Michael Jackson’s Death Reaches Lithuania

I am in Lithuania right now on a mission trip. This country for the most part was cut off from Western civilization for the many years of Soviet occupation/Communism. In the first few days we have been here I have heard numerous accounts of how sterile an environment the country was during those years. Apparently, however, one part of the Western world managed to find it’s way through to this culture. His name is Michael Jackson. [...] Continue Reading…

Are You A Rule Follower? (Welcome to Lithuania!)

Perhaps the biggest culture shaper in Lithuania is the fact that for years they were under Communist rule and have only recently had the freedom to do the things they do today, such as travel, enjoy other cultures, explore the latest trends and fashions, participate in capitalism, go to church, etc. Giving someone freedom can have all kinds of crazy reactions, which we are seeing constantly, but I suspect we started to see the results on the plane ride here. Rule followers need to beware; here are a few highlights I thought were interesting from our trip here: [...] Continue Reading…

Younger Employees Should Honor Older Employees

Recently I was in a restaurant and listened to some bickering between waitresses. One of them has worked in the restaurant industry and this particular restaurant for many years. The other waitress is in the first year of her first job. The younger employee refused to take suggestions or advice from the older employee. Although they did not handle this situation correctly in front of customers, it did remind me of an important principle. [...] Continue Reading…

Use The Summer To Prepare For Fall

Summer is often a time for church leaders (unless you are youth leaders) to take vacations, chill out, and rest up. While I agree with that need, the fact is that fall gets here quickly and we need to be prepared for one of the best growth opportunities of the year. [...] Continue Reading…

Leading People To Make a Positive Impact

This can be a controversial principle, because it appears at first glance that an organization is strategizing to leave a group of people out of the equation, but really this strategy helps the entire organization be more successful, eventually improving things for everyone involved in the organization, even those in the last 20%. This principle assumes that in any organization: [...] Continue Reading…

Results of Brainstorming At Our Staff Retreat

Yesterday I posted about the need for a church to plan for the future. You can read that post HERE. In that post I shared three questions our staff worked through at our last extended staff retreat at Grace Community Church. This post has results. [...] Continue Reading…

Lithuania or Bust!

Tomorrow morning Cheryl and I and another couple leave for Lithuania. For over a year our church has worked with City Church in Klaipeda, Lituania. (I love a church that has a website in multiple languages!) I talk regularly with the pastor via Skype and Tokbox and we share ministry stories, struggles and victories. The people of our church share the same struggles as the people of City Church and therefore we are able to help each other. My pastor friend Saulius and his wife Sanna will be our host and I will have the opportunity to preach in their church next Sunday. We will be dreaming of ways our two churches can broaden our partnership. [...] Continue Reading…