2015

Innovative Ministry
Hoverboards In Church? 22 Differences Between Gimmicks and Innovations
Gimmicks are like candy. They're fun for a moment. But you can't build a steady diet – or a strong church – on them.
Hoverboards In Church? 22 Differences Between Gimmicks and Innovations

Is it okay for a priest to use a hoverboard in church? The Catholic church says ‘no’.

This week an unnamed priest in the Philippines was suspended for using a hoverboard to greet congregants at the end of Christmas Mass after a video of him doing so went viral. ...

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Christian Unity
7 Bad Reasons to Leave Your Church
If you’re considering leaving the church you attend, there are a few things you may want to consider before making the leap.
7 Bad Reasons to Leave Your Church
Image: Fe Ilya | Flickr

The new year is always a time for big decisions, big hopes and big disappointments.

Churches are no exception.

For the next few weeks, gym memberships and diets will soar. Job losses and divorces will rise. Some people will decide to go back to church, while others will decide ...

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Church & Culture
To Everyone Who Works During Christmas: A Tribute
If you work on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day so others can celebrate, this is a big 'thank you' from all of us.
To Everyone Who Works During Christmas: A Tribute
Image: DVIDSHUB | Flickr

It's Christmas Eve as I write this post. Today and tomorrow are busy days for pastors.

While many others get a break tonight and tomorrow, pastors like me are hard at work.

We’re preparing for Christmas Eve Candlelight services, Midnight Masses and Christmas Day celebrations. ...

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9 Reasons to Embrace the Term 'Small Church'
Being small is not a problem, so calling us small churches isn't a problem either.
9 Reasons to Embrace the Term 'Small Church'
Image: J N | Flickr

A lot of people don't like the term 'small church'. Including many small church pastors.

Before I wrote The Grasshopper Myth and started working with other small church pastors, I debated using a different term for churches like ours. After all, I wanted to help small ...

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Church & Culture
Yes, Your Kids Can Enjoy Santa While Honoring Jesus
Here are four simple steps and one ‘magic’ word that can help keep Jesus and Santa rightly prioritized in your family’s Christmas celebration.
Yes, Your Kids Can Enjoy Santa While Honoring Jesus
Image: Steve Mays | Flickr

How do we keep Christ in Christmas when Santa is everywhere we look? Can we have fun with the Santa story? Or is that diluting the true meaning of Christmas?

What’s a Christian parent to do?

I have good news. When it comes to Christmas, we really can have it all. Jesus and ...

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Church Leadership
5 Steps to a Great Last-Minute Christmas Sermon Idea
If you're scrambling to find a fresh idea from the Christmas story for Sunday and Christmas Eve, these steps might help.
5 Steps to a Great Last-Minute Christmas Sermon Idea
Image: Judit Klein | Flickr

39 verses. Less than 900 words.

That’s everything Matthew and Luke wrote about the birth of Jesus.

If you add Jesus’ genealogies and the birth of John the Baptist, you can more than triple its length. But if you go the other direction and remove the Magi who, as we ...

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Church & Culture
Let's Stop Adding ‘Yeah, But’ to Simple Declarations of Grace
Sometimes grace needs to take an uninterrupted victory lap through our lives.
Let's Stop Adding ‘Yeah, But’ to Simple Declarations of Grace
Image: Bhope34 | Flickr

Sin is real.

But grace is stronger.

Hell exists.

But grace is greater.

Justice demands retribution.

But grace is God’s scandalous response.

Why are some Christians so quick to diminish simple statements of grace with a ‘yeah, but’ response?

Whenever ...

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Christian Unity
Church Is Not Just Who We Are, It's Also Where We Go
We don't just go to church, we are the church. But the going helps in the being.
Church Is Not Just Who We Are, It's Also Where We Go
Image: AllStars Youth | Flickr

When people say we don't go to church, we are the church, I resonate very deeply with them.

The church is not a building or an event. It's people.

But there's a part of me that resists saying we don't go to church. Because we do.

Church is not just who ...

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Church & Culture
Why I Don’t Preach Politics (A Follow-Up with Q & R)
Last week's post on politics in the pulpit generated some great dialog. Here's a synopsis of that dialog in a Question & Response format.
Why I Don’t Preach Politics (A Follow-Up with Q & R)
Image: Benjamin Esham | Flickr

For a guy who doesn’t preach on politics, my recent post about not preaching on politics sure has me talking a lot about politics lately.

Last week, I wrote My Silence Is Not Compliance: Why I Don’t Preach Politics from the Pulpit. It generated some great responses ...

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Church Leadership
10 Ways to Deal with Chronic Complainers In the Church
Small churches can be a magnet for chronic complainers. Here's how to reduce their negative impact - and increase the positive.
10 Ways to Deal with Chronic Complainers In the Church
Image: Phil Whitehouse | Flickr

Some people love to complain. Many of them find their way into our churches. They especially like small churches.

In a big church, chronic complainers get lost in the crowd. The pastor may only be aware of them by email (but so many emails!).

In a small church their voice ...

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Small Church Ministry
7 Small Church Choices that Will Strengthen Your Ministry
There’s a big difference between good small church choices and bad small church choices. Here are some good ones.
7 Small Church Choices that Will Strengthen Your Ministry
Image: Scott Swigart | Flickr

Small churches don't need to make big church choices in order to become great churches.

We need to make better small church choices.

After my last post, Want Your Small Church to Be Great? Make Good Small Church Choices, many readers wanted to know what good small ...

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Small Church Ministry
Want Your Small Church to Be Great? Make Good Small Church Choices
A church doesn’t need to be big to make good decisions. It's a matter of quality, not quantity.
Want Your Small Church to Be Great? Make Good Small Church Choices
Image: The Tire Zoo | Flickr

For years, we've been told that the reason so many churches stay small is because they’re making small church choices.

I understand why people say that. Many decisions made in small churches have inhibited their health and growth.

But it’s not entirely ...

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Church & Culture
Every Idle Word: 8 Cautions for Ministers on Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool for good, for evil, and for mischief. These eight ideas can help keep conversations civil and reputations intact.
Every Idle Word: 8 Cautions for Ministers on Social Media
Image: Robert Couse-Baker | Flickr

Social media has become our face to the world.

When we use it well, it can be a great tool for ministry and relationships.

When it’s done badly, it can cause massive, sometimes irreversible harm – to others, ourselves, our churches and the message of the gospel. ...

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Church & Culture
My Silence Is Not Compliance: Why I Don’t Preach Politics from the Pulpit
Preachers need to take our cue from God's Word, not the current obsession of the 24-hour news cycle.
My Silence Is Not Compliance: Why I Don’t Preach Politics from the Pulpit
Image: Peter | Flickr

I don’t speak on political issues in my church.

I don’t support candidates.

I don’t address legislation.

I never take a side on controversial news items when I'm behind the pulpit.

And I’m tired of being called a coward because of it.

On ...

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Church Growth
Church Growth: Feeding the Flock In a Count-the-Sheep Culture
Is it possible to find success in ministry outside the church growth numbers? It depends who gets the credit.
Church Growth: Feeding the Flock In a Count-the-Sheep Culture
Image: grassrootsgroundswell | Flickr

We want numbers to verify our successes.

There are two huge problems with that sentence – and they’re found in the words numbers and our.

First, not all successes have numbers to verify them.

Second, the successes of the church are not our successes.

We ...

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