Why People Leave a Church

In the early days of my ministry, not many people left our church.  I was in a rural area, there wasn’t much competition and people were loyal to the institutions of their community.  They would no more leave our church than they would send their children to another high school, stop doing business at ourContinue reading “Why People Leave a Church”

Scars and All (Tremont People)

Not so long ago Melissa and I drove along a gravel road that was once a railroad track for a logging operation near Townsend, Tennessee. The wooded area surrounding us is called Tremont.  Tremont is beautiful with a pristine stream running through it that jumps from one side of the elevated road to the other. Continue reading “Scars and All (Tremont People)”

Musings on the Morality of Prayer (James 4)

I have been thinking about the moral aspect of prayer.  Morality is defined as principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong.  Logically speaking, if there is a right way to do something, there must be a wrong way.  Theologically speaking, we believe that God determines morality and as Christian people we believe God’s moralityContinue reading “Musings on the Morality of Prayer (James 4)”

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”

The Jesus Boat

  When we first receive Christ, we are offered an invitation to ride on the Jesus Boat.  We don’t have to do a thing; just enjoy the summer breezes blowing through our hair, the warm sunshine on our faces and the cool spray of the misty water over our bodies.  Jesus provides the boat, mansContinue reading “The Jesus Boat”

Standing on Firm Ground (Does God Still Heal?)

When I was in high school, doing impressions of highly animated faith healers was wonderful sport.   Perhaps my favorite sport.  I remember watching television as people threw away their crutches, ripped out their hearing aids, sprung from their wheel chairs and testified of miracle cures.  When a few of the more visible but unprincipled conduitsContinue reading “Standing on Firm Ground (Does God Still Heal?)”

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”

The Changing Face of Church Metrics

I have been thinking about church metrics of late. We are starting some new faith communities (both virtual and in real time) and trying to figure out how to quantify them. As we all know, unless you only offer only one Sunday morning worship service each week, all churches count differently and all churches haveContinue reading “The Changing Face of Church Metrics”

Seven Lights to Live By (we don’t need more heat)

Let’s face it, there is a lot of heat these days.  Surrounding everything.  Times are divisive. The world is frenzied.  Everyone feels the need to give their opinion.  On everything. And without a sense of civility.  And many opinions contain much more heat than light.   Here are Seven Lights to Live By: 1) RealizeContinue reading “Seven Lights to Live By (we don’t need more heat)”

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)”