Following Jesus is not first doing things for Jesus; it is first listening to him speak, and then doing what he says. Peter, James and John were the cream of Jesus’ leadership team. Yet when Jesus was transfigured before them, Peter was unable to resist making plans to maximize this exciting new open door. Fortunately, a voice from heaven shut him up, commanding him to listen to Jesus (Matthew 17:5)! It is easy to lead FOR God without listening TO him. The word listen or hear is found more than 1500 times in the Bible. That is why the most important question every one of us must ask throughout our days is: “God, how are you coming to me, what might you want to say?” In this podcast, I give specific examples of how I regularly apply this question to different areas of my life and discernment process. I apply it to: How I. Read more.
When I was in a very painful season of differentiation during 2006 and 2007, I developed a set of questions that I wrote in my journal and returned to over and over again. They became an anchor for me as I regularly and prayerfully brought them to God during my morning prayer time, asking Him for wisdom and power to deeply change me. I mark that season as a crucible – painful, severe, purifying, yet liberating. Without doubt, it was a turning point in my 30 years of growing into a more effective pastor. And they formed the foundation of The Emotionally Healthy Leader book that I wrote eight years later. When I accidentally rediscovered them in an old journal recently, I was taken aback at how carefully I had crafted the questions for myself, and how they had become so much a part of me after that two-year period. I offer them to. Read more.
In this podcast I complete a 2-part study on the radical contrast of the world’s easy-to-follow discipleship to Jesus’ hard-to-follow discipleship. The Twelve had to hear it repeatedly from the lips of Jesus. We do as well. We may have many goals and sub-goals throughout our lives, but the single great goal of every Christian is to hear “wonderful” spoken at the end of their life at Final Judgment (Matthew 25:23). Our human hearts desperately crave praise, notice, and honor (usually from the wrong places). But actually, we were made to be noticed and honored by God as the primary aim of our lives. Join me as I finish expounding on this chart below on the formidable task of making disciples today: Listen to Part 2 here: Warmly, Pete
Our role as leaders of Jesus’ sheep involves giving people direction, even in the arena of politics. The question, in these tumultuous times, is how? The issues are vast and complex (e.g. gay marriage, refugees and immigration, abortion, national security, economic policy, gender, capital punishment, welfare reform). The divide between people both inside and outside the church is wide and deep. Let me recommend the application of two biblical truths to help ground the shepherding of your people. These texts have also served me when I have been tempted to speak and act in inappropriate ways. Love and pray for your enemies. But I tell you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you that you may be children of your Father in heaven (Matt. 5:44). Jesus commands us to love our doctrinal, political, national, religious, and personal enemies. Our God is the greatest enemy-lover of all time (Romans 5:10). And the. Read more.
The word “listen” or “hear” is found more than 1500 times in the Bible. The problem is that it is easy to lead FOR God without listening TO God. That is why the most important question every one of us must ask throughout our days is: “God, how are you coming to me, what might you want to say?” The question then needs to be applied specifically to different areas of our lives. Let me provide you with a few examples of what that looks like in my life: Time with God. “God, how are you coming to me in Scripture and silence today?” At times he leads me to linger over a passage, a phrase, or a text for days – even weeks. At times he leads me to read whole books of Scripture in one sitting. While I practice 20 minutes of silence and stillness each morning, I am also listening to. Read more.
I am a great lover of books. I am also a believer that reading broadly and deeply is foundational if we are to offer good leadership in a rapidly changing and global context. Reading offers unique opportunities for us to grow, expand into worlds beyond our own, and to be mentored by people we will never meet. Here are my top 10 books from the last six months that you may want to consider adding to your list: 1. Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis – Robert D. Putnam Putnam, a Harvard social scientist, has written a classic that I believe is a “must read” for church leadership teams. He explores in penetrating detail how rich and poor Americans are now living, learning, and raising children in increasingly separate and unequal worlds. Moreover, he shows convincingly that we are facing a crisis in that kids from privileged backgrounds are starting and finishing further and further. Read more.