Resources for Thriving Leaders. Pt 11 “The Rest”


Friends, here are some resources for Monday’s post on the importance of rest. If you need to review the blog from Monday, click here Thriving Leaders: Lessons From the Front Lines of Ministry (pt. 11 “The Rest”)

John Calvin is said to have talked of rest not as diversion from creativity but as a necessary part of it.

See Mark Labberton’s book, The Dangerous Act of Worship, p. 95. He says that true justice starts with rest.

See as well Eugene Peterson’s book, Working the Angles, on work and rest pp 47-49; and learning to play, p.  53.

Also, see the following on Sabbath keeping for pastors:

Perhaps you’ve seen this video on Facebook of what it’s like to pastor ‘sheep’:

Thriving Leaders: Lessons From the Front Lines of Ministry (pt. 11 “The Rest”)


Rest is the discipline of relaxing, regrouping and replenishing our souls, minds and bodies. Thriving Leaders know how to take time apart from their front line duties to rest, to “be” and not just “do”.

Leadership has a slippery slope. Being effective in leadership often gives us an adrenaline jolt that is addictive. The jolt keeps us wanting more. But more is never enough. Performance desire hides our need for rest. We short-circuit our bodies and minds.  Continue reading

Thriving Leaders: Lessons From the Front Lines of Ministry (pt. 10 ?The Criticisms”)

angry parishioner

Thriving leaders expect criticism. They know ways to learn from, cope with, and survive denigration from others. Leaders who fail in this area tend to wilt, get angry, retaliate or quit the job altogether. Here are some examples (chosen from many) in my years of serving the church. Continue reading

Resources for Thriving Leaders: Lessons From the Front Lines of Ministry (pt. 9 “The Boundaries”)


If you missed my blog on boundaries, go to Thriving Leaders: Lessons From the Front Lines of Ministry (pt. 9 “The Boundaries”)

Here are some resources I recommend for further study and reflection:

A good read by an articulate physician helps us think through what it’s like to live in a fast-paced world and to establish ‘margins’ that feed our weary souls.

Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard A. Swenson. NavPress PO Box 35001, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80935

An article for pastors who don’t know how to say “no”.

Billy Graham, the famed evangelist, with his team, in the 1940’s wrote the Modesto Manifesto, four rules they observed as boundaries that preserved their ministry through the years. Here’s a good article on adding a few more:

The Soul of Ministry: Forming Leaders for God’s People by Ray S. Anderson, the late professor at Fuller Seminary who has a good section in his book on the misuse of power (p. 187) and the proper use of power (p. 199) in leadership.


Resources for Thriving Leaders: Lessons From the Front Lines of Ministry (pt. 8 “The Family”)


If you missed my blog on the thriving leader and his/her family, No. 8 in the series, click here Thriving Leaders: Lessons From the Front Lines of Ministry (pt. 8 “The Family”).

Resources for this week’s important blog on the family:

Nick Stinnett. Building Family Strengths, Lincoln, Nebraska:  University of Nebraska Press, 1979.

The above book may be out of print. I found an article online summarizing Stinnett’s work. He interviewed 14,000 families to find out what made strong families strong. A worthy read:

Here’s an article by a pastor on the importance of guarding one’s ministry from hurting the family:


Resources for Thriving Leaders: Blog #7 “The Temptations”

img_6064-jpg-1Today I post two books as resources for dealing with temptation. I made references to these books in my Monday blog which you can read by clicking Thriving Leaders: Lessons From the Front Lines of Ministry (pt. 7 “The Temptations”).

One of my favorites is by Henri J. M. Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership: The Crossroad Publishing Company, New York, N.Y., 1989. The late Catholic author casts the three temptations of Jesus in contemporary language that is very helpful to all in leadership.

Then a reminder from one of my favorite authors who tells us that Satan does his best to trip up the leader in the holiest place in the church. See C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters with Screwtape Proposes a Toast: Revised Edition: Collier Books, MacMillan Publishing Company, New York., 1982. p. 173.

This coming Monday we will look at the leader and the leader’s family. Enjoy.

Resources for Thriving Leaders: The Preparation

img_6064-jpg-1I’ve included some really cool resources for planning and preparation. If you missed Monday’s blog Thriving Leaders: The Preparation, click Thriving Leaders: Lessons From the Front Lines of Ministry (pt. 5 “The Preparation”). Here are the resources I’ve found helpful in getting ready for meetings, speaking, etc.

Christianity Today Online lists four ways to invite God to planning meeting. Highlight and click the link here:

There’s also a worthy article for preachers and worship planners on the sermon as the key reason people return. Good preaching takes preparation.  Block and click the link here. 3 tips for bi-vocational pastors

Another resource: For those in bi-vocational pastoral work, here’s a good article on preparing for your sermons. Copy and click the link here:

Finally, I found an article for women but useful for all who prepare to speak to others, on preparing ahead of time. Copy and click the link here:

God bless you this week. Denn

Thriving Leaders: Lessons From the Front Lines of Ministry (pt. 5 “The Preparation”)

When I played golf, my back swing was the hardest part for me. I had so many things to track: aligning my feet, my back, my legs; raising the club slowly; getting the club high enough over my head; making sure one arm was straight, the other bent over my head; in swinging, not letting my hands take over; keeping my eyes on the ball; making sure my lead shoulder dips while keeping my hips from rotating too much; holding still my body while my arms swing through; holding my head down after I’ve hit the ball.

All I truly wanted to do was to go up to the tee and swing away. Period. Forget the preparation. Not surprisingly, I easily gave the game up. Continue reading

Resources for Blog #4 “The Inner Life”


Resources for “The Inner Life” from Monday’s blog. In case you missed it, click Thriving Leaders: Lessons From the Front Lines of Ministry (pt. 4 “The Inner Life”)

To go deeper in exploring your inner life, in the blog I referred to a link which will give you daily Scripture readings from the Revised Common Lectionary. Here it is again:

I also mentioned a site where you can read the Bible through in a year, with the verses in Scripture in chronological order. Here it is the link:

Also, one of Eugene Peterson’s books, Working the Angles, has a good section on listening to God on pp. 69++. The link to the book is on

Another classic is by the late USC Professor of Theology and Philosophy, Dr. Dallas Willard, whose book Spirit of the Disciplines, is one of the best books I’ve read. Willard writes that the observation of the disciplines can make the process of deepening and revitalizing our relationship with God a part of daily existence. The Amazon link is here:


Resources for Thriving Leaders: Blog #3: “The Wait”


This weeks’ post was the 3rd blog in the series, “Thriving Leaders: Lessons from the Front Lines of Ministry: The Wait”. If you missed it, you can click  Thriving Leaders: Lessons From the Front Lines of Ministry (pt.3 “The Wait”) to read it.

Here are some resources I have found helpful for diving further into this important subject of waiting.

Pastor Jeff Strong wrote a helpful article entitled Jesus Wants You to Wait. The item can be found on Christianity Today Online. To access the article, copy and paste this link into your search engine:

Another helpful classic is Waiting on God by Andrew Murray Whitaker House 1981. This is a helpful book where Andrew Murray shares thirty-one heartfelt meditations, one for each day of the month, to help renew our vision and quicken our desire to turn to the Lord for His quiet, peaceful strength.

Another book by the same name is Waiting on God. by Wayne Stiles. Baker Books 2015.  The author unpacks the Old Testament story of Joseph, who teaches us to wait on God. A practical guide to finding hope and peace in life’s difficult pauses.