Leadership can be a painful journey – especially in a church or ministry that depends on the depth and quality of the relationships within. Yet, in over 4 decades of leadership, I’ve found that so much of this pain is completely UNNECESSARY. Why? Because much of the pain we experience is the fruit of wrong assumptions. Assumptions are like a dragon that seeks to destroy our well-being. · People quit their jobs over wrong assumptions · Churches split over wrong assumptions · Couples divorce over wrong assumptions · Families stop talking to one another over wrong assumptions. When you and I make assumptions about others without checking them out, it’s easy to start telling ourselves stories about them in our heads that are not true. We are bearing false witness in our own thoughts, resulting in damaged relationships. The principle is simple: NEVER assume you know. Read more.
Movements with longevity are sustained through shared, easily understood language. This most often comes through the development of axioms – short, memorable phrases that capture the essence of truth in simple ways. Reflecting on the last two decades of leading Emotionally Healthy Discipleship, I’ve been able to identify at least 10 core axioms (probably more like 25!) that have stood the test of time. In many ways, they are a “cliff-notes” introduction to an emotionally healthy church culture. In today’s podcast, I share the first 5 timeless axioms that have shaped the culture of what we call Emotionally Healthy Leadership. (ie. “Jesus may be in your heart, but grandpa is in your bones.” If you are a leader, these axioms are extremely helpful to use with your teams as simple ways to build a healthy team and church culture. I pray you will memorize them, ponder them, and make space to allow the biblical. Read more.
For leaders, one of the most frustrating parts of decision-making is this… It…..takes…..time. Sure, sometimes quick decisions are necessary. But most consequential decisions (that shape the future of your life, church, and ministry) require the ability to slow down and wait. Usually for longer than is comfortable for you. In order to let your judgments (discernments) come from deep within, you cannot in any way be pressed or hurried. You must wait. To be clear, waiting does not mean you are doing nothing. You are doing the most important something there is. In today’s podcast, I share more about what God is actually developing in you in times of waiting. Then I take time to address several questions listeners have submitted.
Years ago, we were doing some strategic planning at the church I had founded in Queens, NY. We were reflecting on what contributed to our growth over a 26 year period. A single word kept reappearing on the whiteboard – “BASEMENT”. How did we disciple so many quality leaders, many of whom are still leading today? Hint: it wasn’t what happened on the stage. It was what happened in the basement. Matthew 28 tells us to “make disciples of all nations”. But many leaders today feel pressure to make discipleship strategies big and public rather than small and hidden. Jesus modeled a different way of making disciples. In fact, he flipped the entire thing upside down. In today’s podcast, I share with you why real discipleship starts in the basement.
Eight years after planting New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, I was exhausted. The pressure of preaching and teaching weekly messages, along with the rest of my leadership responsibilities, left me depleted. Although our ministry was growing, I often felt like I was gaining the world but losing my own soul. This crisis launched me on a profound inward journey that ultimately led to a whole new way of doing both discipleship and leadership – including the fundamentals of preaching and teaching. What I lacked, and what so many of us still lack today, is a way to teach and preach for Jesus that properly flows out of a deep inner life with him. What I discovered is that there is a way to engage in this weighty work of speaking for Jesus that is light and easy rather than heavy and hard, that strengthens rather than diminishes our relationship with him, and that. Read more.
Does the end of the year feel like a complete whirlwind? For most pastors and leaders Christmas activities dominate the month of December and then we only get a week’s break before launching into a new year! In January, pastors face the difficult task of vision-casting, goal-setting, and steering the direction of the church for the next 12 months. Too often, our planning is driven by: Expectations from others (i.e. board, supervisors, people we serve) Internal pressure to be a great leader or to create momentum. The “shoulds” of everything that feels important. (i.e. “We should be doing more of this…”) All of these things can feel like a tremendous weight, under which many pastors buckle over time. But planning doesn’t have to feel this way. In today’s episode, I want to show you a radical new approach to planning. I’ll show you how I plan for the season ahead in a way that produces joy,. Read more.