Category Archives: Leadership

Dealing with Rejection in Ministry and Leadership

I’ve heard it from Pastors on five continents. The pain of rejection in ministry and leadership stings and can exact a high price from our leadership and from our lives. What does it look like?

  • The nagging memory of a harsh critic of your preaching, ideas, family, etc.
  • The pain of trusted people blowing off as unimportant the things that you have worked hard on to grow the church.
  • The people you trusted as friends that leave your church for another in town, and with or without knowing it, exact a feeling of rejection in you.
  • The weight of expectations placed on you and your family, that could not be carried by even the Apostle Paul.

Now, not every critic or questioned plan or person that leaves or expectation on us as leaders is wrong or without reason. I’ve learned, that most of the time, these can be great blessings and can lead us to personal growth. But whether done in love or in wisdom or whether it proves to be an eventual blessing, the actions or words of those we lead can stab a sharp pain into our hearts and minds. A sense of rejection.

The danger is that we began to see everything through the lens of those actions, or words, or the real failures in our ministry. Our movement forward in Christ and as leaders in his body can slow or cease. We can began to expect rejection when the phone rings (“they’re calling to tell me that they’re leaving the church”) or when people walk in to the office (“they’re here to tell me that they’ve got a problem with something”), robbing us from intimacy in relationships and influence with others. The rejection of others can take on a louder voice than the acceptance of God and of the call He has placed on our lives.

I’ve heard rejection’s voice and it has kept me from:

  •  Building relationships with others as I’ve feared their eventual disappointment in me.
  • Fully sharing the Gospel because of uncertainty about the persons response.
  • Dealing with heart issues, as the pain of rejection in the past becomes a sore scab that I want no one to touch.
  • Taking risk for the kingdom that requires confidence in God’s call and power.
  • Not being able to give love and acceptance to others, who are desperately looking for it, because love and acceptance are not finding a home in my heart and mind.

In worst cases, pastors leave the ministry with deep pain; pastors kids grow up hating the church; the pastors wife feels isolated and alone; the pastors home becomes a cold place because rejection’s voice hardens the heart of everyone inside. Don Wilton once said, “In a room full of pastors, there’s a broken heart on every row.”  How do we get free from this nagging voice and painful aspect of leadership and ministry?

Moving Past Rejection in Ministry:

1. Expect Rejection

Disciples are promised throughout the New Testament that they will be hated, persecuted, crushed, abandoned, alone. Jesus said we would be like sheep among wolves. It’s never promised that ministry would be easy. Facing rejection and criticism is a hazard of the calling. To be called to ministry is to be called to rejection. Deny yourself, prepare to turn the other cheek, to forgive, to keep moving forward. When you expect something, you can brace for its impact. How do we prepare and brace for rejection?

Matthew 10:22; 24:9; John 15:18; 16:33; Acts 14:22; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 John 3:13

2. Live Accepted

Embrace God’s acceptance of you in Christ EVERYDAY. The only acceptance that matters, is the fact that God in Christ has accepted you into his family and thought you worthy to carry His gospel to others. In Christ, you don’t have to fight for acceptance, you fight FROM acceptance. You don’t work for God’s approval, you work FROM God’s approval. You don’t strive for victory over pain, you strive FROM a place of victory in Christ for all eternity. Embrace and remind yourself regularly that God’s love is not BASED on my performance or the opinions of others, it PLACED on me by an all-knowing, loving Father. I am accepted, loved, blessed by God, no matter what happens around me. People may reject us and set us aside as unimportant, but God accepts us and sets us apart for relationship and ministry in his kingdom.

John 6:37; Romans 15:7; Ephesians 1:3-6; Colossians 1:13; 21-22

3. Put your trust in a Faithful God

God is faithful. People are fickle. So, the main voice we listen to must be the voice of God. He doesn’t change his mind about you. His word is forever fixed in heaven. The same cannot be said for any human being, me included. We are fickle. I pray that you have many faithful friends in ministry that stick by you no matter what. But if not, you can count on God’s sovereign faithfulness to comfort you and empower you until the day you die. And for every John (the disciple Jesus loved), there will probably be a Judas, whose actions feel like betrayal. Keep your eyes on Jesus and your trust in God to live free from the pain of rejection.

Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 91:4-6; Lamentations 3:22-23; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; 2 Timothy 2:13; Hebrews 10:23; 1 Peter 4:19.

4. Forgive Quickly

Forgiveness is a vital tool for ministry leaders. We can internalize so many slights, offenses, grievances. And the pain of these WILL spill out into your leadership. Jesus modeled for us the radical forgiveness that God desires for us, when even on the cross as he was brutally and unjustly slaughtered, he sought the forgiveness of those who rejected him in the most vile and painful way possible. Forgiveness is the path of freedom. In forgiveness, we find freedom to continue to risk, to serve, to love and accept others. Without it, the slights and criticisms and actions of others become a burden we bear to the detriment of fruitful ministry. Decide right now, that you will forgive when offended. Ask God for thick skin and a merciful heart. Remembering always, how much we’ve been forgiven and how much mercy God has richly bestowed on us.

Matthew 5:7; 6:14-15; 18:33; Mark 11:25; Colossians 3:13; James 2:13

5. Don’t Walk Alone

“Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed” James 5:16. Find a trusted friend in ministry or two that you can process the pain of rejection with. This pain is known by almost every leader I know. There are understanding fellow travelers along this road that can help you heal through opening up the wounds and allowing the encouragement of friendship to refresh your spirit. Don’t believe the lie that you’re alone in these thoughts and feelings. Open up to a companion in ministry. And encourage your wife to do the same.

Romans 12:10; Hebrews 3:13; 10:24-25; 13:1; James 5:16

The fear of rejection is counterproductive

Allowing rejection to hold you back is so counterproductive. It will cause you as a leader to take less risk, build fewer relationships, bear less fruit, lead to more slow progress for the mission of your church. This paralysis will likely lead to more apparent rejection in your ministry as people sense a lack of vision and leadership from you. Move past it through reminding yourself of God’s acceptance, trusting in God’s faithfulness, forgiving those who have rejected you quickly, and talking it through with faithful friends. You don’t have to be stuck and unfruitful any longer.

There is too much at stake to allow the rejection of a few to keep you from pursuing the high call of God to reach the world. Break free from the fear and the pain of rejection.

How else have you dealt with the pain of rejection in relationships and leadership? Email me if I can help in any way.

When Criticism Comes… Part 2

Every leader deals with criticism. It often comes at the wrong time, in the wrong way, from the wrong person, for the wrong reason (see Part 1). David gives us a Biblical pattern for handling criticism in the ancient story of his feud with his son Absalom. A man named Shimei took the opportunity of David’s misfortune to heap abuse upon him in a public way. What David did, I pray that I can do as well, WHEN, not if, criticism comes my way.

When Criticism comes, exercise SELF CONTROL (2 Samuel 16:9-10).

When Shimei criticized David, his friend Abishai was ready with a solution, “Let me go over and remove his head!” 2 Samuel 16:9. Don’t we all want a friend like Abishai! David dismissed this rash reaction and demonstrated self-control instead. Abishai’s solution may have been within his power and maybe even his right, but it would have been sinful before God and would have added more guilt and emotional baggage to his already heavy burden. That’s always what rash reactions that lack self-control will produce. Self-control always trumps retaliation and hostility. Proverbs 16:32 says, “Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.”

When Criticism comes, think deeply about the SOURCE and SUBSTANCE (2 Samuel 16:10).

David did not automatically demonize Shimei, but considered that God might be using him in some way. He ask in a sense, “Was God trying to tell me something through this hostile Benjamite?” In listening to critics, we must take time and in wisdom consider any truth in the message so that we can learn and grow and adjust in our leadership. Doing this toward a harsh critic will demonstrate our patience and desire for growth to everyone around us. Proverbs 15:31 says, “If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.”  

When Criticism comes, do not get DISTRACTED from your purpose (2 Samuel 16:11).

David’s primary concern was not Shimei, but Absalom. In verse 11, he reminds his men of the real danger, “My son… is trying to take my life…!” David’s main objective was to get himself and his company to safety. He did not allow this criticism to distract him in this moment.

Criticism has the power to knock us off course. The best defense system against criticisms distracting power is a sure sense of God’s calling and confidence of your place in His mission.

When Criticism comes, TRUST GOD to bring good out of the situation (2 Samuel 16:12).

David demonstrated that his trust was in God to hear and respond by bringing good out of the hostility of Shimei and Absalom. He did not assume it to be so, but he put his hope in God’s goodness. This hope gave him the strength and desire to absorb the criticism and carry on with his mission.

Whether it be a hostile critic, the darkness of a sick loved one, the death of a family member, or an unfulfilled dream; we can know that God is always there and that he will at some point, in this life or the next, bring good out of the cursing (Romans 8:28).

Jesus himself exemplified this kind of self-control and trust in God as he faced a hostile crowd that hurled more than just words at him. 1 Peter 2:23 – “when he was insulted, he did not insult in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.” 

Criticism is part of leadership. Our response can make it a foe that creates greater conflict, distracts us, keeps us discouraged; or a friend that makes us stronger, more dependent on God, and an example of Christ-likeness to the world.

“there arose a complaint” Acts 6:1

complaintFor most leaders, including me, that moment when a complaint or criticism arises is like a cloud moving in and potential storm rising. Many church leaders have post-traumatic stress that paralyze us whenever complaints and criticism arise. While complaining is condemned in scripture (1 Corinthians 10:10; Philippians 2:14-15; 1 Peter 4:9) and many complaints are selfish and from power seeking, disgruntled, hurting people; leaders must learn to see the opportunity in every complaint. That’s what the early church did in Acts 6. When “there arose a complaint,” they mobilized people to meet the legitimate need. The result was “the word of God spread”! Conflict is inevitable in relationships, on teams, and in churches. Don’t miss the opportunity!  

  • Mobilize gifted people to meet the legitimate needs that complaints may reveal.
  • Sharpen the mission of sharing with your community through re-prioritizing ministry resources and gifts.
  • Make room for new people that God will add as more people are mobilized for ministry and more needs are met.
  • Correct, rebuke, teach, and train if complaints reveal prideful, competitive, divisive spirits in the church. 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 2:15
  • Say goodbye gracefully to disgruntled, negative influences that refuse to work for unity and solutions and may hold back the mission of the church. Romans 16:17; Titus 3:10.  It’s not about who you keep, but who you reach.
  • Be thick skinned. Listen to criticism. Learn from it. Don’t get distracted from the mission of spreading the message of Jesus. Proverbs 15:31-32
  • Don’t try to do everything or feel like you must answer everyone’s complaints or try to make everyone happy. Gospel first – Acts 6:2. A clear conscience before God is our first responsibility – Acts 24:16.

When Criticism Comes… Part 1

Criticism is a reality for leaders. “The only way to avoid criticism is to say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing.” If you want to say or do or be something, you will be criticized. Your response to criticism will determine much about your character and trajectory in leadership. Christ-like leaders respond to criticism with self-control, trust in God, and humility.

A favorite story of mine in relation to this is the saga of David, when being challenged by his son Absalom in 2 Samuel 16:5-12. David vacated the palace because of the threat his own son posed and on his way out he faced a loud critic named Shimei. Here’s a few truths about criticism from this ancient story:

Criticism will often come at the WRONG TIME.

David had been in the midst of family crisis. His son Absalom had conspired against him and turned the popularity polls in his favor. David’s heart was broken due to his son’s rebellion. The last thing he needed was an angry critic hurling abusive words and stones at him.

We should not expect criticism at times when we are ready and waiting for it but instead it will come when we need it the least. Personal and family crisis often provide opportunity for critics to react and people to lose confidence in you as a leader, making criticism more probable, not less.

Criticism will often come in the WRONG WAY.

The public nature of Shimei’s criticism added to David’s current humiliation before his men and family. They were seeing their commander in chief, the warrior king, run away from a fight with an inferior power in Absalom. Now he was facing and shrinking away from the false accusations of a hostile farmer.

Public criticism is most harmful to our reputation as leaders. A critics words will often come in a way that is least beneficial. Most critics will not follow the Biblical pattern of Matthew 18:15-19. The way in which we respond may be the only way that will save our reputation as leaders.

Criticism will often come from the WRONG PEOPLE.

Shimei was a commoner from the tribe of Benjamin. He did not know David personally, nor did he have all the facts concerning David’s current situation. He had no authority to accuse the king. He was only responding emotionally to the opportunity that David’s misfortune provided. He was probably a lifetime critic of David and the truth would not have persuaded him to stop.

There are many people that are divisive at heart and are always looking for an opportunity to criticize and complain. Like the critics that stood shouting, “It will never start! It will never start!” when Robert Fulton was unveiling his new invention the Steamboat. When it started, they regrouped quickly and started yelling, “It will never stop! It will never stop!”

Criticism will often come for the WRONG REASON.

The accusation of Shimei had little basis in fact. He was accusing David of being a murderer of the household of Saul. Most commentators believe that Shimei was referring to the deaths of Abner (2 Samuel 3:31-39) and Ishbosheth (2 Samuel 4:5-12). It is also not impossible that the deaths of Saul and Jonathan were in his mind since at that time David had been a Philistine ally. However, David had no part in any of these deaths. In fact, he greatly mourned each of them and he even punished those who were responsible.

While some criticism we receive will be  true, we must be prepared to face those critics who do not have the whole story or know what you know as a leader. Criticism from those who love us and want what’s best for us and the organization will be recognizable and stand out as something to receive with humility. Undeserved criticism will sting, but must not derail us from our mission.

In part 2, we’ll see how David responded in 2 Samuel 16:9-12.

Pastoral Care in Growing Churches

For a church to break growth barriers, systems must be created to help maximize the giftedness of the people for the good of the community and the church. One of the areas that often becomes an issue as a church begins to grow and age is Pastoral Care. How does this happen?

  • May be that the pastor takes all the weight upon himself and starts down the road to burnout stifling his leadership and the growth of the church,
  • May be resentment and criticism began to divide because of the elusive ENOUGH – “the church isn’t doing enough for me.”
  • May be there’s an Acts 6 moment where the church realizes that needs are being unmet, like those of the Helenistic Jewish widows in the story of the first New Testament church (Act 6:1-7).

Eventually, the need to systematize and scale pastoral care will become apparent in a congregation.

The Question is: Who is Responsible for Pastoral Care in the Church?

Here’s how my church has answered this important question:

1. The Body of Christ

We are actually all responsible to care for one another – See Philippians 2:3-4, Galatians 6:1-2. We are to be looking out for the needs of each other as members of a church. Churches should seek to have a culture of compassion and care that leads people to look beyond themselves to the needs of others.

I asked a pastor of a fast-growing church, how he scales pastoral care. He said, almost every week, I tell people to turn to the person next to them and say, “It’s not about me.”

2. Small Groups

Small Groups are a great place to foster compassion and care. The Small Group ministry is a household to household ministry. In smaller groups, the needs of individuals can be more easily identified than on Sunday mornings. Churches should teach small group leaders that they are shepherd/pastors to their group and the first place for care.

3. Pastors / Elders

The Bible also calls godly pastors / elders to the task of pastoral care – 1 Peter 5:2, Acts 20:28. Their care was to be more oversight though. It was these that appointed Stephen to care for the individual needs of widows. Their pastoral care role should be more in the refuting, holding accountable, prayer, and teaching/preaching. Most pastors want to be involved in every pastoral care case, but they can’t always in growing churches. Churches must recognize their equipping role and not set the expectation that they be the sole proprietor of care for everyone. 

4. The Cares Team

A best practice in growing churches is to equip a team to be a part of pastoral care in the church. This is a recognition that the pastor can’t do it all and that God is equipping members of His body to be shepherds along side the pastor of the church. Much of the task of pastoral care is administrative. Others can and should take on some of the roles of setting up meals, scheduling visits, visiting the hospitals, ordering flowers, even sharing at funerals, praying with people, etc., etc. Find a way to identify and equip the churches shepherds for the work of ministry.

5. Outside Support

What happens when pastoral care needs are beyond the scope of the churches care? Churches should recognize the support they have outside of their own body. Other churches may have ministries that could help. There are solid Christian counselors in every community that would love to be available to individuals or the church at large.

How does your church scale pastoral care? What would you add to this list?

Bridge Cares Team Google Docs

Keys to Developing Leaders: Develop Trust, Observe Obedience and Faithfulness

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Wade Burnett (Left) with Multisite Solutions interviews Chad Merrell (Center) and Clay Fuqua (Right) at our most recent Multisite Roundtable.

Got to know two of our incredible Louisiana Multisite Campus Pastors a little better at this year’s North Louisiana Multi-site Roundtable. Wade Burnett, with Multisite solutions interviewed Clay Fuqua and Chad Merrell as part of the event. Interesting enough, neither came from a ministry background. Love these stories of ministry trajectory:

Clay Fuqua started a successful restaurant >> went on an overseas mission trip and became passionate about evangelism >> began a mentoring relationship with his pastor Philip Robertson >> began teaching on Wednesday nights and bivocationally at other churches >> Now, he’s leading a very successful multisite campus of Philadelphia Baptist in Alexandria, LA.

Chad Merrell was raised in a pastors home, but committed himself to NOT go into ministry >> started a career in management in the chicken industry, which brought he and his family to Louisiana >> began attending First Baptist West Monroe >> began a relationship with the pastor and other key staff in the church >> began leading a Small Group >> began leading the churches Celebrate Recovery ministry >> Now, he’s leading a very successful multisite campus of First West in Sterlington, LA.

I love the trajectory of ministry engagement that these men took. Common denominators are mentoring type relationships with their pastors and faithful ministry service in their churches for years. Trust developed, faithfulness and obedience observed.

Wade Burnett says that 87% of Multisite Campus Pastors are hired from within the church. This trajectory will no doubt become more and more common. So, if you’re looking for leaders, look around. Who’s growing in their faithfulness, passion for ministry, and mutual trust. Equip and release!

Time Management and Church Planting

CalendarBibleThe number one answer to the question, “What is the current greatest challenge in your life and ministry?” on our Louisiana church planting growth reports is some version of Time Management. Everyone seems to struggle with time these days, but church planters deal with the added pressures of usually a second or third job, young children at home, clock ticking on outside funding, little to no administrative assistance, continuing education demands, etc., etc. A few thoughts from my failures of time management as a church planter and small church leader:

1. Learn the discipline of turning it off and going home.

The last two church plants I’ve been a part of, centered ministry around our home. The church office, the church phone, the church leadership meetings, the church supplies were all based at my address for the first 12-18 months. This made it extremely hard for me to ever turn off work. Coupled with the fact that it is never all done in ministry. Two ideas I had to get used to: 1) I will not get it all done everyday. 2) To be effective tomorrow, I need to turn it off and do something else today. The quicker you’re OK with these two ideas, the better off you and your family will be.

2. Develop a weekly schedule and stick to it.

Young pastors and church planters get in trouble with time management issues many times because we fail to create the accountability of a weekly rhythm and schedule. THIS STRUGGLE IS REAL!!! A friend of mine in ministry likes to say, “Winging it is not a good strategy.” But many of us wing it when it comes to our weekly rhythms. Your schedule should have flexibility in it because much great ministry happens in the interruptions and spontaneous opportunities, but creating a basic framework for time spent is a necessity. If you start this early, as you add staff and expectations of a growing congregation, you will be better prepared to say no and yes to added responsibilities and interruptions. It will also be beneficial for staff and congregation to know when they can expect to find an open door to your office and when they can call you without interrupting something important. A schedule will also help you make sure you are balancing your time with planting / pastoring priorities – i.e. Evangelism, Discipleship, Leadership Development, Community Engagement, etc.

3. Develop a system for To Do’s, Daily Scheduling, and Keeping up with Contacts.

Whether its Outlook, iCal, Google Cal, Google Docs, an old school Planner system, develop some tools that you can use in keeping the to do’s, appointments, and contacts handy at all times. And the technology out there is amazing in regards to personal productivity. Develop something that works for you and utilize it.

I’ve started accounts with so many different task management and scheduling services online that I’ve lost count. I finally developed my own tool that I print out and fill out each morning or the night before and return to throughout the day. Check it out HERE.

To Do_s Editable Google DocsIt’s to do’s, appointments on one page. On the back I list contacts throughout the day, with the goal of 20 contacts everyday, which is important to my work and a challenge for my introverted self. This helps me stay organized and focused and goal oriented throughout the day. (An editable Google Doc is HERE. Or Download a Word Doc Here – To Do_s – Editable – to create your own).

 

What do you use to keep organized and focused? What works well for you in time management? What tips and lessons learned can you share?

Next week I’ll share some lessons learned on managing preaching as a bivocational planter.

Multiplication Requires Apostolic Networking

tracks01Multiplying leaders are masters at establishing new relational tracks for the Gospel to run on. Let’s call this Apostolic Networking. When Paul got to Rome, he was a little surprised that they already knew of him and his work, because of the relational tracks he’d developed had beat him there. The multiplying leader is a natural at networking for the good of the Gospel and for others. You will hear of their influence and impact from a wide spectrum of people and usually always in reference to the Gospel or for your good.

  • From an unchurched person, “___ told me about your church.”
  • From a leader you meet, “___ helped me understand…”
  • From a potential partner, “____ told me you were doing a great job.”

And your reply will always be, “You know ___! How do you know him/her!”

  • Church planters would do well to get to know the multiplying leaders in your area. They can open up doors that you won’t believe. Every community has them.
  • Pastors and church leaders should look for and empower those in your congregation who are apostolic networkers. They’ll gladly introduce your church to the entire community in less than a year.
  • Church planters should work at the art and science of networking for greater influence. If you’re not apostolic in nature (see the APEST test to find out), no problem, start by taking risk in new relationships, asking lots of questions, remembering names, following up with people you meet, look for opportunities to serve.

Read more about the apostolic gifting and church leadership in my post Creating Sending Capacity: Make Room for the Apostles (with a little “a”).

We’re Not Done When We Make Converts, Our Mission is Maturity

 

The 2017 Generate Conference is a wrap. This years host and showcase church was North Monroe Baptist. Grateful to Pastor Bill Dye and staff for the generosity and hospitality. The Generate Conference is designed to help church planters in years 3 to 10 to get beyond growth barriers and leadership hurdles. Pastors and leaders in churches from >50 to <500 have also attended and took away actionable steps. With the Generate Conference we highlight the work of several Louisiana churches that have found ways to grow and break growth barriers in our unique context. Shawn Lovejoy, with Courage to Lead and Kirk Jones, Fellowship Church in Prairieville, also served as equippers this year, along with North Monroe’s staff. Here’s a few of my big takeaways this year:

From Bill Dye:

  • You can’t be a great pastoral leader without having the heart of Jesus.
  • Find a way to use new people. They are the best volunteers because they’ve bought in to the vision. Don’t wait to put them on ministry teams.
  • Only person who likes change is a wet baby. Don’t attempt any substantial change until you’ve done at least one year of vision casting.
  • Be willing to ignore and work around difficult people. Are you trying to win a fight or win the world for Christ.
  • Let the quality of your work speak for itself. When you do tough things in a spirit of humility, your stock goes up with the right people.
  • We’re not done when we make converts. Our mission is maturity.
  • Church staff are not ministers, but administrators of ministry. We don’t pay people to minister. Everybody ministers.

From Shawn Lovejoy:

  • The Three Gears of Growth: Culture – Team – Systems
  • Growth depends not on your preaching ability but the ability to let go of control and build a great team.
  • Decisions must be made based on who we might reach instead of who might leave.
  • If you have the right culture and the right team, almost any system will work.
  • You have to be the culture you want to build. We reproduce who we are.
  • Behaviors of a High Performing Team: They Trust Each Other, They Engage in Healthy Conflict, They Commit to Decisions and Plans of Actions, They Focus on Collective, not Individual Results.
  • Four things we owe our leaders: Clarity, Grace, Honesty, and Proper Placement.
  • God will not bring you more followers than you have leaders.
  • A learning church is a growing church. A learning leader is a growing leader.
  • Church staff is to be the equippers, not to do ministry, but to develop ministers.

Other presenters were: Jacob Crawford, Life Point Mansura; Chad Merrell, First West Fairbanks; Jason McGuffie, FBC Tallulah.

Look forward to highlighting other growing churches and leaders in 2018. Lots to learn from those right around us.

 

Developing and Deploying Leaders for the Glory of God

designtoleadDidn’t get to attend the Pipeline Conference last year, but have wore out a highlighter going through the feature book by Eric Geiger and Kevin Peck called Designed to Lead: The Church and Leadership Development. The thesis of the book is that the church should be a great catalyst of developing leaders in every sphere of life. Geiger and Peck lay out the theological case for leadership development in the church and also make practical steps to get started very accessible for churches of every size. Exposed is our lack of true leadership development in the church and our dependence on a professional class instead of God’s power through God’s people with clergy being equippers. Must read for church planters who must multiply leaders and set a course for maximum impact for years to come. Here are ten of my favorite quotes from Designed to Lead:

  • The Church is uniquely set apart to develop and deploy leaders for the glory of God and the advancement of the gospel.
  • The full extent of discipleship is the development of disciples who are able to lead and develop others, not merely people who gather for worship once a week.
  • True leaders are servants who die to themselves so others may flourish.
  • The Christian life is not about trying daily, but dying daily.
  • The Church has been designed to possess a holy rhythm of gathering people to scatter that more may be gathered.
  • It is not first the work of our hands that pleases the Lord, but the condition of our hearts.
  • The Church is not a Christian club, weekly group counseling session, or weekend pick-me-up. Your local church is the beautiful bridge of King Jesus!
  • People will follow your example before they follow your vision.
  • Church leaders must confidently invite people to serve, knowing that the opportunities to serve provide moments where development occurs.
  • Our churches don’t need spiritual travel agents who promote journeys they don’t take. We need tour guides who set a wise direction, take the journey with the people, and live all that they are inviting the people to live. 

A few more posts coming from this book in coming weeks. More info and some resources on the book at DesignedtoLead.com. Also, check out and follow Eric Geiger’s Blog for other great leadership resources.

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