The Power of Purpose

What are you doing with your life? Just about everyone wants a meaningful life. Of course, life can feel meaningless, pointless, and absurd; just as the writer of Ecclesiastes. But most people when asked would desire to life a meaningful life. The desire for meaning is why figuring out your life's purpose is so important. Once…

Pastor as Monk (Sort of)

Cal Newport has a solid older blog post on the concept of "Monk Mode Mornings." Essentially, going monk mode in the morning means spending the morning doing deep work and scheduling any other meetings/people time in the afternoons. Applying the monk mode to pastors would mean focusing on your sermon prep and writing during the…

Overcoming Problems in Pastoral Productivity

No one is keeping track of when you clock into work or clock out. No boss is holding you accountable for how you spend your time. Sound like a fantasy world? Think again. It's the schedule of a pastor. The schedule of a pastor is almost infinitely flexible with no one really checking up on…

There’s Nothing to Fear

The Hurt Locker tells the story of various soldiers serving overseas, but it particularly focuses on those who disarm explosive devices. As you can imagine, trying to disarm bombs either before they explode or so that they don't explode is one of the most nerve-racking jobs in the military. The movie shows how such stress affects…

Sticky Leaders

Sticky Leaders is about how to change an existing organization. Most attempts to make changes fail (18). But many books don't talk about failure because it doesn't sell well. Plus, as Nassim Taleb has pointed out, we're all prone to the "survivor bias." We see those who've been successful and try to emulate them, not…

The Secret Sauce of Casting Vision Recap

Recap and application of Church Fuel's master class on vision.  Vision sketches out a potential future: "Can you see what I'm saying?" Vision needs to be both BIG and small. The big side of vision is your purpose for existing as a church. It will be along the lines of the Great Commission or the Great…

So Good They Can’t Ignore You

Cal Newport contends that “following your passion” is bad advice. Why? Because many interesting careers have complicated origin stories (13). It’s not just, “Hey, I loved doing this, and then found the perfect job which matched my love. Often, people stumble into a field. Being passionate about often takes time and mastery  (17). Telling people…

You Don’t Have to Feel Guilty Before the Lord

"I don't have to feel guilty in my relationship with the Lord, because it's my relationship with God." An older, wiser pastor spoke those words to me while we ate lunch together a few months ago. He told me that in his church circles, other pastors constantly exhort one another to follow certain kinds of devotional…

Less Chaos. Less Noise.

Kem Meyer's book Less Chaos. Less Noise. teaches churches to communicate more effectively. Here are some reflections on the book. More choices does not mean more engagement. Response: dial back the volume (42). App: Send less emails, texts, etc. Make more phone calls! User experience is by far the best "advertisement" (52). App: Make things an awesome experience. Build culture of…

Community Group Leader’s Toolbox

All Community Group Leaders have questions. But not all Group Leaders have the same questions. Rather than having to sit through training and hear answers to questions you're not asking, the Group Leader's Toolbox is a collection of resources that you can look through and find what's useful to you!  The Format Each resource answers a common (or…