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 Churchleaders.com, 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 Churchleaders.com 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.

10 Transformative Takeaways from the Willow Creek Leadership Summit

Two weeks ago I attended Willow’s Leadership Summit and I’m glad I did. In my prior post I wrote about the 4 books I bought because of the Summit. In this post I list the 10 transformative insights I learned.


The insights are mostly paraphrases from each speaker’s respective talks, with their names in parentheses.

  1. MarginMake margin and Jesus will throw stuff in. (Bob Goff) Bob made me ask myself if my busyness sometimes hinders Jesus from throwing some really important stuff my way. Or, my busyness causes me to miss what He has already thrown my way.
  2. PerspectiveSee people for who they are becoming. Jesus called Peter, even with his impulsive nature, the rock upon which the Church would be built. He did not view him as a wuss. (Bob Goff)
  3. CourageYou can either choose courage or comfort. (Dr. Brene Brown) Wow, what a powerful quote.

8 Reasons Why Church Change is so Difficult

Wise leaders and pastors understand that lasting change requires individuals to change first before an organization will change. Your change won’t last or will disrupt your church unless those in your teams personally embrace the change first, at least at some level. So it behooves us to first understand why most people initially resist change.


Photo by MMcDonough

Brain insight helps us understand hidden processes around which we can design our change initiatives. Awareness of how people’s brains work in response to change can help you craft more lasting changes. Here are eight reasons why change is hard…