Friday, March 17, 2017

BEWARE OF THE HAIL MARY CHURCH PLANTING APPOINTMENT!




Plenty of teams around the country are selecting planting-leaders for judicatory-funded new church projects right now. It is easy, when we get close to deadlines for personnel selection, to loosen our standards or candidate criteria. All ministry-related jobs should require extensive vetting, and multiple interviews prior to hire. However, few hires come with greater risks than a church planter. Most clergy lack the skills and/or life experiences that bode well for their attempting to plant a new church.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

INTRODUCING WEIRD CHURCH CAMP




The book Weird Church: Welcome to the Twenty-First Century came out one year ago this month.  Beth Estock and I (co-authors) have traveled across many time zones from Germany to Hawaii, talking about the promise of rising forms of church that will bless millions of people in this new century. Some of them, such as the Cathedral and the Tabernacle have been around throughout American history.  Others, such as Dinner Church, go all the way back to the first century.  Weird does not mean uniquely modern - it just means different than the franchise-institutional model of denominational Christianity that most of us grew up in.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2045 IS COMING!



2045. That is the big year.  29 years from now, but already impacting us, with the rise of disaffected white blue collar voters in the heartland, feeling the impending loss of the world soon to be extinct.  The administration they've elected is beholden to the interests of folks who are markedly nervous about 2045.  But this political swerve to the right will be met with a hard swerve to the left sooner than we might suspect.  It could be violent.  Sometimes we swerve hard, folks.  The shift in demographics will shape more than just the political conversation - 2045 will be the most important year in American history since 1776.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

AROUND THE WORLD AND BACK


As I wrote this, I was on the last leg of an 18-day around-the-world trip.  It started with a preaching invitation in Hawaii, continued with a visit to family in Taipei.  And then, I said, "Why not come home headed west?" 

Friday, October 14, 2016

GREAT THINGS LEFT TO DO


This past summer, Time Magazine ran a story about a 68-year old Nepalese man who decided to go back to high school for his degree.  This man, Durga Kami, walks over six miles each day round trip to be a tenth grader.  Life busied Durga up with many things over the decades, but a dream persisted: to pursue education, and to get his high school degree.  And why?  Because Burga's deeper dream is to be able to become a teacher before he's finished in this life. (  http://time.com/4370257/nepal-grandfather-back-to-school/  )

Monday, August 29, 2016

CORRECTING A LITTLE MISUNDERSTANDING ABOUT WEIRD CHURCH


It has been a great year of conversations about ministry, in part related to the buzz around the new book Weird Church.  Even in rather slow-to-change places like Mississippi (where I worked this month), people report unprecedented numbers of their neighbors moving into the None and Done clubs.  Where once almost everyone was at least tangentially related to some faith group, today, more than half of Mississippians are unchurched in parts of the state.  They are talking about Fresh Expressions.  In Mississippi. Friends, it is certainly not 1996 anymore.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

YOU CANNOT FAKE HOSPITALITY



Last weekend, instead of going to church, we went running - or walking as the case would be - joining a friend for a beautiful summer morning with his running club - followed by brunch.   Here is what happened.