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. How to wreck a pastor. A lot of truth here.
  2. Bob Franquiz on Green room pastors.
  3. Why Andy Stanley is such a great communicator.
  4. Jenni Catron on Takeaways for leaders from the leadership summit. Great stuff here.
  5. 7 ways to keep your MC from growing. This is sarcastic, but so true.
  6. Luke Simmons takeaways from the leadership summit day 1 and day 2. Wish I was there but appreciate how many people blogged about it.
  7. Why we really sleep in.
  8. Casey Graham on 3 reasons you are a lonely leader.

What’s it like to be 7 feet tall and dunk (Watch Roy Hibbert dunk while wearing google glass)

Top Posts for August 2012

In case you missed them, here are the top posts for August 2012:

  1. Leadership Summit Session 1 | Bill Hybels
  2. Meet the Goffeney’s
  3. Accountability
  4. 15 Ways to Improve Your Marriage
  5. My Notes from Day 1 of the Leadership Summit
  6. Leadership Summit Session 4 | Craig Groeschel
  7. My Notes from Day 2 of the Leadership Summit
  8. IPHONE FOLKS : IPhone 5 Video Leaked. Gotta See!
  9. What’s the Point of Marriage?
  10. Coming to Revolution Church September 9

Top Posts of August ’08

In case you missed them, here are the posts that generated the most traffic this month:

  1. My Notes from the Leadership Summit
  2. Recent Pics of the Kids
  3. Why I Blog & Twitter (And Why Every Pastor Should as Well) 
  4. Going in the Same Direction as the Devil
  5. Why did I Get Married?
  6. Focus:  The Top 10 Things People Want & Need From You & Your Church
  7. God Does Not Waste Pain
  8. Saturday Night Mind Dump…  (8/8/09)
  9. What a Pastor Does When He Doesn’t Preach
  10. Leadership Qualities

Focus: The Top 10 Things People Want & Need from You & Your Church

book coverAs a follow-up to their previous books Reveal and Follow Me, Greg Hawkins and Cally Parkinson researched 376 churches and 80,000 people for their book Focus to discover what was the number one thing they wanted and needed from a church. The one thing they were trying to discover was what they needed and wanted to grow spiritually.

They came from the angle of specifically what part the Lead Pastor plays in this equation. As they pointed out, “when someone comes to a church they have something specific they are looking for in the church, but also the Lead Pastor.”

They question they tried to answer was, “Do people want and need the same thing from a church and lead pastor, or are they two completely different things?”

For example, do people want to be challenged, or do they want to hear a good sermon? Do people want to connect with God, or do they want an exciting weekend service? Where does community fit in? Serving? What about social justice?

The authors waded through all of these options of what people look for and what actually helps people grow in their faith, as well as what is beneath what they say.

What I found most interesting about the research is they answer they discovered was the same across the board. It didn’t matter if you were part of a small church or a megachurch, it didn’t matter if you just became a Christian, were still exploring Christianity or if you have been walking with God for 30 years. The #1 driver of spiritual growth was the same:  Spiritual challenge.

Definitely worth picking up.

My Notes from the Leadership Summit

I went to the Leadership Summit last Thursday and Friday with some of our team from Revolution. It was by far one of, if not the best Summit I have ever been to.

In case you missed them, here are my notes from the Summit, in order.

  1. Four Lessons for Leading in a New Reality – Bill Hybels
  2. Hiring, Firing & Board Meltdowns – Panel Discussion
  3. Manage Differently NOW – Gary Hamel
  4. Four Steps to Spiritual Renewal – Tim Keller
  5. Jessica Jackley & the KIVA Story
  6. Against All Odds – Harvey Carey
  7. Third Culture Leadership – Dave Gibbons
  8. Aid vs. Trade – Andrew Rugasira
  9. Leveraging Your Past – Wess Stafford
  10. Eyewitness to Power – David Gergen
  11. Switch – Craig Groeschel Interviews Dan & Chip Heath
  12. Bono, the Church…3 Years Later
  13. The Irreducible Core of Leadership (An Interview with Tony Blair)

Saturday Night Mind Dump…

  • Love this series
  • Great night tonight
  • Got to preach on why we exist as a church
  • I could talk about that every week
  • If you missed tonight, you can listen to it here
  • Tonight was the longest message I’ve ever preached at Revolution
  • Just shy of an hour
  • Hopefully God will use us to the kind of church that does anything to reach our city
  • Let’s fill the chairs!
  • Shawn Pack and his band from 22nd St. Baptist Church were with us tonight to lead worship
  • They did a great job
  • Love the partnerships we are building with other churches
  • You do not want to miss next week
  • We’re talking about how to handle depression and anxiety
  • Gavin turns 2 on Monday, hard to believe he is 2 already
  • Our website I Want a New Marriage went live this week
  • Check it out
  • In case you missed my notes from the Leadership Summit this past week, you can find them all here
  • My head is still spinning
  • If you want to go next year, let me know, we want to take as many volunteers from Revolution as possible
  • Finished a great book this past week, Leadership Gold, definitely worth a read if you are a leader
  • Starting to do my homework for the Nelson Searcy Lead Pastor coaching network I’m in that starts next week, really excited about what this will do for me personally and for Revolution Church
  • Tomorrow, we have our small group mission project
  • We’re cleaning up the trash and weeds on Pantano Rd. near where we meet
  • If you want to join us, come at 8:30 am tomorrow
  • Reading a phenomenal book right now Focus: The Top 10 Things People Want and Need from You and Your Church
  • Really eye opening
  • Got to go on a date night this week without any of our kids, awesome
  • The longer we are married, the more important a weekly date night becomes
  • Came across a great talk by Darrin Patrick this called “The Kind of Leader God Uses”
  • Ava spelled her name this week, crazy that she is old enough to do that
  • I’m tired
  • So it’s bed

The Irreducible Core of Leadership (An Interview with Tony Blair)

wca speakerThe closing session of the summit was an interview with former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

  • Many leaders appear to be brimming with confidence and always having the answer, yet many leaders aren’t that way
  • Leaders are able to make decisions, even if it is completely against the majority
  • The problem with conventional wisdom, it is often the comfortable thing to do, which is often the wrong thing to do
  • Most people like to be liked, this is problematic for leaders
  • The irreducible core of leadership is that thing that you will not go back on
  • A leader needs to be prepared to walk away, that means that sticking by your beliefs is more important than anything else
  • Leaders know when they are making a decision because it is the comfortable thing to do and when they are making a decision because it is the right thing to do
  • How do you handle doubt?
  • Doubt is best expressed as the a deep reflection about what you are doing and whether or not it is right
  • You must think through everything and doubt in that sense is positive and right
  • There comes a moment when you must put aside fear and strike out and make the jump
  • There always is doubt and worry, but in the end your ultimate duty is to decide because someone has to decide and that is what leaders do
  • A leader has to adjust in the midst of changing circumstances
  • What role has faith played in your leadership?
  • If you are of religious faith, it is the most important thing in your life
  • Your faith sustains you and impacts your decision
  • Faith and its role in the world is incredibly potent thing
  • Faith needs to play a role in the 21st century
  • What would your wife say is your best quality at being a negotiator?
  • There is no way that a negotiation works without compromise
  • There is a difference between tactics and strategy
  • What are the most important things a leader must do to lead his people through a crisis?
  • Decide if you will react as a country by pointing the finger or by making a statement by our unity
  • Define what brings you together, what unites you
  • Get the facts
  • Speak to the emotions of your followers
  • How do you as a leader process and deal with pain?
  • Count your blessings
  • Understand that you as a leader are lucky to do what you are doing, God chose you
  • What would you tell church leaders?
  • Leadership is a blessing, a gift that you’ve been given and a gift that you can use to help others
  • Leadership is something worth doing, no matter how hard it is
  • Without the leader, things don’t get done

To learn more about Tony Blair, check out his website and his foundation.

Bono, the Church…3 Years Later

bono_1Session 8 at the summit this year was an interview by Bill Hybels with Bono, the lead singer of U2.

Go here to learn more One and Red (organizations Bono is a part of).

  • We can’t fix every problem, but the problems we can, we should fix those
  • If the church had not woken up on the issue of AIDS, we would not be where we are
  • The concept of neighbor has completely changed
  • We do our best work when we don’t know what we’re doing
  • In a crisis or emergency, what is important becomes very clear
  • What I find hard to take is a lifeless ceremony
  • People want pastors to be honest, a spirit of humility, to tell them what is going on in your life that week
  • Standing for fighting poverty, immediately gets credibility for Christians
  • Grace is to find things we have in common

One of my favorites part of this interview was the stories that were shown of what churches around the country are doing.

Switch – Craig Groeschel Interviews Dan & Chip Heath

wca speakerIn session 7 of the summit, Craig Groeschel interview Dan & Chip Heath.

They are the authors of the incredible book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, a must read for any communicator. Here are my thoughts on that book.

The words in bold are the questions that Craig Groeschel asked.

  • Think of something about yourself, ministry or business that you really think need to change
  • Most react negatively against change thinking that many people hate change
  • There are certain kinds of changes in the world that are big and happen almost effortlessly (marriage, kids)
  • Why do some changes hurt?
  • The smallest things are the most difficult things to change
  • Change is filled with conflict
  • Part of us see the need for change and want to change something, but part of us doesn’t want to change
  • We have a planning long run thinking side of the brain and the other side is the doing side
  • It is like a human riding an elephant
  • The rider has to convince the elephant that there is something worth changing
  • There are 9 major ministries, 2 are working well, 5 are marginal, 2 are failing miserable
  • Ignore the bottom and the middle 5 and go straight to the 2 that are working and find out why they are working
  • The 2 that are working show that success is possible
  • Bright spots are proof this is possible
  • Go with where God is working
  • How does someone find the bright spot and make a significant change?
  • You need to look for what is working
  • Get rid of things that are T.B.U. (True but useless)
  • “Big problems are rarely solved with big solutions, instead they are often solved by a sequence of small solutions”
  • When you become optimistic that an idea might work, that’s when you have reached the elephant and you have “shrunk the change”
  • Once you’ve made the change, how do you keep the momentum going?
  • Most of us, our elephants are skittish and lazy
  • We are tempted to leave the path and give up
  • If you are forewarned that it will become hard and that it will feel like failure, it is easier to get through it and stay on course
  • Some people have “the growth mindset” which means “with work I can accomplish_______”
  • Built into “the growth mindset” is a tolerance for failure
  • Failure may actually be an early warning sign for success
  • A lot of times in ministry, we can’t figure out why people don’t love the church the way we do. “We might not have a person problem, but a situation problem.”
  • When we make an assumption about someone, we’re attributed things to them
  • We need to ask why it is that they are holding back and not fully jumping in
  • If the path slopes downhill towards the goal will help people reach it as opposed to building a wall
  • When change occurs, there is usually a predictable pattern
  • There is a reason things work and don’t work
  • Things are built in by society to make marriages easier to do
  • If we can reverse engineer the successful changes, we can move forward in other areas

You can learn more about the Heath Brothers here and Craig Groeschel here.

Eyewitness to Power – David Gergen

wca speakerSession 6 was an interview by Bill Hybels with David Gergen.

David Gergen is the author of Eyewitness to Power:  The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton. Gergen has been an advisor to many Presidents and is an analyst on CNN (personally, he is one of my favorite political analysts).

You can learn more about him at his website.

The words in bold are the questions that Bill Hybels asked.

  • What do students learn when they sign up for your classes?
  • A teacher of leadership cannot produce a leader, what you can do is make people aware of the principles of leadership and role models
  • If you are a leader in a church, it isn’t about just teaching people, but can you create a culture?
  • How does a leader get better at leading?
  • Leaders must learn, they must get better, they must grow
  • Be a “reflective practitioner”
  • Reflective practice means that where you really learn leadership is not just doing, but learning, reading, leaders must constantly learn, once you learn, then reflecting on what you learned
  • “Not every reader is a leader, but every leader is a reader.” – Harry Truman
  • It is easy in a leadership position to confuse motion with progress
  • At the beginning of the year, write down what you hope to accomplish. At the end of that year, look back to see what you accomplished, what you didn’t do
  • One of the easiest things to do is to fool yourself
  • Our best leaders are one who have the confidence who can go away and do something other than leading and they reflect
  • What were some admirable qualities of Presidents you have served?
  • Nixon was able to look into the future and see what America needed to do and how to get there. This is why he went to China to create a relationship with them.
  • Someone who can see farther back is able to see farther ahead
  • Ford was the most decent President I ever worked for
  • Clinton had a very quick mind, a tactical mind
  • Reagan was the best leader in the white house since Franklin Roosevelt
  • Reagan was a principled man, but he also had a contagious optimism about life
  • If you are around leaders who always believe you get to that higher place, it encourages everyone to go
  • People who can laugh together, can also pray together, bond and do some great things together
  • What did you learn from the weaknesses of the President’s you served?
  • Nixon held everyone at arm’s length when he started
  • Nixon had demons that he could not control, he was the author of his own tragedy
  • Ford could be a little naive and other people took advantage of him
  • Reagan’s weakness was his detachment
  • Reagan would let others put their hands on the wheel and run things, you can entrust too much
  • “Sometimes for a leader, inspect is just as important as respect.”
  • Clinton had a parellel to Nixon because of fundamental character questions that came back to haunt him
  • Leaders need to own up to mistakes, and ask for forgiveness
  • People are forgiving if you are straight with them
  • The theory is great leaders carry with them great flaws. Do you agree?
  • A leader must come to grips with his flaws
  • All of us have a dark side and a bright side, but the challenge is to integrate the two
  • Leadership does not have to be lonely
  • The day of the lone ranger as a leader is over
  • Leaders get the best results when they have great teams of leaders
  • If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together
  • Leadership is the working together to accomplish shared goals
  • Leadership is about trust and communication
  • People follow you if they think you are a good role model
  • “Speeches take place within a context, never a vaccuum”
  • Who the speaker is speaks as loudly as anything the speaker says
  • The demand on people is to decide who they will listen to
  • The personality of the speaker always comes through
  • Do you as a speaker have a compelling logic?
  • What emotion does this speech stir up? What does this speech make people want to do?
  • There is a rhythm to a great speech
  • Tell us about the personal habits of leaders
  • Personal habits matter a lot
  • Self-discipline applies to how you lead your life
  • The best leaders are those who have discipline in their lives
  • Habits that matter:  self-discipline, physically fit (flabby bodies = flabby minds), building time into your day to reflect, building time into the day to be with people you cherish and who cherish you
  • What do you hope when you go to church?
  • A place where one can find inner peace
  • A place that is not about you but something larger, this larger community that gives you a sense of well being
  • A place where I can learn something
  • The generation today cares deeply about social change and is on a spiritual journey
  • If you lack a moral compass as a person, it will not matter how much you know, you will lose as a leader