A Leader Should Have a Window and a Mirror

I recently read Jim Collins’ fantastic little book, How the Mighty Fall. I would highly recommend the book for pastors, leaders, business people, or anyone who wants to learn and grow. Here’s an interesting thought from page 160. The right people display “window and mirror maturity.”

What does he mean? Here are his own words.

When things go well, the right people point out the window, giving credit to factors other than themselves; they shine a light on other people who contributed to success and take little credit themselves. Yet when things go awry, they do not blame circumstances or other people for setbacks and failures; they point in the mirror and say, “I’m responsible.”

This reinforces something that’s been swirling around in my mind for some time. Far too often I have seen pastors or leaders who use the window and the mirror in the wrong way. When things go well, they point to the mirror. When things go poorly, they point out the window.

While Collins’ book is not considered a Christian work, I think he has landed on two very important scriptural principles.  Continue reading

Advice from My Preacher

Yesterday at my church we honored my former pastor, Rastus Salter. He served as pastor of Second Baptist Church in Warner Robins, GA for almost 50 years. Did you hear that? Almost 50 years pastoring the same church. And now, I have the privilege of occupying that same pulpit.

What an encouragement! What a blessing! What an example! What a legacy!

I remember walking into my pastor’s office as a 17-year-old preacher boy asking for a bit of advice. The question went something like this – “If you could tell me anything about ministry, what would that be?” I wrote his answer in the front of my Bible. And yes, I still have the Bible. More importantly, his advice is etched upon my mind and heart. Here it is.

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Creating Trust

Trust. You can’t lead without it. That’s right. It’s impossible to lead a family, a church, or an organization without trust. Michael Hyatt compares trust to “oil in the engine.” It’s what keeps you from overheating. It’s what keeps things running smoothly.

As a leader, a pastor, or a boss, trust is absolutely essential. Your people must trust you if they are going to follow you. But for people to trust you, you must be trustworthy. Here are two simple ways to create trust in your organization, your family, or you church.

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Four Ways to Deal With Criticism

No one likes to be criticized. But if you’re a leader, it comes with the territory. Be a big boy, accept it and learn how to handle it. Some guys try to avoid criticism by cowering in the corner. They hesitate. They vacillate. They never make a decision. Guess what? They’re still criticized for being spineless leaders. That’s not the route to take.

For me it’s important to accept reality. If you’re a leader, you will face criticism. Sometimes criticism is justified, sometimes it’s not. Either way, you need to learn how to deal with it. Here are four simple ways to deal with criticism. Continue reading

How to Grow as a Leader

I don’t want to anger any of my seminary professors or cerebral friends so I’ll go ahead and say it. I’m not minimizing doctrine and theology. Please don’t think that’s the case. Proper doctrine and effective leadership are friends, not enemies. You need proper doctrine and a good method to deliver that doctrine. So, a big part of pastoring is leading. Isn’t that what a shepherd is supposed to do?

While this list is nowhere close to exhaustive, here are six ways to grow as a pastor and a leader. Continue reading