The Basic Law of Congregational Life

Over the past twenty-five years I’ve worked with almost seven hundred churches of all sizes and locations. Most in the U.S. but some in Canada, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and Ghana. And one overarching truth has emerged from my experiences in these churches – I call this truth  The Basic Law of Congregational Life. […]

Is Christmas Becoming Like Easter?

It’s an exciting time to be a pastor.  It’s equally exciting to be a consultant.  You have to stay on your toes.  These times are changing from moment to moment.

For some time, the Effective Church Group has referenced Easter as Alumni Sunday, meaning that it’s a time when members who rarely attend worship may […]

Getting Ready for Sunday

As the pastor, the reminder “Sunday’s coming” may bring feelings of elation or dread. To be fair, most pastors live week-to-week and much of their waking time is spent with an eye toward worship. It might be an overstatement to say we’re obsessed by the weekend, but for most of us, it’s not much […]

Where I Am In Life and the Most Important Lesson I’ve Learned

Several friends have emailed me recently about my station in life and what my plans are for the future. Those who know me well know my health is fair for a 78 year old and that I’m finding it hard to sit on planes for very long (I’ve only been on a plane three […]

5 Steps for Creating a Hospitality Culture

There is a fundamental flaw in the church of the early 21st century.  We have identified it quite clearly, but talk is inadequate.  As the old GI Joe commercial went, knowing is half the battle.  That’s great, but there’s another half to go.

What’s the issue?  Commercialization of the Church.  How did we go from […]

How Important is Christian Hospitality?

Perhaps you’ve noticed, our culture is often evaluating church in a negative fashion.  Church people are perceived as being hypocritical, looking very different in life expression than the claims from faith identity.  And, in a related way, the church message is received as irrelevant, out of touch with the reality of how faith intersects […]

The Consumer Church Metaphor

Church members don’t generally want to have their church compared to a business, but sometimes they just can’t help themselves and they fall into the metaphor themselves.

The board meeting had a motion on the floor to upgrade the brand of Sunday morning coffee to one that was more appealing to the younger generation that […]

Making Disciples in Our Culture

Have you heard?  The world is ending September 23.  Nibiru, or infamous Planet X, is coming.  All humanity shall perish.  Okay, Nibiru was also supposed to come in 1995, 2003, and 2012.  But…

I like to say that Jesus is coming tomorrow.  One of these days I’m going to be right!

We just experienced an eclipse. […]

Three Kinds of Church Members

A family left the church recently because they didn’t like one of the changes in worship. The pastor had been confronted by the board chair who demanded the pastor “Go after them and bring them back.” The pastor kept his cool and gently sidestepped the confrontation, but gave me (his coach) a call the […]