Pack Light, Pack Right

Part 1: The Pastor’s Heart

Packing light and with the right tools of the trade is key to going the distance in both the high country and on the trail of life and leadership.

Peak Pastors is designed to help you do just this; to not merely lead better, but to BE better… to grow as followers of Jesus, spouses, parents and as leaders. We will do this by filling our packs with the essentials needed for optimal health in 4 essential areas… heart, soul, mind and strength.

Let’s break this down taking one essential at a time…

The Pastor’s Heart – This is all about family!

Every pastor I have known has struggled to invest in what I have always called their “home church.” No, not the local church they and others call home.

This is about the worship center

of the home… building healthy

relationships as spouses,

parents, & raising Christ-centered kids.

We all know the truth about home and ministry life. When we aren’t relationally healthy in our home life, we won’t be relationally healthy and effective in our church leadership life. However, when things at home are healthy, I don’t know about you, but I feel like there is no summit I can’t reach!

Together, let’s discover practical ways to invest in our marriages and parenting in the middle of what can all-too-quickly become the craziness of ministry life.

Speaking of which, here you go! Check out 3 Reasons Winning at Home is Easier than Winning at Home by Carey Nieuwhof @

So, how do you keep your heart focused on your home life? Share your thoughts in the discussion thread here or on our Peak Pastors Facebook Group page @


to reduce to basic essentials: to diminish in scope or complexity; streamline. (Webster-Merriam Dictionary)

Most pastors and leaders I know could use a little more of this. Your lives are busy and complex. The question is, “How?”

Most good leaders like you know the answer. You need to say “No” more, for starters. We’ll focus on this and other practical suggestions in the next post. However, the better answer will always be found in knowing your “Why?”

Why simplify? One word… relationship.

Relationships are the real stuff of life. And, they are made in the margins of life. They grow in these same spaces. In order to invest in the relationships that matter the most, you will need to be intentional about simplifying your world.

Here’s one simple step for now. Make a list. A short list of the relationships you want to cultivate. This list will be your motivation, your “Why?”

Caution: Everything about your present world will war against this. After all, who has time to invest in people when there is so much to do on our “To Do” lists? Maybe we need to simplify our “To Do” list? Maybe we need to replace it altogether with a “To Be With” list?

If I had one goal for all my fellow pastors and leaders out there for 2020 and beyond it would be this… simplify.

Jesus was and is our ultimate example. His agenda as revealed in the Gospels was all about people, people, people.

Let’s keep this short, sweet and simple.


5 Ways to Encourage Educators

imagesWe all have a teacher, coach, bus-driver, librarian, administrator or other educator who has played a vital role in us becoming who we are. Now, they are playing these roles on behalf of our own kids and grandkids! Let’s pay this forward by practicing… 

5 Ways to Encourage Educators in Your Life

Pray for them daily. Who couldn’t use more prayer. Remember, they face the same stuff of life as you. Pray the Lord blesses and strengthens them for their task. 

Encourage them often. Don’t assume they know how much they mean to you as they mold the very lives of your kids! Let them know… often.

Be kind in your critique. Take the tone and choose the words you would prefer they use if evaluating your parenting skills. 

Be generous at holidays (or anytime “just because.”) Educators aren’t in it for the money. Give them a restaurant gift card, gas card, movie card… or get together with other parents to buy them a new iPad, send them on a paid weekend away at the destination of their choice. Why not? When they are at their best, so will your kids!

Be grateful for their influence on our kids! They are investing in life molding moments with your kids. Think of even more ways you can help them do the job and fulfill the call they have assumed.  


How do you honor the educators in your life? Share your suggestions in the Reply section below…

The “Be There” Dare

images-11Are we really there when we are there? While social media has many redeeming qualities, could we be missing something with our constant posing for pictures and pausing to post? Worse, could we actually be manipulating the experience and messing it up by making it more or less what it could be if we just lived the moment? According to researchers, “One of the most bizarre premises of quantum theory, which has long fascinated philosophers and physicists alike, states that by the very act of watching, the observer affects the observed reality.” (Weizmann Institute Of Science, February 27, 1998;

Here’s my challenge to you, take The “Be There” Dare…

What is the “Be There” Dare? It’s simple. Experience something without pausing for pictures or posting. If you are alone, resist the temptation to invite the rest of the world via another “selfie.” If you are with family and/or friends, refuse to record the moment with anything other than your shared memories. Just be there.

Before anyone protests or reports me to the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat “police,” or I run afoul with any of my photographer friends, please understand. I’m not suggesting we stop recording our memories with family and friends altogether, let alone promoting some “boycott” of our favorite social media sites. Some of you have already observed the irony that I’m plastering this dare on multiple social media platforms.

What I am suggesting is that we enjoy some uninterrupted moments of life for the value of those moments with the people we love. There may just be more to this than meets the eye. Here are 3 reasons I dare you to “Be There…”

1 – When you are there, you will be more there.

2 – When you have simply experienced it, you and those you experienced it with will have it as a shared bond.

3 – When you do reflect on it, you will have only your memories from which to paint the picture of what you shared together. We may just be “forced” to re-weave the moments in a more meaningful way. We will have to remember, reflect and rehearse the experience by engaging in the art of conversation. In doing so we create yet another moment of purer experience… and again and again each time we do so.

There you have it. Something tells me that you have some moments to live that will be more than you have known, more than you have shared. Less will truly be more.

Be there. I dare you.

What’s here for our kids?

imgres-1Want to know what the #1 question you should be asking as a pastor and lead team? Here it is… “What’s here for our kids?” Why? Because people can put up with a pastor that preaches a little too long. They can handle worship that isn’t exactly their style. They will circle the parking lot twice to find a spot just as long as there is something that their kids love about going to church!

George Barna reminds us, “The transformation of children into spiritual champions may not happen even if we devote our best resources to the task, but the possibility is worth the risk.” See

Here are 5 Reasons to ask, “What’s here for our kids?”

1) Young families are asking it. That single mom, dad, or those grandparents raising a second generation are all looking for a place that wants the best for their kids almost as much as they do. Answer this question first and best and you will find willing ministry partners in those who are entrusting you with those they love most.

2) Older Adults love them. The vast majority of older adults love the noise and even the messes that come with having a lot of kids around. They know that where there are kids, there is life and hope for a bright future! Kids can always find an adopted grandpa or grandma to encourage them (and keep them in line) along the way as older adults find leadership and volunteer roles throughout kid’s ministries.

3) They are your marketing strategy! When kids start asking, “When do we get to go back to church?”… people get real curious, real fast. Kid’s aren’t easily impressed these days. When they get excited they tell their friends and news travels fast. Their parents pick up on this and everyone starts talking, texting, messaging and posting! Be sure to capture exciting and “God Thing” moments in your kid’s ministries and celebrate the wins in all your media outlets.

4) If you aren’t asking this question… then parents will ask, “Where do you want to go next week?” In other words, most won’t be back if their kids aren’t a purposed value in your church. There are plenty of options in most towns when it comes to churches. Make sure yours includes one of the best experiences for kids in Christ around!

5) Jesus said so. “But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Luke 18:16, NIV) Research tells us that kids are most open to making a commitment to Christ by age 14. Capture their attention, peak their curiosity and lead them to Jesus at an early age! Commit to doing whatever it takes to make kid’s ministry a priority. Start by asking and answering THE question in your own church… “What’s here for our kids?” 

Need some help finding affordable and/or free kids ministry resources? Here are some Biblically grounded and innovative options your kids and leaders will love…  – North Point Kid’s Ministry – Elevation Church Kid’s Ministry – Life Church Open Kid’s Ministry

Add your resources in the Reply section below!


3 Ways to Make Thanksgiving a Verb

imagesWe all know thanksgiving should be more than a day to gather with family and eat too much turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie only to drift off into a tryptophan induced coma. The truly grateful see it as a verb. When it comes to our churches, it is tempting for the entire holiday season to come down to a series of services that celebrate what we should be living out every day of our lives. So, let’s “talk turkey” about giving thanks (Sorry, couldn’t resist.).

Here are three simple suggestion for engaging your family, small group and/or congregation in making thanksgiving a verb…

1) “Thanksgiving Crash!” Set a specific date and challenge everyone to post about something or someone they are thankful to God for on your personal, family or church’s social media sites. The only people not happy about this one may be your Social Media Team if you succeed in the “Thanksgiving Crash!”

2) Thanksgiving Letter. Challenge everyone to write a letter expressing gratitude to someone who has played a major role and had a big influence on their lives for Christ. They can email it, message it, or… they might even take the time to write it, fold it, stamp and mail it. There is still something to having and holding documents of significance. And, a letter that says, “I thank God for you!” may just be that for someone in your life.

3) Thanksgiving Offering. Prepare a space in your home or a table (or multiple stations) in your worship center. Decorate it simply so the focus will be on the centerpiece… an empty “Horn of Plenty.” Then, create “My Thanksgiving Offering” cards that everyone can use to write something they are thankful to the Lord for and then place it in the “Horn of Plenty.” ThankOfferingCard Make it a goal for the horn and table to overflow with thanksgiving to God for His amazing grace and love.

This year, make Thanksgiving a verb as never before. Take your gratitude to a whole other level with these simple ideas. Have other ideas? Leave your suggestion in the comment section below!