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 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. Ed Stetzer on Has Dr. King’s dream come true?
  2. Mark Driscoll on It’s all about the numbers. Really well said.
  3. 6 subtle signs your organization has silos.
  4. Jay Dennis on Pornography and pastors.
  5. 10 questions to ask about your work/life balance.
  6. Perry Noble on The one thing that holds leaders back.
  7. Seeing God in your work.
  8. John Stott on How to preach with authority.
  9. 10 football books leaders should read.
  10. Dave Bruskas on How to rest in ministry.
  11. Donald Miller on People aren’t following you because you aren’t clear.
  12. What Matt Chandler wished he knew when he started ministry. This series is gold for pastors and those entering ministry.

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

Links I Like

Links I Like

  1. A look at the Acts 29 Pastor’s retreat. One of my favorite weeks of the year.
  2. Mark Dever, Matt Chandler & Darrin Patrick discuss Should baptism be spontaneous?
  3. 7 ways to talk to your neighbors about Jesus. Helpful list.
  4. Perry Noble on What he says to church planters.
  5. Ron Edmondson on How a pastor’s wife can truly be a partner to her husband. Great stuff.
  6. Mark Driscoll on 5 things to ask yourself as you read the Bible.

Links for Your Morning Reading

  1. Brad Lomenick on Are you a leader or a follower?
  2. How to criticize your pastor
  3. Brian Tracy on 5 tips for running an effective meeting
  4. Mark Driscoll on 8 principles for churches that want to grow
  5. Perry Noble on 8 reasons churches don’t grow
  6. The top 5 things introverts dread about church. As an introvert, I agree with this list. 

Preach Better Sermons

Today I watched the Preach Better Sermons online conference from Preaching Rocket. So many good things to take away. Here are some nuggets from the speakers:

Perry Noble

  • A preacher preaches best when he preaches out of the overflow of his heart.
  • Talk to people who you will be talking to.
  • The mind remembers more of what it sees than it hears.
  • Pastors have foes, fans and very few friends. Know who they are. Don’t listen to foes.
  • Friends love Jesus, the church and you (in that order). That’s who leaders should listen to.
  • One thing I’d tell preachers: Let the Bible drive the sermon. Listen to other communicators.

Jud Wilhite

  • To find common ground, communicate from your life. Start the sermon by sharing something from your life that relates to the topic.
  • The most powerful illustration you can use are ones that your lived experiences overlap with the listener’s shared experience. The second most powerful are your learned experiences that overlap the listener’s lived experience.
  • Preaching is truth through personality.
  • Another way to find common ground is to communicate to the broken.
  • Think through specific people in your church and ask how this applies to specific people.
  • Another way to find common ground is to preach the word. Preach Jesus.
  • 90% of those who visit a church say that the preaching is the reason they come back.
  • You can’t assume people know what you’re talking about when you say words like grace, gospel.
  • Communicate for next steps. Can people clearly see the connection the Bible has to my life?
  • Apply the text to your life, their life, and the church/city.
  • Have a crystal clear next step.

Andy Stanley

  • Me-You-God-You-We. This outline still transforms my preaching.
  • Me says, “I struggle with this.” You/we says, “I bet you do too.”
  • Answer how someone does something with what I say.
  • People need to not only know what to do, but they need to know what is at stake if they don’t do it.
  • Answer they question, “Why is it important for my church to know this. What do I want them to do? How will they do it?”
  • The why question raises the stakes.
  • When you preach, do you have a burden?
  • Preach in phrases, sound bites. Jesus did, “Know the truth and the truth will set you free.” So much truth is packed into that phrase.
  • A great sermon has tension; you have to make them want to know the answer to the question.
  • Tension is the key to interest.
  • Preach to the person who is coming for one last shot, comes because his wife made him.

Jeff Foxworthy

  • Humor for preachers is a disarming, engaging thing.
  • Humor is not taking yourself to seriously.
  • If you feel or think something, others are as well.
  • The best communicators cut the fat, they get rid of useless, unnecessary details.
  • How does a church/pastor reach men? Christian men have been portrayed as good sissies.
  • Be vulnerable as a communicator; admit you don’t have it all figured out.

Vanable Moody

  • Effective preaching starts with the end in mind.
  • Behavioral preaching focuses on the end, what you want people to do as a result of hearing your message.
  • Jesus preached to change people’s hearts and then change their lives.
  • 90-95% of what we hear is forgotten within 72 hours.
  • Do you want to make an impression or make an impact? That’s the question preachers must answer.
  • Behavioral preaching starts with you identifying the behavior the Scripture calls for. What does the Scripture say we should live like?
  • The Scripture is called a sword and a sword has only one point.
  • People need to see the message in your life before they can do the message you’ve given to them.
  • When someone hears a message, they are asking, “Why should I listen to you? Can I trust you? Do you even care about me? Do you know what you are talking about?”
  • Have a clear behavioral purpose.
  • Make sure that as you communicate that purpose, make sure it is clear and simple.
  • Use words and phrases that people can grasp and remember.
  • Give people points for their head and pictures for their hearts.
  • Provide a vehicle for them to do what you’ve been preaching about.

Charles Stanley

  • Effective communicators are disciplined. You aren’t just filling time.
  • A man can’t preach any better than he prays.
  • A man needs a burden before he can preach. Without a burden, you shouldn’t preach.
  • You as a preacher must feel the weight of what God wants to accomplish.
  • We’re preaching for impact, not to impress anybody. We want to see life change.
  • We need to preach the one thing they have to know when they leave church.
  • You can’t think about yourself and make an impact on someone.
  • If you are going to preach well, you have to make it your top priority.

Louie Giglio

  • Too often, we preach on our own power, without God.
  • Preaching is about the presence and the power of the word of God.
  • We need to discover what God wants to say.
  • Let the text form a great message in you before preaching.
  • The most prepared people are the most spontaneous.

All in all, a great day with a ton of nuggets when it comes to preaching.

Links of the Week

  1. If you lead something complex, loneliness will follow.
  2. Perry Noble on 5 core values of a declining church.
  3. Why I quit following celebrity pastors on twitter and why you should too.
  4. Ed Welch on An intrusion into the Christian bedroom. Some helpful things here.
  5. The historical reliability of the Bible. Helpful stuff.
  6. Michael Horton on Application in sermons.
  7. The gospel and marriage explain one another.
  8. Ed Stetzer interviews Scot McKnight on his book The King Jesus Gospel. You can read my review of the book here.
  9. 5 suggestions on raising boys. Love the last one, one of our dreams with our kids is to have the house their friends want to come to.
  10. Fight the funk.

Links of the Week

  1. Do your church start with the why? This is a great question to wrestle with for pastors.
  2. Justin Holcomb on Sex-trafficking at the super bowl. According to stats, the super bowl is the largest sex-trafficking event in the U.S.
  3. Churches to watch in 2012.
  4. Bob Franquiz on 5 factors you need to double this Easter.
  5. The goal of a leader.
  6. Brad Lomenick on How to honor your leaders.
  7. Wal-mart’s wrong headed re-organization. Good leadership advice for pastors.
  8. Perry Noble on You should probably not date him if. This is great advice for single women.
  9. How much is a homemaker worth?

Links of the Week

  1. Michael Horton on What is the Church’s Mission?
  2. Grace Driscoll on Being a ministry wife. This is a helpful series for the wife of a pastor, and for those who attend church to understand what it is like to be married to a ministry leader.
  3. Zombies, wine and Christian music.
  4. Mary Kassian on 7 misconceptions of submission. This was good timing for me as I’m preaching on Titus 2 this week.
  5. 12 things a leader CANNOT do.
  6. Ron Edmondson on How to have less stress. Living in this reality right now.
  7. Are you an internet busy body?
  8. Tony Dungy on Accountability and Penn State.
  9. Women have sex out of obligation.