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Tag Archives: Success

The Road Less Traveled

My recent discussions with pastors and leaders around the release of The Emotionally Healthy Leader with the continued expansion of The EHS Course has brought to light how massive and all-encompassing a paradigm shift EHS is. This is nowhere more evident than in how we define success and make decisions. The faulty belief that “bigger is always better” is deeply embedded in us. We forget that the most important thing is to do God’s will, in his way, in his timetable. How do we do that as leaders? Consider the following chart, adapted from chapter 6 in The Emotionally Healthy Leader to help you start: Let me also invite you to The Emotionally Healthy Leadership Conference 2016, April 20-21 (The Leader’s Marriage Conference – April 19), to be equipped more fully on what it will look like to bring this kind of deep, beneath the surface spirituality to you, your leadership and your church.. Read more.

Measuring “Success”

Measuring ministry impact with numbers is biblical. The book of Acts uses numbers to describe the impact of the gospel — about 3,000 baptized (Acts 2:41), about 5,000 believers (Acts 4:4), crowds coming to faith (Acts 5:14). We have a whole book in the Bible called Numbers. So, in the context of the church, it is good to measure things like attendance, baptisms, membership, number of small groups, and financial giving. The problem comes when that is all we measure. Measuring deep, beneath the surface transformation in people’s lives is also critically important – if not more important. (Consider Paul, Gal. 4:19, Jesus mentoring the 12). The specifics of these internal markers will differ from ministry to ministry and from context to context. The following are several examples we set to measure at New Life Fellowship Church: Each leader at New Life will develop his or her relationship with God by spending ten to. Read more.


Success is first and foremost doing what God has asked us to do, doing it his way, and in his timing. Years ago, when I was first wrestling with redefining success, I imagined what it might be like to come before God’s throne at the end of my earthly life and say, “Here, God, is what I have done for you. New Life now has 10,000 people.” Then he would respond, “Pete, I love you, but that was not what I gave you to do. That task was for a pastor in another part of New York.” Have you ever considered that your ministry, organization, or team may be growing and yet actually failing? Think with me for a moment about some of God’s faithful and, hence, most successful leaders: Jesus said of John the Baptist, “Among those born of women none is greater than John” (Luke 7:28). Yet, if we were to create. Read more.

The Three Greatest Dangers in Planning and Decision Making

We make plans and decisions every day as leaders. Three great dangers, however, often torpedo our best intentions and efforts: We Define Success Too Narrowly In churches, we tend to define success by such things as attendance, finances (giving, meeting or exceeding budget, etc.), decisions for Christ, baptisms, numbers participating in small groups or other ministry programs, etc. If we work for a non-profit or in the marketplace, we might measure increased market share, program expansion, or numbers of people served. When the numbers are up, we’re successful; when the numbers are down, we’re not. Numbers can be valid as a measure of fruitfulness for God, but using numbers to define success is not without its dangers. The problem is when the portion of our time and energy devoted to thinking about external issues far exceeds the amount of time and energy we devote to internal measures of transformation such as the depth of. Read more.

Four Unhealthy Commandments of Church Leadership

As I have been finishing the final small edits of The Emotionally Healthy Leader (Zondervan, July, 2015), I have been reminded again of how deeply in our bones many of us carry the following four deadly, faulty beliefs: 1. It’s Not a Success Unless It’s Bigger and Better Most of us have been taught to measure success by external markers. And let’s be clear—numbers aren’t all bad. In fact, quantifying ministry impact with numbers is actually biblical. But let’s also be clear that there is a wrong way to deal with numbers. When we use numbers to compare ourselves or to boast of our size, we cross a line. The problem isn’t that we count, it’s that we have so fully embraced the world’s dictum that bigger is better that numbers have become the only thing we count. What we miss in all this counting is the value Scripture places on internal markers as. Read more.

Measuring Success: A Third Way

Most of us have been taught to measure our success by external, or outer, markers: Add ten new small groups by August 1. Increase our budget by 5% in the next fiscal year. Expand our youth ministry by 20 new teenagers by June 1. Launch a ministry to teach English as a second language in 2014. Few of us have been trained, however, to measure our success by monitoring internal, or inner, markers: – Twenty core members will begin integrating silence as a means of abiding in Christ. 50% of our key leaders will engage in Sabbath-keeping as a spiritual formation discipline. Ten of our married couples will invest time and energy in their relationship each week to serve as a mission to others. Each new member of our church will learn one emotionally healthy skill in order to love well. Measuring the internal markers of success is challenging. Yet I suspect the difficulty. Read more.