Category Archives: Church

Being Direct

Every eldership I have ever worked with I have told up front that I will trust them and that I expect for them to tell me anything I would need to know including any criticism that they are directing toward me. This is a very important thing to establish in any important relationship. Often we fear that being direct will result in alienating someone or hurting their feelings. Isn’t it more hurtful to talk about someone behind their back than to just be direct the first time? I typically make it a point in the churches that I have ministered at to also tell the congregation this – if you ever have a problem with me please come and speak directly to me about it. Again, this is an important trust building exercise but it is more than about trust. It is about doing what is right. It is about establishing a culture where mature, healthy dialog is rewarded and encouraged. That also means that those who try to say things indirectly need to be redirected to the person they are speaking about. This kills gossip. This also strips out the reward that people are used to getting when they complain to an eldership instead of talking directly to the minister. Instead of putting out the fire and “fixing” the minister, the leadership points people back to direct conversation.

This is the only true way resolution can take place. True resolution never takes place unless people talk directly with each other. If we are truly interested in resolving issues, there is no other way. If you find yourself talking about someone, ask yourself why you did that. Ask yourself whether or not this issue warrants talking directly to the person you have an issue with. If it doesn’t, then there isn’t any sense bringing it up to anyone else either. Most of the conflicts we see in congregations could be averted if we only spoke directly with those we had difficulty with. Oh what a challenge it is to be human with all of our weaknesses and frailties…all of our insecurities and foibles!

Biblical Preaching and Teaching Should Stress High Expectations of Christians

The Bible is clear. Christians should be involved in ministry. Christians should be working together for the good of the kingdom. The body of Christ is the body as it is connecting and functioning together as Paul tells us in Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12. In all of my life I cannot think ofContinue Reading

Ministry Update from Auburn

I have been a lot slower on the blog lately. The transition to Alabama has taken a lot of time and energy, just as it should. I wanted to update you on a few things that are going on here by talking about a few areas of ministry that we are focusing on right nowContinue Reading

The 30% shift

I am a firm believer that the mission of the church is both inward and outward. The thing many churches face is that the inward focus has so far outweighed the outward focus that we find ourselves in need of balance and so we have a tendency to over correct. In a new article atContinue Reading

Holiness and Low Church

In the Old Testament there were all sorts of reminders of God’s holiness and his holy requirements for his people. There were holy places and spaces…holy things and holy people. The temple was holy and so were parts of the temple like the altar. The priestly garments were holy as were the priests themselves. ThenContinue Reading

God Doesn’t Give Us More Than We Can Handle?

I hear this from time to time and I see that for some people it is a faith builder while for others it is a faith destroyer. For the faith builder this statement is a reminder that it is all going to be alright because God must certainly think they can handle whatever comes theirContinue Reading

Response to “The Ugly in Christianity” at the Huffington Post

There is an article floating around on the Huffington post that has caused a bit of a stir among Church of Christ members because it is about the ugly side of Christianity and by that the author means the ugly side of the Church of Christ which is, in her experience, the vast majority ofContinue Reading

The Fallacy in Pareto’s Principle…Proving the 80/20 rule wrong

The Pareto Principle is an organizational principle that goes back a number of years that states in an organization 80% of the work typically gets done by 20% of the people. I have heard this principle applied to congregational life and ministry ad nauseum and I do not believe it is correct from one particularContinue Reading

Fellowship Doesn’t Mean Potluck

The Greek word normally associated with “fellowship” is the word koinonia. It doesn’t typically mean sit in the same room as someone for a church potluck. What does it mean? It is a word that describes mutual interest and the connection that comes through joint participation and partnership. I am indebted to D.A. Carson (whoContinue Reading

Sermon on the Mount: A Good Reason to Leave the Assembly Early

Have you ever left worship angry? Let me ask that another way, have you ever left the assembly because you were angry and realized that you had to make it right before you sang one more song or said “Fine, how are you to one more person?”   Jesus straight up tells us that ifContinue Reading

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