Whether you know it or not, there are a set of philosophies, values, and preferences that guide your behaviors day in and day out. These values will determine what choices you will make, what opportunities you will take, and what types of people you will choose to work with. In short, what you value will drive you.    

With that in mind, after 33 years, I have finally come to the point where I am confident that I have identified the unique values that have been the driving force behind some of my best decisions, accomplishments, and breakthroughs throughout the years that I would also like drive me in the years ahead. It is my hope in sharing these values with you that you will be encouraged to invest some time contemplating and defining the values that will guide your life!

1. AUDACIOUS FAITH - I will aggressively pursue what only God can do.

From wholeheartedly believing the gospel, to getting married at 22 years old, to starting my own non-profit organization, to planting a church in the city of Oakland, my life has been and I pray will continue to be one that is marked by a great faith in the Almighty God. Though this type of faith has not always been present in my life, it is my intent that, from this day forward, I would live with a faith that believes that God can do things for me that I could have never hoped or imagined, faith that God can do things in me that I could never do on my own, and faith that God can do things through me that will have a lasting, positive impact on the world. This is audacious faith. 

2. STEADFAST GRATITUDE - I will intentionally find ways to praise God for both my blessings and my burdens.  

I can't say exactly when it happened, but at some point in my life God placed within me an acute awareness for the importance of expressing gratitude to Him during any circumstance. Whether my car was being purchased or re-possessed, whether my bank balance was very positive or very negative, whether my endeavors were succeeding or failing, I was convinced that God was still worthy of my worship. I believe that God deserves our praise, worship, adoration, and thanksgiving not because our circumstances are good, but because His character is good. It is my commitment to remain in awe of God's goodness, mercy, and grace in seasons of plenty and in seasons of lack. This is steadfast gratitude.    

3. SELFLESS TRANSPARENCY - I will boldly prioritize truth-telling over image-protecting.

Very few things bother me like watching someone lie to protect their image. Very few things burden me like seeing someone live imprisoned by their inability to be honest about their faults, fears, and failures. Very few things break my heart like observing a community of people (especially Christians) being unwilling to relate honestly and openly with one another out of fear of what someone might think of them if they do. Though confessing sin, confronting offense, and calling out faithlessness may be uncomfortable, "The truth will set you free!" I am resolved to tell the truth about who I am and about who you are, regardless of the potential consequences. This is selfless transparency. 

4. LIFELONG LEARNING - I will continually learn from others to exponentially increase my effectiveness.

Awareness and honesty about what you do not know and what you cannot do provides the motivation for living a life marked by continuing education. Whether it be from mentors, peers, or even critics, I believe you can learn from anyone. And with the amount of podcasts, vodcasts, books, and other resources that are available online there is no reason why everyone cannot become a lifelong learner. I will not stop learning until I am done living. This is lifelong learning. 


A few days ago, I was exposed to a quote by, Andy Stanley, one of the leaders who has had a tremendous impact on my approach to leadership and, once again, he has provided me a leadership insight that is so helpful! The thought is this:

"Great leaders absorb. Mediocre leaders defend." 

In my leadership experience there is no doubt that on many occasions I have chosen the path of the mediocre leader and been defensive. Here are three things that I have allowed myself to defend that, moving forward, I will, instead, absorb


Though you may see the two as different things, many times passive aggressive people disguise their criticism by calling it feedback, or as insecure leaders we mistaken honest feedback for being criticism. But, regardless of what it is being communicated (criticism or feedback), we must choose to absorb it and not defend against it. There is something that can be learned from every piece of criticism/feedback that is received, and it is the great leader that exchanges defensiveness for humility and allows him/herself to learn from it rather than be offended by it.    


Now don't get me wrong, if someone is accusing you of something that, if true, can disqualify you or have you removed from your position of leadership you must defend yourself. But, if someone is accusing you of things that may just be hurtful to you or harmful to your reputation, the wise decision is to absorb rather than defend. Why? Instead of investing your energies defending the things that are not true about you, great leaders invest their energies building on what is true about them!   


When you are wrong, own it, don't defend it. "Absorbing" your mistakes means admitting them, taking responsibility for the consequences of them, and choosing not to blame someone else for why you did what you did. Great leaders confess without hemming, hawing, or hedging. The more defensive of your mistakes you are, the less credible of a leader you become. The weakest leaders aren't those who make mistakes, the weakest leaders are those who make mistakes and can't admit the fact that they have! 

Will your life be defined by mediocrity or greatness? The answer may be found in whether or not you, when given the opportunity, choose to absorb or defend. I hope you and I can have the courage and wisdom to choose the former and not the latter. After all, for those of us who identify as Christians, is this not what our Savior chose to do?


On the last day of the Acts 29 Healthy Leaders Conference, I had the opportunity to hear Matt Chandler, a preacher and leader who I've been encouraged and inspired by for years, preach live for the very first time! Though his message was abbreviated, God used him to deliver a particular word that I desperately needed to be reminded of.

At one point in the message he referenced the importance of pastors killing their desire to compare. He basically said that if God wanted a particular "rock star" pastor to be in the location that I am, he would have put him there! He went on to say that by desiring the skills, abilities, influence, and style that another pastor has, we are actually questioning and belittling God's choice of us! 

For a leader like myself who is, often times, insecure in my abilities, age, and experience, this was both encouraging and convicting all at the same time! Who am I to question why God placed me with my skill set, in this place, at this time? Though my qualifications may be questionable, God's ability to qualify is unquestionable! In other words, God did not make a mistake when he chose Edward Paz to be the Lead Pastor of theMOVEMENT Church in Oakland, California! (Just writing that is freeing!)

He then communicated this little phrase that should drive us to confidently pursue and operate in the calling and assignment that we've been given:

"Him. In me. Here."

God. In me. In Oakland. This is why I can lead boldly. This is why I can preach passionately. This is why I can believe audaciously. 

God. In me. In Oakland. I don't have to mimic someone else's style. I don't have to adopt someone else's approach. I don't have to envy someone else's gifts. 

God. In me. In Oakland. This is not only the source of my confidence, but it is also the wellspring of my humility. It is God who is building His Church. It is God who is blessing my work. It is God who is bringing His promises to come to pass.

But this word does not only apply to me. It applies to you as well. Because God is in you where you are, you should be encouraged as well!

God. In you. At work. God. In you. At school. God. In you. At home. God. In you. In failure. God. In you. In success. God. In you. While you're waiting. God. In you. When you're thriving. 

Because God is in you where you are, you're exactly where you're supposed to be. OWN IT. 


In the second day at the Acts 29: Healthy Leaders Conference, Scotty Ward Smith, preached during the morning session and said so many profound things that I couldn't keep up and write them all down! But, one thing he did say that I was able to write down and that was quite impactful was this...

"As long as your cry for relief is greater than your cry for growth, you are never going to change." 


This is particularly convicting for me because though I am someone who has been very committed to growth, in recent months, my cry for relief has been "louder." I just want the hurt that can be experienced in leadership to cease to exist! I just want relief from my distress, and comfort for my pain! Right now, I'd rather be given a way out than a way through

But, though this is how I may be feeling, I know it is not the prayer I should be praying. 

The truth is, what I really want is to be healthy more than I desire to be free from hurt. What I really yearn for is maturity more than I yearn for a life free from mess. What I really long for is change more than I long for a life free from conflict. 

I would rather be growing and hurting than dying and painless.

So in response to this very insightful statement by Scotty Ward Smith, my admonition to both you and I is this: However uncomfortable it may be, we must accept the pain, confront the hurt, own the sin, and face the discomfort. Our desire to be pain free must no longer stand in the way of our desire to be set free!

There was a day when we prayed for growth and change. Remember? If so, we must stop praying for God to remove the very instruments that He intends to use to bring about the growth and change we asked for!

It's like knowing we need a heart transplant but asking the doctor not to use a scalpel - foolish.


It was a great first day at the Acts 29: Healthy Leaders Conference that I am attending in Dallas, Texas with my friends. One of the breakout sessions I attended was entitled Creating A Culture of Renewal and Rest (How to Avoid Burnout) and in this session Pastor Harvey Turner shared an insight that I was somewhat aware of, but had never been able to put words to. In speaking about the importance of rest he stated:

"Knowledge of self comes from rest. Therefore, without rest you will only repent from the edges of your soul." 


May it never be said about me that I only had the ability to repent from the edges of my soul. May I always make rest a priority so that I have the time and space to become self-aware of not only my bad behaviors, but also, what is driving those bad behaviors. May I never be so delusional to think that repenting from the edges of my soul is enough. May I always be thoroughly convinced that if I am not repenting from the center of my soul, I am not opening myself up to the full measure of God's grace, mercy, and healing that He desires to pour out into my life. In other words, may I never be so rushed and busy with doing the work of God that I am neglecting the work God is doing in me.

Are you afraid of rest? Are you afraid of silence and solitude? Are you afraid of quieting the noise in your life because if you do the truth about who you are and how you need God's grace will be made self-evident? Are you afraid of the "real you" - with your impure motives, unconfessed sin, and prideful persona? If so, I'd like to remind you...

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18 ESV)

Do not be afraid. God absolutely loves the "real you." Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly, and this should free us from our fear of Him. In the same way that we will not allow a dentist to help us until we are convinced he doesn't intend to harm us, we must trust that God is for us if we truly desire for Him to free us.     

Do not be afraid of rest. Do not avoid pressing pause on your work obligations to find out who the "real you" is. Do not neglect sabbaticals, sabbaths, silence, or solitude. Why?

Because only when you are made aware of the "center of your sin" can you repent from the "center of your soul."




Though I absolutely love social media and the power it has to connect people, spread ideas, deliver content, and create opportunities, there is one peril that I find myself struggling to keep at bay...

Comparison. The thief of joy. The hijacker of peace. The culprit of contentment. Comparison is the worst.

Comparison kills. It's amazing how quickly comparison can not only make you dissatisfied with your life, but also how it can make you resent the people who have what you want. Which results in... 

Jealousy. The son of comparison. The brother of envy. And the father of discontent. Jealousy is an invisible prison that no one can set you free from but yourself. 

So how have I decided to fight off the destructive forces of comparison and jealousy and how would I encourage you to do the same?


Exchange envying for creating. Quit comparing by creating. Replace coveting with creating.

If you see a quality of relationship you'd like to have, create it. If you see a level of influence you'd like to attain, create it. If you see an amount of wealth you'd like to accumulate, create it.

Get so busy creating that you have no time for comparing. 

Stay in your lane. Run your race. Enjoy your journey. 

You and I must no longer let what God has given to someone else blind us from what he has already given to us.

God has given you dreams. God has given you purposes. God has given you ideas. God has given you resources. God has given you gifts, talents, and abilities. Now go and put those things to work.

You were created by a Creator to create...not to compare. 


Sometimes you are the one who needs encouragement. Sometimes you are the one who needs inspiration. Sometimes you are the one who needs to be invested in. Sometimes you are the one who needs someone to speak into your life. 

Though you are the teacher, sometimes you need to be taught. Though you are the motivator, sometimes you need to be motivated. Though you are the leader, sometimes you need to be led. Though you are the giver, sometimes you need to be given to.

If you don't take heed to this truth, there will come a day when you have nothing to teach, no motivation, no one to lead, and nothing to give. Why? Because...

Nothing can be poured out of an empty cup.

With this simple principle in mind, I must be just as committed to "filling my cup" as I am to "pouring myself out." Therefore, in an effort to "fill my cup," this week, me and some friends are attending a conference themed: Healthy Leaders. You can expect blog posts over the next several days from all that I am learning from the conference. 

But enough about me. Attending a conference is what I'm going to do to get the encouragement and inspiration I need to continue to be a leader who has something to give. What are you going to do? 

As a leader, what are you going to do to put yourself into a position to be led? What are you going to do to put yourself into a position to receive? Please, identify an opportunity and take advantage of it. Your ability to be healthy and remain influential depends on it.  


Failure. We hesitate starting because we want to avoid it. We procrastinate trying because we don't want to experience it. We delay doing because we dread it. For many of us, failure is our worst nightmare.   

If you're anything like me, you have no desire to be perceived, known, or remembered as a failure. In every area of your life, you want to be a seen as a success. And this is perfectly normal.

The problem is, success requires failure.

Strike-outs precede home runs. Boos precede applause. Dislikes precede likes. Rejection precedes acceptance. Misses precede makes. No-shows precede packed houses. Denials precede discovery.

To expect to attain great success without first experiencing massive failure is a pipe dream. Give me an example of someone who has achieved greatness without first confronting weakness, and I'll show you the exception and not the rule. Failure is a prerequisite for success.     

With that in mind, a paradigm shift must occur as it relates to our view of failure.

Failures aren't people who fail. Failures are people who don't try.

It is not in the striking out that you fail, you only fail by deciding to not put on a helmet, step up to the plate, and swing the bat! It is not in receiving the boos that you fail, you only fail by refusing to get on the stage and give your performance a try! It is not in receiving the rejection letter that you fail, you only fail by never turning in the application! It is not in having very few people show up that you fail, you only fail by being unwilling to open the doors!

So if you're really as serious about success as you say you are, embrace, endure, and even enjoy failure. Make the decision, today, to fail faster. It's only through failure that you will get feedback. It's only through failure that you will know what to improve. It's only through failure that you will find out what doesn't work. It's only through failure that you will succeed. 

I understand that being turned down is miserable. I agree that no one paying attention to you sucks. I hate that humiliation hurts. But, in the final analysis...

If you consistently try and fail, success is a possibility, but If you constantly fail to try, failure will be your reality. 


Today I ran, what I believe to be my 7th half-marathon. Though I am very proud of the accomplishment, I am even more excited about the life lesson that was reinforced during my running of this race. The lesson is simply this:

Proper training precedes peak performance.

The importance of proper training prior to an event or endeavor was made more obvious to me than it has ever been before. Though I didn't train for this half-marathon near as much as I could have (I ran a total of 66 miles, over the course of 13 runs), I definitely was more prepared than I was for the half-marathon that I ran in August! For the half-marathon in August, I ran a total of 20 miles over the course of 4 runs! Simply put, I trained about 3 times harder for this race than I did my last race and the results definitely showed the difference!

My last race was ran in 2 hours and 40 minutes, and running it was miserable. This race was ran in 2 hours and 13 minutes, and I felt wonderful! Now these times are in no way impressive to the more serious runner, but the point is, proper training allowed me to not only shave more than two minutes/mile off of my pace, but it also made the running itself more enjoyable!

Proper training precedes peak performance. 

I understand more clearly than ever, that if I desire to perform well, I must train well. To think that I can perform well without putting in the time and effort to do so is delusion. But this doesn't only apply to running. 

If I desire to perform well as a writer, I must train. If I desire to perform well as a communicator, I must train. If I desire to perform well as a leader, I must train. 

In the same way that I had a plan for training for the half-marathon, I must have and execute a plan for training myself in these other areas that I desire to experience peak performance. 

How about you? 

Is there an area of your life where you are expecting results that you aren't training for? This is an important question to answer because...

Your level of frustration will always be directly related to how big the gap is between your expectations for performance and your commitment to training.

If you desire to perform well as an artist, you must train. If you desire to perform well as a parent, you must train. If you desire to perform well as a salesperson, you must train. If you desire to perform well as a student, you must train. Very rarely does one outperform their training. So with all that in mind, in what area of your life do you need to commit to a higher level of training?

Proper training precedes peak performance.

Choose an area of your life. Create a training plan. And execute. At 33 years old, I am living proof that these simple steps do make a difference!


I don't know about you, but the type of person who "gets under my skin" and frustrates me the most is "The Critic." The person who spends a majority of their energies criticizing the work of others, the passions of others, the dreams of others, the social media feeds of others, the attempts of others, the friendships of others, the shortcomings of others - these are the people that I have a hard time loving!

Their criticism is bothersome not only because it often times brings negative energy to what is a world already filled with so much negativity, but also because criticism is so easy!

It take no effort to criticize! All you need to speak negatively about a person, a group of people, or an organization is a mouth and an opinion, and everyone has one!  

But in an effort to not become overly critical of "The Critic," here is a tweet I read today by Lecrae which I believe can help all of us with our tendency to become overly critical.

It's better to create something that others criticize than to create nothing and criticize others. - Lecrae

Instead of criticizing, create.

Instead of criticizing someone else's business, create a successful business of your own. Instead of criticizing someone else's art, create beautiful art of your own. Instead of criticizing someone else's relationships create flourishing relationships of your own. Instead of criticizing someone else's contribution, create a valuable contribution of your own! 

It's usually the people who aren't doing much of anything that have an opinion about everything. Don't be that guy. Don't be that girl. Instead...

Become so busy creating that you have no time to criticize!

What you'll find is that true creatives don't criticize the creativity of others because they understand how hard it is to actually create! True creatives understand the energy and effort that goes into creating something of value. True creatives understand the fear of failure that one has to overcome when creating. True creatives understand the courage that it takes to "go public" with their art. 

Make the decision, today, to exchange your critical eye for a creative's hand. The world doesn't need your criticism. It needs your contribution.


Today I moved to my third home in Oakland since first moving here in January of 2013. Though I am excited about being in a bigger home with great views of both Oakland and San Francisco, I also find myself somewhat saddened at the fact that I am moving from a home where some great memories were made.

Over the last year and a half, my home provided the space for family parties, staff meetings, community groups, significant conversations and, best of all, watching both the San Francisco Giants and the Golden State Warriors win their latest championships! 

But as good as the moments and memories in my last home were, I must not forget...

To fully embrace the new seasons ahead, I must be willing to leave the old seasons behind. 

In no way do I have to forget the fond memories of a prior season, but I must not allow myself to get stuck in an old season.  I must not allow myself to believe that my best memories are behind me.

Instead, I must thank God for the past season and all of its' blessings and be expectant of what great things he has in store!

God forbid I miss out on the blessings in my future because I was unwilling to move on from the memories from my past. 

But enough about me.  

Though you may not be physically moving from one home to another, do you need to have a "moving day" of your own? 

What is it from your past that you need to move on from so you can be better positioned to receive all that God has for your future?

What is it from your past that you need to no longer dwell upon so that you can have the emotional energy to pour into the opportunities that are presently before you?  

What is it from your past that you need to thank God for and just. move. on?

Identify it. Pack your bags. And move.  

A more fulfilling destination awaits. 



Decisions. It is very likely that you currently have important decisions that you need to make. Vocational decisions. Relational decisions. Educational decisions. Financial decisions. Spiritual decisions. Ethical decisions.

The question I'd like to answer in today's post is, "How can I ensure that I make the right decisions?

Though I wish the answer to this question was original to me, the credit must go to Andy Stanley, a pastor and leader that has had a huge impact on my life. In his Leadership Podcast from November of 2014, he provides insight on good decision making that I'd like to share with you.

He says that having a process by which you can make good decisions is so important because, "Our greatest regrets are, often times, connected to bad decisions."

And I couldn't agree more with that statement! My greatest financial regrets are due to bad financial decisions! My greatest relational regrets are due to bad relational decisions! My greatest health regrets are due to bad health decisions!   

With all that in mind, the question that he states will revolutionize how you make decisions is this:

"What is the wise thing for me to do?"

And if that seems too simple for you he gives the following three questions to further flesh out the one above.

  1. In light of my past experiences, what is the wise thing for me to do?
  2. In light of my current circumstances, what is the wise thing for me to do?
  3. In light of my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing for me to do?

To help you better understand how you can apply these questions to your decision making, I want to share with you how I used them to help me make a tough decision that I was recently faced with.

I recently decided to withdraw this semester from my classes in Seminary. Now, how did I determine that this was the wise thing for me to do? Here's how the three questions helped me to come to that conclusion:

  1. In light of my past experiences, the wise thing for me to do is to withdraw because I know during the weeks of midterms and finals I am going to have very little energy to put towards anything other than school, and right now I need to be able to put a significant amount of energy towards leading the church. Also, in light of my past experiencesI know that if I have not adequately prepared for my midterms and finals, I will be tempted to cheat. If I know I won't be able to put enough time and energy into my studies, I don't want to put myself in a position where I am tempted to compromise my values for the sake of passing classes. 
  2. In light of my current circumstances, the wise thing for me to do is withdraw because there is just way too much going on that is a higher priority to me than school. First of all, we are moving from one home to another! I need to be able to invest my energy and time to make sure this is successful. Second of all, and most importantly, right now, the church needs my undivided attention. There has been an unusually high number of people facing difficult circumstances that I must be emotionally available for. We also have recently brought on 7 volunteer staff members that I must lead well. Finally, the truth is, I can't afford to be in school right now! My current circumstances do not allow for my disposable income to go towards school. 
  3. In light of my future hopes and dreams, the wise thing for me to do is withdraw because I am more committed to becoming an effective pastor now than I am to becoming a seminary graduate later. Now, I understand that becoming a seminary graduate can help me become a better pastor, but it is not the only thing I can do to become a better pastor. Also, my future hopes and dreams include being a healthy and whole person and I truly believe withdrawing from school, for this semester, is a step in that direction.   

I hope my example of how I applied Andy's questions to my decision making process can help you with a decision you currently need to make, but, after running your decision through the questions above you may find yourself saying...


If you find yourself stuck, Andy has this to say:

Wise people know when they don't know, and they are not afraid to go to those who do know.  

In other words, if you desire to do the wise thing and Andy's questions don't help to bring you clarity, go to someone you trust and ask them, "In light of my past experiences, current circumstances, and future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing for me to do?"


I have to admit. I've been distracted lately. Social media has become increasingly distracting. Opportunities outside of my job as a pastor have become distracting. Inner ambitions that have been dormant for a long time have awakened and have become a distraction. Even my past failures and mistakes have become a distraction to the job that I have been given. 

With all of these distractions in my life, the truth is: hours have been wasted, energy has been diverted, and productivity has diminished. 

But last night, I was reminded of one simple word that will drive, guide, and motivate me for the remainder of 2015...


Instead of being sucked into the time-wasting abyss known as social media, I must focus. Instead of entertaining myself with other entrepreneurial endeavors, I must focus. Instead of wallowing in various forms of loss that I have experienced in recent months, I must focus.   

And what is it, exactly, that I must focus on? LEADING THE CHURCH.

I have been given a responsibility. I have been given an opportunity. I have been given a gift. To not focus on leading the church that I have been called to lead would not only be a disservice to the church, but, more importantly, it would be disobedience to God. 

Leading the church is my occupation. Leading the church is my calling. Leading the church is my test of stewardship. Leading the church is the "one thing" that, if done well, will produce the greatest return for me in this life and the next

Now, with all of that said, I probably am not the only one who needed to be reminded of the importance of focus. What about you? What is the "one thing" you need to focus on for the rest of the year. What is the "one thing" that you want to have momentum with going into 2016? What is the "one thing" that needs/deserves your attention?

As you think about that, maybe this final thought will give you the kick in the butt you need to determine your "one thing" and focus on it:

If you're not taking the MOST responsibility for the things that are uniquely YOUR responsibility, you're being IRRESPONSIBLE!


Last week, for the first time in my life, I went see to see a counselor. The time was so encouraging and enriching, and I can't wait to go again next month! But, before my next session, here are three things my counselor said that I'm still doing my best to digest!

LESSON #1 - "To live well is to grieve well because to live is to lose things."

As a pastor, I am constantly helping others with their grief. What I learned in my first session is that I have grief that I need to deal with as well. I need to do the "hard work" of grieving well understanding that I cannot deal with your grief if I have not dealt with mine!

LESSON #2 - "Evil people aren't people who do bad things. Everyone does bad things. Evil people are people who do bad things and don't think that what they are doing is bad."

I am going to do bad things. That is a given. What is going to separate me from the "evil people" is my ability to acknowledge and confess the bad things I am doing. Man, my counselor is so wise!

LESSON #3 - "You are most qualified to be a pastor when you know you are unqualified to be a pastor."

This was very refreshing to hear! I often struggle with how unqualified and undeserving I feel about being a lead pastor of a church. But to know that a posture of humility that admits you are "in over your head" is the exact posture a pastor needs to maintain is very encouraging to me. I can definitely maintain a posture of weakness as it relates to pastoring because, on most days, I feel weak!



  1. Ran 11 times for a total of 57 miles.
  2. Had successful off-site with Chris Jenson and Directional Leadership Team.
  3. Scheduled, attended and was encouraged by my first personal counseling session.
  4. Wrote 16 blog posts.
  5. Approved for new home in Oakland!


  1. Finish Golden Gate Half-Marathon with Spencer Romero.
  2. Complete successful move to new home.
  3. Send theMOVEMENT's 2014-2015 Annual Report to Church Partners.
  4. Enjoy Thanksgiving in Texas with Rebekah's family.


  1. Write 25 Blog Posts.
  2. Write 25 Thank-You Cards.
  3. Read 3 Chapters of Genesis/Exodus per Day.


  1. No shopping for clothes/shoes.
  2. Uninstall Facebook from phone.


  1. By December 1, 2015, I write 25 blog posts.


The leadership journey is hard. The leadership journey is long. The leadership journey is frustrating. The leadership journey is exhausting.

How can you last? How can you endure? How can you continue, especially on the days when you want to quit?

Many things can be said, but lately, there has been one thought, one idea, one mantra that has been driving me to continue to put one foot in front of the other. The mantra is this:

I will be here 30 years from now.

I will be here 30 years from now. In 30 years, I will still be leading this organization. In 30 years, I will still be pursuing our organization's mission. In 30 years, I will still be discovering, developing, and deploying leaders.  

When I think about the goal and vision of being here 30 years from now, I am inspired. I am energized. I am invigorated. 

The current troubles. The current concerns. The current conflicts. The current challenges. The current roadblocks. All of the difficulties seem much smaller in light of a 30 year commitment to the process.

When you have pre-determined that you will lead in the capacity you are in for 30 years, when troubles arise, only one option makes itself available to you: ENDURE.

What benefits do you see to a 30-year commitment? Please leave your comments below, I'd really like to know!


How do you lead leaders? How do you lead the individuals that add the most value to your organization? How do you lead the people that day in and day out are moving the mission of your organization forward?

These are questions that I ask myself often, and, fortunately, I came across a resource by Nelson Searcy entitled, "Shepherding Your Staff: How to Ensure the Spiritual Health of Those You Lead" that has provided some tremendous insight into how I can do this more effectively. Here is the outline of the thoughts in the resource that I hope can be helpful to you as you lead leaders! 


  • Set Direction

    Are the leaders in your organization clear on the organization's Mission, Vision, and Values? Are the leaders in your organization clear on their roles and responsibilities? Direction is set by making leaders aware of and accountable for both the MACRO and the MICRO goals of the organization.  
  • Bring Alignment

    Are the leaders in your organization clear on their expectations? Are the leaders in your organization experiencing effective meetings? Are the leaders in your organization given opportunity to give feedback? Alignment is brought through clear expectations, effective meetings, and a culture of feedback.
  • Maximize Strengths

    Are you getting the most out of the leaders in your organization? Are you getting "A" work out of your "A" players? Strengths are maximized by identifying the value a leader can bring to the organization and by holding them accountable to bringing that value. 


  • Train Completely

    Are you training your leaders to do everything you're expecting them to do? Are you training them to do their ministry well? Are you training them to live their life well? Leaders are fed when they are trained completely in ministry and in life.
  • Praise Publicly

    Are you giving credit to the leaders on your team publicly? How are you praising your leaders either in front of the entire organization or in front of your other leaders? Leaders are fed when they are praised publicly.
  • Pastor Spiritually

    Are you praying for your leaders? Are you checking in on their spiritual disciplines? Are you asking them about the health of their spiritual life? Leaders are fed when they are pastored spiritually. 


  • Build Boundaries

    Are you building boundaries around your leaders' schedule? Are you encouraging your leaders to take a Sabbath? Are you building boundaries around your leaders' accessibility? Protect your leaders by building boundaries around both their work life and home life. 
  • Confront Privately

    Are you confronting your key leaders quickly, clearly, and completely? Are you speaking ill of your leaders when they are not present? Protect your leaders by confronting them privately and by speaking highly of them in public. 
  • De-Hire Appropriately

    Are you keeping someone in a position that they are not suited for? Are you keeping someone on the team who is harming the culture more than they are helping it? Do you need to move someone from one team to another? Is a particular leader having trouble growing with the organization? Protect your leaders by firing them appropriately!

Which one of these approaches can you implement today to more effectively lead your leaders? Please leave your comments below, I'd really like to know!


Asking great questions of others gives you greater insight into how you can more effectively lead others. Asking great questions of yourself gives you greater insight into how you can more effectively lead yourself. With that in mind, here are 3 questions that if you ask them of yourself and act on them today, you are sure to be a better leader tomorrow. 

1. What do you need to stop doing?

What are the tasks and activities you find yourself engaging in that are wasting your time, draining your energy, and keeping you from the things that are most important? What one thing if you stopped doing it would free you to do more of what you are an expert at? Howard Hendricks said it best, "The secret to concentration is elimination." In an effort to provide the maximum value to your organization, what do you need to stop doing? 

2. What do you need to continue doing?

What are the tasks and activities you find yourself engaging in that are adding value, invigorating you, and moving the mission of your organization forward? What one thing if you kept doing it would keep the organization moving in the right direction? John C, Maxwell said it best, "Momentum is easier to steer than it is to start." In an effort to keep the momentum going, what do you need to continue doing?

3. What conversation do you need to have? 

It is very likely that your organization is just one conversation away from making tremendous progress. Who is having a negative impact on your team, and a conversation must be had to correct and hold them accountable for their behavior? Who is having a positive impact on your team, and a conversation must be had to encourage and appreciate their behavior? Which one person in your organization would benefit most from a personal conversation? King Solomon said it best, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in baskets of silver." In an effort to get the most out of those you lead, what conversation do you need to have?

Those these questions may be simple, answering them and taking action on your answers can be the catalyst for the progress you desire to see! 

What are other questions a leader can ask themselves to make progress in their leadership? Please leave your comments below, I'd really like to know.


Once the excitement of the title wears off. Once the perks of the position get old. Once the rush of the opportunity subsides. The ugly reality of leadership hits:


And it's always harder than you thought it would be! Time management - hard. People management - hard. Recruiting great people - hard. Keeping great people - hard. Resolving conflict - hard. Raising finances - hard. Overcoming obstacles - hard. 


There is no getting around it. There is no avoiding it. And there certainly is no passing the hard parts of leadership off to someone else!


No matter how much you study. No matter how long you prepare. No matter how experienced you may be. 


And because I don't think I had enough people warn me of how hard leadership was actually going to be, I feel it's my responsibility to tell you the absolute truth:


Why do you think you are ready to face the tough challenge of leadership? Please leave your comments below, I'd really like to know! 


Yesterday, I wrote about A Leaders Secret Weapon - LISTENING. I wrote that if a leader isn't listening, a leader isn't leading. So with that in mind, today I wanted to share with you 5 questions you can ask of the people on your team to start conversations that will equip you to lead more effectively.  

1. What do you love most about your role?

This is the "passion" question. Asking this question and intently listening to the answer will give you insight into the area of work that your team member is most passionate about. Knowing the answer to this question will direct you to the type of work your team member is most satisfied by. Great leaders are aware of the work their team members love most.

2. What do you dislike most about your role?

This is the "frustration" question. Asking this question and intently listening to the answer will give you insight into the area of work that your team member is most frustrated with. Knowing the answer to this question will direct you to the type of work your team member is most dissatisfied by. Great leaders are aware of the work their team members like least.  

3. What challenge do you want to take on next?

This is the "growth" question. Asking this question and intently listening to the answer will give you insight into the area of work that your team member wants to engage in next. Knowing the answer to this question will direct you to the type of work you need to give to your team member next. Great leaders are aware of the areas in which their team members want to grow. 

4. What can I do to help you succeed?

This is the "servant" question. Asking this question and intently listening to the answer will give you insight into how you can serve your team members best. Knowing the answer to this question will direct you to the things you can do to help your team member succeed in their role. Great leaders are aware of how they can best help their team members win. 

5. What can I do to lead you more effectively?  

This is the "humility" question. Asking this question and intently listening to the answer will give you insight into how you can become a better leader. Knowing the answer to this question will direct you to the habits, practices, and processes you can put into place to lead better. Great leaders are aware that the best place for leadership feedback is from the people I actually lead!

More important than asking these questions is listening to the answers and even asking follow-up questions so that you can understand your team members' answers better.

Ask questions. Listen carefully. Ask questions. Listen carefully. Ask questions. Listen carefully. It may the aspect of your leadership that benefits you and those you lead most!

What are other great questions great leaders ask of those they lead? Please leave your comments below, I'd really like to know!