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Church Culture Revolution: A 6-Part Vision that Deeply Changes Lives

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Decision-making is primarily about discernment. It’s the ability to make decisions that align with God’s will for your life and ministry. The truth is – discernment is an art. It takes practice, attention, and a lifetime to develop. But if there is one core practice that is the foundation of discernment, it is learning to pay attention to the movement of God in your own soul through consolations and desolations. “Consolations and desolations” are terms offered by Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits over 500 years ago to describe the inner feelings that move you toward God and the ones that take you away from God. There is much to be said about naming your consolations and desolations, which is why I am taking this entire podcast to explore this profound practice. Leaders who are able to slow down and pay attention to the inner work of God will not only be effective,. Read more.

One of the primary tasks of spiritual leadership is the ability to make prayerful, wise decisions. Yet many leaders find it difficult to invest the time and space necessary for sharp discernment. The result is that our decisions become dull, lacking precision and power. Over time, flippant decision-making inflicts tremendous consequences on us and those we lead. In the first episode of this new podcast series, we discuss the importance of boundaries to keep us surrendered to God’s purposes. Why? Because any time God calls us to a specific work, the devil tempts us to live beyond our boundaries. This happens in every season of our life! When we discern and yield to the gravity of God’s purpose, life flourishes. This is the first step to becoming leaders who make sharp decisions.


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.

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Church Culture Revolution: A 6-Part Vision That Deeply Changes Lives