A Church for Those Who Wander

A Church for Those Who Wander

The book of James closes with a most interesting assertion: “My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from...
A New Trend in Pastoral Calls

A New Trend in Pastoral Calls

In the Baptist world, an ecclesial culture that treasures local church autonomy and operates in a “free call” method for pastoral assignments, there seems to be a new trend emerging.  More and more Pastor Search Committees are considering associate ministers with...
Leadership in Turbulent Times

Leadership in Turbulent Times

This Christmas, I gave and received a great book. Let me introduce it to you if you have not already found it. Leadership in Turbulent Times is the latest book by historian and leadership expert Doris Kearns Goodwin. She builds on her earlier books about Abraham...
Asleep at Church

Asleep at Church

Several years ago, we tried something radical on Wednesday evenings at our church. Over the course of five weeks, we had prayer meeting. This was not simply the hospital list prayer meeting, this was honest prayer. One hour of prayer, five weeks in a row. Each week we...
Ministry and the Gifts of Christmas

Ministry and the Gifts of Christmas

Among the myriad gifts of Christmas are: Assurance that God is with us—“Emmanuel.” God is not aloof from us or disinterested in us—not, as Bette Midler once sang, merely “watching us from a distance.” God is among us and for us. Clarity about the character of God. God...
Predicting the Future

Predicting the Future

As I sit at my desk and look at the 14 inches of snow piled up outside my window, I think back to the weather forecasts that filled the TV screen in the days leading up to the storm. The forecast went from 8”-12” to 5”-8”. It went from heavy snow to freezing rain and...
My Tweets for Advent 2018

My Tweets for Advent 2018

Take time to listen, really listen, to the hearts, sounds and invitations this season of the year offers. Breathe once to let go, twice to be present and a third time for now what… Lower expectations, heighten relationships… Try to live at the pace of...
Why Visioning Efforts Fail/Succeed

Why Visioning Efforts Fail/Succeed

I have had the privilege of working with numerous congregations to clarify their identity and lean into the future proactively. When that has gone well, one consequence has nearly always been true. The fresh vision requires a significant shift in the organizational...
Stitched Together

Stitched Together

I am a member at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Richmond, VA.  In 2008, we began to welcome refugees from Burma into our congregation, many of whom spoke little or no English.  Today, we serve together, side-by-side, learning from and teaching each other.  On any given...
The #metoo Movement and the Church

The #metoo Movement and the Church

#MeToo, a social media movement that began in November 2017, has ignited awareness of and accountability for sexual harassment. This new awareness of the abuse of power will hopefully cause all of us to pause and think about the congregation’s response. The reality of...