Can churches grow in the summer? Of course they can. In fact, churches should grow in the summer. However, they rarely do for one simple reason: their leaders let down too much.Continue Reading...
Archives For ministry
Leveraging one’s schedule is vital to effective ministry, and there’s one tool that’s helped me a lot: blocking out certain times for “whatever.” It’s not an elegant name for it, but it accurately describes what can be done during those times. Whatever. This way of scheduling my day changed my attitude toward “interruptions” in my hardened schedule that had little margin. Here’s how I do it:Continue Reading...
Here are some things on my mind this Friday morning:
- I watched Gladiator while I was in Indianapolis earlier this week. It’s my favorite movie of all time. Joaquin Phoenix’s performance is ridiculously great. “AM I NOT MERCIFUL????????” Awesome.
- After a life of fanhood, I left the Denver Broncos for the San Diego Chargers upon the firing of Mike Shanahan. Since then, the Broncos have done everything they can to make me think that was a huge mistake.
- I’ve come down with what I believe to be a sinus infection/cold/bronchial thing. I hate this kind of sickness because it tends to hang on to me for weeks. I would highly prefer 72 hours of good old barfing. How about you? A month of bronchitis or 72 hours of stomach illness?
- What kind of question is that?
- The installation of a new Pope this week has me thinking: how “sinless” should a church leader be?
- Is there a point at which a fallen church leader has permanently disqualified his/herself from ministry?
- If so, on what grounds? It would seem David’s murder and adultery 1-2 punch would’ve done the trick if anything. Nevertheless, David remained king and God used him for the rest of his life.
- But surely, people must trust that a person in leadership is striving to live a Christ-like life–and see more than just striving. How do we mark that line? I believe one exists–but where is it?
- Am I the only pumped that there’s going to be a Dumb and Dumber sequel with Carrey and Daniels?
- Rob Bell has a new book out: What We Talk About When We Talk About God. I’ll read it and offer some thoughts on the blog. I don’t plan to do so as extensively as I did for Love Wins, but I’ll offer some thoughts when I have them. I love Rob Bell as a communicator and hold out hope for this book–though the early reviews are placing it theologically between Love Wins and mainstream evangelicalism.
- When we talk about getting members of the congregation “involved,” what do we mean? Do we mean attend what’s on the church calendar, be involved in serving, or something else?
- In my experience, some churches mean never let one person do anything for too long. This is a mistake if no one else is gifted for it. If we let Paul’s illustration of the Body rule the day, the Body can see better with four eyes than one. However, it goes blind when it tries to see with its elbow.
- One common trait of plateaued or declining churches is a misunderstanding of spiritual gifts, involvement, and proper functioning of the Body. There is good reason we don’t let people sign up to be an elder. The same logic should be applied to other aspects of ministry–while leaving room for people to experiment and make some mistakes along the way.
- I’m really enjoying coaching girls softball this year. I’m trying to be a good coach–and the measure of such is not just wins and losses. Virtually anyone can win with a team of all-stars. Who can win with an average team? Or, better put, who can get them to play together, and help everyone on the team get better–especially the struggling player?
- Great coaches build units of players that get better simultaneously. They leaven the whole batch of dough. That’s what I’m shooting for. Now whether we get there or not, we shall see
- The same is true of great church staff leaders–whether it’s you or someone you serve with. Work with a great church leader for long enough, and your ministry will rise as well.
- Preaching wisdom from Randy Harris this week at the National Preaching Summit: “Take what the text gives you.”
What’s on your mind this Friday morning?
In the last post, I identified some marks your church might be dying. There are lots of steps your church can take to deal with some of those problems., and I’ll talk about those in a forthcoming post. But before any of that, you need to make sure you’re right with God. It’s so easy to assume God’s thrilled with us, and all solutions have a scientifically rational explanation. Thus, one of the possible factors in our church’s decline we quickly skip over is the question of whether we are dishonoring the Lord.
I’m dead serious. We always assume God is with us, even in times when our attitudes, leadership sins, abuses of power and pride dishonor Him. The good news is He welcomes the repentant. He wants His church to prevail. So, for God’s sake, get right with God.
If you aren’t, nothing will work. Repent. Get desperate if you’re not. Return to Him and remember it’s His Church and we’re beyond honored to be a part of what He’s doing. If you miss the “who” your church needs, you’ll miss all the “whats,” “whens,” and “whos.”
If God isn’t with you: You can’t win.
You’re not smart enough.
You don’t have enough money to buy a win.
You don’t have enough energy to overpower Him.
You can’t try all you want…and even if it “works”…
You’ve still failed, because God wasn’t in it.
If God is for us…
You know the rest.
He is who your church needs before what it needs.