7 Church Leadership Resources to Help You Grow

Posted by Aaron Buer on July 1, 2021

I’ve spent the last week at a cottage in northern Michigan with my wife’s extended family.

One of the most enjoyable parts of the week has been cooking together.

Cooking with other people is fantastic because you learn new tricks, techniques, and recipes.

I love learning from other people, whether cooking, preaching, leadership, or whatever.

So, let’s learn together.

This week I’m sharing seven resources I use in my work as a pastor, and perhaps you’ll be willing to share a few resources you use in the comments of this blog post.  

Here we go.

Best Commentaries 

I follow a simple approach when it comes to studying for sermons.

Three great commentaries are better than ten good commentaries.

There comes a point where you get buried in information, and when you have to crank out a sermon every weekend, I find it more helpful to study less but better content.  

I use the website Best Commentaries to help me discern which three commentaries to pull off the shelf, order from Amazon, or borrow from the library.

Sometimes, I look at Tim Challies’ list of best commentaries as well.

Over time, I’ve found which scholars and commentary sets I prefer, but I like to be pulled outside my preference zone.

Tim Keller’s Sermon Library

On the topic of sermons, my study workflow goes like this: 

  1. Read the passage multiple times and make personal observations.  
  2. Read three commentaries on the passage. (I try to use commentaries to confirm or challenge my observations rather than using them to start my thinking on the passage.) 
  3. Listen to one or two sermons from other preachers.
  4. Create an outline and then go from there to construct my sermon.    

I usually listen to my senior pastor first if he has a past sermon on the passage.

After that, I almost always check to see if Tim Keller has preached on the passage.

Tim has a site called Gospel in Life that I believe has pretty much every sermon he preached at Redeemer Presbyterian.

Some of them are free, and some cost a few dollars.

I find his website helpful, and I use it all the time.

The Craft and Character Podcast

One final resource on preaching.

In the last year or two, Steve Carter came out with a podcast on preaching called The Craft and Character Podcast.

In each episode, Steve interviews a biblical communicator about their approach to preaching, which usually includes a short recording from an actual sermon that the person delivered.

In addition to a conversation about preaching, the interview always turns a corner toward character.

If I remember right, Steve’s mantra is “character leads the way.”

In an era where many preachers from large churches are idolized, Steve’s approach feels refreshing, honest, and incredibly helpful for aspiring preachers.

The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast

There is only one podcast that compels me to listen to every single episode, the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast.

Most days this podcast is playing during my commute.

Many of you already listen to this, but if you don’t, it is SO worth it.

Carey’s a great interviewer who consistently brings on fascinating guests who share very helpful content.

For real, if you aren’t subscribed to this podcast, check it out.

The Unstuck Church Report

Tony Morgan leads the Unstuck Group, a great website, blog, podcast, and a bunch of other stuff.

In my opinion, one of the most helpful resources the Unstuck Group provides is a free quarterly report on the Church.

Particularly right now, during COVID, when none of us understand what is happening or what is coming next, the data in this report has been helpful and reassuring.

The Undeceptions Podcast

John Dickson is my favorite Australian.

No offense to Hugh Jackman, Keith Urban, or basically all rugby players, but I love this guy’s preaching, writing, and podcasting.

John is incredibly intelligent and knowledgeable about church history, and the way he speaks about challenging current topics is balanced, empathetic, wise, and biblical.  

The Undeceptions podcast is designed around bringing historical and biblical clarity to confusing and misunderstood topics.

It is outstanding, particularly if you have an intellectual bent.

Also, fun fact: John arranged and performed the music to his own podcast!

The Orange Leaders Blog

Finally, Orange is an excellent resource for kids and student ministries, but honestly, it is for the whole church.

Reggie Joiner and his team have been providing ministry wisdom and excellent resources for years now.

Orange strategy is the gold standard for curriculum and volunteerism.

If you don’t follow their stuff, you’re missing out.

Here’s a link to their blog, which shares a lot of great tips and resources.

Wrap Up

There you have it.

Seven resources I use all the time—resources I think you should consider using too.

If you’re willing, share some of your favorite resources in the comments.

I’m always looking for new ideas, hacks, and better ways of doing things.

Thanks for reading.  

Topics: Advice

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