As leaders, we are called to stand in the face of many kinds of challenges. As Christian leaders, this goes beyond surface-level problem-solving. We also contend with unseen, demonic forces through what we refer to as spiritual warfare. But this leaves us with an important question: How can we discern if what we are experiencing is a direct frontal assault from the evil one, or is simply a spiritual formation moment through which God is maturing us? It’s easy for us to blame Satan for everything or ignore Him entirely. But Jesus calls us into a different understanding. In today’s episode, I share with you a sermon from the gospel of Mark which was written during a time of horrific persecution. Jesus shares a story that points to the reality of spiritual warfare and invites us to overcome the evil one through His power alone.
Every leader exercises the stewardship of power. This may be positional power, personal power, relational power, or cultural power. Whatever form it takes, power is the ability to influence others. Every leader also has dual relationships. For example, your boss may also be your friend. Your spouse may also be a co-worker. Or, a church member may also be a mentor. For church leaders who value community and deep relationships, the proper use of power and dual relationships can be extremely confusing. Lawyers, doctors, and therapists are able to maintain clear boundaries with their clients and patients. But for pastors and church leaders, deeply embedded in their communities, this requires a high level of self-awareness and clarity. When power and dual relationships in your church are not carefully considered, you may be on the road to deep pain, confusion, and division. In this episode, I read five case studies from leaders who are navigating this delicate. Read more.
The work of teaching and preaching is one of the most important skills of church leaders. But these days, many preachers seem to invest more energy in the external, rather than the internal. It’s easy to obsess over finding the perfect illustration, crafting a catchy “one-liner”, and developing your unique style and voice. In my early days of preaching, this was my story as well. But over time, I realized there were several other deeper components to a sermon that few people were talking about. While the externals are important, it’s the internal work that has the power to transform lives. Today, I’m going to share with you an excerpt of an interview I recently did for Preaching Today. In this interview, I share 6 questions that you must ask if you want to learn how to preach from the inside out.
I want to share something with you that I believe is timely… As a leader, you MUST be aware of the forces coming at you from our western culture. Specifically, there are 4 great temptations you face, each with the potential to sabotage your life and ministry. Every day, leaders are taking the bait. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Today, I share an excerpt from a chapter in my recent book, Emotionally Healthy Discipleship, called “Follow the Crucified, not the Americanized Jesus”. It’s one of the most important chapters in the book. Within it, I explore four temptations from the Evil One that come to all of us – regardless of our culture, country, age, demographic, or ministry. Only when we recognize and resist these temptations and allow Jesus to meet us, will we be able to lead churches that stay true to Jesus’ mission to make disciples in the whole world.
As a leader, you want a surefire way to know if you are making a difference. But this last year, all normal measurements went out the window. It has been nearly impossible to measure the true impact of our ministries. While counting attendance, online views, and dollars is important, these metrics don’t always tell us if we are hitting the mark and making disciples. Our old scorecards have left leaders disoriented and quite honestly… disappointed. Moving forward, we need to ask different questions in order to measure true success. In today’s episode, I offer a NEW scorecard with 7 new metrics leaders MUST begin to measure. It’s likely you won’t hear about these 7 things in leadership books or church growth conferences. But if you want to lead in a way that actually makes disciples of Jesus, you cannot ignore them. Listen to this episode, to discover 7 questions to measure leadership success.
Culture-making is one of the primary responsibilities of leaders. But changing an existing culture is no easy task. Every family, church, denomination, and nation comes with a deeply ingrained culture that must be addressed head on, in order to create lasting change. In today’s episode, I come at this complex issue by sharing real leadership case studies. I address specific problems and obstacles submitted by 7 church leaders around the world. One by one, I offer practical wisdom for what needs to change in each culture in order to experience true transformation. The details of these stories might be unlike your ministry context, but I guarantee there are great learnings for all of us!