22 and ½ Things I have Learned in 22 and ½ Years (in one place)

I am a bit over half-way through year twenty-three as the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church.   On paper, the story of Christ Church’s growth from 200 to over 2,400 seems like a modern miracle but my mind today is on the people who represent those numbers.  Especially those who have been on this journeyContinue reading “22 and ½ Things I have Learned in 22 and ½ Years (in one place)”

Does Your Church Want a Future? (then “get” this!)

History will look upon the years that spanned our lifetimes and declare them to be a period of seismic cultural shift.  In the same way the Gutenberg Press changed the world in 1439, the advent of the personal computer and the internet has changed the world again.  We live in a time when the NormanContinue reading “Does Your Church Want a Future? (then “get” this!)”

Know What You are Going to Do! (2020 Edition) #UMCrapstorm

  I have played competitive softball since I was fourteen years old at every imaginable level.  Up to a handful of years ago, I played over a hundred games each season and now in my late fifties, I still play twenty or thirty.  For much of that time I was a shortstop.  The shortstop isContinue reading “Know What You are Going to Do! (2020 Edition) #UMCrapstorm”

“We Want Out!” (the loudest voice the #UMC isn’t hearing)

  There is an increasingly resonant voice in the United Methodist conflict emerging from both congregations and pastors.   It is a voice not being heard.   It does not receive invitations to the negotiating table.   It is a voice becoming too loud to ignore.   “We want out!”   As the United MethodistContinue reading ““We Want Out!” (the loudest voice the #UMC isn’t hearing)”

Shaking Hands (While We Still Can) #UMC

Sometimes you just need to shake hands and go your separate ways while you can still shake hands…

Pastors Come and Go but the Mission Continues…

I arrived at Christ Church on July 1, 1997.  Here is my photo.  I was clearly a child.  I followed Rev. Bill Cooper. In the weeks after the big announcement, Bill made it his mission to prepare the church for the transition. He spoke of how excited he was that I was coming and thatContinue reading “Pastors Come and Go but the Mission Continues…”

Standing on Firm Ground (Does God Still Heal?)

When I was in high school, doing impressions of highly animated faith healers was wonderful sport.   Perhaps my favorite sport.  I remember watching television as people threw away their crutches, ripped out their hearing aids, sprung from their wheel chairs and testified of miracle cures.  When a few of the more visible but unprincipled conduitsContinue reading “Standing on Firm Ground (Does God Still Heal?)”

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”

Supporting Leaders and Leading Supporters

Can’t sleep tonight.  It happens.  Not very much but it happens. Praying for Christian leaders. My heart is heavy. Leadership circa 2017 is SO difficult. Throw the devil (yes, I believe in such stuff) into the mix and the task can seem overwhelming. I know some great leaders (and even better people) traversing tough stretchesContinue reading “Supporting Leaders and Leading Supporters”

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”