I saw an article the other day from The Atlantic titled “Power Causes Brain Damage: How leaders lose mental capacities–most notably for reading other people–that were essential to their rise.” Here is the opening paragraph. “If power were a prescription drug, it would come with a long list of known side effects. It can intoxicate. It can corrupt. It can even make Henry Kissinger believe he’s sexually magnetic. But can cause brain damage?

The article really unpacks how, when people experience power, they actually lose the capacity to empathize, and of course, that is related to reading people and responding to people and ultimately leading well. Basically it actually affects our brains.

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It’s Not Your Job

Just the other day I was listening to a pastor who is a Christian leader who I respect greatly, but he said something that made me kinda sit up in my seat and question what I heard. I came to the conclusion that I had to disagree with him, and in disagreeing, I realized what this man stated explains a lot of challenges that we’re facing in the church right now.

The statement had to do with this fellow expressing his call to build the church. When he said that, I stopped and thought to myself that Jesus is the one who builds the church and that our call is to make disciples that as we make disciples. The church grows and Jesus puts the body together and builds the church.

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Measuring Ministry Success

Today I’m just going to read the table of contents of an old book. I’d be surprised if I’ve never referenced this book in the past because it’s a classic, incredibly helpful, encouraging book in all areas and all times and places for pastors. It’s a book called “Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome” by Kent and Barbara Hughes. It came out in 1987, with a rework in 2008.

I came across this book early in my ministry life. In fact, it may have actually been on internship where someone recommended it to me or in my pastoral training before I was a pastor. I became a pastor in 1990, so it would have been out by then.

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Unprecedented Pivot to the New Normal

Do you have a growing list of words you never want to hear again?

This past fall, I very quickly ran out of patience for the words “pivot” and “unprecedented” and “new normal.” These words have gotten old pretty quick partly from over-use, but also because when reflecting on life and history and the nature of the world, the fact is that things are always changing. There are events almost every year, and certainly every decade, that have completely changed everything.

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