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The Most Important Work In Church Planting

When they found him beside the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” This was Jesus’s reply. “I’m telling you the solemn truth,” he said. “You aren’t looking for me because you saw signs, but because you ate as much bread as you could. You shouldn’t be working for perishable food, but for food that will …

Broken Hearted Leaders Effect Change

The term “broken hearted” has multiple meanings in my memory. This summer, during a trip to Israel, we were shopping in Old Jerusalem. The culture in one part of the Old City required dickering over prices. When we were attempting to purchase a scarf, one merchant started out with an asking price of $24. After some negotiation, he came down …

A TULIP for Leaders

Spring is officially here, at least according to the calendar. In West Michigan, the sure sign of Spring is tulips popping up. We’re getting close!With respect for the five points of Calvinism, allow me to suggest a TULIP for leaders. Trustworthy Leaders seek to be Christ-like. Their words and actions are “trustworthy and true.” Stephen Covey points out that “Trust …

Leadership Lessons from St. Patrick

Of course, you would see St. Patrick as a leader, too, if he banished snakes from your country! Well, that part of the story is a myth. It likely represents the fact that through his ministry he preached against evil, of which the snake is often a symbol. Snake stories aside, there are many parts of his life and influence …

Leaders: Grating or Grateful

Over the years, I’ve probably reported to dozens of supervisors. Most have been grateful, some have been grating. You know the difference immediately. By grateful, I am referring to those leaders who express appreciation. They acknowledge, support, and encourage those with whom they work.There have been a few who were simply grating. That is, they have tendencies to irritate and …

Who Do You Trust?

Can you complete this phrase: “In God we trust. All others __________ __________.”? Society is experiencing a trust deficit.A leader writes, “It isn’t unusual for me to remind our volunteer team, ‘You are a primary trust builder in our ministry!’”* Trust is one of the indisputable foundations of ministry. When the word is mentioned, examples come to our minds of …

Mentoring Leaders

Most of us remember Augustine (345 – 430 AD) for the quotes attributed to him. A book entitled Augustine as Mentor suggests that in addition to being a theologian and bishop of Hippo (today’s Algeria), he played a significant role in mentoring leaders. Let’s first identify a few quotes, then we’ll define mentoring and describe selected principles for mentoring. Augustinian …

Dream Dream Dream

Two leaders had coffee together recently. After the meeting, one sent the other an email saying, “I’m thankful for having met another man who has the invitation and freedom to follow his dream – and the dream we understand to be God’s dream for us.”It’s a fact, leaders are dreamers. Sometimes the cogitation may be sweet, sentimental, and superfluous (as …

Sticker Prices

Soren Kierkegaard once wrote of a strange break-in at a large store in his native Denmark where the thieves didn’t remove anything. When clerks opened up in the morning, all the merchandise was still there. Instead of stealing the goods, the thieves had stolen value. They had switched all the price tags, so that the worth of each item had …

Down and Dirty

Henry Ward Beecher spoke of the morality of Christian faith like this: “Religion means work. Religion means work in a dirty world. Religion means peril… Religion means transformation. The world is to be cleaned by somebody; and you are not called of God if you are ashamed to scour and scrub.”Sometimes we make too little of our faith. We let …