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.

CEO Or Pastor?

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

CEO stands for “chief executive officer” and usually designates the person who is at the top of the organization’s flowchart. Those who occupy that office frequently exhibit a top-down mindset, where everyone below them is only in that position to serve the CEO. 

This may work well in the corporate world, but this is not at all the heart Jesus demonstrates toward us. Therefore, it shouldn’t be the mindset or practice of Christ’s under-shepherds—those whom He has called to pastor His sheep. The sheep aren’t in the pasture to serve the shepherd, but the shepherd is in the pasture to serve the sheep and to provide what they need to be healthy. 

Check out this conversation I had when I joined a pastoral staff that is using my book Shepherd Leadership as a study guide. 

Jesus was confident in who He was and what His Father’s plan was: “Jesus knew that the Father had given Him authority over everything and that He had come from God and would return to God” (John 13:3 NLT). 

Yet Jesus also said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45 NLT). 

If you are a pastor, you have been charged with caring for the sheep under your care, and not the other way around—

Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is your responsibility, not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits belonging to the office, but eagerly and cheerfully; not domineering—as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons—over those in your charge, but being examples (patterns and models of Christian living) to the flock (the congregation). (1 Peter 5:2-3 AMP)

If I can serve your staff by meeting with you, please contact me. I also have a special offer for pastors (and for those who love their pastor) which you can check out by clicking here.

My book 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. ◀︎◀︎

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.

Conquering Two Roadblocks To Sabbathing

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

I thought it was very appropriate that I got to be a guest on the Thriving In Ministry podcast with Kyle Willis while his podcast partner Dace Clifton was on sabbatical. It was appropriate because Kyle and I talked about the importance of pastors finding time to rest. 

Proper rest is absolutely vital for longevity and vitality. I hope you will listen to this short segment from this conversation. 

I shared with Kyle two main roadblocks to sabbathing. 

(1) Trying to be something you’re not. 

We are all wired differently. God wired us that way on purpose. So if you’re an early bird, guard those morning hours for your creative work and use the evenings for rest. If you’re a night owl, don’t try to copy the early birds, but rest early in the day and do your creative work when you are at your best. 

→ So the key concept to overcoming this roadblock is personalization. 

(2) Getting distracted by the non-essentials. 

Two things have really helped me with this one: Sticking to sustainable daily routines, while at the same time being sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s redirection (check out my post on the idea I call I.T.L.W.). 

→ The key concept here is flexible focus. 

I talk more about this concept of sabbathing and a leader’s overall healthiness in my book Shepherd Leadership. You can also check out some other posts about sabbathing by clicking here.

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

When Confidence Becomes Hubris

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

In my book Shepherd Leadership, I take two chapters to dive deep into the healthy tension that is helpful for leaders. This is an important tension to maintain our effectiveness as leaders. 

When I was interviewed on the Leading From Alignment podcast, we took two episodes to talk about this healthy tension.  

As I said in this interview, every leader should take the proactive steps to make sure that our healthy leadership confidence doesn’t cross the line and become unhealthy leadership hubris. Keep healthy friends around you, enlist the help of a wise mentor, pray that searching prayer from Psalm 139, and pick up a copy of Shepherd Leadership. 

I have a special offer just for pastors (and for those who love their pastor). For just $12 I will send you an autographed copy of my book and a download link to get the audiobook of Shepherd Leadership free of charge. All you need to do is complete this form and I’ll have the materials right out to you.

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

Encouragement For Pastors

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

Are you a pastor who is feeling discouraged? Or do you know a pastor who has become frustrated by what isn’t happening in their church? If so, please read on because I have something special for you. 

When I was interviewed on the 200churches podcast with Jeff Keady, I tried to speak an encouraging word to my fellow pastors, especially those who were discouraged to the point of wanting to throw in the towel. If that’s you, I hope that you will take two minutes to listen to this short clip (click the audio link above). 

I’ve never seen the actual research, but I’ve heard the story enough to believe that it’s probably true that more pastors write their letters of resignation on Monday morning than on any other day.

That’s understandable. 

All week, pastors prepare to deliver a message on Sunday, and then they pour out their hearts as they minister to those who have come to church. But when they look around for those who didn’t come to church, or when they see only apathy in those who did come to church, or (perhaps worst of all) when all they hear are complaints, it’s understandable how frustration and discouragement can creep in and even overwhelm. 

So back in their office on Monday morning, facing the prospect of another week that seems to be shaping up to feel unsuccessful again, many pastors choose to resign. 

My heart goes out to these pastors. In fact, I had these very pastors in mind as I wrote my book Shepherd Leadership. 

As we are at the start of a new year, I would like to make a special offer for pastors. For just $12 I will send you an autographed copy of my book and a download link to get the audiobook of Shepherd Leadership free of charge. 

All you need to do is complete this form and I’ll have the materials right out to you. I’m praying for you, my friend, that you will allow God to use the message in this book to encourage you to persevere and thrive despite the challenges you are facing. 

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

Links & Quotes

Every Monday I share a 1-minute thought to get your week started. It’s my weekly Monday Motivation series of videos. Check out this week’s video that I posted the day after Christmas, and please subscribe on YouTube.

T.M. Moore wrote one of the endorsements for my book Shepherd Leadership. In an interview I then did on his Fellowship of Ailbe podcast, I shared my dismay over unbiblical ideas and practices that have crept into the church. Both T.M. and I share a passion to see our church leadership return to our secure biblical foundation. 

In a recent blog post, T.M wrote, “From the days of the apostles onward, a tendency has existed among church leaders to drift from the plain teaching of the Word of God into forms of Christian life and ministry that derive from sources other than Scripture. Or that stretch the meaning of Scripture to fit the shape of certain cultural forms.” Please check out T.M.’s post “Do not go beyond.”

In a fascinating post from Rabbi Benjamin Blech, I read these thoughts about the power of a name: “The Hebrew word for soul is neshamah. Central to that word, the middle two letters, shin and mem, make the word shem, Hebrew for ‘name.’ Your name is the key to your soul. … When the Torah says, ‘God created,’ it doesn’t suggest that He worked with what He fashioned by labor, but merely that He spoke—and the very words describing the object came into being. God said, ‘Let there be light and there was light.’ The Almighty merely gave it a name, and the very letters defined its atomic structure.” Check out the full post here.

And once again archeologists discover evidence that corroborates the biblical accounts. In this case, more evidence is found from King Hezekiah. As I have said numerous times, the historicity of the Bible is amply verified.

“Success” doesn’t always mean bigger numbers. King David got into trouble with God when he wanted to measure his success by how many fighting men he had under his command. Consistently throughout the Bible God’s measure of success is our trust in Him. This thought was a key part of the sub-title of my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter.

Cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace tackles an important topic: Does objective truth exist, and how can it be defined? This is a quite lengthy post but it is well worth your time.

“Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” —Mary Tyler Moore

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. ◀︎◀︎

Elevated To Serve

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

Check out the resources I mention in this video:

  • The story of the 10 disciples being upset with the other two disciples is found in Matthew 20:20-28 
  • The story of Jesus taking on the position of a servant to wash the disciples’ feet is found in John 13:3-5, 14-17 
  • The chapter I quote from in my book is called ‘The Wrong Ladder’
  • 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. ◀︎◀︎

Links & Quotes

God will give you everything you need to minister to others. But there’s one thing you have to do first…

“He who thinks half-heartedly will not believe in God; but he who really thinks has to believe in God.” —Isaac Newton

Back in 1929, Donald Gee shared three temptations that Pentecostals needed to be cautious of avoiding: (1) selfish satisfaction, (2) fanaticism, and (3) the temptation to forsake the pure worship of God in exchange for popularity. Check out the full article here.

I really appreciate the leadership insights from Dan Reiland. That’s why I was so honored to have him write such a nice endorsement of my book Shepherd Leadership! Here is an important post Dan wrote for leaders, warning us of 5 ways we can misuse our spiritual authority

Fight The New Drug is right on-target in warning about the dangers of pornography. Check out this insightful post that gives 8 reasons why not watching porn can improve your real human relationships as well as your physical and emotional health

Another display of God’s masterful creativity in the Archerfish. I absolutely love these video from The John 10:10 Project!

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