Do You Have a Healthy Leader’s Brain? Take this Quiz

God gave us an amazing three pound part of our body called the brain. And today, the brain is big. Books about the brain are flying off the shelves. Neuroscientists are studying the brain like never before. And President Obama has set aside $100,000,000 for the BRAIN Initiative, an ambitious project to map the brain. So how can we keep this wonderful gift from God healthy?


Dr. David Rock and Dr. Daniel Siegal combed years of research to assimilate what they call the “Healthy Mind Platter,” seven activities that help people, including leaders, maximize that three-pound wonder.

I’ve put my own spin on their findings and listed those seven activities below that when practiced, can help leaders maximize their effectiveness.

10 Ways Pastors can Escape the Ministry Stress Zombie Zone

In my last post I discussed how ministry stress can sometimes make pastors feel like zombies: listless, unmotivated, and mentally distracted. Many of you took the Zombie Zone Quiz to find out if you were in that zombie zone.

pastors under stress

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So if you currently feel like a zombie pastor, what can you do to renew your passion, energy, and zest for ministry? Consider these 10 simple steps that can help you regain your joy and step into God’s healthy zone.

Has Ministry Stress made you a Zombie Pastor? Take the Zombie Zone Quiz to Find Out

Zombies are big today. Big budget movies, popular TV shows,  commercials, and even zombie action figures have invaded our culture. Even before they became popular, when someone said, ‘I feel like a zombie,” we knew what they meant… they felt exhausted, lifeless, listless, and were simply going through the motions.

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As a pastor for over 30 years, at times I’ve felt like a zombie pastor. Ministry stress, disappointments, and pressure sometimes seemed to sap my soul of life, energy, and joy.

So how do you know if you are a zombie pastor? Take the Pastor Zombie Zone Quiz. (Tweet this quote here)

A Former Pastor’s Perspective on What Makes a Compelling Worship Service

In a recent article I wrote for, 8 Surprising Insights from a Former Pastor, I shared 8 key insights I’ve learned during the last 18 months as a former pastor.


I’ve served 32 years in vocational ministry and took off the past 18 months to write, coach pastors, travel, and begin another master’s degree.

The article prompted many comments and one pastor emailed me to specifically ask about this point I made in the article.

Churches must plan and deliver a compelling, Spirit-filled worship service and sermon each Sunday. I’ve known this intellectually, but now since I’m on the receiving end I see even more its importance. If someone takes three hours out of their day of rest to attend church, they better feel that it was worth their time.

Having visited several churches during the past year and then joining one as a non-staff member, here’s what I believe can help make a compelling worship service that would encourage people to want to come back.

5 Surprising Observations from my 7 Hours with 40 Pastors of Today’s Largest Churches

Each year Leadership Network  offers an amazing two day online leadership conference called The Nines. The 2013 conference is scheduled for November 15-16 and will include dozens of today’s most influential pastors and Christian leaders. I’ve been asked to be one of the presenters this year.


On August 1 Leadership Network gathered 40 of these leaders at Saddleback’s retreat center for a one-day forum. I attended and although I felt like a tiny guppy trying to swim upstream with large powerful dolphins, I came away very encouraged by my experience.

If I mentioned the names of these pastors and leaders, you’d probably know them for they headline the major church conferences and write best sellers. Many pastor some of the largest and most innovative mega-churches in the country. Here’s what I observed.