My Constant Temptation (is to just check out)

My constant temptation is to simply check out. Cash it in, retire, unplug, disconnect, disappear into the Smoky Mountains with Melissa and a Bible and have no idea who becomes President in the next election. The troubled state of the world, our unsettled country and divisions within my denomination make me sad. Not mad, justContinue reading “My Constant Temptation (is to just check out)”

The Heart of a Pastor

(Few know the heart of a pastor.  We hide our pain well.  This happened a few years back and is for pastors everywhere.)   Today I was informed that a beloved family of this church will be leaving us. Not because they are moving but because they have lost a connection here and feel calledContinue reading “The Heart of a Pastor”

7 Thoughts for those Discouraged in Ministry

Are you discouraged in your service to the Lord? It happens to all of us. As much as we would like life to move “up and the right,” we will all endure seasons of feeling inadequate, dejected and downright pessimistic. Sometimes we just want to become 10 years old again and “take our ball andContinue reading “7 Thoughts for those Discouraged in Ministry”

20 Core Values for a Long and Effective Pastoral Tenure

I wrap up my twentieth year as the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church (Fairview Heights, Illinois) on the final day of June.  We have grown every single year from just over 200 to over 2,200 in worship.  It has been a good run.   Here are twenty core values that have propelled me to twoContinue reading “20 Core Values for a Long and Effective Pastoral Tenure”

You Can’t Avoid Leadership Stress (so manage it)

Some years ago (when I was still “young-ish” and in my early forties) my health was in a rapidly declining state.  Christ Church was moving from 400 in worship each weekend toward 750 and it was literally killing me.  Our staff was a dysfunctional mess, the congregation was kicking and screaming and I was doingContinue reading “You Can’t Avoid Leadership Stress (so manage it)”

Does the American Church Have a Future?

Does the American Church Have a Future? Fifteen years ago everyone was using the word “post-modern.” I used it a lot. Made me feel like a hipster preacher before there were hipster preachers.  I had more hair back then.  It was an easier sell. The definition of post-modern generally centered upon the premise that the modernContinue reading “Does the American Church Have a Future?”

The Essence of Church Leadership

The Essence of Church Leadership Know Where You Are Realism Know Where You Are Going Vision Have a Plan Strategy Move the People Motivation STEP ONE: WHERE WE ARE           Where We Are: The real disasters I see in leadership occur when leaders do not have a realistic sense of where the congregation truly stands concerningContinue reading “The Essence of Church Leadership”

A Place to Stand: Healthy Boundaries between Pastors and Congregations

  Most pastors I know have clear calls to ministry, work long hours, carry battle scars, sometimes get discouraged and struggle to balance vocation and family. They really do have servant’s hearts but they are human and there are a few considerate things the people in the pews can do to support their pastors. IfContinue reading “A Place to Stand: Healthy Boundaries between Pastors and Congregations”

7 Thoughts for those Discouraged in Ministry

Are you discouraged in your service to the Lord? It happens to all of us. As much as we would like life to move “up and the right,” we will all endure seasons of feeling inadequate, dejected and downright pessimistic. Sometimes we just want to become 10 years old again and “take our ball andContinue reading “7 Thoughts for those Discouraged in Ministry”

Pastors are Not Ministry Mutants

In my early days in ministry, I thought of the Apostle Paul as a Ministry Mutant. He was wholly different than regular people and was Holy Ghost hardwired for the rigors of ministry. This was absurd. By making Paul “nothing like me” I conveniently excused myself from being “anything like Paul.” As long as PaulContinue reading “Pastors are Not Ministry Mutants”