On the Importance of Disappointing Your Congregation: Now up at HuffPo

  A version of the recent post “On the Importance of Disappointing Your Congregation” is now up at The Huffington Post. I have been grateful as I watch the numbers grow on the original post here at Paperback Theology. I think the appetite for the ideas presented in this article should be seen as a willingness on the part [Read More…]

Is Church Membership Still Relevant?

In a world in which a premium is placed on having what we want, when we want it… In a society in which we our constantly told that every need can be met, and every problem can be solved… In a culture in which we are bombarded with images of false perfection and, static idealism… [Read More…]

Sabermetrics and John the Baptist: A Sermon for Advent

In 1971 a Lawrence man named Bill James was the last person from the state of Kansas to be sent to fight in Vietnam. He spent 2 years overseas then came back to Lawrence to finish college at KU. By 1975 he had degrees in English, Economics, Education, but his passion was baseball, & he [Read More…]

Sneak Peek at the Missional Leadership & Discipleship Course Next Semester at NTS

The mission of God is unmanageable. This is where the conversation about missional leadership begins. When it comes to the kingdom of God, we cannot control outcomes with even the most ingenious models, techniques, and strategies. God is going to do what God is going to do with the church, and God can never be controlled or [Read More…]

J.R. Woodward Engages With Shrink at the V3 Blog Today

I am excited to see that J.R. Woodward at V3 Church Planting Movement is engaging with Shrink on his blog today. You can read the full article at his site. J.R. is crashing together themes from Shrink, Slow Church, and the recent attention given to Amazon.com’s work/leadership culture. It’s a pretty interesting read. Here’s a quick excerpt: Too [Read More…]

How Limits Lead to Freedom, a Practical Exercise: The Purge

Yesterday I wrote a post about what makes for human freedom. Most of us uncritically believe that freedom is about a lack of constraint. Limits are something to be thrown off and left behind. Freedom, we’ve been taught, is about self-determination; no limits. We should be free to do whatever we want, so long as we don’t impede other people’s [Read More…]

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…]

New Shrink Video Releases Today: A Creative Introduction

Author readings are all over youtube.com, but I’ve never seen an author take any care with the medium–make any kind of creative investment in them. I have long thought author reading videos could have value beyond their use as a promotional tool. They could exist as a creative way to experience the author’s voice first [Read More…]

Shrink On Sale for $4.99 Now thru April 5th

The most powerful reason the church is in decline in North America is that the church’s way of being in the world does not represent a genuine alternative to mainstream society. The church leadership conversation has been coopted by our culture. When the church becomes an agent of the culture, indistinguishable in most ways from [Read More…]

5 Reasons Your Church Should Be Smaller

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…]