Four Creative Constraints of the Preaching Life

Posted on October 2, 2018
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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…

Interview: Kevin Miller

Posted on April 30, 2018
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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…

The Good Shepherd Economy

Posted on April 9, 2018
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Churches desire to grow, as well they should. We are, after all, followers of the Great Commission. We desire for more people to come to know and proclaim the coming of God’s kingdom. However, when church leaders want to focus on growth, they often make a crucial mistake. Our focus is often on getting people…

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

Posted on November 16, 2017
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It’s the time of year when church leaders start to see lots of red—and it isn’t always early Christmas decorations! Many 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…

Trellises and Vines

Posted on November 14, 2017
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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: Some days our churches feel very aligned with these descriptors, don’t they? We imagine…

What’s Wrong With My Letter?

Posted on November 7, 2017
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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 written before why this is often the case at the…

People of the Book

Posted on October 23, 2017
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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….

Giving Up Excerpt in Christianity Today

Posted on October 10, 2017
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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.

Sneak Peek: An Excerpt from Giving Up

Posted on September 27, 2017
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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…

The Vital Role of the Small Church Leader

Posted on September 5, 2017
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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…