Quite a few of my clients serve heartland churches where there is a good mix of Trump supporters and those who loathe the man. There are very few who feel ambivalence about the President. The pastors of these churches try very hard to avoid alienating their Trump people - especially those people who follow his Twitter feed much more carefully than they follow the news. With one issue after another, these pastors have found themselves biting their tongues.
Thursday, June 28, 2018
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
I have been hanging around at church for 55 years. I was born a preacher's kid, and I have visited far in excess of 1000 churches across the years. So I think I have a little perspective. I am able to say with some accuracy: theology is no predictor of meanness (or kindness) in a congregation. The spirit of meanness seems to be an equal opportunity visitor - afflicting some of the most conservative and some of the most liberal congregations in America. It comes out in different ways - sometimes in rude interactions, and just as often in passive ways. Christian congregations can be some of the meanest places on earth - and some of the most grace-filled. And often, we are talking about the same church!
My dad served a church in the 1950s where the people got into a fight at a church meeting and threw chairs at one another in the fellowship hall. A kid had to go call the police. I heard this story growing up, and assumed that this was just a quirk related to a rough and tumble church of poor white folks in Fort Worth. But, the years have revealed that with education and a little money, the only difference is that we stop throwing chairs. Nothing else changes.
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
A couple weeks ago, while working in Oklahoma, my wallet disappeared - apparently stolen, but who knows? This required some very unconventional procedures working through TSA until I could get my new drivers license. Normally, I use my passport to fly, but the passport was tied up at the Chinese Embassy in a file requesting a Visa. Perfect storm.
Thursday, March 29, 2018
Never in the history of Christianity has a significant revival or church turn-around occurred without young adults. (Unless one of you church historians can correct me!) Jesus was 33 when he left this world. And most of those who traveled in his company were between 15 and 35 years of age. Granted, people did not live as long in those days. And with longevity comes certain gifts of maturity that may have been rarer then. The mellowing of Protestant Christianity on so many issues in the last century is a convergence of more old-people-wisdom along with the revolutionary sensibilities of younger folks in the culture.
Monday, February 19, 2018
Seldom a week goes by without someone asking me, "What's new with you?" Or "What are you working on these days?" The answer for Epicenter Group is four-fold. There are four areas of adaptive challenge for the 21st century church where we are spending a lot of focus in 2018.