Links & Quotes

There has never been anyone as perfectly healthy as Jesus. He was wise, physically healthy, spiritually strong, and emotionally resilient. My co-host Greg and I talked about this on a recent episode of our leadership podcast The Craig And Greg Show. Check out this snippet. I dive deeper into this topic in five chapters in my book Shepherd Leadership.

Fight The New Drug reports how easily sex trafficking happens in the porn industry. They also share a recent survey of how many teens are watching pornography while at school.

Podcast: Personal Development Grows Leadership

Listen to the audio-only version of this podcast by clicking on the player below, or scroll down to watch the video.

As leaders, it’s our responsibility to help our organization grow. As Greg and I discuss in this episode of The Craig And Greg Show, one of the best ways to do that is by focusing on your own personal development. It might seem counterintuitive, but by focusing inward we make ourselves more flexible, robust, and prepared leaders. This, in turn, enables us to better influence and encourage others in our leadership roles.

  • [0:20] Why should leaders set goals?
  • [0:45] What do we mean by “personal development”?
  • [2:15] I discuss healthy personal development in Shepherd Leadership.
  • [3:38] Greg wonders why personal development takes us so far.
  • [6:19] Why do people procrastinate on their own personal development? 
  • [8:29] Where does delayed gratification come in when we are growing and learning?
  • [10:50] Personal development is not about fixing something in ourselves.
  • [12:54] The book Strengths Finder can help leaders know where they should develop themselves .
  • [13:21] How can we identify and lift lids in our lives?
  • [16:04] Watch your self-talk!
  • [17:21] Check out some of the benefits of personal development.
  • [19:15] It’s important to self-reflect on the areas where we’ve already grown.
  • [20:34] More benefits that come with personal development.
  • [23:10] Personal development is the best resume.
  • [25:07] I have seen that as I develop myself I am able to be a greater help for my team’s development.
  • [26:14] Comparing is a personal development killer.
  • [27:24] Progress is exciting!
  • [29:22] Greg and I would love to help coach you in your personal development.

Check out this episode and subscribe on YouTube so you can watch all of the upcoming episodes. You can also listen to our podcast on Spotify and Apple.

“So That…”

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

There are so many things a leader can do to develop themselves and develop the people around them. In fact, at times there may be too many things from which we could choose! 

So how do we narrow it down? How do we know which things to guard in our schedule, which things to drop, and which things to add? 

One thing that has been immensely helpful for me is asking the question, “Why do I want to do this, or learn this, or make a commitment to this?” And then answer the question with these two words, “So that…. 

What is the “so that” I am aiming for? How will that thing enhance my leadership or develop me personally? I need to keep asking that question again and again until I hit upon the key factor that needs to be added to my schedule and then guarded in my schedule. 

I co-host a leadership podcast called The Craig And Greg Show with my lifelong friend Greg Heeres. On a recent episode, we were discussing the value of personal development and we got into this “so that” topic. {{Take a listen…}}

A mark of a godly leader is one who is regularly asking the question, “Why am I doing this?” and then continually drilling down to a solid “so that” reason. 

If I can help coach you through this process in your leadership journey, please reach out to me. 

This is part 68 in my series on godly leadership. You can check out all of my posts in this series by clicking here.

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Links & Quotes

Let’s celebrate others 🎉 Don’t just rattle off, “How are you?” and not even listen for the answer. Let’s ask more specific, meaningful questions to help people celebrate what’s good in their lives. Check out my latest Monday Motivation video, and then please subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Dan Reiland has a great post “7 Guideposts to Lead Yourself Well.” Dan wrote an endorsement of my book Shepherd Leadership, and we share the same passion for godly leaders to lead well.

Speaking of Shepherd Leadership, I received another really nice note this week from a pastor who has benefitted from reading it. If you are a pastor (or if you love your pastor), please take advantage of the special offer I have going for my book.

This post from the Institute for Creation Research is an excellent reminder about the importance of context when interpreting the Bible. This post is specifically talking about biblical passages related to Creation, but the points in this post pertain to all biblical interpretation. You may also be interested in a previous blog post I wrote called Context Is King.

Check out my exclusive Patreon video teaching on this idea of the lessons that can be learned whether we are delivered from trials or whether we go through trials.

Podcast: Dream With A Plan

Listen to the audio-only version of this podcast by clicking on the player below, or scroll down to watch the video.

On this episode of “The Craig And Greg Show” we talk about: 

  • [0:24] We want you to dream!
  • [1:47] What are some reasons people don’t set goals?
  • [3:10] The trap of comfort zones.
  • [5:14] Are you afraid of achievement?
  • [5:57] The balance of internal and external discipline.
  • [9:21] We would love to help you stretch to the next level!
  • [10:30] Why do people set goals?
  • [13:42] Why are goals hard to attain?
  • [14:31] Time is not manageable.
  • [15:30] Self-awareness and clarity are tools to help set goals.
  • [17:48] Be a goal-influencer by supporting others’ goals.
  • [19:20] Take time to celebrate reaching goals.
  • [22:40] Sharing goals with others lets them know what’s important to you.
  • [23:31] Celebrating steps toward a goal helps maintain motivation.
  • [25:00] I love this quote from Andrew Wood on incremental steps.

Check out this episode and subscribe on YouTube so you can watch all of the upcoming episodes. You can also listen to our podcast on Spotify and Apple.

Helping Our Teammates Destress

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

An interesting comment that Jesus made that should catch the attention of every leader is this: “I know My sheep and My sheep know Me” (John 10:14). Jesus is telling us that He knows the uniqueness of every person. 

Combine this with David’s encouraging words about Jesus as our Good Shepherd in the opening words of Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need” (Psalm 23:1 NLT). 

This tells me that quality shepherd leaders…

  1. …are around their teammates enough to know them personally. 
  2. …can quickly ascertain when their teammates are feeling stress or anxiety. 
  3. …know how to give their teammates what they need to destress in a healthy way. 

My friend Greg and I discussed how leaders can use playtime as an effective tool to keep their teammates at their healthiest. Check out this short clip—

If you would like to watch this full episode from The Craig And Greg Show, please click here. 

I also talk about how wise leaders take care of those under their care in my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter. It’s 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. ◀︎◀︎

Book Reviews From 2022

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

I love reading, and I love sharing my love of good books with others! Here is a list of the books I read and reviewed in 2022. Click on a title to be taken to that review.

Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge

Cary Grant

Contending For Our All

Father Sergius

Hank Greenberg: The Story Of My Life

Living In A Gray World

Out Of The Depths

Roots Of Endurance

Simple Truths Of Leadership

Spurgeon And The Psalms

Susanna Wesley

The Holy War

The Legacy Of Sovereign Joy

The Poetry Of Prayer

The Self-Aware Leader

Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?

Who’s Pushing Your Buttons?

Here are my book reviews for 2011.

Here are my book reviews for 2012.

Here are my book reviews for 2013.

Here are my book reviews for 2014.

Here are my book reviews for 2015.

Here are my book reviews for 2016.

Here are my book reviews for 2017.

Here are my book reviews for 2018.

       Here are my book reviews for 2019.

Here are my book reviews for 2020.

Here are my book reviews for 2021.

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

Merry Christmas From The Craig And Greg Show

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from The Craig and Greg Show! We had an amazing 2022 sharing great leadership content with you, and we cannot wait to share even more in 2023!

If you would like to catch up on some of our previous episodes, please click here.

Podcast: Our First 50 Episodes

Listen to the audio-only version of this podcast by clicking on the player below, or scroll down to watch the video.

On this episode of “The Craig And Greg Show” we talk about how the first episode of The Craig and Greg Show debuted over two years ago on September 15th, 2020, and was appropriately titled “Leaders are Learners.” However, the discussions that became this show go back years before then.

On our 50th episode, Greg and I take you into the bagel shop where many long conversations about leadership became the show you see today. 

Thank you for your support over the last fifty episodes. The entire Craig and Greg Show team wishes you a very merry Christmas, and we’re so excited to share more leadership insight with you in 2023 and beyond! 

Check out this episode and subscribe on YouTube so you can watch all of the upcoming episodes. You can also listen to our podcast on Spotify and Apple.

Thursdays With Spurgeon—Judging By First Appearances

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Charles Spurgeon. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Spurgeon” in the search box to read more entries.

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

Judging By First Appearances 

     A good horse cannot be a bad color, and a really good preacher can wear what he likes, and none will care much about it; but though you cannot know wine by the barrel, a good appearance is a letter of recommendation even to a plowman. Wise men neither fall in love or take a dislike at first sight, but still the first impression is always a great thing even with them; and as to those weaker brethren who are not wise, a good appearance is half the battle.

     What is a good appearance? Well, it’s not being pompous and starchy and making oneself high and mighty among the people, for proud looks lose hearts, and gentle words win them. … When a man is as proud as a peacock, all strut and show, he needs converting himself before he sets up to preach to others. The preacher who measures himself by his mirror may please a few silly girls, but neither God nor man will long put up with him. The man who owes his greatness to his tailor will find that needle and thread cannot long hold a fool in a pulpit. …  

     At the same time, the preacher should endeavor, according to his means, to dress himself respectably; and, as to neatness, he should be without spot, for kings should not have dirty footmen to wait at their table, and they who teach godliness should practice cleanliness. … A worn coat is no discredit, but the poorest may be neat, and the men should be scholars rather than teachers till they are so.

From John Ploughman’s Talks of Plain Advice For Plain People

Like it or not, people do form first impressions on external appearances, and all leaders (and especially pastors) would do well to measure these words from Charles Spurgeon. 

I think Spurgeon is talking about honesty here. I need to be honest with who I am, while at the same time being honest about the office that I hold. I’m not playing dress-up, but I also need to be aware that I am representing the King of kings so an appropriate dress and lifestyle are required. 

I also need to be honest that people are forming first impressions the moment they see me, but also that I cannot try to dress or act in a way to please or attract people. 

I remember meeting a group of “seasoned saints” who all showed up at our church one morning. When I engaged them in conversation, they told me that their new pastor appeared to be too young for their style. They formed an opinion about him before ever giving him a chance. I told them that I knew their pastor and that I liked him a lot. I directed them to return to their home church and give their best support to their pastor for at least six months before they made any decisions. Thankfully, during that time they got to know this pastor and remained in that church with him. 

I am in the position I am in because God placed me there. I am working to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I don’t want my appearance to get in the way of people hearing the message. I don’t want to try to be someone I’m not. I need to remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s direction in how I should dress, talk, and live. If my conscience is clear before God, then I won’t have to pay attention to the opinions of others.

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

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