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Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between

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Starting Small…Staying Small (Feature Friday 09/13/19)

Like every leader, I see growth as a good thing. I want the areas I lead to grow. I desire to see an upward and to the right trend year over year. However, that is not always reality. There are many causes for why organisms and organizations don’t grow, but many of those obstacles to growth can be removed.

While getting bigger is not intrinsically better, if I, as a church leader, am going to reach a community, growth is a healthy desire. Therefore, I must pay attention to factors that can not merely cause growth, but also those that may hinder growth. This is what Carey Nieuwhof’s article “Why Most Churches That Start Small…Stay Small.”

Even if you are not a church leader, Nieuwhof covers realities that apply to any organization and one’s that every leader to should be aware and attentive to. As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day. Enjoy the article and I’d love to hear your feedback or response in the comments below!

Photo by Alem Omerovic on Unsplash

 

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Feature Friday (07/12/19)

It happens every day to everyone. There is not a person on the planet who does not encounter this at some level every day of the year. Even those who seek to avoid it, deal with it. This is part of being human. It’s a normal aspect of relationships. What is it…

Conflict! There is no way to avoid it in our world. The fact is whenever you get two or more people in close proximity (or even not so close proximity) with one another, conflict is bound to ensue. While we could go into all the reasons conflict exists, Kevin Fontenot writes a great article about conflict resolution.

If you are an aspiring leader, especially a church leader, you may be thinking, “Conflict? That should not exist if the leader is doing her job, especially within the church”. But anyone who has been around people, especially church people will affirm that you need to know these “Keys for Conflict Resolution in the Church“.

Check out the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by jean wimmerlin on Unsplash

Feature Friday (07/05/19)

It is one of the most epic stories of all time. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien is one of the best selling stories and highest revenue gaining movie series ever. But there is one aspect to this story I find peculiar – much of the story is trying to have a kingdom without a king.

Unfortunately this is one reality I believe we all, as humans, wrestle with ourselves. Doug Boerema writes an excellent article about this struggle in his article “The Kingdom without the King“.

There is a kingdom we all long to see become reality and want so much, but that kingdom has a King as well. However, far too often we ignore the King and forfeit the kingdom.

Enjoy the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (04/12/19)

It was a loud clank. I heard it, but after looking in the rearview mirror quickly dismissed it as unrelated to my car. Then I heard the distinct sound of metal dragging. It was then that I noticed sparks flying from behind my passenger rear tire. That was when I realized what had happened.

A rusted muffler bracket finally gave way, dropping the 8-foot exhaust pipe from under my car to drag on the ground as I drove my son to school. I did not expect to be on my back under my car at 7:45am that morning, trying to MacGyver my muffler back into place until I could get it to my mechanic. The reality was not one I wanted, but it should have been one I saw coming. The warning signs were visible for the past few weeks. I just chose to ignore them.

The same experience can be had in regards to many areas of life. An event happens we “didn’t see coming”, but it is because we ignored or missed all the warning signs. Leadership of any kind is no different, especially in the church. If the mission of the church is to make disciples (and it is – Matthew 28:19-20) and we don’t see that happening, maybe it is because we have missed “The Signs You May Have a Bad Disciple-Making Strategy.”

Warning signs are meant to indicate a problem to us. Just like the rusted clank, sparks, and sounds of my early morning drive. Yet too often we ignore those indicators because it is just easier to do so. But the realization soon hits, that we should have paid attention and addressed those warning signs, not ignored them. And when what is at stake is the mission of the church – we need to take note and do so early and often.

That is why I love Mark Howell’s “5 Signs” in helping us recognize a bad culture within a church. Check it out and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Alexandru G. STAVRICĂ on Unsplash

Feature Friday (03/15/19)

Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Peter Drucker is quoted on this statement often. Honestly, I love and hate the quote. Not necessarily because of the quote itself, but because of how frequently it is used, yet infrequently it is lived out. As someone who is constantly trying to grow as a leader (yet failing at it every day), I have realized the importance of culture, yet have so much to learn on how to create or change it.

Culture is one of those curious and nebulous words that packs so much punch, but we often don’t know why. Culture is kind of like love – it’s hard to define and completely wrap the idea up in a few words, yet we know it when we see it. We know when we have been a part of a good family or culture. We equally know when we have been a part of a bad family or work culture. And yet as a leader, I am finding it more and more difficult to put into words how to create, change, and shape the culture in which I find myself and lead.

Into this void steps Vanderbloemen and an article titled “20 Proven Ways to Improve Your Church Staff Culture“. Don’t be fooled, while Vanderbloemen aims the article at shaping church staff culture, the principles are transferable to business, community, or even family living. All you have to do is simply change the nouns a bit.

So enjoy the article, change your culture for the better, and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Gabriel Gurrola on Unsplash

Feature Friday (03/08/19)

Made in China. It seems that most things are made in China these days. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against China. But it does appear that most of the things I have bought that say “made in China” seem to be made, well, rather cheaply. They bend, rip, tear, or break easily. They just don’t seem to measure up to other robust products. But I guess that is what you get when something is cheap…a cheap reality.

The same can be said for things in the church world. If all you want is a one-hour a week experience to check a box or “feel closer to God”, then you can find it. Unfortunately, you can find it far too easily in the American church. What is the cause of this “cheap” reality? While the contributing factors are many there is at least one that I believe adds to the cheapness. A cheap understanding of membership.

Stephen Kneale writes a powerful article where he states, “since we made membership a more stringent affair, we have found it has done nothing but increase the desire of people to join.” His point, people will see membership as whatever you make it out to be as a leader. Stephen’s challenge is this, “Make Your Membership Count for Something“.

Don’t settle for the cheap “as seen on TV” stuff this weekend. Spend the time, energy, and effort to be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Aidan Bartos on Unsplash

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