spiritual health

Mailbag: Weird Prayers, Prayer Walks and What Would Jesus Pray

Brief Overview:

In this final episode in our month long series on prayer, Matt and Tal answer five of questions they are most frequently asked questions church leaders have about prayer:

Your Questions About Prayer:

  1. When is the best time to pray?

  2. What resources on prayer do you recommend the most?

  3. How do I fit everything in that I need to pray for?

  4. Any recommendations on corporate prayer meetings?

  5. What do we think of [approach to prayer that you don’t like]?

How To Pray For Your Church

Brief Overview

In this third episode in our month long series on prayer, Matt and Tal walk through four critical questions every pastor needs to ask as they create a plan to pray for their church:


Questions For Your Prayer Plan:

·         Who am I praying for?

·         When and where am I going to pray for them?

·         What am I going to pray for them?

·         Who else can I develop to pray with me?

What Sex Teaches Pastors About Prayer

Brief Overview

In this second episode focused on prayer, Matt and Tal talk about people’s desire for intimacy, what sex teaches pastors about prayer, and answer questions about counseling and praying for people where sexual attraction is felt or possible.

Big Ideas From This Episode

·         Everyone craves intimacy - to know and be known

·         Intimacy and sex are not the same thing

·         Misused sex is a form of false intimacy

·         One vital way to recover true intimacy is through prayer

·         When pastors don’t pray for their people, we leave them more vulnerable to pursuing false forms of intimacy

Five Reasons Why Pastors Don't Pray

Brief Overview

Our work as pastors is profoundly spiritual yet when it comes to prayer, most pastors aren’t putting in the work. What’s going on? Here’s what we’ve seen and heard in our personal experience and in our coaching program with other pastors:

Why Don’t Pastors Pray?

  1. We don’t believe prayerlessness is a sin.

  2. We think we’re smarter than pastors from previous generations.

  3. We skip over parts of the New Testament where prayer is the priority.

  4. We think we have the power to change people.

  5. We don’t know how to pray.

What Else?

After you listen to the podcast, take 10 minutes to pray and write down what’s going on today that makes it so hard for you to pray.

10 Questions Smart Leaders Ask About Coaching

Brief Overview

All month long, we’ve been talking about the benefits of hiring a coach. This week, we’re answering your questions to help you make fully informed decisions: 

Questions Answered In This Episode

  • Why has coaching for pastors become so popular?

  • Is there research to back the benefits of coaching?

  • What’s the difference between counseling and coaching?

  • What’s the best question to ask a prospective coach?

  • Why doesn’t coaching work for some people?

  • How does Five Factors Coaching work?

  • What’s unique about Five Factors Coaching?

  • Who is Five Factors Coaching designed to help?

  • What kind of commitment is involved with Five Factors Coaching?

  • Why did y’all start Five Factors Coaching?

The Secret of Great Coaching

Brief Overview

When ministry leaders hire a coach, what should they be looking for? Certification helps but in the same way that seminary degrees can’t guarantee the effectiveness of a pastor, coaching certification doesn’t tell you what you really need to know. If you want to hire a great coach, look for these three priorities in their coaching:

Priorities of Great Coaches:

  • Clarity - Great coaches help you focus and establish goals where it matters most.

  • Momentum - Great coaches have a clear path of success that leads you where you want to go.

  • Results - Great coaches help you reach your goals that keep you leading well for a long time.


How To Find The Right Coach For You

Brief Overview

“Is that coaching?” “No, that’s not coaching.” “Here’s what coaching looks like.” This is the conversation among church leaders when it comes to coaching, and it’s largely unhelpful. The truth is there are three primary ways to coach leaders and you should choose the approach that is most helpful to you right now.


Types of Coaches:

  • Mentor - Coaches who have been successful where you are struggling. Priority is on information that shows you how they achieved success.

  • Pastor - Coaches who care for you as you lead. Priority is on confirmation of God’s love for you and his calling on your life.

  • Trainer - Coaches who put you in the best position to succeed. Priority is on their dedication to helping your reach your goals.

Here Are 5 Life-Changing Benefits of Hiring A Coach

Brief Overview

Call them mentors, trainers, coaches - we all have people who have helped us grow into the best versions of ourselves in different parts of life. But far too many leaders don’t have coaches, leaving them operating at less than full capacity. So in this episode, Matt and Tal talk about the life-changing benefits of coaching and why the smart move for you is to hire a coach. 

Benefits of Coaching:

  • Great coaches slow you down. Your life is moving fast. Your coach should create space for you to take the time to look around and see what’s happening in your life and leadership.

  • Great coaches help you focus. You can’t work on everything today, so your coach should help you determine what matters most right now. 

  • Great coaches lock out shame. Your coach should proactively ask how they can help you.

  • Great coaches keep you honest. Your coach should help you know your limitations and what to do when you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.

  • Great coaches play the long game. Your coach should help you clarify and take the next right step in your life and leadership. 

#5: 3 Signs Of Spiritual Health

I (Matt) can still remember the scene…

I am in kindergarten. My mom has just arrived home from the commissary (grocery store) with a car filled with groceries. Next to the car is a big orange box of Tide laundry detergent.

And by big, I mean big. But I want to help, so I try to pick it up.

Hulking up like Lou Ferrigno in green body paint (again, this is 1980...some of you know!), I am bound and determined to carry that box into the house.

But it doesn’t budge.

So I try to drag it. Just like those big European dudes in a strongman competition pulling a truck.

I get a couple of feet before I lose my grip and fall backward on the garage floor.

My struggle goes on for (what seems like) hours. I make it all the way to the stairs into our house.

Stuck again. Couldn’t pick it up the first time. And now I’ve used all my Hulk powers dragging this blasted box across the garage.

My mom asks if I need help. I stubbornly refuse.

“I can do it myself.”

That isn’t the last time those words come out of my mouth or my heart. The truth is, most leaders struggle to ask for help. We are convinced that self-reliance is the hallmark of good leadership.

Well, it isn’t.

Here’s the truth. 

Self-reliance is a window into the soul of unhealthy leadership. 

It strips the soul of gratitude.

It robs us from the rest we desperately need.

It grabs generosity and convinces us we can’t afford it.

On this week’s episode, Tal and I talk about self-reliance as the enemy of spiritual health. Because of what God has done, is doing and will do, spiritually healthy leaders have hope. 

What does that look like in our lives? We’ll show you three signs of spiritually healthy leaders and help you take steps towards a hope-filled life and leadership. 

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • What will be in style (according to Tal) for men in 2024.
  • Why leaders struggle to find and maintain spiritual health
  • The power and practice of gratitude
  • Two basic practices that help leaders rest well
  • How to be generous...with boundaries.
  • Why spiritual health is the foundation of the Five Factors framework

Items mentioned in this episode:

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Are You Spiritually Healthy?

Guest post by Tal Prince.

One of my close friends was fond of saying, “There are a lot of things that I can live without, but hope is not one of them.” Do you agree with that? Don’t be too quick to give a Sunday school answer - Do you agree that you need hope to live?

In an age of independence and self-sufficiency, it doesn’t look like anyone needs hope. A quick perusal of the lyrical content of the top pop songs in the country doesn’t scream that we need hope. They are rife with bravado and self-sufficiency, which seems to be the opposite of hope. Seriously, if I can provide everything that I need, what good is hope?

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