Disagreements are part of living in a world with humans who each have differing perspectives, personalities, experiences, preferences, opinions, passions, gifts, and expectations. Being different is okay. The problem is when being different becomes an opportunity for unhealthy conflict. I mention unhealthy conflict because there really is a way to engage in healthy conflict. Yeah, […]Read More The Three Postures
While not the master of video preaching by any stretch, I have learned some things over the past eight weeks that I thought I’d share in case you are looking for some tips. They are born from my own experience and will not apply to every situation. So feel free to pick and choose. Let […]Read More 9 Tips for Preaching Into a Camera
Diagnostic personality tools like the Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator and the DiSC Assessment introduced me to myself. As I read the descriptions of the INTJ and the “high C,” I felt understood. That is me! Going further, to realize that the introverted, thinking type of person is not inherently a bad, flawed type, was like the […]Read More 9 Types of Pastors According to the Enneagram
I listened to a podcast this week on how churches are thinking through post-quarantine life after the coronavirus pandemic subsides. The first question leaders seem to be asking concerns when and how to begin gathering in person on Sunday mornings. The presenter suggested we consider other questions. What have we learned that opens up new […]Read More Three Needs for Churches Making Plans to Re-Enter a COVID-19 World
In church planting circles, it is popular to identify leaders as prophets, priests, or kings. The prophet is someone whose primary gifting is preaching and teaching. The priest is the true pastor type who naturally expresses empathy and care, listens well, and finds it life-giving to help people work through problematic personal issues. The king […]Read More What is Your PPK Profile?
Just like overused tires may get worn and lose their gripping power, words may become so overused that they no longer retain the tread with which they were originally created. Consider, for example, the word awesome. In view of the truly awesome (awe-inducing and worthy of reverent wonder unto potential terror), the way I tend […]Read More What is a Distinctively Gospel-Centered Sermon?
Of course, there are more than three, but tethered to the cross, emphasizing the doctrines below will serve you and your congregation well. The story of redemption is the story of the Bible and of all history. The epicenter of that story is the cross of Jesus, where he becomes a substitute for sinners, taking […]Read More Focus on These Three Doctrines for Faithful Pastoral Ministry
Professional Christian SyndromeWhile on vacation this summer, I grabbed my Bible in an attempt to read it devotionally. Just one sentence in, I reached for a pen and paper — not to make a note for myself, but in order to outline a sermon. Rather than being in the presence of my Father to listen […]Read More How Can a Pastor Have a Genuine Devotional Life When Being a Christian is His Job?
Adrenal FatigueAfter the death of my third child, my family physician told me that clinical depression was the result of accumulated stress that had been allowed to exist and grow over a period of years. My onset had been triggered by the trauma of death and the hormonal symptoms inflicted upon my wife that created […]Read More 6 Warning Signs of Pastoral Burnout
A Pastoral Leadership ChallengeOne of the primary challenges that leaders in the church is staffing ministries with volunteers.When each believer exercises his or her unique gifts, the church works like a body , with hands, feet, eyes, ears functioning together as one unit to accomplish a goal.When those with gifts decline to use them, the church becomes […]Read More Rethinking Volunteerism in the Church
Every vocation provides a degree of challenge for a marriage. Coaching has really funky hours and seasonal rhythms. Politics feels like it must be a 24/7 job. Doctors who work at hospitals have a pretty crazy schedule. And shift work at a manufacturing plant or on a police force. Yikes. Pastoral ministry presents challenges, too. […]Read More Eight Challenges Every Ministry Marriage Will Face
Quick Navigation A Challenging Series My Shallow Understanding of Grace Stop Preaching Good Sermons The Scandal of the Gospel The Continental Divide A Challenging Series I am preaching a sermon series on Sundays that is inspired by one of my living heros, Jerram Barrs. His book, Learning Evangelism from Jesus, is such a helpful portrait of […]Read More Pastors, Let’s Stop Preaching Good Sermons
THE DISEASE If you are a pastor, you’ve suffered from a debilitating disease. You may not even know that you’ve been infected. But this illness has crippled your soul and is adversely affecting every aspect of your life, especially your personal spiritual health. In this post, I want to help diagnose this problem and help […]Read More The Cause of and Cure for Pastor’s Guilt
I served a church back in the 1990s where many folks in the congregation were members of the Country Club. As a pastor in my twenties, there was no way that I could afford to pay the membership fee, which I suspected was in the six-figure range. Nevertheless, I was invited to the club as […]Read More Pastor, You (Too) are Complete in Christ
In a recent post, I proposed 4 ways to be a great Assistant Pastor. It is only appropriate to follow that up (and I probably should have led) with a post about being a great lead pastor for an AP. Here are some thoughts on ten ways to be a great lead pastor for an […]Read More 10 Ways to be a Great Lead Pastor for an Assistant Pastor
While I have been a lead pastor for almost fifteen years (a church planter for the past ten), my first ten years out of seminary were spent serving as an assistant pastor in churches ranging from under 200 to over 2,000 members. While I loved my seminary experience and learned a great deal about the […]Read More 4 Ways to Be a Great Assistant Pastor
Europeans call their vacations being on “holiday.” I love that. Holiday is a compressed version of holy day. Like Halloween is the compressed form of All Hallows Eve. Historically, the church has set aside “holy days” as times to stop and reflect, not upon our work but upon God’s work for us. A holy day […]Read More Pastor, Are You Taking Enough Vacation Time?
Contents and Quick Navigation Introduction: The Pastoral Pose 1. The Pressure We Face 2. The Danger of Success 3. The Two Options 4. The Source of Spiritual Passion Conclusion: A Resume of Failures Introduction: The Pose In 2001, Georgia Tech head coach, George O’Leary, left the Yellow Jackets to take over as head coach for […]Read More How to Overcome Being a Pastoral Poser
Contents Avoiding Unbiblical Expectations Baseline Indicators An Effective Model Putting It Together Avoiding Unbiblical Expectations In a previous post we discovered that pastors do not have to fit into a predesigned pastoral mold. In other words, we do not have to wear Saul’s armor. Every pastor brings a unique “gift mix” to his ministry, including […]Read More What is the Essence of Faithful Pastoral Ministry?