Reaching the Next level – 1

It’s the question we’re asked the most in the church health world, “How do we get to the next level?” Of course, the idea of “next level” can mean many things. It can speak to effectiveness, community impact, attendance or membership, and perhaps other elements of the local church agenda. But typically, the one asking

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Being the Church (Part 3)

I’ll never forget the conversation I had with a young man while at the church I pastored for a decade. He was pretty new to the whole idea of church, the Gospel, and, well, just about everything we did as a community of faith. The memorable conversation began with his phone call–a quick and simple request

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Being the Church (Part 2)

For as long as I can remember, I have heard the Sunday challenge to be a world-changer on Monday. Somehow my pastor knew that I (and apparently others) could be tempted to separate those two days, Sunday and Monday, as though one was for God and the other could be guided by my agenda. Over

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Being the Church

This past week offered me and my family and extraordinary look into the difference between going to church and truly being the Church. It’s evident that western Christianity has shifted with near full force toward the former, while the latter remains the biblical idea. As we walked through the emotional path of burying my father,

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Out my window…one more time

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve considered life from the vantage point of the middle. Often those who live at the extremes of either sizable success or colossal failure get most of the headlines, but most of us live somewhere in between. And as we’ve seen, it’s in this “in-between world” where we find

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Out my window…again

Last time, we began discussing what it’s like to be overlooked. You know, that feeling you get when your efforts don’t get the attention you know they deserve. Frankly, most of us live our lives just beyond the edges of the limelight. And that can occasionally lead us to feel less valued or our work

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Out my window…

Ever feel overlooked? C’mon, you know the moments I’m talking about. For a pastor, it can be easy to tie your sense of self-worth to the awareness others have of your tireless efforts. And when nobody notices or when someone else gets all the attention, it can be easy to feel…well, not just left out,

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Out My Window…

A few weeks back I spent the weekend with a congregation that has endured catastrophe. It’s the second such congregation I’ve been privileged to work with over the last several years. Now, you may think your church is one of those (and I suppose it could be), but when I say “catastrophe” I’m talking about

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Out My Window…

After a steady flow of weekend consulting trip and an ever-increasing number of conversations with pastors and church leaders and just “regular-ole” church folks, I’m offering a couple of observations that hopefully make the frequent flyer miles worthwhile. First, I’ve decided to never again be surprised by an airlines ability to mangle my travel plans…but

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An Important Look Into Your Church’s Culture – Part 11

Honestly, I thought I was finished with this blog series after ten installments. But this weekend, a conversation brought one more idea to mind that I think is important enough to share. When you pastor a difficult church–one that’s been struggling for awhile and has frequently demonstrated unhealthy behaviors–you can easily slide into a view

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