Does Jesus bet on the super bowl?

Answer me truthfully: Do you think that God will dictate who wins, and who loses, this weekend’s Super Bowl?

There is no right or wrong answer, but it is an interesting question. Matt Steen and I talk a little football, and discuss a recent study that says 27% of Americans believe that God plays a role in sporting events. The fascinating part, for me at least, was how it broke down geographically and demographically.

Click the link below, check it out, and let us know what YOU think (and your pick for this weekend’s game):

god super bowl

CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH VIDEO (Length:  6 min 57 sec)
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Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube




Ministry Cohorts starting later this month…

My friend Matt Steen is doing some ‘ministry cohorts’ that you might be interested in… Check it out… Matt Says…

Happy February.

Yeah, I said it, February.

It is hard to believe just thirty-two days ago we were watching balls drop, singing Auld Lang Syne, and talking about the things that we were going to be up to in 2013. If you are like most church leaders, you came into the new year exhausted from the Christmas season, looking forward to catching your breath before gearing up for the sprint that is Easter (did I mention Easter is early this year?).

So, do you mind if I ask you a hard question?

How are you doing on your goals for 2013?

By this point in the year, people have quit going to the gym, started watching TV again, and are just as addicted to their smart phones (guilty as charged). Are your ministry goals stalled as well?

Two years ago a friend of mine and I started to express something that we had known for a long time: ministry can be a lonely place. Out of that conversation, we started a company called Church Simple. We come alongside of pastors and help them think through what is going on in their ministries, and what their next steps are. We are coaches, we are confidantes, and we do this in community. Our coaching model brings together a group of church leaders from all over the country for a season of six to twelve months where we intentionally invest in one another. We talk leadership, we talk strategy, we talk tactics. We sharpen one another through our times together.

Each participant in a cohort commits to two meetings each month: a gathering of the cohort as a whole, and an individual session with one of our ministry coaches.

I know you are busy (Easter is coming!), but we both know that you can’t do ministry alone.

We’d love to journey with you this year.

Interested? Click here, and let’s talk.


The jerkicidal tendencies of a pastor…

We all know a pastor or two that we think are jerks.

Right?  (we’re being honest here).

But the truth is… we all have jerkicidal tendencies.

Like this pastor, who tried to make a really bad point, only to be ridiculed worldwide when her jerkiness was put on display for the whole world to see.

Please… don’t be THIS pastor.

Matt Steen and I discuss…

pastoral jerks


(Length:  7 min 17 sec)
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Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube



Why risking isn’t as risky as you think…

Do you ever find yourself in ‘risk avoidance mode’?

Ever feel the need to play it safe?

We know as leaders, that many times you don’t make any gains, unless you stick your neck out… and risk.

But… as it turns out… risk done properly may not be quite as risky as you think.  Matt Steen and I discuss:

church leader risk

CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH VIDEO (Length:  6 min 19 sec)
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Killing Your Email Mistress

How many messages do you have sitting in your email inbox right now? Ten? Twenty? Two hundred and thirty eight?

Email can be a great tool, or it can be an unforgiving mistress… it all depends on how you manage it. Matt Steen and I discuss how to manage your email so that it doesn’t manage you. Click the link, check out our thoughts, and let us know your thoughts and experiences:

church leaders email

CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH VIDEO (Length:  8 min 08 sec)
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Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube



Church Growth: 8 reasons your church may not be growing

Church growth is vital to church health… and not just when it comes to numbers.  Perry Noble shares 8 reasons why your church may not be growing. Here are the first four:

If people don’t know where a church is supposed to be going, then it will attempt to go everywhere and eventually wind up nowhere. Want to run an interesting experiment? Ask people this coming Sunday at your church, “What is our vision?” and see if they give you the same answers or different ones.

There is no church on the planet that will make everyone happy every single week, and according to the Scriptures that isn’t really supposed to be our obsession. Too many times we become so concerned with offending people that we actually offend Jesus.

When leaders do what they do for a paycheck and not because it’s their passion, it’s over. I’ve said this over on my site before: I want difference makers, not paycheck takers. Also, it’s hard to be passionate about a place when a person’s average stay at a church is two years or less.

If a program is dead in a church, then it needs a funeral and the people need to move on. Investing time, energy, and money into something that is dead will not revive it. Celebrate the fact that “that” program had its day and then move on. Also, quit trying to fire people up over events that you would not attend if you were not on staff.

Matt Steen and Todd Rhoades discuss on this edition of Ministry Briefing…  Click the video below to watch, and get the link to the other four reasons that Perry sites:

church growth

CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH Church Growth:  8 Reasons Your Church May Not be Growing

(Length:  5 min 00 sec)
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You’re Sick!

You’re Sick!

Perry Noble has a great post that I think all pastors and church workers should read entitled “10 Warning Signs that you Might Not Be Healthy”.  Here are the first five:

#1  You cannot remember the last time you clearly heard the Word of God speak to you about an issue in your own life.

#2  You no longer use the Bible to learn more about Jesus and hear His voice…you are simply using it to find your next sermon.

#3  You actually begin to hate and despise the people in your church (who, by the way, are the very people you are called to love!)

#4  You spend more time on the cell phone and computer when you are at home than you do with your own family.

#5  You are so obsessed with pleasing people and putting out fires that listening to God and doing what He says is no longer the goal of your life and ministry.

For #6-10, go here…

Pastors… church workers… you HAVE to be healthy.  I’m tired of seeing friends and acquaintances fall.  It all starts with a little crack.  You think you have it covered, but before you know it, you’ve lost everything.

Friend, heed the warnings.  If you need help, get help.

What areas are you vulnerable in?

Leadership Made Simple

Leadership Made Simple

Best definition I’ve heard for a while… from Marcus Buckingham: A leader is a person who rallies others to a better future.

via The Resurgence.

What do you think?  Isn’t this what leadership, particularly church leadership is all about?


Innovational Culture

Innovational Culture

How do you develop a culture of innovation in your church? Rick Warren has some ideas for you:

  • You need a theology of innovation. We are the most like our creator when we’re creative. God wired us to be creative. Children are very creative. They are born creative. It’s normal. We get the creativity kicked out of us as time goes by. We learn to be afraid. But a theology of innovation always reminds us that God intends us to be creative.
  • You need a creative atmosphere. There are certain environments I can be very creative in, and certain environments where I can’t. We’ve never had a boardroom or a board table at Saddleback. We have recliners. Meetings don’t start at Saddleback until we kick our feet up. It’s when I get in a totally prone position that I can be the most creative and can discover what God would have us do.
  • Stay playful. Playfulness stimulates creativity. When you get people laughing, you get the endorphins going. Creativity is often putting together two exactly opposite ideas, which is often ludicrous or seemingly stupid. It just makes people laugh. When people start to laugh, I know creativity is coming. When they’re serious, we’re not going to get creative.
  • You need the freedom to fail. Innovation means not being afraid to fail. There’s no such thing as failure at Saddleback. We experiment. Sometimes we guess. It’s trial and error. But I give my staff the freedom and flexibility to fail. You’re never a failure at Saddleback until you stop trying. We’ve done more things that didn’t work than did. I want all of my staff members to make at least one mistake a week. If they aren’t making mistakes, they aren’t trying!
  • Think big! You foster innovation by setting goals that are so big that you’re bound to fail unless God bails you out. We did this before we started 40 Days of Purpose back in 2002. We had been planning to start 300 new small groups through the campaign. That would have been a big deal. But God told me, “Add a zero. Start 3,000 small groups.” But we didn’t have 3,000 small group leaders. So we innovated. We came up with a brand new way to do small groups, as we focused on finding hosts, not leaders.

Rick has three other ideas for you here…

via How To Create A Culture Of Innovation In Your Church –  Ministry Toolbox – Pastors.

Sex, Lies, and Ministry

Sex, Lies, and Ministry

On February 17, 2011 Pastor Dirk Jackson was formally charged with raping a 12 year old girl in 2003 when he worked as a teacher at a Christian academy. Komo 4 News

Jesus warns in Luke 17:2, “It would be better for [those who cause others to stumble] to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.” (NIV) No doubt, raping a child can cause their faith to stumble. And yet, Jesus follows with a command to forgive those who repent, even if they have offended repeatedly.

Does Jackson deserve God’s grace? Does he deserve ours? Or do we cleanse the church of those who bring harm and move forward without them?

You may think me mad, but Jackson needs God’s grace and as Christians we are commanded to love him. But grace and justice are two different things. One does not cancel out the other. Jackson (I will not call him pastor) has proven that leaders in the church can fall as easily as anyone else. None of us are perfect. And we have all fallen. All of us. Comparing our sins against one another only takes the focus off the underserved grace God offers each of us.

I do hope the truth comes out. And if this man is found guilty of his charges, I hope he faces the justice he deserves and that he is never again allowed to be alone with a child. But I too need God’s forgiveness to be whole. I can compare my sin as much as I want, but on Judgment Day when we all stand in holy court, it will not be those who have sinned the least that face freedom and glory, it’s those who have chosen to receive God’s forgiveness. Am I crazy?

What do you think?


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