What is the Path to Human Freedom? (It’s Not What You Think It Is)


Freedom is a big deal in our culture—the founding virtue of American society—despite the fact that most of us have a naïve understanding of what we mean when we claim to be free. Freedom is typically defined as self-determination; no limits. We are free to do whatever we want to do, so long as we [Read More...]

How does the word Christian modify the word Leader?

shrink blog pic.001

Nearly every pastor or ministry leader I’ve ever met operates under the same underlying assumption that their main job is to make their church or ministry grow. This assumption is typically not a conscious thought, although it is in many cases. The assumption is highly operative, and uncritically accepted, even though if you asked them about [Read More...]

5 Reasons Your Church Should Be Smaller

5 reasons.001

This was first published at Crosswalk.com, so please stop by and visit the original post. For years it has bothered me that, although the majority of churches in America have fewer than 300 people, most church leadership advice comes from pastors of huge churches. The assumption that bigger is better pervades the church leadership culture. What if [Read More...]

Hauerwas and… Mohler? Notes From An Unlikely Conversation

hauerwas mohler

This has to be one of the more unlikely conversations I’ve ever heard between to men I have come to view quite differently over the years. I grew up a Southern Baptist in the midst of a sweet little church in Kansas whose practices far exceeded their own theology. So Al Mohler–as the author and [Read More...]

This Papal Conclave Will Not Address the Single Most Important Issue: Celibacy


The issues facing the Roman Catholic Church are daunting and well documented: decades of sexual abuse aided and abetted by irresponsible cover-ups, moral and leadership failures, financial corruption, the role of women (or lack thereof), redefining the priesthood, homosexuality, gay marriage, birth control, shrinkage in West, growth in the South, and the list goes on. [Read More...]

Why Do We Keep Choosing Narcissistic Leaders?

I read an interesting article today from the Harvard Business Review about the rash of high profile leaders resigning because of extra-marital affairs. As an evangelical Christian, my antenna is pretty high for narcissistic leadership – it has long been our stock in trade. The comparison is made easier when evangelicals like Pat Robertson make [Read More...]

Tuesdays with Walter Part 06 – The Language of Leadership is Theological

tuesdays with walter

I’m in the midst of a long term experiment with the staff at Redemption Church where I pastor. Over the past few decades it has become popular for the typical church staff to study leadership books. Evangelical pastors in our society are expected not only to be theologians, preachers, and pastors, but they are expected [Read More...]

Tuesdays With Walter Part 05 – Church Leaders are Masters of Implementation Without Imagination

This is Part 05 of a series on  Walter Brueggemann’s The Prophetic Imagination. It is an attempt to show how theological works are great sources for leadership reflection. If you want to catch up here are links to: Part 01, Part 02, Part 03, Part 04 Part 05: What Walter Brueggemann envisions for a prophetic [Read More...]

Tuesdays With Walter Part 03: Leadership Reflections from Walter Brueggemann’s The Prophetic Imagination

tuesdays with walter

Review of Chapter one: Reality: We have been enculturated, all of us – claimed by our culture and traditioned by it. Even for the church, the culture is our tradition. Cause: Why are we enculturated? Because we have abandoned the Christian tradition, and thus experience a full (or nearly so), loss of Christian identity (we [Read More...]

Tuesdays with Walter Part 01 – Leading A Church that is More American than Christian

tuesdays with walter

We have a strange habit on the staff of Redemption Church where I pastor. Instead of reading from leadership books, we read about theology and scripture, so we can be formed by a story and tradition untainted by contemporary church leadership paradigms. Right now we are reading Walter Brueggemann’s classic work The Prophetic Imagination. Walter [Read More...]