The look of bewilderment and hurt in my friend's eyes caught me off guard as we ate lunch together last April.
It was just after Easter, yet that look still remains vivid in my memory five months later. And our conversation helps illustrate the spirit and purpose behind "Off the Agenda," the new blog we've launched here at Building Church Leaders.
I had just asked my friend, a veteran pastor leading a small congregation, what one thing was keeping him up at night. I didn't get the usual type of response, such as dealing with a board fight or a struggle to increase members' giving. Instead, he looked down toward the table for a moment, shifted in his seat, and took a deep breath.
"Well," he said quietly, the look quickly setting into his eyes. "I'm really struggling with how we as a church family can't seem to integrate church life into all aspects of our life."
My friend - we'll call him Gary - then delivered a lengthy explanation, but here was the general order of events: The previous week ...1