Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

God’s Call and Lessons Learned   1 comment

January 26, 1996. Twenty years ago today I experienced an epiphany. I felt the hand and heard the voice of God. Some do not believe such things are possible and I’m fine with that. What I know is my own experience. I was being shaped and molded proceeding that moment, and remarkable events have defined my life and ministry since. I could write volumes of the things I have experienced in times gone by, but this is a blog, not a novel. For this anniversary I want to summarize some lessons learned in this fantastic adventure. Perhaps they will serve as helpful hints to others called by God.

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Anniversary   Leave a comment

15 years.  Incredible.  15 years ago today I began an adventure in full-time ministry.  The things I have learned since March 1, 1999 could fill volumes in a library and 800GB of memory.  Perhaps it is best if I just point out the bigger lessons…

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A Prayer for Leaders   3 comments

I belong to seemingly countless email groups that keep me informed in the world of religion, culture, and ministry.  One of those groups (smart ministry and preaching unleashed) sent an email yesterday with a prayer for all of their subscribers who are mostly ministers and church leaders.  I was moved to hear such a prayer for me and simply want to pass this along to all who dare to read it.

My challenge to those of you who are not in ministry or church leadership positions is to pray this prayer for your pastor and other leaders.  It isn’t very often we ministers hear of such prayers being offered for us. Read the rest of this entry »

I Can’t   Leave a comment

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes look in the mirror and see glaring back at me nothing but my own limitations.  We are finite creatures with physical, emotional, and spiritual limitations.  There are some things that we simply cannot do.

The disciples were in a situation with Jesus one day and what they saw were limitations.  A huge crowd was gathered and meal time rolled around.  They suggested sending them away when Jesus asked what was in the pantry.  “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish.” (Matthew 14:17, NIV).  ONLY.  This is all we have.  You can’t get there from here.  Here is the need and we can’t meet it.  We can’t.

Where we see limitations, God sees opportunity!

We know from the text that Jesus took those loaves of bread and two fish and miraculously multiplied them to feed the crowd of 5,000 men, plus the women and children present who were not counted.  You and I can look all around us and see ministry needs.  We need to reach our community for Christ.  We need to minister to real needs of hurting people.  We need to not only help groups and organizations that are making a Kingdom difference in our neighborhood and world, but we need to also be busy about this work ourselves!

How do we do this?  How do we meet these needs?  If God has unlimited resources, unlimited love, and unlimited compassion for our world, then why would we want to put our “limitations” in between Him and the ministry He calls us to perform?  There is no answer to that question.

When you sense God’s leadership in your life or your church, look to the Resource and not your own resources.

When God Calls   Leave a comment

Sometimes, God’s call can be confusing.  I was recently invited to be part of a team to go help conduct Christian Ethics conferences in Tanzania, Africa.  My first and relatively immediate response was, “Nope.”  The invitation was reiterated along with information concerning some other invitees – people I know.  I conferred a bit with a couple in particular, but still determined my answer to be “no” because I simply couldn’t afford it and reasoned negative personal circumstances for rationale.

So when the third invitation transpired, something clicked in my mind: Samuel.   He heard the Lord call yet didn’t clearly understand.  Wise Eli told him to go back and listen one more time, then he would find his answer.  I believe this to be what has happened to me.

A third time I considered this invitation, only this time asking the Lord to help me see His heart and not my circumstances.  I called upon wise, prayerful friends to pray for God’s clear answer.  I asked spiritual leadership partners to pray and discuss this and let me know their collective thoughts.  Alas, my clear answer came.

Tanzania, by God’s grace, here I come!

Find Us Faithful – Sermon Summary   Leave a comment

Philippians 3:17-4:1.

Somewhere, somehow, someone set a positive, loving, Christian example for you.  Who just came to your mind? Read the rest of this entry »

Toe Dipping – Sermon Summary   Leave a comment

Joshua 3:7-17.

We have assembled many of our ideas and dreams as a church.  Some ideas may be spot on while others may be a bit off target.  If we look at things through the lens of target practice, we see the bulls-eye as the primary target.  When we shoot and miss, we don’t give up.  We don’t put our tools away, admit defeat, and quit without ever trying again.  When it comes to the church moving forward in seeking God’s will, our bulls-eye is what we would call the center of God’s will.  If we don’t hit the target with our first shot, we cannot allow ourselves to feel defeated and lose our desire to try again.

In other words, we must learn from our past if we plan to continue to move forward again. Read the rest of this entry »