Limits are often the last place we look for God. We want to conquer them, plan around them, deny them, and fight them. We attend leadership conferences so we can step out in faith and break through the limits before us. The problem is that when we fail to look for God in our limits, we often bypass him. And we get ourselves, our families, and those we lead in a lot of trouble. Why? Because in God’s economy, the obstacles before us are often the path itself. When God sets limits before us, he rarely provides a reason or explanation. Limits do, however, confront us with his authority. They force us to make a decision – to trust his goodness or to rebel against him. For this reason, limits take us to the heart of the spiritual warfare that rages around our leadership and relationship with Jesus. In this podcast, we will consider. Read more.
One of the greatest spiritual challenges for every leader revolves around how we frame and respond to the limits God places around us. Yet receiving limits as a grace disguised touches the core of our relationship with God and thus the core of our leadership. I began exploring a theology of limits in 1996 in the midst of my own spiritual, leadership, and marital crisis. This theology has continued to deepen and broaden for me over time. My interaction with young, middle-aged, and older leaders also confirms this is one of the most critical issues we face as pastors and leaders – personally, biblically, and practically. We are not alone. Paul wrestled with it. So did John the Baptist, David, and Jesus. In this podcast, I begin offering a biblical framework to understand limits as disguised gifts of grace coming from the hand of God to us and our leadership. At the same time,. Read more.
Most leaders I meet with are overworked, tired, and weighed down with too much to do in too little time. Almost all are generous, sacrificial, and compassionate. Yet the pressure of ministry demands smothers their ability to listen deeply to God’s voice that speaks to the essence of the problems facing them. I know this too well. It is easy to rush headlong into quick-fix solutions to problems – hoping they dissipate, only to find out that we have now planted the seed of a new problem! What has happened? We have forgotten Sabbath and silence. These are the places from which we hear the quiet wisdom of God if we are to provide creative leadership for what is before us. Let me invite you to consider 3 biblical texts that I mention in this podcast, allowing them to breathe rest into your soul: The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the. Read more.
Can we make biblical, deeply changed disciples of Jesus without learning from the successes and failures of our church family over the last 2,000 years – and from the global church today? The answer to both those questions, I believe, is no. Unfortunately, many of us have a limited, often mistaken understanding of how the church unfolded since the book of Acts. This lack of historical memory has done great damage to our approach to discipleship as well as our leadership. This podcast traces the history of Christianity, looking at the two great splits (in 1054 and 1517 A.D.) and how this has impacted us in evangelicalism today. I conclude with two simple, but profound, applications: 1. Be a humble learner. We have so much to learn from our brothers and sisters who have gone before us, especially those who are very different than us. We also have so much to learn from the. Read more.
Henri Nouwen, towards the end of his life, articulated a core struggle for every leader. He described the two different voices that come to each of us. One voice constantly pushes us to succeed and achieve, and comes from below. It was the voice he spent most of his life heeding. It led him to make decisions and plans without God. He taught at prestigious Ivy League universities. He wrote a book a year. He kept an active speaking and ministry schedule. But his spiritual life was suffocating. He was praying poorly and living isolated from people. The other invites us to listen to God’s voice. This voice reassures us we are loved without conditions or performance. We have nothing to prove. Our primary goal is to recognize the Lord’s voice, his face, and his touch in every person we meet. Only in the last ten years of his life, Nouwen said, did he. Read more.
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.