The Stuff of Life

The Stuff of Life

Recently I found a new call and made the big move from Tennessee all the way to California.

I have spent weeks unpacking boxes of books and personal mementoes, each time asking myself how I could have acquired so much…

Thriving Congregations Part 2: Characteristics of a Thriving Congregation

NOTE: Columbia seminary’s Center for Lifelong Learning has launched its Lilly-funded Thriving Congregations program, “reKindle: A Congregational Development Initiative.” Selected congregations will be awarded grants of up to $15,000 to execute a thriving congregation initiative in their ministry context. Applications…

Thriving Congregations. Part 1: Challenges to Becoming and Sustaining A Thriving Congregation

NOTE: Columbia seminary’s Center for Lifelong Learning has launched its Lilly-funded Thriving Congregations program, “reKindle: A Congregational Development Initiative.” Selected congregations will be awarded grants of up to $15,000 to execute a thriving congregation initiative in their ministry context. Applications…

rekindle interview: “My hope is that congregations receive encouragement, rest, hope, courage, and collegial wisdom”

Columbia Theological Seminary recently received a grant of $969,528 from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish the “reKindle: Congregational Development in a Post COVID-19 Era” program through its Center for Lifelong Learning.  

    

The reKindle Impact Grant will help realize the goal of the Thriving…

The Help You Never Knew You Needed

It was sometime in the early 2000s that I was searching the interwebs for some ministry ideas and I ran across this thing called S3, a grant offered by the Center for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary.

Being on…

Help your church members grow spiritually this year

A student in one of my online classes asked a great question:

How do I encourage members to reflect and think theologically?

I’m having a hard time coming up with an example of what that would even look like in…

CHURCH SIZE AND CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

There are many factors that influence Christian education programming in congregations.

Two of those factors are staff leadership and church size.

While we may desire otherwise the fact is that congregations are highly dependent on program staff for leadership, development,…

Stress and Anxiety in the Church

Managing Stress and Anxiety in the Church

Stress and anxiety have never been higher – in our country, in our families and in our churches.

There is always stress in our lives and churches, but today’s environment makes soaring anxiety…

Love Those Classics

Every once in a while, at my former church, we’d break out the old (and I mean old) hymnbooks for a Wednesday evening hymn sing.

People would call out the numbers of their favorite hymns to the song leader and…

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…

Save Your Masks, and Your Stories

Recently, the New York Times published an article about how museum curators are already collecting artifacts from this year that they will use to tell the stories of what happened: the pandemic, the struggle against racist violence, the cracks in…

Two Dilemmas Facing Churches Today

A friend took me out to lunch recently. He’s a retired pastor, former seminary professor, former interim minister, and currently a part-time hospice chaplain. Ministry offers varied vocational outlets, so that profile is not that unusual.

 

As two vocational…

Goals vs. Magical Thinking

In my consultations I often have to help folks think through what is a realistic goal and what is aspirational, or, as I call it, “magical thinking.” Their ideas for a goal are often fuzzy (“more,” “better”). People consistently overreach…

The Number 1 Cause of Clergy-Congregation Conflict May Not be What You Think

When asked what the number one issue is that causes clergy-congregation conflict (often leading to a forced termination) one can guess several: money, theology, or leadership style for example. Those are good guesses, but they may not be the most…

Eight Ways to Kill an Organization

I’ve done enough consultations long enough and studied organizations carefully enough to recognize a pattern in some organizations. I refer here to those whose organizations, some young, some old, that ended their institutional lifespan. Though many were surprised by the…

Top