What If?

What If?

Yesterday I was with a group of inter-faith pastors and educators. When we introduced ourselves, we shared our names, where we served, and the greatest challenge we faced in ministry. The answers to the last question surprised no one:  “My church has been declining –...
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...
Prophetic Priests, Priestly Prophets

Prophetic Priests, Priestly Prophets

In my work as a pastor, I often felt an inescapable tension between the “priestly” and “prophetic” dimensions of my calling.  To simplify a bit: Priests help us with our relationship with God, while prophets call us to reflect our relationship with God in our...
Pushing People to Purpose

Pushing People to Purpose

When Gil Rendle speaks, I listen. He’s been a pastor, author, and consultant. Now retired, his work has inspired me and given voice to much of what I see and feel is happening in congregations. He “gets it”, in a way that too many experts do not. His book, Doing the...
Are we a movement or a program?

Are we a movement or a program?

For the last half of the 20th century in America, local churches functioned as programmatic centers of activity. Embedded in a supportive churched and Christian culture, their role was to provide offerings that inspired, entertained and educated those who chose to...
When a Traditional Choir Partners with a Non-profit

When a Traditional Choir Partners with a Non-profit

How could your church’s adult choir do what it does best and serve your community well?  What kind of partnership would allow you to offer your gift of music and support another ministry or non-profit?  What sort of collaboration might benefit both your singers...