Leadership

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The Wineskin Workers

Effective administration ensures the best outpouring of the Holy Spirit

Administration’s time has come. These words still echo in my head two years after first hearing them in the form of a prophetic word. That word would cause me to fully embrace and value my gift of administration, as well as encourage others to do the same.

Administration is often misunderstood to be about typing, filing and clerical work. To study administration is to study how to lead and manage change. Administration is leadership. Misunderstanding, devaluing or disowning this gift is a huge mistake, particularly at this moment in history. We live in the days of the greatest change and opportunity this world has ever seen. The corporate world has grasped this and has stewarded increase with great skill, creativity and hard work.

At the same time, the church is hesitant to embrace the very gift that will enable it to carry out the God-given assignment of stewarding increase, change and transformation.  read more

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Of Pancakes & Praise

The recipe to transformational worship is basic ingredients and a pinch of creativity

 

My wife is a great cook. Throughout our marriage I have watched her prepare (and joyfully partaken in) literally hundreds of unique dishes. She is more of an artist in the kitchen. Each time it is a little different. Recently we had some children over to make pancakes. My wife patiently helped them find each of the ingredients; they had a grand time cracking eggs, stirring flour, getting the ingredients ready, in anticipation of the delicious breakfast to come. For me, worship is a little like cooking. 

As I have had the privilege to minister in worship with the Eagles’ Wings team in nations around the world (from churches of 25 to stadiums of 25,000) I have tasted a lot of different flavors of worship, but have seen some common themes that seem to be ingredients that move worship from just singing songs, to a life-changing encounter with the Creator King.  

Lift Up. What are we focused on when we worship? Is it the great sound, the amazing skill, the flashing lights? If we only focus on the externals, we can inadvertently lead people into “spectator mode.” As leaders, we have the opportunity to model a “God-first” approach, inviting people to interact with the Living God. Beginning with prayer to God, not just about God, and reading portions of Scripture throughout the time can realign people’s focus on Who this is really all about. read more

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Covenantal Leadership

Honoring God’s covenant with Israel is foundational to successful apostolic leadership

 

We are considering what God’s ancient covenant with Israel means for tomorrow’s church. In short, covenant means everything for effective leadership. 

When believers choose to bind themselves in covenant with God, they are also bound covenantally to one another. This godly unification is the basis for the apostolic church, which I believe is the model we must return to if we are to see a successful church in the 21st century. 

In order to maintain a biblical apostolic structure, there must be an apostolic vision. The apostolic leader is one who has a vision from God so great there is no way for him to see it fulfilled on his own—or even within his own lifetime. This is where apostolic team leadership and apostolic succession come in. read more

Are You Pastoring Your City?

Four ways to mobilize your church into political and marketplace influence


Serving a city involves accepting responsibility for spiritual climate beyond your congregation. As pastor of a local church, my awakening occurred when Holy Spirit whispered, “I want you to pastor this city.”

The implications of that simple directive radically redirected ministry philosophy and tangibly shifted our community to become a city where our mayor now boldly announces “Jesus is Lord in Cedar Hill, Texas.” The practical effect of activism requires pastors and churches to consider themselves partners, even owners (generators) of community values.

For example, when a business prospers or a neighborhood improves, I celebrate as though the title were in my name. When a business closes its doors or the school system struggles, I mourn. Our partnership with political leaders, business owners, school officials and citizen’s groups provides unparalleled treasure and opportunity for “kingdom to come, here, now” in cities across America. read more

Criticizing Won’t Change the World

People will tune Christians out, if all we do is complain

 

When it comes to engaging in public policy and challenging today’s culture, some of the least successful strategies are ones built around criticism. The growing number of churches and ministries that are constantly “against something” is a disturbing trend. 

Every month, I see an avalanche of direct-mail campaigns and magazine articles by organizations upset about the latest movie, court decision, TV show and cartoon series, or mad at the homosexual community or some other special interest group. 

But while a healthy debate is the cornerstone of a vibrant democracy, the truth is, just being critical creates very little change. After all, as Christians, we of all people should be known as being for something.  read more

Prevention and Cure

A successful marriage ministry program needs more than a ‘one size fits all’ approach

 

Ministering to marriages in the local church for me has been both exhilarating and exasperating. It is exhilarating in that the need is obvious and great in today’s society. It is exasperating because it often feels like swimming upstream, and casualties continue regardless of how many good things are made available to people. 

My attitude is let’s keep swimming. Having the right philosophy and elements can make the difference in a successful marriage ministry program.

First, there are two ends of the spectrum when approaching marriage ministry: preventive vs. crisis-oriented. The preventive side attempts to equip individuals and couples with good information, skills and resources that can keep a marriage from ever getting to a crisis stage. read more

Counseling Do’s and Don’ts

Clear boundaries and expectations are vital for an effective counseling  ministry

With more than 20 years’ experience counseling couples, I have learned some things that could help pastors and ministry leaders in this area.

 Do This

Definitely counsel those who have problems that you feel competent addressing or areas in which you have training. I have a master’s degree in divinity as one of my degrees, which required that I take only one counseling course. I realize some parts of counseling are just common sense, biblical understanding and spiritual discernment. However, if you feel you’re in over your head or the individual or couple isn’t changing under your guidance, it’s time to consider a different strategy.

Have clear hours designated for counseling and stay within those boundaries. Even professional counselors can only do so much. Pastors have so many tasks and time demands that counseling is best when set for a designated time. Clearly define what an emergency is so that others don’t define that for you. read more

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The Power of Vision

Why you need to stay focused on the dream God has given you

 


Human beings are mysterious creatures who are powerfully affected by vision. We are designed in such a way that we will move in the direction of what we see. Your vision is your future, and your vision is your imagination. You need an imagination inspired by the promises of God. You need the eye of the eagle. The eagle builds its nest high atop a mountain or tall rock. From there, “it spies out the prey; its eyes observe from afar” (Job 39:27-29).

God has not called you to be a chicken pecking around in the barnyard of the status quo, never seeing anything but the dust of Old MacDonald’s farm. God has called you to mount up on eagles’ wings of faith and soar above the storms (Is. 40:30-31). 

I have found that I remain excited about life as long as I hold on to the vision that hope can create. As I live in the realm of hopeful vision, I find I can begin each new day with fresh energy and enthusiasm.  read more

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Guardians of the Kingdom

Identifying the kingdom characteristics of a healthy church

 

 

 There is much discussion about identifying and articulating the culture of our individual local churches. Amid countless innovative trends and strategies, we have to keep a strong grip on the fact that we are carrying out one central mission. Jesus, the head of the church, preached the kingdom of heaven.

As we carry out our mission of building the church He began, there is a “kingdom culture” that must be protected. I love what strategist and author Sam Chand says: “Toxic culture will eat great vision for lunch!” Any senior leader whose great vision has been hijacked by bad attitudes, practices or motives can attest to the fact that a crucial responsibility of leaders is to be guardians of the culture of the ministries we lead. read more

Generosity Is a Heart Issue

How to equip the people in your church so they become generous givers

We are living in tough economic times. In many churches, budgets are shrinking, resources are lacking, and downsizing isn’t something reserved just for the marketplace anymore. With a high unemployment rate, mounting national debt and no quick-fix solutions, we’re facing unprecedented economic challenges.

But this isn’t the first time church leaders have faced difficult conditions like these. While attempting to raise funds to aid the struggling believers in Jerusalem, the apostle Paul offered these words: “And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity” (2 Cor. 8:1-2, NIV, emphasis added). Wow, what a statement! read more

How to Do More With Less

Your staff has God-given gifts you need to identify (and affirm)

 

 

Doing more with less might be one of the most common buzz phrases in the marketplace and church-ministry world today—and most frightening. In this unstable economy, everyone wants to know how to improve results while using fewer people and spending less money but still achieving or maintaining the same level of excellence. More and more churches are having to operate on smaller budgets and with smaller staffs. But, it is possible to achieve greater results from fewer resources while maintaining your organization’s integrity and budget, as well as your staff’s sanity and happiness.

The Statistics Aren’t Pretty. Last year, according to the government figures, worker productivity climbed 3.5 percent as companies shed millions of employees and figured out ways to get more work from those who remained. It was the biggest increase in six years—and it was great for corporate profits. read more

Healing Victims of Sexual Abuse

The five biggest mistakes pastors make in counseling victims of sexual abuse—and how to avoid repeating these traumatizing errors read more

Raising Funds by … Shopping?

How affinity partnerships can help your church—using everyday purchases read more

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