The Speed of Change

The Speed of Change

When we were small children, the future was simply tomorrow. While it seemed distant, it was only a good night’s sleep away.  Later, the future turned into dreams: what will you be when you grow up?  The future felt like it was eons away, but it beckoned us with...
Is there a third way for worship and music ministry?

Is there a third way for worship and music ministry?

I have been very fortunate for more than 30 years of music ministry to serve good churches where my deep passion and my best gifts were a good fit for the needs of these churches. Each place I served had its challenges, but this was often more about how I had to adapt...
The Shadow Side of Church

The Shadow Side of Church

Since my first hearing of the term “Shadow Mission” I have been struck with how relevant this discovery has been for coaching individuals and congregations. John Ortberg, the Senior Minister of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in California, spoke about such a mission...
Well Rested

Well Rested

If you think your pastor doesn’t work very hard, please continue reading. Ten weeks ago I left the pastorate after 25 years to teach full time at Simmons College of Kentucky, a wonderful historic black college. During this ten week period, I did the following: Changed...
Just what is a “healthy church”?

Just what is a “healthy church”?

Every once in a while, one of us who serves as a consultant or coach at the Center for Healthy Churches is asked by a church leader, “Exactly what do you mean by a healthy church?” That’s a fair question.  Initially, you may be tempted to think, “Well, everyone knows...
7 Ways to Invest in your Staff Culture

7 Ways to Invest in your Staff Culture

Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast. I am not sure where I first heard that phrase, but I have certainly come to appreciate its validity when it comes to congregations. Most sources attribute the quote to the late business management guru Peter Drucker. Drucker who...
Our Mission Gap

Our Mission Gap

When a congregation wants to get, stay or remain healthy, one of the key questions it asks has to do with the balance between its internal and an external focus. One excellent congregational exercise to help with this question is to gather a group in a large room, and...
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...