Why You Should Never Let Your Circumstances Do This One Thing To You


You face them every day you are always reacting to them–positively or negatively.

Think about it. What circumstances in your life do you wish would change right now?

A different work environment that doesn’t suck the life out of you

Better health

A happier marriage

A closer connection with God

A more understanding boss

Less pressure

I mean I get that. Few of us look over our life and pronounce things perfect.

But far too many people—and far too many leaders—make this one critical mistake in how they handle their circumstances.

The worst part is we do it without realizing we’ve done it.


The Critical Mistake

Far too often, we look to our circumstances to determine what’s going to happen next.

Today (and every day), you will tempted to let your circumstances define you.

It shows up innocently enough:

Well I can’t because…

That’s awesome for them but you need to understand my situation…

I’d love a chance at that, and yet…

I was going to do it but…

Well sure I would have more success if X wouldn’t be true…

I used to believe that was possible…

So what’s the critical mistake you and I will make over and over again unless we see it and address it?


Why We Need More Entrepreneurial Church Leaders, Not More Shepherds

I realize I might be opening up a controversial conversation. But I think it has to be said.

And I hope you’ll hear me out.

If the church is going to reverse some trends and maximize potential, we need more entrepreneurial pastors, not more shepherds.

There’s too much at stake to ignore this conversation.

We’re (Quite Literally) Missing the Boat

If you’re a Christian, for certain the reason you have the faith you have is because Jesus died and rose again. That’s the absolute foundation of our faith.

But would you ever have heard about Jesus if a rabbi named Saul hadn’t sailed all over the known world telling every Jewish and non-Jewish person he could find about Jesus, planting churches almost everywhere he went?

The Apostle Paul, as he became known, left a huge impact not just on the church, but on millions of lives (and on human history) because he possessed the spiritual gift of apostleship.

What’s an apostle? To put it into today’s idiom, an apostle is a spiritual entrepreneur. (Here’s a great article from Leadership Journal about apostleship in the church today.)

A shepherd cares for a (usually) small group. An apostle launches dozens, hundreds or thousands of new communities of Christ-followers.

The church today is flooded with leaders who fit the shepherd model, caring for people who are already assembled, managing what’s been built and helping to meet people’s needs. (This is also a spiritual gift.)

But we have far too few leaders who have the spiritual gift of apostleship.

I believe this helps explain the malaise in much of the Western church in which the vast majority of churches are plateaued or declining.

We quite literally need people to get in a boat (or a car or a plane) and start new things, shake up the old and lead into a better tomorrow.


Is This Just Another Slam of Small Churches….?

Is this another slam against small churches?

Well…yes and no.

I love what Karl Vaters has said about small churches.  Karl pastors in Orange County California, where everyone has a megachurch it seems. He leads a smaller church.

According to Karl,

90% of the churches in the world have less than 200 people.

80% have less than 100 people.

And he asks a great question. What if [having a lot of small churches] is not a problem; what if that’s a strategy God wants to use?”

Interesting. You could hear this as a justification for keeping churches small (a justification I’ve heard far too many times).

But hear him out. He adds a crucial caveat:

I’m not interested in someone who says “We have these few. That’s all we ever want. That’s all we ever need.” If that’s your attitude, God bless you (I don’t think he will.)

I want people who want to innovate…who realize that maybe because of their gifting it works better in a small setting. But it’s not about settling. Never settle. Never settle.

Couldn’t agree more. Thank you Karl! (Here’s his whole interview.)

I just wonder if part of that innovation is going to come from people (even in small churches) with the gift of apostleship. If the church as a whole is going to grow, this has to become an all-skate.


5 Things Entrepreneurial Leaders Bring

There are at least gifts crucial skills (gifts) entrepreneurial leaders bring to the table:


You’re Not Alone: 5 Things I Still Struggle With As a Leader Almost Every Day

You would think the struggle as a leader would be over one day, wouldn’t you?

Well, hold out for that and you’ll be holding out forever.

The truth is the leaders you and I admire most are leaders who are constantly being stretched, and who never stop growing and have an almost insatiable desire for growth.

And part of that struggle involves pushing past their insecurities.

Will you and I ever get over our insecurities? Maybe. Maybe not.

But the only way you’ll grow as a leader is to push past them. Every. Single. Day.


Why The Insecurity?

Steven Furtick put it so well:

The reason we struggle with insecurity is we compare our behind-the-scenes footage with everyone else’s highlight reel.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

I realize that when I’m insecure, my faith in God is smaller than it ought to be and that my identity is misplaced. When I should be looking to Christ, I’m looking to myself or others.

I find that acknowledging my insecurity, surrendering it and pushing past it really helps.


5 Things I Still Struggle With As a Leader Almost Every Day

Here are 5 insecurities I (still) have to push past almost every day:


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