Daniel Darling, author, pastor, speaker / Posts tagged "leadership"

Preaching and Baseball

In an article for Leadership Journal, I compare ministry to baseball. Pastors have a tendency to "swing for the fences" with every sermon, but we're better off working hard on the little things of preaching in order to give our people a lifetime of good spiritual food: Ministry is very much like baseball in this way. There will be the home run hitters—exceptionally gifted preachers. But most who lead God's people will be the grinders. The Belhorns, Glanvilles, and Bakos who show up every week and feed God's people truth in faithful, but unspectacular fashion. This is not an excuse for mediocrity. It's not a rant against celebrity. Every generation has genuinely gifted servants with ministries beyond their congregations. We should rejoice at their large kingdom impact. "There many not be many noble," Paul says. But there are some and we thank God for their giftedness. Still, I wonder if the rest, called to...

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Christians on Computers Talking Cakes

You probably don't want to read one more article on the religious liberty, cake-baking, gay marriage controversy. But let me diverge from the important legal and spiritual implications of this discussion and talk about the actual discussion itself. How should the discussion among Christians be driven around the public water cooler of social media? Here are a few thoughts I have in the wake of this pitched battle: We should always assume the very best about those with whom we disagree and we should argue against their best arguments, not caricatured straw men. We should remember that there are actual people behind the avatars. And we should remember that we are people, not avatars. As followers of Jesus we are accountable for what we do and say. We should not assume the headline, but understand and know the facts behind the headline. Tweeting in reaction to a headline may be fashionable, but it's...

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Why Should We Talk About Our Racial History?

In Southern Baptist Churches this Sunday we celebrate Racial Reconciliation Sunday. At the ERLC, we've developed quite a few resources for churches to use in their presentations. I'm grateful our denomination celebrates this, given our racial history and given how central this issue is to the gospel. In the Great Commission (Mathew 28:16), we see Jesus command us to take the gospel to "all nations" and in John's vision of the future Kingdom, we see a beautiful picture of all nations, tribes, and tongues gathering around the throne of God (Revelation 5:9; 7:9). In this video, Dr. Russell Moore of the ERLC and Dr. Matt Hall of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary discuss racial reconciliation and the church. I appreciate the very frank questions answered here, such as: "Why should we talk about our past. Can't we must move on?" and "Why should white people talk about this?" If you are a...

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Beware of People-Pleasing

My good friend, Charles Stone, has written about one of the hidden temptations of leadership: the tendency to people-please. I know that I fought this as a pastor and continue to fight it as a leader today. On the one hand, your job is to love and serve God's people. This means putting aside preference and living in community with people with whom you disagree, people different than you. And at the same time, you wear a title and carry responsibility before God. So you must lead and lead well. Charles is a thoughtful writer. His book, 7 Ministry Killers was one of the best books on leadership I've ever read. And he's back with a new one, People-Pleasing Pastors. Here is one of the questions I asked him: The job of a pastor, by nature, is to bring people together, to lead a diverse group of volunteers and staff. So how does the...

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