Pushing Back (on Pushback)

I have been the Senior Pastor at Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois since July 1, 1997. We are constantly engaged in the economy of change and have found that change brings with it both excitement and discontinuity. The secret to a long tenure (in anything) is not the avoidance of problems (that is impossibleContinue reading “Pushing Back (on Pushback)”

Know What You are Going to Do! (2020 Edition) #UMCrapstorm

  I have played competitive softball since I was fourteen years old at every imaginable level.  Up to a handful of years ago, I played over a hundred games each season and now in my late fifties, I still play twenty or thirty.  For much of that time I was a shortstop.  The shortstop isContinue reading “Know What You are Going to Do! (2020 Edition) #UMCrapstorm”

The Heart of a Pastor

(Few know the heart of a pastor.  We hide our pain well.  This happened a few years back and is for pastors everywhere.)   Today I was informed that a beloved family of this church will be leaving us. Not because they are moving but because they have lost a connection here and feel calledContinue reading “The Heart of a Pastor”

The Ministry of Encouragement (Do you feel called?)

  6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone toContinue reading “The Ministry of Encouragement (Do you feel called?)”

Following Up Your Big Christmas Week

Social Media is a great tool to keep up with what God is doing in churches far and near.  I love reading each and every glowing report! Many churches had great attendance for Christmas Week and I rejoice with them!  Clearly God was moving. Bam! However, failure to effectively follow up major “victories” (like a recordContinue reading “Following Up Your Big Christmas Week”

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”

A Walk Down Duval Street… (Are WE the new counterculture?)

Melissa and I were recently in Key West. I officiated a wedding for our best friend’s oldest son on the beach at Ft. Zachary Taylor. Well the beach-ish anyway. If you have been to Key West you know what I mean. No one goes to Key West for the beaches. Those who do, only visitContinue reading “A Walk Down Duval Street… (Are WE the new counterculture?)”

Staying Effective as an Aging Leader

What if you don’t HAVE to get less effective as you get older? What if you just have to CHANGE?  I don’t know about you but I am not getting any younger.  After playing softball for decades, I now find it painful to bend over to pick up a bat, much less scoop up aContinue reading “Staying Effective as an Aging Leader”

United Methodist Mania (And what we can do about it)

Were I to assign one word to American culture circa 2018, it would be manic.  Manic derives from a Greek word meaning “inclined to madness.”  The adjective refers to “characterizing, denoting or afflicted by mania.”  The noun is a person afflicted with mania and synonyms include “anxious, hysterical, worried, demonic, unhinged, unbalanced and feverish.”  IContinue reading “United Methodist Mania (And what we can do about it)”

7 Thoughts for those Discouraged in Ministry

Are you discouraged in your service to the Lord? It happens to all of us. As much as we would like life to move “up and the right,” we will all endure seasons of feeling inadequate, dejected and downright pessimistic. Sometimes we just want to become 10 years old again and “take our ball andContinue reading “7 Thoughts for those Discouraged in Ministry”