Sep
19
2013

Enjoying Who You Preach

bike

When I was growing up I thought one of the coolest jobs a person could have was to work at a bike shop. Where we lived, a bike was more than a rite of passage, it was necessary for one’s social development, and the only mode of transportation for pre-driver’s license long distance travel. During my high school years I worked for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Northern Central Railroad Trail, a former railroad […]

Sep
18
2013

Conversations: What Canada Can Teach Us

canada

Canada is a wonderful country. The cities are beautiful, the people are incredibly nice, and they gave us hockey (what more do you need?). But Canada also has the potential to give the evangelical church in the United States another, very important gift: wisdom and experience. Ten years ago Canada legalized same-sex marriage. Today, in America, we are rapidly moving towards legalization of same-sex marriage in all fifty states. Whether this scares you, or excites you, […]

Sep
17
2013

Change Takes Time or Don’t Do It To Them

changes ahead

Somehow, over the last year, I have found myself engaged in coaching relationships with a great deal of pastors who are relatively new to their churches. I love getting to spend time with these guys… they are incredibly optimistic, hungry to see cool things happen, and ready to take on the world. Which is why my biggest piece of advice for them can be somewhat confusing: slow down. “But Matt,” they say “there is so […]

Sep
16
2013

When a Church (Finally) Gets it Right

Handshake

This month Ministry Briefing changed from a monthly to a weekly publication. This means we are able to get news and information out to our readers in a much more timely basis (and YOU can get one week free by clicking here). Now that I got the commercial out of the way, I wanted to highlight a story in the September 13th edition of Ministry Briefing: White Baptist Church Apologizes for Ban Against Black Members in the 60’s […]

Sep
13
2013

Finance Friday: Clergy Tax Increases

taxes

My friend Bill O’Connell from Wisdom Over Wealth passed this along to me the other day, and I think it is something that pastors need to take notice of: Clergy have a 2% tax increase in 2013 Ministers are reminded that Congress gave them a 2% tax increase for 2013, when they let the 2010 “payroll tax holiday” expire on December 31, 2012.  For most clergy who pay Self-Employment tax on Salary and Housing/Parsonage Allowance […]

Sep
12
2013

Winning Hearts & Minds or Who Welcomes Guests?

greeter

Seth Godin recently quoted what is known as Krulak’s law: Soldiers in the field interacting with local people are the most important element of nation building and counterinsurgency. Former Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Charles Krulak knew that generals don’t hold the key to winning the hearts and minds of the citizens of occupied countries… it is the privates and corporals. It is not the officers, but the common, everyday soldier that locals interact with […]

Sep
11
2013

Ministry Briefing Conversation: 6 Types of Atheist

6

A while back I mentioned a fascinating conversation that my friend Todd and I had with two researchers who investigated the different types of atheism. The conversation was part of a new series of Ministry Briefing videos that we have been working on, each a fifteen minute conversation with someone who has something worth sharing with the church leader community. This week we share the conversation that Todd and I had with Thomas Coleman and […]

Sep
10
2013

Leadership Lessons from Monday Night Football

rgiii

My friend Brian Dodd is the master of the leadership list. He can watch a football game, an interview, or a conference and come up with 78 solid insights that church leaders need to pick up on. It is Brian who inspired me to write this post after watching the ugliness that was the Redskins playing the Eagles last night (it was either that or cry into my pillow all night). While I was glad […]

Sep
9
2013

Tips and Tactics Aren’t Enough

Bible Series Timothy sepia

My Tuesday morning Bible study has been slowly working its way through First and Second Timothy. I have enjoyed working slowly through these passages since it gives me a good bit of time to really marinate on Paul’s words to his protege. Over the last couple of weeks I have been really soaking on chapter six, verses 11-14: But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the […]

Sep
6
2013

Finance Fridays: Year End Giving in September?

giving to charity

The September edition of Ministry Briefing has a story that caught my eye related to how people approach year end giving: A recent Google study suggests that waiting until Thanksgiving to begin year-end giving appeals limits the effectiveness of your appeals. The study suggests that of those who are looking to make year end gifts, three quarters began their research and decision making process in September. The story originally ran in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, […]

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