How to Help the Unmotivated Person

How do you help an unmotivated person follow through on their commitments? How do you help them do the job they–and you–have agreed they will do? This is a particularly important question when working with volunteers, which is what most ministry work is. There’s no employment stick to hold over them (“you’re fired”) or financial carrot […]

20 Questions for Mid-Year Evaluation

Before we get to Christmas—the bad sweater parties, white elephant gifts, egg nog, and of course the end-of-year fundraising push, don’t forget the mid-year evaluation! Take some time during Finals week and make a few course corrections. I highly recommend sitting down with your team (perhaps a mixture of staff, key student leaders, and volunteers) […]

7 Ways to Make the Most of a Conference Experience

This weekend, we are thrilled to host our first-ever Faith, Life, and Work Conference. It’s not too late to come, so if you’re reasonably close by, we would love to have you join us! Over the last 15 years or so, I’ve been to more conferences than I can remember. But some have certainly been […]

Five Ways to Demonstrate the Value of College Ministry to People Who Don’t Get It

“We’d like to do more for college students, but we just don’t have the resources.” When I listen for the reasons people give for not investing in college ministry, that’s usually #1. Everyone eventually faces the limits of what they can allocate in terms of staff, time, funding, and space. But when I hear people […]

The Thing About Meetings

The thing about meetings is that they are necessary. Not everyone seems to think that these days though. “Get rid of meetings!” they seem to say. But meetings are necessary. Granted, all the meetings you’re having are probably not necessary. And they may not need to be as frequent as you have them. And they […]

The Debt We Owe to Abraham Kuyper

  For information on our Faith, Life, and Work Conference, click here.   When we talk about how “everything is spiritual,” or the importance of integrating all of our Faith, Life, and Work, we owe a debt to Abraham Kuyper. He famously said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, […]

What I’m Reading This Month [October]

From time to time, I thought I’d share what I’m reading and finding helpful or stimulating. Here’s what I was reading in September. If you’re reading these or anything else interesting, I’d love to know in the comments!       Rework is a manifesto of sorts. It’s about upending more traditional ways of starting and growing […]

Opportunity Annoys

They say that opportunity knocks. That’s only on the rare occasion when it feels like being polite. Maybe opportunity knocked at first. But sometimes we’re too dense or preoccupied to hear it. So after a while, opportunity doesn’t bother knocking anymore. It lets itself in, sits down in your favorite chair, and eats your food. […]

5 Marks of Unhealthy Organizational Thinking

How do you know if the organization you’re working for is unhealthy? Here are five signs. (Unfortunately, this is not an exhaustive list). 1) They employ zero-sum thinking. They think, “If you win, we lose.” And vice-versa. 2) They have numerous levels of controls and hierarchy that get in the way of doing things. Power […]

Selectivity vs. Development

If you read some leadership literature these days, it’s all about “hire the right people, only the best people, so that you don’t need to have meetings and manuals to hold them in check.” In other words, be highly selective about whom you bring on. But can we really do this? People don’t come out […]