strategically and thoughtfully setting priorities and goals to get there. The problem, however, is that our emphasis tends to be only numerical – e.g. attendance, number in small groups, giving – and a number of important goals are easily overlooked. I spent last week expanding on the first goal we tend to overlook in our leading: investing in our own development and growth in Jesus. In this week’s podcast, I explore four other goals we frequently overlook in our leadership: Each person on our team is blossoming with a personal/ministry growth plan as a disciple of Jesus. Our team models the quality of life in Jesus that we want to give away, i.e. we embody what we seek to happen in others. Each member of our team defines success in God, thoughtfully and prayerfully, for their area. Each. Read more.
Setting priorities as a Christian leader is one of our most challenging and difficult tasks. If we get it right, fruitfulness and joy follow. If we get it wrong, feelings of failure and misery follow. In present-day church culture success is mostly measured by numbers: attendance, giving, conversions, baptisms, small groups, new church plants, people serving, etc. In the process, however, we can miss other key goals that, while they may be more difficult to measure, are also biblical and important. This podcast (Part 1 of 2) will consider, in detail, the MOST frequently overlooked priority and goal of our leadership – ourselves! The greatest gift of leadership we give those around us is our continued diligence to be a disciple and to follow Jesus wherever, and however, he wants to lead us. Every year I ask: “Where is Jesus inviting me to grow this year and in what areas of my life? And. Read more.
This podcast, a 15-minute experience of silence and stillness before the Lord, is our Christmas gift to you, our way of saying “thank you” for being one of our faithful podcast listeners. The large majority of you may be driving, walking, or working out as you listen. Nonetheless, I will lead you in this podcast through this very slow experience by reading the words as they appear on the screen. I trust you will be able to experience a portion of this gift even without seeing the images. But for the fuller experience with Jesus, let me invite you to click on the image below and watch it via your phone or computer. Note: I saw the seed of this idea for this somewhere in 2008. (However, I am not sure where that was.) I watered that seed and developed a sermon around it to help people at New Life Fellowship Church integrate silence. Read more.
Sadly, Advent is a low point spiritually for most Christian leaders. This was my experience for years. I was told Christmas was THE time to get as many people to the church as possible, to close the financial year strong, to thank all our leaders, and to model reaching out to our neighbors for Christ. The problem was that, in the process, I lost the wonder and beauty of celebrating God’s coming in Jesus of Nazareth. This podcast talks about the top 4 Christmas killers and what we can do to resist them. Rushing. The one who hurries delays the things of God (Vincent de Paul). Rushing is violent to our souls. The pressure of too much to do, in too little time, causes us to push a button into an “autopilot” spirituality. We end up speaking of profound spiritual realities but our hearts slowly shrink. What can we do? Follow Jesus in withdrawing to. Read more.
Prior to stepping down as Lead Pastor of New Life Fellowship Church, I wondered: “What are the essence of the seeds I have planted? What are the seeds I pray the church cherishes, waters, and grasps more deeply in the years to come?” Among the seeds were this – God’s ways are little and slow, i.e. they are a mustard seed. For those of us swimming in 21st century Western culture, this is one of the most important biblical truths from Jesus that we must allow to sink deep into the soil of our being. Mustard seeds appear insignificant, powerless, imperceptible, and defeated. Few of us signed up to lead in this way. I surely did not! Yet Jesus pleads with us to resist the big, powerful, and sensational ways of the world and embrace his way. This one truth, found in Mark 13:31-32, is powerful enough to transform our self-understanding, our view of. Read more.
We need to stay grounded in Jesus, not only for his name sake, but for the world, for those we lead, for our family, and for ourselves. What we do matters; who we are matters even more. This podcast returns to Matthew 4:1-11, looking at Jesus as our model of embracing his limits in order to stay rooted in the Father’s love and seemingly “ineffective” timetable. Satan leads Jesus up to pinnacles and high points, tempting him to pride. The Holy Spirit leads Jesus down to suffering and the cross, grounding him in humility. Each of us faces the same choice many times in our lives. God longs to free us from a frenzied, overcommitted ministry where we attempt to live a life he never intended. Instead, he invites us to a leadership marked by contentment where we joyfully give thanks for all our limits as expressions of his love and goodness. Join me. Read more.