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Unleash the God-given voice of your people
Posted on: Tuesday September 19, 2023

In over four decades of leadership, I've come to the conclusion that one of the biggest gaps in our leadership training comes down to one essential skill...

Creating safety where everyone around you feels empowered to communicate clearly and honestly.

Without this skill, church teams remain silenced - unable to speak truth and creating the conditions for an environment of frustration, resentment, and judgement.

On today's podcast, I'm joined by my wife Geri, as we explore the first of 8 essential relationship skills that every leader must adopt in order to unleash the God-given voice of our people.

We'll model a powerful skill called "Community Temperature Reading" and talk about how it applies to real life leadership scenarios.

Imagine leading a church where every staff, leader, and volunteer knows how to communicate clearly. Imagine a culture, where everyone feels safe to tell the truth and has the skills needed to do so. Imagine the unity that is possible when every voice is heard.

Take a listen to today's podcast.

Archives:
Tuesday September 05, 2023
Could you forgive someone if you knew they murdered your entire family?

It sounds far-fetched. But this is the question posed in As We Forgive - a documentary about the tragedies of the 1994 Rwandan genocide and the stories of two women as they came face to face with the men who killed their families.

It provoked the question - Would I be capable of forgiving my enemies like this?

This is the center point of Jesus' most shocking, counterintuitive teaching - "Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:44)

In saying this, Jesus set a new benchmark for love. He turned the new world order upside down. For Christians, the key distinguishing mark of spiritual maturity is the way we love our enemies.

In today's podcast, I walk through the 3 reasons our love often stops short of this measurement, and what we can do to deepen the way we love others.

(Hint, this is all a precursor for where we'll be headed over the next several weeks of the podcast!) 
 
Tuesday August 22, 2023
Language builds culture.

Recently on the podcast, I shared 5 timeless leadership axioms - portable and powerful phrases that have become adopted by emotionally healthy leaders all around the world.

For example..."Jesus may be in your heart, but grandpa is in your bones".

It's an easier (and more playful) way of getting at the truth that everyone is deeply affected by their family of origin, going back hundreds of years.

Today on the podcast, I continue this series by sharing 5 new axioms that I believe you will find helpful. These leadership sayings are extremely useful to adopt as you build a healthy team and church culture.

I pray you will memorize them, ponder them, and make space to allow the biblical truth to penetrate you.
Tuesday August 08, 2023
Movements with longevity are sustained through shared, easily understood language.

This most often comes through the development of axioms - short, memorable phrases that capture the essence of truth in simple ways.

Reflecting on the last two decades of leading Emotionally Healthy Discipleship, I've been able to identify at least 10 core axioms (probably more like 25!) that have stood the test of time. In many ways, they are a "cliff-notes" introduction to an emotionally healthy church culture.

In today's podcast, I share the first 5 timeless axioms that have shaped the culture of what we call Emotionally Healthy Leadership. (ie. "Jesus may be in your heart, but grandpa is in your bones."

If you are a leader, these axioms are extremely helpful to use with your teams as simple ways to build a healthy team and church culture.

I pray you will memorize them, ponder them, and make space to allow the biblical truth to penetrate you.
 
Tuesday July 25, 2023

According to the World Christian Encyclopedia, the fastest growing stream of the church is the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement. In terms of overall numbers, it represents 644 million Christians world wide. This is 8.3% of the world population. By 2050, it will reach over 1 billion people. Unbelievable!

We need the power of God, gifts of the Holy Spirit, signs and wonders for the global mission of the church. Much of my personal spiritual and leadership journey was formed in the charismatic movement. We regularly experienced the outpouring of God's power in our church. It was electric.

And yet I was still proud, defensive, distant, not present, unable to connect relationally, conflict avoidant, unaware internally, and unlovingThis disconnect is what led to the birth of Emotionally Healthy Discipleship.

In today's episode, I unpack 5 key contributions of Emotionally Healthy Discipleship that allow us to walk in the healthy, long-term release of God’s power. 

Tuesday July 11, 2023

For leaders, one of the most frustrating parts of decision-making is this...

It....takes....time.

Sure, sometimes quick decisions are necessary. But most consequential decisions (that shape the future of your life, church, and ministry) require the ability to slow down and wait. Usually for longer than is comfortable for you.

In order to let your judgments (discernments) come from deep within, you cannot in any way be pressed or hurried. You must wait.

To be clear, waiting does not mean you are doing nothing.  You are doing the most important something there is. In today's podcast, I share more about what God is actually developing in you in times of waiting. Then I take time to address several questions listeners have submitted.

Tuesday June 27, 2023

Decision-making is primarily about discernment. It's the ability to make decisions that align with God's will for your life and ministry.

The truth is - discernment is an art. It takes practice, attention, and a lifetime to develop.

But if there is one core practice that is the foundation of discernment, it is learning to pay attention to the movement of God in your own soul through consolations and desolations.

"Consolations and desolations" are terms offered by Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits over 500 years ago to describe the inner feelings that move you toward God and the ones that take you away from God.  

Leaders who are able to slow down and pay attention to the inner work of God will not only be effective, they will be able to lead from joy, rest, and freedom.

Tuesday June 13, 2023

One of the primary tasks of spiritual leadership is the ability to make prayerful, wise decisions.

Yet many leaders find it difficult to invest the time and space necessary for sharp discernment. The result is that our decisions become dull, lacking precision and power. Over time, flippant decision-making inflicts tremendous consequences on us and those we lead.

In the first episode of this new podcast series, we discuss the importance of boundaries to keep us surrendered to God’s purposes. Why? Because any time God calls us to a specific work, the devil tempts us to live beyond our boundaries. This happens in every season of our life!

When we discern and yield to the gravity of God's purpose, life flourishes. This is the first step to becoming leaders who make sharp decisions.

Tuesday May 30, 2023

Years ago, we were doing some strategic planning at the church I had founded in Queens, NY. We were reflecting on what contributed to our growth over a 26 year period.

A single word kept reappearing on the whiteboard - "BASEMENT"

How did we disciple so many quality leaders, many of whom are still leading today?

Hint: it wasn't what happened on the stage. It was what happened in the basement.

Matthew 28 tells us to "make disciples of all nations". But many leaders today feel a pressure to make their discipleship strategies big and public rather than small and hidden.

Jesus modeled a different way of making disciples. In fact, he flipped the entire thing upside down. In today's podcast, I share with you why real discipleship starts in the basement.

Tuesday May 16, 2023
Eight years after planting New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, I was exhausted.

The pressure of preaching and teaching weekly messages, along with the rest of my
leadership responsibilities, left me depleted. Although our ministry was growing, I
often felt like I was gaining the world but losing my own soul.
 
What I lacked, and what so many of us still lack today, is a way to teach and preach for Jesus that properly flows out of a deep inner life with him.

What I discovered is that there is a way to engage in this weighty work of speaking for Jesus that is light and easy rather than heavy and hard, that strengthens rather than diminishes our relationship with him, and that is marked by joy and spaciousness rather than anxiety and pressure.