The SHIFT from Hostility to Hospitality Can Change the World

2014.09.07 Shift 02.001

When I hear the word hospitality, I immediately think of the hotel industry. The word has many associations in our society. Good service at your favorite restaurant, friends for dinner, your mom or grandmother, hospitality can mean many things to us. But I don’t think I realized until seminary that it holds a very specific theological [Read More...]

Shrink by Tim Suttle (book trailer)

book trailer screenshot

I believe in the church maybe more than I believe in any other thing in this world. The church is the surest sign I know of that God loves everything he’s created; that God is not done with the world. The church is the singular reality bearing faithful witness to the truth that God has [Read More...]

Monday Morning Confessional


I confess that it felt like we had a great service at Redemption Church yesterday, and then things got a little weird. At some point the plumbing backed up and the toilets became unusable. We had to shut down all of the bathrooms and call a plumber. Luckily it happened toward the end of the morning, so the [Read More...]

The Rare Leadership Virtue of Patience


“The movement that Jesus begins is constituted by people who believe that they have all the time in the world, made possible by God’s patience, to challenge the world’s impatient violence by cross and resurrection.” — Stanley Hauerwas   I have a theory that at least half of what passes for leadership in the context of churches [Read More...]

Together Like Priests: How a Bilingual Worship Service Made Us All Smell Better…


Every Sunday as we are dismissing our church service, another congregation is just arriving. Via de Esperanza is a wonderful Spanish-speaking congregation with whom we share a worship space each week. It has been one of the real joys of my ministry life to have Via worshipping in this building, hopefully feeling more and more at [Read More...]

Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church-Growth Culture – Now Available Wherever Books are Sold

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Our society is fascinated with success. The American story is about bigger, better, higher, stronger, and faster. Don’t talk about limits, talk about results; talk about the latest models, strategies, and techniques that will lead us to greatness. This kind of leadership is pragmatic. It asks only one question: “What works?” That’s the American story. That’s [Read More...]

Monday Morning Confessional

I confess that Shrink is set to release tomorrow. So I’m probably going to talk a lot about ideas from the book in the coming months. But before I get to that, I have a few acknowledgments to make. In today’s confessional, I feel compelled to say:     To the pastors of small churches everywhere: I’ve [Read More...]

Distractions Make Us Stupid


I was sitting in a restaurant with a few friends recently, and every so often a cell phone would emit this short whistle tone. You may have heard this alert, it’s the classic tweet alert on the iPhone–an unmistakable tone that says, “Over here.” That little whistle could be the global symbol for distraction. We live distracted lives. For better [Read More...]

SHIFT: from loneliness to solitude

2014.08.24 Shift 01.001

This is the sermon I preached last week at Redemption Church. If you are a pastor, feel free to copy and steal anything that helps you with your sermon. Thanks goes out to Isaac Anderson who allowed me to steal some of his exegesis and commentary on 1 Kings 19.  __________________________________________________________ 2014.08.24 – SHIFT 1 [Read More...]

Your Life is Like Fox News: Reality Distortion Fields & Why Self-Deception is Inevitable

“I’m a great believer in self-deception. If you asked me what makes the world go round, I would say self-deception. Self deception allows us to create a consistent narrative for ourselves that we actually believe. I’m not saying that the truth doesn’t matter. It does. But self-deception is how we survive” Errol Morris, documentary filmmaker, [Read More...]