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…

Are You Planning For Your Church’s Future?

If we aren’t careful, church becomes a Sunday-to-Sunday routine process and we look up someday from the weekly grind and realize we never reached our potential. For most churches, when one Sunday is over they are planning for the next Sunday. The church addresses the ministry needs of the week, but little time is spent planning for the months and years to come for the church. The monotony of a repeating schedule can often replace long-term planning. [...] Continue Reading…

I Am Glad To Be In A Man’s Man Kind of Church

I like that kind of guy. We see it in our brave soldiers who fearlessly defend our nation. We see it in the dozens of hunters and fishermen in our church. We see it in the football and baseball players and coaches. We see it in the guy who works an office job fighting his way through the corporate world or the factory worker who sweats 8 hours a day to feed his family. One thing I am so thankful for at Grace Community Church is that we have attracted a lot of men’s men who are tough outside, but inside they have tender hearts for God and their families. I love when a man leads his family to church. [...] Continue Reading…

An Encouragement To Be A Dad (Happy Father’s Day!)

What an impact a father has on his family. I can honestly say I have never met a woman who would not faithfully serve the Lord if her husband did. Most women I know, even very independent women, welcome their husband assuming the spiritual leadership of the home. Women are freer to serve Christ and be fruitful for the Kingdom when they have a supportive husband who surrounds her with unconditional love. [...] Continue Reading…

President Obama’s Father’s Day Challenge

I love his father’s day appeal to fathers also. It’s a great standard for which all fathers should strive. His encouragement: To be a better father than you had. All of us can make small steps of improvement, maybe even large steps, but the key is that we try to improve from generation to generation. I have told my boys many times that I hope they improve upon what I have done as a father. My father brightened my day recently by telling me he is thankful for the father I have tried to be. [...] Continue Reading…