Thought Thread: Humility

Welcome to the Thought Thread. This week we're pulling on the thread of HUMILITY. Remember that the best way to keep tabs on this content is to subscribe to the newsletter via email. You can sign up for it by clicking here. 

Why people fall for narcissistic leaders
Leadership research continues to mine new concepts explaining why we tend to follow certain leaders. If you've ever wondered why egotistical leaders seem more prevalent than humble ones, this article might help explain it.

Are you really that good?
While humility is a spiritual issue, we should recognize that our very human nature can work against us. While teaching in Seminary, I made this point to my students via the Dunning-Kruger Effect. This short video is a great summary of the concept. 

Humility from the Holy Land
In 2005, when my wife and I visited Israel, I was surprised at how many churches were built over biblical sites. While it was sometimes distracting, I've always remembered the architecture of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Here's an inspirational thought concerning the pilgrimage to the manger site.

My Thoughts: Coworkers or Competition?
Ministry leaders face what seems to be a paradoxical challenge: to elevate the kingdom (universal) AND motivate our church (local). Sometimes this leads us to feeling competitive with other churches. When planting an urban church, I myself struggled with it. Here's a reflection on how I came to grips with my jealousy of other ministries.

The Knowledge Illusion by Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach
These scholars deconstruct the myth that we humans are fully rational. Again, as the Dunning-Kruger affect affirms, it's important to recognize that our minds play tricks on us to keep from being humble. Before you read, you can click here for some selected quotes.

12 Years a Slave
During Oscar season, we're reminded of the great movies of our past. The 2014 Best Movie winner is not only a compelling choice during Black History Month, but it unravels the struggle of free man Solomon Northup's journey of humility after being sold into slavery. Currently, the best digital rental rate is on

I'm continuing an examination from Paul's letter to the Colossians, entitled WHY JESUS WINS. As we examine the exclusivity of Christ, we dig into his humility.

CLICK HERE to download a PDF transcript of Why Jesus Wins: Humility (Colossians 1:15-29)

A few notes: 
1. All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version
2. The primary source of textual research I used is the Smyth and Helwys commentary on Colossians by Nijay Gupta
3. Feel free to customize the message for your audience. Since these sermons are heavy exegetical, there is no need to attribute content to me.  

Thanks for reading. If you have thoughts about any of the above articles, feel free to start a conversation below. 

Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash

Pulling on the Thread

Entering my third decade of ministry experience, I've had the opportunity to connect with thousands of church leaders and hundreds of churches. From teaching in a seminary, to planting a congregation in the city, to now working in church finance, my experiences forced me to take a unique view of the church: to think differently about our work and to discover how random threads can be woven together to create new trains of thought. 

That's what Thought Thread is all about. Twice a month, I release an idea and trace the thread that binds together various resources. So you can expect:

  • Links from around the web. For years I've drawn content from random sources to provide an atypical perspective on ministry. Here you'll find items from off the beaten path.
  • Book, podcast, and film recommendations. There's a constant flow of new content developed daily. I'll show you what you might have missed and how it can help. 
  • A free sermon. I'm not claiming to be the best communicator, but I am good at developing content. If you're caught in a bind and need something to preach/teach, you can use this resource. At the very least, it'll give you a starting point. 

I'm here to serve. Thanks for tethering your life to ministry in order to change people's eternity. I pray something here will help you in your work.