Blog

Welcome to my monthly leadership letters

I hope you enjoy them

Use a tag line or search above to find articles
related to words of interest

Leadership Development Encounter Online
If you have heard of the 6 week LDC or the one week b2b then this online course will be a taste of these courses.Feel free to pass this opportunity on to any of your friends, whether they have completed a DTS or not.The course will take place on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for the two weeks, with classes on zoom from 2-5pm Spain time. Wednesday and Friday will be free or to complete assignments.The cost: 10 Euros!!
Apply Now: https://leader-development.org/lde-online/


I have been in YWAM for over 40 years now and just about all that time I have been involved in leadership of one sort or another – from DTS, city teams, national and regional leadership and for the last 10 years running a leadership retreat centre.

In 2010, I started sharing my experiences and lessons that I was learning in leadership through a monthly leadership letter and have been writing ever since. So there are well over 100 articles to choose from covering a wide breadth of leadership issues. I have categorised them according to the 7 values of the leadership development course – strategic, spiritual, self-surrendered, servant, shared, structured and sensorial. So check out a topic you are needing or looking for right now and hopefully you will find something helpful. Thanks for reading.

For those who have attended an LDC, there is a follow up course called – Going Deeper. It consists of a monthly letter for 12 months, going over the main topics of LDC with fresh application into your leadership. Here is the link to sign up for going deeper: Apply here 

Are we stuck in our thinking?

Our worldview has an incredible effect on what we think, feel and act. On the news the other night, there was an interview with an African lady who was fighting for freedom regarding the 200 million women undergoing female genital…

Can you read the room?

I loved the title in one of Dan Reiland’s posts – ‘If you can’t read the room, you can’t lead the room.’  Our lives are full of relationships with others and with meetings of one kind and another and whether…

Are you indifferent?

The dictionary definition of the word ‘indifferent’ is ‘lack of interest, concern, or sympathy.’  For example: “she shrugged, feigning indifference”.  But this isn’t the kind of indifference I want to talk about.  St Ignatius, the Spanish monk who began the…

How is my confession?

When I think of confession, I am immediately reminded of the verse I memorised in my early discipleship: 1 John 1:9 ‘But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and…

How do we give and receive feedback?

What comes to mind when you think of the word ‘feedback’?  When was the last time you can remember receiving feedback where your response was, ‘that was very helpful’? And when was the last time you were affirmed by someone…

Can you drink the cup?

I have read this little book by Henri Nouwen several times now and I think it will be one of those books regularly taken out of the bookshelf for a recap.  It’s a book about the story of our lives. …

How do you create habits?

I was watching a TV show the other day where a doctor wasn’t allowing a patient to go through a cultural ritual and as a result, she was very anxious and uptight.  After this incident, the doctor’s partner caught the…

How emotionally healthy are you?

They always ask the question – who’s a good boy, never how’s the good boy! I had to smile as I saw this meme.  It made me realise how often we don’t pick up on the emotional needs of one another.   A…

How are you looking after your body?

Here’s a question for you: What do you enjoy most – eating, exercising or sleeping?  We need all three of course but rarely go without eating, often go without exercising and sometimes burn the candle at both ends, struggle with…

What could you stop doing?

Think back to when you started to learn to drive.  There were so many things to learn and remember.  Then as soon as you began to get the moves down, you started a bad habit like crossing your hands over…

Why do people leave teams?

There have been a number of key studies into the reasons missionaries leave the field, and the answers are wide and varied.  The world evangelical alliance came out with a key research project 20 years ago that found the number…

Do you have a seat at the table?

As a young child, I was brought up to always eat my meals around the table and on Sundays and special occasions I would often help in setting the table. I have always enjoyed the aesthetics of a beautifully ordained…

What is your rule of life?

There is a rediscovery going on in recent times, where we have come to recognise that over the centuries there have been some very godly men and women who have had a lot of wonderful things to share.  This revelation…

Where are you going?

At the end of every year, we have an evaluation time as a couple.  We look at what we have been doing, how effective it was, what fruit was produced, how fulfilling it has been and on the basis of…

Been pruned lately?

I came home after a two month trip away to find that the large carob tree in our prayer garden had been massacred by our gardeners.  It looked so ugly with a pile of branches scattering the garden below.  The…

What quotes impact you as a leader?

The above picture is the amphitheatre in ancient Ephesus.  Leaders throughout the ages have shared good principles that have developed from their experience that we would do well to take note of and remember.  Here are a few quotes that…

What legacy are you leaving?

Max de Pree, says, ‘I wish that at a younger stage of life leaders would know in their hearts, that what they’re figuratively ready to die for is going to change.’ Rite and I have just completed a two-day process…

Are you a shepherd warrior?

We have a constant flow of leaders through the retreat centre who share their stories with us.  They are all doing incredible work but at the same time facing huge challenges.  We find there is an amazing energy and drive…

Is acedia a part of me?

Some of you will be saying – what the heck is that?  Acedia (from Latin acedĭa, and from Greek ἀκηδία, “negligence”) according to Aquinas, the word describes a state of listlessness, of not caring or not being concerned with one’s…

How are you managing people?

Isn’t it funny how particular words mean different things in different cultures and organisations?  Being a visionary organisation as YWAM, the word pastoring didn’t initially sit with us so well.  We are about reaching the world, denying self and completing…

How old am I emotionally?

“If you didn’t know when your birthday was, what age would you give yourself?”  The age you feel may very well be much younger than your number of years living, but that’s OK.  The real question is, are you the…

Do you have enough margin?

I was reading Adele Ahlberg Calhoun’s book called Spiritual disciplines handbook the other day and she relates the following story: A friend of mine tells of how the word of God came to her one day through her four-year-old daughter. …

Had your buttons pushed lately?

Freor those who don’t know the expression, if you have your button pushed, you have a strong emotional reaction to what someone says or does.  The reaction can be withdrawal or explosion or somewhere in-between but there is a strong…

Enjoying close relationships?

Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them.John 21:20 A metaphor for our walk with God that I relate to well, is that of being on a journey.  The phase in the journey of sanctification…

How about a radical rethink?

o you like having your thinking challenged?  I read a book a while back called ‘Rework’ by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson and it did just that.  It’s amazing how we hear phrases that are used so often, they…

Enjoying a climate of trust?

I have had the privilege of involvement in some wonderful teams over the years where there has been a solid set of positive values and beliefs that were lived out.  Teams where there was the opportunity of sharing opinions and…

Are you listening with both ears?

A few months back we had a coaching seminar at our retreat centre and leaders were learning the art of listening and asking questions.  They found that listening is a lot harder than they thought it was.  We find it…

Enjoying silence

In this age of communication and technology, its difficult to find ‘silence’.  Our culture is addicted to words, music, mobile phones and the constant beeping of social networking.  Silence can make some uncomfortable and the response generally is to fill…

How attractive are you as a leader?

My wife Rite was running a preschool workshop in Mozambique and gave a gift of a small mirror to the participants.  Some had never looked at themselves in a mirror before, so you can imagine it was quite the experience…

Had a God encounter lately?

This letter is an introduction to the attached document of “7 templates for your time with God.”  These templates each have a different approach to spending time with God and include different spiritual disciplines.  I want to encourage you to…

Making the most of your meals?

If you are like me, you look forward to Christmas partly because of the delicious food that is connected with it.  Like so many Brits, I love Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, mince pies and of course turkey & stuffing, cranberry…

Does your passion need restoring?

Passion appears to be a force that moves people beyond ordinary human activities.  Some seem to have had it all their lives, others find it grows on them.  Sometimes you have it for a while and then lose it.  You…

How’s your dialogue in teaching?

The power of dialogue in educating adults: A principle is the beginning of an action. And an action that is done regularly becomes something we believe and develops into a value. It is values that we make happen. These issues…

How’s your pain threshold?

Pain is part of our normal human life and although God doesn’t create pain for us through our daily circumstances and interactions with people, he is able to use every situation we have to face, to enable us to grow…

Do you feel indispensable?

When you have been leading something for a long time, it’s easy to feel like the ministry couldn’t continue without you!  Actually that may be true – especially if you haven’t trained anyone up to take it on from you. …

What is real?

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day.  “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”  “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse.  “It’s a thing that happens to you.  When a…

Is your personality showing?

I recently came away from a meeting feeling quite frustrated at the lack of process included in the decision making and spoke to another leader who was complaining about the lack of implications thinking involved.  However a third  leader in…

Do you eat last?

What an amazing 60th birthday celebration I have had several years ago!  The joy of meeting with our grown up kids and their spouses from around the world and receiving so many birthday wishes and affirmations from my YWAM family…

In his presence? – leading worship

Recently I was asked the question, “What is God saying to YWAM global?” My response was, “Two things – the first, flattening the organisation and establishing a shared leadership, and secondly, calling us to spend time ‘In His Presence.’  In…

Are you in danger of mission drift?

I was struck by the statement in Peter Greer and Chris Horst’s book, Mission Drift, that says, “It’s the exception that an organisation stays true to its mission.”   They made it clear that the unfortunate natural evolution of many originally…

Stepping up with coaching?

Two disciples were on the road to Emmaus and Jesus approached them and asked, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas,…

Do you share your leadership?

How do you share leadership? Some would say, you are either the leader or you’re not, you can’t share it!  In the times when Kings ruled nations, there was no question of sharing the leadership.  His word was the law…

Are you developing a value-driven culture?

The second law of thermodynamics states that everything swerves to rot or put more nicely, tends towards decline.  Mission drift is that law lived out in an organisation.  Mission drift is inevitable if we are not intentional about maintaining two…

How do you handle change?

What is change?  Research has shown that organisations undergo major change about once every three years, and that within that cycle of major change is an almost constant swirl of minor change. Major change in an organisation can include things…

Are a generational thinking leader?

When our first son was born, Rite’s mother, her grandmother and great grandfather were all still living.  They covered an age range of a few months to 104.  So we took the opportunity of having a 5-generation picture taken to…

Had a spiritual feast lately?

I have asked Wilrens Hornstra to write this leadership letter.  He is a member of our retreat team and has been involved in SBS (school of biblical studies) for many years.  He has just  started to write a monthly letter…

Is status an issue?

I was standing in line to board a plane with a friend recently.  According to protocol, the first class, priority seating and platinum card members went first.  My friend was in one of those groups and left me with a…

Are you a 360 degree leader?

John Maxwell in his book ‘the 360 degree leader’ talks about the compass directions to identify the different relationships that are required by a leader. These four main compass relationships require different skills, and so as a result we tend…

How’s your parenting?

This month’s letter is written by Rite and is all about parenting.  If you’re not a Mum or Dad, don’t rush away because actually the same principles for parenting apply to mentoring and discipling, so read on.  Paul shares in…

Creating an environment?

This weekend we had our son & his fiancé fly down from Scotland to spend a couple of days with us, along with her father and friend.  We had a fantastic two days, sharing and eating and playing together.  They…

Marriage tips

Next month it’s Valentines Day and love will be in the air!  So this month I want to focus on couples and share a few personal tips on marriage from the last thirty-five years of experience.  I am a blessed…

Are you living your priorities?

I was sitting in a meeting the other day hearing a number of leaders share the challenge of wearing a number of hats and having too many things to fit into their schedule. It’s probably the one thing that we…

Planning to finish well?

It’s great to finish the day well, the week, the month and the year, but this article goes beyond this month and is concerned about finishing our life well.  If you are reading this letter and you are still in…

Can you forget yourself?

I was recently challenged in my thinking by a little book by Timothy Keller called the freedom of self forgetfulness.  I will summarise some of the content for you in the following letter. The traditional thinking for centuries has been…

Is my leadership in danger?

“Jesus called them together and said, you know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.”  Mark 10:42 I read a little book by Lord David…

Is your life in balance?

I received an email from an old friend the other day.  He opened with, ‘How are you, haven’t seen you in ages?’  How do you answer a question like that?  I often go straight into a ministry response – “The…

Are you sitting too comfortably?

Israel was plateaued spiritually between the old and new Testaments.  There were no prophets and not much really happening.  Then John the Baptist emerged from the wilderness to stir things up.  You couldn’t stay where you were on the plateau…

What’s your signature sin?

I was just looking at two pictures of Rite and I.  The first was when we got married in Canada in 1979 and the second thirty years later here in Malaga.  Rite obviously hasn’t changed a bit but you can…

What is your pathway to God?

This month our retreat centre team enjoyed hosting a ‘pathways to God’ retreat.  We had spent some months in preparation and each of us were able to explore new ways of relating and enjoying our relationship with God.  We all…

Do you have keys to the city?

The European leadership gathering just took place in Riga, Latvia at the beginning of February 2013.  One of the process times involved thinking together about the foundation stones in pioneering?  What do we need to bear in mind as we…

Are you a dreamer?

Did you ever get disciplined at school for daydreaming?  I can remember looking out of the window of my classroom, deep in thought and being woken by the teacher’s voice.  “Mayers, focus boy!  Generally if you ask me what I…

Had a debrief lately?

I was talking with a guy recently who shared with me that he felt a lack of passion and energy for life.  He had been in some difficult family and ministry situations and had a feeling of disappointment with the…

How generous are you?

As Christmas comes around we will have slogans shouting at us from every shop window, billboard and TV advert.  We are told it’s a “time of giving,” and so we are encouraged to spend lots of money on presents for our…

What’s your ministry philosophy?

As you face decisions and difficulties in your leadership, you begin to think through what you believe and why you believe it. As time goes on, those beliefs are shaped into a ministry philosophy that you begin to lead by.…

What’s your leadership anointing?

Have you ever wondered why some leaders see incredible growth and others seem to struggle? I think back to leaders that I have worked with who have all had great potential. Some have gone from strength to strength and others…

Passing on the baton?

I am amazed when I think of the ministry of Jesus and how he accomplished so much in such a short time. Here I am, still slogging away at multiplication, having been in YWAM basically since 1977 – that’s a…

Are you failing successfully?

When we read scripture, we discover people, who despite their failures, were great men and women of God.  For instance, Abraham lied about his wife and almost lost her to the Pharaoh of Egypt.  Isaac followed his father’s example and…

The development of elders

I have enjoyed reading “How to plant a walnut tree” by Trevor Waldock. It shares the idea of planting a tree that will produce fruit for the coming generation. The following letter is inspired by Trevor’s book and a number…

How intelligent are you?

When I grew up, eons ago, there seemed to be only one form of intelligence that was important and that was getting good marks on my reading, writing and arithmetic! Since then of course our understanding of intelligence has grown.…

What kind of team?

A well known acronym for team is “Together everyone achieves more”. Well not necessarily. Whether the team achieves more, depends on a lot of factors. What kind of team is it, what style of leadership is being used, what kind…

Time to meditate?

This letter is a little different from previous ones, in that it is a meditation on Easter.  I would encourage you to take some time to meditate on each stage of the journey from the last supper to the cross. …

Are you in control?

Some years ago when our son, Joseph was quite small, my wife, Rite, was running the Christmas programme at church.  All the children had their various roles in the nativity play and Joseph was to play Joseph in the nativity. …

How healthy are you?

How are you? Our general answer is “fine”. But are we really? And when we say “fine”, which aspect of our life are we talking about? The world health organisation defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as “a…

Working together in synergy?

Several years ago I visited a city outreach team who had seen quite a large number of people come to the Lord.  They didn’t appear to be a very high-powered team but they were remarkably effective.  So I spent a…

In transition?

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road, as long as you make the turn.”  Unknown Like most YWAMers, I have a lot of war stories to do with travel.  Years ago, Rite and I were…


Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.