Author: tompelt

What I Learned Off-Grid

On the Summit of Spread Eagle Peak!

I went on summer vacation with my family and, for the first time, stayed off-grid, unplugged from work and social media. Crazy, right?

Here’s what I was reminded of and learned from my online hiatus in the mountains…

Lesson 1: I loved it!

I was present and in the moment with family & the Lord like never before. It was awesome. Plain and simple.

Sure, I snapped a few photos here and there to remember and celebrate at a later date. However, it was so good to be authentically in the moment and not feel like it had to be shared with anyone else, at least not right then and there.

Many times there were no pictures taken at all. The memories are that much more vivid in the hearts and minds of those who experienced it in real time.

Lesson 2: It’s okay.

I stayed off-line and, I’ll admit it, it took some getting used to.

After all, “If it happened and no one posted online about it, did it really happen?”

Some won’t get this. Some may even be a little suspicious of what the deal is with someone who dares to not make just about everything about their vacation public knowledge. My advice? Do it anyway. Those that truly know and love you will get it and be fine with it.

It’s also okay to keep sharing.

This goes without saying. Posting on social media has long been a part of the joy of sharing life with extended family and friends who aren’t there. It’s just how an emerging generation communicates. They simply don’t know life any other way.

Good leaders recognize this reality and choose to meet people where they live, virtually or not. This reality is increasing exponentially over time. For more about this and a little different take on things, check out

Lesson 3: I am needed, but not necessary.

The world, the church, family and friends all went on without me. This is a healthy, humbling perspective for all of us to have. Call it a reality-check.

Besides, if we have surrounded ourselves with great leaders, everything can and should keep moving forward well in our temporary absence.

I really did miss connecting online & sharing with other family and friends! I also wondered what was going on at church, especially among the lead team. Still, both of these had a way of drawing me to prayer for these same people all the more.

As it turns out, they were all still there, still doing life and work, some were on their own vacations. They were still posting and sharing the latest happenings. All I had to do was jump back into the virtual stream to catch up.

Lesson 4: I’m better for it.

I’m rested. I’m recharged. I’m reset and ready for what the Lord has next. I truly felt like I got away from it all. Isn’t that what the principle of the Sabbath is all about? Isn’t that what “getting away from it all” is for? I’m glad I finally got the memo and chose to experience a little bit of life off-line.

I highly recommending unplugged vacations and even going off-grid for some strategic days, events and moments.

Plan on it and plan for it. Let those that need to know, know, and then trust the Lord and them with everything else.

It may be hard to imagine life without play-by-play commentary as you live it. However, maybe you will discover that it’s worth it every once in a while.

I dare you.

Live life a little more off-grid and a little more in the moment.

What are your thoughts on living and leading off-grid? Share your insights in the comment section below!

Sunset over the Sangre de Cristo Range

Influence Multiplied

How do you multiply your influence as a leader?

Leaders who intentionally create and actively encourage a culture of delegation, position their teams for greater health, influence and growth.

Still, too many leaders fear delegation for a variety of reasons (mostly unhealthy) and this keeps them, their lead teams, and the organization as a whole from reaching their full potential.

This doesn’t have to be you.

Learn to multiply your influence through the power of delegation.

Here are 5 Steps to Delegating Well…

Step 1: Choose wisely

Resist the temptation to pick someone too quickly, just to meet a need and, let’s face it… get it off your “To Do” list.

Do your homework.

Don’t accept the first person to eagerly volunteer or press someone close to you into service just to fill the void.

Delegate the same way for a short-term project you would hire a full-time staffer, keeping a sense of calling, character, chemistry and competence in mind.

Make the time to sit down across the table and learn their story. and answer their questions. Make sure they understand from the beginning what the “Why?” is behind the position you are both considering a partnership in.

John Ortberg affirms, “I don’t have a problem with delegation. I love to delegate. I am either lazy enough, or busy enough, or trusting enough, or congenial enough, that the notion of leaving tasks in someone else’s lap doesn’t just sound wise to me, it sounds attractive.”

Step 2: Explain simply

Only expect people to do exceptionally what you have communicated exceptionally well.

This is all about letting people in on just what they are getting themselves into. People are far more likely to partner with you if they are aware of the level of commitment they are agreeing to.

This means explaining and putting into a simple document the why, who, what, when, where and how of the role they will be fulfilling and/or task they will be undertaking.

Step 3: Empower willingly

In other words, don’t delegate a task, delegate authority. Craig Groeschel speaks to this point in a challenging and encouraging way. Check out the link at the end of this post!

The extent of authority should match the breadth and depth of responsibility. Leaders that fail to lend authority to those they have tasked with responsibility find their pool of quality people drying up fast. Explain simply to those you are empowering, and to all those they will be leading ,who reports to them and who they report to.

We are all accountable.

Resist the urge to micromanage or hover. Give them space to do what needs done. Remember, you have been lent power to lend power.

Step 4: Resource thoroughly

You wouldn’t ask someone to drive a nail without a hammer or to bake a cake without flour.

Don’t task people to do something without giving them the tools to get the job done right.

While these should include tangible resources such as a specific budget, gathering/working space and technology, don’t overlook the intangibles such as the details they need to lead in an informed way.

Step 5: Follow-up responsibly

“How’s it going?”

“What can I do to help?” These should be common questions you ask as a leader. Realize that if you have chosen quality people to serve they will be tempted to lead without seeking out additional advice or assistance. Be an occasional but intentional presence. Listen to concerns and lend a hand.

Then, when the task is complete or the role has run it’s course, sit down to process the highs and lows and glean from the experience what you would or wouldn’t do again, what didn’t work and what did.


Be your team’s biggest fans.

Lead the way in encouraging and cheering on those you are privileged to partner with in seeing your unique mission fulfilled.

Jesus is the ultimate model of delegation.

He was fully human, yet, fully God. He chose to partner with 12 men knowing their sins and shortcomings in order to fulfill the Father’s will and birth His church. The rest is history and now we have the opportunity to follow in His footsteps and partner in making disciples who make disciples!

Learn the power and practice of delegation well and see the influence of your teams go farther than you ever imagined!

Want to learn more about the power of delegation. Check out Download the free Show Notes, gather your team and take your influence to another level!

The Lonely Leader Part 3

How do you keep from the kind of lonely that quickly trends towards isolation?

You don’t have to be lonely alone! Here are 4 Ways to Avoid Isolation…

1 – Refuse to isolate. Determine not to isolate and tell someone about your commitment who will hold you accountable for staying in community.
2 – Get alone with the Lord. Solitude with Him is sacred. Isolation is not. Get away and get into His Word, prayer, worship and meditation daily.
3 – Stay connected to the family. We desperately need the encouragement and accountability that the Spirit of God brings through the Body of Christ! While you are at it, serve someone together. Few things draw us closer to the Lord and the family of God like taking Jesus’ example and serving others in His Name.

“God sets the lonely in families,
    he leads out the prisoners with singing;
    but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.” (Psalm 68:6)

4 – Praise the Lord! There is power in our praise of the One who is always true to Himself and His people. Have you ever read the account of Paul and Silas in prison. They chose to turn their prison into a Tabernacle of Praise and this led to their freedom AND the salvation of the jailor and his entire household!


Jesus’ brother challenges and inspires in James 4:8a, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” The moment you turn to Him you will find that He was and is right there waiting for you and already walking with you!

Check out this challenging article on responding to loneliness as a local church.

What are your thoughts on loneliness and how to live through it as followers of Jesus and leaders in His church? Let us know your thoughts in the reply section below!

The Lonely Leader Part 2

We will all face loneliness. However, isolation is a choice, and it’s a bad one.

And, yes, we all need some “alone time” with just us and Jesus. This isn’t about that.

Let’s deal with the hard truth about isolation.

Isolation isn’t an isolated event. It hurts those we should be doing life with, and everyone misses out.

How do we know if we are living in isolation? Isolation is often marked by several things:

  • Lies from the enemy. It’s just what he does!
  • Abuse and excess. We tend towards extremes when no one is around to hold us accountable.
  • Victim status. It is easy to justify this status when we have isolated ourselves from the perspective others can bring.
  • Extreme blame. The fault has little (or nothing) to do with us. “It’s all their fault.”
  • Normalization. This is when we have allowed “Victim” instead of “Victor” to become our identity.

Give Psalm 25:16-22 a read. David felt like we have all felt, maybe how we do right now. Understand that David was the King! He had servants, he was married, had lots of kids, had officers and an army of men including a group known as David’s Mighty Warriors (also known as David’s Mighty Men or the Gibborim; Hebrew: הַגִּבֹּרִ֛ים ha-Gibbōrîm) are a group of 37 men in the Hebrew Bible who fought with King David and are identified in 2 Samuel 23:8–38.

There was no good reason for David to be lonely, let alone in isolation.

What we know is after this Psalm was written, David isolated himself and this contributed in no small way to his multiple sins of lies, adultery and murder in his selfish pursuit of Bathsheba. See 2 Samuel 11 – 12 for this sordid story.

We are never truly isolated. The enemy is right there to keep us company.

However, he will rarely reveal himself. Instead, he will whisper subtle half-truths and outright lies about God, you, others and your situation, that will serve to further isolate and discourage.

Discouragement unchecked leads to disillusionment and dissolution leads to desperation and desperation to deadly choices.

Is there hope for those in the dark of seclusion? YES!

Be on the lookout for the next post as we explore the steps to overcoming and then avoiding the trap of isolation.

Want to get a head-start on some great advice concerning loneliness and leadership? Check out

The Lonely Leader

Loneliness is a part of the human experience.

This doesn’t change when we become Christians nor does it suddenly go away when we answer the call to serve the Lord in vocational ministry.

No one knows this better than the pastors reading this. You know, and, thankfully, so does the Lord. When we feel lonely as followers of Jesus, regardless of our role within His kingdom, we have the opportunity to identify with Him.

No one knows what it is like to not only feel forsaken, but be forsaken, like our Lord.

The Apostle Paul got this and shared this sense of connection to Christ in his letter to His followers in Philippi. (See Philippians 3:10.) 

When it comes to loneliness, we all go there. None of us should stay there.

Pastor, here’s the BIG POINT: DON’T BE LONELY ALONE.

When we stay lonely alone, too long, we risk the real problem, isolation.

Proverbs 18:1, “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.”

The root word in this verse is פָּרַד paw-rad’; to break through, spread or separate: disperse, divide, be out of joint, part, scatter, separate, sever self, stretch, sunder. (Strong’s, H6504)

We all face loneliness. However, isolation is a choice.

How do you know if you are choosing isolation as a leader? Isolation is characterized by numerous symptoms. These symptoms come on slowly but very surely.

Join us in The Lonely Leader – Part 2 coming soon as we uncover these symptoms together.

Until then, check out this great post that deals with the subject of loneliness in leadership by Thomas Rainer.

Pastor, church leader, whoever you are…

You don’t have to lead lonely alone!

Beat the Summer Slump

Is it possible to grow your teams and the overall health of your congregation during what most church leaders call the “summer slump?” YES!

God set the world up so that most healthy things grow during the summer season.

Where do you begin?

You have to talk about, plan for and provide practical solutions.

This starts around the leadership table and doesn’t end until it is promoted from the weekend worship and preaching platform to all of your social media outlets.

How can you strategically lead your ministry teams during the months when most people, including your team members/volunteers, are tempted to “check out?”

Consider leading a 5R Strategy with your staff & lead teams.

Check out the 5R Strategy posts on this site that offer a plan you can tailor for your teams to Rest, Review, Recruit, Retrain and then Relaunch! Start here –

Who do you talk to?

Like most strategic initiatives, you start with your staff, then engage your lead teams and then your congregation.

If it’s important, it should have both input and buy-in at all levels from start to finish.

Who knows how many creative ideas and willing people are just waiting to get on board! Great leaders are great gatherers of great people!

What should you be talking about?

Here are 5 Summer Subjects to address…

Our Need to Get Away! This is all about rest.

Lead the way in encouraging rest for your staff, teams/volunteers and members. Cultivate a culture that values the health of it’s people beginning with seasons of much deserved rest. Find out more in these posts – and

Our Need to Gather! This is all about fellowship.

Lead the way in encouraging people to keep gathering when they aren’t enjoying their vacation or weekend get-a-way. Be creative in providing opportunities for this not only in your main weekend worship experiences, but at other times for just getting together for fun and fellowship. Cookouts and/or tailgate parties never go out of style and can be done by churches large and small!

Our Need to Grow! This is all about spiritual growth.

Lead the way in encouraging people to continue in personal and family spiritual growth.

You need to come right out and say it, “We don’t need a vacation from growing in Jesus.”

Start at the most basic place. Talk about having a daily time reading God’s Word and praying and how fundamental this is to us as followers of Jesus. Share from your heart what this has meant to you and/or have others share what it has meant in their lives and families.

Don’t “pound the pulpit” about it. Instead, talk in simple terms and transparent ways about our temptation to do this over the summer. Then, provide some practical ways to grow in a personal/family devotional life.

Here are a few reminders you can give and resources you can offer:

  • Download the YouVersion Bible App and follow a personal daily reading plan. Offer plans for groups and/or as a congregation.
  • Provide a subscription to RightNow Media. This resource provides an amazing amount of video teachings, messages, conferences, and entertaining choices for all ages!

Our Need to Give! This is all about stewardship.

Lead the way in encouraging people to stay out of debt personally and as a family over the summer.

Start with caring about their personal finances and debt so they know you truly care about them, not just what they can give! Then, lead the way in encouraging everyone to continue (or start) tithing and giving.

Here are a few suggestions for your staff/lead teams and resources you can offer:

Our Need to GO! This is all about serving.

Lead the way in serving others, starting in your local community. Provide opportunities to serve as a staff, lead teams, small groups or as a congregation.

Here are some great examples!

  • Landscaping: Gather groups to spruce up the landscaping at Foster Care family and group homes.
  • Provide childcare at your church to Foster Parents to have a “date night.”
  • Clean up a local park, recreation area, beach or other public space.
  • Host a block party for those in your immediate neighborhood.
  • Read and/or sing at a local nursing home or extended care facility.
  • Volunteer at a local homeless shelter.
  • Host a “back to school” supply drive to help parents with the expenses of school supplies. (Check out local school supply lists usually provided)
  • Go old-school with a free car wash hosted by your youth and/or young adults!

Summer Break is an annual reality. Going through the “Summer Slump” doesn’t have to be!

Email us at and let’s talk about what a coaching partnership could mean for your health and growth as a pastor, lead team and congregation!

Get Fit

Pastors are known for many things. Unfortunately, physical fitness may not crack the Top 10.

If you are a pastor (or busy leader) that needs to get in shape, this post is for you. Ask yourself, “How much more effective could I be if I lived with increased energy, mental sharpness and emotional lift?” It’s time to find out.

Here are some tips you can start applying today…

Drink water. Drink a lot of water all day, every day. Make a goal of at least 80+ ounces a day. Stop (or cut way down) drinking sodas and/or other sugary drinks. You drink diet? It’s worse. Sodas of any kind are akin to embalming fluid.

Our adult bodies average between 57-60% water content and the world we live in is around 71%. Get into the stuff you’re made of and stay hydrated.

Eat clean. Alright, eat cleaner. Here’s the tough part… cut way down on carbs and increase lean proteins. NO late night feeding frenzies. Don’t eat bread with every meal and, c’mon pastor, put down that doughnut! Did we mention “fast food?” When and if you must, choose grilled options and salads over fried foods and keep your portions sensible.

Here’s the fun part… eat more! Eat 5-6 smaller meals instead of 3 pig-outs and that midnight “4th meal.” Eat fruits and vegetables with every meal. Here’s a secret, your tastebuds will change. Believe it or not, you will eventually prefer grilled chicken, fish and lean beef over deep fried anything.

When you start feeling hungry, don’t reach for food first. Drink 12 oz of water and then see if you still feel hungry. Still need a snack? Reach for that banana or natural granola, almonds, etc. Keep some peanut butter or almond butter handy and try a spoonful to quiet the growling stomach.

Get and stay active. Get up. Get moving. You can do this. Take the stairs, not the elevator. Walk at lunch. Walk when you get a phone call. They’re called mobile phones for a reason. Take up hiking, cycling, cross training, even yoga, get a gym membership and work out on a regular basis.

I stop, drop and do some push-ups all the time in my office. It has a way of getting the heart pumping and increasing my energy. Try it!

Try a standing work station. Don’t just sit there while you work, study and sermonize. Take a stand! I use an adjustable cafe style table so I can stand without leaning over. I use it about 80% of my office time and it makes a daily difference. No more dozing off in the late morning or afternoon. Work on your feet and find your energy and creativity increase overall.

I’m writing this from my standing station as we speak!

Sleep more. That’s right, take that power nap whenever possible. Go to bed a 1/2 hour early. Go for 7-8 hours per night. Take time to recharge by catching some much needed zzz’s. You won’t get any medals for waking up earlier, staying up later or working yourself into an early grave. Model proper life management and remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

No excuses. Going on the road for that conference, retreat or revival? Get in 15 minutes of exercise in early morning or late night. Here is a link to a great workout for the road. 7 Minute Workout Can’t do it all at first? Do what you can when you can. No excuses.

Be accountable. The best athletes have great coaches and training partners. Find some friends who will call you up and call you out when it comes to the new lifestyle you have chosen. Set some reasonable goals together and encourage one another along the way.

Start small and get fit over the long haul. This is a lifestyle change, not just some new diet. You may not be anywhere close to running a marathon. Don’t overdo it in your zeal. Do check with your local doctor to assure you are getting in shape with a pace that is right for you. Start small and grow into greater health and physical well-being.

We set the example in soul, mind and body as leaders. Start today. You can do this!

Need some encouragement? Let me know how I can help. It would be a privilege to come alongside you and/or your team for a conference, retreat or ongoing coaching relationship.



Let’s do this! Before you know it, it’s time to relaunch for another season or session in your ministry area.

How do you do this well? Here are a few simple steps and friendly reminders as you Relaunch…

Set it! Set the the Relaunch date ASAP in the 5R Strategy process. Better yet, include these dates in your Annual Planning Calendar far in advance! Will your Relaunch coincide or maybe even conflict with another important event? It’s too important not to find out!

Start it! Start the 5R Strategy with the end, your Relaunch, in mind! What do you want it to look like? Define the WIN. Ask early on, “What will it mean for our Relaunch to be a huge success?” Will it be a “soft launch” that flies under the radar or will it be a “Strike up the band!” kind of day?

Shout it! People are busy. Don’t take for granted the need to get the word out in all of your media. Even better, practice the power of WOM! Nothing will ever replace the the buzz created by WORD OF MOUTH! Be intentional as a team in talking it up at every opportunity as the Relaunch approaches!

See it! Will your Relaunch be GUEST READY? What will the Relaunch look like from the perspective of those who have never experienced your church, let alone your specific ministry, before?

Apply it! Reviewing it isn’t enough. This is where you have to be purposeful about applying the things you discovered in your Review and practiced in your Retrain. It’s easy to fall back into old patterns. Don’t. APPLY IT!

Include them! Are all those you partnered with in the Recruit stage included in a meaningful way in the Relaunch? Increase your team influence by sharing it with new team members. Retrain with them and then be sure they are a strategic part of your Relaunch!

Celebrate it! This is one of the things that great churches and organizations do consistently. Celebrate the WIN and be sure to celebrate the volunteers and team leaders who made that win possible. Take pictures and video of your Relaunch and highlight people serving and loving people well on your teams! This is one of the most powerful ways to gain, grow and keep your momentum as a team. And, it’s just plain fun!

Review it! Grab that Review It sheet and make sure your team is looking for ways to improve, to make it better. Things look good on paper and may have even gone great in training, but what are some things that you just couldn’t anticipate until you went “live?” Ask your team, especially new team members who have “fresh eyes,” make a list and then make it better and better!

Need help getting the 5R Strategy into the DNA of your ministry or organization? Email us at Let’s talk about how a partnership with Peak Pastors can help you and your teams grow more effective in realizing your unique vision!


The best teams train and then re-train.

We can all use a refresher course and all have more to learn!

Consider these 4 Steps to Retrain Your Team.

Step 1: Review Your Vision and Values.

Your team is part of something bigger! Refocus everyone on the what is central to every member as all work towards the greater WIN!

What do you do if you don’t know what your Vision and Values are?

Let’s talk! Email us at Let’s set up a free 30 minute consult and then consider a partnership to walk your leadership and ministry through a season of discovering your unique Vision and Values!

Until then, check out the 5 Part Series on Values starting with

Step 2: Get back to basics.

Review your specific job/ministry role and function.

What do you do if you don’t have these written out in simple terms? Again, let’s talk! That free 30 minute consult is waiting for you. Email us and let’s talk about the area of ministry you need to focus on.

Step 3: How do we make it better?

This simple question, when asked consistently over time and answered in purposed action, will create the kind of culture that is attractive not only to the people you hope to serve, but the kind of leaders you want to be partnering with you in serving!

Answer this simple question, incorporate it into your job descriptions and then…

Step 4: Dress Rehearsal.

For you sports people out there, this looks like a blue/white scrimmage. For you entrepreneur business types, this may even be a “soft launch.”

Gather your team and walk through your experience as though it were actually happening.

In the case of a soft launch, it is happening, you simply let everyone know in advance what you are doing, offer some fun incentives/freebies, etc, and everybody wins!

I’ll say it again, the best teams train and re-train.

It’s part of who they are and are yet becoming and this get’s into the cultural DNA as a . What are they becoming? BETTER and more effective at what they do to contribute to the overall Vision and Values.

In the case of the local church, this means everything as, together, you seek to fulfill the Great Commission in your community for Jesus Christ!


imagesNow that you know who NOT to recruit, let’s cover who would make great team leaders or members.

The classic 4 C’s of calling, character, chemistry and competence remain a tried and true guide as you vet potential team members.

Set up an interview. It can be in an office setting. Or, better yet, maybe over coffee at a cafe or lunch at a local restaurant. Keep the relational value in mind as you cover the 4 C’s.

Calling – Each calling is as unique as each person you interview.

Ask the simple question, “How do you see the Lord using you in this position?” Follow up with something like, “Why do you feel drawn to this area of ministry?”

Simply wanting to help out somewhere is evidence of a great heart. However, your teams need more than that. You need people who feel some sense of calling to make a real difference in the lives of people your team serves.

Character – It counts. No amount or talent can make up for a lack of character.

Ask the simple question, “Are you living a Christ-like example in your private and public life? What is one area where you are tempted, struggle or hope to grow?”

These questions will be revealing. If someone is resistant, evasive, defensive or, worse, insist that they don’t really struggle with anything, that’s your cue to move on.

Chemistry – Having a team member that isn’t a team player will always lead to a team fail.

Ask the simple question, “Are you a team player? Tell me what that means to you.”

You might even consider offering a 90 day trial period as a rule of thumb. Sometimes people have everything the team needs… they just don’t “fit.”

Give permission for everyone to discern if the chemistry is “organic” and the new team member “clicks” well with the team. It’s okay if they don’t and is simply too important to take for granted. Who knows, there may just be a team waiting where they will be just the right fit!

When great chemistry exists, great things happen. When it doesn’t, they don’t.

Competence – Team members have to be able to do the job, or be trained to do so. If they are interviewing with you, you should already have a confidence in their basic ability to add to the team.

Ask the simple question, “What does it mean to be teachable? Are you? Give an example.” We all have plenty to learn from the Spirit, Word and one another!

Do you have a Leadership Covenant or other defining documents? Make sure to cover those while you are at it. HINT: Send them ahead of time to give them time to pray and process them well.

In the long run, your team members will combine with you to create the culture you will live and lead in as an organization AND that guests will very quickly gain a sense of.

Purpose to create a culture of Christ-centered, servant-oriented team players!

Find out more about gathering and growing your volunteer teams! Check out our series on Viral Volunteerism. Learn how to make your ministry culture more compelling for the right kind of leaders and team members!