Parable Church by Mike Burnette

I am so excited about Mike Burnette’s new book, Parable Church.

Mike is an incredible leader, pastor, and scholar. Mike is one of my best friends, and I can assure you he lives what he teaches. The concepts from this book will help you love Jesus and the church better. Experience a fresh perspective through Parable Church.

#ParableChurch

https://www.zondervan.com/9780310113010/parable-church/

Well done, Ronnie Meek!

Sunday was a touching experience to be part of Pastor Ronnie Meek’s retirement service at Springhouse Worship and Art Center in Smyrna. Ronnie has been the congregation’s pastor for 33 years, and they honored him in a fitting but extraordinary way.

I had the honor to be one of several speakers who surprised Ronnie, and it was my pleasure to share with the Springhouse family my perspective on this great man. Ronnie has been such an example of authenticity, creativity, friendship, and love.

Well done, Pastor Ronnie! See you at our next lunch.

The passing of J. Don George (1937-2020)

We lost a spiritual giant today, as Pastor J. Don George went to his heavenly reward. The loss was sudden and unexpected.

He was my pastor growing up, so he is the preacher I have heard more sermons from than any other person. But, he was more than a great preacher to me. He was a life-long example of class and professionalism. I learned so much about leadership by just watching his life. I also learned a lot about friendship by observing how loyal he was to friends. He was a good friend to me.

No one preaches like J. Don George. Here is a one minute clip from 2017 that will build your faith and bring a smile to your face.

You will not make the perfect decision every time

Decision making has to be both slow and decisive. If you make a decision impulsively, you eliminate essential information. If you do not make a decision, the decision is made for you.

How do you get it, correct? There is no formula. Executing a good decision takes experience, wisdom, community, and divine direction. Still, no one makes the perfect decision every time, so we have to give each other margin to not be perfect.

The leadership we need

The most effective leaders in my life have been people who tell me things I did not want to hear. Why? They do not just want me to feel good; they want me to be good.

It is rare to be in a relationship with someone you trust, who encourages you consistently, and who is still honest with you when necessary. Be that type of person to someone else, and all the good stuff you need will come back to you.

Leading When I Don’t Know

One of the best phrases I have used in leadership is, “I don’t know.”  Admitting you don’t know something actually invites new knowledge and collaboration.  You may be able to fake your way through a conversation a time or two, but a sharp person quickly figures you out.

A confident leader is able to admit what they don’t know. This practice puts people at ease and gives more weight to what you actually do know. Plus, who really wants to be around a “know-it-all” anyway?

A Refreshing Sabbatical

Our sabbatical ended yesterday, and I am so glad to be back at work with new perspectives, deeper appreciation for God’s blessings, and a renewed awareness of my call.

I’m so grateful for the CIL family that made this time possible, and I look forward to loving and serving this faith community with more effectiveness in this next era of ministry.

Why all the effort on Sunday?

OverProject
As I am reflecting on our fantastic Easter services, I am amazed at how many committed people it takes to provide a church experience in the 21st century. I cannot adequately thank all the people who contributed sacrificially to make our celebration successful.

For all the important and accurate critiques of the modern church, this is our culture, and people in the United States are accustomed to worshipping in a particular manner. So, a successful service requires elements like professional childcare, skillful music, a comfortable building environment, a humorous and academic sermon, time efficiency, artistic expression, marketing, and strategic relational connections – to name a few things. These characteristics require great forethought and strategic planning. I have found that no matter how far ahead you think and work hard, there are always things you could have done better.

Still, unlike many award shows, concerts, or cultural events, we do this every week. Easter Sunday is special because Jesus has made every day special. The amazing volunteers at CIL and other churches will continue to bring it every week. Why? He is worthy of our best every time!