If It Smells Weird, It is Weird

I have learned a powerful lesson from my refrigerator (yes, the appliance) over the years that has helped me navigate difficult situations: "If it smells weird, it is weird." If the smell of a food in the refrigerator is off just a little bit, that probably means that it is going bad. And if it…

Winter is Here; Summer is Coming

We're now in the middle of winter, and it's not just because the temperate outside is low. We're in the middle of winter: the long, hard slog of the year where the days are short and the nights are ling. We're in the part of the year where it gets dark out at what seems…

The Betrayal of Busyness

Quotes from Eugene Peterson in The Contemplative Pastor: The word busy is the symptom not of commitment but of betrayal. It is not devotion but defection. The adjective busy set as a modifier to pastor should sound to our ears like adulterous to characterize a wife or embezzling to describe a banker. It is an…

Don’t Sink: Focusing on the Mission of Christ

Poet Mary Oliver has said, “Attention is the beginning of devotion.” While Oliver was not a Christian, she was certainly right in her assertion. What you focus on becomes what you love. The formative nature of focus is why the author of Hebrews tells us to “Fix our eyes on Jesus” (Heb 12:1). But focusing…

Do the Basics

Do the basics. You nothing without the basics. So much of success in life in general, and leadership in particular, is merely doing the basics. There is a large market for sharing the latest leadership hack, trick, or steroid which will make things better or cause your church to grow. It won't happen. Anything good…

How to disciple someone: a practical guide

Jesus gave the church the task to "make disciples" of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). He did not reserve the task to just a select few, however. All Christians can make disciples...that means you can make disciples! Unfortunately, many pastors and books make discipleship seem complicated. It's not. Here is a practical guide for how to disciple…

Ministry Model Doesn’t Matter

Church leaders love them some ministry models. They love to read about and study what other churches do and how to replicate those models in their own church. They love to debate the merits of the model. But guess what? Ministry model doesn't matter. Just about any model can be successfully implemented in a church.…