Walking With the Wise: 4 Qualities to Seek

As a teenager, my parents, concerned about the influences I was choosing, would sometimes ask me, “If your friends would jump off the Mississippi River bridge, would you jump with them?” Of course, I answered, “No,” but the reality is that wherever those closest to us go, we tend to follow. Whoever those closest to […]

When to Pull and When to Feed a Church Program (A Framework) 

When I was consulted by other church leaders, I was often asked to offer suggestions about what church programs they should eliminate. “Hey Eric, you wrote Simple Church, what should we get rid of?” I often frustrated leaders because I would answer, “This is your context, not mine. I don’t know. But you should evaluate […]

Wise Leaders Know Who to Ignore and Who to Instruct

All people are created in God’s Image and worthy of dignity and respect. And at the same time, people have different postures towards God and others and we are wise to respond accordingly. Both of these statements are true at the same time, meaning it is possible to treat people with respect and respond according […]

Receiving and Keeping the Freedom to Work Hard AND Protect Your Schedule

Whenever I have shared the principle with leaders that “it is not how much you work but when you work,” I am inevitably asked how to enjoy such a freedom. In my last three roles (executive and teaching pastor, senior vice-president, and senior pastor), I have been honored with the gift to live by the […]

10 Proverbs for Consuming and Contributing on Social Media

When I moved to my role as vice-president of LifeWay, my boss Thom Rainer encouraged me to use a blog and social media to connect with church leaders. It was the fall of 2011. I signed up for Twitter a month later. Several years later I signed up for Instagram. Though I was not an […]

11 Ways I Am Minimizing the Downside of Using Social Media

When making a choice between two possibilities, it is wise to evaluate the risk and the reward, the upside and the downside of each possible direction. Thus, when you decide you can work hard to minimize the downsides of your decision because you made the decision with awareness of the potential pitfalls of the decision. […]

Why We Are Working More Now and the Upside/Downside of Templates  

A common discussion among pastors in this season centers around the counter-intuitive bewilderment that we can be working more hours in the midst of not having physical gatherings. If you had told me that we would go months without having physical worship services, I would not have imagined I would be working more. But every […]

Can a Constraint Be Beautiful? Some Thoughts for Leaders

We are in a season of constraint. As a pastor, we are constrained from gathering physically. We are constrained from using all the resources the Lord has given us – from the facility to the events we have had to cancel. We are constrained from lunch meetings where development conversations occur, from face-to-face counseling appointments, […]

3 Questions to Test Your Ambition

C.S. Lewis gave a graduation commencement speech to graduates at Kings College at the University of London. The students were graduating from a prestigious school with their whole lives in front of them, and Lewis talked to them about their ambitions. He knew many of them would land a great job and long to be […]

5 Big Lessons I Have Learned From a Long-Time Senior Pastor

In the last six months, I have been exposed to a plethora of Kenton-isms – statements Kenton Beshore employs to teach a point to me or to a group of pastors he is mentoring. Kenton served in one place, Mariners Church, for 40 years with 35 of those being as senior pastor. So when he […]