5 Ways to Turn CRITICISM into CARNAGE

If you are a pastor or lead people in any way, criticism is a fact of life. We can learn from our critics or we can turn criticism into carnage. Here are five ways to do that. Cut yourself off from everybody who criticizes you. Stay far, far away from them. They are idiots so

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Leadership
Charles Stone

Does your Team have a Trust Deficit? These 10 Questions will Tell You

Trust: the belief that someone is reliable, good, honest or effective (Merriam-Webster). Healthy ministry teams make trust building a priority. Patrick Lencioni, one of today’s best writers on leadership, believes that absence of trust is the biggest problem among dysfunctional teams (see his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team). Stephen M. R. Covey wrote

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change managemenet
Charles Stone

5 Ways to Build Trust with your Team

Without trust, a church staff or ministry team simply won’t function at its best. In a recent Harvard Business Review blog the author quoted some dismal statistics about the workplace which probably hold true in the ministry realm as well. In this post I suggest 5 ways to build trust with your team. Photo by Civilian Scrabble According

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change managemenet
Charles Stone

5 Telling Questions to Ask at Your Next Staff Meeting

Some time ago I read Andy Stanley’s book Deep and Wide. It’s a must-read for every ministry leader. In one chapter he poses 5 questions that are deeply telling about a church’s direction and impact. At your next staff meeting, pose these five questions and give your staff the freedom to answer honestly. Better yet, email them

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Leadership
Charles Stone

Ask Yourself these 7 Simple Questions to Clarify your Personal Values

Every pastor needs what I call “true north” values, core convictions we refuse to compromise even when external pressures tempt us to do so. Such values are like the difference between a compass and a gyrocompass. A simple compass points to true north because it relies on magnetic north. Unless, that is, you bring a

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Life Balance
Charles Stone

Peek-a-Boo Porn in a Pastor’s Life

In my studies on the brain, I was intrigued to read this quote from one of today’s most well-known neuroscientists, V. S. Ramachandran, in his book The Tell-Tale Brain. (Kindle e-book location 4219) He writes, “A picture of a nude woman seen behind a shower curtain or wearing diaphanous, skimpy clothes-an image that men would

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change managemenet
Charles Stone

Data Overload: Is Your Church Guilty of Infobesity?

In today’s world we’re bombarded with information overload. One author coined this problem infobesity (Pearrow, 2012) to describe this data overload. When we get too much data our thinking brain shuts down to new information. British psychologist Dr. David Lewis coined a term to describe what happens from infobesity as ‘Information Fatigue Syndrome.’ Symptoms include

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change managemenet
Charles Stone

Avoiding Ministry Failure: 5 Questions to Ask when you do a Ministry Pre-mortem

Ministry initiatives in the church often fail. A simple planning tool called the pre-mortem, however, can minimize ministry failure. In a recent post I suggested 7 good reasons to conduct the pre-mortem, a tool credited to Dr. Gary Klein. A pre-mortem is an exercise that assumes your plan spectacularly fails and considers beforehand what might go wrong.

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planning tools
Church Growth
Charles Stone

7 Benefits of an Often Overlooked Planning Tool: the Pre-mortem

Jesus recognized the role good planning plays in life and ministry. He said, Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? (Luke 14.28) Unfortunately, lack of planning often torpedoes otherwise good ministry ideas. Scientist Gary Klein, author of

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Leadership
Charles Stone

5 Ways to Deepen Your Integrity

Daniel and his three friends are some of my favorite bible characters. They modeled what it means to live a life of integrity. Several years ago James Patterson and Peter Kim authored the book, The Day America told the Truth. They conducted a survey by asking Americans what they would be willing to do for 10 million

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