What you need to know about dealing with introverts

So… are you an introvert, or an extrovert?

Me?  I’m quite an introvert.

And that drives some people crazy.

Introverts can be misunderstood many times.  We can be seen as totally introspective, anti-social, impersonal, and even sometimes ‘not all that bright’.

For extroverts, there is energy and acceptance in the crowd.

For introverts, crowds are exhausting.

Some people believe that introverts can’t make great leaders.  But I must tell you that some of the great communicators and church leaders I met over the years are real introverts.

How do you deal with introverts in YOUR ministry?  Here’s a graphic that may help you understand them; and help manage your expectations (or feelings toward) introverts and how they might respond (or not respond) to your personality and leadership:



Read more here…



What if your church was THIS generous?

Does being generous spur more generosity?

It would appear so.  From the Huffington Post:

A donut shop in Amesbury, Mass., witnessed an incredible string of customers “paying it forward” — and forward, and forward, and forward.

A total of 55 customers came through Heav’nly Donuts’ drive-thru on Saturday offering to pay the bill of the person behind them, CBS Boston affiliate WBZ reported.

The chain of generosity began after a stranger paid for Eileen Taylor’s drink on Friday. When she went back the next day committed to do the same for someone else, she started a trend.

“After that it was like, oh we’re three cars deep, four cars deep, and after about the 15th car I started letting the customers know, ‘Hey, we’re 17 cars in, you can either keep it going or you can take your coffee and go. Either way it’s your choice,’” a Heav’nly Donuts clerk told the station.

Wendy Clement, the shop’s manager, told the Christian Post that the chain eventually ended an hour and a half later -– but only because no one else was in line.

“It was fantastic,” Clement added. “The generosity was unbelievable.”

Read more here…

QUESTION:  What if YOUR CHURCH spurred this kind of generosity in your community?

QUESTION:  Leadership starts at the top.  Your church will only become as generous as your leaders.  How generous are you?

What’s the most generous thing you’ve ever seen a church do?


Rick Warren: Character Trumps Charisma Every Time.

Rick Warren writes:

Plenty of highly charismatic leaders have bombed out and failed because they lacked character, which trumps charisma every time. You don’t have to have charisma to be a leader.  You do have to have character, credibility, because leadership is influence and if you don’t have credibility nobody is going to follow you.

While your reputation is about what people say you are, character is who you really are.  D. L. Moody said, “Character is what you are in the dark when nobody is looking.”  In Timothy 3:1-13, Paul lays out the necessary characteristics for church leadership.  He never addresses having a robust resume, having gone to the right seminary, or having a magnetic public persona. He talks about character traits.

The fact is you will burn out if you try to imitate somebody else’s personality.  If you want to be a leader, don’t say, “I want to be like…” and pick a model.  If you try to imitate their personality, you will most likely burn out.  All leaders are very different, there is great diversity.  What great leaders do have in common is credibility and character. All great leaders have character.

Sometimes a person gets into leadership without character and then those character flaws cause their downfall.

How’s YOUR character?

Read more here…


Books don’t change people.

According to John Piper, books don’t change people.

But paragraphs do.

And sometimes just sentences are enough to change people.

Here’s one example Piper uses from a book by Jonathan Edwards:

It might be useful to illustrate this with two books by Jonathan Edwards that have influenced me most. Here are the key paragraphs and lessons from these books. Most of the rest of their content I have long forgotten (but who knows what remains in the subconscious and has profound impact?).

The End for Which God Created the World

Outside the Bible this may be the most influential book I have ever read. Its influence was inseparable from its transposition into the syllabus on Unity of the Bible in a course by that name with Daniel Fuller in seminary. There are two massive truths that were settled for me. First:

All that is ever spoken of in the Scripture as an ultimate end of God’s works is included in that one phrase, the glory of God. (Yale, Vol. 8, p. 526)

The book was an avalanche of Scripture demonstrating one of the most influential convictions in my life: God does everything for his glory. Then came its life-changing corollary:

In the creature’s knowing, esteeming, loving, rejoicing in, and praising God, the glory of God is both exhibited and acknowledged; his fullness is received and returned. Here is both an emanation and remanation. The refulgence shines upon and into the creature, and is reflected back to the luminary. The beams of glory come from God, and are something of God, and are refunded back again to their original. So that the whole is of God, and in God, and to God; and God is the beginning, middle and end in this affair. (Yale, Vol. 8, p. 531)

To me this was simply beautiful. It was overwhelming as a picture of the greatness of God. The impact was heighted by the fact that the last line is a manifest echo of Romans 11:36: “From him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”

But the central, life-shaping impact was the sentence: “In the creature’s knowing, esteeming, loving, rejoicing in, and praising God, the glory of God is both exhibited and acknowledged.” And even more specifically: “In the creature’s rejoicing in God, the glory of God is exhibited.” God’s glory is exhibited in my being happy in him. Or as Edwards says earlier: “The happiness of the creature consists in rejoicing in God, by which also God is magnified and exalted” (Yale, Vol. 8, p. 442.) If not being supremely happy in God means robbing him of his glory, everything changes.

That has been the unifying message of my life: God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.

Read more here…

Do you agree?

If so… what PARAGRAPHs or SENTENCEs have changed your life and ministry?


Would you hire someone at your church with a visible tattoo?

A few weeks ago, the HR Capitalist posted a blog called “The New Rules of Tattoos in the Marketplace“.  This was written for a secular blog, but I wondered what it would be like in the church.

Here are the new rules, according to the HR Capitalist:

1. Single Tattoos are no longer taboo – you have the cross, the barbed wire, a pacrim symbol for something, whatever.

2. We only assign max creativity to people with large portions of their upper torso covered.

3. No tattoos is starting to come back in style as “interesting” within some segments of the population.

4. Some single tattoos are seen as weak, meaning follower, etc.  Seriously. 


That caused another HR blog to do a survey, and the results were surprising:

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 7.32.59 AM


This seems a little more realistic to what I think things would look like in the church.

About 47% say it would be ok.  My guess is that’s still pretty high for church standards.

I know that of the people we’ve interviewed in the past two years, I would say that probably half had a tattoo of some type.

And probably about a quarter of our staff (at one time or another over the past couple of years) have some kind of markings.

What about you?

Would YOU hire someone with a tattoo?

Or is it still taboo?


Why your church should have a $20 cover charge

What if your church had a $20 cover charge philosophy?

Chris Brown thinks if we’re really handling the gospel the way we should be, it’s worthy of a $20 cover charge.



Pastors and their Smokin’ Hot Wives

Pastors and their smokin’ hot wives.  What a topic.  It’s been the trend for many pastors to say their wife is ‘smokin’ hot’ ever since this 2011 prayer.

But some don’t think you should be saying this.  Here’s why Jeff Fisher doesn’t like it when you talk about your own smokin’ hot wife:


  1. It makes me want to check out your wife – When I hear anyone say he has a “smoking hot” wife, I want to check her out for myself. I want to rate her on the “smokin’ hotness” scale. You push my button and trigger me to check out your wife.
  2. Strong sexual connotations with the phrase in our culture – The phrase is already being used in our culture to describe Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends, Miss America, America’s Top Model, and the Hooter’s waitresses you saw during lunch. It’s not a phrase we need to “claim for Jesus” from our pulpits.
  3. Focuses on the wrong thing – The message a pastor is sending is “look at the package.” God teaches us to value women, honor them, love them.
  4. Has objectification written all over it – There’s a fine line between admiring beauty and objectifying. In a lust-driven society we may say we’re admiring beauty, but we’re really saying “I want that for my own visual or sexual pleasure.” When we objectify we don’t value the human being, we take in the picture, video, or live person in front of us for our own pleasure.
  5. What message is this sending to wives? – Wives have a hard enough time with low self-esteem when it comes to their image. Magazines and movies already teach women that image is the most important thing; they don’t need their pastor sending the same message.
  6. What if I don’t have a “smoking hot” wife? – Guys get jealous quick and covetous of another’s “smoking hot” wife whenever their relational intimacy at home is failing.
  7. Is the pastor more blessed for having a “smokin’ hot wife”? – Any wife is a blessing from the Lord. The illusion for some is that the holy guy gets the better looking women. Would you be thanking God for your “average looking” wife? Would you even acknowledge this from the pulpit?

The backlash even produced a blog post called “My wife is not a rotisserie chicken or a leaky faucet“.

And some stronger words here from Zach J. Hoag:

It occurred to me that not once in the entire week did I hear any male leader talk about his smokin’ hot wife. Nor even an Obama-esque gaffe about being “cute” or “good-looking.”And that’s because this obsessive male Christian mentality can’t exist where women are speaking and preaching and leading in the same roles as men, mutually submitted to Christ and each other. Such an environment literally chokes out these misogynistic habits or at least exposes them for exactly what they are — objectifying and dehumanizing to women. And make no mistake, that’s what this is, because as soon as a woman is thought of as a thing – a thing like a “smokin’ hot Christian wife” — she becomes less of a person. And, interestingly, a person is exactly what a woman is first and foremost to God, a person made in God’s image, filled with God’s Spirit, and gifted to serve God as a member of the Body of Christ.

OK… both of these guys have probably put much more thought into the smokin’ hot wives debate than I ever will.

My biggest observation:  most of the smokin’ hot wives… aren’t.

Actually… many aren’t smokin’ OR hot.

But that’s ok.

Because it doesn’t matter.

And the truth is… mine IS.  (And I tell her that privately all the time).  The moment I said that on stage somewhere, I’d probably get clobbered.

And… the best part is… today is MY smokin’ hot wife’s birthday.  (It’s ok to say it on a blog… just not on stage).

So… happy birthday, Dawn.

(and you know what you are).


QUESTION:  Even if we all took a vote and your wife IS smokin’ hot… do you feel comfortable saying that from the stage?  (And does she feel comfortable with you saying that?)  Or are the two writers above correct about why you SHOULDN’T do that?



Sometimes as a church leader, you have to say NO or STOP

Seth Godin has a great post about the need to say NO or to say STOP.

His case in point is the movie The Lone Ranger.

The movie has flopped at the box office.

It cost almost a quarter of a billion (BILLION) dollars to make.

Seth’s point is:  the movie was made by some of the best professionals in the business:  actors, producers, marketing departments, etc.

But they were trying dress up a turkey.

(I’ve heard one church staff member over the years call this process “spray painting a turd”).

They tried to make something look good that just wasn’t.

Seth’s point:  You need people on your team who will call a turkey a turkey (or a turd a turd if you like that illustration).  Someone that will stop basting the turkey or spray painting and say NO or STOP.

Do you have THAT kind of person on your staff?

Do you have THAT kind of person on your board?

If not?  Find that person.  They’re a valuable asset to your team.


Read more from Seth here…

Need a good current sermon illustration for this Sunday?

You’ll be sure to find something that will spice up and add to this weekend’s message in the July issue of Ministry Briefing.

Maybe a statistic like half of all Americans will have some form of mental illness in their lifetime (according to the Center for Disease Control).

Or that Americans spend about $3,000 every minute on pornography.

Or maybe something a little more light-hearted, like the mix-up over hashtags at this year’s Southern Baptist Convention in Houston. The official promoted hashtag of the event was #SBC13, but it turns out that #SBC13 was also the official hashtag of the Sports Bra Challenge in New York City.This led to awkward tweets such as: “That was incredibly uplifting!” #SBC2013 and “I can’t tell if that pastor was glaring or staring at me” #SBC2013.

Order your copy today. 

Lesbians and abortion

Check out this Australian TV commercial, then check out this interesting twist from an article at Charisma:

Michael Brown writes:

What if the “born gay” fallacy was true and it was possible to identify a “gay baby” in the womb? Would the flaming liberals who so fiercely cling to a woman’s “right to choose” affirm her “right” to abort a gay fetus?

But for the sake of argument, and to go along with the absurd premise of the commercial, what if homosexuality was innate and there was a test to identify gay babies? Would it be acceptable to abort a gay fetus? Where would liberals stand on this moral issue?

As I noted in my book A Queer Thing Happened to America, “In 2008, Southern Baptist leader Al Mohler created a firestorm of controversy when he suggested that if it was determined that people were born homosexual, then perhaps a treatment for homosexuality could be found.  Gay activists were outraged by his comments (is anyone surprised?), and he even came under attack from conservatives who felt he had capitulated to the ‘born that way’ theory.

“But let’s think about this for a moment: If it is OK to put a girl with gender identity disorder on medication to delay the onset of puberty, then, as a teenager, to offer her sex-change surgery, then to put her on hormonal medication the rest of her life, why would it be wrong to look for a medical ‘treatment’ for homosexuality? And why would it be wrong to begin such treatment in the womb?

“Why is one treatment—a far more radical one!—fully acceptable while another one—far less radical and invasive—unacceptable? Why is one, which involves genital mutilation, applauded as progressive while the other, which does not affect the physical body at all, considered regressive? …

“If a gay person could be saved the stigma of rejection in a heterosexual world and could have new desires that would allow him or her to have offspring with the person he or she loves simply by getting a series of injections, wouldn’t it be worth it?”

All such talk, of course, is completely off limits (simply stated, if homosexuality is not a sickness, it doesn’t need a cure), but if gay activists want to push their “born gay” argument, then it’s only fair to ask if it’s morally acceptable to abort an allegedly gay fetus. Why not?

What a complex and complicated world we live in.




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