Tuesday, May 29, 2012


If there's anything that the life of Christ teaches us as leaders it's that it is just as important to dis-engage as it is to engage.  

Christ made it a habit to withdraw to quiet places to pray, to still His soul before the Father and catch His breath away from the crowd.  If the Son of God needed that time, how much more do we?  That's why once a year I intentionally disengage from ministry.  

Each summer I take a week and a half to be with my family and another week or so for a study break.  The latter requires me to be away from the office but allows me to be praying, reading, reflecting and strategizing for the ministry year ahead.  You'll note that "emailing" isn't anywhere on the list... 

During my break I also pray for our church very specifically.  Weeks before I leave I ask everyone at Northeast to give me one thing that I can pray for them while I am away.  By the time I leave on break I have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of cards with requests to go through.  Slightly overwhelming?  Yes.  Life changing and focusing for my ministry during the year ahead?  You betcha.

Key to this time for me is a rhythm I am trying to adopt given to me by a leadership voice in my life here in San Antonio.  His mantra to senior pastors - and the mantra adopted by our denomination - is simply this:
Divert - Daily
Withdraw - Weekly
Maintain - Monthly
Abandon - Annually
What does that mean?  It means that each day you must divert to spend time alone with the Father - I do this first thing in the morning (or I find it just won't happen).  Each week you must withdraw long enough to be sure you are doing what you need to be doing and what only you can do within your organization.  Each month you need to stop for maintenance.  Some pastors take a day each month to read, reflect, evaluate and pray.  I don't do this one as well but I'm learning.  And lastly, each year you need to abandon it all for an extended time away with family and with God. 

As a leader you have to have a rhythm in your ministry and you must be sure to disengage with some kind of regularity... your health, your marriage, your family, your sanity, they all depend on your ability to do this and do it well.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Across the Spectrum

I recently pulled my copy of Across the Spectrum down from the shelf and dusted it off to revisit a topic I'm teaching on... in doing so I was reminded how much I enjoyed the book.

If you are looking to expand your understanding of evangelical theology and current theological issues while exposing yourself to both sides of the issue(s) then I strongly encourage you to grab a copy.  Across the Spectrum offers short essays on both sides of current evangelical issues including Inspiration, Salvation, Eternal Security, Gifts and even Women in Ministry and evaluates the arguments with great fairness and a good Biblical perspective.

Across the Spectrum is a great read for those wanting to think through all sides of the argument.  If you are looking for someone to simply tell you what to believe, this isn't the book for you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Re-Thinking My Blog

Yes, my blogging has been atrocious lately.  Yes, I am being kind by using the word 'lately.'  

Truth is, I'm reconsidering the purpose and point of this space.  With the little time I get to sit and reflect these days, what is the best use for those few words I am actually able to produce?  Maintaining a space for random reflections no longer seems worth-while.

So I'm re-thinking my blog.  I have no come to no hard and fast conclusions as of yet, but I tend to think it will morph slowly towards a more focused leadership tool to further the ministry of Northeast and encourage young leaders.

In the mean time, I'm sure I will continue to post randomly once a quarter... which, according to my blog archives, seems to be how often I have a half-way decent thought.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How Did I Miss This Guy?

I don't normally post stuff like this but...  As a public speaker I have no idea how I missed this guy - or why this video doesn't have more hits.  

Take a look:

I'm ready for Sunday!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Develop People, Change the World

I was reminded today that central to my work is developing people.  At the heart of the mission that Christ left us with is people development.  Call it spiritual transformation, discipleship, whatever you wish based on your context but at the end of the day the role of the church and the role of the pastor boils down to leading and developing people.

Robert Gross, former president of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, once shared with his supervisors, “It’s one thing to build a product; it’s another thing to build a company, because companies are nothing but men, and the things that come out of them are no better than the people themselves.  We do not build automobiles, airplanes, refrigerators, radios, or shoestrings.  We build men.  The men build the product.”
Our job is to develop people. Disciples. Leaders. Incarnate Jesus-replica's. If we do that, we change the world. 

But if at the end of the day we don't change people, we change nothing.