Church Storms

Church Storms

Bertha, Bonnie, Floyd, Fran, Irene, Matthew. Those are all fine names, and they might have even been the members of the Personnel Committee of our church. But they are not. Each of them represents the name of a hurricane that rolled through our area on the coast of...
Treasures New and Old

Treasures New and Old

Jesus once said: “Every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old” (Matthew 13:52).  A householder managed a large estate on behalf of its wealthy owners: they...
The Spirit of Your Staff

The Spirit of Your Staff

Jesus used questions to shape his disciples into the leaders he needed them to be.  Those same questions can be a powerful means for shaping your staff team as well. One of the most important elements of a healthy church is the staff culture.  Whether yours is a large...
What Happened to our MO-JO?

What Happened to our MO-JO?

On a cold November night a few years ago I shepherded a meeting with the “best and brightest” leaders in a 100-year-old congregation. The church traveled through many undulations of success and retreat over the years but in the decade leading up to this...
People Talk

People Talk

Church people talk. They talk about all kinds of things. They talk about the pastor, her sermon, how many people used to be in worship, and what we ought to be doing but haven’t yet. This kind of talk can be threatening to a pastor, but it doesn’t have to be. Having...
Keeping Jesus Right-Side Up

Keeping Jesus Right-Side Up

Just prior to closing the door, I noticed it.  “JESUS” was upside down. A few days ago, an unexpected wave of emotion swept over me as I was preparing to leave the pastor’s study of First Baptist Church for the final time as the senior pastor. With an open Bible, an...
Four Traps for Clergy and their New Congregation

Four Traps for Clergy and their New Congregation

In a recent conversation, a minister asked me what I thought were the major traps that most often snared ministers when they moved to a new congregation. Great question! Healthy churches and ministers pay attention to potential trouble spots and act in a proactive way...
When Procedure Outmaneuvers Vision

When Procedure Outmaneuvers Vision

As a key planner for a large national conference, I was used to the host hotel paying attention to me. Sure enough, coming in the door, they told me I was a VIP and their goal was to provide me with the highest level of service and respect. They set a very high vision...
Everything Breaks Down

Everything Breaks Down

Any homeowner can tell you concrete cracks.   Metal also rusts.  Wood warps.  Caulk fails. Paint peals and sunlight fades everything.  Sometimes we can get by with touching up our home’s age spots.  But, if we own the house long enough, we eventually face a remodeling...