Practicing Sabbath, much like prayer or reading the Bible, doesn’t save us. We are saved by Jesus alone. But if we are not routinely reading Scripture or praying, it is unlikely we are growing much spiritually. Keeping Sabbath is a core spiritual practice – an essential means God uses to slow us down and mature us. In this podcast, I expound on ten core reasons Sabbath is so indispensable for us who lead in Jesus’ name: Sabbath is something God did, and being made in his image, we are created to do it as well. Sabbath was built into the DNA of the creation. Sabbath time is set apart as “holy” within God’s creation of a 7-day week. Sabbath helps us embrace our humanity, vulnerability, limits and finiteness. Sabbath protects us from doing violence to ourselves. It doesn’t save our souls, but it saves our lives. Sabbath reminds us God’s world is good, offering. Read more.
Discerning what season you, and your ministry, are in right now is one of our most important leadership tasks. Scripture teaches us there is a time or season for everything under heaven: There is “a time to plant and a time to uproot…a time to weep and a time to laugh… a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Eccl. 3:1 – 8). Discerning properly the season we are in determines our priorities, decisions and pace. Failing to do so results in all kinds of internal anguish for ourselves and unnecessary pressure on those we lead. In this podcast I will expound on the seasons of Fall (transitions), Winter (death), Spring (fruitfulness), and Summer (abundance), examining how each holds its own gift from God – if we cooperate with it. A number of questions, hopefully, will emerge for you out of this podcast. For example: What does it mean for you to. Read more.
The world may minimize, rationalize, deny, or medicate their losses, but God calls us to a different path in the new family of Jesus. Simply put, grieving well is a core discipleship issue – especially for those of us who lead. Consider a few of the great men and women in Scripture who were great grievers and great leaders: Isaiah, Hannah, Jeremiah, Moses, Mary, Paul, Peter, and most importantly, Jesus. Unless we courageously allow our losses to break open our hard hearts, we will project or inflict our unprocessed pain on others. But if we follow God’s pathway for us – paying careful attention to our pain, waiting with him in the confusing-in-between, and letting the old birth the new – we experience a stripping away of our false selves in order to become the new men and women we were truly meant to be. We move from spiritual babies with an incessant need. Read more.
I am fragile. When I get out of my rhythms of being with God, I am dangerous. I make unwise decisions; I over-function; I cross boundaries; I fail to be present to those I love; I become anxious; I rush. In fact, the finding of God’s rhythms for my life, and living them, is a matter of life and death – for me and for those I serve. And I am not alone. We are all fragile. This podcast is an invitation to get deeply anchored by deliberately structuring your life in ancient spiritual practices that have stood the test of time. In particular, I focus on the revolutionary practice of Sabbath-keeping and God’s invitation for us to stop and rest for a 24-hour period each week. This inevitably leads to many new insights about God and ourselves. As one person wrote: “Tell me one thing that is productive or efficient about it? The. Read more.
Most leaders are starved for time. We cram as much as possible into our to-do lists, trying to maximize every spare minute we have. We’re often scattered, distracted, overloaded, and tired. So, instead of being who we are and where we are, we are frequently on the way to someone or something else. Amidst the busyness and hurry of life, few of us have a sustainable, long-term plan that answers the question: How can I live and lead in a way that is calm, relaxed, and filled with contentment in Jesus? The answer is found in deliberately structuring our lives around God’s rhythms, in ancient treasures of spirituality that I have been integrating for over two decades: Daily rhythms Weekly rhythms Annual rhythms Larger rhythms every 7-8 years Let me invite you to Part One of this very important theme, a topic that comes up in almost every conversation I have with leaders. And. Read more.
Defining success as a Christian leader is one of our most challenging, vexing and difficult tasks. If we get this right, fruitfulness, contentment and joy follow. If we get it wrong, feelings of failure, misery, and envy follow. In part 1 of this podcast, we will look at two idols that dominate current Western culture and church leadership: 1) Measuring numbers; and 2) Excessive concern for what others think. Jesus shows us that success, as the world defines it, is NOT how God defines success. He was content in appearing to be a failure in the world’s eyes. He did not do much to change the basic structural problems in Israel during his 3-year ministry. The Pharisees/Sadducees still controlled the Temple and religious life. Herod still remained on the throne. And John the Baptist still remained in prison. On the surface, it appeared Jesus ran more of an ‘ambulance’ ministry than actually attack the. Read more.