4 Wins When the Leader Takes an Extended Break

When I became senior pastor of Mariners Church, a four-week study break for the senior pastor was the existing practice of the church. And I am so thankful. I recently returned from my third study break and have learned that taking an extended break each year is fruitful for me, for my team, for the […]

3 Thoughts for Church Leaders on the Increasing Struggles with Mental Health

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought significant disruption to community, structure, exercise, and meaningful work. Therefore, the pandemic is having a devastating impact on people’s mental health. People we love in our churches and in our communities are struggling. While we were rightly concerned about surges in Covid-19 cases, we should also be concerned about the […]

3 Possible “Vanity Metrics” in Ministry

A “vanity metric” is a metric a leader or team focuses on that has no relation to organizational health. In fact, it can be a cover for a lack of health. Ministry leaders must be aware of the lure of vanity metrics. Metrics in ministry!? What!? Yes, some ministry leaders hold disdain for all metrics, […]

3 Reasons Some Church Leaders Focus on ½ of the Great Commission

Unlike business leaders who are responsible to define the mission of their organizations, church leaders don’t have that freedom or carry that burden. We have already received our mission. Jesus’ words to His disciples, often called the Great Commission, is our mission: Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the […]

4 Practical Ways to Have Fewer Announcements in Your Worship Services

Earlier this week I lamented the existence of lots of “announcement time” in church services because of the ineffectiveness of the announcements and the disruption the announcements bring to the arc or flow of the service. I acknowledge that the desire to give announcements comes from a good place – a place of wanting to […]

The Only Way To Rejoice Always

I have been thinking about the command to “Rejoice Always” a lot over the last five weeks for two reasons. First, I have been preparing for a teaching series on God’s will in the Scripture “rejoicing always” is clearly His desire for us. The apostle Paul wrote: “Rejoice always. Pray constantly, give thanks in everything; […]

Data in Ministry: a Cruel God But a Great Tool

Ministry leaders should have a complicated relationship with data. We should value data because it can be used as a tool to help us make wise decisions. But we must not value data too much, and must not find our worth and identity in a number or spreadsheet. Data can help ministry leaders make wise […]

Nicodemus and the Samaritan Woman: Will You Serve Both?

Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman: Will you serve both? If you had to choose, which one do you find easier or more enjoyable to love and serve? We tend to be more passionate about serving some people over others. Even for those of us on staff at a church, those of us with the title […]

Church Leaders: Ministry Is From God, But It Is Not God

When I first began serving in local church ministry, a pastor told me that “church is a great place to hide out and a great place to burn out.” He further explained that ministry can attract workaholics, those who live off affirmation from others for the work they do. And that ministry can also attract […]

Your Marriage Is Your Most Important Ministry

Last week Kaye and I celebrated 22 years of marriage. Over dinner we talked about the journey the Lord has taken us on together, what we enjoy about each other, and how our marriage has made each of us better. Though our marriage is not perfect, it is healthy and I am so grateful for […]