The Stranger in Our Midst

The Stranger in Our Midst

Virtually every church I know, if asked to describe itself, would use words like friendly, caring and welcoming. Not every new person who comes their way would use those same words. While churches are not hostile to newcomers, many of them are unaware of the coolness...
Learning to Navigate Diversity

Learning to Navigate Diversity

One of the most enriching and fatiguing things about church life these days is the vast diversity within most local congregations. During some recent days of self-reflection and ministry evaluation, I spent some time thinking about why I feel more fatigued these days...
The Ministry of Words

The Ministry of Words

I stood in a hospital room crowded with family members of one who, without a single word, had summoned us all together. She was ready, after almost 94 years, to leave this life. So that is what she did. She left a hushed silence unable to muffle the emotion of time...
The Flip Side of the Bivocational Coin

The Flip Side of the Bivocational Coin

The treasurer reported that everything looked good. Giving was slightly exceeding our budgeted needs and financial obligations. Immediately, there were smiles all around the room. Everyone relaxed, happy to know that we didn’t have to worry and stress about our...
Watching the Future Emerge Together

Watching the Future Emerge Together

I am fascinated by the things that turn out to have retro appeal. People warn you not to get rid of your old clothes (the classic case being bellbottom jeans), “because they’re sure to come back in style again.” The whole business model for the cable channel Nick at...
What’s Right with the Church?

What’s Right with the Church?

Sometimes a book ends up in your hands at just the right time with just the right words.  Reading that kind of book is like meeting with a mentor or friend.  You read a bit and think. Maybe you write something in the margin.  It becomes a conversation.    A book like...
Holding Your Staff Accountable

Holding Your Staff Accountable

Whenever I have an opportunity, I suggest that the starting point for bringing health and effectiveness to a church’s ministerial staff is the critical work of clarifying mission, vision and purpose in the congregation. That clarity then becomes the “north star” for...
The Church & Social Media Workshop

The Church & Social Media Workshop

Belmont University, Nashville, TN April 18, 2017 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Transitioning to the Digital Communication World Now that your church is ready to communicate in the age of the Internet, the next steps can be daunting. What exactly does a communication director...