From the outside, Church Planting seems sexy.

You don’t have to deal with stuffy old churches. You can be creative and share the gospel with people who might otherwise be ignored.

Every week I hear about a new church planting conference or training organization. More and more individuals are considering “church planting” a realistic and important direction for their life. More churches and denominations are getting into the game.

I believe that Church Planting is so vitally important that in 10 years, it may be the only thing we have left. It’s also hard work. In fact, I can’t think of a single book, resource or speaker who doesn’t say “this is the hardest thing you’ll ever do.” The fact is that forming a community of Jesus followers in a certain time and place is full of normal, day-in and day-out realities, just like any other vocation.

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Church Planting is also a long game. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Those of us who embrace this vocation need to be prepared for five unsexy details. Continue Reading…

Everywhere we look, we see tear gas, beheadings and disease.

Sometimes we respond by spouting our opinion. Often we go as far telling people what they are doing wrong. Or we get hyped up and angry about something that isn’t really about us.

It’s ironic to say this on a blog, a tool created to broadcast opinions, but I think that it’s okay to admit that we don’t always have anything helpful to say on a topic.

Moreover, it’s okay to be speechless about the difficulties others are experiencing.

The great lie of the social media is that if you share an opinion, you’ve helped somehow. But with increasingly I’m starting to wonder if “having something to say” is making the problem worse.

So how do we respond to hatred, disaster and brokenness?

egypt_orders_25mln_worth_of_teargas_from_us_despite_plunging_economy.si Continue Reading…

The sting of Robin Williams’ death strikes in a sore place in the cultural subconscious next to the memories of Phillip Seymore Hoffman and Mitch Hedberg.

All death is tragic. Suicide especially.

The death of Robin casts a particular shadow on those of my generation. Aladdin and Hook are the stories of our childhood. Patch Adams, Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting taught us how to grow up.

Depression is tragic. When it affects someone like Robin, we are all hurt.

Depression is also normal, natural and must be responded to within the church.

We can’t eliminate depression or suicide. But we can, and we must, become a refuge for those who experience it.

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Let’s admit we have a problem

Depression has been a lifelong companion for me. It makes up some of my earliest and strongest memories. It hovers on the horizon of my future. Continue Reading…

We know that Jesus called us to be disciples.

But what does that mean, and how can churches get better at it?

The key is found in the life of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

How to become Hercules

In a recent interview with the Nerdist podcast, Arnold described the process by which he became the strongest man in the world, an internationally recognized movie star and governor of California.

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There’s nothing quite like the sadness of being a part of a dying church.

There’s the burden of maintaining a big, empty and often very dated looking building. There’s the ghost of happier days that seem constantly to haunt their memories and gatherings. There are the aging saints who struggle to make it out on Sundays, who seldom find friendship or support throughout the week.

Many churches feel stuck. This can be due to a lack of ideas or energized leadership. Sadly, it is often due to specific individuals, committed to maintaining their power or preferences.

Why do we sit around asking “why is my church dying?”

We need to remember that we serve a God of resurrection! If we are willing to die to ourselves, including our fond memories of the church that used to be, we can be resurrected to become something new.

Here’s are six bold moves I’ve seen or studied that  can be used by God to resurrect your church.

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