A Discouraging Compliment to Receive After Preaching

One of the most discouraging compliments someone can give to me after I preach a message they loved is, “I am so glad you are preaching the gospel because you are preaching about __________ (insert a cultural issue).” The statement is typically delivered in a “it’s about time. I’m glad you finally got it together” […]

3 Cruel Christian Clichés for Graduates

It’s graduation season and your mailbox is likely filled with graduation invitations and pictures. Your church has likely asked graduates to stand and be recognized or marched them across the stage as proud family members took photos and celebrated/mourned the ending of an important season in their lives. It is an exciting time for graduates. […]

Five Reasons Leaders Must Encourage

If you read any leadership book, you are likely to be encouraged to encourage the people you lead. If you have served with an encouraging leader, you know the impact the encouragement makes on the morale of the team, the focus of the people, and the commitment to one other. Here are five reasons leaders […]

Four Ways to Express Love to the People You Lead

Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages has been a helpful resource to many couples. He challenges spouses to learn each other’s love language—how one most feels loved, pursued, and valued—whether through time, words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, or touch. When Kaye, my wife, jokingly insists that she has all five languages, I […]

5 Ways to Say “Thanks” as a Leader (without a pay increase)

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant and a debtor. ~ Max Depree Leaders must define reality, create urgency, and guide teams in a direction. But leaders must also say, “thank you.” They must continually express […]

A Time I Was Confronted for My Cynical Criticism

One moment sticks out in my mind from journalism class my senior year in high school. It was late fall and the journalism class at a rival high school published one of those black and white high school newspapers, and we had several copies. Our teacher passed them out to us and sat at his […]

3 Ways Student Ministry Drains You

I have essentially served in three roles over the last 20 years: student pastor, executive pastor, and now Vice President at LifeWay. In my role as executive pastor and as the leader of the Church Resources Division at LifeWay, I have interacted daily with student ministry leaders. In other words, student ministry has always been […]

Worship as Supernatural Encouragement

Not only does our worship as rescued sinners reflect an eternal reality, God also supernaturally utilizes our corporate gatherings to mature and encourage His people in ways not available anywhere else. God designed our faith to be communal and interdependent—and markedly supernatural. When believers gather together as a worshipping community, we benefit from all the […]