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.


Carey Nieuwhof on 5 ways to become a better leader as you get older.

It’s tempting to think you’ve paid your dues, worked long hours and have some accumulated wisdom that everyone should be grateful to benefit from, but this attitude is also your death sentence. Nobody likes to be around a leader who thinks they’ve arrived, and your value to the organization plummets when you adopt this attitude.

J.D. Greear on What do you do when your church is too big and don’t know your pastor.

Here is the heart of my response: Why is the Senior Pastor the one expected to administer all the pastoral care? Doesn’t that presupposethe very “cult of personality” for which multi-site churches are often criticized? “I need to be known by my pastors” is a legitimate request. “I need to be known by that pastor because he is special” is not.

In praise of long pastorates.

Brothers, churches are not stepping-stones. It is wrong to pastor a church looking out the window for a bigger or better opportunity to come a long. The souls over which the Lord has made you an overseer deserve your best. For that matter, the Lord demands your best.

Does God give you more than you can handle?

I think God has promised us another, more helpful way to think through difficulty. But first we have to make an honest confession. God often gives us more than we can handle.

Kevin Bacon explains the 80’s to Millenials. 

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Links for your Weekend Reading

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.


Chuck Lawless on 10 questions every leader should ask every week.

Most leaders, though, would benefit from more regular evaluations – particularly self-evaluations. Even daily and weekly self-evaluations merit our consideration if we want to lead well, regardless of our position.

12 things TEDx speakers do that pastors do not.

“An idea isn’t just a story or a list of facts. A good idea takes evidence or observations and draws a larger conclusion.” Of course TEDx talkers often have multiple points, but they always have direction: they’re always moving forward to a set conclusion (and that’s all big idea preaching is, for all the flack it gets). They also suggest to the speaker: “Get your idea out as quickly as possible.”

Joe Stengele on 4 time management tips for leaders and pastors.

I get to meet lots of leaders. Some are young, some are old, but without a doubt the ones who get the most done always manage their time well. Most young leaders I meet have no idea how to manage their time. I’m one decade into what I pray will be a lifetime of ministry, and I have made plenty of mistakes, but there are four time management tips I have learned. I pray these will help you as you grow in leadership, by God’s grace.

Brian Dodd on 5 lies men believe. This is so good.

J.D. Greear on Why plant campuses when you could plant churches.

One of the most frequent objections I get to our multi-site approach is this: “Why do you plant more campuses when you can plant churches instead?” Since our church is committed to church planting, I take this objection very seriously. And at first glance, the objection seems rather intuitive—people and money you could be investing in a church plant are instead being re-directed into a campus. This objection, however, is built upon two assumptions: first, that church planting solves the problem of overcrowding; second, that the multi-site approach competes with—or even precludes—church planting. But neither assumption is true.

Dave Page on Why people leave a church plant early.

Those who start the journey with you seldom finish with you. In the church planting world I call this principle THE LAW OF SCAFFOLDING. The people you start the church with are not the people you grow the church with. This is one of the hardest lessons I had to learn as a church planter.

Ruth Graham on The heresy of Jesus Calling

I’m tempted to call this blasphemy. Thomas Nelson specifically requested I not use the word “channeling” to describe Young’s first-person writing in the voice of Jesus—the word has New Age connotations—but it’s hard to avoid it in describing the book’s rhetorical approach.

Todd Rhoades on Are you more like Jay Leno or Jimmy Fallon as a leader?

Leno was, by most accounts, forced out early by NBC.  A new article/commentary at Mashable tells why:  Jay Leno, while he was doing great in the traditional measures (nationwide TV audience in a given demographic) could not make the switch to the future (which included youtube, vine, twitter, facebook, and all the viral directions that TV and late night was going).

Bryan Rose on How to ask the right questions when hiring a church staff member.

Mistakes are most often made when hiring is based on surface characteristics like stage ability, resume experience or fashion sense, rather than on the foundation of church culture. Your values define your church’s culture. Therefore, values should form the basis of your staffing logic, whether the prospective leader is paid or unpaid. Well thought-through interview questions, based on values, could be the difference between a perfect match and the perfect storm.

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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
  1. 14 leadership quotes from Jim Collins. If Jim Collins wrote it, I’ve read it. Here are 14 of his best leadership quotes.
  2. Mark Driscoll on Whether a christian should smoke pot.
  3. 14 commandments for video preaching. If you are thinking about video preaching, this is an article worth reading.
  4. Bill Hybels on 5 ways to embed evangelism into the culture of your church.
  5. Mark Driscoll interviews John Piper. So much wisdom in this post.

Links of the Week

  1. Dale Hudson on What Kidmin leaders can learn from great leaders throughout history. This has nuggets of wisdom for every leader.
  2. Why Mars Hill went multi-site.
  3. Thom Rainer on 10 traits of great leaders.
  4. How to dress for public speaking.
  5. Dr. Mr. or Mrs. Leader, it’s your fault.
  6. Al Mohler on Must we believe in the virgin birth of Jesus?
  7. Why it is necessary for Tim Tebow to use words all the time when discussing his faith.

Links of the Week

  1. Harvard Business on 8 ways to communicate your strategy.
  2. Dispelling myths of expositional preaching. I love expositional preaching and these are definitely myths.
  3. Leadership network on Finding and developing a campus pastor.
  4. Shaun King on Stressed out pastors, crazy sins, and the death of pastor Zach Tims. This is a great, and sad look at what it can be like for pastors and how a church can help.
  5. 13 things Perry Noble would tell church planters. Great list here for planters or those thinking about it.
  6. Joe Thorn on Preaching like a man on fire.
  7. Tim Chester on 12 reasons to give up porn.
  8. Glenn Stanton on The link between premarital sex and divorce.
  9. Can parents make faith for their kids last?
  10. Tim Chester on Is your dining room table on mission?
  11. Jen Smidt on A wife’s testing ground.
  12. Great singleness, great marriage & great sex.
  13. Bob Franquiz on Why you have no leaders in your church.

Links of the Week

  1. Jim Tomberlin on 125 tips for multisite churches and those who want to be. This is a free e-book that is definitely worth picking up if this is something you are thinking about. I know I got a lot out of it.
  2. Mark Driscoll on To hell with hell? Great insights into what Scripture has to say about death, what happens after death and hell.
  3. Don’t advertise your church until it is worth advertising.
  4. Seth Godin on The difference between a manager and a leader.
  5. Kevin DeYoung reviews Rob Bell’s new book. If you are planning to read Rob’s book, then you need to read this review which is spot on theologically.
  6. Tim Keller on Are religions equally right? This 5 minute video is worth watching if you’ve ever asked this question or been asked this question.
  7. 5 ways to grow as a leader.

Links of the Week

  1. Tim Chester on How the church is the best example of the gospel. Great video and huge implications for churches and communities on mission. 
  2. Greg Atkinson on What is your vision for 2011? Too many leaders have no idea what their vision is for their church. Do you know?
  3. People want to change. This is a great open door for the gospel.
  4. Ron Edmondson on What happens if leaders are too controlling of other leaders.
  5. Do pro-lifers care about life after birth? This is definitely a challenging question and one that pushed Katie and I to adopt.
  6. Generosity (and stinginess) are contagious.
  7. Generous Justice. This is a must-buy book.
  8. Jim Tomberlin on What multi-site churches and church planting will look like in the next decade. So excited to play some of these things out at Revolution in the next decade.
  9. Duane Smets on Purging the Pugnacious Planter.
  10. Daniel Pink on Becoming a motivational leader. Great insights in this talk, definitely worth watching.

Saturday Night Mind Dump… (Sunday Edition)

  • Normally I do this on Saturday night, hence the title, but I came home last night and was spent from the night and the week, so I ate with Katie and went to bed
  • After watching the highlights and press conferences from my Steelers win
  • I was kind of glad I was preaching during the second half because I was stressed watching the highlights
  • Last night was a good night at Revolution, different than normal
  • Usually, I look for moments in my sermons and things to say in the passage that are these life changing moments that will create immediate steps
  • Last night’s passage and topic: faith and doubt, was more of a challenge to our thinking
  • For me, this was a challenging talk to work through
  • I told Paul beforehand that I felt an unusually heavy weight about the topic
  • Unfortunately, we had some technical difficulties and we weren’t able to record the talk
  • I did however put together a quick write up on what I talked about that you can read here
  • I am continually blown away every week at the amount of guests we have and how God continues to work in people’s lives
  • If we keep this up, we are going to move to 2 services really quickly
  • Love that God is using us to help people find their way back to God
  • Right now, God is doing a lot of work behind the scenes in my life and in our leaders as we think and pray through how to become  a reproducing church
  • We are doing a lot of reading, talking with other churches and praying through how to create a movement of churches in Tucson
  • I’ll be sharing more about those plans over the coming months and how God is preparing us for what is ahead
  • My prayer is that in the next 5 years we are able to launch 2 – 3 sites or church plants
  • A lot of this has to do with our partnership with Acts 29 which has pushed us to talk through how we develop leaders, , worship leaders, communicators, pastors and church planters
  • I love thinking like this, praying big prayers and asking God to use us to change a city through building a network of churches all across Tucson instead of building one large church in a single area
  • This has been pushing my thinking when it comes to community, mission and discipleship
  • Grateful to Jeff Vanderstelt and the way he has challenged me through conversations and his talks
  • I would ask for your prayers because I believe the next few months are going to pivotal to the next decade at Revolution
  • On a different note, and a really positive one, my Steelers moved forward in the playoffs
  • I am a Jets fan tonight because I’d rather have a home game in the AFC championship game and I’d like to avoid the Patriots
  • I’m excited because were hanging out with some Revolutionaries and some of our neighbors to grill out and watch football, praying that we can be a positive example of the gospel to our neighbors tonight
  • Heading up to Phoenix again this week for my surge table
  • This is something I am getting trained for us to be able to create a school to develop leaders and pastors in house at Revolution
  • Can’t wait for this to get off the ground later this year
  • As I said, a ton of things are happening behind the scenes right now
  • I believe God is positioning us for some great kingdom things right now
  • Well, I need to help get ready for football and food with friends

Links of the Week

  1. 5 reasons men cheat and how to stay faithful. This is based on a Gallup study and put out by Men’s Health. Interesting how biblical there 5 ways to stay faithful are and some good stuff to think about. The best thing Katie and I have done besides a weekly date night is setting up boundaries.
  2. Andy Crouch on the Ten most significant cultural trends of the last decade. Huge implications to ministry in the church as we try to reach the culture.
  3. Living gospel centered. You need to read this post.
  4. Watch this great video with Scott Thomas and Jeff Vanderstelt talking about what living on mission looks like.
  5. Trevin Wax on Reframing the discussion on homosexuality and the Bible. This is one of the best things I’ve read on this topic. Wow.
  6. Rest and the pastor’s soul.
  7. C.J. Mahaney on What the bible says about productivity. This was a really helpful thing for me, lots of great things in this short e-book.
  8. Luke Simmons on Leadership development. Luke is a good friend and has been to Revolution several times to preach and he has some great insights.
  9. Perry Noble on 6 steps to overcoming obesity Part 1 and Part 2. I’ve shared my journey and struggle with my weight before and Perry is right on when he says being overweight is a spiritual issue first.
  10. 17 signs of a fast growing church.
  11. John Starke on Teaching children the gospel in everyday prayers.
  12. Church trends with Jim Tomberlin. This has been a great series by Tony Morgan on what leaders see as the coming trends in church, this one in particular caught my eye.

Do You Set Goals?

I often get asked by people about setting goals. It is kind of a funny thing, but many Christians and leaders think that it is wrong to set goals, at least when it comes to church. I think for some setting goals seems unspiritual. For me, I like goals because it gives me a direction to go, a way to gauge how I’m doing, etc. Too many people will start off the year and say, “I want to lose weight, get out debt” but won’t set a timeline or a plan to get there. Consequently, they won’t get there because it won’t just happen.

In case you are curious, here are my goals for 2011:

  • To complete our adoption.
  • To finish my weight loss journey and get below 160 (and stay there).
  • To read 50 books.
  • For Revolution to pass 350.
  • To begin plans to launch our first church plant or 2nd site out of Revolution.
  • To continue dating Katie every week.
  • To get away with Katie for several days without kids.
  • Preach 44 times at Revolution (thus giving an opportunity to hear other voices).
  • Take 12 retreat days to be alone with God.
  • Take each of my kids on a daddy date once a month.