Archives For Encouraging

Ministry Leadership is…

Josh —  August 12, 2012 — Leave a comment

Guess what, you are going to fail. And when you do it will hurt and you won’t really know what hit you.

You have a choice though. You can either move so cautiously and timidly that your fall is more of a collapse not far from where you started. Or you can move with boldness until you crash out spectacularly. The choice is embarrassment or pain.

Either way the good news is that you can always start over, no matter how much it hurts or how embarrassing it is we all get grace.


Source and story behind the image.

The Guarantee We Don’t Want

Josh —  August 10, 2012 — Leave a comment

We don’t because we don’t know how it will turn out.

We want and wait for a guarantee of success, but all we get is a guarantee of presence. God’s presence is incredible but often not good enough to push us to action.

The conversation never happens. New churches and ministries aren’t started. We hope things will work themselves out. Challenges aren’t issued, dreams aren’t pursued, and relationships never deepen.

Because we are afraid how things will turn out.

God calls us to action not to results.

Moses was given tools (staff) and relationships (Aaron and Miriam) to accomplish the Exodus, but Moses dies in the desert. Peter is given leadership in the early church, but he betrays Jesus in the process and is martyred in the end. David is made king, but wrecks his family and is forbidden from the crowning achievement of building the Temple because of his violent life.

Living in that moment of calling and identity is exciting and exhilarating. The newness of a fresh adventure feeds our egos but it does not sustain.

Sometimes we quit in the middle of it looking for something “more secure”. Or we never venture out past this calling as we wait for the right opportunity or we wait until the conditions are such that we feel we have assured success.

You and I are called to things that may be abject disasters. We could lose income or relationships, church plants and ministries may never take off, critical friends and families are proven correct. Things are a mess but we were obedient.

It is our crippling fear of failure that keeps us disobedient.

You and I will fail.

As followers of Christ we have to accept the fact that God has used failures to do incredible things. What if Peter hadn’t returned to the others to fish? What if Moses walked away from the ungrateful? What if David used his popularity and army to depose Saul before it was time?

Failure can serve a point if we move through it with the confidence of who we are and what our calling is.

Another great guest post in the Rookie Pastor Paternity Leave series.

Dan Kihm is a pastor and a Reds fan. Like many of you he started preaching while still in school and is getting ready to head to the Netherlands with his wife as missionaries. Get caught up on their journey here.

I’ve been the Senior Pastor of a small church in Central Indiana for about 7 years now. During that time, I’ve been blessed to have a series of part-time Associate Pastors who have lightened the preaching load. However, I’ve probably averaged 40+ sermons a year.

I enjoy preaching. Truth be told, one of the first reasons I considered ministry as a child is because I like telling stories, and since you have to go to church, you’re bound to have a captive audience. Preaching is enjoyable. And yet, it is exhausting.

If preaching was the only duty of a pastor, that wouldn’t be so bad. But when it becomes an after-thought, an extra assignment tacked onto an already overloaded 40+ work week of meetings, visitation, massaging egos and diffusing tempers, it can be quite taxing.

So what are some ways that I have persevered and preached when not one atom of my being felt like preaching?

I’ve reminded myself of a few things:

Continue Reading…

Monday Morning Quick Hits

Josh —  July 30, 2012 — Leave a comment
  • NBC is doing what they always do. Showing tape delayed Olympic footage with way too many human interest stories in the mix. Credit to them for showing some more live footage through the day, but I think 2016 with Rio being a similar time zone it is time to move away from the tape delay.
  • Finding balance in your small group.
  • Speaking of Olympics if you are looking to buck the tape delay, try this.
  • Everyone has good ideas, few people start.
  • The Reds are 10-1 since the birth of my son. You’re welcome.
  • Did you watch the Hybels family interview yet?
  • Seeing an up tick in sales for 30 in 30, not sure why but I appreciate every sale and every review.
  • A minister built a 100ft tall church, with no blueprints. Expect this to make its way into sermons and corny jokes soon.
  • The Olympic diet, could you honestly get all this down?
  • Getting away from the word “missional”.
  • My first fantasy football sleeper article.
  • Seth Godin – you still have to show up.
  • Perry Noble yells at some church planters.
  • Church vision and Kony 2012.
  • Hey, would you do me a favor and take this survey? It will help me make some important decisions about content moving forward. Thanks in advance.
  • Being a parent is overwhelming. In the good, in the tough, in the frustrating, in the joy, in the gross, in the new. Overwhelming. 

As a new father I have spent a lot of time thinking and praying about what it means to be a husband, father, and a pastor. I attended this year’s Exponential but missed this interview with Bill Hybels and family. Love what they have to share and how they accept some of the busy seasons of ministry (Christmas) but they find balance.

Worth your time.


Rookie Pastor Paternity Leave

Josh —  July 18, 2012 — 7 Comments

So I’m a dad. Wow. Isaac James came early this morning at 8 pounds 5 ounces and mom and baby are doing awesome. Here’s a not very good photo of the dude right after he got cleaned up.

Going to be stepping away from my normal blog schedule as I dive head first into fatherhood. In the meantime though we get to hear from some members of this community. These are friends I’ve known for years and those of you I only know from a meetup or through Twitter, but all have incredible things to share. So the common thread for this series isn’t a topic, but the Rookie Pastor community.

A few weeks ago I sent a mass email with a long list topics and I was blown away at the response. If you would like to be included on this project let me know and I’ll be happy to pass along how you can contribute.

As they are posted they will be updated here with the appropriate links.

  1. 3 Ways to Guard Your Sabbath
  2. Invest in People to Leave Well
  3. Preaching When I Don’t Feel Like it
  4. Non-Creepy Evangelism
  5. The Pastor’s Inner Circle
  6. Financial Do’s and Don’ts
  7. Leaving with Grace
  8. A Pastor’s Sabbath
  9. Three Free Steps Toward a More Interactive Worship Service
  10. Why Church Planting?
  11. Why Church Revitalization?
  12. When You’re Struggling with Your Worship Leader
  13. Budget vs Volunteers
  14. What Long Term Missionaries Need From the Local Church
  15. When a Bad Day Strikes


The Nooma series had a huge impact on my life personally and as a communicator during a very formative time in my life. Bell’s books, while somewhat annoying in structure have always challenged me to think. Like many I have naively attempted to imitate his preaching style.

Interesting to see this as I believe it is one of the first forms of communication I have seen since he left Mars Hill. Yes the video is a little predictable. Clearly intentionally controversial/disruptive. And of course maddeningly difficult to pin down.

But I’m glad I watched it.


Rookie Pastor Turns 1

Josh —  July 11, 2012 — Leave a comment

Rookie Pastor is about community. When you are new to ministry as a paid staff member, volunteer, point leader or associate role things can be overwhelming. Inexperience usually coupled with youth and a hint of arrogance creates a situation where burnout isn’t just a possibility, it is a likelihood. After many different iterations this has become my secondary calling. To support Rookie Pastors through relationships, writing, and support.

It started with David Norman a friend and the original Rookie Pastor graciously passed on the url to me, and it has been quite a ride.

Above all though in the last year it has been the relationships that have encouraged me the most. I know I’m not going to get rich off Rookie Pastor nor am I trying to quit my day job in ministry, but I am called to support other pastors. This I know but when I doubt the personal messages through social media, email, or in person are the encouragement I really value.

Thanks for an awesome year.

The Future is Ours

Josh —  July 6, 2012 — 2 Comments

My pride says it is mine.
My politics makes me question.
My theology makes me critical.
My skepticism is.

But what are we as the Church doing? As leaders are we complaining in retreat or are taking action in love?


David Kinnaman is someone you need to listen to, and I would like to give you a copy of his latest book.

His first book unChristian served as a wake up call. His follow up: You Lost Me is one of those books that I keep coming back to after reading it. This book is a must read for Rookie Pastors because we not only minister to those who have left the church, these are our friends, family members, and sometimes we are these people.

Through the generosity of Baker Books we are giving away 5 copies of You Lost Me to the Rookie Pastor community.

Before I tell you how to win one of the copies you should watch this video about the book.

To enter to win all you have to do is help get the word out:

  • Comment below on your thoughts on young people leaving the church. +1 entry.
  • Tweet something like: Get a free copy of You Lost Me by @DavidKinnaman: | via @RookiePastor (include @rookiepastor to guarantee I see it) for another +1 entry.
  • Share this post on Facebook for another +1 entry.

The contest will come to a close Friday (7/6) at 10pm EST.

The winners will be randomly selected and announced here.
(Amazon affiliate links)

And the winners are:

  • Brian Cain
  • Cailey Dumler
  • @PastorPitman
  • @ChrisSprad
  • @sherrieo213