Embracing transitions is one of the critical leadership tasks every leader must master if we are to do God’s work, God’s way, and in God’s timing. Sadly, endings and transitions are often poorly handled in our families, ministries, organizations, and teams. When this happens, we miss God’s new beginnings—both personally and in the ministries or organizations we lead. While our culture views the endings in transitions as a sign of failure, i.e. something to avoid, God views them as maturing discipleship moments to receive His new beginnings. Scripture requires we embrace God’s 3-phase process: Endings: Nothing new takes place without an ending. A real ending—a final death—often feels like disintegration, falling apart, a coming undone. It feels that way because that is what death is. Waiting: No one enjoys waiting. But waiting for God is one of the most important things we do in the Christian life. Letting the Old Birth a New Beginning:. Read more.
Pete signed off from social media last Thursday, August 3rd as he exited the EHS offices to enjoy a restful vacation/sabbatical. Over the next 3 weeks while Pete is away, we’ll be sharing 3 new podcasts that we recorded before he left. Enjoy! Drawn from a New Life Fellowship Church strategic planning day over 7 years ago, in this podcast Pete shares 10 insightful leadership lessons he and the staff team identified during their planning meeting discussions. These lessons remain relevant to church leadership today. What might you add? – The EHS team on behalf of Pete Empower Your Church to Really Love Others in Difficult Situations. Join Us for this Training Event from Anywhere!
One of the most challenging tasks of leadership, and life, is perspective. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: The years teach much which the days never know. I spend much of my time with pastors and leaders from around the world. The surface questions vary, but the underlying ones are similar: “Where is God in all these difficulties? Why is leading so painful and slow? How do I make it long-term?” In this podcast I attempt to give a long view of leadership around God’s process of making us “great” leaders. (“Greatness” refers to remaining faithful to become the person God has called you to become, and do what He has called you to do.) Highlights include: Illusions we must unlearn; The most significant book that helped me stay the course in my most difficult years; Great counsel given to me that has stood the test of time; Practical tips for young leaders in. Read more.
This blog is an update from last year called Summer Spirituality. I re-wrote it because I believe this theme needs to be revisited each year by each of us, starting with me. The Bible teaches there is a time and a season for “everything under heaven” (Eccl. 3:1). God has built this into the very fabric of nature’s seasons as we observe the cycle of death and newness every winter and summer. Our churches experience seasons. And so do we. These seasons are limits given to us by God. They are gifts from His hand meant to keep us grounded and humble. I have violated God’s seasons in my leadership more times than I want to remember. But treating our vacations, and summers, as mini-Sabbaticals can be powerful if we build this into our lives. The way we do this can be summarized in three words. Receive. Summers are a time to do less. Read more.
I recently rediscovered these “Turning Point Lessons” that emerged out of a strategic planning retreat of our New Life Fellowship staff team in 2010. At this point, the church was twenty-two years old. What struck me as I re-read these is how timeless and relevant they are for today. The following are my edits and summary out of that discussion: Character is more important than gifting. Being is more important than doing. When we have overlooked issues of character because of anointing, effectiveness, or natural abilities, we have always paid a price. Do not rush. When decisions were made quickly, without pausing to pray, think and process implications, we always experienced regrets. Seeing the Promised Land without carefully discerning God’s timing led us on detours and painful disciplining from God. Be sure each leader takes responsibility for their growth and development. Our world and church are constantly changing. Thus, every leader needs to be. Read more.
The fruit of a mature spirituality is to be an incarnational presence to another person. It was for Jesus. It is, I believe, for all his followers, especially for those of us in leadership. The Gospels are filled with accounts of Jesus’ interactions with individuals — Matthew, Nathaniel, a prostitute, Nicodemus, a blind man, a Samaritan woman, and many others. When the rich young ruler came up to him, Jesus “looked at him and loved him.” He listened. He was present, never in a rush or distracted. He took the time to explore stories. When is the last time someone said to you, “Let me tell you about those Christians — they are fantastic listeners! I have never seen a group of ¬people more sincerely interested to know my world, who are curious, who ask questions — who actually listen to me!” Listening is not simply a key discipleship issue. It is a core. Read more.