An Interview With a Desperate Pastor

Websites, blogs, and magazines often feature interviews with successful church leaders. We at the Desperate Pastor are different.

Very different.

So here, for your edification, is an interview with a former pastor. A failed pastor (in many ways). But one who is still desperate to know God and make him known. So, with that in mind, see if you can make any sense of the following interview, in which I interview...myself.

1. What is the biggest leadership lesson you’ve learned over the past year?

Well, inasmuch as I haven't been in an active pastoral role for the past three-and-a-half years, I think I've finally figured out all the right answers. That's a joke, son. But seriously, folks, I think one thing has been not newly but freshly impressed on me: great leadership is mostly good communication. Regardless of what organization you're leading or what decisions you're making, a huge part of the leader's job is communicating what needs to happen, why, and how. At every level. And more often than not poor (or non-) communication sabotages good decisions.

2. What is God showing you personally?

Maybe it's because I've been neck-deep in writing and rewriting The Red Letter Prayer Life, but man, oh man, God has been impressing on me not only the blessing and necessity of unceasing prayer, but also, as I say in the book, "prayer is first and foremost about the Father, not about us. It is not about getting things from God but entering into partnership with God. It results in blessings, but not as a result of seeking blessings but from seeking the Blesser—his glory, his kingdom, his will." That'll preach, bro.

3. What is the top ministry challenge you’re currently facing?

Patience. Having changed churches last December (along with my wife and family), I'm thrilled to be a part of an exciting part of Christ's body, but am constantly challenged not to run so fast that I over-extend myself, leave others behind, etc. It's a fun place to be but one that requires more patience than I come by naturally.

4. What is a ministry blessing you're currently enjoying?

A lot. I'm enjoying writing like never before and doing more of it than ever before. I'm thrilled to have launched a "31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids" iPhone/iPad app last month (based on the global success of my article and prayer resource, "31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Children"). And I'm honored to be hosting a brand new blog on, called "A Thousand Ways to Pray," where I'll be posting about prayer every Tuesday and Friday. I'm loving the writing life, the praying life, the married life, and the grandparent life these days.

5. What do you do for fun?

Spend time with my wife, the lovely Robin. Spend time with my kids. Spend time with my grandkids. Read.

6. What books are you reading?

Writing Past Dark by Bonnie Friedman, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv, and two novels: The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer and Magdalene by Angela Hunt.

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