Archives For Leadership

As a pastor, I have not experienced everything on this list. Still, there’s a lot to which I can relate. On this list 1-4, 8, 10 are all ones which apply to much of what I have experienced.

Thom Rainer:

For now, here are ten things I’ve learned about pastors in the past two years.

  1. They truly sense God’s call in their lives. It’s not just another job for them; it is, as one pastor told me, “an inescapable reality.”
  2. They love their churches and the members. The metaphor of “shepherd” is truly appropriate for these pastors. They care deeply for those they serve.
  3. They work hard.  The typical workweek of these pastors is about 60 hours, a number I hope to verify in a future poll. . .

Read the rest here.

I often enjoy learning about leadership from Jim Collins. In this interview, these two points (along with others), caught my attention:

“Don’t be interested, be interesting.”

Know how to take risks in the right way.


See also:

Jim Collins Discovers Biblical Truth (Again)

We are still looking to network in Northern Illinois for the purpose of taking FCA (the Fellowship of Christian Athletes) to the next level. Who can you help us meet?

Our Northern Illinois FCA Coaches Huddle is at 6:00 PM, August 4, 2013 at the Red Brick Church in Stillman Valley. It’s a low key, non-threatening, chance to be encouraged with other coaches. Don’t forget to Like our FCA Facebook page and share it on the wall of those who might be interested.

In the mean time, winning coaches are teachers. Here is a chance to watch Coach Wooden reflect on what constitutes success. His ability to use poetry and rhetoric amazes me.

HT: Dane Ortlund

Thom Rainer asked pastors to share the biggest challenges they face. I participated. He has published the results.

The number one challenge according to Rainer’s survey is also what I would put as the number one challenge pastors and churches face.

See the results here.


From the Art of Manliness comes one of the most amazing war stories in American history: the heroism of Alvin York.

Sergent York’s example is a great challenge for fathers today.

Corporal Alvin C. York silently led his squad of men through the thick underbrush and dense fog of the Argonne Forest early the morning of October 8, 1918. His regiment had been tasked with charging down Hill 223 and making their way across an open plain towards the Decauville Railroad. Their mission was to cut off this supply line in hopes of pressuring the Germans to surrender. But the plain had been surrounded by machine gun nests, and the Americans were besieged as they made their way across, the gunfire felling them in a way that reminded York of how the mowing machines back home sliced through thick grass. York’s regiment had become hopelessly isolated and pinned down. If they couldn’t silence the constant barrage of artillery and advance, other troops would soon easily be overcome by a German pincher attack.

The commander of York’s Company G, Captain E.C.B. Danforth, ordered 3 of his squads to attempt to slip behind German lines and launch an attack from the rear. Having already lost 7 from their ranks, 17 men – 4 noncommissioned officers, including York, and 13 privates – made their way into the mist and trees in search of the enemy.

What they encountered first were two stretcher bearers, who took off at the sight of the Americans. York and the others gave chase, and the fleeing men led them straight to a camp of Germans calmly eating their breakfast. The Americans had found a Prussian encampment – reinforcements waiting to be called up for battle. Surprised to see the enemy behind the frontlines and caught totally unaware, the Germans dropped their plates, threw up their hands, and surrendered. But as York and the others attempted to round up their new POWs, a German officer yelled to the machine gunners at the front to swivel around and begin firing on the Americans. In moments, 6 were killed and 3 wounded. Included among the casualties were the 3 other noncoms, leaving Corporal York in command.

Read the rest here.

My friend Mark Mellinger does a great job tapping into the wisdom of Darren and Amy Patrick about a range of issues including pastoral fatigue and parenting wayward children.

Dealing with Discouragement (Darrin and Amie Patrick) from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

Dan Phillips writes about a different sort of pornography problem:

Decades ago, I read a disturbingly candid essay by a pastor about his struggles with pornography. It was in Leadership magazine. Years later, two of his realizations still stand out to me.

The author came to see (as I recall) that he was attracted to these images because they were unreal. The women in the pictures never had bad days, were never crabby and demanding, never disrespectful and demeaning. No mood swings. They always suited his mood, his needs, his wants. They were unreal.

He came to see that he had no actual relationship with these women whatever. If (he named a female celebrity) had sat down next to him in an airplane, she wouldn’t know him from Adam. Whatever may have happened in his sinful fantasies, the two of them had no relationship in the real world.

Of course, this is why so many women resent actresses and models. It isn’t catty pettiness or smallness. It is that they know how visually-tempted men can be, and they know that they can’t compete with a fantasy — if their man is fool enough to chase one.

And they’re right, in a way. They can’t compete with these women. Because these women don’t exist in the real world! They may not even look like their pictures! Thanks to computer wizardry, the pictures we see may actually bear only the slightest resemblance to the actual women.

Nobody can compete with a fantasy.

And this post is not about pornography, men, women, nor marriage.

It is about people with paper pastors.

Read the rest here.

Can anything be more beautiful than leading the flock of God’s people towards the Heavenly City (Rev 22:1-6)? Won’t it be incredible to meet together before the throne of Christ? The central thought of our sermon on Sunday at The Red Brick Church per 1 Timothy 3:1 was that God’s plan for leadership in the local church is a noble or beautiful thing (listen here to the 4/21/13 sermon).

My vision is a pastor is to see our flock meet together on the other side! There can be no greater vision that to say, “Let’s meet in the presence of Christ, and let’s invite as many people as possible to come with us.” Those who have been around our church know that we talk about meeting at the 5th tree on the right side of the river.

Throughout the sermon we saw that the repeated New Testament emphasis on biblical elders cannot be missed (See Acts 14:23, Acts 20:17, Acts 20:28-31; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thess 5:12-13; 1 Timothy 3:1-7, 1 Timothy 4:3-14, 1 Timothy 5:17-25; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 13:7, 17; James 5:13-15; 1 Peter 5:1-5).

This coming Sunday we will consider the biblical qualifications for eldership. The below table compares qualifications from key New Testament passages.

Comparison of Elder Qualifications

Per Strauch, Biblical Leadership: An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Church Leadership, pages  73-74

1 Timothy 3:2-7

Titus 1:6-9

1 Peter 5:1-3

  1. Above reproach
  2. The husband of one wife
  3. Temperate
  4. Prudent
  5. Respectable
  6. Hospitable
  7. Able to teach
  8. Not addicted to wine
  9. Not pugnacious*
  10. Gentle
  11. Uncontentious
  12. Free from the love of money
  13. Manages his household well
  14. Not a new convert
  15. A good reputation with those outside the church
  1. Above reproach
  2. The husband of one wife
  3. Having children who believe
  4. Not self-willed
  5. Not quick-tempered
  6. Not addicted to wine
  7. Not pugnacious*
  8. Not fond of sordid gain
  9. Hospitable
  10. Lover of what is good
  11. Sensible
  12. Just
  13. Devout
  14. Self-controlled
  15. Holds fast the faithful Word—both to exhort and to refute
  1. Not under compulsion but voluntary
  2. Not for sordid gain, but with eagerness
  3. Nor yet as lording it over . . . but proving to be examples

*Pugnacious: “Eager or quick to argue, quarrel, or fight.”

I’m thinking about what kind of grades the Red Brick Church would receive in the following areas. They are by Chuck Lawless who is a church consultant:

I am a church consultant who loves helping God’s church. The churches I consult, though, aren’t always as excited, as a church consultation is sometimes like a medical physical—we know we need it, but we don’t like being poked and prodded by an outsider. Nevertheless, a good consultation prods with some important questions. Perhaps these questions will help you analyze your own church.

Is the church’s teaching based on the Bible? . . . 

Read the rest here.

Pastors need reminders like this one. We seriously do.

Brothers, We Are Not Witchdoctors from Desiring God on Vimeo.