Saturday, December 31, 2005 | |

The #2 Most Popular Leadership Blog Interview of the Year

John Bishop

Editor's Note: "I had never heard of John Bishop before someone recommended I interview him. I do now, after he linked the interview on the mega-church's main webpage. He's doing a great job in Vancouver."

Bio: John Bishop is Lead Pastor of Living Hope Church in Vancouver, WA.

Church: Living Hope Church - Vancouver, WA

Blog: John Bishop

The Leadership Blog Interview Questions
1. John, what gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?
John: "My greatest joy as a leader is seeing potential realized in people. I love calling out of people what God put in them. I think Jesus calls us and believes in our ability to do something way more than we do in ourselves."

2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?
John: "My biggest pet peeve is when someone tells me something can’t be done. Nothing sends me from zero to mach speed faster than a bad attitude. Also it’s difficult for me to be around “the cup is half empty” people. If Chicken Little is in the room I get stressed out. I know we need critical analysis but truth be told; who would have ever thought Peter would or could walk on water? I rest my case."

3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?
John: "Who’s influenced my life as a leader? So many! Probably, as a leader, Bill Hybels. His passion for the local church years ago is what began in me a stirring of God. I’ve met Bill-in fact a few months before we started Living Hope I went to my very first church conference. Bill was teaching with John Maxwell. I waited in line for ten minutes to say “hi” to Bill, but to my surprise when it was our turn to speak to him he took me and my wife aside and prayed that we would be a prevailing church. I have never and will never forget that day. Secondly, my wife Michelle. She keeps me centered in so many ways. Emotionally, spiritually and relationally. She can and does tell me things that others either don’t or can’t. I love and respect her more than any other human being. That’s all I got to say about that."

4. What books have changed your life?
John: "So many! Of course the Bible. Duh! I read a lot. Andy Stanley’s book “7 Practices of Effective Ministry” was/is life changing. I have bought over 100 copies and given them to pastors in our community. Andy is another guy that has influenced me so much. The other fascinating book is “Blue Ocean Strategy”. Great marketing strategy book! Should I go on-how many books do you want?"

5. What's Your biggest challenge as a leader?
John: "So simple. Leading me. Hybel’s does a great job in his talk “360 degree Leadership” Leading others, leading up, leading peers YET leading me is my biggest challenge. Staying focused, staying in love with God, staying out of God’s way (I hate not being in control), staying balanced, staying healthy…mostly I have to stay disciplined to not get lazy leading myself."

6. What goals do you have as a leader?
John: "My goals as a leader are 1) To finish well-really! I see so many leaders that end up sidelined from ministry. It’s so sad to me. I really want to do whatever it takes to finish well. 2) In relationship to finishing well I want to stay married and in love with Michelle. Marriage takes work. I want to really be best friends for life. 3) I want to “be there” as a father to my three kids. I’m all they have. My dad died when I was five. Growing up I hated seeing other kids go camping etc. with their dads. I felt left out and alone. So I want to really be there! Lastly I want to get through just today. Not to sound over dramatic, but I mean it. Every day has so many challenges. Our church had grown from 1,100 to 2,800 in one year. Now we are a multi-campus church beginning services at our second location in only 8 weeks. It’s just a lot. I want to keep my sanity and really be joyful. H. B. London spoke at our church two weeks ago and I have to say I just love him! I love his heart for pastors. He sent me a book “Pastors at Greater Risk.” I think it’s a hint-what do you think?"

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
John: "Ten years ago Living Hope didn’t exist. Ten years ago I would have never imagined anything happening today, so I’ll choose to say I hope I’m doing church, in this church, with the people I love the most. I don’t know what else to say. I love being part of a revolution with leaders who dare to put everything on the line. I love waking up because I love what I get to do. I love the people God has around me. I hope I can still be blessable enough to be used by the one whose name I bare! I want to continually stay out of the way and courageously trust God!"Thanks John for taking the time for an interesting interview!

Friday, December 30, 2005 | |

Get on the Bandwagon...

Podcasting raises church attendance (via Jordon)

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The #3 Most Popular Leadership Blog Interview of the Year

Perry Noble

Bio: Perry is Senior Pastor of New Spring Community Church with over 4000 in attendance each week. New Spring is one of the 100 Fastest Growing Churches in the U.S.

Church: New Spring Community Church


The Leadership Blog Interview Questions
1. Perry, What gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?
Perry: "Seeing people “get it!” Leading is awesome—but when people see that they need a relationship with Jesus Christ then that pumps me up. There is no greater joy than seeing people come into the kingdom!"

2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?
Perry: "Narrow minded people who are unwilling to accept the fact that though the Gospel never changes…that the methods do!"

3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?
Perry: "John Maxwell…I didn’t even know anyone even taught on the subject of leadership until I had the privilege of hearing him in 1995…I have read nearly everything the dude has in print. Also Ed Young…being able to meet and network with him has been one of the greatest privileges of my life."

4. What books have changed your life?
Perry: "Not trying to sound super spiritual—but the Bible! One that rocked my world about the way unchurched people think though was, “Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry & Mary!” Wow—totally blew my mind…and God used that to ignite the fire that was already burning inside of me to start a church."

5. What's your biggest challenge as a leader?
Perry: "Maxwell says that if you stay one step ahead of people you are a leader…and if you are 10 steps ahead then you are a martyr…so I guess the challenge is LEADING and not just taking off like a bat out of…well…you know where! People need to be led, not pushed or pulled, and that is a challenge."

6. What goals do you have as a leader?
Perry: "I really want to HEAR from God, His plans, His agenda…and then go for it with all my heart. I have been reading the OT lately & I love the response of the prophets—they would hear from God and then go and do what He told them—they didn’t care who they offended or even if they had to put their life on the line. I want to follow His leadership with that passion—that ambition—to have His goals in mind—and not mine!"

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Perry: "Good one—I would have answered that differently about a month and a half ago, but with my recent near death experience I am not taking life for granted. I hope I am the senior pastor of Newspring, that is my current passion and I seriously don’t want to do anything else. However, whatever God wants & whenever He wants it is what I will do! (But once again I REALLY hope it is at Newspring!!!)"

Perry thanks for the great interview. Your passion for God and people have influenced me through your sermon mp3s and your blog. Keep it up!

Thursday, December 29, 2005 | |

The #4 Most Popular Leadership Blog Interview of the Year

Mark Batterson

: Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC. Starting with a core group of 19 people, NCC has morphed into one church with two locations—the movie theaters @ Union Station in Washington, DC and Ballston Common Mall in Arlington, VA. Comprised largely of Capitol Hill staffers, NCC is 80% single and 80% twenty-something. The macro vision of NCC is to meet in movie theaters @ metro stops throughout the DC area.

Mark is the author of ID: The True You; a weekly online evotional; and a daily blog. He also serves as Chief Spiritual Officer of, a start-up that preloads iPods with sermons, audio devotionals, and music.

Church: National Community Church

1. What gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?
Mark: "I love helping people cross the line of faith. Whenever I baptize someone I think internally, "This is what it's all about."I love helping twenty-somethings navigate the quarterlife crisis. NCC is 80% single and 80% twenty-something.I love experimenting with new ways of doing church. If the Kingdom of God were a company, I think NCC would work in the Research & Development Department (R & D). One of our core values is: everything is an experiment. I love trying to say old things in new ways. I love trying to brand sermon series with new wineskins. I love experimenting with new ways of preaching. We meet in movie theater so we've done "trailers" for sermon series for several years, but we're getting into short films as a form of "offsite preaching."

2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?
Mark: "Naysayers.I've learned that every church has a bell curve. There are innovators and adopters who embrace change. But there are also laggards and resisters. I don't love laggards and resisters any less. But sometimes I want to show them a picture of Neil Armstrong getting out of the lunar module and stepping onto the moon. We put a man on the moon. Naysay no more!I think God is glorified when we dream God-sized dreams. Anything less is boring. "

3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?
Mark: "My father-in-law, Bob Schmidgall, planted a church (Calvary Church in Naperville, IL) and pastored it for more than thirty years. I saw what could happen if you plant yourself in one place and invest your life there. That's what I want to do in Washington, DC. I want to pastor one church for the rest of my life.

4. What books have changed your life?
Mark: "I'm a book-a-holic. On my blog ( I've got a recommended list of 100 of my favorite books in a variety of categories."A few recent reads include: Brand Sense by Martin Lindstrom; i am not but I know I Am by Louie Giglio; and The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman."

5. What's your biggest challenge as a leader?
Mark: "I always feel like I'm trying to catch up with my ideas."

6. What goals do you have as a leader?
Mark: "I have three core convictions:C1: The church ought to be the most creative place on the planet.C2: The greatest message deserves the greatest marketing.C3: The church is called to compete in the middle of the marketplace.Those three convictions are what drives me. I guess I'm more conviction-driven than goal-oriented.Our macro vision is to meet in movie theaters @ metro stops throughout the DC area. There are fifty-seven theaters in the greater Washington area so we've got a ways to go. I do envision NCC becoming a five-digit church. But I'm realizing that impact can't be measured by attendance alone. Our podcast ( had more than 6500 unique visitors last month. And I used to think my blog ( supplemented my sermons. Now I think it might be the other way around. "

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Mark: "John Chancellor said, "If you want to see God laugh, tell him your plans."I see myself pastoring National Community Church. I also feel as called to write as I do to pastor. One of my personal goals is to write at least one book a year so I hope I've written ten books in ten years. There are also a few "God ideas" that weren't on my radar a few months ago. I'm the CSO of a start-up called We'll launch in October 2005 so I have no idea what GodiPod will become in the next month let alone ten years.Those are my plans. I'm sure God is laughing!"

Mark thanks for a great interview!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 | |

The #5 Most Popular Leadership Blog Interview of the Year

"We will be counting down the five most popular interviews." -JS

Tony Morgan

Bio: Tony Morgan is Pastor of Administrative Services at Granger Community Church. Granger has over 5000 each Sunday and is one of the fastest growing churches in America. In addition to writing several articles on staffing, technology, strategic planning and leadership for nationally known websites and publications, Tony has collaborated with Tim Stevens, executive pastor at GCC, on a series of books specifically for church leaders:Simply Strategic Stuff Simply Strategic VolunteersSimply Strategic Growth Church: Granger Community Church


The Leadership Blog Interview
1. Tony, What gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?
Tony: "You mean after seeing people who were far from God become committed Christ-followers? That's my greatest joy as a leader. That's what drives me in life. I've given my life to reaching the unchurched forJesus. After that, what really pumps me up is seeing people soaring in their families, relationships and in their roles--ministry or marketplace. I love helping people get to a place where they're passionate about their contribution and they're empowered to perform at their highest capacity. I love helping people do what they do best."

2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?
Tony: "Maintenance mode. I hate when I end up having to maintain anything. That probably sounds odd for a guy that's an administrator for a living, doesn't it? What's next? Where do we go from here? How can we make the system more effective? How do we make it happen? Those are always more intriguing questions for me."

3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?
Tony: "I'm surrounded by great leaders, so that's pretty hard. Mark Beeson, our senior pastor, has taught me more about the power of vision, teams, and encouragement than anyone. Tim Stevens, our executive pastor, has taught me a lot about managing relationships and the process that leads to successful execution. From a distance, BillHybels has really fueled my passion for leadership and the ministry ofthe local church. Then there are countless numbers of leaders that I'mconstantly reading and listening to both in ministry and themarketplace that stretch my thinking. I'm in constant learning mode."

4. What books have changed your life?
Tony: "Well, other than the Bible, of course, number one on the list wouldprobably be Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Church. God used that book toconfirm a calling in my life for ministry. When I read Warren's visionfor the church, I knew I wanted to serve at a church that wasintentional about reaching people far from God and helping thembecoming fully-devoted followers of Christ. Actually--I probably shouldn't admit this--I was reading and re-reading that book so much,my 3-year-old daughter started referring to it as "Daddy's Bible." Part of the reason I gave up my career in city management and became a pastor was because of that book. I guess that's a pretty big life change."

5. What's your biggest challenge as a leader?
Tony: "Dealing with me. There are days when I'm too comfortable with what I can accomplish through my own efforts. There are days when I'm not confident enough in what God can accomplish through me. Either way--it's sin. God's still doing a work in me. I'm still pursuing him."

6. What goals do you have as a leader?
Tony: "Remain faithful and committed to my wife. Raise my kids well. Do something great for God in ministry at my church. Help other churches to be cool so they can more effectively reach people who haven't yetfound Christ. Have fun doing all of that with people I love."

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Tony: "I can't think that far ahead. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to do tomorrow."Thanks Tony for taking the time for the interview. Your articles and insight has really inspired me.

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Did you know?

1)How long did the Hundred Years War last? 116 years
2) Which country makes Panama hats? Ecuador
3) From which animal do we get cat gut? Sheep and Horses
4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution? November
5) What is a camel's hair brush made of? Squirrel fur
6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal? Dogs
7) What was King George VI's first name? Albert
8) What color is a purple finch? Crimson
9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from? New Zealand
10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane? Orange, of course.

Saturday, December 24, 2005 | |

Merry Christmas!

Isaiah 9:6 (KJV) - For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

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Double Vision?

Do you have double vision? Check out this great post by Mark.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 | |

In Bubble Wrap

If you haven't checked out "In Bubble Wrap", it's a site that gives away free books, do so today! They're giving away a ton of free books today! I've yet to win, so we'll see if this really works.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 | |

Leadership Lessons From Michael Jordan

Check out this great post, "Leadership Lessons from MJ" by Dave Ferguson.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 | |

And the winner is... Ed Young

I discovered "Googlefight" via Scott and "The Leadership Blog" thumped, I won't name names but Mark Batterson, Gary Lamb, Tony Morgan, Perry Noble, Greg Surratt, just to name a few. I was feeling froggy and tried out "Ed Young" and got whipped! Try it out.

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The Leadership Blog Interview: Dr. Joel C. Hunter

Dr. Joel C. Hunter

Bio: Dr. Joel C. Hunter is Senior Pastor of the multi-site church, Northland Church in Longwood, FL.

Church: Northland

The Leadership Blog Interview Questions
1. Joel, What gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?
Joel: "It has to do with seeing people not only come to Christ, but grow to the kind of spiritual maturity that they are changing the world. I love hearing the testimonies of people…not only the ones who say what God is doing in their lives, but testimonies from the community of how non-believers have benefited from the church."

2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?
Joel: "People who think the business of the church is inside its walls."

3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?
: "Constant reading in an encyclopedic spectrum of works. I read the classics and the current world class literature from great theology to great science to great fiction, and multiple newspapers and magazines every week. "

4. What books have changed your life?
: "Most of the staples in different fields…all of C.S. Lewis, multiple commentaries on the Bible, Drucker in management, The Great Books, and, my favorite in literature, Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice."

5. What's your biggest challenge as a leader?
: "Consistently re-building a great leadership team."

6. What goals do you have as a leader?
Joel: "To impact the world for Christ in a way that non-Christians are thankful."

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
: "Still leading from this church…I’ve been here since 1985, and I am just getting started. I love this congregation!!!"

Thanks Dr. Hunter for a great interview!

Sunday, December 18, 2005 | |

The Sunday Stew

Which is bigger your dreams or memories?

Friday, December 16, 2005 | |

Share The Wealth

I first have to admit to not watching one episode of "The Apprentice" this season, but my wife and I did watch the finale. I was totally suprised by Randal's response after clearly winning the Apprentice and being asked if The Donald should hire Rebecca also. Randal said this is "not The Apprenti" and should therefore only have "one" winner. The Donald acted like he was ready to hire her but didn't after Randal's statement. It made Randal look selfish. What do you think?

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GTD Quote

"Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness." -Jean de La Bruysre

Thursday, December 15, 2005 | |

Visual Amazon Christmas Wishlist

Thanks to Randy for the help!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005 | |

My Christmas Wishlist

There's still time! You can find my wishlist here. I'm still trying to figure out how to add a wishlist badge to blogger. If anyone knows please let me know!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005 | |

Git R' Done

After reading about "Getting Things Done" and David Allen in the "Cutting Edge" magazine, I ordered the book. I'm just getting started but this seems to be written for me, I have so many projects, plans, etc. in my head that I can't stop thinking about them. But it could just be the ADD. Check out "Getting Things Done" if you haven't!

Monday, December 05, 2005 | |

The Leadership Blog Interview: Mac Richard

Mac Richard

Bio: Mac Richard is the founding pastor of Lake Hills Church. Prior to the establishing of Lake Hills Church, Mac served on the staff of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, TX for seven years. Upon graduating from the University of Texas with a BS in Speech Communications, he attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and received a Masters of Divinity with Biblical Languages.

Mac and his wife Julie have two children.

Church: Lake Hills Church

The Leadership Blog Interview Questions
1. What gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?
: "One more person coming to Christ. Second to that, seeing someone realize potential they didn’t even know they had."

2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?
Mac: "Negativity. I don’t get how self-proclaimed Christ-followers metamorphose into self-appointed watchdogs."

3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?
Mac: "Ed Young at Fellowship Church. Working with him for 7 years, I learned the inescapable connection between love and accountability."

4. What books have changed your life?
Mac: "I loved Andy Stanley’s Choosing to Cheat and the encouragement God gave through that to leave church work undone so I can go home and engage in a great marriage and parenting."

5. What's your biggest challenge as a leader?
: "Carving out time to chase God with everything I’ve got and creating re-creational time with no guilt."

6. What goals do you have as a leader?
Mac: "To grow and develop a staff of pastors and leaders who grow and develop a church of leaders. Also, I want to write and speak in a way that connects biblical leadership with any leadership environment imagineable."

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Mac: "In 10 years, my wife and I will be launching our youngest child from the nest and enjoying our freedom and theirs to the fullest. Oh, and I’ll be the pastor of Lake Hills Church guiding and mentoring a flock of future leaders who will build on and expand whatever God chooses to do through my leadership."

Thanks Mac for taking time for the interview!