Leadership

Digital Church 101 – From Tech Gear to Small Groups

How does Digital Church work at Substance? After COVID hit our country, we made a simple decision: “We are no longer a physical church with digital options; rather, we are a digital church with physical locations.”  To borrow a phrase from Amazon, “It takes clicks to get bricks.” But how are we reinventing ourselves? Well,…
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Resources for Pastors – How To Do Church in Light of COVID-19?

As many of you know, Substance is helping 100’s of churches respond to the Corona Crisis. We’ve been flooded with hundreds of questions (from church tech to church legal issues). SO, I created this page as a resource for pastors. Keep in mind, I modify this almost every week! (And things change fast). So, take some…
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Volunteer Cliffs – 5 Reasons Why Volunteers Quit and How to Prevent This!

Volunteer Cliffs:  5 Reasons Why Volunteers Quit our Ministries and How to Diagnose & Remove these Obstacles! Have you ever wondered: “How do I get more people involved in my ministry? Or, why do certain ministries always seem to attract volunteers while others struggle?”  Weak leaders always think: “I need more money or good staff…
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The Traffic Light of Influence

Many years ago, I found myself in what felt like an impossible leadership situation. Almost ALL of my problems came down to one insecure leader. And I felt like my only solution was to quit. I mean, I felt like I had tried EVERYTHING; yet, nothing was working! So, one day, I was whining to God…
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Don’t Die after the Resurrection – Easter Recovery Guide for Pastors

Have you ever had a “Holy Hangover?” “What is it?” you ask? Well, it’s a numb euphoria mixed with exhaustion and shepherding stress. For years, as a senior pastor, I used to hate Easter. Part of it was because every year our church would experience record lows in attendance on Easter – partly because 70%…
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Leadership Lessons I Figured Out the Hard Way – Part 1

Over the last 2 decades of full-time ministry, I’ve made a lot of leadership mistakes!  There are messages I wish I could take back – meetings that I should have never called.  There are some days when I’m totally amazed that anyone has stuck with me over the years… including my wife 😉 For example,…
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“Happiness-By-Arrival” – A Guest Blog by Matt Keller

Do you struggle with circumstantial happiness? Every week I meet people who are pouring a heroic amount of energy into doctoring a “perfect circumstance” for their lives —only to find out that, once they achieve these circumstances, it leaves them just as empty. Thus, in my book Broken Escalators I called this behavior The California…
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How to Share Tough Truths with Others, and Have them Love It!

Have you ever wondered why some people can say “difficult” things and people receive it, while others simply open their mouths and people freak out? Over the years, I’ve noticed that two different people can share the exact same truth to another person; yet, to the one people respond with anger and rebellion and to…
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The Punishment of Generosity: Why People Secretly hate Mother Teresa

We love to hate healthy people, don’t we? Whenever my wife judiciously orders a salad at a restaurant, it reminds me that my triple-patty bacon burger is a heart-attack waiting to happen. And studies show that the same is true with generosity… yet, we rarely admit it. It’s no secret that most people hate greed.…
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Sarcasm: the surprising secret to success (this is not sarcastic!)

A new Harvard study recently found out that I’m awesome. What I mean is, the study found out that sarcasm appears to have some fascinating scientific benefits. And because sa rcasm is one of my spiritual gifts, I’m freaking amazing. (And by the way, I’m being sarcastic – for those of you who have special…
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