Tips for Effective Preaching

Tips for Effective Preaching

Preaching is tough in the best of times.

When faced with a global pandemic, political uncertainty, environmental catastrophes spurred by climate change, and economic disparity between the rich and the poor at an all-time high, preaching can feel near impossible.

Unfortunately, learning is not an outcome of teaching

The counter-intuitive notion that learning is not an outcome of teaching can be a challenging concept.

This is natural, for several reasons.

First, due to our experiences, we tend to naturally associate teaching with learning.

Second, despite the logical connection…

Three stewardship tasks you should be doing right now

Do you find yourself worrying about what’s going to happen with your church’s budget post-COVID?

I’ve talked to many pastors who have this concern, even if giving is level or even increased in the short term.

Whatever the situation in…

TCI@CTS new virtual format

Decatur, GA— The Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) at Columbia Theological Seminary announces an all-virtual format for the 2021 Cohort of TCI@CTS, The Coaching Institute at Columbia Theological Seminary. This is the third year that the CLL has offered this…

New logo for Columbia Theological Seminary

Adapt and Thrive Through Coaching 

Our world is in crisis.

COVID-19 has left unprecedented challenges in its wake for leaders and organizations.

Sheltering-in-place, social distancing, and historic unemployment have become our current realities.

Adapting to the “new normal” requires retooling.  

Coaching is a great…

The Body of Christ and Our Bodies 

It was during another public health crisis, some years back, that a church friend walked into a meeting wearing a button that said, “The body of Christ has AIDS.”

Those words shocked and moved and inspired me. 

I realized how important it was…

Abuelo… en cuarentena

As the congregation moved from Mikell Chapel to the post-quinceañera reception, the young woman whose service we had just celebrated said to me, “Padre Bill, estás entre mis abuelos,” or, “Father Bill, now you are among my grandfathers.” 

Each week I can be found on the Cathedral Close…

Soul Tending: An Exploration of Practices for Spiritual Nourishment and Growth

We have entered into an unusual and deeply challenging season in the life of the world.

Whether we wanted to go there or not, we are now in many ways wandering this wilderness together and apart.

Many of us are…

Talking Politics During Turbulent Times Online Conference

The Center for Lifelong Learning announces sponsors and workshops for Talking Politics During Turbulent Times Online Conference.


Decatur, GA— Register now for Talking Politics During Turbulent Times hosted by the Center for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary on…

Depression and Ministry: When a Good Soul Feels Bad

Washington psychiatrist Sheldon Kopp had a knack for finding great titles for good books.

He once wrote a book entitled The Blues Ain’t Nothin’ But a Good Soul Feelin’ Bad.

I don’t remember much about the book, but I sure…

What you should know about Effective Learning groups

We have all experienced effective and non-effective learning groups.

Why is it that some are effective and others are not?

I would argue that learning experiences that provide more time for critical reflection and dialogue result in more effective learning.

Pastors, their families and best practices

The paradox is that if we want our families to be healthy, balanced and whole, then we need to work on ourselves.

How do I bring my best self to my family?

If I say that something is important to…

The Story of Us

The internet didn’t exist when I was growing up.

I belong to the final generation who had to use card catalogs to look up books and microfiche.

Wild, I know!

I remember going to the public library a few times…

What are the basic functions of a congregational educator?

I had an interesting discussion with a layperson who has just accepted the call to lead her congregation’s Christian education ministries.

She was feeling a bit overwhelmed (close to panic, actually) as she started to get a grasp of the…


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I have learned many new technology skills during this time of physical isolation and virtual ministry.

I’m sure you have, too.

I’ve also discovered that I could reach…

Kathy Dawson and her handmade puppet Zeb.