4 Ways to be a Church for Dummies

I received email feedback the other day from someone who attends our church. Not having grown up attending church very often, but now wanting to learn the Bible and about the things of God, the woman thanked us for being a “church for dummies“. (That’s her term…not mine…) I laughed at first when I saw her comment and wondered if I should take it as a positive remark, but then she explained that she used to leave church more confused than when she arrived, but now she is starting to understand the Bible and wants to learn more. She is thankful for a church that is challenging her to grow in her faith, but inviting enough to feel welcome, regardless of her background. I took it as a high compliment!

As I processed the meanings behind her statement, I thought of a few reasons she may feel as she does about our church.

Here are 4 ways our church became a “church for dummies: […] Continue Reading…

That Sacred Place…for a Sacred Moment

There is a special moment of worship that happens occasionally where I sense so strongly the presence of God that all the troubles of the world disappear. I don’t have a care in the world except the glory of God. I call it a sacred place…for a sacred moment… It doesn’t last long, but it lasts long enough that it changes me in that moment! It certainly renews my faith and strengthens me for the journey of life.

I’ll be honest, it doesn’t happen as often as I would like, but it happened twice this week.

It doesn’t seem to be something I can plan. If it were, I’d stay in that place and moment, but I’ve discovered there are a few things that might trigger such a time: […] Continue Reading…

The Greatest Asset of a New Leader

I love to surround myself with leaders. Often, when we think of leaders, we consider those with great experience in the field in which he or she is leading. They are the experts, they have experience, they’ve been tested, and they are ready to encourage followers. Of course, experience is never a bad characteristic for a leader, but there is one trait that I look for in a young leader even before knowledge or experience.

I believe: […] Continue Reading…

How to Increase Church Staff Without Spending a Dime

I suspect if you are in a growing church, that you and your staff feel stretched to accomplish all there is to do. You have probably said aloud that you are “understaffed”. I know, because it is part of being a growing church….and I’ve said it many times.

What if you could increase the size of your staff without spending a dime?

You can. You may not hire for a new position, but you could:

4 Ways People Play Church

“Pastor Ron, my life is a mess and I don’t know what to do to fix it.”

I received a call from a frantic young man recently. He had made some serious mistakes and now desperately wants to bring the broken pieces together again. I’m not worried about exposing someone’s identity, because that exact scenario is repeated dozens of times in the course of a year. It happens nearly once a week. While I’m no longer shocked anymore at the severity of someone’s struggles, I still am often surprised when I find out who some of the people struggling are in my church. This young man seemed to have everything going for him.

Some of us become good at playing church. You’ve seen it many times. The person on Sunday gives the appearance that everything is fine, but when you really get to know them, you realize that things aren’t always as they appear. We’ve become skilled at pretending everything is okay, but when we do so, are we really allowing the church to be the church? Jesus said He came for the sick….the broken…the wounded. (Paraphrase of Mark 2:17)

Here are 4 ways I’ve seen people play church and mask the reality of their life: […] Continue Reading…

How Serving Another’s Vision Prepares You For Your Own

We all have dreams – dreams to make a difference. We have expectations that our lives will be used by God to reach many people for His glory. We’re go-getters, difference makers. We are leaders.

But it’s possible that you feel stuck. You may not have much influence. You’re stuck serving someone else’s vision.

I hesitate to use the word “stuck” because that connotes negativity. But that’s how it can feel. While it may be uncomfortable, I’m convinced that the best way to prepare for the fulfillment of your own vision is to serve someone else’s, even for a season. Now, it’s obvious if you can’t submit and you’re doing more harm than good, it may be time for you to leave. But before you make such hasty decisions, it might be that you need to submit in the shadows.

I can think of at least 5 reasons why serving another’s vision prepares you for your own: […] Continue Reading…

How to Break God’s Heart

Okay, let me be honest…I’m not sure the title of this post is theologically sound. I don’t know if we can “break God’s heart”. His heart appears fairly strong to me. He carries the weight of the world on His shoulders, so I’m assuming He can handle most anything we throw His way. I did want you to read the post though, and I do think there is an illustration here that is important for us to consider.

Our youngest son Nate is studying in Europe this summer. (You can read more about his experiences HERE.) For the last couple of years, he has attended school 8 hours away, so the distance is not so much an issue, although it is summer and I wish he were home. The problem for me now is the way we ended our instant messaging today. He will not have Internet for the next 5 days, so I’ll not have any correspondance from him for nearly a week.

I realize 5 days is a short time for many. I sometimes only talk to my mother once a week, but I’m new at this empty nesting. Five days seems like forever right now.

But, there’s a bigger issue that came to my mind… […] Continue Reading…

Develop Where You Are

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I’ve seen so many potentially great leaders waste opportunities because they wait for the perfect scenario before to develop as a leader…

Here’s a word to those who need to hear it…

You may not enjoy where you are currently in life or work…

You may not yet be in your dream job…

You may not respect the leader you are supposed to follow…

You may not plan to stay in your current work location…

You may not enjoy the people with whom you work…

You may be waiting for the right opportunity before you give your best effort…before you learn all you can…

What a mistake!
[…] Continue Reading…