Wednesday, November 18, 2020

TURNING THE SUSTAINABILITY QUESTION ON ITS HEAD

In October, I had the pleasure of gathering (quite safely) with local church leaders in in Michigan as we explored critical questions about their church's future.  One of the questions was about their sustainability in the twenty-first century, especially as the major share of donors and volunteers fade from the scene in the next 10 years.  It was a great conversation - I have so missed working with local churches onsite in 2020!

Friday, October 16, 2020

BE CAREFUL WITH THESE SKETCHY ASSUMPTIONS

I am reminded of my father-in-law’s little quip: that “when I assume, I make an A-S-S out of U-M-E. “   There are some very sketch assumptions floating around ministry leader circles these days.  One or two of them could prove to have some lasting truth – but I would encourage us to take great care with any of these:

Monday, September 28, 2020

WHY ARE SOME CHURCHES THRIVING IN 2020?

Watching church leaders respond to the ministry ground conditions of 2020, I continue to be deeply impressed by some!

Friday, August 28, 2020

THE POWER OF COHORTS


Over the past quarter century as I have worked with leaders and congregations in ministry strategies for effectiveness, there are three distinct chapters: (1) church consulting, (2) consulting-coaching and now (3) consulting-coaching-cohort.  

Monday, August 3, 2020

THE CONTINUING PROMISE OF NICHE MINISTRY


In the ever-diversifying culture of North America and Europe, the day of  "one-size-fits-all" church is over.  There never really was such a church that could serve everyone with equal effectiveness.  However, many of us remember communities with extremely homogenous population.  In the years of monocultural neighborhoods and three national television networks, a neighborhood church might find itself able to relate culturally to 80 percent of the residents in its neighborhood.  However, today, human diversity is increasing in most zip codes.  This diversity can be seen in terms of race, education, political tribes, lifestyle hobbies, income, etc.  Today, in the rare homogenous neighborhoods that remains in the South or Midwest, we might find a dominant congregation that relates to one out of five households (20 percent), but even this is rare. Involvement (or market share) of even 1 percent is notable now - and also increasingly rare.

Friday, June 19, 2020

SHIRLEY AND MERCY IN THE REAR-VIEW MIRROR


There is a song based on Psalm 23, verse 6: "Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."  We sang this at church when I was six.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

FAITHFULNESS THROUGH A REVOLUTION


We went to a drive-in movie the other day - in my hometown. It was the first time I had been there since I was 15, when my friends and I stayed for the late show without calling home. (We all got grounded.)  Now I am too old for the late show, which had promised to be the better of the two movies.  So we quietly departed after movie number one.  The Rubidoux Drive-In had not changed at all - in a world and a city where almost everything else is different than before.  It is frozen in time, like a space alien, a holdover from another century.