Like a Child

“Professionalism has nothing to do with the essence and heart of the Christian ministry. The more professional we long to be, the more spiritual death we will leave in our wake. For there is no professional childlikeness (Matt. 18: 3); there is no professional tenderheartedness (Eph. 4: 32); there is no professional panting after God… Read more »

Authority and the Young Leader

These are some helpful thoughts for young leaders.  I wish I learned some of these lessons earlier.  Some of these lessons I am still learning. Integrity is your greatest asset. You cannot magically create ministry experience that will convince older generations that you can be savvy at deacons’ meetings and sensitive at a deathbed. But… Read more »

The Sound of Worship

One sleepless night wandering the internet, I came across one of the most amazing worship videos. It was one of the latest live recordings from Hillsong capturing a massive stadium filled with thousands of people going absolutely all-out in worshiping God. It must have been utterly overwhelming to witness. Part of me longed for a… Read more »

Today’s youth: “Give me something to fight for!”

  As I write this the KONY 2012 video is about to break 72 million views.   By now you know the story of Invisible Children’s campaign and the passion of people who support it and the detractors who discredit the movement. Whether we condone it or reject it, few can deny what this that this… Read more »

Dave Gibbons, "Church Misfit"

Dave Gibbons, the lead pastor at Newsong church in Irvine, CA, is someone I admire because he is doing it right.  Not because he has a huge mega-church.  Not because he is famous or on magazine covers.  Not because he is edgy or radical.  But because he is building a church that serves Jesus. “In… Read more »

My Interview with MC Jin

I’ve been following MC Jin for years now, and with the recent changes in his life, I though I would try to contact him. To my surprise, he got my email was gracious enough to write back. As you may know, MC Jin rose to fame by winning on BET’s 106 & Park’s “Freestyle Friday”… Read more »

Stop Trying to be a Success

Consciously or subconsciously, pastors and other ministry leaders often fall into the trap of trying to define ourselves through accomplishments.  Even if we don’t express it outwardly, our hearts can easily begin to focus on unimportant measures such as numbers, attention, or even financial abundance. These thoughts by Pastor Steven Furtick reminded me of a… Read more »

Phil Jackson on Leadership

I came across this great leadership insight from a Bill Simmon’s reflections on a personal interview with basketball coach Phil Jackson who has won 11 NBA championship titles and coached greats such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Steve Kerr told me once that what made Jackson special – and Popovich too – was that… Read more »

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The faith of Soul Surfer

A few months ago, I was invited to a special pastor’s screening of the new faith based film, Soul Surfer, based on the life of Bethany Hamilton, a Christian teenager surfing champ whose life was dramatically changed by a shark attack. Like many Christian movies today, it arrived with heavy marketing to churches and leaders…. Read more »

Finding Real Vacation

As the summer draws near, here are some helpful thoughts from John Eldredge (author of great books Wild at Heart and Walking with God). First, we really need vacations, just as we really need Sabbath rest each week. There’s a rhythm to life. The heart beats, then it rests. It beats, then rests. We wake… Read more »

  • Europe Missions Trip

    For the last 7 years or so, I have had the opportunity to partner with Chinese Overseas Christian Mission (COCM) to serve with the second generation British-born Chinese. This February, I was invited to speak at PHAT Leadership Training Camp, a retreat for leaders in Milton Keynes, UK. The retreat was about 70 youth from… Read more »

  • Things I Can Live With (And one I can’t)

    If they come, decide it’s not for them, and leave, let them say: I wasn’t a good enough speaker, that I wasn’t dynamic enough or conversational enough, that I wasn’t cool enough, that I wasn’t as engaging as the guy down the street, that my shirt didn’t match my socks, that I wasn’t wearing socks…. Read more »

  • The Word Visualized

    This might be an interesting way to analyze overarching themes in large texts. This is taken from the first chapter John. Created with Wordle.

  • Growth or Comfort?

    “The decision to grow always involves a choice between risk and comfort. This means that to be a follower of Jesus you must renounce comfort as the ultimate value of your life.” – John Ortberg

  • What we can learn from Jon & Kate plus Eight

    My wife and I started watching Jon and Kate about a year ago and got hooked.  The kids are simply too adorable.  We watched together the other night as the news broke about the divorce.  As much as reality TV often presents a distorted view of the world, we sadly found that the family’s troubles… Read more »

  • Top 100 Bible Verses recently compiled the 100 most searched for verses from their website. This would make a great memory verse challenge. 1. John 3:16: For God so loved theworld that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 2. Jer 29:11: For I know the… Read more »

  • "But By the Holy Spirit" – Francis Chan

    I was just blown away by this message from Francis Chan from Catalyst West, posted by Brett Crimmell in twitterized note form. An excerpt: I had it out probably a year ago speaking at a Youth Specialties thing 4:30 in the morning crying because my oldest daughter was in Junior High need I say more?… Read more »

  • Best Retreat Ever

    SCL’s solution to lame men’s retreats: I can’t think of a single situation that wouldn’t be improved by having Mr. T. there. From weddings and parties to your wife giving birth to your child, there’s no time that is inappropriate for Mr. T to be around. Part of the gospel is realizing you are a… Read more »

  • Reflections on Easter

    “Simplify, simplify.” – Henry David Thoreau This past Easter season has been a refreshing time for me. God has been stripping away distractions that I thought I needed and replacing them with greater opportunities to know Him and serve him. Too often I have allowed unimportant things to pull me away from the simplicity of… Read more »

  • Contemplative Youth Ministry

    This is one of the best books I’ve read in the past year about youth ministry. Mark Yaconelli (son of the famous youth worker Mike Yaconelli) presents a fresh perspective on youth ministry that focuses on helping kids engage with God through our presence rather than simply words and activity. From the book description: Youth… Read more »