The Value of Visiting

Here’s another recommendation that’s really important when you consider the need for a sabbatical– visit other churches. As part of resting and thinking with God about direction for your church, get out and visit all kinds of churches – small, medium, large, Catholic, Presbyterian – whatever. To see and experience what’s happening in other churches is a great way to learn. You get to feel what it’s like to be a visitor. You see God moving differently than he moves at your church and in your context … Read More

Time Management

We’re just not good time managers, many of us. But here’s another way to think about it: Manage your energy more than you manage your time.  My best times of energy for study and engaging with others is in the morning from 6am to noon. You really don’t want to catch me from 1pm to 4pm, and to be honest – that sucks because ourweekend meetings and teaching meetings are in the afternoons. It’s just not my best energy. I … Read More

Rest is for Everyone

I’ve been talking about the necessity of sabbatical, and I realize if you’re the pastor of a small church, you’re probably thinking there’s no way this could ever work for you. But I want to encourage you to give it some thought, and be a little creative.  To take a month off, one option might be to say, “I’ll preach twice this month, and I have friends that will come and fill in the … Read More

Health Tip

Consider this: The church pays me to be spiritually healthy. That’s really what my salary is for – to be spiritually and physically healthy.  If I’m not healthy, my leadership suffers, my discernment weakens, my patience wears thin, and my preaching loses focus. The church pays me to be at rest with Jesus, and at rest with myself. As a pastor, I think that by refusing to rest, sometimes what you’re really doing is justifying your busyness, your control, and projecting that the church can’t function without … Read More

Give Yourself A Break

The turning point of my ministry story in Broken for Good happened when I decided to take a sabbatical. I’d been in a meeting with several other pastors, and a guest pastor joined us who wasvisiting California on sabbatical from his church in Canada. We were cautiously intrigued. He asked how many of us had taken a sabbatical. Not one of us had. We had lots of good reasons, but … Read More

Caught vs Taught

If you’ve raised kids, you probably understand that it’s not just about what you tell them, it’s also being aware that they’re watching you as you go about your daily life. Leadership works the same way. I never told my son what sports teams to follow. I’m an Alabama Crimson Tide fan living in southern California. I’m a Boston Celtic … Read More

Think Outside the [Leader] Box

I’ve talked here about The Leader Box, and why as leaders we often want to function from “inside the box.” I’m suggesting that as a leader, if you can acknowledge your own failures and brokenness with your people, you point people to God’s strength – rather than your own – and this encourages them and gives them hope. So how do you … Read More

The Leader Box

Many times as leaders we think it’s easier or safer or even more “appropriate” for us to remain somewhat separate from the people we lead. So we put ourselves in what I call The Leader Box.  We think the box protects us from being vulnerable, from being more misunderstood, from being hurt. But the truth is, you’re already vulnerable because you stand in … Read More

Being Broken, For Good

One of the greatest things I can ever give to people is not actually my strengths. It’s God’s strength in me. While spiritually we know this is true, as leaders it can feel counterintuitive. Instead, we want to project, “I’m good – I’ve got it together.” But the truth is, no one in your audience really wants to hear that, because (#1) they … Read More

When You’re On The Bench

I love college football, and I’m a long-time Alabama fan. Which is why I was so intrigued by an incredible story that happened over the past year. In January 2018, quarterback Jalen Hurts began the national title game against Georgia with a 25-2 record as a starter. Trailing 13-0 at the start of the second half, the coach replaced him … Read More