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On good communication: About 18 years ago I hired someone to help me with writing projects. One of the questions I asked at the time was, “How do you feel about taking correction and making changes?” Tara, the candidate I was interviewing, responded that she assumed...read more
Responding to criticism: Do you ever get criticized? I’m guessing if you’re a ministry leader, the answer is yes (exercising my profound powers of discernment). The real question is how to handle it when criticism comes. How can you avoid reacting defensively, help...read more
As many of you know, Janet and I moved to Santa Rosa in northern California this past April. After spending almost our whole lives in the Los Angeles area, this move brought a lot of changes. But one we certainly didn’t foresee was the catastrophic spread of wildfires...read more
Listening to build trust: In ministry, we are inevitably dealing with people that have differences: different perspectives, different priorities, different directions. The default for most of us is to convince people of the rightness of our view. We get into a...read more
I’ve been coaching the new pastor of an old church. He’s very sharp and knows what needs to be done to bring about renewal and positive change. The question is not about the “what” but the “how,” and that’s what we’ve been working on. One thing he’s been doing is...read more
As you consider leading change, here are the seven most important questions you need to be asking. Take some time to sit down with a pen and paper and reflect on these questions as they pertain to a particular change you are looking at making. How will you free up...read more
Do you want to do something big across a network of churches or ministries? Leading change across an already established system can be challenging. That’s true no matter how beneficial what you’re offering may be. So how can you best implement something new across an...read more
On this anniversary of 9/11, we recognize that we face disasters both natural and human-made. First responders are out providing hurricane relief and rescues. Everyday people in affected areas are reaching out to help one another. Those of us at a geographical...read more
Those of us in the US are celebrating Labor Day today—a day to rest and reflect on our labors. Labor—work—is a mixed bag when we think about it. Sometimes it’s something we try to avoid. Sometimes it’s something we throw ourselves into compulsively. Sometimes it feels...read more
Does your team focus on outcomes when they work together? Last year I coached a man who was commissioned to create an assessment tool to improve the effectiveness of church planting partnerships within his denomination. His role was to come alongside them and help...read more
When I was first planting a church, I did a lot of knocking on doors in the neighborhood where I was serving. I wanted to get to know the people and find out what was important to them in a church. I remember one particular family I met that way, and I probably worked...read more
Parishioner: "Pastor, I'm just not getting anything out of worship." Pastor: "I'm SO sorry! There's been a terrible misunderstanding. We're not worshiping YOU." Worship isn't about getting. It’s about giving. Our worship is our coming before God and worshipping him...read more