4 Preoccupations of Great Leaders

UnknownEveryone is preoccupied by something. What separates the difference makers from those who simply don’t comes down to what they are preoccupied with. Especially for those serving in ministry life, here are 4 Preoccupations of Great Leaders…

Who are we serving? It’s easy to get off-center and become a people-pleaser. Let’s face it, so much is tied to the support and morale of those under our influence. Are we called to serve a world of others? Yes. However, they shouldn’t be our deep motivation. Besides, falling in and out of favor based on the preferences of people is just a fact of life for leaders. Remember, what we do is ultimately done “as unto the Lord.” It is his “well done” that we are striving for and are living in by His grace, through faith.

Why are we doing this? Any leader worth their salt has looked toward heaven and asked, “What am I doing and why am I doing it!?!” While it may have become a little too familiar in leadership circles, knowing and constantly returning to our “Why?” is a healthy practice, essential, really. When I’ve found myself wandering and wondering as a leader I have returned again and again to thoughts that focus on the good of others, the health of my family and the glory of the Lord. What is your “Why?”

How can I help? We vision and value. We strategize and plan. We resource and equip. We do a lot of things  in the pursuit or our organizational missions. But, somehow, we can still fall short of leading effectively. Return often to a simpler place as a leader and ask those you have empowered, “How can I help?” We may just be surprised to find that some of what we offer is of little help. In short, let others help you help them.

Who’s next? Most of us are so preoccupied with answering,  “What’s next?” that we miss the more important and far more influential question, “Who’s next?” Who are investing in? Who are you developing, encouraging, helping to grow and get better, BE better? Whether you are just getting started or are coming down the final stretch, your season as a leader will pass all too quickly. There will always be something else, but there will never be someone else quite like you and, even more important, those you can and should be preparing to lead next. Invest in “Who’s next?” and the “What’s next?” will become far more effective.

What are your preoccupations as a leader? I would love to hear your thoughts below! Need some help discovering your “Why?” Email me at and let’s talk about partnering to become a healthier leader.


Why Your Church Should Invest in Young Leaders

IMG_7323Why should you and your church invest in young leaders? Whether college age or 20 somethings, volunteers, interns, part or full-time, here are 4 reasons why you should make partnering with young leaders a priority…

1) You are investing in them. The challenge they face is this… ministries post positions but require or “prefer” 3 or 5 years experience. Yet, not everyone wants to give them the chance. This is more than discouraging to many young people I have spoken to. They are eager to answer their unique callings into ministry but hit the experience “wall” time and again. My advice for your church… INVEST! You be the ministry that gives them a shot.

Jiaan&Katelyn2) You are investing in your ministry. Young leaders bring an energy and enthusiasm that is a “shot in the arm” for any lead team and church family. The young leaders we have purposed to partner with over the years have done this and so much more! Sure, they will make some mistakes along the way. Who hasn’t? Who doesn’t? Still, they bring fresh ideas and creative perspectives to the table, especially concerning how to reach their generation for Christ.

3) You are investing in yourself. Fair warning… you and your more seasoned team may just be the ones who gain experience and insight into life and ministry. While it may be all too familiar, 1 Timothy 4:12 applies well here… “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 

4) You are investing in the kingdom of Christ! If you are worried about young people coming, gaining experience and then leaving… your fears may be justified, especially if you are a smaller congregation. However, if you see your role as a mentoring church in the BIG PICTURE of fulfilling the Great Commission, then it is a privilege to do so. Give them a shot. Help them grow. Learn and grow from them and then launch them into new realms of influence for Jesus! Who knows, maybe one will stick around and serve long-term? You won’t know until you try. Either way, it’s about what’s best for Christ and expanding His kingdom in your community..

NickMaryNellThe rewards far outweigh the risks when it comes to partnering with young leaders. They are not the church’s future… they are the kingdom now. And, they are waiting. INVEST!

Monday Mindset – Legacy

imgres-6How will the decisions you make as a leader today, impact the world for Christ tomorrow? Who will you encourage and equip to be better and reach farther in the unique role God has designed for them? You won’t know unless you step up, step out and invest in them.

Here is a brief story of just such an investment…

Walking down the long farm lane in the beautiful hills outside of Knoxville, I couldn’t help but give quiet thanks to God for playing a small role in a much bigger story. I had just performed the wedding of a young couple. Nick had graduated from Asbury University in Wilmore, KY, the previous weekend, and Mary Nell has two years to go. They have an awesome heart for Christ, others, and love for the outdoors. He is also our new youth pastor at church. But the story and our connection goes back much further.

In the late 50’s my father was working at the Bluebird Bus factory in Fort Valley, Georgia. He worked the long days in the factory and slept in the bunk house with other workers at night. His heart was already stirred by a calling to ministry, encouraged by his older brother who was entering the ministry. However, pursuing this educationally was not a financial option. Still, he did his best to witness for Christ each day, something that didn’t go unnoticed. One day he was called into the office of the owner and President, Mr. AL “Buddy” Luce. Fearing for his job and wondering what he might have done, he was relieved when Mr. Luce simply began to ask him about his life, his hopes and his calling. Mr. Luce quickly got to the point and made dad a deal, “Come and work for me in the summers, keep your grades up, and I will pay to send you to Asbury College to pursue your calling.” Dad was stunned, grateful, excited and scared all at once. The next thing you know he was on a bus and off to the faraway country of Kentucky. The rest is history yet unfolding. He would meet my mom, graduate college and seminary at Asbury, and they served the Lord for over 50 years in ministry. As a matter of fact they are still serving today, along with two sons, a daughter, grandson and a host of young men and women who have followed their own callings into ministry, missions, education, business and more. But our family hasn’t been the only ones by far.

Throughout the years the Luce family has continued investing in young lives through various scholarships, endowments, and other channels of generosity unseen and unsung. The young couple I had just married is one of those as the Luce family is supporting her education through one of their scholarships. We had no idea about this connection when we first met and called this couple to work with our youth. The wedding itself was hosted by the Luce family at their Ivy Hill Farm.

Sitting around a reception table with the grown grandkids of AL “Buddy” Luce, I had the privilege of sharing the story of how God has used the generous investment of their grandfather to leave a legacy. This legacy continues to be passed down and spread wide for Christ and His kingdom still today.

How is God calling you to invest in someone today? You may not be able to send a host of kids to college to pursue their dreams. However, what each of us can do as servant leaders, we must do! Your encouragement and your support of the emerging generation will set wheels in motion that will impact the world in ways you will only know in eternity. Our family’s life and legacy was set in motion long ago at the Bluebird Bus factory and I give God thanks every time I see one of these busses. Where will your legacy begin? Invest in someone for Christ today!

Share your story in the Reply section below!