Archives For Leadership

On March 9th, Rachel Ramsey Cruze spoke at our church.

Even Lylah likes financial peace!

Even Lylah likes financial peace!

Sara and I had an unforgettable weekend with her as we had dinner on Friday night, and led a Saturday event at my church for young adults, teenagers, and their parents. The event brought in over 200 young people and their families. It was a great success.

But it was also a big risk.

There were numerous details and financial issues to take care of in order to invite a great speaker like Rachel Cruze to our church. It took financial commitment from our church before we knew how the event would turn out.

We knew Rachel would be great, but we didn’t know how many would show up to hear her speak. After all, it’s tough to sell high school students on an 11am event about sound, Biblical financial practices, even though we said the event would free. And in Iowa, your best laid plans can be waylaid by snow all the way into spring.

So our church said “yes” to Rachel before we knew how to fill it with people.

As I said earlier, the event turned out great. People from all over Fort Dodge and surrounding towns came to hear her speak. It was advertised on local radio stations, on billboards throughout town, and in our newspaper. People from a multitude of contexts saw that our church was reaching out to the community, helping people take control of their finances.

I heard from parents that their teenagers started talking about money in entirely new ways after the event. Parents were thankful to have a common language for talking with their kids about honoring God with money.

But none of this would have happened if a few key people in our church hadn’t been willing to take a risk. One of our elders and some people from one ministry team shared their vision to bring Rachel Cruze to our church. They spent hours in planning meetings with church staff and myself to make everything work. Even more, they put their name and reputation in the church on the line to bring Rachel here.

As I stood in our Christian Life Center, introducing Rachel Cruze that morning, I felt so proud for the faith of these people in our church. I felt so proud to be a part of a church where people were willing to commit their finances, time, and reputation to organize an event that can impact a generation of young people in our community.

I’m reminded of Hebrews 11 that I read this past we. In this famous passage, the author recounts the stories of those who’ve gone before us, taking risks for God’s calling. They’re all commended for their faith.

And they lived out their faith by embracing God-ordained risks.

What risky thing might God be calling you to embrace during this season in your life?

This is a guest post from my wife, Sara. Show her your support by leaving a comment below.

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” ~Harry S. Truman

What Austin is currently reading.

What Austin is currently reading.

I had heard a variation of that quote many, many times in the last three years. Usually, the variation said, “readers are leaders and leaders are readers.” It went with an encouragement to READ if you were in leadership. The assumption is that one cannot adequately lead without reading. Continue Reading…

When Feelings Fail

March 12, 2013 — 1 Comment


My feelings failed this morning.

Fighting feelings

Fighting feelings

Truth be told, they fail every morning. For the last six weeks or so, my alarm has been set for 5am. Before you get impressed by that, you have to know that setting an alarm and getting up are two entirely different things. I’ve had too many mornings where I got out of bed long enough to turn off my alarm, feel miserable, and go back to sleep.

Let me explain. Continue Reading…


Earlier this week, I wrote a post outlining some of the criticisms often leveled at short-term mission projects. Click here to check out that post if you haven’t already.

Some of the friends we made from Hope Haven.

Some of the friends we made from Hope Haven.

While in Guatemala last week, I had an incredible time. There were a number of factors that made the trip worthwhile, in spite of the arguments I outlined earlier. I’d like to share some of the highlights of the week, and offer some responses to what I said in part 1 of this series.

Continue Reading…

Bible Doing

February 8, 2013 — 5 Comments


Last fall, I heard Bob Goff speak at Catalyst Atlanta. The author of Love Does, Bob is all about action. For example, he doesn’t participate in a Bible study with his friends. Rather, they are part of a Bible doing.

So proud of my group!

So proud of my group!

Bob understands an important part of our faith that’s easy to forget. James 1:22 says it like this: Continue Reading…