Links for Leaders 7/14/17

It’s the weekend. The perfect time to grab a cup of coffee and catch up on some reading. Here are 4 articles I came across this week that I found helpful as a leader and parent and hope you do as well.

Every leader is busy but we don’t often realize what our busyness does to us and our churches. Here’s a great list from Carey Nieuwof of what busyness does to a leader and how it holds a church back. #2 is especially relevant to pastors I think.

Do you get enough sleep? The answer for most of us is no. But what are you supposed to do? Charles Stone has a simple test to gauge your sleep and some really practical tips to get your sleep back on track.

Do you want to be a part of a healthy team? Are you on a healthy team? Ron Edmondson lists out 10 phrases to help you answer those questions. 

If you have a middle schooler, you can relate to this list from Kristin Ivy: 34 reasons your middle schooler is freaking out.

Thursday Mind Dump…

  • It’s been a whirlwind of a week in the Reich house.
  • Katie had to be in Phoenix Monday and Tuesday for something and I had to be up there yesterday.
  • Made for a hectic week, but it’s done!
  • It was really excited to be in Phoenix with the other Acts 29 pastors in Arizona and some SBC pastors as we talked and prayed about how to plant more healthy churches in our state.
  • Loved everything about this circle.
  • I also got to spend yesterday doing another interview in the process of hiring a new pastor at Revolution and made 4 reference calls.
  • It is a great (and holy) opportunity to interview people.
  • I love the potential this role has not only for our staff team, but more specifically to help the people entrusted to our church for them to grow.
  • I am also grateful I don’t interview people for a living.
  • Thankful those people share their wisdom in books and blogs though.
  • We’re getting so close to hiring someone, so keep praying for us.
  • Every week our staff team and team leads share celebrations with each other that we are able to share with our teams.
  • I was simply blown away this week.
  • Story after story of people taking next steps.
  • I shared a few of them on Facebook live yesterday.
  • I don’t know about anyone else, but I am ready for June.
  • Ready for a new rhythm for a bit to catch my breath.
  • The other night we showed our kids Remember the Titans for family movie night.
  • The conversations about race were really interesting.
  • Watching our kids process the history of our nation, as they look at the makeup of our family.
  • I’m hopeful they have a deep understanding of the pain of racism but also how to fight against it.
  • Next up in this journey for them is Hidden Figures.
  • Leaders are always asking me what I’m reading.
  • Here’s my list right now for sermon prep.
  • I’m working on a series we’ll start at Revolution on July 23rd called The Bible. 
  • We’ll look at 4 questions: How do we know the Bible is True? What is the main point of the Bible? Why should you read the Bible? and How do you read the Bible?
  • So excited for this series.
  • I’m also pretty excited to jump back into a book of the Bible on May 21st and do a series on Jonah called When God Doesn’t Make Sense
  • Anyway, back at it…

Wednesday Morning Mind Dump…

  • It’s been a whirlwind of 3 days.
  • Sunday right after church, I flew to Reno for the Acts 29 West Conference.
  • Which was awesome.
  • Then got up at 4:30 Tuesday morning to fly home so I could be here for Katie’s birthday.
  • I was dragging through the Reno, Vegas and Tucson airport.
  • But it felt so good to get home.
  • One of the things I love about Katie’s birthday is surprising her with her summer reading list.
  • I think one of the best ways a husband can love and serve his wife is get her good books to read that fill her heart and soul with some gospel goodness.
  • And some funny/sad/moving memoirs.
  • And yes, I got her other stuff too.
  • Speaking of summer, now’s a good time to start thinking through your summer reading list.
  • Summer is a great time to grow, give your brain a break, think through a new project or dream.
  • It’s a great time to reset something and start over halfway through the year.
  • It was incredible being in Reno and hearing all the things that God is doing, not only in Acts 29 West, but around the world.
  • I love being a part of a global network that is planting churches and seeing lives changed.
  • One of the things I was most excited about when I left Reno were some of the ideas me and the other pastors in Arizona have for partnering together to plant more churches in our state.
  • Can’t wait to see them unfold.
  • On the plane, I got to read David Murray’s new book Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture.
  • So helpful.
  • If you are a leader who is over 30, this is a book you must read.
  • I’ll share some book notes soon.
  • My birthday is Saturday so Katie and I are celebrating our birthdays with friends next week.
  • It is one of the advantages of having your birthday the same week as your spouse’s.
  • Well, I’m a day and a half behind on my sermon.
  • Back at it…

Monday Morning Mind Dump…

  • What a day yesterday.
  • I know every pastor says that the day after Easter.
  • For me, one of the things I loved about yesterday were the people I prayed with who are struggling to come to Christ. They are wrestling and pressing in, getting questions answered.
  • I love when people cross the line of faith and get baptized, but I was reminded yesterday of how God is at work in every part of that journey.
  • I know that intellectually, but it was a sweet reminder yesterday that our church is a place for that and we are a part of that.
  • Because our church exists to help people take their next step with God, I love that people were taking steps yesterday.
  • Those people wrestling, coming to faith, to me, those are enormous celebrations of the day.
  • The people who pulled me aside and said, “Something happened today and I don’t know what it is.”
  • Rest in that pastor.
  • It was awesome to hear from some of the church planters we are supporting to hear how their days went.
  • We kicked off a series yesterday that I couldn’t be more excited about.
  • For 5 weeks, we are laying the foundation of what our church believes a healthy, mature follower of Jesus is.
  • What we mean when we say discipleship.
  • We started yesterday with a disciple is loved by God.
  • What excites me about this is not only the clarity for our church and RC leaders, but also for people in our church who are searching and skeptical.
  • Too many churches define discipleship as everything that comes after the gospel or say, “the gospel encompasses everything.”
  • It does, but when we start discipleship with what we do, it does a disservice to our people and gives them a burden they can’t carry.
  • If you’re curious about some of the books that have influenced our thinking, check these out.
  • Katie was away for the weekend, leaving me with the Reich 5.
  • She went to Galveston to do a photo shoot.
  • I love that she is getting to use her gifts and talents in that way.
  • It was a long weekend with the kids though.
  • We were all wiped and then to throw Easter activities onto it.
  • We’re all moving slowly today.
  • I’m speaking at a MOPS group tomorrow on the topics of my book Breathing Room. 
  • Should be a fun time.
  • For me, I love the questions after the fact and the conversations I get to have with people as they wrestle through their schedules and how to say no to things.
  • Katie and I got a big green egg for our 15th anniversary.
  • Yes, super romantic.
  • Yes, my wife is awesome.
  • Yes, it makes everything more delicious than my old grill.
  • Made this yesterday.
  • Incredible.
  • Well, back at it…

Wednesday Mind Dump…

  • While I haven’t been preaching over the last 3 weeks, I’ve been in the throws of our hiring process at Revolution Church.
  • While I have loved talking to candidates, I know that hiring is something I do not want to spend the majority of my time doing.
  • Way too detailed.
  • If you’re looking for help in hiring or team building, check out these books: The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues by Patrick Lencioni, It’s Not the How or the What but the Who: Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best and Great People Decisions: Why They Matter So Much, Why They are So Hard, and How You Can Master Them, both by Claudio Fernandez Araoz.
  • I am blown away by the caliber of candidates, both inside and outside of our church.
  • The potential for this role is huge for our church and city.
  • Cory taught a new song on Sunday at Revolution, What a Beautiful Name.
  • It was such a powerful moment.
  • Found afterwards that some reformed pastors don’t like the song because the line “Jesus didn’t want heaven without us so he brought heaven down.”
  • I get the self-centered fear that pastors might have, but being mad about that line makes it sound like Jesus could do without us in heaven or is indifferent to us.
  • Makes God too cold in my opinion.
  • Needless to say, we’ll be keeping that song.
  • I had chills as our church belted out the bridge: You have no rival, You have no equal.
  • Wow.
  • Monday night we pulled together many of our leaders at Revolution and shared with them a clearer discipleship grid for our church.
  • I was convicted last year that we have not clearly defined what a healthy, mature disciple is and how to get there.
  • We are still building it out, but the foundation is there and I am excited about it and the potential growth our people will experience.
  • Our hiring right now is a part of this journey.
  • One of the things I’m most excited at Revolution right now is how healthy our leadership team is.
  • We are stronger, working together better, hanging out, laughing.
  • It is fantastic.
  • This hasn’t always been a priority for me and it has shown in our church and that makes me sad looking back on it.
  • I took Ava to see Beauty and the Beast over the weekend.
  • Super fun.
  • Not everyone will appreciate this, but if you are a theological nerd you will.
  • I’m super geeked out about the sermon calendar for the next year at Revolution.
  • Well, I gotta preach on Sunday, so back at it…

Why Papa of The Shack is not Aslan of Narnia & 8 Other Posts You Should Read


Each Friday I share some posts that I’ve come across in the last week. They range in topics and sources but they are all things I’ve found interesting or helpful that I hope will be interesting and helpful to you. Here are 9 posts I came across this week that challenged my thinking or helped me as a leader, pastor, husband and father:

  1. The Most Important Minutes We Often Miss by Jon Acuff
  2. Inside the Strange Head of A Leader: 5 Mood Swings Any Leader Can Relate To by Carey Nieuwhof
  3. 7 Ways to Help a New Staff Member Succeed by Ron Edmondson
  4. Do not Forsake True Solitude, Pastor by Joe Hoagland
  5. Does Your Preaching Connect? One Important Shift You Can Make by Gavin Adams
  6. What the Transgender Debate Means for the Church by Russell Moore
  7. Building a Ministry Dashboard You’ll Actually Use by Ryan Stigile
  8. Secret for Public Speaking Success: Speak Their Thoughts Before They Do by Sims Wyeth
  9. Why Papa of The Shack is not Aslan of Narnia by Tim Challies

Wednesday Mind Dump…

  • Sunday was simply an incredible day at Revolution.
  • It’s hard to believe that we’ve been meeting in Vail now for a little over a year.
  • Sunday we had our highest attendance outside of Easter since moving.
  • Crazy that in a 15 month time span our church has almost doubled.
  • I love the first week of a new series, but this series has hit my heart in a way other series has not.
  • I feel like the this series and the one we just finished are more personal than most sermon series.
  • If you missed Sunday, you can watch it here.
  • Here are a few pictures from the day too.
  • I’m often asked about books, especially related to prayer and there are so many and depending on what you want to read, that will determine what you pick, but here are some of my favorites: Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Tim Keller, Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? by Philip Yancey, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster, Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God by Dallas Willard and Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer by Eugene Peterson.
  • We tried having bounce houses and food trucks at our church for the first day of a new series and it was amazing.
  • Loved the community time it created for our people.
  • I got to meet so many new people to our church.
  • The longer I lead a church, the more the advice of an older pastor to me makes sense: just continue doing right things and being faithful. Eventually it starts to gain traction. 
  • That is so true and we are seeing it play out now.
  • On a different note, I can’t believe the Crossfit Open starts this week.
  • My only prayer is that they pair muscle ups with something I can do and that they are ring muscle ups, not bar ones.
  • I’m starting meeting with a new leadership coach today.
  • Can’t wait.
  • I’ve had one phone call, a get to know you call and I took pages of notes and have incorporated so much of what we talked about and seen a lot of improvement in our church and our team.
  • Speaking of Revolution’s leadership team, I think we are hitting on cylinders we’ve never hit on before.
  • The unity, drive, passion and excitement is so evident right now.
  • Team’s aren’t always like this and they go in waves and you have to fight for every inch of passion, but we are in a good season right now.
  • And I think our church feels that and experiences that.
  • Anyway, time to get back at it…

Six Ways to Encourage your Pastor & 6 Other Posts You Should Read this Weekend


Each Friday I share some posts that I’ve come across in the last week. They range in topics and sources but they are all things I’ve found interesting or helpful that I hope will be interesting and helpful to you. Here are 7 posts I came across this week that challenged my thinking or helped me as a leader, pastor, husband and father:

  1. 7 Things Christians Should Give Up To Reach Unchurched People by Carey Nieuwhof
  2. Six Ways to Encourage your Pastor by Charles Stone
  3. Leadership Is About Emotion by Meghan M. Biro
  4. 7 Good Things to Say to Your Pastor this Weekend by Chuck Lawless
  5. Richard Branson’s 5 A.M. Workout and 5 Other Morning Habits of Successful Billionaires by Jessica Stillman
  6. How to Stop Wasting Time in Meetings by Dan Rockwell
  7. Are You on Track if You Lead a Church of Less Than 100? by Ed Stetzer

Leaders Answer the Questions No One Asks & 8 Other Posts You Should Read This Week


Each Friday I share some posts that I’ve come across in the last week. They range in topics and sources but they are all things I’ve found interesting or helpful that I hope will be interesting and helpful to you. Here are 9 posts I came across this week that challenged my thinking or helped me as a leader, pastor, husband and father:

  1. My Big Predictions For Social Media In 2017 by Steve Fogg
  2. 5 Questions to Up Your Parenting Game by Sherry Surratt
  3. How to Be a Real Leader And Great Manager by Lolly Daskal
  4. Why Kids (and Parents) Need Routine by Jenna Scott
  5. 7 Ways To Live Out The Gospel in a Post-Truth, Post-Fact Culture by Carey Nieuwhof
  6. Three Probing Questions every Pastor should Ask Himself by Charles Stone
  7. Leaders Answer the Questions No One Asks by Jonathan Pearson
  8. 6 Things Millennials Need From Pastors by Joe Hoagland
  9. How Senior Pastors Can Schedule Their Week For Maximum Impact by Brian Jones

Wednesday Mind Dump…

  • What a week it’s been in the Reich house.
  • Sunday was an incredible day.
  • Our Steelers beat the Chiefs.
  • Besides this being awesome simply because we won, much of Katie’s family lives in Kansas City and roots for the Chiefs.
  • Loved texting them to remind them they got beat by a kicker!
  • Revolution was amazing on Sunday.
  • We had 17 guests on a rainy, cold, holiday weekend.
  • Simply blown away by that.
  • And we had 83 people take the next step of working on their life map.
  • This is an exercise Katie and I did with the counselors from Crosspoint.
  • It is such a powerful exercise.
  • Katie and I taught together (which I love doing) on the topic of family of origin and your family narrative.
  • The response was overwhelming.
  • If you want to watch it you can do so here.
  • Katie will be back on stage with me this week as we talk about “how to enjoy your marriage” and do a live Q&A.
  • Can’t wait for that.
  • This topic fires me up and I think every pastor should preach on marriage every year.
  • It is that big of a deal.
  • The growth Katie and I experience when we do a series on marriage is incredible and it serves the people in your church well.
  • I get asked a lot about books and 2 books that have been influential to Katie and I on the topics of shame, family of origin and family narrative are The Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe About Ourselves by Dr. Curt Thompson and The Relational Soul: Moving from False Self to Deep Connection by Jim Cofield and Rich Blass.
  • That was only the beginning of the excitement in our house this week.
  • Because not only is Katie and 3 of our kids sick with whatever is flying around Tucson right now, but our 9 year old broke his arm at a birthday party Monday morning.
  • Never a dull moment with 4 boys.
  • Time to get back to it.
  • Praying I don’t get sick!