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When we were small children, the future was simply tomorrow. While it seemed distant, it was only a good night’s sleep away. Later, the future turned into dreams: What will you be when you grow up? The future felt like it was eons away but beckoned us with possibility. In these periods of our lives, […] Read More

Underestimating the work involved in leading deep change is the most common mistake leaders make when leading congregations toward positive, life-giving, mission-congruent change. The primary expression of this classic mistake tends to be launching our change processes too soon. Before the congregational growth environment is ready, we initiate change, followed by great frustration when the […] Read More

Building a congregation’s life around a clear vision and purpose is an easy thing to believe in. Aligning that purpose with biblical teaching and witness is an agreeable notion. I seldom encounter a leader or leadership group who resists the idea that the path toward a vibrant and engaging congregation is to embody God’s mission […] Read More

I am a proponent of strong pastoral leadership. I don’t believe in dictatorial, controlling leadership, but I do believe one of the reasons why churches struggle today is because of a lack of strong leadership from pastors. I believe in discerning God’s vision for the church, setting goals to enable that vision to be achieved […] Read More

A friend recently had surgery and we wanted to send flowers as she recuperated. My wife, Kathy, asked: “What do you think? A bouquet of flowers or a plant?” Knowing this friend has a new house and could later use the plant in the landscape, we decided on a beautiful azalea, in the hopes that […] Read More

GPS is a wonderful invention. All one has to do is either type in (or speak) a destination, and step-by-step directions are provided to get there. I must say, however, that I often pull up an overview map that shows me the “big picture” of how I will get there as well as some perspective […] Read More

I returned to my home state of West Virginia recently to conduct a funeral for a distant relative. Following the service at the funeral home, we drove to the cemetery in a procession. After arriving, I walked to the back of the hearse where I joined the funeral director and six pallbearers I did not […] Read More

Some people like to look back at this time of the year and note all the things they accomplished in the previous year. If they stayed busy and had some measure of success, the year is considered successful. I think it’s better to measure our activity by how well it enabled us to achieve our […] Read More

Billions of dollars are spent annually on vehicle technology that drivers never use. J.D. Power and Associates released a report last week about technology use in cars, explaining that today’s luxury cars are packed to overflowing with every connected gadget automakers can dream up. Yet car owners aren’t using much of the new technology, for […] Read More

It is not always easy for churches to start questioning their life together. Often what is happening is important and might have strong support. The decision of whether or not to review what has been going on is sometimes painful. On the other hand, sometimes it has all become a bit of a strain. Volunteers […] Read More