Success is first and foremost doing what God has asked us to do, doing it his way, and in his timing. Years ago, when I was first wrestling with redefining success, I imagined what it might be like to come before God’s throne at the end of my earthly life and say, “Here, God, is what I have done for you. New Life now has 10,000 people.” Then he would respond, “Pete, I love you, but that was not what I gave you to do. That task was for a pastor in another part of New York.” Have you ever considered that your ministry, organization, or team may be growing and yet actually failing? Think with me for a moment about some of God’s faithful and, hence, most successful leaders: Jesus said of John the Baptist, “Among those born of women none is greater than John” (Luke 7:28). Yet, if we were to create. Read more.
Anxious. Frustrated. Annoyed. Angry. Resentful. These are emotional states that describe our leadership more often than we care to admit. Relaxed is not an adjective I hear often to describe us as Christian leaders. Consider this important case study of Moses. Moses worked and waited for almost forty years to enter the Promised Land. Having started with 603,550 men to manage — not to mention all the women and children — Moses’ and Aaron’s patience was repeatedly tested to the limit by a seemingly endless barrage of complaints. When the people cry about their lack of food and water and accuse Moses of bringing them out into the desert to die, Moses is livid. At this point, he is also exhausted and has little capacity to manage his anger and resentment. Imagine the scene as he loses his cool: The LORD said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather. Read more.
I crossed an important threshold last Sunday. In my sermon on Psalm 23, I called our people to practice five minutes of silence/stillness before the Lord each day (i.e. Centering Prayer). I was clear, unapologetic, and passionate. Why? I am absolutely convinced that unless we help our people encounter God through Scripture and silence, it is virtually impossible for them to grow spiritually. Psalm 23 is a brilliant text, reminding us that we are sheep, unable to find safe pastures, discover good waters, rest without guidance, and defend ourselves. We are weak and vulnerable. Let me invite you to watch the message on YouTube or listen to it on audio. We must acknowledge the tragic reality that most of our people are living off other people’s spirituality and not developing their personal relationship with Jesus. The two minutes of silence to which we call our people in The EHS Course and a Daily Office. Read more.
Before writing The Emotionally Healthy Leader (Zondervan, July, 2015), I was challenged to distill the core qualities of an emotionally unhealthy leader. I landed on four: They Have Low Self-Awareness Emotionally unhealthy leaders tend to be unaware of what is going on inside them.. They ignore emotion-related messages their body may send—fatigue, stress-induced illness, weight gain, ulcers, headaches, or depression. They avoid reflecting on their fears, sadness, or anger, and fail to consider how God might be trying to communicate with them through these “difficult” emotions. Moreover, they struggle to articulate the reasons for their emotional triggers, i.e. overreactions in the present rooted in difficult experiences from their past, and they remain unaware of how issues from their family of origin have impacted who they are today. This lack of emotional awareness also extends to their personal and professional relationships. In fact, they are often blind to the emotional impact they have on others,. Read more.
We make plans and decisions every day as leaders. Three great dangers, however, often torpedo our best intentions and efforts: We Define Success Too Narrowly In churches, we tend to define success by such things as attendance, finances (giving, meeting or exceeding budget, etc.), decisions for Christ, baptisms, numbers participating in small groups or other ministry programs, etc. If we work for a non-profit or in the marketplace, we might measure increased market share, program expansion, or numbers of people served. When the numbers are up, we’re successful; when the numbers are down, we’re not. Numbers can be valid as a measure of fruitfulness for God, but using numbers to define success is not without its dangers. The problem is when the portion of our time and energy devoted to thinking about external issues far exceeds the amount of time and energy we devote to internal measures of transformation such as the depth of. Read more.
Why are endings and transitions so poorly handled in our ministries, organizations, and teams? Why do we often miss God’s new beginnings, the new work he is doing? In part because we fail to apply a central theological truth—that death is a necessary prelude to resurrection. To bear long-term fruit for Christ, we need to recognize that some things must die so something new can grow. If we do not embrace this reality, we will tend to dread endings in the same way our wider culture does, as signs of failure rather than opportunities for something new. You Know You’re Not Doing Endings and New Beginnings Well When . . . • You can’t stop ruminating about something from the past. • You use busyness as an excuse to avoid taking time to grieve endings and losses. • You have a hard time identifying your difficult feelings (sadness, fear, anger). • You often find. Read more.