pastoral leadership

Listen First

Listen First

I am still unsure of how I got the invitation, but I did. It was a small gathering of local Boston pastors and seminary professors – and me.

We were all together to share a breakfast and hear Dr. John M. Perkins share an exhortation. (For those unfamiliar with Dr. Perkins, he is a long-time pastor, a writer, an evangelical leader for racial reconciliation and the co-founder of the Christian Community Development Association.) Despite the fact that he was in his early 80s at the time, he encouraged all of us in the room with passion and zeal for the mission of God.

Navigating Change Without Destroying our Ministry in the Process

Navigating Change Without Destroying our Ministry in the Process

Recently I wrote about the need to eliminate unnecessary structure so churches and ministry organizations can focus on accomplishing their mission more effectively. This requires a lot of prayer and discernment to know what to eliminate and what to keep. Tightening up the mission is critical to a ministry’s success. But is it possible to over-tighten one’s ministry focus so that it becomes too narrow? I believe it is.

It’s Not 1997 Anymore: Changing Leadership Structures to Keep Up with the Times

It’s Not 1997 Anymore: Changing Leadership Structures to Keep Up with the Times

“Everyone has to have a job,” a church growth guru told our group. Throughout the three-hour seminar, he repeated these instructions in many different ways: everyone in the church should have a position of some sort, even if it is only serving on a committee. In his opinion, would make everyone feel valued and help them take ownership in the church. It sounded like a great idea. It wasn’t.

The Early Years

The Early Years

The early years of ministry are difficult for everyone. Oftentimes during those first days, a lack of experience coupled with a youthful zeal leads to a myriad of mistakes. However innocent blunders are not the only faulty moves that young leaders make. Too often, young men and women fail due to character struggles with pride. Consequently, the pains of formation and the uncertainty of what is new causes many young leaders to quit.

3 Ways a Pastor & His Wife Can Stay Madly in Love

3 Ways a Pastor & His Wife Can Stay Madly in Love

Pastors and wives, don't forget that there is one time the Bible commands you to get drunk: "...Be intoxicated always in her love." (Proverbs 5:19) God wants you to be drunk with love for your spouse. This is best for you, best for your spouse, best for your kids, best for your church, and it glorifies God. Pastors and wives face unique pressures and challenges due to our roles in the body of Christ. Here are three ways a pastor and wife can stay madly in love through all of the ups and downs of pastoral ministry.

What the Patriots Taught Me About Church Leadership

What the Patriots Taught Me About Church Leadership

It is that time of year again here in New England – time to celebrate another winning Patriots season. But it’s not only their athletic skills that I admire.

A few years ago, they made the phrase “Do Your Job” popular, and my wife bought a Patriots beanie with that slogan. When they won Super Bowl 49 (I’m not so good at Roman numerals), there was a documentary called “Do Your Job” that followed the Patriots season. The filmmakers showed the interior of the Patriots offices, and etched on a glass door were the staff rules —

What Happens When Our Plan Is Wrong?

What Happens When Our Plan Is Wrong?

The middle-aged minister expressed deep frustration as he poured out his heart to me. He had started his ministry full of energy and excitement. Though the numbers were small when he started, he was sure that his faithful preaching of the Word and his clear strategic plan would turn the situation around. That was a decade ago. Now the numbers were even smaller, his excitement was long gone and the financial situation, which had never been good, was now perilous. He was not sure how long he could continue in his present ministry, but he was not a quitter, so he didn’t want to leave. He was in a quandary.