I was blessed to have spent some of this week listening to some of the smartest, wisest people in Christendom talk about leadership and walking with Christ. What they had to say was so good, I wanted to give you just four of these that really stuck with me. I’ve added some adjoining comments.

4. “Culture eats vision for lunch.” This came on the lips of Dave Ferguson, quoting Sam Chan (he thinks), regarding how much more important creating a culture in the church is than simply vision alone. We can have the best vision in the world, but if the culture we create is hostile to the vision or doesn’t support the vision, well, it’ll eat vision for lunch. I’ve found this to be absolutely true.

3. Ahithophel’s advice to Absalom on how to take out his father, David“I will come upon him while he is weary and discouraged…” (1 Samuel 17:2) Satan often attacks when we are weary and discouraged. Absalom ultimately takes another’s counsel, which fails–leaving one to believe Ahitophel’s advice was the better advice. Why didn’t Absalom take Ahithophel’s advice? It seems from the text God steered Absalom toward the failing advice–away from the tired and discouraged David. This makes me ponder my own need to avoid weariness and discouragement–while giving thanks to God for the times he fought for me when the Enemy sought to do me harm. This text is worthy of reflection for us all.

2. “You don’t chew on raquetballs?” This question was asked to Ryan Kwon, pastor of Resonate Church in San Francisco. The context was a failed attempt at competitive eating (Kwon’s former hobby/profession). After training for months to get ready for a steak-eating competition, Kwon failed because, while he prepared his stomach, he neglected training his jaw–which many competitive eaters train by chewing on raquetballs (can you imagine?). His point? Sometimes our church systems are not wrong, they are incomplete. We often neglect things that need discipline even before we get down the “main issue.” When comes to building a church structure and systems, don’t just think about the big stuff (stomach), think about the basic stuff (jaw) as well.

1. “A movement starts when the founder really knows Jesus. You know how movements die? When the followers only know the founder.” Wow. That’s from Francis Chan at this week’s Exponential West conference. Every pastor of every church needs to memorize this one. There is nothing…nothing more important than knowing Christ deeply. Jesus said it in John 15: if we abide in Him we will bear much fruit, and apart from him we can do nothing.

What are some of the best things you’ve heard or read this week?