The Perils and Prize of Leadership: An Interview with Dr. Sam Chand

IMG_6087

One of the most respected voices on church and ministry leadership today is Dr. Sam Chand.  On his website his tag line is “My Life’s Vision is Helping Others Succeed” - and he’s good at it.  Sam and I have shared a number of clients over the years and time and time again, I’ve seen him turn around struggling churches, inspire frustrated leaders, and transform the culture at failing organizations.  Recently, I did an interview with Dr. Chand because I wanted to share some of his experience,  wisdom, and insight on church and ministry leadership.  Take notes.  Share it.  This is powerful stuff:

The Most Misunderstood Role in Ministry: The Executive Pastor

Mike Buster Blue Shirt 1

After decades working with churches around the world, I’ve discovered one of the most difficult challenges pastors face is finding the right “Executive Pastor.”  Smaller churches don’t usually need one, but as churches grow, a leader in that role becomes more and more important.  But in a significant number of cases, local pastors don’t really understand the job. In my opinion, one of the best XP’s in the country is Mike Buster, Executive Pastor at Prestonwood Church in Plano, Texas. He’s worked with Pastor Jack Graham for 28 years, and they’ve become a remarkable team. In fact, in my opinion,

Why Leadership By Threat Isn’t Leadership

Dollarphotoclub_61678069

The New Testament book of Mark is a powerful example of who responded to the message of Jesus and who didn’t. Chapter 12 is an especially good example. The people (Mark describes them as “throngs”) loved his message, but those who resisted where those in authority, because they saw his message as a threat. Sadly, too many leaders today attempt to use threats as

The Sweet Spot of Sharing the Christian Message

dart

We’re seeing a lot of criticism recently of pastors, writers, speakers, filmmakers as well as others about how they share the Christian message with the outside culture. Some are criticized for making it too easy – they lead with the “grace” message, and are hesitant to talk about tough issues like sin, hell, or punishment. On the other side, those who preach a more serious message about tough subjects are labelled as “out of date,” “insensitive” and “hard core.” I know the debate well because over the years, I’ve had friends and clients on both sides of the argument. But here’s the problem: It’s the wrong argument, and here’s why:

The Problem With Chronically Late Leaders

tumblr_n6rz3iGDUA1st5lhmo1_1280

From time to time everyone is late. We live in a world of distractions, and everything from traffic, last minute phone calls, to all kinds of emergencies make us late from time to time. The key phrase here is “from time to time.” But what happens when leaders (particularly pastors) are chronically late? Let me tell you something I hear from office, team, and church staff members all the time:

Don’t Just Write Pastor Books, Write Serious Books

Open book.

When most pastors write books, you can bet they’re compiled from sermon notes and manuscripts. Preach a series on fear, and they end up with a book on the subject. Same with marriage, prophecy, grace, epic Bible stories – whatever. I don’t discourage that, but don’t think for a minute that’s a serious book. Writing is different than speaking, and editing sermon notes into a readable manuscript and then calling it a “book” isn’t very impressive. If you’re a pastor or ministry leader, here’s what I recommend:

On July 4th Sunday: Be Careful Using Militaristic Language in the Church

lightstock_140571_medium_user_5198564

Something we invariably witness on July 4th Sunday is video on the wide screens at some churches featuring fighter jets, soldiers, and waving flags.  Yes – Jesus used militaristic language in the New Testament. As the Park Forum devotional puts it: “In a time when Galilee already had a powerful and dangerous ruler (Herod Antipas), Jesus was a revolutionary. When Jesus spoke of his purpose and mission, he often used war-like language. For example, in Matthew 10, he said, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”” But what we can’t forget is

Where Do Pastors Get The Idea That The Bible Is Practical?

lightstock_129013_medium_user_5198564

You have no idea the number of pastors who tell me that their unique gift is to teach the Bible from a practical perspective. They focus on helping their congregation understand the Bible in practical ways. I assume they mean like the owner’s manual of a car, or the instructions for operating a computer. But the problem is – the Bible may be the least practical book ever written. In fact, I wonder if

A Pastor’s Father’s Day AR15 Promotion

US-CRIME-SHOOTING-POLITICS

I’m not making a judgement here, I’d just like to know what you think.  Considering our role in the culture, our calling, and our purpose in Christ, is this an incredibly great promotion for a local church, or an incredibly lame promotion?   Or something in-between?  What’s the perception non-believers will walk away with?  Watch the video: