Love God | Love Others | Make Disciples
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I was never a natural at some of the "standard" pastoral skills. I wasn’t sure what to say on hospital visits or what to do at weddings. The church I was part of offered counseling after the services, and sometimes it was hard for me to know what to do when people...read more
When I was first planting a church many years ago, I found that I was getting tired and discouraged every few weeks. I prayed the psalms, crying out to God, asking for his help, praying for perspective. I was on the lookout for unconfessed sin. I tried counting my...read more
“Why are we talking about leadership and management? This is the church. We don’t want to bring all this secular business stuff into it.” You may have heard statements like this from parishioners. Or you may have said similar things yourself. Often when people talk...read more
If you’re feeling like you lack the tools needed to lead your ministry effectively, you’re not alone. It’s been said that “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.” Leadership challenges are not unique to any one church, or even any one denomination. In...read more
Resolutions come and go—just like new initiatives in congregations come and go. What makes them stick? Coaching. Good intentions only take us so far. If you are ready to see real change this year… if you are ready to focus on implementation and solid steps as you...read more
At Christmas we celebrate the coming of Jesus in human flesh. As an infant, he was at his most defenseless. Jesus entered an insecure situation, where his parents were poor and traveling in an unfamiliar land. He entered a fallen world—one where a powerful king was...read more
Pastors often face frustration when the board seeks to micromanage and things get bogged down. So often there is confusion in churches over the role of the pastor, the staff, and the board. Frequently people are trying to play the wrong position for their role. John...read more
One of the critical practices of making disciples well is ensuring that we are living out our faith in real-life environments. That’s where we learn, fail, practice, and teach others. Below is a brief excerpt on this topic from my latest book, The Discipleship...read more
Many years ago I was a chemistry major. Although I did not go into medicine as planned, I did learn about catalysts… and recently realized that in my chosen vocation of helping churches grow and change, I serve as a catalyst myself. A catalyst is a substance that...read more
We create action plans and then work through them. But how do we know if we've been successful? We need to evaluate what was accomplished afterwards. And how do we evaluate that? Below are some questions you can use. Even better, if you know you'll be evaluated at the...read more
Do you have a split focus? As my friend Neil Cole says, “First things first. One thing at a time. Always one more thing.” That middle concept of “one thing at a time” can be one of the most difficult for us. We live in an age of multi-tasking and constant...read more
When I was a senior pastor, I used to do formal annual reviews with each member of my staff. I began by giving them an evaluation form that they were to fill out before our meeting. It covered these categories: List your areas of responsibility, along with a rating of...read more