Who Should Lead Your Church’s Social Media Ministry

I hear it all the time when church folks offer social media advice to one another, Get one of the youth to run the church’s social media ministry. I get it. Those of us who trend a little older have it emblazoned across our foreheads – no thanks to many of the cultural narratives – [Read More…]

Ten Questions to Ask When Seeking Sermon Feedback

This post was reposted from my column on www.WorkingPreacher.com. A few weeks ago I had the privilege of preaching at the congregation where my family and I currently worship. Unlike when I guest preach in other locations, where I can pose big-picture questions and take on general church issues, this church is one where I know the context and [Read More…]

No One Likes to be Licked by Surprise

Last week I was hanging out at one of my “offices” AKA a local coffee shop when this guy walked in with this dog on-leash and trailing closely behind. Now I am not a huge “Don’t bring your dog into food establishments!” kind of guy, but I do think some of us dog owners might be better [Read More…]

An Open Letter to Pastors About the Dangers of Using Social Media

UPDATE 10.11.12: Here is a very thoughtful response from David Hansen as he offers a caution about the letter itself. Thanks David for the graceful push-back and call for even more nuance, Get Out of the Garage. Dear Pastors, Apologies if this post seems less than fully baked, but what I am about to try [Read More…]

25 Questions to Ask a Pastor Search Committee

UPDATED 10.04.12: People have offered some great additional questions which I have added below in BOLD ITALICIZED TEAL. Of course there is something to be said about challenging the very notion of being “the” pastor of any congregation, but there are many who find great meaning and a deep calling to serve in the capacity as Pastor. [Read More…]

FREE eBOOK: 54 Leaders Under 50 Share 50+ Ideas to Revitalize Your Congregation

This morning I received a note announcing the release of a new FREE eBook from Luther Seminary and their Lilly Foundation funded Vibrant Congregations Project. I have not read it yet, but just by walking through the list of contributors, my guess is that everyone should be able to find SOMETHING useful. While this combination of names may [Read More…]

Why Are Some Christians Such Losers?

Whenever I talk about Christianity and the issues, passions and positions that so many Christians hold, someone inevitably lobs the “Why do you bother? What you are doing doesn’t make any difference!” argument into the mix. This comes both from people of faith who have been burned-out by living what feels like a life of futility as well as [Read More…]

A Gift of Perspective in Discerning God’s Call

As many of you know, I left full-time ministry about 18 months ago after helping to start a church here in San Francisco. The impetus for my leaving had nothing to with some scandal or financial collapse, but rather about “call” and my own need to discern where God was leading me in ministry. The [Read More…]

The Faithful Way to Sing to God? Mine.

On more than one occasion I have heard praise music called “7/11 music,” the same seven words sung eleven times. Because I tend to run in mainline church circles, this commentary is often served with a hearty serving of condescension and a generous side of superiority. After all, all that silly “praise” music is theologically [Read More…]

On this September 11th – a Hymn and a Prayer

It is hard to believe that is has been 11 years since that surreal morning when the world’s attention was focused on the attack on the United States. Watching the looping images of planes flying into the World Trade Center, the attempts at trying to understand what was happening and the subsequent turmoil that as arguably altered the [Read More…]