Category Archives: Leadership

real order of justice

When evil men plot, good men must plan. When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind. When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love. Where evil men seek to perpetuate an unjust ‘status quo’, good men must seek to bring into being a real order of justice.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


empty religion, empty churches

Some years ago I spoke to a man who had been a minister in a liberal, mainline denomination in Manhattan for four decades. He told me that when he had been trained for ministry in the early 1960s, he was confidently told by his teachers that the only religion that would survive in the future was the most mild, modern kind that did not believe in miracles or the deity of Christ or a literal, bodily resurrection. But when I spoke to him he was nearing retirement, and he observed that most of his generation of ministers presided over empty church sanctuaries and dwindling, aging congregations. “Ironically,” he observed, “they can only keep the doors open by renting them out to growing, vibrant churches that believe all the doctrines they were told would soon be obsolete.”

Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God, pages 24-26.

satisfaction for people’s aching hearts

An implication of saying that the essence of worship is satisfaction in God is that worship becomes radically God-centered. Nothing makes God more supreme and more central than when people are utterly persuaded that nothing-not money or prestige or leisure or family or job or health or sports or toys or friends or ministry-is going to bring satisfaction to their aching hearts besides God. This conviction breeds a people who go hard after God on Sunday morning (or any other time).They are not confused about why they are there. They do not see songs and prayers and sermons as mere traditions or mere duties. They see them as means of getting to God or God getting to them for more of his fullness.

John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad, p. 228

planes and plates

Another mark of good training is giving people responsibility with accountability. Our problem in the churches is that we don’t do that. The United States government takes multimillion-dollar planes and puts them in the hands of kids nineteen years old, and when those same kids come to church, we won’t even let them take up the offering.

Teaching to Change Lives, Howard Hendricks, p. 108

teaching: simple compound of the obvious and wonderful

“The best teacher is not the one who knows most but the one who is most capable of reducing knowledge to that simple compound of the obvious and wonderful.”

H. L. Mencken

quoted by Brad Lomenick, The Catalyst Leader: 8 Essentials for Becoming a Change Maker.

internal passion shapes actions

Your internal passion determines external reach. Your heart will shape the actions of your hands. For example, those who care about the poor will care for the poor.

Brad Lomenick, The Catalyst Leader: 8 Essentials for Becoming a Change Maker.

sanctity v. success

“We are tempted at every turn to lead out in a crowd a pleasing Christianity that promises people everything while costing people nothing . . . [but] God is more interested in the sanctity of his people than the success of our ministries.”

Margaret Feinberg, Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God 

quoted by Brad Lomenick, The Catalyst Leader: 8 Essentials for Becoming a Change Maker.

american cultural syncretism

The first task is to disentangle the life and identify of the church from the life and identify of American society. The neo-Anabaptists are right about the problems that attend the close association of the two. As it applies to the Constantinian associations of the church with the nation-state and political economy, their criticisms are mostly correct and little more needs to be added. For conservatives and progressives alike, Christianity far too comfortably legitimates the dominant political ideologies and far too uncritically justifies the prevailing macroeconomic structures and practices of our time. What is wrong with their critique is that it doesn’t go far enough, for the moral life and everyday social practices of the church are also far too entwined with the prevailing normative assumptions of American culture. Courtship and marriage, the formation and education of children, the mutual relationships and obligations, between the individual and community, vocation, leadership, consumption, leisure, “retirement” and the use of time in the final chapters of life–on these and other matters, Christianity has uncritically assimilated to the dominant ways of life in a manner dubious at the least. Even more, these assimilations arguably compromise the fundamental integrity of its witness to the world.

To Change the World, pp.184-185 by James Davidson Hunter

jesus doesn’t take sides

As a wise saint in my church put it, Jesus doesn’t take sides; He takes over.

Loving God with All You’ve Got, p.50 Sunder Krishnan

silent – listen – learn – prepare – serve – lead

“We must be silent before we can listen. We must listen before we can learn. We must learn before we can prepare. We must prepare before we can serve. We must serve before we can lead.”

William Arthur Ward, Leadership . . . with a human touch

Thanks to Kirk Weisler for this quote. Click to search Kirk’s Thought For the Day (T4D).