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Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between

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The First Two Minutes Matter Most (Feature Friday 12/13/19)

Every weekend it happens. They drive into the parking lot, get out of their cars and head for the entrance. As they approach the door they may be greeted by a smiling face or not greeted at all. Then they will have to endure walking through a foyer where they know absolutely no one. Surrounded by strangers, in a strange land, they must find their way to where the service will be held. This is when the real fun begins.

A welcome will be given, by someone they do not know. Songs will be sung they likely have never heard before. Another person will get up and possibly ask them for money. The lead communicator will then speak at them for the next 25+ minutes and likely about things they have heard very little about ever before. Then another song they don’t know and a closing remark. Then it happens…they find themselves in a room full of strangers far from the exit and unsure what to do.

This is the moment. This is where, as Tim Challies puts it, “The First Two Minutes Matter Most“. People visit churches for the first time every week. It is a strange, unique, experience, but it doesn’t have to be a bad one.

Enjoy the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day and make the most of the first two minutes after the service.

Photo by Agê Barros on Unsplash

Make Sundays Uncomfortable (Feature Friday 11/08/19)

“I’ll meet you there a little bit after 9AM”, your friend tells you as they hang up the phone and text you the address. You leave your house slightly before 9 and arrive at the address right at 9:10AM. You’ve never been here before. You’re not even sure you could get out of there without GPS. You are not quite sure which door is the main entrance. And the worse part is your friend is nowhere to be seen and not answering your texts. So now you enter a place that is completely unfamiliar, knowing absolutely no one, and having no clue where to go or what to do. How do you feel?

Take that feeling and lock it into your memory like Rapunzel’s wicked step-mother locked her up in the tower. Why you ask. Because that is the feeling so many people have when they walk into a church for the first time every weekend. If people are left to those feelings for long, it is unlikely they will remain at church, let alone return ever again. In my mind, this is an emergency. Thus we need to be willing to “Make Sunday Mornings Uncomfortable“.

We need to make Sunday Mornings uncomfortable for us, not our guests. However, too often we don’t want to be uncomfortable but are ok with others being uncomfortable for our sake. It should not be this way. So if you are heading to church this weekend, I challenge you to be uncomfortable. It may be exactly what someone else needs from you.

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

Photo by Isaac Mehegan on Unsplash

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

 

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

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