Mar
17
2014

Can Young and Old Leaders Coexist?

young and old conflict

When I look at the current church landscape, one of my biggest concerns is the generational divide in leadership. As the boomers get closer to retirement and the millennials come into prominence, stories of friction between the two generations abound. Last week Dan Rockwell, of Leadership Freak fame, shared two fantastic posts on this issue: Why Young Leaders Drive Old Leaders Crazy and Why Old Leaders Drive Young Leaders Crazy. I asked Dan to sit […]

Mar
14
2014

Finance Fridays: 5 Online Giving Stats for Churches

online giving

One of the things that I get to do professionally is help churches get started with online giving through eGive. We are getting ready to release a report on online giving, and why it works for churches. I am pretty excited about this, but I was pretty shocked by some of the statistics that we came across in the process of putting the report together: According to the 2013 State of the Plate survey, 36% […]

Mar
12
2014

Learning from the Rich Peverley Incident

A HeartStart Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

Perhaps you heard the story of Rich Peverley, the Dallas Stars center who had a “cardiac event” in the middle of Monday night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Peverley had just come off the ice when he collapsed on the bench. The next few minutes were critical when it came to saving his life: Head athletic trainer Dave Zeis and team physician William Robertson carried Peverley by his feet and hands to the back. […]

Mar
10
2014

On Being Careful What We Wish For

Church and State

This story made my blood run cold: (Reuters) – As troops loyal to Russian President Vladimir Putin were seizing control of Crimea, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow deduced that an “internal political crisis” in Ukraine was threatening its territorial integrity. Patriarch Kirill’s words echoed Putin’s argument – ridiculed in the West – that armed units in Ukraine’s southern region were not Russian soldiers but self-defense forces fearing for their safety under the new […]

Mar
7
2014

Finance Fridays: Three Stories from XP Briefing

xp250x250

Earlier this week my friend Todd Rhoades and I launched a new publication: XP Briefing. Each month XP Briefing will share 40-50 stories of interest to executive pastors, church administrators, and anyone else who is interested in the operational side of church. This morning, I figured I would share three stories from this month’s edition: Understanding Donor-Advised Funds: Donor-advised funds have become a popular tool for donors to make charitable contributions to organizations that they wish […]

Mar
6
2014

Reading List: Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code

culture code

For the last twenty years, church leaders have been fed a steady diet of vision. We’ve been told that vision is the key to leading a successful church. Without vision the people perish, they say. If something isn’t working right it comes back to an issue of vision. And so, church leaders go out and dream up grand visions and unleash them within the church… and nothing happens. Don’t get me wrong, vision is incredibly important […]

Mar
5
2014

Let What We Do In Here Fill the Streets Out There

stained glass

I am reading Worship and Mission After Christendom by Alan and Eleanor Kreider for one of my classes. I have enjoyed the book so far, but I was particularly struck last night by something I read: People asked questions, “Why do you…?” And the Christian answer, stated by Bishop Cyprian during the great plague of 251, was that the Christians were doing in life what they have learned in worship. These days, there is a great deal […]

Mar
3
2014

Creating New Rhythms in New Places

changes ahead

It’s been a fascinating few months. Three months ago Theresa and I loaded up all of our worldly possessions and headed for Texas. While we did drive through a minor snow storm, we got out just before the heavens opened up, creating one of the snowiest winters ever recorded on Long Island. Since then, we have been slowly settling into our new home and attempting to establish new rhythms for our life. We moved into our new home […]

Feb
3
2014

Portrait of Community: Lars and the Real Girl

lars

Friday night I watched a movie that I never would have seen, had I not received credit for watching it. The movie was called Lars and the Real Girl, and it paints a picture of community that is utterly beautiful. The film focuses on a socially awkward young man named Lars, who has serious struggles in the relationship department. For much of the film I found myself cringing at the awkwardness that is the character of […]

Jan
31
2014

Finance Fridays: Storytelling & Annual Reports

charts and graphs

Over the last few weeks, churches across the country have been putting the finishing touches on their annual reports and presenting them to their congregations. These reports, and the meetings that go with them, always intrigue me as they present an opportunity for churches to share the story of the church, how the church is making a difference for the Kingdom, and what is coming next. While many churches do a great job of this, […]

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