Why People Leave Church (A Minority Report)

There is a lot being written these days about why people leave a given church. The prevailing notion of pastors is that it is the parishioners fault; the prevailing notion among parishioners is that is the church’s fault. I think things are more complicated than that. In fact, sometimes I don’t believe it is anyone’sContinue reading “Why People Leave Church (A Minority Report)”

Retaining Students (Beyond Student Ministry)

Retaining Students (Beyond Student Ministry) The key to keeping young adults in church after high school is NOT providing a terrific youth group. Don’t misunderstand me, terrific youth groups are…terrific but many great youth groups simply don’t turn teens into active young adults. The key is to get students engaged in the “adult” church whileContinue reading “Retaining Students (Beyond Student Ministry)”

Ten Fifty-Two Year Old Reflections

Reflecting on this wonderful season of my vocational life. Here are some observations: 1) At 52, I get to see the harvest of seeds I have planted over the years. This harvest comes in many forms but it is all good. 2) At 52, I no longer have much a need to be known orContinue reading “Ten Fifty-Two Year Old Reflections”

Think Processes (not outcomes)

Think Processes (not outcomes) As we approach a new year, we are often encouraged to make resolutions. If these resolutions are for our betterment, there is nothing wrong, and a lot right, with the practice. The problem occurs when we think of resolutions solely in terms of outcomes. We do far better to think inContinue reading “Think Processes (not outcomes)”

A Pastoral Statement on the Ferguson Decision

(A year into what we normally refer to as “Ferguson,” it seemed a good time to re-blog a post I made when the Ferguson Grand Jury’s decision was originally announced) Dear Friends, In the wake of the recent announcement of the Grand Jury concerning the death of Michael Brown, I would like to urge the followingContinue reading “A Pastoral Statement on the Ferguson Decision”

The Post-Recession Ecclesiastical Economy (and what to do about it)

Four Ways to Make Kingdom Impact (Right Now!) In post-recession America, a new trend has developed: September has turned into the fourth month of summer.  I am not sure of the reason, but for the vast majority of my ministry years, the Sunday after Labor Day was when attendance and offerings suddenly bounced back (in SuperContinue reading “The Post-Recession Ecclesiastical Economy (and what to do about it)”

When is it Spiritual Attack?

  When is it a Spiritual Attack?   Ephesians 6:12 (NLT) 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Mark 9:28-29 (KJV) 28 And when he was come intoContinue reading “When is it Spiritual Attack?”

Two Faith Viruses to Avoid!

Two Faith Viruses to Watch (and how not to get infected) There are two 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 isContinue reading “Two Faith Viruses to Avoid!”

6 Great Reasons (not to have a critical spirit)

Six great reasons to not have a critical spirit: It is a sure sign of Christian immaturity  It places us in an illusionary position toward others It damages the reputations of others It destroys our well being It invites the wrong people into our lives (and we lose the right people) It destroys our witnessContinue reading “6 Great Reasons (not to have a critical spirit)”

Peace (In the Storm)

I was glancing over Facebook posts before bed tonight. Some are mourning, some are crying out for justice, some are lamenting world events and some are contemplating local events just over the Mississippi River. Each offer evidence to the razor thin line separates order from chaos in our troubled existence. For many it seems theContinue reading “Peace (In the Storm)”