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

In the last few weeks we have been covering some awkward questions that often stymie leaders in congregations. Either no one thinks to ask the question or no one wants to bring it up. Here's what we've covered so far: Who Should Have Access to the Giving Records? How Much Should We Pay the Pastor? [...]

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 [...]

By | 2018-03-13T05:39:16+00:00 March 12th, 2018|Leadership, Pastoral Ministry|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 [...]

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 [...]

By | 2018-02-26T12:26:46+00:00 February 27th, 2018|Culture, Leadership, Pastoral Ministry|0 Comments

Five Awkward Questions Churches Need to Answer (Part Two)

These are the awkward questions during any board or Vestry meeting. You can feel a quiet come over the room. Everyone is hoping the subject will pass. But there are five awkward questions that your church needs to be able to discuss. Previously, we tackled the question of access to giving records. Hopefully, I’ve given [...]

By | 2018-02-26T12:27:43+00:00 February 26th, 2018|Leadership, Pastoral Ministry|0 Comments

Five Awkward Questions Churches Need to Answer (Part One)

They are not easy at first. They are ‘off-putting’, to use a colloquium. Or tacky. When the subjects come up, you can see everyone squirm in their seats. We wish we could just avoid them. But there are five of them that need to happen pretty routinely. What I am talking about? Awkward questions about money, [...]

By | 2018-02-21T09:45:34+00:00 February 19th, 2018|Generosity, Giving Up, Leadership, Pastoral Ministry, Stewardship|Comments Off on Five Awkward Questions Churches Need to Answer (Part One)

The Gift of Lent

Lent begins with a necessary reminder: you are dust and to dust you shall return. In Ash Wednesday, we speak these difficult words so that we might resist the influential fictions that our daily lives impress upon us. The fiction that we are in control. That we can fix ourselves. That we were designed first and [...]

By | 2018-02-13T14:32:15+00:00 February 13th, 2018|Anglicanism, Generosity, Liturgy & Worship, Pastoral Ministry|Comments Off on The Gift of Lent

The Formational Power of Digital Habits

A while ago, I wrote about the ‘Formation Gap in the Information Age.’ I’m troubled by the incredible formational power our technologies exert on us and how slow local churches have been to account for this in their discipleship. If we are not speaking to the digital habits of the people in the pews, we [...]

By | 2018-02-20T08:32:37+00:00 February 6th, 2018|Culture, Leadership, Pastoral Ministry|Comments Off on The Formational Power of Digital Habits

Four Creative Constraints of the Preaching Life

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 turn a double-play, we are [...]

By | 2018-01-21T21:25:26+00:00 January 23rd, 2018|Leadership, Pastoral Ministry, Preaching|2 Comments

Another Surprise Baptism Brings Sudden Appearance

I am leading a tour group of pastors through the Holy Land. Our group is about a dozen clergy, spouses, some dedicated lay people from their churches, and a father with his teenage son. A few days into the trip, the father and son asked if the young man could be baptized here in Israel. Wow. [...]

By | 2018-01-16T08:54:04+00:00 January 16th, 2018|Discover Israel, Pastoral Ministry, Travel|4 Comments