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Author Bill Wilson

Bill Wilson is president of the Center for Healthy Churches (CHC) housed at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

How quickly our conversations can go from theoretical to all-too-real. I spent a rewarding Wednesday in Tennessee recently on a retreat with 45 ministers and staff members thinking through the unique and profound pressures of ministry in the 21st century. We agreed that, while it is not an easy task, it is unquestionably a delight […] Read More

One of the pressing concerns of 21st century individual and congregational spiritual life is the question of depth. To be blunt, there isn’t much. Study after study has revealed the sad truth that much of what we call faith and commitment is actually a thin veneer of religious ritualism that wilts at the first hint […] Read More

I’ve made a transition in recent years in the way I think and talk about God’s will. The will of God is a mysterious, elusive and frustrating concept for many people. Too often, we have made it into a game that borders on God playing “keep away” with us. We speak of God’s will as […] Read More

If the clock dictates, your life is consumed with the immediate and pressing issues of the moment. Clock life is focused on short-term results. If the clock rules, you find yourself racing from event to event in a mad scramble to meet expectations and deadlines. When the day ends, you are exhausted and dismayed to […] Read More

It happens nearly every day for me—the inevitable conversation about the demise of organized religious activities, specifically local church attendance and giving. The vultures are gathering to feast on the carcass of the local church. Clergy and lay leaders are wringing their hands. Is there any hope? The sobering statistics and gloomy projections make most […] Read More

As a pastor, I’ve seen my share of tears. They show up in so many places: in hospitals, especially in emergency rooms and delivery rooms, at funeral homes, in the office, at the altar, during worship, while talking quietly in a home. Some days they are predictable and expected, some days they ambush us and […] Read More

I overheard a conversation on a plane recently that reminded me of an important truth about congregational ministry. It was on a Monday morning at the end of a flight out of Atlanta to another city. Monday morning flights out of Atlanta are often dominated by executives and those who are headed to work away […] Read More

Some of the very best days I have known in ministry have revolved around high-functioning staff friendships and relationships. Seeing plans come together, an organization take off or a worship experience exceed expectations is meaningful beyond words. Some of the hardest days in my life have revolved around low-trust staff members and relationships that soured, […] Read More

These were hard conversations. This minister had been dismissed from his church many months ago, but the wounds had refused to heal. Hurtful things were said, friendships were broken, trust was betrayed. He walked away wounded and bitter. Over the ensuing months, we had talked regularly and honestly. Gradually, he could feel some healing beginning, […] Read More

A primary issue we face in creating awareness is the burning platform syndrome. I mentioned this to a congregation’s leadership team in preparation for making a presentation about the state of the church in U.S. culture in the 21st century. One of the congregational leaders asked with genuine curiosity: “What is a burning platform, and […] Read More