Church R Us

Within a 30-40 minute drive of my home, there are at least 3 non-denominational evangelical megachurches with multiple sites. (If you're unfamiliar with the concept of multi-site churches, you can learn more here or here.) Detractors use words like "McChurch" or "Microdenomination" to describe these efforts, while champions of these plural congregations celebrate the big church/small church organizational benefits inherent in their franchise structure. What's interesting about the multi-site … [Read more...]

Hey writers!

If you're a writer living within driving distance of Chicago, here's something just for you:I'm a part of the team coordinating this year's 14th annual Karitos, the Christian Arts conference to be held July 31-August 2 in Bolingbrook, IL. Last year, nearly 500 people attended Karitos, and attended workshops taught by expert instructors in creative disciplines including literary arts, dance, vocal performance, the music business and worship. You can learn more about the conference here.This year, … [Read more...]

My brain is fellowshipping with…

...these recent reads:Writing Tides: Finding Grace and Growth Through Writing by Kent Ira Groff(Because I need an occasional writing book to push me in new directions as a scribe)11 Indispensible Relationships You Can't Be Without by Len Sweet(Because Len Sweet is a master of synthesis, a good thinker, and sees the world in fresh ways. The title makes it sound like a John Maxwell book, but thankfully, its not)Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson(Because I'll try fiction from time to time, especially if … [Read more...]

Marking time

At the end of this month, it'll be four years since we left WI. Depending on how you look at it, it was either a hasty departure (our house sold one day after hitting the MLS listings) or a long time coming (we lived there for 9 challenging years - and those years were shaped by our leadership roles in 2 wildly different congregations). We initially considered trying to return to Chicago in 2000, but chose to stay in order to serve at the second church. Some amazing things were happening there, … [Read more...]

Gather up the fragments

I was reading John's account of how Jesus turned the ancient equivalent of a Fish McNugget Happy Meal (sans the movie-themed toy) into a party for 5000 men, plus the women and children accompanying them.Today I was struck by these verses:"When they were filled, He said to His disciples, 'Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost.'So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten." - John … [Read more...]

I would read anything written by ________

I received a survey from the editorial team at this magazine in the mail yesterday. They were looking for information about my response to the most current issue, as well as seeking to obtain some general feedback about both the magazine and current evangelical topography. One question I particularly liked was the one where they asked me to fill in the blank:"I would read anything written by _________" I assumed they meant living authors, since the survey came from a magazine's editorial team. I … [Read more...]

Waiting’s soundtrack

"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." - Zeph. 3:17Two days ago while I was at work, I got this phone call from my son Ben. He told me he wasn't feeling right, as in "I'm not feeling right and I think I need to go to the ER". In the last year, this kid has had a miserable case of H.Pylori and an ongoing battle with a hiatal hernia and GERD. He's used to feeling lousy, but … [Read more...]