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 […]

How Preaching Christmas Services Tests a Preacher’s Confidence in the Gospel

This week as Christians will gather for Christmas services, pastors are putting their finishing touches on their sermons. Preaching Christmas services can test a preacher’s confidence in the gospel. 1. Some people only come to church on Christmas and/or Easter. And preachers can be frustrated that “they only hear essentially the same message.” I have […]

Pastors and the Paradox of Being Resented and Revered

We are reading through the book of Acts as a life group. In Acts 14 we see a glaring paradox in the lives of apostles Paul and Barnabas. They were despised by some. “The unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.” And “an attempt was made to mistreat and […]

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 […]

6 Things I Am Deeply Missing While Preaching to a Camera Each Week

A few weeks into this madness, the global pandemic that has resulted in the unprecedented move to not provide physical worship gatherings at our church, Kenton Beshore called to check on me. Kenton is my predecessor, our pastor emeritus, and he still serves as teaching pastor for us. “How in the world are you not […]

3 Warning Signs You Could Love Your Title More Than Your Task

In his famous work, City of God, Augustine penned this challenge: No one can be a good bishop if he loves his title and not his task. It is entirely possible for a ministry leader to love title more than task. Because we can make idols of anything, we can certainly make our titles the […]

Are You Thinking of Hiring This Guy, Jimmy?

I was recently in a large meeting with my friend Jimmy Scroggins, pastor of Family Church in West Palm Beach, and we watched a video of a local church student ministry leader who was speaking both passionately and strategically about discipleship. I saw Jimmy take out his phone and start to type notes, so…. Me: […]

My 3 Goals in Preaching

In the last decade I have invested a lot of time in public speaking. With employee meetings, plenary sessions, breakouts at conferences, consulting ministry leaders, and speaking on books I have written, I have given hundreds and hundreds of leadership and ministry presentations. I have also preached weekly for the last several years as teaching […]

Four Reasons Burnout Is More Prevalent in Ministry Leadership

I recently recorded another 5 Leadership Questions podcast on the subject of burnout. We talked about leadership, burnout, and caring for yourself. One of the questions was “Is burnout more prevalent in ministry leadership?” I believe burnout is more common in ministry leadership for multiple reasons: 1. The burden of ministry Serving others in ministry […]

3 Reasons Student Pastors Make Great Senior Pastors

First Baptist Church in West Monroe (First West) is a great church that has served North Louisiana well for a long time. A year ago they asked their student pastor, Michael Wood, to serve as their senior pastor. Not only were the people convinced of his character, as they watched his life for several years, […]