Kirk Kirlin

Kirk Kirlin

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The “APE” in APEST

Christ gave three distinct ministry gifts to the church: apostle, prophet, and evangelist to compliment that of the pastor-teacher [Ephesians 4:11]. Yet, since the Reformation, pastor-teachers have been leading, largely, in a vacuum.

The over-emphasis on shepherding and teaching has produced both the Church and the society that we have today.

Leading well includes restoring the apostolic, prophetic, and evangelistic graces to Christian leadership.


-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage #discipleship #APEST

Called to Painful Sacrifice

A capital campaign—like the claims of Lordship that Jesus so clearly articulates–calls each of us to painful sacrifice. In Matthew 10:38, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23, and 14:27 the gospels record Jesus’ clearly: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

Yet, in our commitment to be visitor-sensitive, we communicate in dozens of ways that cross-bearing is optional. It is not expected. And, certainly not insisted upon.

And then, when we finally call our people – all of them – to get into the game in a sacrificial way, many of them pack up and leave.

-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage

more at hashtagleadership hashtagcourage hashtagpastor hashtagJesus hashtagcourageousleadership hashtagLeadershipCourage

Where Your Treasure Is…

Pastor, how frequently and how clearly do you teach your congregation about giving?

Funny, isn’t it? Jesus spoke more about money than any subject other than the Kingdom of God. Why? Because what I treasure reveals my heart. [Matthew 6:21] Yet, most pastors dread speaking about finances. “People will think that all we care about is money” some of you say.

So, you rarely teach the topic and how closely allied it is to all issues of the heart of your people…and yet you think about money all the time.
Don’t you?



You and your “pioneers”


As you and the “pioneers” in your congregation love and care for the unchurched in ways that bless their lives, those you serve will be skeptical, initially. They’ll be wary that church people would serve without a hidden agenda, a “gotcha,” a hook.

As you continue to be with them for their benefit—and not for yours—their skepticism will be replaced with gratitude, then curiosity.



-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #Courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage #discipleship

Over-planning in Ministry


Excessive ministry planning is an almost irresistible temptation for church people. Don’t waste your vigor over-planning in the comfort of your church conference room.

Quick, before you lose your nerve, get out of the church property and begin to bless people. Meet with civic leaders. Learn where your congregation can help make a God-honoring difference and go after it.

Thrust yourself into action with your pioneers. Love people. Serve them.



-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at

#leadership  #courage #pastor #Jesus #leadershipcourage #courageousleadership #discipleship

Those Least Motivated…


Watching hundreds of ministers struggle to lead their people well has been breathtaking.

Breaking from the example of effective leaders in every other human endeavor, pastors tend to focus their efforts on those who are least motivated to follow. No wonder the burnout rate in the pastorate is dwarfed only by the dropout rate.

The most effective ministry leaders I know concentrate their time and attention on the congregation’s pioneers.


-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at

#leadership #ccourage #pastor #jesus #discipleship #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage

Who will Light the World?


In more than thirty years of ministry to ministers it is stunning how much of a pastors’ time, thoughts, and prayers are consumed with those who are the least motivated to follow.

While you are breaking yourself to provide compelling insight to inspire the unmotivated, they are breaking your will to lead. They are standing in the way of the change you believe God wants. They are preventing the advance of God’s Kingdom in your city. And, once the pastor’s will has been broken, it’s “lights out” for that church. When that happens, it’s also “lights out” for those outside.

God assembled your congregation to be His redemptive provision for the community around you. So, when your church surrenders to the selfish demands of the least mature among you, the neighborhood and city you were meant to illuminate with the lived-and-proclaimed Gospel remains darkened.



-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at

#leadership #courage #Pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage #discipleship

Provoke their hunger

What might occur, pastor, if you got really, really good at provoking your parishioners’ hunger for God’s Word? What if you devoted yourself to provoking their hunger for maturity?

What if you saw to it that your parish became a more uncomfortable place to stay spiritually and emotionally immature?

You might get to reinvent yourself in the process. You’d have the opportunity to trust Jesus in ways you haven’t in a long time. You could trade familiar patterns and skills for fresh, provocative, people-changing ones.


 -Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at

#leadership #courage #Jesus #Pastor #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage #discipleship

Prepare the Soil


Maybe pastors have inadvertently supplanted the make-mature-disciples-who-live-like-Jesus business with the faithfully-proclaim-the-Word-of-God-business. Yes, you and I have been commissioned to faithfully proclaim God’s Word.

But, we do it so that people will live like Jesus.

To distill the ministry of the Gospel down to faithful proclamation without equal regard to the life-changing results of our preaching is a mistake Jesus didn’t make.

If the unmotivated are invulnerable to insight and if the key to fruitfulness is the condition of the soil, wouldn’t it be wise to get really, really good at soil preparation?


-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at

#leadership #courage #Pastor #Jesus #discipleship #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage

The soil or the seed?


Think about the parable of the farmer. The key to fruitfulness is the soil…not the seed. Yet, we in pastoral ministry devote hundreds of our most valuable hours fussing over the seed—while ignoring the soil.

Does that make sense to you?

In the text, Mark 4:3-20, Jesus’ directs our attention to the condition of the soil. “Some people are…” he begins. The unmotivated are invulnerable to insight.


-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at

#leadership #ccourage #Pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage #discipleship

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