Beyond Thoughts and Prayers

A flurry of well wishes were unleashed across the United States in the wake of the Dayton and El Paso shootings ten days ago. These well-meaning expressions of sympathy were tweeted, emailed, texted, written, preached, and whispered:  You are in our thoughts and...

3 Deadly Sins of Leadership

In many churches, this is the time of year when pastors are settling into their new appointments, and congregations are learning to work with their new pastors. In other churches, people are starting to come back to worship.  Across the board, committees are beginning...

Politics, Ethics, and the Voice of the Church

Can churches be involved in the most volatile issues of our day? The Parkland FL school shooting begs the question. Seventeen more people are dead, most of them children. It’s the 25th fatal school shooting, and the 208th school shooting overall, since Columbine HS in...

The Secret Reason Why Good Churches Die

Why do good churches die? I’m not talking about churches who have an apparent fatal flaw like mean or nasty people, terrible location, clergy sexual misconduct, uninspiring worship or the like.  Churches can and do recover from all of those things. No, I’m...

Worship and Power

Let’s say you have recently arrived at your new pastoral appointment. You’re wondering just what sort of people you are serving. Worship services can give you a strong indication of how people perceive their power in relation to the world. This sense of personal power...

Can We Truly Embrace a Jewish Jesus?

This week we celebrate the miracle around which Christian life revolves: the death and resurrection of Jesus. It makes me wonder if we are truly ready to embrace a Jewish Jesus. Jesus is seen as a Jew in many pulpits and pews, but usually as an exception, an anomaly....