What If?

What If?

Yesterday I was with a group of inter-faith pastors and educators. When we introduced ourselves, we shared our names, where we served, and the greatest challenge we faced in ministry. The answers to the last question surprised no one:  “My church has been declining –...
Stitched Together

Stitched Together

I am a member at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Richmond, VA.  In 2008, we began to welcome refugees from Burma into our congregation, many of whom spoke little or no English.  Today, we serve together, side-by-side, learning from and teaching each other.  On any given...
Conflict: It’s Complicated

Conflict: It’s Complicated

Conflict.  Just the word gives many of us a sinking feeling.  And it seems to be everywhere these days: in our homes, our churches and other ministry settings, and in our national and global interactions. Two weeks ago I had the privilege of spending a week in Israel...
A Brief Call to Action

A Brief Call to Action

If you are reading this column, you are passionate about the work of ministry.  You may pastor a church, coach ministers, provide consulting services or lead a congregation through an interim time. This is good and noble work that we are invested in, and we often read...
Are You a Shepherd or a Wise Man?

Are You a Shepherd or a Wise Man?

When I talk to people about calling, sometimes I like to start by asking them if their call stories are more like the shepherds or the wise men.  Often, as folks look back over their own faith journeys, the answer is, “Both.” The Christmas story is a good reminder...