4 things that make a great executive pastor

The most significant relationship in the church is between the Senior Pastor and the Executive Pastor. It’s almost a given that these two influential leaders need to be unified regarding vision, complement each other’s strengths, and compensate for each other’s weaknesses.


5 ways leaders see things differently

Leaders see things with a clarity that brings life into focus. Leaders see things that other people don’t see. Good leaders correctly use God’s gifts of eye sight and insight to influence the world and the people in it. A leader’s insight goes beyond the physical. Both kinds of sight ...
May 23, 2016   Paul Greasley

Delegating versus releasing authority: what's the difference?

Several years ago, I learned an important lesson about the difference between delegating tasks and releasing authority. I was in a ministry situation where I was selected to be on a small team to plan a special training event for our staff. We were each given different aspects of this ...
May 11, 2016   Mark Lenz

5 more excuses for our gossip

Everybody knows that gossip is both wrong and harmful. It ruins reputations. It separates the best of friends (as in Proverbs 16:28 and 17:9).  It allows us to “wimp out” of the important face-to-face conversations which we need to have. It sullies our consciences. It demeans those whom we talk about, those ...
May 11, 2016   Brian Thorstad

7 surprising strategies for burnout

For many decades researchers have documented the stress and burnout of pastors. According to the Globe and Mail two of the top three drugs prescribed for United Church of Canada clergy are antidepressants. In 2014 Leadership Journal reported percentages of pastor responses in the following categories:   18.2 percent    ...
May 09, 2016   Jim Farrer

Demystifying the "vision thing"

Vision is like the weather: everybody’s talking about it but nobody’s doing anything about it. If nobody’s doing anything about it, it’s because practically everybody is confused about it.  Demystifying the “vision thing” has become a passion for me. It doesn’t have to be painfully confusing. And a single, unifying vision ...
April 16, 2016   Brian Thorstad

Thinking about leadership alignment

A leadership team is well aligned when all members of the team work together to accomplish mutual objectives. Leadership alignment is crucial. You have arrived at your current situation because you were aligned with everything that brought you here. That’s a good thing if you like where you are at ...
April 08, 2016   Paul Greasley

How to harness the power of chaos in your ministry

In The Starfish and the Spider (2006), Rod Beckstrom and his co-author Ori Brafman explore what they call the “unstoppable power of leaderless organizations” using the metaphor of the starfish. When you pull off the arms of a spider, it dies. In contrast, if you rip off the five arms ...
April 07, 2016   Steve Lawson

Book review: 5 Gears: How to be present and productive when there is never enough time

Most of us have used figures of speech derived from the experience of shifting the gears of a car or a bicycle.  “On my way home from work I try to shift gears so I’m ready to interact with my family.”  “While doing lunch with my co-workers I have to ...
April 05, 2016   Brian Thorstad

The "everlasting gossip stopper" can change your church's culture

Every human organization has a problem with gossip. It follows the association of people with people as night follows day. I’m not talking about the innocuous version of gossip, simply talking about people. “In Bible times, women met at the village well to exchange the latest gossip.”  I’m talking about the harmful ...
March 22, 2016   Brian Thorstad

154 key ways to tell if you are too busy

OK, so I am exaggerating the point here. But let me ask you a question. What did you say the last time someone asked you, “How are you doing?” The standard answer to that question has become “really busy” or “too busy”. Being too busy is a symptom of something ...
March 17, 2016   Paul Greasley

4 ways to be stupid with your smartphone

Okay. I finally did it. After years of cajoling from family and friends, I finally bought a smart phone. Now I have to learn how to use it. More importantly, I have to learn how not to use it.  As usual, our advances in technology have outdistanced our manners, our ethics. On a global scale, ...
March 08, 2016   Brian Thorstad

Getting out of your comfort zone and into your sweet spot

In my first post on finding your sweet spot, I concluded with a mention of the need for partners to help you find your sweet spot. I know this truth so well because in the past I tried to fulfill the role of solitary “Super Minister.” When I wore my ...
March 07, 2016   Gerry Lewis

4 elephants that can hurt your church

Imagine the faces of the people in the Philippian church. One of their leaders was reading a letter from their church’s founder. Except for a couple of gentle hints about unity, most of it had been positive, affectionate and encouraging.   Suddenly they heard the words, “I plead with Euodia and I ...
March 01, 2016   Brian Thorstad

More reasons to let your pastor lead

In an earlier blog, 3 reasons why board members should let their pastors lead, I spoke directly to board members and made a case for allowing your “lead” pastor to actually lead your church: to be the one who comes down from the mountain with both a vision and a ministry strategy ...
February 23, 2016   Brian Thorstad
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Finding a new hire for a church from among a pool of job applicants involves resumes and background checks, but it also requires conversations to determine a good spiritual fit and shared vision for a church.