New Goals and an Old Dream for a New Year

When people ask, “What are your dreams for the new year?” they are typically speaking of broad hopes or specific goals. Hopes and goals for a new year can be both inspiring and clarifying. They can help motivate us and serve as a filter for decisions. I have dreams and goals for the new year […]

2024 and the Sure Foundation for Your Times

The version of the children’s tale The Three Little Pigs that I heard growing up featured the big bad wolf eating the pigs who built their homes with straw and stick. I learned that not everyone grew up with such a grim version of the tale. In some versions, the pigs ran to the home […]

6 Thoughts for Worship Leaders on Theology and Our Weekend Gatherings

Our Lead Worship Pastor, DK (Daniel Kim), asked me to speak to all our worship leaders from all our congregations about some theological convictions that I hope inform our weekend worship gatherings. This is not an exhaustive list. Nor do I think it is an inerrant list! But I do love serving alongside others who […]

A Tool I Wish I Had as Simple Church Was Released 

Nearly 18 years ago, Thom Rainer and I wrote Simple Church, a research-based book that showed how thriving churches were much more likely to be deeply committed to a strategic process for discipling people than non-thriving churches. It was the non-thriving churches that offered lots of programs and were bloated by an abundance of activity. […]

An Annual Teaching/Preaching Calendar: How We Think About It

I recently wrote about the why of advanced sermon planning, and a question that inevitably emerges is, “How do you decide what to teach?” Or, “When you are planning a teaching calendar, how do you think about different approaches to teaching?” Three big thoughts guide how I think about a teaching/preaching calendar: Preaching and teaching […]

Why and How I Know What I Am Preaching 12 Months From Now

According to the teaching calendar, one year from now I will be preaching a message on wisdom and how we use our tongues from James 3:1-18 in a teaching series walking through the book of James. Yes, I know what I will be preaching a year from now. Here is why advanced sermon planning works […]

The Work Does the Work of Developing

A basketball player can benefit from watching videos and going to clinics, but it is the experience in real games that forms the player. The same is true when it comes to developing young and emerging leaders, both in the marketplace and in ministry. In fact, leaders within the Human Resources discipline claim that 70% […]

The Practical Wisdom of Brother James on Addressing Our Anger

There is a gripping scene in the famous dystopian novel, 1984, written by George Orwell. There is a daily practice called “Two Minutes of Hate,” where people gather around screens, watching a video that causes them to be angry, have their rage stirred, and yell at the screen. The book 1984 was released in 1949 […]

Character Over Competence in Deciding on and Developing Leaders

Younger leaders have been passionately challenged with messages like: Don’t peak too soon. Your platform must not be bigger than the person you are becoming. Don’t let your gifting outpace your integrity. The messages are wise, good, and true. We must declare messages about the importance of character to younger leaders AND we must design […]

Why I Preached With Two Goats and Not One

Last month, I preached with live animals for the first time in my life. We were in a teaching series on anger and we began with God’s anger—as many Christians wrestle with thinking that God is constantly mad at them. The Scripture is clear that God is angered, but His anger flows from His love; […]