Top Posts of February

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February was the biggest month ever on my blog. Thanks to all the new subscribers and readers and thank you for all the shares of content on Facebook, Twitter and other places. Please keep it up.

If you missed anything, not to worry, here are the top 10 posts for the month:

  1. The One Thing Destroying Your Marriage That You Don’t Realize
  2. Women, It Matters Who You Marry
  3. Loving Does Not Equal Participating
  4. 11 Ways to Know You’ve Settled for a Mediocre Marriage
  5. 7 Ways to Fight Well in Your Marriage
  6. 7 Reasons You Aren’t Communicating with your Spouse
  7. Men, Your Son-in-Law Determines Your Legacy
  8. Before You Criticize Your Pastor
  9. How I Structure my Week
  10. When a Staff Member or Volunteer says, “I’m Done”
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Links for Your Weekend Reading

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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Thom Rainer on 4 times when you should not respond to a critic.

As a general rule, leaders should respond to criticism. I do my best to do so, or at that very least, ask someone in my organization to respond. Critics, more often than not, deserve a response. They need to hear from the leader who can give them his or her perspective. They need to hear from a leader in the event the response can be an opportunity for reconciliation. But there are times when leaders should not respond to critics.

Cristina Fox on When distractions keep us from our kids.

One of the biggest drains of our time is technology because of the access it gives us to a virtual life. Our lives revolve around this access and its pull on us is strong. There’s always email to check, texts to respond to, statuses to update, images and videos to see or post. And they must be done right away (or so we think) — putting everything else on pause.

Ed Stetzer on Whether you should stay or go at church.

I, too, found I don’t get much out of sermons, even the good ones. Honestly, there is not much new content I learn at church. Finally, I am easily distracted and the slow pace of sermons let’s my mind wander, so I’d rather read a good sermon than listen to one. So, I could’ve just stayed home. But, I didn’t. And neither should you because our church involvement is not just anticipated (1 Corinthians 12:27), but commanded (Hebrews 10:25).

Donna Jones on 15 things you did when you were dating that you should not stop doing when you get married.

What what if celebrating Valentine’s Day didn’t cost you a dime and could actually re-kindle the flames of romance?  What if you could re-ignite the sparks in your marriage and make them last?  It might be as easy as taking a trip down memory lane and doing what you should have never stopped.

Mike Cosper on Giving up on church and the culture of contemporary worship.

I wonder, though, if Miller’s thoughts don’t say as much about our contemporary worship culture as they do about Miller himself. His description of a church gathering is two-dimensional: we listen to a lecture and sing songs that connect us to God. Miller says he stopped attending because he doesn’t learn from lectures and doesn’t feel like he connects to God through singing. This description of the gathered church is anemic and shabby, but it’s also the description that many American evangelicals would use to describe Sunday mornings. Rather than a robust engagement with God’s people, God’s word, and God’s Spirit through interactions with one another, songs, prayers, scripture readings, and the Lord’s Supper, we think of Sundays as merely preaching and music.

Love this song

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Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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  1. Tim Challies on A safe place for our kids shameful questions.
  2. A pastor looks at dads.
  3. Barnabas Piper on Why Christian leaders (like Mark Driscoll & John MacArthur) fighting is discouraging.
  4. 5 reasons people aren’t volunteering at your church.
  5. Michael Jensen on Is chastity possible?
  6. How to keep your home safe with the internet. Great insights for protecting your kids.
  7. Carey Nieuwhof on Is the pastor celebrity culture a positive or negative thing. Interesting thoughts on this subject.
  8. Sam Rainer on Why pastors neglect managing.
  9. Tim Keller on Why a covenant marriage matters. Marriage is a covenant, not a contract which our culture holds to.
  10. Thom Rainer on How pastors can develop thicker skin.

Top Posts of September

In case you missed them, here are the top posts for the last month:

  1. Before You Criticize Your Pastor
  2. Revolution Church 5 Year Anniversary Video
  3. The Biggest Sin in Adoption
  4. A Mother’s Heart (From a Husband’s Perspective)
  5. The Most Important Minutes to a Guest on a Sunday Morning
  6. Does Homeschooling Deny the Missional Life?
  7. What to do on “Fat Days”
  8. Redeeming Halloween
  9. Get the Men, Win the War
  10. Rex Ryan: The Model Father?

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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  1. What is the role of a campus pastor in a multi-site church? Can’t wait for Revolution to plant our first church and we have dedicated staff in this role.
  2. Luke Simmons on A leader needs to love the people they have now.
  3. Billy Graham answers what he would do differently. So insightful.
  4. Brian Howard on How to keep pornography out of your home.
  5. Why worship music should be loud.
  6. Meredith Fineman on Please stop complaining about how busy you are.
  7. The introverted mother.
  8. David Murray on How to criticize a pastor.

A Vision for a Transcultural Church

New Coldplay song from “The Hunger Games”

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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  1. Leaders need solitude. Here’s why and how to do it.
  2. Acts of kindness for your pastor.
  3. The National (one of my favorite bands) just released their new album and Pitchfork has a great look at the band.
  4. Stop work overload.
  5. Joe Thorn on Reading profitably. I recently blogged about the same thing.
  6. How a leader should respond to criticism. This was timely for me.
  7. My wife Katie just started blogging on my blog, which I think will be helpful for the female readers especially as she has a ton of wisdom. Here’s her first blog post.
  8. Sam Storms on the Cure for spiritual burnout.

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

book

  1. Brian Howard on Questions every pastor and leader should answer.
  2. How to preach and captivate your congregation.
  3. Pete Wilson on Crushing narcissism.
  4. Steve Jobs and the goal of preaching. If you preach, this is gold.
  5. Ed Stetzer on Mental illness and the church. Really helpful stuff.
  6. Trevin Wax on 5 ways to avoid the drain of busyness.

The Image Toaster

Top 12 Posts of 2012

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It’s that time of year again, time to share my top lists of the year. Tomorrow I’ll share my top 12 books of the year and on Thursday, I’ll share my top 12 albums of the year. Today though, it is the top 12 posts I wrote in 2012:

  1. Before You Criticize Your Pastor
  2. Accountability
  3. How a Wife Handles Her Husband’s Sexual Addiction
  4. Kingdom Man
  5. Q: Preaching to Believers & Seekers
  6. What “Be Still” Means
  7. Is Love a Choice or a Feeling (And Why it Matters)
  8. Responding to the Same-Sex Marriage Debate as a Christian
  9. Letters to a Young Pastor
  10. Meet Nehemiah James Andrew (Updated)
  11. One of the Most Misquoted Bible Verses
  12. Why We Worry
  13. Happy Birthday to my Beautiful Wife (Bonus Post)

[Image Credit]

Leadership & Anonymous Criticism

I’ve written before about leadership and criticism and the reality of how the two go together.

I saw this again this past week in the NFL on the New York Jets. Whatever your opinion about Tim Tebow as a quarterback, there were a number of Jets players who said, “He’s terrible, he isn’t any good.” But it was largely done anonymously. In fact, only one player would go on the record.

Leaders get all kinds of criticism, but anonymous criticism is incredibly common, especially in churches.

It could be in notes sent. It could be in a conversation that goes like this:

Person: Hey Josh, I was talking with some friends.

Me: Oh, about what?

Person: Well, they just aren’t happy. They don’t like ____________.

Me: Well, I’d love to talk with them and find out how to fix the situation or talk about how we can move forward or why we do what we do. Can you give me their names.

Person: Oh, I can’t do that. I told them I wouldn’t tell you their names. I don’t want to break their trust.

Every pastor right now is thinking, “I’ve had that conversation 100 times.”

What do you do?

My response typically is:

I appreciate your feedback (normally when someone says, “Me and some friends are concerned or angry” they typically mean, “I’m concerned or angry”), but unless I know who they are or I’m able to talk with them, there’s nothing I can do about it.

Then, as a leader, you let it go. Move on.

Question: How do you handle anonymous criticism?

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Top Blog Posts of October 2012

In case you missed them, here are the top posts for the last month:

  1. My Journey of Losing Weight
  2. 15 Ways to Improve Your Marriage
  3. Accountability
  4. Before You Criticize Your Pastor
  5. Saturday Afternoon Book Review: Creating a Missional Culture
  6. Is Love a Choice or a Feeling (And Why it Matters)
  7. Redeeming Halloween
  8. Q: Why Doesn’t Revolution Have a Women’s Ministry
  9. 10 Gospel Truths about Homosexuality
  10. A Simple Time-Management Principle