Recently, at a meeting with a number of young pastors, Geri and I were asked, “What has been your greatest regret in leadership?” I was taken aback by the question, unsure of where to begin. There were so many. We talked about dual relationships and power (which led the group into a lively, spirited discussion), but I realized that I needed to think much more about that penetrating question. This led me, over the next several weeks, to ponder the list of my greatest regrets over the last 40 years. I categorized them, edited them, and placed them in an order that began to make sense – at least to me. The process was both painful and freeing. The painful part revolved around vulnerability required to put them down on paper; the freeing part was seeing the love of God who brought me back to himself each time I strayed. I marvel at how. Read more.
This podcast emerges out of what is, perhaps, my greatest burden for leaders – to carve out sufficient time TO BE with Jesus and TO BE with ourselves – out of which we go and offer our lives as a gift to the world. I am referring not to a superficial being simply to stay functional but to a deep waiting on Jesus – a life with deep stillness and silence that serves to center our leadership. In this podcast I talk about the ancient practice of the Daily Office as one powerful means to build such a life. God has used this treasure to transform my life, along with tens of thousands of others through the centuries. I first observed and experienced the Daily Office during a one-week visit with Trappist monks. The basic structure of Trappist life includes four elements: prayer, work, study, and rest. Yet it was their intentional arranging of their. Read more.
I regularly get asked what I am reading or if there any books I might recommend. In this podcast I answer that question by sharing a number of books I’ve read in the last six to twelve months. I begin, however, by talking about reading for wisdom and not simply for information – suggesting we re-learn how to read. Many of us as leaders consume enormous amounts of information, reading (or listening) to lots of books. We read to GET the information, the ideas, the insights. But that doesn’t mean what we read is GETTING us. That requires a slower, more prayerful and contemplative pace. It means we may read the same page or paragraph or chapter many times. Why? Our commitment as leaders is not simply to head knowledge but to heart knowledge. As Proverbs 8:11 says: “Wisdom is more precious than jewels, nothing else is so worthy of desire.” The following is. Read more.
It is possible to build a church, an organization, or a team by relying only on our gifts, talents, and experience. We can serve Christ in our own energy and wisdom. We can expand a ministry or a business without thinking much of Jesus or relying on him in the process. We can boldly preach truths we don’t live. And if our efforts prove successful, few people will notice or take issue with the gaps between who we are and what we do. Remember, Jesus doesn’t say we can’t lead or build a church without him (see Matthew 7:21-23). What he does say is that our efforts are worth nothing unless they flow out of a relationship of loving union with him (John 15:5). In this podcast, I share an excerpt from the audio version of The Emotionally Healthy Leader where I talk about slowing down for loving union with Jesus. I do this. Read more.
To create a healthy church culture is indispensable to multiplying deeply transformed disciples. This week’s podcast explores the sixth and final quality in this six-part series on the marks of such a culture. They are: Slowed-Down Spirituality Integrity in Leadership Beneath-the-Surface Discipleship Healthy Community Passionate Marriage and Singleness Every Person in Full-Time Ministry It has rightly been said that to rediscover the biblical teaching that every Christ-follower is in full-time ministry is like discovering a new continent! The implications are that vast. For example, the sacred/secular divide of church and work is eliminated. All of life becomes holy and part of our discipleship. Our people are filled with a profound sense of purpose. Spectators are turned into creative witnesses for Christ. Our role as equippers in the church is restored (Eph. 4:11ff). After providing a broad theological overview of our calling and our work, I offer 5 specific applications for us as pastors/leaders if. Read more.
In this week’s podcast, I expand on the fifth quality of a church culture that deeply changes lives: Slowed-Down Spirituality Integrity in Leadership Beneath-the-Surface Discipleship Healthy Community Passionate Marriage and Singleness Every Person in Full-Time Ministry Throughout the history of the church, the church has not done a good job of creating a counterculture where God’s passionate love for the world is demonstrated by people living out of their marriage or singleness. For the first fifteen hundred years of the church singleness was considered the preferred state and the best way to serve Christ. Singles sat at the front of the church. Marrieds were sent to the back. Things changed after the Reformation in 1517, when single people were sent to the back and marrieds moved to the front — at least among Protestants. Scripture, however, refers to both statuses as weighty, meaningful vocations. In this podcast I talk about how Christian marriage and singleness is. Read more.