Quotes for Church Leaders 1

[This was originally a separate page on the blog, but I decided to move it to the main section and update with periodic posts]

While serving as Executive Pastor at Crossroads Bible Church I would include a quote from my then current reading on each week’s staff agenda. I’m adding them to my blog, a few at a time, because it seems a shame to keep them to myself. (Thanks to Amy Thompson, my former administrative assistant, for retyping them for me). Check back now and then for more…

“The worship of success is generally the form of idol worship which the devil cultivates most assiduously”

Helmut Theilicke

“A vision with no underlying sense of purpose, no calling, is just a good idea.”

Only mediocre people are always at their best.”

Somerset Maugham

“I used to believe that if everything’s going well, leave it alone, or as the old adage says, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ Now I know that’s wrong. The best time to try something new, to take risks, to move off in a different direction is in good times, not bad. Isn’t that what leadership is all about fixing things that aren’t broken?”

Visionary Leadership, Burt Nanus

“Worship does not satisfy our hunger for God; it whets our appetite. “

Eugene Peterson

“We have become too enemy-conscious, and can over-do the spiritual warfare aspect of intercession. We need to be more God-conscious; so that we can laugh the laugh of faith knowing that we have power over all the power of the enemy.”

John Piper, The Pleasures of God

“It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers that his Helper is omnipotent.”

Jeremy Taylor

“Rather than saying to culture, “This is what religion is,” [the churches] have been much more inclined to say to culture, “What do you want religion to be?” Rather than presenting religion as a system of meaning that insists on informing all of one’s life, [the churches] have broken it down and offered it as a wide variety of belief practice, program and service items.”

Reginald Bibby, Fragmented Gods: “The Poverty and Potential of Religion in Canada”

“Churches are therefore filled with baby Christians – people who are spiritual infants. That is a fitting description, because the characteristic that is most descriptive of an infant is selfishness. Babies are completely self-centered. They scream if they don’t get what they want when they want it. They are aware of only their own needs and desires. They never say thanks for anything. They can’t help others; they can’t give anything. They can only receive. And certainly there is nothing wrong with that when it occurs in the natural stage of infancy. But to see a child whose development is arrested so he never gets beyond the stage of helpless selfishness – that is a tragedy. And that is exactly the spiritual state of multitudes in the church today. They are utterly preoccupied with self. They want their own problems solved and their own comfort elevated. Their spiritual development is arrested, and they remain in a perpetual state of selfish helplessness. It is evidence of a tragic abnormality.”

John MacArthur, Reckless Faith

“Sin is often defined by how it affects man, not how it dishonors God. Salvation is often presented as a means of receiving what Christ offers, not as a mandate to obey what he commands. Many modern-day evangelists have reduced the gospel to little more than a formula by which people can live a happy and more fulfilling life. The focus has shifted from god’s glory to man’s benefit.”

John MacArthur, Drawing Near

“We are not sent to preach sociology, but salvation; not economics, but evangelism; not reform, but redemption; not culture, but conversion; not progress, but pardon; not a new social order, but a new birth; not revolution, but regeneration; not renovation, but revival; not resuscitation, but resurrection; not a new organization, but a new creation; not democracy, but the gospel; not civilization, but Christ; We are ambassadors, not diplomats.”

Hugh Thomson Kerr

A great leader never sets himself above his followers except in carrying responsibilities.”


When the not-so-still small voice of the self becomes the highest authority, religious belief requires commitment to no authority beyond oneself. Then religious groups become merely communities of autonomous beings yoked together solely by self-interest or emotion.”

Charles Colson, Against the Night

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

Alexander Graham Bell

“Jesus didn’t give us an impossible task; just one that requires us to move forward on our knees, depending upon his Spirit….”

Dick McClain

“Christian Community is simply impossible apart from Christian truth!”

Marshall Shelley, The Consumer Church

“In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome where it became an institution. Next it moved to Europe where it became a culture. And finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise.”

Richard Halverson, US Senate Chaplain.

“There are only three kinds of people in the world; those that are movable, those that are immovable, and those that move them.”

Li Hung Chang

“Never take down a fence until you know why it was put up. If you get too far ahead of the army, your soldiers may mistake you for the enemy. Don’t complain about the bottom rungs of the ladder; they helped you get higher. If you want to enjoy the rainbow, be prepared to endure the storm.”

Warren Wiersbe, On Being a Servant of God

“You can be young only once, but immature for a lifetime.”

Mark Wheeler

“There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God”

Jonathon Edwards

“Christian leaders are godly people (character) who know where they are going (vision) and have followers (influence). Leaders, who constantly walk with God and have a clear, significant vision, attract followers.”

Aubrey Malphurs, Planting Growing Churches for the 21st Century

“Not even evangelicals can straitjacket the Holy Spirit.”

Carl Henry

“Excellence is never cheap. It is costly. Constant care, serious preparation, and continual application are required. Excellence involves desire plus discipline plus determination.”

George Sweeting

“Between the great thing we cannot do and the small things we will not do, the danger is that we shall do nothing”

Adolph Monod

“Some minds are like concrete – thoroughly mixed and permanently set.”


“Is our actual concern to see a vital Christianity flourish, or is it to secure a more orderly and less violent society to live our comfortable and self-satisfied lives?”

John D. Woodbridge


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