Does Your Church Want a Future? (then “get” this!)

History will look upon the years that spanned our lifetimes and declare them to be a period of seismic cultural shift.  In the same way the Gutenberg Press changed the world in 1439, the advent of the personal computer and the internet has changed the world again.  We live in a time when the NormanContinue reading “Does Your Church Want a Future? (then “get” this!)”

A Dozen and One Pre-Christmas Hacks (2020 Edition)

We all know Christmas events and family gatherings can be stressful.  Especially this year. I get it.  Drama wrapped in beautiful paper and adorned with a bow is still drama. But I want to suggest that they don’t have to be terrible.  In fact, they can be pretty good…even in a pandemic!    Like anything elseContinue reading “A Dozen and One Pre-Christmas Hacks (2020 Edition)”

My Constant Temptation (is to just check out)

My constant temptation is to simply check out. Cash it in, retire, unplug, disconnect, disappear into the Smoky Mountains with Melissa and a Bible and have no idea who becomes President in the next election. The troubled state of the world, our unsettled country and divisions within my denomination make me sad. Not mad, justContinue reading “My Constant Temptation (is to just check out)”

Facing Those Who Disappoint (during the holidays)

The holiday season is almost upon us!  Again. Some of you are rejoicing!  Some are not. It is 100% certain that you will be dealing with people who have disappointed you during this holiday season.  When we are around people who have disappointed us in one way or the other, a myriad of emotions canContinue reading “Facing Those Who Disappoint (during the holidays)”

Pastors HAVE to Tithe (they just do)

Here is the deal. Pastors have to tithe…they just do.  I know many pastors don’t tithe but you simply have to tithe if you are going to lead a church.  And you need to tithe to your current church.  The one whose name is on your pay check.  Give your offerings anywhere you want butContinue reading “Pastors HAVE to Tithe (they just do)”

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)”

Let Jesus Take Your Trash Out

Text: Psalm 123 Some years back I was reading a business journal that was exploring lucrative fields for the future.  Most of it was tech and medically related but not all of it.  One particular line stuck with me, “There will be profitable future markets for people who can make other people’s trash go away.”Continue reading “Let Jesus Take Your Trash Out”

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”

“We Want Out!” (the loudest voice the #UMC isn’t hearing)

  There is an increasingly resonant voice in the United Methodist conflict emerging from both congregations and pastors.   It is a voice not being heard.   It does not receive invitations to the negotiating table.   It is a voice becoming too loud to ignore.   “We want out!”   As the United MethodistContinue reading ““We Want Out!” (the loudest voice the #UMC isn’t hearing)”

The Lost Art of Renegotiation

  The Lost Art of Renegotiation A long-term relationship with a church is little different than a long-term relationship with a spouse, friend or an employer.  There are ups and downs.  How healthy people navigate long-term relationships is fairly standardized.  Such navigation has become a lost art.   Here is how the process works inContinue reading “The Lost Art of Renegotiation”