Posts Currently viewing the tag: "Pastoral Ministry"

I’ve been involved in dozens of church discipline cases, both as an elder in my church and as a conciliator assisting other churches. Some of these cases were handled so badly that they resulted in multi-million dollar lawsuits. But some of them were handled so well that they resulted in amazing repentance, reconciliation…(Read More)

I’ve seen a lot of leadership transitions over the past thirty years. Like the characters in an old Clint Eastwood western, they generally fell into one of three categories: The Good, the Bad, and the Clumsy (which often turned ugly). Bad Transitions Bad transitions usually involved one or more players with malicious motives. Like…(Read More)

To find your greatest weakness, first identify your greatest strength and then look right behind it. That’s one of the tragic results of sin: it twists our strengths into weaknesses, just as (-1) x 100 becomes -100. Are you highly intelligent and well-studied in the Bible? Look out, because your knowledge can puff…(Read More)

  Many pastors are much better at imparting information than they are at building relationships. They are comfortable in their studies. They love their books. They pride themselves on their sound doctrine. They come alive in the pulpit as they proclaim “the wisdom of God” through carefully-crafted sermons. But when it comes to engaging…(Read More)

At last he had his chance. Clutching his prepared statement in his hand, Mark sat down in the front pew, ready to get even with the elders (all names have been changed). Six months earlier they had refused to support his promotion to senior pastor. They had stood silently by when Mark was slandered in…(Read More)

The current political climate, at both state and national levels, has highlighted the close connection between politics, pride and emotion. In an outward sense, every politician is constantly striving to build credibility, prestige and influence by highlighting his or her abilities and positions while connecting with the values and emotions of the audience. In an…(Read More)

Study Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln and you’ll learn a great deal about how to relate to your spouse, children, co-workers and the people in your church or ministry. Both men displayed their exceptional relational skills on the world stage. Lincoln led our country through the Civil War, the bloodiest period in our…(Read More)

In 1997, Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt won Academy Awards for Best Actor and Actress for their roles in the romantic comedy, As Good As it Gets. Throughout the movie, Helen Hunt demonstrates one of the most compelling ways to influence others. Before I describe her simple strategy (which can be used in the family…(Read More)

I’ve talked with many people who left their churches. Some did it for valid reasons and made the transition wisely and graciously. Others were driven by pride, bitterness or resentment, however, and their departures often caused considerable confusion and pain to others. If you or someone you know is ever considering such a move…(Read More)

A few days ago, a woman told me a heart-breaking story about her pastor. Cindy was born and raised at First Church, and Pastor Smith’s teaching had laid the foundation for her faith (all names changed). He had been like a second father to Cindy, gently guiding her through many of the struggles…(Read More)

Have you ever been in a meeting that was about to explode? You could feel the tension building with each person’s comments and knew it was just a matter of time before the dynamite went off. It might have been a conversation with your spouse or teenager. Maybe it was a staff meeting at…(Read More)

This plenary address was made to 700 Christian leaders from throughout Europe at the European Leadership Forum in Wisla, Poland, in 2016. Download Teaching Outline:  Life, Family, Ministry, and Witnessing Are All About Relationship…(Read More)

I’ve seen hundreds of terribly damaged relationships restored over the years. Whether the break was caused by adultery, embezzlement, broken contracts, wrongful termination or even physical or sexual abuse, I’ve seen God bring about amazing reconciliations again and again. But there’s one relationship that I’ve seldom seen restored. When pastors’ relationships…(Read More)

Last May I had the privilege of delivering a plenary address to 700 Christian leaders from throughout Europe. The video of this address was just released on the web by the Forum of Christian Leaders, along with an outline detailing the 31 marks of a relational leader. If you are in a leadership position of…(Read More)

Whenever we’ve done something wrong, our natural instinct is to conceal, deny or minimize our guilt. This dynamic began with Adam and Eve and is painfully evident in the current race for the White House. Sadly, it is also displayed in many churches, where both pastors and parishioners often give in to the tendency…(Read More)

I received a lot of positive feedback on last week’s post about a pastor who admitted his need for physical rest, spiritual renewal and relational retooling. One of the most insightful responses came from a different pastor’s wife, who described how both she and her husband also came close to burn out. I…(Read More)

It takes a great deal of humility, wisdom and courage for a popular pastor to admit that he is a “bruised reed” in desperate need of physical rest, spiritual renewal and relational retooling. That’s exactly what my friend Rankin Wilbourne did last Sunday … which catapulted my already-great respect for him to an even…(Read More)

It’s not often that an attorney loses a lawsuit, along with her two million dollar contingency fee, and yet walks away satisfied. I’ve seen similar satisfaction with employees who didn’t get a promotion. With church members who disagreed with their pastors. And with children who could not escape discipline. The relationship-saving…(Read More)

Churches and ministries (as well as married couples) could learn a vital lesson from the U.S. State Department. Chip Zimmer, our ministry’s Vice President, worked for the State Department from 1990-2001, serving in diplomatic posts in Africa and Latin America. In light of last week’s evacuation of the families of U…(Read More)

David Mason has shown exceptional energy, creativity and effectiveness in using the both faith-based and values-based versions of relational wisdom to strengthen the church and to spread the gospel throughout his community. David is the Senior Pastor of Green Valley Church in St. Joseph, Missouri. He became a Certified RW Instructor on September…(Read More)

Dr. Don Sweeting, President of Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, and Ken Sande, President of RW360, discuss the importance of church leaders developing biblically-grounded, gospel-driven relational skills. The Church Needs Relational Leaders – Reformed Theological Seminary from Ken Sande on Vimeo…(Read More)

One of the greatest blessings of my recent time in South Africa was seeing how quickly people were applying relational wisdom to vital life issues, such as social injustice, racism, family disintegration, church leadership and evangelism. I was especially impressed by the insights of Kyle Johnston, a young pastor who leads the counseling ministry at…(Read More)

The 2015/16 primary and presidential debates highlighted the close connection between politics, pride and emotion. In an outward sense, each of the many candidates was striving to build credibility, prestige and support by highlighting his or her abilities and connecting with the values and emotions of the audience. In an inward sense, even as…(Read More)

Click Here For a Downloadable PDF File Any time we make plans that impact a group of people—whether it’s our church, ministry, business or even our family—we have the opportunity to deepen and enrich our relationships, both with God and the people around us. But this takes discipline and deliberate effort, because…(Read More)

I had the privilege of spending the last three days with 200 men and women who are passionate about planting churches in southern California. We gathered at a leadership conference sponsored by Acts 29, a global network of church-planting churches. Having served dozens of churches that collapsed because of relational problems, I was grateful…(Read More)

I’ve seen a lot of leadership transitions over the past thirty years. Like the characters in an old Clint Eastwood western, they generally fell into one of three categories: The Good, the Bad, and the Clumsy (which often turned ugly). Bad Transitions Bad transitions usually involved one or more players with malicious motives. Like…(Read More)

Craig was well-equipped for teaching God’s Word. He was committed to Christ, thoroughly educated, solid in his doctrine, well read, loved to study Scripture, and could preach outstanding sermons Sunday after Sunday. He also saw himself as a gifted pastor. He loved to discuss theology, debate doctrinal issues, and tell people how to…(Read More)

Josh was slowly crumbling under a steady barrage of criticism. For a few weeks after he began as pastor, the people at his new church seemed friendly and supportive. But Josh soon discovered that many of them were perpetually dissatisfied. They constantly questioned his leadership and complained about weak sermons, unmet needs, or a lack…(Read More)

The church pays a heavy price every time a pastor is forced out of his pulpit. Consider these sobering statistics: 23 percent of all current pastors in the United States have been fired or forced to resign in the past.1 The average pastoral tenure in a local church today is a 3.8 years…(Read More)

Have you ever been in a meeting that was about to explode? You could feel the tension building with each person’s comments and knew it was just a matter of time before the dynamite went off. It might have been a conversation with your spouse or teenager. Maybe it was a staff meeting at…(Read More)