What is a Morally “Good” Person?

Here is the essence of virtue ethics: character produces behavior. Even more: a good character acts out in goodness. Virtue ethics, to be sure, contends that habits produce the character that then lives the good life. But what is a good person? Dallas Willard and Gary Black, Jr., in The Divine Conspiracy Continued, in their pivotal chapter [Read More...]

Leadership and Character: Prescient Words from Willard/Black?

Leadership and character, surely in part because of someone like Bill Clinton (according to D. Willard, G. Black, Jr., Divine Conspiracy Continued, 62-63), have been divorced in the consciousness of many in the Western world. How you do your job and what you are like in private, so it assumed, are two different worlds. Willard and Black [Read More...]

Leadership Re-Imagined

How does one discover a “biblical” understanding of leadership? It is rather obvious to many that some find the “best practices” models derived from the business and corporate worlds and baptize that model into a bowl full of Bible verses and pronounce it biblical — and for the pragmatic, it is confirmed because it works [Read More...]

Confessions of a Local Pastor (by Josh Ross)

Confessions from a Local Pastor There’s something addictive about a stage and a microphone and the status that often comes with it. It is a gift from God, but power and authority can easily be abused. So, maybe it’s time for a little confession from a pastor. As much as I love what I do, [Read More...]

Church Growth and its Mystery

John Johnston: Back in 1988, Kent Hughes, then an emerging pastor, was part of planting a new church. All the signs were positive. The mother church endorsed the project, and Kent was an up-and-coming star. The community was strategically targeted, and a solid core was part of the initial foundation. As he put it, “We [Read More...]

Failing as a Pastor

Some of you may remember when J.R. Briggs decided, a bit on a lark, to host a conference called “Epic Fail.” Well, it spun out of control quite successfully.  J.R. Briggs has a new book called Fail: Finding Hope and Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure. It’s a good book, and I know of no [Read More...]

The Beatitudinal Leader

In the history of the church, moral teachings often flow from the seven deadly sins and the seven virtues. The seven deadlies are wrath, avarice, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. The seven virtues tend to be chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness and humility. One might reasonably ask where such lists come from and [Read More...]

Leadership Redefined to Followership

When Joe Stowell sent me his manuscript on leadership to read for an endorsement, I was not but a few pages in when I realized “this is my kind of book.” Why? Some of you will know I have balked at the constant discussion of leadership in Christian circles, and I’m not the first to [Read More...]

The Problem for Leaders

There are two kinds of leaders — outcome-driven leaders and character-driven leaders. So, Joseph Stowell in his fantastic new book, Redefining Leadership: Character-Driven Habits of Effective Leaders (Zondervan, 2014). Anyone who begins a book on leadership with what Stowell says has my thumbs up vote: In conversations about leadership, I am most frequently asked, ‘What’s your [Read More...]

Do Pastors Need Mentors? By Jim Martin

This post, by my friend Jim Martin, Vice President at Harding School of Theology, puts into print a dimension of Jim’s ministry at Crestview Church of Christ in Waco for which he was well-known. Could A Mentor Help You? In Mentor Like Jesus (p. 12), Regi Campbell tells of some people in their 90s who [Read More...]


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