Links & Quotes

Your relentless pursuit of personal improvement becomes a better resume than anything you could ever put on paper! Check out the full conversation Greg and I had about personal development on The Craig And Greg Show leadership podcast. And be sure to check out all of my videos on my YouTube channel.

T.M. Moore has a regular series of posts for pastors. This week he shared this, “In his training manual for pastors, Gregory the Great wrote, ‘There are some who investigate spiritual precepts with cunning care, but what they penetrate with their understanding they trample on in their lives: all at once they are teaching the things which not by practice but by study they have learnt; and what in words they preach by their manners they impugn. Whence it comes to pass that when the shepherd walks through steep places, the flock follows to the precipice’ (The Book of Pastoral Rule).” If you are a pastor, I encourage you to check out the Pastor To Pastor posts on The Fellowship Of Ailbe.

On May 22, A.D. 337, Emperor Constantine died. John Stonestreet wrote, “Many Christians think that Constantine was perhaps the worst thing to happen to the Church. They believe he made Christianity the imperial religion, thus leading the Church to compromise with pagan culture, marrying it to state power, and derailing the spread of the Gospel. The Church, they argue, was better off as a persecuted minority.” Please check out this post co-written by Dr. Glenn Sunshine that gives some better historical perspective than perhaps what you have heard previously.

The other day, a friend of mine was scammed through her Facebook page. Scams are everywhere, so you need to stay aware of the ways to protect yourself. This is a helpful overview from Capital One of various types of scams.

“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” —Duke Ellington

Jellyfish fossils point to a global Flood, like the one reported in the Bible. Because jellyfish are 95 percent water, they have to be buried quickly in order to be saved as a fossil. 

J. Warner Wallace describes how Jesus arrived at the perfect moment in history. Once again giving more evidence to the historicity of the biblical accounts.

One of the most powerful missions sermons I have heard was preached by Dick Brogden:

An important warning from Axis—What it is: The Surgeon General has issued a warning on the dangers of social media for teenagers. Why the alarm bell is reaching a fever pitch: People have been wary of social media’s impact on developing brains for two decades—so why are highly-visible tone setters, like the Surgeon General and the American Psychological Association, issuing big, sweeping statements now? Part of it could be because we are getting more quality data on how social media shapes a young person’s brain. One newer study that’s been getting some buzz suggests that individuals who received their first smartphone at a later age have better mental health as young adults. Several big bills that aim to protect minors online will be voted on this year as tech giants face increased scrutiny over their safeguards (or lack thereof), for younger users. Kids growing up even a decade from now may encounter a completely different digital landscape when it’s their turn to learn about online literacy.

Links & Quotes

When someone wants to “grow” an organization, what exactly does that look like? Is growth only numeric or is it something that’s perhaps a bit more difficult to count? The leader needs to have this clear in their mind, and they need to regularly communicate this metric to their team. I unpack this in greater detail in my book Shepherd LeadershipCheck out more of this message hereAnd be sure to check out all of my videos on my YouTube channel.

It appears that creativity is largely fueled by two things: proper sleep and finding your “sweet spot” each day. If you are an early bird, protect that creative time. If you are a night owl, don’t try to become an early bird to emulate someone else, but lean into your productive time. Check out this full post.

I love reading, but even I have trouble finding time to sit down with my books. But this insight from John Piper totally rejuvenated my thinking about reading. “Suppose that you can read about 250 words a minute. Now, that’s not real fast; most of us can do that—250 words a minute. And suppose that you set aside fifteen minutes a day to read a great book—a classic or some book that you’d been longing to read that would help you grow in your wisdom, your understanding. Now, fifteen minutes a day for 365 days is 5,475 minutes a year. Now, you multiply 5,475 times 250, and you get 1,368,750 words that you could read in a year at fifteen minutes a day. Now, an average book has about 300 to 400 words on a page. So we’ll take 350, which is kind of in the middle, and divide that into 1,368,750. And you know what you get? You get 3,910—almost 4,000 pages a year. An average book has about 200 pages. You see the implication of that? You could read twenty books by this time next year by setting aside fifteen minutes a day.”

An ancient Hebrew inscription consisting of 48 letters was discovered on Mt. Ebal in Israel and is centuries older than any known Hebrew inscription from ancient Israel. This is yet another archeological discovery that speaks to the historicity of the Bible.

T.M. Moore wrote one of the endorsements of my book Shepherd Leadership. His thoughts here about the role of godly shepherds is right on the mark: “The work of shepherds consists of helping the people of God to connect with Him—to know, love, fear, and serve Him in every area of their lives. This work cannot be fulfilled by one who is merely a good speaker, an effective organizer, or an inspiring motivator. This work must be done by one who truly knows the Lord. For unless we know the Lord, the Lord will not know us, and He will not honor our labors.”

You are one-of-a-kind! There has never, ever been anyone like you, and there never will be. God made you on purpose and for a purpose. And God wants to reveal the purpose He has for your life. You be you—that is how God is most glorified through you.

Be Careful How You Arrive

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

If you’ve been promoted to a new position, be very aware of how you arrive. If you come in overly confident, you could alienate your new teammates before you even get a chance to get started with them. We have an idea that will help you arrive well and make great connections right from the beginning. 

Check out this full conversation on The Craig And Greg Show by clicking here. 

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. ◀︎◀︎

Work From Rest

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

When I was on the Thriving In Ministry podcast, Kyle Willis shared about a time he was at a church leadership seminar with Carey Niewhof. In an anonymous survey among the participants, more than 90 percent of these pastors and church leaders reported feelings of burnout. 

Let that sink in: 9-out-of-10 church leaders at a leadership conference were experiencing burnout. 

If church leaders are tired, they are ineffective. If church leaders are ineffective, their churches will lack vitality to remain on-mission. 

Clearly, something needs to change. 

Check out this clip from our conversation where I advocate some changes that church leaders need to make. Here are two of the biggest changes:

  1. Leaders need to learn how to work from a place of rest 
  2. Leaders need to learn how to practice self-care more consistently

In my book Shepherd Leadership, I have a section of five chapters where I talk about the example that Jesus set for us to be mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally healthy. I encourage you to check out this book for yourself. 

If I can be of help to you, I’d love to talk with you more. Please get in touch with me! 

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

The Attitude That Defeats Defeatism

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

Some additional resources for you to go deeper on this topic:

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

Good And Faithful Ministry

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

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. ◀︎◀︎

Faithfulness And Excellence

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

I had such a great time with Karl Vaters on his podcast called The Church Lobby. Right at the beginning of the conversation, Karl wanted to talk about the subtitle of my book: The metrics that really matter. 

Check this out…

Some resources for you to check out:

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

Different Types Of Healthy Rest

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 while his podcast partner Dace Clifton was on sabbatical. 

There is a profound truth in a simple observation about how Jesus grew: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). Jesus was healthy in all of these areas. That means He had the proper work-rest balance in each of these areas too. 

We should learn from this example and find different ways to rest and recover mentally, physically, spiritually, and relationally, just as Jesus did.  

I encourage you to take a listen to this part of our conversation.

How can you take a mental rest? Perhaps by reading or listening to something uplifting, or maybe simply taking time to think about what you’ve been thinking about. 

For physical rest, you might take a nap, schedule a vacation, or contemplate changing something in your diet. 

For spiritual rest, you could sing a worship song or quietly meditate on a passage of Scripture. 

For relational rest, you could have breakfast with a good friend or go for a walk with your spouse. 

And don’t forget to tap into the wisdom and expertise of others in these areas. Talk with a mental health professional about your mental health, see a doctor about your physical health, visit with a wise mentor to discuss your spiritual health, or see a counselor about your relational health. You don’t have to come up with all of the answers on your own. 

In my book Shepherd Leadership, I take five chapters to unpack how we can improve our health in all four of these areas. I encourage you to check it out by clicking here. 

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

Links & Quotes

Pastors, on Monday morning, as you debrief how things went on Sunday, if you are feeling a bit discouraged, I want you to consider something Jesus said. Your success in ministry is not exclusively seen in the harvest you reap, but in the seeds you are sowing. Keep sowing good seed faithfully and then let God help it grow.

Many people turn to pornography when they are feeling bad about themselves. Sadly, watching porn can actually diminish a person’s self-esteem. Check out this post from Fight The New Drug.

“We ought above all things to desire a heavenly happiness; to be with God and dwell with Jesus Christ. Though surrounded with outward enjoyments, and settled in families with desirable friends and relations; though we have companions whose society is delightful, and children in whom we see many promising qualifications; though we live by good neighbors, and are generally beloved where known; we ought not to take our rest in these things as our portion. We should be so far from resting in them, that we should desire to leave them all, in God’s due time. We ought to possess, enjoy and use them, with no other view but readily to quit them, whenever we are called to it, and to change them willingly and cheerfully for heaven.” —Jonathan Edwards

“Jesus didn’t preach to tell you to turn over a new leaf, but to turn you to a new life.” —Reinhard Bonnnke

Steven Lee has an excellent post entitled Good leaders are easy to follow. I wholeheartedly concur! “A church’s willingness to obey and submit affects the joy and the care they receive from their leaders. But the reverse is true as well. Leaders can lead in a way that makes obedience and submission easy and happy, or difficult and frustrating. Shepherds shape the habits of the sheep.”

T.M. Moore has a series of posts on apologetics, which I encourage you to check out. In one post he writes, “God is not a capricious Deity. He does not act in ways that make it difficult to know Him or His will. His purposes are carefully considered and prudentially engaged, and in such a way that human beings can understand what He is about. … God shows us that He Himself is reasonable in that He makes known Himself and His will in a wide range of rational ways—through types and symbols and teachings and verbal exchanges of many different sorts. Anyone who takes the time to read the Bible can understand it. Its stories are stories about people like us. The teachings of Scripture are not shrouded in arcane or mystical language. What God has done and what God requires can be clearly discerned by any reasonable person, because God reveals Himself and His will in terms amenable and accessible to reason.”

Shepherd Leadership 5-Star Reviews

I wrote Shepherd Leadership mainly with pastors and ministry leaders in mind, but I’ve heard from stay-at-home moms, nurses, coaches, and business leaders that they’ve benefitted from the concepts I unpack in this book. 

I’m so honored that my book has nearly all 5-star ratings on Amazon. Here are two reviews from business leaders.

You can find my series of posts on godly leadership by clicking here.

The special offer I have for pastors is found by clicking here.

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