Blog Posts on Spiritual Leadership

Bible-Balance in Christian Ministry

David Crabb
Bible-Balance in Christian Ministry

You don’t hear a lot about it in seminary. It doesn’t get much discussion in pastoral theology books. But one of the more complex challenges of Christian leadership is cultivating a Bible-balanced ministry. What does it mean for a church, or a ministry, to be Bible-balanced? Why is it important?

Emphasis Matters

Many errors in the church are not ones of substance, but degree. It is possible for a pastor to lead his church poorly while teaching wonderful things. How? By... Continue Reading

When You Start to Outlive Your Heroes

John Piper
When You Start to Outlive Your Heroes

How does an old man obey Hebrews 13:7?

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.

At 67, who are my leaders? Who has spoken to me the word of God? Whose faith should I imitate? Whose outcome of life should I consider?

The older I get, the fewer leaders are left who spoke to me the word of God. The fewer faithful men in front of me leading the way. They are dying. The older I get, the... Continue Reading

20 Verses for God-Centered Administrators

Sam Crabtree
20 Verses for God-Centered Administrators

God doesn’t need us. We need him.

Don’t get the roles reversed. We are not indispensable. He is.

This is an essential reminder for all of us — and especially those of us in heavily administrative and “executive” roles. We executives are supposed to execute, after all.

But as Christians, we know how finite, dependent, contingent we are. And we need to be reminded of it regularly and guard ourselves from subtly beginning to operate as if we really can execute on our... Continue Reading

What the Church Can Learn from Chick-fil-A

David Mathis
What the Church Can Learn from Chick-fil-A

The cows started writing on billboards in the Twin Cities metro earlier this year. End of Burgerz — Koming Soon.

These bovines can’t spell, but we got the message — especially those of us Minnesotans who are transplants from the South. Here comes Chick-fil-A, at long last. Time to Eat Mor Chikin.

Christian Roots and Controversy

It’s no secret the chain was founded by an unapologetic Christian from the Atlanta-area. Now in his nineties, Truett Cathy has operated his... Continue Reading

Failure to Live on Mission Is a Worship Problem

Trevin Wax
Failure to Live on Mission Is a Worship Problem

Sometimes we think the way to engage people in mission is to make sure we get the right information to them.

  • If we just preach the Bible, people will evangelize.

  • If we show people the commands in Scripture to care for the poor, people will develop a heart for mercy ministry.

  • If we make people aware of our need for more volunteers, people will sign up.

In other words, we perceive a knowledge problem. People need to know how to apply the Scriptures better, and once... Continue Reading

Fighting the Tyranny of Ministry Success

Ben Stuart
Fighting the Tyranny of Ministry Success

What is the most loving thing God can do for a 22-year-old minister?

In my case, it was ordaining that my inaugural, epic, game-changing, well-publicized ministry event be attended by one kid.

One single human being. A junior high boy named Austin.

Feed His One Sheep

My honest reaction as I sat there and looked into the face of this young man was one of resentment. I wanted, needed, and even expected God to give me a far more successful ministry. Like the frustrated... Continue Reading

Jerry Bridges Talks Disciplemaking

David Mathis

For 60 years now, he’s been with The Navigators, known for their discipling. So don’t expect Jerry Bridges to be naive about the process of disciplemaking.

Recently, when Bridges joined us at the Desiring God offices, he made some insightful observations about what he calls “two stages of disciplemaking.” He gave us permission to hit record, and we discussed his reflections in the latest episode of Theology Refresh.

An initial and primary stage, he says, is about helping... Continue Reading

Biblical Counseling: God Changing Lives Through Ordinary People

David Mathis

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “biblical counseling”?

No doubt, many think of a movement that takes sin seriously. A growing number may call to mind a movement that is increasingly taking suffering seriously as well.

But ask the question to one of the movement’s key leaders, Ed Welch. You may be pleasantly surprised how illuminating and practical his simple and straightforward answer is.

Biblical counseling, in its best conception,... Continue Reading

For Leaders, and for All of Us

John Knight

It was the contrast that caught my attention. One of my colleagues said he knew the blog series "How to Stay Christian in Seminary" was for a niche audience, yet I knew I'd been helped by it (though I'm not a seminarian). The focus may have been on seminary, but the wisdom each blog post contained could be applied to a much broader audience.

And I saw three different areas where the rest of us benefit from this topic:

1. The leaders it produces.

Seminaries exist to produce... Continue Reading

When Is Indecision Loveless and Sinful? (A Lesson from Bonhoeffer)

John Piper
When Is Indecision Loveless and Sinful? (A Lesson from Bonhoeffer)

Have you ever been paralyzed with indecision? I have. It is not a good trait of leadership.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer breathed the air of crisis most of his adult life. This would eventually make the issue of decisiveness a matter of life and death. And even before that moment it was an issue of love.

Everywhere Bonhoeffer looked in the Europe of 1934 he saw Christian indecisiveness. The “deutsche Christen,” the global ecumenical movement — everyone... Continue Reading