Any Questions?

images-19Spiritual Discipline. The term may not be as popular today, but it’s application for Christian leaders has never been more relevant. Given the rapidly changing cultural climate, we need a return to the fundamentals now more than ever! What are these fundamentals? Practices such as Scripture reading (memory & meditation), prayer, fasting, worship, serving, generous giving, church attendance, etc. Each of these is vital to the health and growth of Christ-followers and the Body of Christ as a whole. May I suggest one more?

Actually, I just did. Let me ask you a question… what if we followed the example of Jesus in asking just the right questions? Could we be missing out on many of the answers we seek because we aren’t asking enough questions?

Here are 4 reasons to make the asking of questions a purposed discipline in our lives…

1) Jesus did. There must be something to the lost art of inquiry seeing as though God the Son so often framed conversations in the form of a question. As a matter of fact, Jesus asked over 135 questions as recorded in the Gospels! Check out for a listing and a great post from Emmanuel Fellowship Church.

2) We don’t know it all. The deeper truth is, we don’t even know all we don’t know. Questions gather knowledge, not for the sake of knowing more, but for living more closely with and according to the Word of the One who does know it all. Paul’s prayer for the church in Philippi encouraged concerning the importance of knowledge, And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11, NIV)  

3) Humility demands it. Of course, humility is anything but demanding. However, feeling and thinking we have all the answers or are the solution to everyone’s questions and problems is the perfect recipe for pride. Paul warned the believers in Corinth, We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God. (1 Corinthians 8:1-2, NIV)

Got a question? Swallow your pride and ask it! And, remember what our teachers taught us as kids… “The only stupid question is the one never asked.” 

4) It isn’t about us. Who are you speaking to? What are their needs, their dreams, perspective, insights? What if we asked at least 2 questions in any conversation before making any statements? Besides sparing ourselves the embarrassment of confirming our ignorance, we might just invest in someone else in a more purposed way, deepen a relationship and maybe, just maybe, learn a little more along the way as leaders.

Take your leadership to another level and ask more and better questions daily! What questions do you have about the art of inquiry? Ask your questions and share your insights in the Reply section below…

Jesus is the Subject

imgres-1“Be BOLD!” is the theme of this year’s Church of God North American Convention and it has been a powerful week in worship and the Word! Tonight’s service features Francis Chan speaking and Larnelle Harris and Sandi Patty leading worship along with the Crossings Community Church worship band.

Praying for a mighty move of God’s Spirit! Check out the live stream at 7pm (CST)

Leading Change Through Prayer


Are you a ministry leader planning on some BIG changes? Start the process right by engaging in personal, family and team prayer. Then, don’t stop! Make prayer central to your leadership and congregational DNA as the Holy Spirit leads the every season.

Not sure where to begin? Here are 12 Names for God you can call on to go deeper in your understanding of who He is and what He is capable of through you and your team. (Consider teaching through these attributes as well!)

Yahweh is the promised name of God in the Old Testament. This name for God, which (by Jewish tradition) is too holy to voice, is actually spelled “YHWH,” without vowels. The modern spelling as “Yahweh” includes vowels to assist in pronunciation. Many pronounce YHWH as “Yahweh” or “Jehovah.” Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah, meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known” — this describes a God who wants to reveal Himself. It is to this sovereign yet eternally accessible Lord that we go to in prayer and trust with transforming our lives, families and ministries.

As you pray, speak the Name of God specific for each need, knowing that He will hear and answer as you call on His Name! A few of those names include…

Jehovah: Lord… One and only! Exodus 3

Jehovah-Elohim: Lord Sovereign… in control! Genesis 1:1

Jehovah-Jireh: Lord that provides… all our needs! Isaiah 61:1

Jehovah-Mekoddishkem: Lord that sanctifies you… sets you apart! Exodus 31:13

Jehovah-Nissi: Lord my banner… we are victors and not victims! Exodus 17:15

Jehovah-Rapha: Lord that heals… broken souls, minds & body! Jeremiah 30:17

Jehovah-Raah: Lord that shepherds me… our guide and guard! Psalm 23:1

Jehovah-Sabaoth: Lord of hosts or armies… He is supreme! Psalm 24:9-10

Jehovah-Shalom: Lord of peace… flowing in me and through us! Judges 6:24

Jehovah-Shamma: Lord that is present… anywhere, anytime! Ezekiel 48:35

Jehovah-Tsikednu: Lord of righteousness…clothed in holiness! Jeremiah 23:6

The Name of JESUS.

While all of these names describe the attributes of Jehovah, Jesus is God the Son and is all of the above in One!

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11, NIV)

Go ahead, speak out loud the Name of Jehovah God in Christ Jesus as you praise His Holy Name and cry out for His sovereign wisdom and power. As our spiritual fathers and mothers before us, we can call on the Name of the Lord our God who is still mighty to save! Stay tuned for a Prayer Strategy post coming soon!

Click here for a free PDF copy – Prayer Names of God

Reference: Blue Letter Bible at

Used by permission,, Covenant Church Coaching & Peak Pastors

Contact Tom at to partner in a PEAK Pastor Conference, Retreat or ongoing coaching relationship! 


“Blow that trumpet!”

images-13Hey, pastors and church leaders, played any trumpet lately?

The prophet, Joel declared, “Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming. It is close at hand.” (Joel 2:1, NIV)

May I suggest that in the midst of our latest teaching series, we need to be sending out a clear warning?

What should we be warning people about? Here are 5 Tunes We Should Be Blowing…

1) Jesus is coming… soon! The signs are everywhere. The news outlets are covering them… shouldn’t we? Persecution, earthquakes, floods, volcanoes erupting in an alarming duet with violence around our nation and world. It is our job to connect the dots between these events and the eminent end. Sound a little to apocalyptic and alarmist? That’s because it is. Love your target audience enough to say it anyway.

2) It’s time to get right… tomorrow is not promised. These aren’t the “scare tactics” of yesteryear. Or, are they? And, why not? We are all going to die, if Jesus doesn’t return first. And, Hell is a pretty scary place. The time is now to come to Jesus and allow His infinite love and grace to change our eternal destination. He paid the way on the cross of Calvary and rose again to conquer sin and death for us. Preach John 3:16 (&17) like it’s never been preached before!

3) Jesus is the way… the ONLY way. Sound intolerant and lacking in an informed love for humanity? Consider this… what kind of human would we be if we truly believed that “The bridge is out!” but deliberately failed to warn those cruising in comfort down that same road?

One classic argument still works well. If we are wrong about Jesus then we have lost little, lived a comparatively good life and that’s really about all it takes for anyone to make it to Heaven (if there even is one). However, If we are right, then those who differs with us on this point have lost everything, forever. The only loving thing we can do is declare the Truth we believe. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, NIV) 

4) Hell is as real as Heaven… and Jesus doesn’t want anyone to go there. So, you need to go there, pastor! Preach it, teach it, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Tweet and blog about it. Weave the reality of reward and punishment into your repertoire of otherwise Biblically sound and grace-filled, relevant topics.

5) We are accountable… and will answer. Some of you reading this will end up being too concerned with a “radical” image and label to match. You will worry about losing your following as people think you have lost your mind (or at least your “cool”). Don’t be one of them. You will never have been more relevant than when calling everyone’s attention to the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Consider the ancient warning of Ezekiel…

“The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’” (Ezekiel 33:1-6, NIV)

YOU are one of these “Watchmen,” pastor. It’s time to pick up that trumpet and blow!

PS – You gotta love some Louis Armstrong. Preach Jesus like “Satchmo the Great” played that trumpet!

The Beauty of Foot Washing

images-1Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13:14-15

What is footwashing and why should you experience it? This practice is an increasingly lost art on much of Christendom. It is the simple act of kneeling before someone and doing as the name implies and Jesus modeled, washing their feet. It is most often ceremonial (minus actual soap and scrubbing) yet the simple process of holding and “washing” in a bowl and drying with a towel is observed.

Consider 4 reasons you, your family, lead team and/or a small group should experience this ancient act…

No1 – It’s humbling. Obviously. It’s the work of a servant. But what you may discover is not simply how humbling it is to wash someone’s feet, but also to have someone wash yours. From someone you love and respect to someone you may have never met, there is a deeper work of the heart involved in this sacred act.

No2 – It lends perspective. Beyond humility, the vulnerability of the act itself is revealing. Is there hidden pride in my heart? Where do I see myself in relation to the Lord and others? Jesus’ question in John’s memory probes deeper still, “Do you understand what I have done for you?”

No3 – It’s an act of worship. The penitent posture it requires positions not only our bodies, but our souls aright before the Lord. The fragrance of such an act wafts its way before the throne of God with a sweetness that pleases the Master. He is the Savior who stooped low that we might stand before the Father. We have perhaps never been as close to God than when bowed to wash the feet of another.

No4 – Jesus said so. Okay, it’s debatable for some theologians whether he meant for us to practice this as literally as an ordinance or metaphorically as we serve others daily. Then again, maybe it’s both? It has the same credentials as the other more accepted ordinances (Baptism and Communion). Jesus modeled it, asked it of us, and the early church practiced it. Shouldn’t this be enough to encourage us to follow His lead?

Maybe this practice is not only new, but scary for you? Take the opportunity to just observe at first. Then, take the risk. Grab a towel, bend your knee and join Jesus in this timeless and sacred moment.

What about the experience of footwashing has been profound to you? How has it impacted you, your family or lead team? Share your thoughts in the Reply section below…