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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An Important Look Into Your Church’s Culture – Part 10

Beware of the “Culture of Can’t.” When you pastor a difficult congregation, you can easily feel overwhelmed at times with all you know you can’t do. So a trip to the next ministry conference confronts you with seven new ideas, each successfully navigated by an enthusiastic speaker. Just look at what I did…and you can do

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An Important Look Into Your Church’s Culture – Part 9

As we have said, momentum is critical in helping a struggling church move in a new direction. Momentum comes when there is a slowly rising ground swell of new thinking, even if that shift has yet to produce new results. When there are signs that church is beginning to think differently, it’s time to start reinforcing

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An Important Look Into Your Church’s Culture – Part 8

Once you get a bit of momentum moving in the direction of new values, you can begin identifying places where the old ways aren’t contributing to your new values. Now, be careful here! Momentum doesn’t mean you preached it and they said “Amen” a lot (though that’s a good day). Momentum is seen when people

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