We have some great reading for you in Church Leader Insights. Enjoy and be blessed!
I was recently in a meeting discussing the future of an evangelical movement. The person I was with shared a great challenge– one of the most prominent leaders of their movement was not finishing well, making it hard for the movement to envision a successful future.
That conversation soon turned to why this happened– and why so often. Within a few minutes, we had identified similar patterns with other leaders. They were all older leaders, were immensely respected, yet who are finishing poorly, often undercutting those who will likely become their successors.
My guess is that you would not be surprised with some of the names, and you could probably quickly identify others in your own movement who have done the same, but that is not really the point. It happens all the time in churches, ministries, and movements. I was just struck by how often this occurred. It is a real and problematic pattern.
After that meeting, I continued to ponder the situation. Why do some leaders end so well– Calvin Miller, Jack Hayford, Bob Russell, Roy Fish, and so many more– while others go out not in a blaze of glory, but in a blaze of gory? They finish poorly and leave a mess in their wake. In some cases they even undo some of the tremendous progress God used them to create in the years prior.
They have all been key leaders– and some still are– though many of those who have followed in their stead are ready for the former leaders to move on. That grieves me, for them and for their movements.
This week, my wife and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. We were quite young when we married—I was 24, and she was 20—and a lot has happened since then. I’ve changed jobs several times, she’s become a doctor, and we’ve had two children. Thank God, our marriage is better than ever.
But you learn a few things over the course of 10 years, and now is as good an opportunity as any to offer up some of those lessons. So, for 10 years, 10 lessons.
1. Share Values
Too many people believe that marriage is built on the back of mutual need. In Stephen Sondheim’s Company, the final case made by the main character for marriage is the romantic idea of reaching out in existential angst to another human being.
But that doesn’t set the groundwork to maintain a solid marriage, even during those times when your spouse is driving you up a wall. Instead, base your marriage on shared values; the things you think are important.
Obviously, chemistry matters; so do shared interests. But these are necessary, not sufficient conditions for marriage. Over time, passionate love shifts into companionate love—you’d better pick the right partner for your life journey, someone who wants the same life that you want.
Lifehacker is constantly testing new and unusual ways to get things done faster – from the “It Follows” horror movie method to the tried and tested Pomodoro Technique. Sometimes though, all you really need in your life is some basic time-management advice. Here are 26 tricks that will help you get back on top of your life and work schedule.
The infographic below comes from Etienne Garbugli, a product and marketing consultant and author of Lean B2B. The lessons contained within represent everything he wish he had known about time management when first starting in the workforce.
Granted, some of these “tricks” are a little simplistic. Others could be dismissed warming platitudes. But there’s some real gold here. The importance of setting deadlines (and sticking to them), breaking big tasks into smaller chunks, taking the time to write down all your random thoughts – these are things that most of us should be doing more of.
1. There’s always time. Time is priorities.
2. Only plan for 4-5 hours of real work per day – David Heinemeier Hansson, 37 Signals
Days always fill up. Fill up.
3. It’s normal to have days where you just can’t work and days where you’ll work 12 hours straight – Alain Paquin, Watsnexx
Work more when you’re in the zone. Relax when you’re not.
Preachers want their people to love the Word of God. They also want to grow as preachers and keep their preaching calendar fresh. Preaching a whole book of the Bible in one sermon is one way to accomplish all three of these objectives and might be worth adding to your preaching repertoire. Here are a few reasons:
1. Preaching book-overview sermons encourages Bible engagement in the congregation.
All preachers should want their preaching to engender responses like, “I can read this for myself!” The more exposure your people have to different parts of Scripture, the better. Working in a book-overview sermon allows you to mix in other parts of Scripture that you wouldn’t normally cover.
2. Preaching book-overview sermons adds more variety in the preaching schedule.
If you have ever gotten bogged down by preaching consecutively through entire books, you might consider taking a break from your current series and preaching an overview of another book as a way to mix things up.
3. Preaching book-overview sermons helps show different contours of the book that are sometimes lost in a normal exposition.
Approaching the Bible with a wider lens reveals a book’s big ideas, turning points, and other vital details to the book’s message. More atomistic preaching risks losing the forest for the trees—or even the leaves on the trees. Teaching the Bible atomistically can lead our people to read the Bible atomistically. Zooming out to see the whole book reminds listeners that God moved authors to write whole books with coherent messages, not loosely arranged collections of verses.
Thank you to our sources for this week’s blog posts:
Christianity Today (Ed Stetzer) – 5 Reasons Some Leaders Finish Poorly
Newsweek (Ben Shapiro) – 10 Lessons in 10 Years—What Marriage Has Taught Me
Lifehacker (Chris Jager) – 26 Time-Management Tricks Everyone Should Master
Leadership Resources (Kevin Halloran) – Why Preach Overview Sermons of Bible Books