How Can a Pastor Fail Forward?

How Can a Pastor Fail Forward?

Do you ever wonder why God keeps calling morons into the ministry? As I ask this, I’m not looking around the country. I am looking square into the mirror. It is tempting to think only about the high-profile ministry meltdowns. For example, Judas famously betrayed...

Where Can Ministry Couples Get Help?

Where Can Ministry Couples Get Help?

A pastor's ministry will never be stronger than his marriage. This is why I have been looking across the U.S. for the best retreats and intensives for ministry couples. LifeWay considers these ministries as partners, not competitors, in the fight for healthy ministry...

Interview On Finishing Well

Interview On Finishing Well

Every pastor wants to start well, serve well, and finish well. The One who called us to both salvation and ministry promises to complete what He started in us. I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will caryy it on to completion until the day of...

Loving Jesus “with all of my strength” in 2023

Loving Jesus “with all of my strength” in 2023

Why is it so much harder to talk about our physical health than it is our spiritual or emotional health? Perhaps it is because our motives are not always clear. Do we take care of our bodies in order to look better, feel better, or to better honor God? Are these...

Burying a Legend Not a Legacy

Burying a Legend Not a Legacy

This weekend I preached the funeral of a deacon from my home church who was the most influential laymen in my life, apart from my own father. Dr. Kerfoot Walker, MD was responsible for many of my firsts: teaching a SS class; giving my testimony in public; preaching a...

5 Ways to Recharge This Summer

5 Ways to Recharge This Summer

Our phones recharge twice as fast when we put them in airplane mode. Likewise, ministers recharge faster when we unplug. Most pastors I know are tired, exhausted, or burnout. We are not tired of ministry, but we are tired from it. Ministry sprints are common and...

5 Questions Every Pastor Should Ask Right Now

5 Questions Every Pastor Should Ask Right Now

What were you doing on March 12, 2020? I spoke at a pastor luncheon in Wewoka, Oklahoma that day, and they surprised me by singing “Happy Birthday” as the server brought out a giant piece of cheesecake. An even bigger surprise that day was news that COVID-19 had...

Oklahoma’s Ministry Pipeline

Oklahoma’s Ministry Pipeline

One of the most important and fulfilling initiatives in my 34 years of ministry is the launch of over 100 mentoring cohorts (groups) this Fall by Oklahoma Baptists. This "Ministry Pipeline" is for emerging ministers between the 10th grade and 10th year of ministry....

4 Health Hacks For Ministry Couples

4 Health Hacks For Ministry Couples

A close pastor friend my age recently asked me for advice on staying physically healthy. Unfortunately, many pastors need some help in this area. Jayson Byassee, a former pastor and co-author of Faithful and Fractured: Responding to the Clergy Health Crisis, says...

4 COVID Takeaways For Pastors

4 COVID Takeaways For Pastors

We are all understandably eager to look ahead to the post-COVID world we have all been longing for. Oklahoma Baptist Convention, where I serve, met with small groups of pastors in March at about 10 locations around the state to hear how they are doing, as well as what...

What Is A Pastor’s #1 Task?

What Is A Pastor’s #1 Task?

Is the Great Commission really our most important task? I have always heard that it is "the main thing" - but now I am not so sure.  Although both the Great Commission and the Great Commandments are important, according to Jesus they aren’t equally important. A scribe...

4 Reasons Soul Care Is Strategic

4 Reasons Soul Care Is Strategic

Pastors and ministry leaders, you are to be commended for leading your people through the valley of the shadow of COVID for almost a year. At this point in the pandemic, many of you are showing signs of ministry fatigue, which is somewhat inevitable, but also...

4 Ways To Avoid Ministry Fatigue

4 Ways To Avoid Ministry Fatigue

Did God know that we would be leading our churches through this toxic season of politics, protests, and a pandemic? He not only knew, He called and equipped us for this challenge. While tough seasons of ministry are inevitable for every generation, never have I seen...

Viable Church Options For Winter

Viable Church Options For Winter

Although all of us are eager to move on to a post-COVID season of life (it will come!), there are a few viable ways your church can still pivot well this Winter in light of recent spikes and upcoming holidays.   The more optimistic among us are expecting the COVID-19...

Is Anger Always A Bad Thing?

Is Anger Always A Bad Thing?

It seems like even the most positive of pastors are getting salty these days—and who can blame them after pastoring through an endless cycle of catastrophes for a solid six months? Our frustration is growing because we are unable to fully understand, explain, or fix...

Making More COVID Lemonade

Making More COVID Lemonade

Like you, I’m tired of talking about that stupid virus. We are all ready to move on with our lives and ministries, but before we do, let’s take stock of some of the sovereign surprises we have seen this spring and summer. What are some of the COVID lemons that church...

I’m Not Sure What To Do About Racial Issues

I’m Not Sure What To Do About Racial Issues

Can I be honest and admit that I'm never sure what to say or do when cultural chaos ensues? I don’t typically shake my fist or point my finger at every news update, but when sinful, systemic racism and/or injustice takes center stage, men and women of God need to...

Does Your Pastor Need A Support Team?

Does Your Pastor Need A Support Team?

While everyone wants a healthy pastor who lives and serves with integrity, some church leaders are in a strategic position to help their pastor stay above reproach. My last church created a Pastoral Support Team to help me to lead my life, family, and ministry well....

My Simple Quarantine Routine

My Simple Quarantine Routine

The Gospel is the good news about the finished work of Jesus, yet a pastor’s work never seems to be finished – especially during a crisis. Pastors and ministry leaders have been in a hard ministry sprint for over a month, and we are tired. This season has brought both...

Ideas For Reopening Our Churches

Ideas For Reopening Our Churches

There are two pressing questions on the minds of pastors and church leaders today: When should we reopen? How can we reopen safely? This week the Oklahoma Baptist team I am honored to serve with curated several ideas from pastors in live meetings of 10 or less, as...