Category: The Local Church

  • Church As A Lazy River: A Short

    The church is like a lazy river. There are two things here: First, people can step away from the church for a while, and like the river that runs around the water park, the church keeps moving. This can be hard at times, and even sad, watching people exit the flow of parish life. Second, […]

  • The Pastoral Impulse To Save The Church

    I don’t remember thinking that much about the future of the church in America when I started out in pastoral work, but lately I have started to wonder. Not in a defeatist kind of way, but with a genuine curiosity about what’s going on. What we know: Attendance and engagement are down Confidence in the […]

  • Why We Observe Ash Wednesday

    A few weeks ago I was asked to participate in an interview about Independent Christian Churches who observe Ash Wednesday and Lent. The facilitator, Laura Hicks Hardy of Emmanuel Christian Seminary (Johnson City, TN), asked some great questions of each of us, portions of which were quoted in her subsequent article here. I have posted […]

  • Top 5 Mistakes I Made In Youth Ministry

    For 13 years I worked as a youth pastor in the local church. That’s 13 graduations. It was more than enough time to have learned all sorts of things about youth ministry, and about myself. When I look back on those years, my memories are mostly positive. But there are also memories of things I […]

  • Maundy Thursday Resource

    Today is Maundy Thursday. It is a day when Christians across the world remember the Passover meal Jesus shared with his disciples on the night before he died, a last supper among friends. We have prepared a simple resource to be used in an at-home communion setting. Simply gather together some bread and wine or […]

  • The Easter sermon struggle. Some ideas.

    Easter is coming. And this year, like every year before it, will have its share of stress and pressure hanging over the pastor’s desk as she struggles to build a capable sermon for the most holiest of days on the Christian calendar. Above all else, Christianity is a resurrection movement. When we speak about the […]

  • The church has a PR problem and there’s (almost) nothing you can do about it

    First, a confession: I know almost nothing about the QAnon community. I know it’s a conspiratorial group that, among other things, appropriates Jesus within its organizational ethos, but that’s about all I know. Will I take the time to learn more about it? Probably not. Why? Three reasons: (1) there are already too many religio-political […]