• 7 Things that Happen when Church Leaders Don’t Pray Much

    My personal experience and anecdotal studies have shown that prayer is the most difficult spiritual discipline for many believers. It assumes dependence on God, and we simply don’t default in that direction; we default into independence and self-dependence even when we don’t want to. Here are some things that happen, though, when we church leaders […]

  • The 4 Ways Pastors Can Lead Their Churches to be More Evangelistic

    Do you want your church to be evangelistic? Check out these four strategies for moving your church in this direction. 1. Do a Relationship Survey. Try this simple exercise with your church members. Ask them first to write the names of ten believers with whom they are close enough they could share a prayer concern […]

  • Gathering with the People of God Matters. Here’s Why

    While most churches are still struggling to regain their pre-COVID attendance numbers, it’s been good to think about why gathering with God’s people matters. Here are some thoughts that come to mind: 1. Worshiping together is part of God’s intent in making us relational. He who is relational in Himself as Trinity created us needing […]

  • A theory on why we Christians don’t evangelize

    In some studies, fear is the #1 reason Christians give for not sharing their faith. I think there’s another reason, though, we cannot ignore. The Gospel of Mark has helped me to see this problem, and I invite you to review the Word as you read this post. In several stories in the first half […]

  • Some Church Members are a Thorn in a Pastor’s Side. Are You One?

    Any of us who’ve pastored very long recognize that most churches (if not all) have at least one member who seems to be opposed to everything the pastor wants. Those members can be a continual irritation for even the most patient pastor. In my opinion, though, it’s important to consider possible reasons behind their actions:  […]

  • What You Need to do Next if You’re Ready to Quit Ministry

    Some days in ministry are really hard. God’s people can be troublesome, and few seem to understand the weight that pastors and church staff carry on their shoulders. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many pastors simply worn out and ready to leave ministry as I see today. If that’s where you […]

  • Ministry pain is tough. Here’s 10 reasons why

    Most of us who have done ministry for any length of time know the pain of this work. Sometimes it’s gripping . . . ongoing . . . overwhelming. Here are some reasons why it is especially difficult pain: 1. We start ministry with excitement and joy, never thinking about the potential pain. But, then […]

  • The 9 Dangers of an Isolated Ministry

    I’ve been there—serving as a pastor seemingly in the middle of nowhere, with no staff to support me. Isolation was a practical reality. I’ve also served as a pastor in a suburban church with staff—yet I sometimes isolated myself there, too, by choice. I was there physically, but I wasn’t always there emotionally and spiritually. […]

  • 11 Characteristics of Church Leaders I’d Like to Imitate

    No matter how old I get, I have much room to grow as a leader. In fact, I watch other leaders who inspire and challenge me to lead better. Here are some leadership characteristics I’ve seen in these folks (who are, most often, local church pastors):  1. They strive to imitate Jesus. That’s the bottom […]

  • A Challenge to Keep on Praying for Non-believing Loved Ones

    I suspect I speak to most believers—if not all of them. Many of us have unbelieving loved ones for whom we’ve been praying for years. In some cases – particularly as church leaders, for whatever reason – we’ve often carried that burden alone. We grieve the spiritual condition of others, but we do it in […]

  • Why Young Seminarians are Interested in Church Revitalization

    For years, seminary students were more interested in church planting than in working in a church that needs revitalization. That’s changing, though—and here are some reasons why: They have a new burden for churches where they grew up. I’m always concerned they’re simply wanting to “go back home,” but that’s not what I’m seeing. They’re […]

  • The Characteristics of Pastors who Guarded Themselves Against a Fall

    As I hear of church leaders who fall in some way, I’m also reminded of pastors who finished well—who served God faithfully until God called them home. Here are some of their characteristics that challenge me. Related: Carl Lentz’s alleged Muslim lover speaks out: ‘I was unaware he was a pastor’ 1. They loved Jesus […]