Adjusting Your Approach to Serve Those You Lead

While Michael Watkins created a framework that helps leaders evaluate the needs of the organization they will be leading, Ken Blanchard developed a framework, famously known as Situational Leadership, that helps leaders evaluate the development needs of each person the leader is leading. What I Appreciate About This Framework I love that the framework emphasizes […]

Matching Your Leadership Approach to the Organization’s Needs

In his book, The First 90 Days, Michael Watkins offers this framework as a tool to help leaders think through the phases of the organization or team the leader is entering. What I Appreciate About This Framework I love that the framework emphasizes the leader should (1) understand the context and (2) adjust leadership to […]

The Power of Thinking the Same Way

The Apostle Paul challenged the church in Philippi to “make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose” (Philippians 2:2). Paul was writing to a diverse group of people as the church in Philippi was filled with Jews and Gentiles, men and women, young […]

Position Papers: Positions We Pastor From, Not Pastoring

When I first started writing articles for a blog, it was because my boss (the CEO of Lifeway) encouraged me to use the blog as a way to encourage church leaders—as that was part of my role at Lifeway. Since becoming the Senior Pastor of Mariners Church five years ago, I realize that sometimes people […]

Soft Complementarians: Holding to Headship and the Gifting of Women

The place of women serving, leading, and teaching in the Church is frequently a topic of discussion, seemingly heightened in 2023 as Christian denominations such as Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) have made national news over their discussions and decisions regarding the role of women in a local church. […]

Coach Mike Leach and The Called, Loved, and Kept

Mike Leach, the college football coach for Mississippi State, passed away recently. He was beloved by players, fans, and other coaches. He was hilarious and did some unconventional things. A story from Mike Leach’s coaching days at Texas Tech University reminds me of God’s gracious pursuit. In 2008, his team was really good. They went […]

People Walking Away? We Are NOT in Unprecedented Times

The more things change, the more they stay the same. There is nothing new under the sun. History repeats itself. The longer we live, the more we find those cliches true in all realms of life. Here is a moment in the history of Christianity. The times are divisive and chaotic. The culture surrounding Christians […]

How Do You Plan the Annual Teaching/Preaching Calendar?

I shared recently some theological truths behind the practice of advanced sermon planning: God exists outside of time and metaphors in the Scripture about pastoral ministry include wisdom and intentionality. Planning a teaching calendar in advance gives the preacher more time for research, prayer, and receiving illustrations through the regular rhythms of life. By knowing […]

3 Theological Truths about Advanced Sermon Planning

Occasionally someone will ask a question that reveals a struggle with planning a teaching/ sermon calendar far in advance. Questions like: Question: How do you listen to the Spirit if everything is so planned out? Answer: My hope is to listen to Him through the whole process from planning, to preparation, and throughout every word […]

Eminem, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and a Leader’s Heart

Eminem is one of the most accomplished artists in the history of the music industry. Though not nearly as broadly known, Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones was a well-respected author and preacher in his day as he served Westminster Chapel in London. Though both are considered highly influential, Eminem and Martyn Lloyd-Jones articulated very different responses […]