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. […]

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 […]

2 Inabilities of Position Papers in a Ministry Context

There is a growing importance for ministries, whether a local church or a Christ-centered non-profit, to develop position papers on key theological questions and cultural issues. The reality is that many doctrinal statements do not address some of the cultural issues facing ministry leaders today. Without articulated positions, it is challenging to offer clarity with […]

Strategy and the Local Church: What Must We Remember and What Can We Learn 

In the book, Your Strategy Needs a Strategy, the authors evaluate different approaches to strategy and encourage leaders to employ the approach that matches their context. The five approaches to strategy, according to the authors, are: Classical: Build a plan and execute it rigorously. (Companies with robust strategic plans and operational excellence, such as Wal-Mart, […]

The Work Behind Teaching on God’s View of Gender Dysphoria

When I first became a pastor, I never expected to teach a sermon on gender dysphoria. The term was not in my vocabulary and the subject was not on my radar. In all my seminary classes, it was never addressed, and we were never taught how to think or teach about the transgender movement. Because […]

Succession Planning Is NOT Leadership Development (But It Is One Result)

Leaders sometimes equate succession planning with leadership development and even speak of them interchangeably. They are both important, but they are not the same. Don’t confuse succession with leadership development. Succession is not leadership development, but it is one result of leadership development. If leadership development is the root, wise succession planning is one of […]

5 More Reasons I Am Hopeful for the Church in 2023

Jesus promised, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18). Jesus did not assure us He would build our churches or that we could help Him build His Church. He is the One who builds His Church. Because Jesus will keep His people, will push the gates […]

9 Ways Strategic Ministry Leaders Think Differently (Part Two)

A ministry strategy is great. A ministry strategy with continued strategic thinking is even better.  It is possible, and common, for a ministry leader to implement a strategy and then fail to think strategically. Without continued strategic thinking, over time an articulated mission and strategy tends to gets buried beneath a bunch of un-strategic thinking […]

9 Ways Strategic Ministry Leaders Think Differently (Part One)

Since writing Simple Church with my mentor and former boss Thom Rainer, I have enjoyed countless conversations with ministry leaders about strategy and strategic thinking. While some ministry leaders view spiritual leadership in opposition to strategic leadership, I am thankful that many don’t embrace the false dichotomy. Ministry leaders can be both spiritual and strategic. […]

What is Most Important for a Church Guest Services Team?

I was invited to speak at the online First Impressions Conference, a conference designed to help churches think about the experience first time guests have when they visit a church. It is an important topic so I was honored to speak, and speaking at the conference caused me to think once again about what is […]