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My wife had a creative way of motivating our children when they were young. - No, it was not capital punishment.  Our house was elaborately decorated with bright colored wall charts. Each contained smiley faces, check marks, smurf stickers or whatever inanimate creature du jour would motivate them to clean their rooms or take out the trash. It was a…

I always check the expiration date on the milk carton, which made it a sickening surprise when I drank the soured milk! I knew it was not polite, but my natural reflex overruled my etiquette. I like milk, but it has an expiration date. Technology is amazing, but every time I think I have the fastest computer or smartest phone,…

This past week two of my spiritual mentors died on the same day. I had the privilege of preaching one of their funeral services. One of them led me to Christ and taught me how to preach, the other taught me how to live a genuine Christian life. Both of these men’s influence will continue into eternity because of the…

We often define churches by their size, music quality, architecture or notoriety of the pastor. Elaborate facilities. Multiple staff members. A plethora of programs. Is this how we define church? Is it about all of these things? The answer can be “yes” and “maybe,” if these things are contributing to the main thing. The main thing is not bringing a…

Meeting people with a passion for student ministry energizes me. Knowing they understand the struggles of youth work while maintaining a long-range vision for the rewards of their investment is refreshing. I enjoy late night talks, Starbucks coffee breaks, discussions after a conference seminar - or anywhere else I can connect with student leaders. I always come away challenged to…

“I don’t actually trust you” are strong and offensive words. None of us like to hear someone has doubts about our abilities or even worse our character. We like to think of ourselves as people in whom others can place their confidence. Leadership is a trust relationship which goes both ways. In a future post I will address how subordinates…

Both commitment and excitement are necessary for any new beginning. However, a “Point of Decision” must accompany every project, exercise routine, diet, business venture, spiritual discipline, or ministry. A time of distinguishing between those who are committed and those simply caught up in the excitement of something new. We see Jesus delivering a “Point of Decision” discipleship message in Luke…

Once upon a time there was ONE leader who simply wanted to make a difference in the world. He had no illusion that he could do it alone and wanted to build a team. Guided by biblical principles he practiced biblical discipleship as he ministered to men. He frequently experienced failure and frustration discovering not everyone was willing to “count…

I was only twenty-one years old as I stood reading a copy of the letter from my Executive Director. It was addressed to one of the key supporters of our ministry whom he wanted me to visit. Reading the last line I said to my wife, “I’m not going on this trip. I’m afraid I will not live up to…

If you have a younger sibling then you have probably heard these words, “You are not the boss of me!”  Your intention was to give good counsel or protect your little brother or sister from pain but instead you were accused of being bossy. You had to discover creative ways to lead them without them thinking you were the “boss.”…

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