Five Reasons Why You Should Focus on Your Pulpit

Anglicans love liturgy. This has always been true, but in the past couple of decades, I’ve seen more and more young clergy who are especially enamored with the formational impact of rightly ordered worship. I would imagine this phenomenon is due mostly to a generation of young priests drawn to the Anglican way from a low church evangelical tradition. Finding [...]

By |2019-04-01T16:20:25-05:00August 14th, 2018|Categories: Preaching|Tags: , , , , , , , , |2 Comments

My Cement Taco

At the advanced age of 62, I bought my first truck. I didn’t really need a truck, I tried to tell myself, but having a truck is something no one really needs until you need it. And then you need it. So, to ward off any future problems like that, I bought one. I really didn’t negotiate that hard for [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:51:16-06:00June 29th, 2018|Categories: Leadership|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

Patrick

My name is Patrick. I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers. I am looked down upon by many. And so begins the Confession of St. Patrick, a vivid, honest, and faithful account of what God had done in his life. It makes for great reading. About two years ago I led a group [...]

By |2019-03-08T16:16:29-06:00March 16th, 2018|Categories: History, Miscellaneous|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Ministry: Is It to Die For?

Over at LeaderWorks, we've been talking about awkward questions for church leaders. Many of them are about money (no surprise there!). Who should be able to see the giving records? How to address the pastor's compensation? What about retirement? But as I rolled out this series, I heard from a friend with another awkward question. Here's his comment: I really [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:51:53-06:00March 12th, 2018|Categories: Miscellaneous|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Five Awkward Questions Your Church Needs to Answer (Part Four)

So far, we’ve talked about awkward questions that boil down to money. And surely, money can be an uncomfortable topic to tackle. Who should have access to the giving records? How much should we pay the pastor? Does the pastor need a retirement fund? Toss those questions out in your next board or Vestry meeting and you’ll be met with [...]

By |2019-10-24T08:02:42-05:00March 12th, 2018|Categories: Leadership, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

LeaderWorks is Asking Awkward Questions

It's been a while since we've given an update of the goings on over at LeaderWorks. Here's the latest: We are rolling out a big series on "Awkward Questions Your Church Needs to Answer." These are the tough conversations that Vestry and Rectors need to talk about, even when it can be touchy. I'm not trying to equip you with [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:51:57-06:00March 8th, 2018|Categories: Miscellaneous|Tags: , |0 Comments

Five Awkward Questions Your Church Needs to Answer (Part Three)

The awkward questions are easy to ignore, but leaders can’t shy away from topics that have the potential to cripple ministry if left unaddressed. What goes unspoken can create divisions and spread distrust. Read Part Two If you haven’t caught up, here’s what we’ve discussed: In the first post, I asked the question about who should have access [...]

Pastoral Leadership and the Economy

The decline of the American church is often overblown. However, we have felt a seismic shift in cultural values in the 21st century. Even in the ‘Bible Belt’, it can’t simply be presumed that most people’s moral frameworks are founded on even a hazy understanding of the Bible. In looking for guidance in the behaviors of daily life, people simply [...]

By |2019-01-08T17:29:59-06:00February 27th, 2018|Categories: Leadership, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Interview: Matt Canlis of Godspeed

Matt Canlis wasn’t too different from most young ministers at the tail end of seminary. He was full of big ideas for big churches. But unlike most young ministers, he benefited from a mentoring word from Eugene Peterson, who counseled him to put off being swallowed up by the “American Church Machine” and discover a different, older form of pastoral [...]

Giving Even When You Receive

Last week, I talked about how to encourage generosity at the end of the year by making  Growing generosity is a part of your teaching ministry, and teachers need to be creative. We've talked about getting creative by making a Christmas Wish List for your church. It’s a way to engage the people directly with the needs of the church [...]

Slow Down This Advent

Advent is a time of waiting. As one who didn’t grow up but had to grow into the church calendar, the movement from increasing anxiety as Christmas approached to cultivating patient anticipation refreshed my hectic heart. December is a hard time for church leaders to slow down. But the always-on, always-connected world we built with blind optimism in progress is [...]

By |2019-11-22T11:21:04-06:00December 4th, 2017|Categories: Leadership, Liturgy & Worship|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

What’s on Your Christmas Wish List?

At LeaderWorks, we are all about helping church leaders do their work. To that end, we posted a new idea for helping your church give in the final month of the year: make a Christmas Wish List for your church! Still, you deserve more than a lump of coal, so take a break and write your Christmas wish list. Some [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:52:17-06:00November 30th, 2017|Categories: Anglicanism, For Pastors|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Make a Christmas Wish List for Your Church

We've talked a lot about increasing generosity at the end of the year. As we’ve posted elsewhere, the end of the year brings challenges. You’ve got this year’s budget gaps, next year’s budget planning, end-of-the-year appeal letters—it’s a lot. On top of that, Christmas is fast approaching. There are two temptations during seasons like this in ministry. Avoidance I’ve seen [...]

Interview: Arrabon

After the events in Charlottesville in August, I came across an article by Doug Paul of Missio Alliance with a catchy and convicting subtitle: "When a Generation of Church Planters Reach Only White People” In reviewing the book The Creative Class, Paul argues (persuasively) that in creating ‘hip’ church plants, many young pastors may be inadvertently signaling a bias toward white [...]

By |2019-01-08T17:30:13-06:00November 27th, 2017|Categories: Leadership|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

House Calls: A Pastor’s Guide to Talking to Donors

It's the time of year when church leaders are starting to see lots of red—and it isn't always early Christmas decorations! Lots of churches have deficits they need to close by year's end. I have been there many (MANY) times. Sometimes, these gaps are relatively small. All you need is to remember to 'double December' and take a breath. (If [...]

Trellises and Vines

The Church is a tended vine. The metaphor runs through all of scripture, from Isaiah 5 to John 15. It's our model for making disciples. But have we taken a moment to ask what we know about the plants themselves? Consider: Vines offer less to look at than perhaps any other plant. There's just no other way to say it: [...]

LeaderWorks Update

Here’s a round-up of the latest news and resources from LeaderWorks: The Matthew 25 Initiative held its annual gathering last month. It was a remarkable time among amazing people who serve the lost and least. Read a little of my talk with them. Last year, I wrote a little bit about the liturgical calendar (and, of course, there's plenty of [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:52:24-06:00November 13th, 2017|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , |0 Comments

LeaderWorks Updates

It’s been a little while since we highlighted what’s happening over at LeaderWorks. Here’s a round-up of the latest news and resources: Giving Up: How Giving to God Renews Hearts, Changes Minds, and Empowers Ministry is available now. You can read more about the book, or check out the LeaderWorks blog for some excerpts. Christianity Today published an excerpt of [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:52:54-06:00October 30th, 2017|Categories: For Pastors|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

People of the Book

We’ve made two wrong turns so far, and that’s my fault. I keep looking up from the map on my phone at the mountains surrounding us here in northern Washington state. We are looking for a retreat center in Sumas, a town that seems to be mostly small farms patched in among the forested hills. I am here with David [...]

Giving Up: More than Money

David Roseberry’s book, Giving Up, provides concrete ways to jumpstart financial giving in churches. His wisdom, gleaned from decades in ministry, gives church leaders applicable tools to do the work they need to do, which requires members of churches to be generous with their resources. So, yes, the book is about money, much as Jesus’ teachings were filled with advice [...]

By |2019-01-08T17:30:24-06:00October 3rd, 2017|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity, Leadership|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

The American Religious Landscape: A New Resource

The Public Religion Research Institute just released an invaluable new resource to help church leaders see what’s been happening across the American religious landscape. Their American Values Atlas is an up-to-date, representative dataset drawn from over 100,000 interviews conducted in 2016. The breadth of the data allows church leaders to target the responses of specific states and even metro areas [...]

By |2019-01-08T17:30:25-06:00September 20th, 2017|Categories: Leadership, Miscellaneous|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Discover Israel: Behold the Man

Every week or so, we will post about one of the sites on our upcoming Israel tours for pastors and everyone. The stories of these people and places in the Bible have the power to form us, first as humans made in the image of God, but also as servant leaders who have been called to join the work of [...]

By |2019-01-08T17:30:26-06:00September 14th, 2017|Categories: Leadership, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Five Ways to Help Houston

Are you on the dry earth right now? Most of us are. But we cannot imagine the impact of Harvey.  As much as the media has covered it, our minds cannot take it in.  To help us truly fathom it, experts set up mind-blowing comparisons.  Here are a few. Harvey has dumped trillions of gallons of water onto the city [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:53:08-06:00August 30th, 2017|Categories: For Pastors|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

LeaderWorks Updates

It’s been a little while since we highlighted what’s happening over at LeaderWorks. Here’s a round-up of all the news and resources: Giving Up is coming soon! My book, Giving Up: How Giving to God Renews Hearts, Changes Minds, and Empowers Ministry will be available for pre-order on September 30. In the meantime, read more about the book (and see [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:53:11-06:00August 25th, 2017|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , , |0 Comments