12 Challenges of the Christmas Eve Service

Even if your shopping is complete and the gifts are wrapped, the pastor knows that there is one more thing to do before Christmas morning. Hold Christmas Eve Services. Whether you are preaching, celebrating the Eucharist, leading the prayers, singing the carols, handing out bulletins, or greeting people at the door, it is a big moment in the annual life [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:50:07-06:00December 19th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Leadership|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Four Creative Constraints of the Preaching Life

This post originally appeared at LeaderWorks on January 23, 2018. Preaching may be more than art, but it is certainly not less. It is a craft and a skill. An individual may have certain gifts given by God, but those gifts are diminished if not stewarded by effort and practice. Excellence deceives us. When we see a baseball player effortlessly [...]

By |2019-01-08T17:29:40-06:00October 2nd, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Leadership, Preaching|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Interview: Kevin Miller

Kevin Miller has served as a writer, editor, and director at Christianity Today for nearly three decades. After being ordained and working as an associate at a larger Anglican church, he now serves as the rector of Church of the Savior in Wheaton, Illinois. The church had been planted a little over a decade before Kevin arrived, and he knew it would take [...]

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: [...]

What’s Wrong With My Letter?

Writing an Appeal Letter is about saying "will you" and then "thank you". A few years ago I had to do what every Rector or Sr. Pastor should do about this time of year: write a year-end appeal letter. (If you need convincing that you should, read here.) My church was in the red for the year. Again. I've [...]

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 Excerpt in Christianity Today

You can see the latest sneak peek at Giving Up: How Giving to God Renews Hearts, Changes Minds, and Empowers Ministry on CT Pastors. This excerpt reveals five big ideas that church leaders can use to jumpstart generosity in your church. Check out the whole book on Amazon.

By |2019-01-08T17:30:23-06:00October 10th, 2017|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity, Leadership|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Sneak Peek: An Excerpt from Giving Up

Here's another sneak peek at my new book, Giving Up: How Giving to God Renews Hearts, Changes Minds, and Empowers Ministry, available now. This excerpt is from the second chapter, titled "The Hidden Virtue of the Early Church." I want to give the church corrective lenses to see that the ministry of Jesus, Paul, and the very first Christians was inextricably tied [...]

By |2019-01-08T17:27:20-06:00September 27th, 2017|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

The Vital Role of the Small Church Leader

The mission of LeaderWorks is to help church leaders do their work. In that effort, James K.A. Smith and Tim Keller have blessed us richly with their recent conversation in Comment Magazine. Church leaders who have just begun their ministries, whether planting a church or leading a small congregation, often feel frustrated by a lack of growth. No matter how [...]

By |2019-01-08T17:30:28-06:00September 5th, 2017|Categories: Leadership, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

WATCH: A Call to Plant a Church

A week or so ago I had the chance to sit with one of the church planters in our diocese (C4SO) from the Austin area. Shawn is one of a growing number of young leaders that have sensed a strong call to ministry in the Anglican Church in North America. However, he's done more than that; he has answered a [...]