Archives For Leadership

What’s Your Leadership Made Of—Steel or Straw?

“Do you limp?”

The inquiry caught me off guard. Popular author Gary Smalley and his team were peppering me with questions, determining if I was the best candidate to collaborate on his next project.

“Do you limp?” his mentoree, Ted Cunningham, pressed again, determined to discover if I’d experienced adversity or hardship.

“You have no idea,” I answered.

That conversation, which took place more than six years ago, still echoes in my mind. Gary Smalley, Ted Cunningham, and I have worked on more than a half-dozen projects together, but I’ve never forgotten the issue they raised that day.

Do you limp? remains a timeless question among those in leadership. It’s the gentle way of asking:

Can we survive in a foxhole together?

Are you going to buckle under pressure?  

Have you been tested?

Are you made of steel or straw? Continue Reading...

Hey Small Group Leader, It's Time For You To Fight Back With Joy

What begins as a gift soon becomes a grind.

Endless demands. Pressing deadlines. Unexpected interruptions.

The pressure to perform and produce can leave us feeling weary in the marrow of our being. The joy designed to grow into sweet plumpness soon shrivels. Smiles become forced. Sparkling eyes grow dim.

Those closest to us see the shift long before we recognize it in ourselves. Perhaps this is one reason Paul asks,

Where is that joyful and grateful spirit you felt then?” (Galatians 4:15, NLT)

All leaders—no matter the role or responsibility—are susceptible to losing their sense of happy certainty in God. This becomes all the more acute when your workplace or those you loved or you are are faced with sudden loss, pain, suffering, or death.

In Fight Back With Joy book and Bible study, I share what began as a journey of joy and soon became a terrifying expedition when I was diagnosed with cancer. Tortured alive through brutal experiments, joy felt so out of reach. But somewhere along the way, I discovered that more than whimsy, joy is a weapon we use to fight life’s battles.

Whatever battlefield you find yourself on in life—as a person whose joy-o-meter has bumped down a notch or burned out completely or if you’re in the fight of your life—here are four ways you can begin to fight back with joy as a leader and encourage others to do the same. Continue Reading...

3 Things To Do When People Leave Your Small Group Small Groups. We’ve all been in one where the numbers continue to whittle down until it’s just you and the leader left.

But when you’re the one leading, what do you do if people start leaving yours?

Here are three things to do when people leave your small group: Continue Reading...

What To Do When You've Lost Your Holy Awe

As followers of Jesus, we are meant to toss back the covers, climb out of bed, and drink in the fullness of life God intended for us. We are called to live alert to the wonders all around and within us that expand our desire to know God more.

Yet the focus on the functionality of ministry combined with the increased sense of familiarity can numb us to the marvelous work to which we’ve been called—encouraging people to walk in the fullness of all God has called and created them through Jesus Christ.

Here are a handful of things that can pull us away from living wonderstruck and experiencing the daily splendor of knowing Jesus as we lead:

Continue Reading...

4 Powerful Ways to Fight with Joy Today

People fight adversity with many tools. Anger. Sadness. Denial. Frustration.

But my weapon of choice for this fight is joy.

I’ve been trying to fight with laughter and happiness and levity and winsomeness and mirth and gladness and gratefulness. Some days I fare far better than others. But I’m still continuing the fight.

Will you join me? Will you choose to fight with joy no matter your circumstance or adversity?

Here are 4 powerful ways to fight with joy today: Continue Reading...