What Do We Mean By “Grow”?

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible. 

I had a great time on the 200churches podcast with Jeff Keady. 

Jeff asked me how the challenges of the last couple of years affected the thoughts that went into writing my book Shepherd Leadership. I explained to him how my conversation with a local pastor actually created the subtitle of the book: The Metrics That Really Matter.  

In another recent conversation on The Craig And Greg Show, I talked about a comical conversation I had with a church board about their definition of the word “grow.”

In Shepherd Leadership, I wrote, 

Growth and success may need to be redefined in your church or ministry. If you’ve been thinking that success is a steadily upward climb in attendance or donations, or a bigger facility, or more people on staff, then it would appear that the ministries of Philip, Paul, and even Jesus were highly unsuccessful. We’ve already seen that Philip went from a large revival in Samaria to one person in the desert. Paul came to the end of his life telling Timothy how many of his companions had abandoned him. And Jesus started His public ministry with twelve emerging leaders, only to see one betray Him, nine run away when He was arrested, and one deny that he even knew Him. When we come up with our plans to “grow” our ministry, or we say “success” is all about what we can count, aren’t we really just self-promoting? 

Godly shepherd leaders need to make sure that they are concentrating not on more sheep, but on greater health. Remember: the shepherd doesn’t give birth to sheep, but the shepherd creates a healthy environment for the sheep to reproduce.

I’ll be sharing more clips from this 200churches interview soon, so please stay tuned. Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter is available in print or ebook, and in audiobook through either Audible or Apple. 

►► Would you please prayerfully consider supporting this ministry? My Patreon supporters get behind-the-scenes access to exclusive materials. ◀︎◀︎

From “Servant” To “Shepherd”

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible. 

I had a great time on the 200churches podcast with Jeff Keady. 

Jeff asked me how I got started writing my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter. As I’ve shared before, the best way to start writing is just to start writing. That’s what I’ve been doing for almost 13 years, racking up close to 5100 blog posts, numerous articles for other publications, and now a #1 selling book. 

In this clip, I explain how I went from writing a blog to writing a book, and how the working title of my book went from Servant Leadership to Shepherd Leadership.  

I’ll be sharing more clips from this interview soon, so please stay tuned. Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter is now available in print or ebook, and in audiobook through either Audible or Apple. 

►► Would you please prayerfully consider supporting this ministry? My Patreon supporters get behind-the-scenes access to exclusive materials. ◀︎◀︎

I’m Writing A Book!

UPDATE: You all are amazing! Your support put me over the top. The special offers for these early investors are now full, but stay tuned on my Shepherd Leadership page for some very special pre-release offers.

My cheering section (known as my parents and my wife) has been asking me for years, “When are you going to write a book?” My response has always been the same, “I wouldn’t even know where to start.” 

But Tom Freiling knew where I should start! This accomplished publisher contacted me and after several lengthy conversations, we decided the time was right. 

My book is entitled Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter. It is a leadership book for pastors and leaders of nonprofit ministries. My prayer is that this book will liberate these leaders from the needless and unprofitable practices and measures of “success” that we’ve allowed to creep in to our ministries. The bottom line: Our focus has turned to unbiblical practices, and as a result, we are missing the joy of really doing ministry. I cannot wait to help these leaders learn the freeing principles of shepherd leadership! 

But in order to help these ministry leaders, I first need some help from you. 

Since I’m a first-time author, you can probably understand why my publisher wants me to cover some of the costs for this inaugural book. This is where I am humbly asking for your help. 

Would you consider being a sponsor of this book? 

  • For a donation of $35, you will get an advanced, pre-release copy of the ebook. You will be reading this book before anyone has it! 
  • For a donation of $75, you will not only get the pre-release copy of the ebook, but also an autographed copy of the pre-released print version of the book. [UPDATE: 5 donations received at this level]
  • For a donation of $150, you will get all of the above plus a free copy of the audiobook. [UPDATE: 2 donations received at this level]
  • For a donation of $250 or more, you will get all of the above, AND you will have access to the opening paragraphs of each chapter as they are written, as well as some behind-the-scenes video of the publishing and recording process.  [UPDATE: 7 donations received at this level] 

My blog has always used this prayer of John Newton’s as its focus: “Oh! that the power of God would set my heart and pen at liberty while writing, and fill your hearts while reading, that we may rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Now, more than ever, that is my fervent prayer for both this blog and now this new book on shepherd leadership. 

Thank you for your prayerful and financial involvement in this vital project. 

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some good reading & listening from today…

“When A.B. Simpson succeeded it was in a big way. When he failed he made great failures. It had to be so. Men of his caliber do not make little mistakes. They fly too high and too far to steer their courses by city maps. They ask not, ‘What street is that?’ but ‘What continent?’ And when they get off of the course for a moment they will be sure to pull up a long way from their goal. Their range and speed make this inevitable. Little men who never get outside of their own yards point to these mistakes with great satisfaction. But history has a way of disposing of these critics by filing them away in quiet anonymity. She cannot be bothered to preserve their names. She is too busy chalking up the great successes and huge failures of her favorites.” —A.W. Tozer

“Jesus invites us to approach God the way a child approaches his or her daddy! And how do children approach their daddies? I went to a school playground to find out. When a five-year-old spots his father in the parking lot, how does he react? ‘Yippee!’ screamed a redheaded boy wearing a Batman backpack. ‘Pop! Over here! Push me!’ yelled a boy wearing a Boston Red Sox cap who scooted straight to the swings. Here’s what I didn’t hear: ‘Father, it is most gracious of thee to drive thy car to my place of education. Please know of my deep gratitude for your benevolence. For thou art splendid in thy attentive care and diligent in thy dedication.’ I heard kids who were happy to see their dads and eager to speak to them! God invites us to approach Him in the same manner.” —Max Lucado

“More faith is what we want, and the Lord is willing to give it, grace upon grace; He delights, especially, to strengthen the faith which we already possess by trying it, by sustaining it under the trial, and thus rooting and grounding it, and causing it to become firm and vigorous.” —Charles Spurgeon

[INFOGRAPHIC] The Overview Bible Project has a great chart on the authors of the Bible.

[AUDIO] This interview of the late Chuck Colson by Dr. James Dobson is very timely.

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