Christian Unity
Constructive Criticism: The Day A Staff Member Told Me I Was Preaching Too Long
A healthy church fosters an atmosphere where people feel free to express their ideas openly – especially at the leadership level.
Constructive Criticism: The Day A Staff Member Told Me I Was Preaching Too Long
Image: Paul Townsend | Flickr

It was a sunny, California Wednesday morning.

We were having our weekly staff meeting, innocently sorting out the details for an upcoming service, when I mentioned an illustration I wanted to close out my sermon with.

Then it happened.

One of the staff members spoke up. “We ...

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Innovative Ministry
Why Smooth Pastoral Transitions Matter More Now Than Ever
In previous generations, the denomination, the church building, and family expectations had such a strong hold that it virtually didn’t matter who the pastor was.
Why Smooth Pastoral Transitions Matter More Now Than Ever
Image: Anisa Wood | Flickr

For many generations, people who went to church would attend every Sunday no matter what. Whether out of habit, culture, tradition, denominational identity, fear of reprisal, or a sincere commitment to Christ and his church, when the doors were open, they were going to walk ...

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Innovative Ministry
Quit Trying To Fix Sunday School – Until You’re Sure You Should Have It At All
We need to ask better questions, then do whatever ministry answers those questions in the best possible way.
Quit Trying To Fix Sunday School – Until You’re Sure You Should Have It At All
Image: Oklahoma Christian University | Flickr

As I talk with pastors and other church leaders, one question that pops up regularly is “it’s getting harder to get people to lead and/or attend our Sunday School classes (or Sunday night services, or prayer meetings, or VBS, or…). How do we fix this problem, ...

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Church & Culture
No, I Don’t Want to 'Shut Down an Atheist in 15 Seconds Flat!'
We need to stop celebrating the Christian shut-down expert. Jesus gave us a better way.
No, I Don’t Want to 'Shut Down an Atheist in 15 Seconds Flat!'
Image: Akhilesh Ravishankar | Flickr

Ah, social media. You beautiful, hideous beast.

One of my least favorite current trends is the growing number of my Christian friends posting memes, blog posts and videos with headlines like these:

  • “Young Student Humiliates Atheist Professor Who Tried To Tell Him God Isn’t Real!”
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Innovative Ministry
Why I Won’t Be The Lead Pastor At Cornerstone Any More – But I'm Not Leaving
Pastoral transition is one of the most dangerous times in a congregation’s life. We need to get better at it.
Why I Won’t Be The Lead Pastor At Cornerstone Any More – But I'm Not Leaving
Image: Karl Vaters and Gary Garcia, by Mari Vega

Hi, I’m Karl, and I’m still a small church pastor. But I won’t be in the first chair much longer.

On Sunday, my long-time youth pastor, Gary Garcia and I presented a plan for him to become the lead pastor of Cornerstone. I will stay on staff at the church, assuming ...

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Christian Unity
When People Leave: The Private Pain Of The Small Church Pastor
Even if the church is large and growing, it can be hard when people leave. But when the church is small, each loss is much more painful.
When People Leave: The Private Pain Of The Small Church Pastor
Image: Marcelo Jorge Vieira | Flickr

It’s hard when people leave a church.

It’s hard to leave. It’s hard being left.

Most who leave don’t make that decision lightly. They deal with some serious pain when they finally make the decision to go. As a pastor I’m more familiar with seeing ...

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Small Church Ministry
Is Your Church Measuring Health Or Size? They’re Not The Same Thing
In the same way that a healthy elephant is bigger than a healthy rabbit, a church's size has nothing to do with its relative health – or relative value.
Is Your Church Measuring Health Or Size? They’re Not The Same Thing
Image: Martin Cathrae | Flickr

What weighs more, 100 pounds of bricks or 100 pounds of feathers?

It’s an old riddle. One that makes you facepalm yourself if you get it wrong.

The riddle works because it plays on our preconceptions and our tendencies to hear what we want to hear. Bricks weigh more than ...

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