When Do You Cancel Church?

Everyone’s talking about the weather in the Mid-West. “Worst winter in decades,” they say.

Which isn’t quite true. Worst winter in terms of accumulated snow and ice over the last couple of years, but long-timers will tell you that this winter looks a lot more like what it used to look like almost every winter. […]

On Not Being Nice for the Sake of the Gospel

The following is one of our most asked-for blog posts.  It was written two decades ago, but it is still as relevant today as it was then.

Throughout all my consulting ministry, I have seen a disturbing pattern: most established churches are held hostage by one or two bullies. Either one individual or a small group […]

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 […]

Stop Losing Staff

“I’m tired of training staff only to see them leave to work in another church.” I heard pastors say this a lot when I was consulting. I always wondered what would happen if they didn’t train them and they stayed long term. 

“My staff is so competent that I’m afraid some church will steal them […]

I Hate Problems

I just got back from two weeks of vacation. I didn’t respond to emails, didn’t answer texts, ignored all social media, and didn’t answer my phone. In other words, I took a “healthy” vacation.

But the day before I went back to the church office, I began to wonder what “problems” I’d have to face […]

The Demise of Cash and Checks

The other day I said something online about writing a check and I received guffaws from some of my colleagues. I didn’t understand the intensity of their response to my comment, so I investigated why they responded so negatively to my comment about writing a check. Here’s what I found. U.S. consumers and businesses […]

Annual Spiritual Check-up

New Year’s Eve is
an interesting holiday differing from others because it does not commemorate an
event, like Easter or a person like Christmas. New Years is a holiday that
celebrates the inevitability of the passing of time. We make New Years special
only by being reflective of the year that has passed and proactive about what
we want […]

Fear Not

I love watching
movies at Christmastime and there is hardly a holiday season that goes by that
doesn’t have me enjoying, White Christmas, Miracle on 34th street
and It’s A Wonderful Life. Last week A Charlie Brown Christmas aired on
national prime time television for the 53rd time. In a world where the latest
greatest technology is outdated in a […]

Contingency Plans

The lights went out during worship last week. All of them. The ones overhead. The platform spotlights. The projector’s bright beam. Even the multicolored LEDs on the sound board went out.

They’d lost power. 

In retrospect, everything turned out alright. There was enough light streaming in through the stained glass windows that most people could both […]