New Questions for a New Day

New Questions for a New Day

Let’s face it.  Most people have believed for some time that things in the church have needed to change.  We all know the data…decline, institutional stagnation, and shrinking numbers.  More gray hair and fewer kids, not to mention structural albatrosses made of...
Just the Next Step

Just the Next Step

In the not so distant past, organizations thought they should do a strategic planning / visioning process about every ten years. Organizational life ran smoothly enough that leaders could trust such a plan to provide them with plenty of guidance for the coming decade....
Our Finest Hour

Our Finest Hour

Don’t judge us, but one of the ways Janet and I have been surviving the pandemic is by watching movies. They are often old familiar movies, with happy endings and inspiring themes. Ron Howard’s excellent “Apollo 13” was on again not long ago, and we...
Changing the Conversation this Election Season

Changing the Conversation this Election Season

Have you and your congregation heard?  There is an election coming in just a few short weeks.  If your congregation is like most I’ve seen, not only are members aware that an election is coming; they have some opinions regarding the outcome.  What strategies and...
Leading for Church Health in this Election Season

Leading for Church Health in this Election Season

To say the least and the obvious, we live in a time of confusion and upheaval. It’s well-known that St. Anthony the Great, one of the church’s Desert Fathers, said: “A time is coming when people will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack...
Less Facebook, More Coffee

Less Facebook, More Coffee

“I need to talk to you about what you said in your sermon yesterday.”  I guess I should have expected it. It was in the days after violence had erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia.  As a pastor I’d spoken about the events that had taken place and while my criticisms...
The Promise and Peril of Conflict

The Promise and Peril of Conflict

A compelling example of leaders turning conflict into opportunity for structural and cultural change is found in the first seven verses of Acts 6. The idyllic description of the first Christian community (Acts 2:42-47 and Acts 4:32-37) is soon marred by incidents of...
Conflict – The Leader’s Price of Change

Conflict – The Leader’s Price of Change

Leaders are change agents, and change causes conflict. Change often comes through a visioning process. Receiving, developing, casting and implementing a vision stresses the system. Systems like homeostasis. Some visioning experts say that 20% of church members will...