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Tag Archives: mustard seed

Exponential, Church Planting, and the Temptations of the Wilderness

This past week I presented two workshops at “the largest gathering of church planters in the world” – at the Exponential Conference.  Over 5000 people attended while another 20,000 leaders watched through a live webcast. It was extraordinary to see so many men and women with a passion to serve Jesus and offer their entire lives to advance His kingdom in the 21st century. I was in awe of God as I listened to speakers and learned new things about what God was doing in different parts of the world. As I interacted, however, with young pastors, missionaries, superintendents, and denominational leaders, it became readily apparent (to me at least) that at least four temptations threaten to derail what God wants to do through His church going forward: 1. Drivenness – Cattle are driven. Sheep are led. The word doesn’t belong in our vocabulary. The primary call for us as preachers/leaders/pastors is to embrace a. Read more.

Contemplative Strategic Planning

Over my 22 years of pastoring NLF, we have contracted with an outside coach to lead our pastoral staff in a strategic planning process at least 5 different times. I was reluctant to do a strategic plan again. The church was doing well. Yes, we were at a transition in a number of areas. We were growing. But I carried bad mem0ries of striving, about internal my own motivation (e.g. Was this really for God, or was this really about me and the need to prove something?), and of  tensions between staff that I had been unwilling to address. This is my first time since my journey into the contemplative almost six years ago. It has been a wonderfully relaxing, enjoyable process. Why? I think the answer is the addition of contemplative spirituality and deeper integration of emotional health into our leadership. What has been different? The following is my short list. 1. God’s will is really what matters. Something. Read more.

What is Success?

As thirty churches have finished up the EHS Church-Wide Initiative and I have continued to interact with Pastors around North America, I am now convinced that defining success is a critical question for us in leadership. Sadly, it has been defined narrowly as numbers and budgets. I don’t think I am going too far in saying that may be idolatry and the very antithesis of the mustard-seed nature of Jesus’ kingdom.  To do leadership in the church differently is no small challenge. The following is my first draft for success as a Senior Pastor (for me): 1. Walk in Integrity – with God, self, and others. This is reflected in a sense of peace, rest and a life filled with communion with Him. 2. Experience a  joyful marriage with Geri where our we serve our children and others out of a cup that overflows.  3.  Provide leadership in short, mid and long range issues that is thoughtful, prudent,. Read more.