The Importance Of Margin

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 Thriving In Ministry podcast with Kyle Willis and Dace Clifton. 

Jesus demonstrated an important principle for all leaders: In order for us to lead effectively over a long period of time, leaders must be healthy. Jesus showed us His mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health. 

In my discussion with Kyle and Dace, we talked about the value of creating margins in our life to keep us at our full potential.  

I have five chapters in my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter where I dive deep into how leaders can work on being wholly healthy. I encourage you to check it out. You can also check out a short clip from a recent Craig And Greg Show episode where we discuss the importance of self-care.  

I’ll be sharing more clips from this Thriving In Ministry 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? ◀︎◀︎

Soul Watchers

I share T.M. Moore’s heartbeat for the role of shepherd leaders in the Church today. I highly recommend that every pastor subscribe to the newsletters that are available through the Fellowship of Ailbe. 

A recent article called “Soul Watchers” really caught my attention. Here are a few excerpts to whet your appetite… 

Elders are called “overseers” and “shepherds” in their relationship to the congregations of the Lord (1 Peter 5:1-3). … Elders were charged with the responsibility of watching over the flocks of the Lord (Acts 20:28), preserving sound doctrine and right practice in the churches (Acts 15:1-6; Titus 1), and, in particular, keeping watch over the souls of God’s people (2 Corinthians 12:15; Hebrews 13:17). … 

The elders appointed to serve the churches of the New Testament were called to be shepherds, leading the Lord’s flocks into fuller realization of His Kingdom and promises. In fact, so vital were elders to the churches of the New Testament that Paul insisted that any church that didn’t have elders was to that extent not “in order” (Titus 1:3).

(Check out the bible verses T.M. references in this piece by clicking here.)

T.M. Moore wrote one of the endorsements for my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter, and I recently appeared as a guest on his Ailbe Podcast.

Whose Ladder?

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 Ailbe Podcast with Rusty Rabon.

Rusty quotes a section from the chapter “The Wrong Ladder” in my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter: 

God frequently picks people we would consider the least qualified. He sometimes has one in an unglamorous position for years, and sometimes He catapults somebody immediately to the top. Sometimes God will keep His hand-selected individual in a prominent leadership position until death, and sometimes He will remove that person to a place of obscurity after only a short time. God’s ladder of success is nothing like ours! 

We discuss the American cultural ladder and how that may or may not square with what we read on the pages of the Bible. I use the example from the life of Philip to make my point that we would be wise to not try to set up our own ladder of success. 

 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? ◀︎◀︎

Podcast: Leaders Are Hope Dealers

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

  • [0:23] Greg makes a very personal investment in me—a special figurine to remind me, and all of us, about servant leadership. You can get more information on my book by clicking here. 
  • [2:18] Only servant leaders truly know how to breathe hope into the people around them.
  • [3:17] Greg describes how leaders can become hope dealers. 
  • [3:53] I paraphrase a proverb to help leaders see the immense value in dispensing hope. 
  • [5:59] Greg explains how leaders instill hope into themselves. 
  • [7:48] Hope-filled people are still realistic about the present difficulties they are facing. 
  • [8:59] Hope isn’t just about one-time vision casting—we talked about how leaders keep the message of hope consistent. 
  • [12:29] Leaders have to be around people in order to invest hope into them. 
  • [14:00] Greg notices how hope connects faith and love. 
  • [15:32] Greg gives leaders a challenge to grow as hope-fillers. 
  • [17:42] Leaders give their teammates hope for a better future. 

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.

The Confident-Humble Tension

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 Thriving In Ministry podcast with Kyle Willis and Dace Clifton. 

When I was trying to explain to my friends why I was writing Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter, I found that many were quite intrigued by the idea of the confident humility—or the humble confidence—that Jesus so perfectly demonstrated for us. 

Almost every leader I’ve met tends to be naturally wired as either a confident leader or a humble leader. Our effectiveness as a shepherd leader comes in allowing the Holy Spirit to help us maintain a healthy tension between those two poles. Jesus did this perfectly, and we are to follow His example. 

I have two chapters in my book discussing this tension. Here’s how I introduce the topic in the chapter “A confident leader’s attitude adjustment: 

God has created each of us uniquely—implanted with the temperament, talents, and personality He wanted each of us to have. God made you on purpose, and He made you for a purpose. But that being said, shepherd leaders are almost never perfectly balanced. If you’ve ever taken a temperaments assessment or any other kind of personality test, you know that you had some attributes that were more prominent than others. God never gives us weaknesses, but our areas of strength can become a self-imposed weakness if we rely on our strength instead of on our Strength Giver. 

Leaders tend toward two poles: confidence or humility. God made us this way on purpose. But to be the best shepherd leader, we each must allow the Holy Spirit to help us learn to lead in a more balanced way. If we lean too much toward confidence, we can come across as arrogant and even tyrannical. But if we lean too much toward humility, we can appear to be weak, indecisive, and unsure of our leadership direction. None of us will be perfect in this at every single moment, but with the proper attitude adjustments, we can learn to more consistently stay at the balanced point of being humbly confident or confidently humble. 

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? ◀︎◀︎

Only One Kind Of Leader Can Serve Well

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 Thriving In Ministry podcast with Kyle Willis and Dace Clifton. 

Kyle asked me if I had a life verse that was working on me. Two verses—John 13:3-4—quickly sprang to mind from the actions of Jesus on the night He was betrayed. Here’s how I answered that question on the podcast…

In the chapter “The Wrong Ladder” in Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter I said: 

In John 13, Jesus prepared to share a final meal with His disciples. John recorded these words: “Jesus knew that God had put all things under His power” (v. 3). ALL things—not some limited power, but all power. At that moment, Jesus was, without question, the most powerful Person standing on planet earth. By modern-day standards, we could say Jesus had reached the top of the ladder! 

What would you do with that much power? How would you respond to having God’s full approval? 

Here’s what Jesus did: He took on the role of the lowest of servants and washed His disciples’ feet. Then after doing this, He said something He had never said to His disciples before: “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (v. 14). 

Jesus used His unlimited power to serve. 

Our Good Shepherd’s plan all along was to serve people. He said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). 

Quite simply stated: Shepherd leaders serve. 

I’ll be sharing more clips from this interview soon, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, Shepherd Leadership is now available in print, ebook, and audiobook. 

►► Would you please prayerfully consider supporting this ministry? ◀︎◀︎

Podcast: Greed Vs. Contentment

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

  • most people don’t think this leadership killer impacts them [0:30] 
  • we share our personal experiences of leaders placing “me” in front of “we” [2:06] 
  • here’s what this killer does to our teammates [2:58] 
  • sharing is better than taking—this is a key part of an abundance mindset [3:53] 
  • discontentment and low self-esteem lead to feelings of greed [5:14] 
  • what squashes greed? what is our leadership builder? [5:20] 
  • discontentment is the path of least resistance, so we have to choose to be contented leaders [6:43] 
  • Greg shares a contentment lesson he learned while on a missions trip [9:11]
  • how the senior leader should address discontentment or greed in other team members [10:56] 
  • leaders are the thermostat for their team [13:20] 
  • where does work fit into the overall scheme of life? [14:14] 
  • Greg gives us a leadership challenge to help us win the battle against greed [15:40]

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.

The Craig T. Owens Audio Blog Podcast

My blog now has nearly 4900 posts (and growing!), and I wanted to find a way to make these posts more accessible to busy people. So this blog is now a podcast so you can listen while you’re on the go!

The Craig T. Owens Audio Blog is just like this blog, except you get to hear me read my blog posts. Check it out on Spotify, Apple, and even Audible.

Every day you will hear quality content in usually less than 5 minutes. Things like:

  • devotional thoughts
  • leadership insights
  • book reviews
  • quotes from notable authors
  • Bible study aids
  • parenting and marriage thoughts
  • poetry
  • and so much more!

Podcast: Leaders Need To Refresh

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

  • “burning the midnight oil” is not healthy for a leader  [0:45] 
  • September is Mental Health Awareness Month—what makes this a challenge for leaders [1:20] 
  • I share three attitudes that can hinder a leader’s ability to self-care [1:37]
  • leaders cannot give to others what they do not possess themselves [2:43]
  • Greg addresses the stigma that some people have about mental health [3:55]
  • leaders should think “seasons” over “balance” [5:12]
  • healthy leaders apply boundaries to their lives and understand the tension between work and rest [6:00]
  • Greg shares a different way to think about “balance” [7:22]
  • I remind leaders that self-care is not selfish [8:07]
  • Greg says that boundaries and margin protect leaders and let them handle balance more effectively [10:03]
  • I share how I created margin in my life based on Stephen Covey’s Urgent/Important grid [12:10]
  • in our coaching huddles, we ask the questions that help our clients self-discover their boundaries and margins [14:41]
  • there are some unique hurdles to self-care that non-profit leaders face [16:03]
  • leaders need to assess if they’re ready and equipped to help others [18:40]
  • my leadership challenge [19:40]
  • leaders need to continue to replenish themselves [17:22]
  • we are here to encourage you—check out information on our leadership huddles

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.

Podcast: Leaders And Friends

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

  • some people wear the cliche “It’s lonely at the top” like a badge of honor, but it’s not [0:40] 
  • the best leaders are always developing new leaders [1:25] 
  • do people say, “It’s lonely at the top” because they don’t want others alongside them or because they don’t know how to develop people? [1:55]
  • some people are talented in leading but not talented in friending … what kinds of friends do leaders need? [2:52]
  • what are the differences and similarities between friends, peers, and colleagues? [4:57]
  • a huge leadership challenge in a new position or a new organization is quickly identifying your allies [6:00]
  • a teammates’ participation in team sports can give a leader great insights into that teammates’ leadership potential [7:00]
  • leaders that try to fly solo set themselves up for failure … what are the common traits of leaders who successfully raise up new leaders? [8:08]
  • Greg confesses a leadership mistake he had to correct in himself [9:20]
  • character is vital in emerging leaders [10:59]
  • compassion is valuable in emerging leaders [11:44]
  • consistency helps emerging leaders develop into solid leaders, and it helps the team leader to excel … great insight from Patrick Lencioni about being present [12:15]
  • teams must embrace diversity and find commonality [13:08]
  • I elaborate on Greg’s point about a leader’s presence and consistency [14:10]
  • the team leader has to take the initiative in identifying and raising up new leaders [15:47]
  • leaders need to continue to replenish themselves [17:22]
  • Greg shares a great leadership example from the life of Moses [17:50]
  • we are here to encourage you—check out information on our leadership huddles [18:20]

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.

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