Links for Leaders 11/10/17

It’s the weekend…finally. The perfect time to grab a cup of coffee and catch up on some reading. Below, you’ll find some articles I came across this week that I found helpful as a leader and parent and hope you do as well.

Before diving into those, in case you missed them this week. Here are the top 3 posts from my blog this week that I hope you find helpful:

Now, onto the articles I came across that I hope will help you:

I’m always on the lookout for a good book from leaders I respect and Brian Dodd is one of those leaders. He gives his list of 18 books leaders need to read in 2018. I’ve read some of them but look forward to some of the ones I haven’t.

Most people, pastors and churches have an opinion of what being an effective preacher is and does. Jason Allen shares what a faithful preacher is, which I found to be incredibly helpful and insightful.

Many leaders are busy, driven people, but they can also very easily fall into laziness as a leader. That laziness, can show up in unexpected way. Ron Edmondson shares 7 ways laziness show up in leadership.

Links for Leaders 11/3/17

It’s the weekend…finally. The perfect time to grab a cup of coffee and catch up on some reading. Below, you’ll find some articles I came across this week that I found helpful as a leader and parent and hope you do as well.

Before diving into those, in case you missed them this week. Here are the top 3 posts from my blog this week that I hope you find helpful:

Now, onto the articles I came across that I hope will help you:

Trevin Wax shares The Boy Scouts and the Disappearance of Paths as they’ve recently announced they will now allow girls to join the boy scouts. As my kids have gotten older, we’ve talked more and more about paths, passages, etc., which I think are crucial for kids and something that is lost in our culture.

Hiring is difficult for most pastors and leaders. Marty Duren has 15 questions to ask a potential hire at your church. Many of these are normal ones most churches ask, but there were a few that were new to me.

I’ve mentioned before that Katie and I have been spending a lot of time talking about technology and the role it plays in our family and with our kids. I’ve really appreciate the insights from Jon Acuff on this and he shares The first social media challenge your kids will face, that is incredibly insightful.

I’m reading Sam Storms new book Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life, which has been incredibly helpful. He wrote a post this week about the relationship between Jesus and the Holy Spirit that is great and I think a very overlooked part of Christianity. 

I have a daughter and so dating is something I’ve been thinking about and how I prepare her for it. Most of what Christians, especially dad’s have to say on the topic is ridiculous and fear based. With good reason, but that’s why I appreciated this article from Jen Wilkin on On Daughters and Dating: How to Intimidate Suitors. I love how she champions raising a strong woman. We need more of that, not less.

Thursday Mind Dump…

  • Had my leadership group this morning.
  • This is one of my favorite meetings of the week.
  • Every year, I lead a group of 10-15 guys through some leadership books and talks with the goal of growing as a leader at home, work and in their life.
  • The first part is focused on self-leadership, understanding how you are wired and how your upbringing shapes you as a man and a leader.
  • Too many people overlook this because it is hard work (and often painful) and isn’t as much fun as vision and team building but the best leaders are self aware.
  • The last month we’ve spent reading The Making of a Leader: Recognizing the Lessons and Stages of Leadership Development.
  • One of the best and least read books on leadership.
  • Seriously.
  • I’m often asked what I’m learning personally from reading or other things.
  • Our next series at Revolution is a short answer to that.
  • It’s called Let Us…
  • The big idea is seeing the Christian life as an invitation more than a list of things to do or accomplish.
  • I wish I would’ve learned this sooner.
  • Got to have some silence this week on Mt. Lemmon which is always helpful.
  • I’m learning more and more about how God uses place in our lives, when it comes to purpose, calling, His voice and rest.
  • Place matters.
  • More than we think it does.
  • I was asked by someone what I do on a retreat day.
  • I listen to worship music, pray and walk.
  • I know some people like to sit but I need to move.
  • I think clearer, hear God more and am able to unload my burdens when I move.
  • Took me years to figure out what works for me.
  • If you sit still, take a nap and rest, awesome.
  • We had our first membership class this past Sunday at Revolution.
  • Loved it.
  • I love how many people want to belong at Revolution and be a part of the vision God has for our church.
  • Speaking of vision, we finalized our plans for Christmas Eve, our Christmas series, etc.
  • Can’t wait!
  • Details are coming soon so be on the lookout.
  • Had an awesome conversation with one of our younger leaders this morning about race, the gospel, the national anthem, parenting a black child, white privilege.
  • I love that more and more white Christians are wrestling with this, asking questions and listening. 
  • Honestly, that is the key on this topic.
  • Asking questions and then shutting your mouth.
  • Our kids picked The Emoji Movie the other night for family movie night.
  • Parents and pastors, if you want to know the cultural narrative of our time, watch a kids movie.
  • So many opportunities to bring the gospel into your parenting.
  • Time to get back it…

Links for Leaders 10/6/17

It’s the weekend…finally. The perfect time to grab a cup of coffee and catch up on some reading. Below, you’ll find some articles I came across this week that I found helpful as a leader and parent and hope you do as well.

Before diving into those, in case you missed them this week. Here are the top 3 posts from my blog this week that I hope you find helpful:

Now, onto some more articles and podcasts to help you:

October is pastor appreciation month, which can be nice, but Thom Rainer shares 10 ways to bring joy to your pastor throughout the year. These are great.

Charles Stone shares 5 questions every church staff should ask themselves on a regular basis. These questions are incredibly telling and I think will create some great conversations.

Ever wonder why people aren’t coming to your church or aren’t staying? Carey Nieuwhof shares 12 reasons your church isn’t attracting new people (and many of them will surprise you).

Sometimes in ministry, your heart hardens and when that happens, your joy for ministry and people wains. Here are 10 signs your heart is hardening.

I’m always on the lookout on how to make a sermon series more interesting, attractional or relevant. Joe Hoagland shares 3 ideas from TV series that can be really helpful as you put together your next sermon series.

Links for Leaders 9/22/17

It’s the weekend…finally. The perfect time to grab a cup of coffee and catch up on some reading. Below, you’ll find some articles and podcasts I came across this week that I found helpful as a leader and parent and hope you do as well.

Before diving into those, in case you missed them this week. Here are the top 3 posts from my blog this week that I hope you find helpful:

Now, onto some more articles and podcasts to help you:

This post (Why Control Freaks Rarely Lead Large Organizations) from Carey Nieuwhof was the most convicting thing I’ve read as a leader in a long time. This hit me right where I am right now and nailed the struggle and tension that I feel as a leader.

If you’re a parent and a fan of podcasts, the last two Parent Cue podcasts have been great. The first is on how grandparents can help with parenting and being a great influence on kids. The second is on advice for the varying stages of fatherhood.

On a regular basis a guy will tell me about how his coworker “gets him.” Is more attractive than his spouse or some other reason why they should leave their spouse. Wrong. And Adam Weber has a great post on 5 reasons your coworker is cuter than your husband or wife.

If you’re a pastor or leader, you probably struggle with hiring. Hiring feels like pinning the tail on the donkey and seems to only workout half the time. Rich Birch, who has a fantastic podcast for leaders has some great axioms on hiring.

Links for Leaders 9/8/17

It’s the weekend…finally. The perfect time to grab a cup of coffee and catch up on some reading. Below, you’ll find some articles I came across this week that I found helpful as a leader and parent and hope you do as well.

Before diving into those, in case you missed them this week. Here are the top 3 posts from my blog that I hope you find helpful:

Now, onto some more articles to help you:

I meet a lot of people who wonder if they are leaders or wonder if they have what it takes to be a leader. Scott Cochrane breaks down how to know if you are talking like a leader. This is also helpful for leaders to evaluate how they speak to make sure they are moving people forward.

I love preaching. It is one of my favorite parts of my job. So I’m always on the lookout for insights on how to get better at it. Rookiepreacher.com has proven to be a great site for that. On it, they shared 8 principles of great preaching from Dave Stone who pastors a large church in Kentucky. These are pure gold for communicators.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading recently on church health and how a church pursues health and stays healthy. The older a church gets, the harder this seems to get and the harder you must fight for it. Brian Dodd (who always shares great nuggets) listed 11 practices of pastors whose churches have sustained health and growth.

As our church grows and the size of our staff, elder team and volunteer teams continue to grow, I find that I have less and less control over things. This is great for our church and the health of it, but it is also hard for me to handle because I tend to be a control freak. That’s why I love the perspective Ron Edmondson has, to look at the 5 things you control as a senior leader.

Wednesday Mind Dump…

  • Feels like this week has flown by.
  • How about you?
  • Last week was a blur, but a great week.
  • I got to spend 2 days with my team at the leadership summit.
  • If you missed my notes, you can check them out here.
  • There were some fantastic talks this year.
  • Tons of takeaways.
  • Spent the day Saturday on Mt. Lemmon with our kids fishing.
  • It was great.
  • Our one son Judah has memories of fishing with his birth dad in Ethiopia and started to ask about going fishing together.
  • It was a great moment watching him fish and doing it with him.
  • Like most things in our family, it was controlled chaos, but a great time.
  • I got to kick off our new series at Revolution on Sunday called This is Living
  • If you missed it, you can watch or listen to it here.
  • You can also watch a short clip from the message here.
  • This message is really just a snapshot of what I have been learning in the last 2 years.
  • Read a great, short book over the weekend, A Theology of the Ordinary.
  • Here are some thoughts about it.
  • It was heartbreaking watching the footage from Charlottesville.
  • It was also a very somber, moving moment on Sunday at Revolution as we prayed this together.
  • Last night I had an elder meeting and I was reminded of why I’m grateful for our elders but also thankful for the work we have put in at our church to create the culture we had.
  • Last night’s meeting was our time to simply be together, pray and catch up, speak truth to each other and ask some hard questions.
  • It is uncomfortable and comforting all at the same time.
  • I’m really excited for Sunday because we’re going to unpack what keeps us from living, essentially, how to stop sinning so we can move forward to what God has for us.
  • And can you believe it?
  • Less than a month til real football starts!
  • Back at it…

Tuesday Mind Dump…

  • I love this week.
  • A few reasons.
  • First, we are kicking off a brand new series at Revolution this Sunday called This is Living
  • After doing a topical series on The Biblefeels nice to get back into preaching through a book of the Bible.
  • Can’t wait to unpack 1, 2 & 3 John.
  • The second reason I love this week is because it is the week of the leadership summit.
  • I started attending the summit in college and every year, I get something out of it.
  • I love spending these days with our team, learning, growing, laughing and hanging out.
  • Speaking of the summit, if you aren’t going or aren’t a good note taker, be sure to check out my blog after each session.
  • I’ll be blogging the sessions.
  • The third reason I love this week.
  • Katie came back last night after a week of traveling and visiting family in the midwest.
  • Me and the kids survived, barely.
  • Sunday was an incredible day at Revolution.
  • I’m blown away by how we continue to grow as a church.
  • We’ve grown almost 30% in the last year, which is incredible.
  • It is so humbling to be a part of it.
  • Someone became a Christian on Sunday.
  • Love when that happens.
  • We had someone from out of town send our church a very generous check this week.
  • I love when that happens.
  • Love when people inside and outside of our church believe in what we are doing.
  • At the end of the second service, I told a completely spontaneous story.
  • It was hilarious, really scary and vulnerable to tell.
  • It was such a great moment.
  • If you missed it, or went to the first service, you can watch it here.
  • I really enjoyed doing a more doctrinal series on the bible.
  • There was a ton of excitement in our church about it.
  • Last week before Katie went out of town, we binged on The Crown. 
  • That isn’t normally like us, but it was a great show.
  • Katie and I often get asked about what we’re reading or books we’re reading together.
  • Right now, we’re working through Changes That Heal by Henry Cloud.
  • Highly recommend it.
  • Well back at it…

Tuesday Morning Mind Dump…

  • It was so great after 6 weeks off from preaching to be back on Sunday.
  • The buzz and excitement in our church right now is so obvious.
  • With the addition of Derek to our staff team, REVcommunities launching soon, school is back in session.
  • It’s a good season.
  • I told someone recently that it feels like our flywheel as a church is picking up speed, which feels nice.
  • I got to share some celebrations on Sunday from what God did over the last 6 weeks in our church: In the last 6 weeks we’ve had 42 first time guests, 23 3rd time guests, 216 next steps taken in sermons, 7 first serves and 19 first time givers.
  • And we had someone take the step of following Jesus on Sunday.
  • That never gets old.
  • If you missed Sunday as I kicked our series The Bibleyou can watch it here.
  • And if you’re struggling with reading the bible, here are some questions to help you.
  • And if you’re looking for more resources on the bible, here you go.
  • This Sunday I’m unpacking the story of the Bible, what is the Bible about.
  • If you miss what something is trying to tell you, you will end up lost.
  • I think this one thing causes more frustration for Christians and confusion for people when they come to the Bible.
  • Our daughter is going into 7th grade, which is a big deal in the way that we school our kids. Things begin to pick up and change for her.
  • Which is exciting and scary at the same time.
  • Crazy to think she is in 7th grade and will be 12 next week.
  • Every year I meet with a group of guys in our church to focus on leadership and help them grow as leaders, personally, at work and in their family.
  • This year, I might do 2 groups, but the exciting thing is that I switched up what we’ll cover and how we’ll do things.
  • Can’t wait to try it out.
  • I find that when I try to pass on things I’ve learned to younger leaders, I grow a ton by their questions, push backs and searching.
  • As much I have loved my big green egg, I haven’t smoked anything yet.
  • Well, that changes this week.
  • Wednesday I’m smoking a pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon.
  • Then, on Friday, I’m going to smoke a pork shoulder for over 8 hours.
  • I’m trying it out on some of our oldest friends so if it tanks, pizza won’t be a huge disappointment.
  • So excited to try it out.
  • Last week I got to speak to 2 different groups outside of Revolution.
  • On Thursday I was on base talking to a group of non-commissioned officers about work/life balance.
  • On Saturday I got to talk to a group of parents about how to become an intentional family.
  • Tons of fun and lots of great questions.
  • Then, Saturday afternoon we intentionally avoided the heat and rain and went to see Despicable Me 3. 
  • If you haven’t seen it, it is exactly what you expect it to be.
  • Good times for sure.
  • I love that my kids love movie trailers before the movie as much as I do.
  • Well, back to it…

Tuesday Morning Mind Dump…

  • After 6 weeks away from preaching, it feels nice to be writing a sermon.
  • It was nice the last 2 weeks just being at Revolution and not preaching. So good for the soul.
  • I love summer for the vacation, the down time, but also the reading time.
  • Here are some of my favorites from the summer.
  • I can’t wait to kick off The Bible this Sunday and spend the next 3 weeks answering common questions about the bible.
  • I can’t say enough, how much the last 6 weeks off from preaching have meant and how helpful they have been.
  • Pastors, you need to take time off in the summer.
  • It doesn’t have to be 6 weeks, but you can’t have a sustainable rhythm and last in ministry if you preach 48 or 50 times a year.
  • I know because I tried to do it the first 3 years of our church.
  • It was great to see how much Joe and Erik have grown as communicators as they got the chance to preach while I was away.
  • But I’m excited about spending the next 10 weeks preaching again.
  • 10 weeks is my limit right now for how many times I’ll preach in a row.
  • That’s another thing a pastor and his elder team should figure out, what keeps a pastor fresh. For you it might be 6 or 12.
  • After we do The Bible series we’re going to spend most of the fall walking through 1, 2 and 3 John.
  • We had our newcomers lunch yesterday and it was packed.
  • Blown away that we have grown over the summer.
  • Always amazes me.
  • Speaking of growth, I am so excited about the addition of Derek to our team.
  • He spent his first 4 weeks working while I was away, but the last 2 weeks working with him have been incredible.
  • Someone texted me while I was away and said, “Derek is exactly what our church needed” and I couldn’t agree more.
  • His gifts and personality are a perfect fit for what we needed and God’s timing in it has been cool to watch.
  • I’m in the middle of book 4 of the Harry Potter series with our kids.
  • We took a break from Lord of the Rings after The Two Towers to read this and it’s been fun.
  • The writing it so simple and the storytelling captures you.
  • I’ve been asked how our kids are handling it. Our kids haven’t seen the movies so their imaginations are driving what they see (which I think makes a big deal).
  • The conversations we’ve had about witches, wizards and spells have been great too.
  • I’m speaking Thursday afternoon on base to a group of young leaders in the Air Force about purpose and mission.
  • I’m getting more and more chances to speak on base and I love the time with them.
  • Then Saturday morning I’m speaking at Vail Family University on how to build an intentional family.
  • If you’re there, come say hi.
  • Lots happening, so back to it…