Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.


Dorie Clark on Why we can’t stop working.

The ROI of work is immediately apparent. You get instant feedback and, oftentimes, instant gratification in the form of raises, promotions, new contracts, or general approbation. The arc of family life is different. In the moment, it can be banal, boring, or discouraging.

Perry Noble on 7 ways to be rich.

Give it TIME…what we spent years messing up will most likely not be fixed in three days, or even three weeks!

Dave Bruskas on 4 priorities for pastors from Christmas to Easter.

Christmas, with all its ministry demands, has come and gone. You’ve had a few days off. But you are still very tired as you approach the long run to Easter. How should you prioritize your time and energy? What can you do to recover?

Will Mancini on Ministry trends of 2014 leaders can’t ignore.

Sometimes you can dismiss a trend as a fad. Like Crocs, the Harlem Shake, or flash mobs. At other times to dismiss a trend is just a mistake. As in every era, some of today’s trends will become tomorrow’s reality. Innovative leaders aren’t afraid to embrace change and to be some of the first in on the shifts they see around them. In that spirit, here are 5 trends you’ll no longer be able to dismiss in 2014.

Tony Merida on 9 benefits of expository preaching.

Expository preaching is an approach that is founded on certain theological beliefs, such as the role of the preacher according to Scripture, the nature of the Scripture, and the work of the Spirit. Therefore, many of the benefits for doing exposition are hard to measure. However, nine practical-theological benefits are worth noting.

If you miss your family, you miss everything.

7 crippling parenting behaviors that keep your kids from becoming leaders.

I was intrigued, then, to catch up with leadership expert Dr. Tim Elmore and learn more about how we as parents are failing our children today — coddling and crippling them — and keeping them from becoming leaders they are destined to be. Tim is a best-selling author of more than 25 books, including Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their FutureArtificial Maturity: Helping Kids Meet the Challenges of Becoming Authentic Adults, and theHabitudes® series. He is Founder and President of Growing Leaders, an organization dedicated to mentoring today’s young people to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Ed Stetzer on 5 ways to teach your kids to hate the ministry.

To put it bluntly, a lot of pastors’ children hate the ministry. My team interviewed 20 pastors’ kids who are adults now. They provided some insights that were both inspiring and disturbing. Children with a pastor-parent can grow to hate the ministry for many reasons, but there are five guaranteed ways you can make sure they hate being a pastor’s kid (PK).

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Links of the Week

  1. When a pastor loses heart
  2. Scott Williams on Leadership lessons from Southwest
  3. Get the dad, get the family
  4. Ed Stetzer on Surviving unhealthy organizations part 1 and part 2.
  5. 12 communication tips from the world’s best
  6. Brian Tracy on Work/Life balance
  7. What’s the difference between a good pastor and a great pastor?

Links of the Week

    1. Daughters & Dad’s approval. Shows the pivotal role a father plays in the life of a daughter.
    2. Kem Meyer on 5 missing ingredients of great teams.
    3. 10 ways to handle the church critic.
    4. Jon Acuff on Calling your wife your bride. I agree, it kind of weirds me out.
    5. Michael Hyatt on 5 consequences of living life out of balance.
    6. Charles Stone on How to respond when someone leaves your church. No matter how often this happens, this always hurts.
    7. How to involve kids in a missional community. Helpful things here.
    8. Jayne Vanderstelt on a Wife’s role in serving a missional community.
    9. Dan Kimball on Francis Chan’s new book Erasing Hell. Can’t wait to read this.

Links of the Week

  1. 7 leadership lessons from the career of Phil Jackson.
  2. Justin Taylor on Advice for preaching Christ centered sermons.
  3. Joe Thorn on Rebuilding a healthy schedule. Great thoughts on balance and scheduling for leaders.
  4. John Piper on Having a summer mindset.
  5. The life of an introverted leader. As an introverted leader, this was helpful.
  6. When sex feels like a chore.
  7. 10 things submission is not.
  8. Justin Holcomb on How to protect your daughter from barbie.
  9. Perry Noble on What you need to know about your wife.
  10. N.T. Wright on what Stephen Hawking misses about heaven (and what we often miss about heaven).

I Don’t Have Time

As a pastor, you get to talk to a lot of different people about a lot of different stuff. One thing that is increasingly true in our world is that people are busy. Between jobs, sports, hobbies, kids, activities, sleep, we are constantly moving.

At some point, every pastor has a conversation with someone that goes like this, “I would like to be in a small group” or “I would like to serve” or “I would like to date my wife” or “I would like to spend more time with God, but I don’t have time.”

This is a big lie and everyone is buying it.

Here is what I mean: every fall, I make sure that I don’t miss a Steelers game. I Tivo the shows I want to watch, I work out 5 days a week.

The problem isn’t that we don’t have time, the problem is that we don’t use it well. I could write a blog post on how we waste time and time savers, and I probably will, but right now I want to burst this bubble of, “I don’t have time.”

You and I have all the time we need to do the things we want to do.

Everyday, when I say yes to something, I am saying no to something else. I state everyday by how I use my time, what is important and what is not. Now, what you say is important by how you use your time is your prerogative, but you do decide what is important by how you use your time.

Here is my challenge for you:  look at your calendar and decide, if every time I say yes to something I am saying no to something else, do I like what I am saying yes to and what I am saying no to? Recently, I started to see that I watched way too much TV, still far away from the national average of 5 hours a night, but too much. I am trying to spend more time reading, talking with Katie, playing basketball and wrestling with our kids.

Remember, you have all the time you need and you have decided how to use it.

So, use it well.

Links of the Week

  1. Perry Noble on Four fights you should not fight. Love the point that a leaders job is not to keep people happy and if it were, “then Jesus stunk at that.”
  2. Steven Furtick on The easy things are hard for me. Great post on how leaders should NOT be balanced.
  3. Rick McKinley on Calling our sons into the community of men. Dad’s, this is a great post on how to help your sons transition to becoming men, having a rite of passage.

This Weekend: Understanding Life, Work and Rest (and How They Fit Together)

The last few weeks at Revolution have been amazing. God has been moving and doing some incredible things in people’s lives. Our small groups kicked off this week and the reports so far have been great.

Last Saturday we started Nehemiah 13, which takes place roughly 12 years after Nehemiah 12. While it might seem like an add-on to the end of this story, it is anything but that. Chapter 13 contains some very relevant and important lessons to our lives as we think about following Jesus on a daily basis. If you missed last week as we talked about how to change and find freedom from sin, you can listen to it here.

This week, we will be looking at Nehemiah 13:15 – 22 and looking at the idea of balance, rest, life and work and how they all fit together when it comes to our relationship with God.

If you have ever wrestled with how to balance life, stress, anxiety, how to find rest and what the whole idea of Sabbath is all about, you don’t want to miss Saturday.

So, do whatever you have to do to get to Revolution this Saturday night (and don’t forget to bring a friend with you)! To use an e-vite, just go here.

Remember, we meet at 5pm at 410 S. Pantano Rd.

See you then.

Links of the Week

  1. Nancy Ortberg on 3 steps to creating momentum where you are. Momentum is a leaders best friend, it takes time to create, it is easily lost, but it is so important in a church. You can tell when it is or is not there.
  2. Perry Noble on Leading a team. A must read for all leaders.
  3. Wayne Daley on Being a man of action and Having integrity.
  4. Greg Despres on the Uniqueness of the Bible.
  5. Mark Batterson on What success is. Everyone is trying to accomplish it, but how do you define it?
  6. Bill Hybels on the state of the church.
  7. Scot McKnight on Thoughts on a pastor’s schedule. This is a huge resource for leader’s in any organization, but specifically pastors.
  8. Paul Ingram laid out what God has been doing at Revolution in the first year of life. Love what God is doing and that Paul and Jennifer are part of making that happen.
  9. Ed Stetzer on Why missional churches don’t do global missions and how they can fix that. This is a very challenging article, it definitely clarifies the definition of missional.

Saturday Night Mind Dump…

  • Good night
  • Really different feel tonight
  • We started tonight a little differently than normal, started off a little slower and more subdued
  • Definitely fit the feel of the night and topic, but felt weird as I started preaching
  • Right now, I’m listening to the Kings of Convenience, definitely a good end to the night
  • I think the topic tonight:  balance, margin, discouragement, stress and burnout are such huge things that we need wrap our hands around them
  • It really is a faith issue
  • Whenever we push through, live stressed, worry, we are telling God, “You aren’t big enough to handle this”
  • Here is a great quote I shared tonight from Dan Allender & Tremper Longman
  • If you missed tonight, you can listen to it here
  • Got to have dinner with a newer family at our church, always love meeting the people God is sending to Revolution
  • We announced an upcoming series I Want a New Marriage
  • Check out the site and spread the word to as many people as possible!
  • We mentioned our partnership class tonight, go here for more information and to sign up
  • Jennifer and the Planet Rev. team did an awesome job with getting everything done for their fall kick off tonight
  • If tonight struck a chord with you or if you want more resources on what we talked about tonight, check out Making Room for Life by Randy FrazeeThe Rest of God by Mark Buchanan and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Pete Scazzero
  • All are fantastic books that have helped Katie and I understand margin and balance, understand how our emtions fit into our relationship with God and to find rest
  • Here is a great talk by Darrin Patrick called “The Life & Death of the Missional Leader.” Great look at how to handle depression, stress and burnout as a leader.
  • Here are some scary stats concerning pastors and burnout
  • We have our small group tomorrow night, we’re looking at what the Bible has to say about divorce, should be an interesting discussion
  • The book we are discussing has been a great study to Katie and I personally, really eye opening
  • Our group was able to serve our city last week, always a great thing to do in the context of community
  • Ava wrote her name this week, very cool milestone for her
  • Gavin turned 2 this past week
  • I posted some recent pics of the kids here
  • Crazy to think our kids are that old
  • Loved writing Gavin’s letter, one of my favorite things to do as a dad
  • This past Thursday was one of my favorite days of the year, the Steelers first game (doesn’t matter if it is the preseason, football is football)
  • This is an awesome thought, what if this was true for Revolution?
  • Thursday I start my lead pastor coaching network, really exciting about this personally, as well as what it will do for Revolution
  • I think God is going to do some huge things through it!
  • You don’t want to miss next, we’ll be ending our series with a bang:  How would you live if you found out today was your last day?

Links of the Week

  1. Barack Obama’s transition website (they update what is happening, what their thinking, new things happening during the transition)
  2. Tim Stevens on Schedules and balance
  3. Jonathan Dodson on Engaging culture
  4. Tim Keel on Spiritual disciplines for couples
  5. Tony Morgan on Empowerment vs. Delegation
  6. Brian McLaren on Christmas gift ideas
  7. Craig Groeschel on Running an effective meeting
  8. Ben Worthington & John Piper on Why Calvinism is so negative (great video)