Preaching to Offend (the Pharisee in me)

Preaching to Offend (the Pharisee in me)My biggest challenge in preparing my new Radical Jesus series is not dealing with the Sermon on the Mount material. I have walked that path many times in twenty-five years of ministry and have a lot of people (both closer to God and smarter than me) to help guideContinue reading “Preaching to Offend (the Pharisee in me)”

Crazy Gospel Math (Prove Me Wrong)

Crazy Gospel Math I sometimes get the opportunity these days to help pastors and congregations think about growth.  Here is a formula I use when I consult.  Take your sanctuary capacity; multiply it by .75 and double it.  That is your target.  I see a lot of churches in USAmerica that were constructed to seat aboutContinue reading “Crazy Gospel Math (Prove Me Wrong)”

Rev. Shane on Prayer (Part VII)

Rev. Shane on Prayer (Part VII) Despite my near constant thoughts of retirement, I will play another 70-100 Softball games this year.  What I enjoy most about competitive softball is the honesty.  When there are two out, men on base, you are at the plate and the game is on the line; you either getContinue reading “Rev. Shane on Prayer (Part VII)”

Getting Smaller (to reach more people)

“In 2014 Christ Church became a sociological mega-church.   Now I think we have to get smaller.” Though we average over 2,000 per week in worship, we don’t feel like a mega-church.  Our weekly attendance is the aggregate total of eight worship services of varying sizes held in four locations (nine services in five locations if you count ourContinue reading “Getting Smaller (to reach more people)”

Walking in the Valley (Of the Shadow)

I am reflecting on this strange thing I do for a living.  My job these days is a unique combination of CEO and preacher but this week I have mainly been a parish minister.  No different than when my church ran 200 and not 2,000.  No different at all.  We have suffered three deaths atContinue reading “Walking in the Valley (Of the Shadow)”

One Has Never Been a Larger Number

Frozen Maps and 9/11 (Fairview Heights, Illinois circa 2001) When I was growing up, the Rand McNally world maps hanging in my school classrooms did not change from the time I was in kindergarten until I graduated from high school.  The world was frozen by the Cold War and the threat to everything good andContinue reading “One Has Never Been a Larger Number”

God’s Man of Power for the Hour

God’s Man of Power for the Hour (Fairview Heights, Illinois circa 1999) I believe it happened in the springtime–sometime after Christmas and before Easter.  I don’t remember the specifics of the “when” but I will never forget the “what” of this story.  I had been at Christ Church for almost two years and my ministryContinue reading “God’s Man of Power for the Hour”

Does the Church Have a Future?

Fifteen years ago everyone was using the word “post-modern.”  Its definition centered upon the premise that the modern world was slowly crumbling (due to the advent of the personal computer) and a jagged new world was slowly emerging from the ashes (riding the momentum of the internet).  The time it would take to get from “thereContinue reading “Does the Church Have a Future?”