Archives For Growth

Legend has it that Karl Barth once said that preachers should have the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in another. I’d like to think that if he were alive today, Karl would say that we should have a Bible in hand and a podcast in our ears.

I won’t mention the obvious listens like This American Life or Radiolab. Chances are if you don’t listen to them already it’s because you don’t own earbuds.

If you are a Church Planter, Pastor or just a reflective follower of Jesus, you should be listening to the following podcasts: Continue Reading…

At some point, your values will change.

This is a good thing.

When I was growing up, I was incredibly insecure and had a hard time making friends. My primary value was to avoid the shame I felt when I failed to connect with others. By focusing on avoiding the shame of connection, I grew increasingly lonely.

For years, I was embedded in churches that focused on a set of “legalisms,” specific rules that couldn’t be broken. These mainly had to do with language, dress, sexuality and how often we showed up for church. By focusing on rules, I grew rigid and judgemental.

For many churches “success” means a growing number of bodies in seats on Sundays, and a growing budget. By focusing on the numbers, churches often go to ungodly lengths to gather more people.

For fundamentalists (Christian, Muslim, Atheist, etc.) intellectual assent to core beliefs is essential to one’s identity. By focusing on right belief, fundamentalists often will excuse hurtful behavior.

Sadly, what often happens is that our ideals change but behavior does not.

We all know the truism that what you measure is what gets done. Whether we like it or not, our ideals often get trumped by our score card.

So how do we redefine a win when our values have changed? Here’s a five steps that I’ve found helpful: Continue Reading…

With 2015 upon us, many people spend time making grand resolutions. These are good, because they are a means for assessing our lives and setting goals.

But the fact is, we all have small things we can do, right now, that could immediately give us a better life. Why not start there, instead?


Here are 51 ideas I had. What would add? Continue Reading…

Should you “fake it” on Sunday morning?

There are a lot of good reasons to be a part of a church community.

A few of them have to do existential affirmations on eternity.

People who are a part of a church community tend to live longer, stay married longer and be generally healthier. Church provides a sense of shared cultural practices identity that seems to be disappearing from our increasingly monolithic culture. A lot of people go to church because they think it’s good for their families.

So it has its benefits.

Beneficial enough that some might consider joining a church community even if they don’t buy into the belief system. Faking it can lead to three different results:

  1. Internal angst from a sense of dishonesty
  2. Outright hypocrisy
  3. Slowly assimilating to the beliefs around you

None of those seem terribly honest or helpful.

N E E D  A  B U I L D I N GS U R V E Y E (1)

Continue Reading…

Why do most stories of “successful people” seem full of struggle, despair and burnout?

The myth of the successful person is that they made stunning sacrifices for their dream. They did a staggering amount of work. Eventually, they were rewarded with a modicum of success and become a minor celebrity.

Then the reckoning. Divorce. Despair. Addiction. Depression. They spiral into breakdown.

Eventually, they discover some sensational principle, achieve bliss and write a New York Times best-seller about it.

These stories are real. Sometimes the books are helpful. But is this nightmare necessary to live the life you want?

These books will teach you great principles like “get into therapy,” “watch your diet” or “practice Sabbath.” Read them. Do what they say.

But there is one surprisingly simple method to avoid burnout and save you from disaster.

It works just like Archimedes dropping the crown into the bathtub. It’s so simple that you may run naked through the streets shouting “Eureka!”


Continue Reading…