• You Know Your Pastor’s Ego Is Out of Control if…

    Unhealthy egos have a way of choking a ministry. They inevitably turn attention toward the minister–and away from the message, away from the Body, and away from God. But unhealthy egos don’t always recognize they’re unhealthy. So, here’s a handy pocket guide to detect a toxic ego. You know your ego is out of control […]

  • The fight to be the best (church)

    As the ash settles from the last election, the citizens enjoy a respite from the political ads. The “I’ll fight for you” ads now turn to battle cries for holding office—until the next election.Fight, fight, fight. But who is the enemy? In America, about half the people generally vote with one party, and half the […]

  • Faith is Not a Subject

    People describe the Christian faith as a “personal relationship with Jesus.” But in the church, how have we gone about encouraging and developing that relationship with Christ? Sadly, our church services, classes and programs rarely pursue that relationship like, well, like a real relationship. It’s not for lack of good intentions. At some point, years […]

  • Lonely kids and the role the church can play

    What’s wrong with young people today? We’ve all heard about the symptomatic things that may characterize today’s teenagers, such as lower church attendance. But what’s underneath these trends? RELATEDWhat if we started all over with church? For many young people, it’s a suffocating sense of loneliness and isolation. “This is the most lonely generation,” said […]

  • Jesus at the pub: outreach opportunity or a dangerous cocktail?

    The controversy divided the congregation. “You want to start a ministry in a pub? Jesus would roll over in his grave!” Aside from already rolling over–and out, I suspect Jesus is just fine with the pub outreach. But I know not everyone agrees. In fact, when people see a pub ministry depicted in our documentary […]

  • What if we started all over with church?

    What if we started over? What if we erased everything we know about the organized church and its activities? RELATEDHere’s what COVID-19 reveals about today’s youth ministry What if we started simply with the scriptures—the Old and New Testaments—and our understanding of people and our present times? What might ministry look like? A few years […]

  • Here’s what COVID-19 reveals about today’s youth ministry

    One age group is hit particularly hard with the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s teenagers. The virus spread just as their long-anticipated milestones were set to unfold–sports championships, prom, spring plays, and commencements. Even worse, they’re sequestered from their friends at the prime time for peer relationships. Youth ministry expert Rick Lawrence said today’s adolescents are exhibiting […]

  • The gender-bending church restrooms

    The mom called the church office: “As you may know, my son now identifies as a female. She is planning to attend your youth group retreat this weekend. I need to know how you plan to accommodate her for restrooms and showers.” This call represents not only an ethical and theological issue, but a looming […]

  • For those who flunk the Bible quiz

    One church leader described it as “scandalous.” He’s referring to Americans’ knowledge of Bible content. It’s true that the average American would not fare well on a Bible quiz. Many cannot name the four gospels, or more than two or three of the disciples, or many of the 10 Commandments. Some believe Sodom and Gomorrah […]

  • When the Coronachurch crowd is no longer cool

    The American church faces an upset like never before. The insidious coronavirus has slammed shut church doors–locking out the faithful from gathered worship. The effects may be long-lasting. For smaller churches already dealing with offering plate malnutrition, existing week to week to make payroll, this crisis may be their economic tipping point. Their doors may […]

  • Will multi-site churches work for the next generation?

    For some big churches, looking to get bigger, the multi-site model seems to be working for them. For others, not so much. Though they take different shapes, multi-site churches usually involve an original location that replicates itself in other locations, using ditto branding, styles, and procedures. The main high-profile preacher is typically beamed to satellite […]

  • Social outrage and the church

    Our society is deeply divided–cast into political, racial and economic schisms. But what about the church? Is the church today an agent of harmony–or division? Some Christians eagerly foment discord and even hatred toward those they oppose. Mirroring today’s shout fests on cable news, some in the Christian community seem determined to loudly declare their […]