October 2018

Church Leadership
No, Pastor, We’re Not Always Right
More pastors get in trouble through pride and arrogance than maybe all other character deficits combined.

Pastors have a special place in my heart.

My father was a pastor, as was his father. And I have been in active pastoral ministry all my adult life – for almost 40 years, now.

One of the most important lessons I have learned in all those decades is that there’s nothing ...

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Church Leadership
Quit Trying To Become A Great Preacher
Becoming a great preacher is about me. Preaching more effectively is about Jesus.
Quit Trying To Become A Great Preacher
Image: Nycholas Souza | Unsplask

Effective communication is a passion of mine. But when we speak in front of people on a regular basis it’s easy to lose sight of why we’re doing it.

How many pastors have found themselves deep in the weeds in sermon prep, trying to find just the right illustration, ...

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Church & Culture
Whatever Happened To Churches Meeting Felt Needs? – And What Should Replace It?
Meeting needs is a big part of the church’s mandate. But meeting "felt” needs has always been a slippery slope.

If you were in seminary or in active pastoral ministry in the 1990s and 2000s you probably remember what the big trend in pastoral training was.

Felt needs.

Back then it seemed like every church leadership book, article and conference was telling pastors that the way to reach ...

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Church Leadership
How To Start Training Your Church Leaders To Become Equippers, Not Just Doers
A simple, practical first step to help you or your team start building a team.

As pastors, we have a solemn obligation to equip church members to do ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12).

Instead, too many pastors burn out because the pastor and the church members expect the pastor to do most or all of the ministry for them.

Making the transition from the doer of ...

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Church & Culture
5 Terms Christians Need To Stop Misusing
The way we’ve been using these terms causes confusion for newcomers, nonbelievers and even for long-time Christians.

The mission comes first.


Ahead of my ideas, my preferences and my well-worn, dearly-loved terminology.

Because of that, whenever an extra-biblical idea or turn of phrase is anything but clear in the way it advances the message, we need to find and use a better manner of ...

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Christian Unity
If We Can Worship Anywhere, Why Go To Church?
It doesn't just matter that we worship Jesus. It matters that we worship him with other people.

I don’t go to church to worship Jesus.

Hear me out. It’s not as bad as it sounds.

Anyone can worship Jesus anywhere, at any time.

We don’t need a special building, a special day or a special time to do it. We don’t come into the presence of God when we enter ...

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Church & Culture
Faithfulness: God's Goals + Ordinary Actions = Extraordinary Results
It’s great to dream big dreams. It’s greater to be consistent in the small, mundane tasks that make those dreams possible.

Great lives are made up of mundane tasks.

  • Getting out of bed every morning
  • Making sure the kids are clothed and fed
  • Going to work
  • Thanking a friend
  • Being honest
  • Helping a neighbor
  • Showing up at church

We’re always told to pursue excellence. To accomplish great things. To be world-changers. ...

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Innovative Ministry
Forget The Extras – Your Church Needs To Get The Basics Right
Your church might not have the budget or the staff to do the extras, but that’s okay. You can do what matters.

There are so many great tools available to churches today.

From social media, to audio and video tools, to cool giveaways for first-time guests.

But none of that matters until you’re doing the essentials well.

Be Good, Not Fancy

This week I went to a restaurant with a large ...

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Church & Culture
What The Church Can Learn From The People Of New York About Being Repairers Of The Breach
When we’re at our best, the church isn’t just another group on one side of the partisan political conflict that pits people against each other.
What The Church Can Learn From The People Of New York About Being Repairers Of The Breach

Thank you, New York.

You taught me how to be a better Christian, pastor and peacemaker this week.

For the past five days, my wife, my sisters, their husbands and I walked all over New York City with my parents as we celebrated their 60th anniversary.

New York is filled with some ...

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Church & Culture
Your Facebook Account Has Not Been Hacked – But Your Credibility Might Have Been
If we can’t be trusted to get verifiable facts right, how can we be trusted about a story that rests on the fact of a dead body rising from the grave?

Another day, another Facebook scam.

But this one isn’t Facebook’s fault.

Last weekend you may have received a message telling you your Facebook account was duplicated, but you can fix it by copying the warning message and forwarding it to your friends.

Hopefully, you ...

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Innovative Ministry
Think Bigger: Why “How Do I Get Our Church To Grow?” Is The Wrong Question
I’m grateful for the church growth movement. But I want more.

In the last 40 years, church growth has moved from an indefinable mystery to a quantifiable science.

There are innumerable books, conferences, classes, podcasts, magazines and blogs dedicated to the study of church growth. What causes it? What hinders it? What can we do to make ...

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Church & Culture
3 Reasons Upcoming Cultural Changes Will Hit The Bible Belt Especially Hard – And What To Do About It
If you've never lived outside a predominantly Christian culture, the next few decades will continue to rock your world. But there is hope.

The world is changing. In good ways and bad.

If you live in America’s Bible Belt (predominantly the Midwest and South) you are probably feeling the impact of these changes to a greater degree than those of us who live outside it. And those feelings are likely to grow for ...

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