Affliction. It's a topic that nobody wants to talk about (including me).
But as it relates to TRUE LEADERSHIP, it is a costly mistake to avoid our afflictions. Why? Because this is how God matures us into spiritual mothers and fathers of the faith.
By "affliction," I'm referring to any kind of hurt, loss, betrayal, broken relationship, abandonment, or disorienting circumstance. While these are obviously things we don't want, they are also unavoidable.
Many of us run from our afflictions, seeing them as obstacles to our life and leadership. We distract, jump over, sidestep, and ignore. But Jesus called us to take up our cross and follow him. And when you're on the cross, you can't just jump off!
The good news is that God doesn't abandon us in our hardships. In fact – if we're willing to PAY ATTENTION, God uses our afflictions to develop us into the type of leaders worth following.
Take a listen to today's podcast episode.
In over four decades of leadership, I've come to the conclusion that one of the biggest gaps in our leadership training comes down to one essential skill...
Creating safety where everyone around you feels empowered to communicate clearly and honestly.
Without this skill, church teams remain silenced - unable to speak truth and creating the conditions for an environment of frustration, resentment, and judgement.
On today's podcast, I'm joined by my wife Geri, as we explore the first of 8 essential relationship skills that every leader must adopt in order to unleash the God-given voice of our people.
We'll model a powerful skill called "Community Temperature Reading" and talk about how it applies to real life leadership scenarios.
Imagine leading a church where every staff, leader, and volunteer knows how to communicate clearly. Imagine a culture, where everyone feels safe to tell the truth and has the skills needed to do so. Imagine the unity that is possible when every voice is heard.
Take a listen to today's podcast.
According to the World Christian Encyclopedia, the fastest growing stream of the church is the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement. In terms of overall numbers, it represents 644 million Christians world wide. This is 8.3% of the world population. By 2050, it will reach over 1 billion people. Unbelievable!
We need the power of God, gifts of the Holy Spirit, signs and wonders for the global mission of the church. Much of my personal spiritual and leadership journey was formed in the charismatic movement. We regularly experienced the outpouring of God's power in our church. It was electric.
And yet I was still proud, defensive, distant, not present, unable to connect relationally, conflict avoidant, unaware internally, and unloving. This disconnect is what led to the birth of Emotionally Healthy Discipleship.
In today's episode, I unpack 5 key contributions of Emotionally Healthy Discipleship that allow us to walk in the healthy, long-term release of God’s power.
For leaders, one of the most frustrating parts of decision-making is this...
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.
Decision-making is primarily about discernment. It's the ability to make decisions that align with God's will for your life and ministry.
The truth is - discernment is an art. It takes practice, attention, and a lifetime to develop.
But if there is one core practice that is the foundation of discernment, it is learning to pay attention to the movement of God in your own soul through consolations and desolations.
"Consolations and desolations" are terms offered by Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits over 500 years ago to describe the inner feelings that move you toward God and the ones that take you away from God.
Leaders who are able to slow down and pay attention to the inner work of God will not only be effective, they will be able to lead from joy, rest, and freedom.
One of the primary tasks of spiritual leadership is the ability to make prayerful, wise decisions.
Yet many leaders find it difficult to invest the time and space necessary for sharp discernment. The result is that our decisions become dull, lacking precision and power. Over time, flippant decision-making inflicts tremendous consequences on us and those we lead.
In the first episode of this new podcast series, we discuss the importance of boundaries to keep us surrendered to God’s purposes. Why? Because any time God calls us to a specific work, the devil tempts us to live beyond our boundaries. This happens in every season of our life!
When we discern and yield to the gravity of God's purpose, life flourishes. This is the first step to becoming leaders who make sharp decisions.
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 a pressure to make their 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.