January 2014

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Emotional Health Should Be Required for Leaders

It’s one way to avoid toxic situations in your church

Because of a lifetime battling depression, Johanna's mom had difficulty coping with the challenges of raising a child. Spending hours in bed, she became detached from her daughter. The depression began a chain reaction in the family—Johanna's dad worked long hours so he didn't have to engage the painful situation at home. Consequently, Johanna grew up with parents who were ...

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Stop to Breathe

Leadership demands we make a commitment to rest

Busy leader, do yourself a favor. Stop to breathe.

Before reading past this paragraph, take three slow, deep breaths. Notice the sensation in your body each time you inhale, then exhale. Notice what happens in your inner being as you pause to take those breaths. Now…breathe.

Busy leader, did something within you resist stopping to breathe? Even if you did it, did something ...

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Word of the Year: Healthy

Is it time to take care of yourself?

Before a new year begins, I choose a one-word focus for the year to come. For me, the chosen word serves as a declaration of sorts: "In the new year, no matter what, I will be/will have ___." For example, my word for 2014 is "bold." In 2014, no matter what I am facing, I will be bold.

A few years ago in 2011, my word for the year was "healthy." I had just completed a three-month ...

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3 Temptations of Leadership: Envy

It’s just one of the respectable sins we find easy to hide while it poisons us

Christian leaders struggle with all sorts of temptations. We fool ourselves if we think otherwise. It's how we handle those temptations that determine whether or not lives will be destroyed.

Often when we think of Christian leaders and their temptations, we think about the so-called "big" sins, those usually having to do with sexual immorality. But there are many more temptations ...

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Her Homiletics Professor Didn’t Think Women Should Preach

An interview with Dr. Marguerite Shuster, Professor of Preaching and Theology at Fuller Seminary

Here at GFL we're interested in the unique journeys of women who are called into leadership. That Dr. Marguerite Shuster, Professor of Preaching and Theology at Fuller Seminary has remarked, "I would never recommend that anyone proceed as I have if she wants to get anywhere," has really only made us more curious.

When did you notice your first sense of calling to the ministry? ...

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3 Temptations of Leadership: Pride

Watch out for the many faces of this destructive sin

In an op-ed column in the New York Times, Frank Bruni had these admiring words to say about Pope Francis on the heels of the pontiff's interview with Fr. Anthony Spadaro, S.J.: "It was the sweetness in his timbre, the meekness of his posture. It was the revelation that a man can wear the loftiest of miters without having his head swell to fit it, and can hold an office to ...

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3 Temptations of Leadership: Abuse of Power

Often masked as something else, the sin of leaders can hide in plain sight

I remember sitting at the lunch table with one of my friends in college when he dropped a bomb on me: "I'd say that at least 50 percent of the Bible majors are addicted to porn."

"What? You mean to tell me that half of those seeking to be pastors are addicted to porn?"

"Yes," he said.

I was thoroughly upset and demoralized. "Well, they'd better not enter the ministry until ...

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If Your Heart Is Right, Ignore the Critics

We have no reason to apologize for using our gifts.
If Your Heart Is Right, Ignore the Critics
Image: Daryn Stumbaugh | Unsplash

Ambition is complicated. When related to material things it sounds like greed, so we often take the idea of "bigger and more" in our lives and boil it all down to sin. We sit in the back like my friend Jamie, who aches to dream, but says, "It always seems easier to sit on the back row and kill my dreams than to fight the sin that may be attached to those dreams." ...

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Top 10 in 2013

A list of our most popular reads last year

Happy New Year!

Let me be among the first to welcome you to 2014. This year, God has plans and purposes for you, works he has long planned for you to do (Ephesians 2:10). I trust you will dedicate this new year to God and resolve to do life and ministry in his name, through the expected and the unexpected.

As I look ahead to a fresh year, I pause as usual to tell you which of ...

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