Packaging Experience

Over the past five years I’ve seen a tremendous shift in my ministry. Ten years ago the bulk of my ministry consisted of local church consultations and workshops. Occasionally I would be asked to coach a pastor following a consultation. Today, almost one-half of my ministry is coaching pastors either before, after, or totally absent […]

The Ability To Focus

One of the things I’ve had to do over and over in my coaching of pastors is to remind them to focus on the major issues we’ve talked about instead of getting distracted time and time again. Pastors appear to be extremely vulnerable to distractions due to their high desire to please people. Often pastors […]

Following Jesus Into The Mission Field

Those who follow my writing know I believe we are living in a pivotal period of history in which everything that will be is being separated from everything that was. In such a traumatic period all of the rules of the game of life are called into question. Christianity and the Scriptures are the result […]

Tired of Herding Cats?

You probably hear it as often as I do. "Trying to get them organized is like herding cats." Whether it's being applied to the stewardship committee, the congregational council, or the local minister's alliance, it's an apt simile whenever you come across a pack of individuals who are more interested in getting what they want […]

Smaller Boards Outperform Larger Boards – Duh!

A study by the Wall Street Journal discovered that larger corporations with smaller boards outperformed their larger-board counterparts by a significant margin. In fact, as few as 3-5 extra people made a difference in profit margins by up to 18 percent. Churches of every size have similar issues. The larger the board the less efficient and the […]

Team Building Basics

It's almost nominating time, and with nominations come the reconstitution of teams. But will they just do business as usual, or will they make a serious difference in your congregation? Much depends on what happens at their very first meeting. When a team comes together for the first time, typically the pecking order gets quickly […]

Slow … Steady … Strategic

One of the problems with high-functioning ministers is that our energy tends to always function quite highly, even to the point of dysfunction at times. Many of us score a high “P” on the Myers-Briggs Inventory (which, by the way stands for PANTS, as in fly-by-the-seat-of), so orderly doesn’t tend to be either in our […]

The Fallacy of Outward-Focused Ministry

Whether we call it “Social Justice,” Social Action,” or “Mission-oriented” ministry, too many congregations are wearing themselves out and, worse, missioning themselves out of existence. What we need to do is find how we can start focusing our outward-focused ministries inside. I know, I know: we talk all the time about the dangers of navel-gazing […]

Have a “To Be” List

Everyone has a "to do" list.  Some folks are slaves to it; others make one up and then quickly abandon it. And some  are paranoid if they aren't able to mark off every item by the end of the day. Well, that's all and good but in the end it may or may not have […]

Why Your Church Won’t Be the Exception

I just returned from a church growth training event at a local church where we reviewed and evaluated their vision. Their vision statement was a bit wordy, but overall it got high marks. But a question arose from some of the members: "What about those in the congregation who don't support the vision ... who […]