Dealing With Leadership Anxiety

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? This leadership journey began when I was twenty-four years old and had been married six days. It was my first day as a hospital chaplain at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. It housed six hundred beds, home hospice, and the...

To Be or Not to Be a Pentecostal

The time in Fort Wayne would be a milestone for Jack Hayford as a Pentecostal pastor. Ever since he had begun speaking in tongues in May 1955, he had continued the practice privately. But he was wavering in presenting himself and his Fort Wayne church as distinctly and publicly Pentecostal in practice. He and...

Blame It On COVID

Years ago at Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo, Texas, where I serve as senior pastor, there was a young guy on our softball team. He was in his early 20s, and at a game one night he was hit in the head with a softball. After he got up and shook it off everything seemed fine, but...

Leadership, Creativity, and Coronavirus

In the Master of Organizational Leadership program at The King's University, one of the final classes students take is called Current Issues and Leadership Studies. It's a great class, and it helps students to see how the field of leadership studies is moving in new and interesting directions. One of the topics in this class is the idea of arts and aesthetics in...

Guidelines for Pastoral Care During Covid-19

As outbreaks of the coronavirus continue to spread globally, the endgame continues to be a moving target. Meanwhile, we as shepherds and faith leaders still must care for people, many of whom are feeling a rise in anxiety verging on panic. Allow me to offer these 10 brief guidelines to help frame our thinking and subsequently our...

Spiritual Needs in the Time of Corona

By now, many of us have acclimated to the COVID-19 social-distancing protocols. Churches are learning how to serve people online, schools have shifted to virtual home-based learning, and families are doing their best to stay in touch and support each other. As this crisis persists, we will need to address continuing needs of physical well-being and mental...

Worship Leadership: Poetic Lyrics and Reckless Theology

As a child growing up in church, one of my earliest memories is sitting in children’s church on a Sunday morning singing “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” I grew up in the St. Louis area and I vividly remember singing the song and then the children’s worker teaching us that God loves each of us, “no matter...

To Serve or Be Served

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that...

Breaking Out of Your Rut

Here is a question you have no doubt been thinking about lately: “Is my church more like a machine, or a brain?” OK, maybe this has not been your front-burner question lately. Maybe you ponder questions like “why has our church stopped growing?” Or maybe you are the more practical type: “I wonder if we have enough...

Attitude Equals Altitude

When I was growing up, my father paid me an allowance to read books. He picked the books, and we were required to read for 30 minutes a day. My friends, however, were paid to do chores. I went to my dad one day and asked if I could get paid to do my chores as well....