Singing Is Praying Twice

Singing Is Praying Twice

On the book shelf in my office is a gift from a church member and former adult choir member, Frances.  The ceramic plaque reads, “Singing is praying twice.”  It’s an adaptation of a quotation usually attributed to St. Augustine, “One who sings prays twice.” What does...
Leading like the Good Shepherd

Leading like the Good Shepherd

What’s your guiding image for ministry leadership? In addition to the traditional roles of “pastor,” “priest,” and “prophet,” there are many others. Some of these images provide theological wisdom; some offer pragmatic guidance, and a few manage to do both. Among the...
Do you ever change your mind?

Do you ever change your mind?

I recently listened to a friend as he described the challenge his church had faced as they navigated a difficult congregational decision. It was no surprise to hear him talk about people taking sides, expressing opinions, twisting facts, assigning motives to the...
The Great National Church Disappearing Act

The Great National Church Disappearing Act

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) met last week in St. Louis.  We Presbyterians didn’t talk a lot about sexuality issues this year.  We crossed the Rubicon on GLBTQ ordination and marriage equality a couple of Assemblies ago.  The congregations who...
A New Digital Covenant

A New Digital Covenant

Have you ever: Sent a text that the recipient misinterpreted? Wondered how to decipher an angry sounding email you received? Congratulated someone on Facebook for an accomplishment, only to discover the news was still confidential? If you haven’t had one of these...
Reclaiming Enthusiasm

Reclaiming Enthusiasm

Ready for a vocabulary lesson? Stagnant. Boring. Aimless. Tired.Tepid. What do these words describe? You? Your minister? Your church? Your Sunday School class? Your career? All too often, I hear ministers and parishioners alike using such words to describe all of the...
Wanted: Agile Leaders for Seismic Eras

Wanted: Agile Leaders for Seismic Eras

We live in a “blur world.”  Leaders are constantly challenged, disrupted, and disoriented by change.  With so much turbulence, we’re almost surprised by any signs of stability and continuity. But, the globe hasn’t always seemed to spin so fast.  Ten years ago, when my...
It Goes Without Saying

It Goes Without Saying

Have you learned that nothing “goes without saying” anymore? That sobering truth runs counter to our tendency to think there are some universally shared assumptions that all of us agree upon. We may think that everyone agrees with us about what a family looks like, or...