When Daniel shows up in Babylon he’s sixteen and a stranger in a strange land. During his young life he had seen Judah in its worst of times. As early as he could remember he’d heard stories of God’s impending judgment coming to Judah. The threat of the Babylonians had been very real for the last several years and now they had sieged Jerusalem, fettered the king, and taken many precious articles from the temple of God. Not to mention they had taken he and many of his friends, young people of the aristocracy of Judah, captive to Babylon. The nightmare had become reality. Read More
I regularly have the opportunity to interface with different leaders in the body of Christ. I’m always interested to ask them what the Lord has been speaking to them. It’s very encouraging when I hear unrelated leaders from different streams of the Body of Christ doing the same things by the Spirit’s leading. Over the last six months I’ve noticed several movements that are clearly being emphasized by the Lord. Each of these movements seems to have the Holy Spirit’s wind on them. I think it’s important to identify them so we can pay attention and engage with what the Spirit is saying to the church in this hour. Read More
How bout I start with a little cold blooded honesty: Each one of these are mistakes I have made. And in some cases, still make. My goal with this blog is not to be negative or self-deprecating. Rather I just want to be helpful. Over the years, I’ve learned more about leadership from others honesty about their mistakes than just about anything. So here goes, in no particular order, 12 mistake I’ve made in leadership:
First, Biggest, Greatest…whenever a ministry is described by one of these terms I tend to take pause. Not because I don’t want kingdom ministries to be great. I do. Desperately. But what defines greatness in the kingdom is oftentimes far different from what people, even in the church, think of as great. Often people use superlatives because they desire for “their thing” to be great. They want to be distinguished above others. Unfortunately this is not a kingdom value. And the truth is there is not a kingdom ministry in the earth that is owned by it’s human leader. Everything in the kingdom is owned by God and as such it is His thing, not ours. Since He is the owner He gets to decide which ministries He wants to increase and which ones He wants to decrease. It’s His call, not ours. We’ve got to come to grips with the fact that in the kingdom, there are God-designed increases and God-designed decreases. Just consider John the Baptist, “He must increase, I MUST decrease.”
Leadership in ministry can be very taxing. I know firsthand the demands that ministry can put upon a leader. There is a physical, spiritual and emotional load those in leadership bare. As a result of ministry burnout many leaders end up out of ministry prematurely.
Evey leader experiences seasons of tiredness. The apostle Paul described himself as regularly weary and often going without sleep. Tiredness is normal, but ministry fatigue is dangerous. The reason I say fatigue is dangerous is because the step after fatigue is burn out.
Here’s a few identifiers and contributors to ministry fatigue. If these locate you, I encourage you, step back, get some R&R and allow the Lord to refresh your heart and vision.
I was 24 and had just started my first full-time ministry position. From my vantage point things were pretty difficult.
“I must be going through spiritual warfare.” I reasoned. I approached my pastor after a service to pray for me.
“Pastor, I need you to prayer for me. I think I’m under spiritual attack” I said.
“Oh really. Tell me about it. What’s going on?” He was genuinely interested and willing to help.
As I tried to explain the nature of the “attack”, I realized I couldn’t pinpoint anything specific. I touched on a few challenges, but nothing materialized as an obvious problem. He looked at me with understanding eyes. I fumbled and mumbled and finally summarized, “I’m not really sure, things are just harder than I expected. I’m not doing so well.” Read More
If you’ve been in church a little while, it’s likely you’ve been to a rough prayer meeting or two. What I mean by rough is a meeting that wasn’t exactly exhilarating; a meeting that you went away from more burdened than when you came. I’ve been to a few in my life. Ok, if I’m honest, I’ve led a few
. The Bible promises that we’ll be joyful in His presence. If that’s the case why are our prayer meetings at times so … boring? I’ve come to find that there are certain elements that can really help our prayer meetings become, dare I say it, enjoyable.
I wrote yesterday on critical components to establishing a specific culture in your church community. One component that is often overlooked is messaging. Many times leaders desire a certain culture, but their messaging actually inhibits the building of that culture. Leaders teach what they know. And so if they desire a certain culture beyond what they know it requires them to learn the messages that will build that culture. It can’t be an empty parroting, they must learn the messages at the heart level. A leader must be moved by the message himself, if he expects to move his hearers. Once he learns the messages, he can then declare them and begin to shift the culture. In developing a culture of prayer I have found several messages that are essential. I encourage you to give yourself to these messages until they move your heart and then begin to proclaim them in your community.
A great honor any leader has, especially a pioneering leader, is establishing the culture of a community. I remember in the early days of pioneering IHOP-Atlanta I was struck with the thought, “I don’t have to build anything I don’t want to build. God is giving me the opportunity to establish culture in our community in the way He leads. What a huge privilege!” From that time til now, developing and stewarding our culture has been a necessary, continual focus. I have found that ministry culture is a product of several components.
We stand at a critical juncture in our nation’s history. The light is getting brighter as the darkness is becoming darker. The greatest revival and the greatest crisis in human history are both soon to come. It is always darkest just before the dawn and so our hearts remain full of faith because know that a great awakening is soon to sweep across the nations. And though darkness is covering the earth, we look with eager anticipation to God’s promised outpouring on all flesh which will empower His people to bring the gospel to all nations. What a privilege it is to live in this awesome hour of history! (Acts 2:17-20, Mt 24:14)
Isa. 60:2 Behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.