Gospel-Think vs. Group Think

Given the circumstances, the consensus was ironically predictable. Paul, the Lord’s so-called chosen instrument to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, was in a Roman prison. Most of Paul’s so-called “friends” had deserted him. Some were using the occasion of Paul’s imprisonment for their own personal gain. The church in Philippi to which Paul wrote faced fierce opposition from unbelievers, hell-bent on the destruction of the church. As a result, the church in Philippi had a lot of infighting. Given all of these things, the consensus was this: “The Christian church is done for.” “Paul is a goner.” But if there’s […]

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On Homeschooling, Wheat Grinding, Child Vaccinations, Yoga, and Essential Oils

“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:2-5, ESV. I’m disturbed by what I perceive to be a growing trend within American evangelicalism. I’m not talking about anything heady […]

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Meekness is Not Weakness. It is the Definition of Strength.

In Numbers 12, Moses faced resistance from two of his closest confidantes: Aaron (his older brother) and Miriam (his older sister). The crux of their issue with Moses was that they wanted a share in the prophetic leadership of the people. “Does the Lord speak only through Moses? Does He not also speak through us?” This rather emphatic statement, however, was shrouded in what you might call a “smokescreen issue:” the ethnicity of Moses’ wife. She was not Jewish. So Aaron and Miriam used the fact that he married a non-Jew to question whether or not he should exclusively hold the prophetic leadership […]

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Leaders Need to be Carried

Great thoughts here from Jared Wilson. Here’s an excerpt. Read it all here. The truth is, our leaders need to be carried sometimes. At all times, they need to be carried to the Lord in prayer. This is the single best thing you can do for those who are responsible for your spiritual upbringing. They need your prayers more than than they need your praise, and they certainly need your prayers more than your advice. And while they do need your advice, they moreso need your encouragement, your consideration, your benefit of the doubt. They need you to not rehearse […]

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Our Love-Hate Relationship with Change

Our Sunday routine has been … well … routine … for most of 2014. Corporate worship at 9:30, followed by a Sunday school class at 11. Afterwards, my wife and baby daughter head home for a quiet afternoon at the house, while the boys go to a 3-hour chess club and I get 3 hours of reading and writing at a coffee shop. Stop by Trader Joe’s on the way home to a simple dinner and a quiet evening. Bliss. But then, things began to CHANGE. Argh. I HATE change. The weather got better, so chess club was less appealing. The […]

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Michael Hyatt's Lessons from Bad Bosses

Read the whole thing here. Bosses create an emotional climate with their attitudes and behaviors. The higher up you are, the more people read into everything you say and do. Stuff gets amplified as it moves downstream. A word of encouragement can literally make someone’s week. Conversely, a harsh word can ruin it. Hire the right people then trust them to do their job. Don’t ever intentionally embarrass people in front of their boss, their peers, or their direct reports. Get both sides of the story before you take action. Tell the truth; then you don’t have to remember what […]

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Should You Tell That Story?

Thoughtful post from Aaron Armstrong: “You used to be awesome and tell funny stories about dumb things you did. You don’t do that anymore.” One of the fifth graders at our church shared this little bit of encouragement with me as he headed out the door the other week. He meant it as an insult. I see it, oddly, as a compliment. Read the rest here.

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I Miss the Pastorate When …

It’s really weird … REALLY weird … but I miss the pastorate when I read Jared Wilson’s posts about his pastorate. For example: On Easter Sunday a friend said, “Natalie, your eyes look yellow.” She went to the doctor that Monday, where they did blood work. Tuesday they called and said “Go to the ER.” She was in the hospital over a week. They found problems with the bile duct, but in that process, also, pancreatic cancer, which, they say, nobody survives. But they also created all kinds of complications in the bile duct procedures which left her feeble and […]

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Trustworthy Leaders

Found on Dave Kraft’s blog. When someone says they don’t trust you as a leader (or as a person, for that matter) it’s the beginning of the end of the relationship. It’s a scary thought to think that as a leader I am deliberately (or unknowingly) doing things, or saying things, that are engendering lack of trust among those I lead. Read on for some eye-popping insight from Dan Rockwell (new to me) who calls himself a “Leadership Freak.” “Twenty Habits Of Untrustworthy Leaders”  It takes more than good character to be a trustworthy leader. Don’t trust leaders who can’t get the job done, […]

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Preventing Burnout in Ministry

It’s all too easy to burn out when it comes to ministry. You can see some stats below this article. The odd thing about these kinds of statistics is that they simultaneously freak me out and comfort me. Evidently I’m not the only one who’s been there. But pastors aren’t the only ones with ministries. Indeed, their ministry is to equip those to do the ministry! I suppose it’s questionable whether Jesus had the capacity to “burnout.” Mark 1:35-39 gives us a glimpse into the kinds of ministry pressures Jesus faced and how he dealt with them. 35 And rising very early […]

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