• How Do Pastors Lead the Church When the Wrong People Hold Power?

    Can you lead a church without proper authority? Yes, but it is more challenging and complex.  I’m assuming most church leaders would rather not step into a situation where they have the responsibility to shepherd without the corresponding authority. But there are churches with misaligned power structures in desperate need of good pastors. What if […]

  • How Do You Lead a Church if You Doubt Yourself?

    When the disciples gathered on the mountain in Galilee right before Jesus ascended, some of them doubted. The source and degree of this doubt are left unknown. Their response in the doubt is critically important. They worshiped. Then Jesus came near. The lesson is simple: Worship through doubt, and Jesus will come near. The disciples […]

  • False teachers are out there. Here are the 5 warning signs to be aware of

    Several years ago, I received an email with a link to a sermon given by a pastor in my community. The person sending the email was genuinely concerned. “Is he preaching heresy?” The sermon included a terrible conclusion about how Jesus emptied Himself in Philippians 2. The pastor taught Jesus lost His divinity during the […]

  • How pastors can lead those who are angry with the church

    Frustration can raise stress levels. Anger can leave you and others on edge. While neither frustration nor anger are inherently sinful, both raise the temperature in the room. Both are also inevitable. People will become frustrated and angry. Since these two emotions are unavoidable, how do you lead those who are frustrated and angry in […]

  • The Three Things Every Young Church Leader Should Do

    “What can I do right now?” I had coffee with a young minister. He asked a great question. What can I do right now? The young minister (in his early 20s) wanted to know how he could lead better—starting today. He caught me a bit off guard. After all, leadership is learned and refined over […]

  • What do churches do when a staff member has a moral failing

    We recently covered this topic on a Rainer on Leadership episode, but I wanted to expand our conversation in this article. Few models exist on how to handle the moral failure of a staff person. Indeed, there is little consensus among pastors about what to do, even with something as explicit as adultery. Researchers asked […]

  • Three Disciplines Often Missing from Preaching Today

    Perhaps the title of this post should be “Three disciplines often missing from my preaching.” I can certainly grow in these areas. However, I don’t believe I’m alone. Through my interactions with other pastors, I have found many of us missing three disciplines in preaching. What are they? 1. Preaching with patience. I must credit […]

  • Is the Church Doing Enough to Address Issues of Mental Illness?

    The church does not speak enough about mental illness. It’s a significant issue that remains largely silent in most churches. The church can do more. The church should do more. Research reveals that 65% of family members in a household of someone with acute mental illness believe the church should talk more openly about the […]

  • The Ten Commandments of a Pastor’s Vacation

    I realize vacations are a luxury. Plenty of bi-vocational pastors do not get vacations. Some full-time pastors get so much grief from their churches over vacation, they simply skip them. Time away is essential. Every pastor needs it, and every church should give it. If your church is gracious enough to provide vacation time, you […]

  • How Pastors Can Celebrate Women In Their Church

    On any given Sunday, I see women all across the globe serving, ministering, and using their gifts to further the Kingdom and love Jesus’s bride well. From serving in the nursery, to teaching small groups, to opening the door with a smile, to leading in song, women have been and always will be a vital […]

  • Major Warning Signs Stress is Starting to Impair Your Leadership

    Every pastor gets overwhelmed. The pressures of ministry are real and many, and seasons of stress are bound to occur. I’m sure many of you have stories of severe storms in which the stress was overwhelming. However, when ongoing stress starts to define a pastor, it becomes a contagion that spreads to others. Unresolved stress […]

  • How the Neighborhood Church Could Make a Comeback

    Incredible potential is right around the corner. Imagine what could happen if neighborhood churches got healthy on a large scale. I believe the neighborhood church movement is primed for a launch. The neighborhood church is associated with a particular neighborhood. It is common for them to carry the name of the community. They were originally […]