Tag Archive - grace

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5 Keys to Developing Young Leaders in Your Church

It seems like everywhere you turn lately some national church leader is writing about the bleak future of the US Church due to younger generations leaving. Well, recently I spent some time at a place that made me really hopeful about the future of the church in America.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to do some coaching at Ethos Church, a young multisite church located in Nashville, Tennessee. In just 7 years Ethos has grown to 3 locations and more than 2,500 people in attendance, and the rate at which they are baptizing people is in the top 10% of churches in the US! Plainly stated God is using the ministry of Ethos Church to change people’s lives. But what excited me the most about my time with them was everywhere I looked there were young leaders, and not just serving as interns or in some inconsequential role. But there were young men and women in their 20’s and 30’s (the ones in their 30’s were the old ones…I guess that makes me ancient now) who are serving as the Sr. Leaders of this fast growing church.

In working with churches around the country unfortunately churches like Ethos have become the exception rather than the rule. It doesn’t have to be that way. This list below of “5 Things Young Leaders Need” is a great place for your church start.

1. Opportunity

Even leaders who have been gifted greatly don’t start out as great leaders. Someone somewhere gave them their first opportunity. The tough thing about leadership is that it isn’t learned in a classroom it’s learned by leading. In order to grow and develop, young leaders need the opportunity to get real hands on experience.

Question: Does your church give young leaders real opportunities to lead stuff that matters?

2. Access

Young leaders need access to real leadership conversations. They need to be a “fly on the wall” in board meetings, management team meetings, and executive team meetings. They need to watch the Sr. Leaders in the organization lead through the tough stuff and make the big decisions. They need access to ask experienced leaders questions about how they lead and why they do it the way they do.

Question: Do the Sr. Leaders in your church give young leaders unfiltered access to watch real leadership take place and discuss it?

3. Authority

Young leaders don’t just need busy work to keep them occupied. Once they’ve proven they can deliver through following through on tasks being delegated to them they need to be empowered to make real decisions and exercise real authority to accomplish objectives through leading their own teams and delegating to others.

Question: Does your church give young leaders real consequential responsibility?

4. Grace

Part of the nature of being a young leader is making mistakes. Even experienced leaders don’t get it right all the time; and young inexperienced leaders certainly are going to make mistakes, it’s the nature of young leaders. How you respond when young leaders fail matters.

Question: Does your church give young leaders the room to fail?

5. Coaching

Great coaching can make all the difference in the performance of a team or a particular player. Great coaches do four simple things with their players. They train their players before the game, they put their players in game like situations in practice and get “reps” in before the real game happens, they make in game adjustments, and they watch the game film after the game to review and learn from the player’s performance.

Question: Does your church expect young leaders to learn on their own through their own experience or do you actually coach them?


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing

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Why I’m Still Married After 17 Years

Lisa and I just celebrated 17 years of marriage this past weekend! To tell the truth, there a lot of people I should be thanking for their investment into my wife and I. And there are a lot of reasons we’re still married today, but here are a couple of practices that have helped us get where we are. So in no particular order, here they are. Hope they help.

1. We take Vacations (just the 2 of us)

While I love my 4 kids and spending time with them. I love doing vacation with just my wife! Lisa and I have chosen to save up during every 5-year period of our marriage and do a big vacation with just the two of us every 5 years! It’s always great time with her and it’s great to pay cash and not go in debt to do it!

2. We Serve Each Other

Serving is an important and intentional discipline in our marriage. Because we’ve learned that it’s difficult to serve someone well with a bitter heart. Among other things Lisa regularly offers to make me breakfast and I can’t tell you how many dishes I’ve done over the years.

3. We made a Commitment

Lisa and I both know, love and follow Jesus. And while there a lot of good principles that go into building a great marriage, Jesus is the starting point for us. We didn’t “fall” in love, rather we chose to love each other and made a commitment to each other and to God to love each other well.

4. We got Help

When things were dark in our marriage early on, we didn’t hide. We got the professional help we needed to move towards health together. We used to joke around that “Visa saved our marriage.” We didn’t have the money for counseling when we were young, but our marriage was valuable enough to us that money wasn’t going to be an excuse.

5. We still go on Dates

Every month we have at least one date night. It may be going out to a movie, having dinner, lunch, or catching a red box movie and dinner together after the kids are down. But regardless of what it is we are intentional about spending time with each other apart from the kids. I got to know Lisa over hours together at a coffee shop in college, and we still enjoy sitting and talking over a cup of coffee all these years later.

6. We Give and Receive Forgiveness

This isn’t an easy one to learn, but learn we’ve had to. The reality is you can shrink back from conflict or you can view it as a pathway to relational intimacy. I choose the later. Every conflict is an opportunity to move towards oneness.

7. We Keep Learning

It’s been common practice in our marriage to go on marriage retreats, to marriage conferences and read a book every year or so on marriage as a springboard to evaluative conversations that we wouldn’t necessarily have on our own. In fact we just got done reading and talking about Mark and Grace Driscoll’s book Real Marriage.


Posted in Family

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Counterculture Part-2

This past weekend we jumped back up into our series Counterculture at Cornerstone, and I had the opportunity to interview 3 women about their personal experience with abortion. God’s story that He has written in their lives of grace, forgiveness, and freedom is absolutely amazing. I was so humbled to see God use this moment and watch men and women come out of hiding on this issue and walk towards freedom and forgiveness in Christ. To think that a community of people called Cornerstone decide that they were going to be a safe place for this moment to happen, and offer grace to others as freely as they have recieved it was nothing short of beautiful!


Posted in Creative Arts, Spiritual Formation