Be alert to spiritual landmines among bloggers

I have a difficult time with so-called “discernment bloggers.” As a person who leans toward being an encourager and who strives to believe the best about others, it’s hard to understand the intentions of people who make their primary, or secondary, calling to point out the shortcomings of others. The work itself is fraught withContinue reading “Be alert to spiritual landmines among bloggers”

Be careful, little mouth, what you say

“Oops, I did it again,” is more than the title of a 20-year-old Brittany Spears single. It is also the expression many Christian leaders have used (me included) after saying something that would have been better left unsaid. A crucial part of ministry is knowing when and how to say a helpful or uplifting word,Continue reading “Be careful, little mouth, what you say”

Using your voice

As a young pastor, I was cautious about becoming overly involved in politics. I didn’t want to alienate anyone, and I certainly didn’t want to get off on the wrong foot in my new church. But the mistake came when I avoided such conversations so much that I was reluctant to speak on social issuesContinue reading “Using your voice”

Growing as a leader

Less than six months into my first pastorate, I felt completely in over my head. I truly started believing I had no business being the pastor of this church. There were no moral or ethical issues, just an internal sense of my being unprepared. The church was doing well, but I was struggling. It wasContinue reading “Growing as a leader”

A pay raise for your pastor

Am I really going to ask for a raise after only being here two weeks? That is exactly what I did, but I had good reasons. I was a full-time seminary student, pastoring a small church and working 15-20 hours a week at a part-time job. I had figured out the needs of our familyContinue reading “A pay raise for your pastor”

Members or owners

“Did she really say that?” I wondered to myself. She did. As the church began to grow, one of the members commented to me directly, “I like my little church exactly the way it is.” I am not sure what I said in the moment. I may not have said anything at all. But herContinue reading “Members or owners”

What will you improve?

I did it again. Even after saying I never would. I told a customer (in my former work in sales) that I was hoping to drop by his business next week if time allowed. What he heard was that I was planning to drop by next week. That poor communication was a bad habit IContinue reading “What will you improve?”

Learning from sickness

I didn’t necessarily think I would be able to outrun the coronavirus forever, but after nearly two years of avoiding this dreaded disease, I was feeling pretty good about my chances. Until I wasn’t. On a recent Thursday morning, I felt like I had a bad cold, a really bad one. It was worse thanContinue reading “Learning from sickness”

There will be a battle

I was dumbstruck when one of my early ministry leadership decisions faced opposition. The logic of moving a few pews around in order to accommodate more people in our growing church was a no-brainer decision, at least in the mind of a first-time pastor. I didn’t even bother to ask permission. I just moved theContinue reading “There will be a battle”

Leaders must care and not care

Dr. Justin Irving, author and professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, writes in his book Leadership in Christian Perspective, “Leaders must care and not care at the same time. They must care deeply for the people they lead, but not for the shifting praise and approval of others.” Dr. Irving hits onContinue reading “Leaders must care and not care”