Worst. Year. Ever.
It must be. Social media says so.
Certainly, 2016 had its share of serious issues. From escalating problems in race relations, to horrific acts of terrorism, to the ravages of war in places like Syria, and more.
But that’s not what people are referring ...
God doesn’t work on our calendar.
He created days, weeks, months, seasons and years. Those are real things.
People designed minutes, hours, decades and New Year’s Day on January 1. Those are made up things.
That’s why I don’t trust New Year’s resolutions ...
Well, we did it.
We made it through this Christmas without a major national brouhaha erupting about a not-holy-enough red cup, banned lyrics at a school play, or a disallowed manger scene.
So let's keep it up, shall we? Let's resolve to go through the coming year determined ...
You knew your audience.
That was one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received in ministry.
It happened after speaking at a Prayer Breakfast at a US Army base in Germany that was in the process of being closed.
One of the military chaplains pulled me aside. “Thank ...
Have we been doing vision-casting wrong?
I think so. For maybe a generation or more.
Some of my worst disasters in ministry have come from trying to implement a vision, only to find out that no one else was buying into it.
They might have even agreed that it was a good idea. For ...
Do I stay, or do I go?
It’s one of the toughest questions a pastor has to face.
Pastoring isn’t easy. There will always be difficulties to address and bad history to overcome. But most pastors are in it for the long haul.
This month I celebrate 24 years in my current ...
The tagline for this blog is Innovative Leadership from a Small Church Perspective.
New readers often ask what I mean by innovative leadership, so today’s post is designed to answer that question.
Let’s start defining what it’s not, then we’ll see what ...
Are pastors supposed to be shepherds any more? Or is that idea passé?
If so, have we replaced it with something better? Or worse?
What if we had some raw, unsolicited opinions from the people who matter? Namely, the people in our churches – or those who have left.
“Jesus wants the church to grow!”
I agree. How can I not? Jesus was the one who said, “I will build my church,” and I’ve found that arguing with him is not a recipe for health or happiness.
“Jesus wants your church to grow!”
Wait just a ...
“Keep Christ in Christmas” is a familiar saying this time of the year. But you don’t expect to hear it from the local rabbi.
For several years I was involved in our town’s Police Chaplaincy. One year, at our December meeting, the Methodist pastor noticed ...
They just don’t get it.
How many times have I said that while shaking my head after attending a conference or reading blog posts and books about church leadership? I could write a book.
Oh, right. I did.
I know I’m not alone in this. If you’re a small church pastor, ...
Why are there so many small churches in the world?
Ninety percent of churches have fewer than 200 people. Eighty percent have under 100.
Small churches are not in the minority. We are the overwhelmingly dominant way people have always chosen to worship Jesus.
Yet, despite this, ...
I hate opera. And Brussels sprouts. And spiders.
But I'm glad they exist. Because they all serve important functions.
Saying I don't like something is not the same as saying it's bad.
Opera isn't bad. In fact, it's artistically important and brings joy to many ...
I have friends I’m not supposed to have.
From every imaginable political, theological, social, ethnic background, and more.
People with whom I have radical, even angry disagreements.
Yet they remain my friends.
Not just in the Facebook way. In the old-school, meet face-to-face ...
The church needs fewer bosses, more leaders.
And even more servants. In the pulpits, not just the pews.
Sadly, too few people in positions of authority know the difference between being a boss or being a leader. Mostly, because we haven't grasped servanthood.
There are some ...