Rethinking Discouragement (in Christian Leadership and Service) 2020 Edition

I hear pastors say it all the time, “Being in ministry has never been so difficult.”  I get it. I really do. This isn’t the most difficult time in the history of America to be a pastor but it is the most difficult time of the thirty-four years I have been in vocational ministry. AreContinue reading “Rethinking Discouragement (in Christian Leadership and Service) 2020 Edition”

Connecting the Dots: Legacy

1 As the time of King David’s death approached, he gave this charge to his son Solomon: 2 “I am going where everyone on earth must someday go. Take courage and be a man. 3 Observe the requirements of the LORD your God and follow all his ways. Keep each of the laws, commands, regulations, and stipulations writtenContinue reading “Connecting the Dots: Legacy”

Three Faith Viruses to Watch

There are three theological viruses floating around these days that concern me. My concerns are two-fold: 1) They have wide appeal 2) I can see why they have wide appeal. The first virus is the idea that God exists for us. God’s function is to make us happy, give us what we want and makeContinue reading “Three Faith Viruses to Watch”

10 Game Changing Choices You Can Make

1. Choose to be happy That is right, happiness is a choice. It is not a natural disposition or a matter of favorable circumstances. Choosing to be happy has no down side. It makes things better for everyone…including you! 2. Choose to not be offended Make people work really hard to offend you this year.Continue reading “10 Game Changing Choices You Can Make”

Resting in Christmas

One of the greatest life-challenges for me is moving past “things are not all as I wish they were.” The main reason is because “things are not all as I wish they were.” Especially at Christmas. I think the hack here is to focus on what you do have and not what you don’t. ToContinue reading “Resting in Christmas”

Why I Really, Really, Really Like Millennials

We do an effective job at reaching Millennials at Christ Church.  We don’t do as effective a job as the churches designed to do nothing but reach Millennials but we do pretty well.  We are committed to being a multi-generational and racially diverse congregation and we are finding that many Millennials like that just fine. Continue reading “Why I Really, Really, Really Like Millennials”

20 Core Values for a Long and Effective Pastoral Tenure

I wrap up my twentieth year as the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church (Fairview Heights, Illinois) on the final day of June.  We have grown every single year from just over 200 to over 2,200 in worship.  It has been a good run.   Here are twenty core values that have propelled me to twoContinue reading “20 Core Values for a Long and Effective Pastoral Tenure”

You Can’t Avoid Leadership Stress (so manage it)

Some years ago (when I was still “young-ish” and in my early forties) my health was in a rapidly declining state.  Christ Church was moving from 400 in worship each weekend toward 750 and it was literally killing me.  Our staff was a dysfunctional mess, the congregation was kicking and screaming and I was doingContinue reading “You Can’t Avoid Leadership Stress (so manage it)”

THE NEXT FIFTEEN YEARS

THE NEXT FIFTEEN YEARS I have been amazed of late at how many people have asked me, “What are your plans for the next fifteen years?” Perhaps they see the new building completed, the campuses in place and the Student and Children’s Ministries booming and wonder, “What is the next big thing for Christ Church?”Continue reading “THE NEXT FIFTEEN YEARS”

What Is A “Tween” and Why Should They Matter To Your Church? (by Amanda Cates)

What Is A “Tween” and Why Should They Matter To Your Church? It’s a Sunday morning and I couldn’t wait to get to work! I knew that all my elementary kids were going to love the Large Group set we designed for the month, and that we had finally found worship music that would engageContinue reading “What Is A “Tween” and Why Should They Matter To Your Church? (by Amanda Cates)”