Feb
10
2011

Epic Fail Pastor’s Conference

epic fail conference

Matt Note:  This is a repost from J.R. Brigg’s blog about an upcoming conference that I am pretty excited about.  No numbers talk, no grand new idea to save your church, and no guilt for not being super pastor… just a few days doing life together, being honest about where we are at, and remembering why we do what we do. Back in August I wrote a post on the blog called EPIC FAIL Pastors’ Conference. […]

Feb
9
2011

The Necessity of Conflict for Leaders

AlexOvechkin1

I love hockey. I have long seen hockey as a game of beauty.  The flow and rhythm of the game coupled with the creativity of the players elevates the game nearly to an art.  My favorite current player is Alex Ovechkin, the captain of the Washington Capitals. As in any sport the captain of a hockey team is expected to be a leader on the ice and off.  While he is the only player on […]

Feb
8
2011

Learning from Egypt: Bringing Shalom to our Context

christians-protecting-muslims-during-prayer

Late last week I was quite taken by a photograph that has gone viral.  On February second the picture to the right was part of a tweet by a young lady named Nevine sent out via twitter with the following tweet: A pic I took yesterday of Christians protecting Muslims during their prayers#jan25 http://yfrog.com/h02gvclj. A follow up tweet made this even more powerful: Bear in mind that this pic was taken a month after Alexandria […]

Feb
7
2011

Learning About “Them” or Lunch with the Enemy

lunch

We live in a contentious time.  The events in Egypt, the recent tragedy in Arizona, and the day to day vitriol of our political conversation has us dividing the world into us and them over and over again.  While we would like to think that the church is immune from this behavior, any of us that have been in church leadership for more than a week know that this happens in our congregations as well. […]

Feb
4
2011

Finance Friday: Thoughts on Credit Card Giving

credit card

Matt Note:  Brad Locke is the Steward of eGive LLC, a company that helps churches manage their online giving.  I have known Brad as a customer and as a colleague and value the wisdom, skill, and heart that he brings to his clients.  You can read a little bit about why Brad started eGive by reading his comment here.  I am grateful for Brad’s willingness to share his thoughts here, and am looking forward to […]

Feb
3
2011

It’s a Trap! Time Management and Leadership

trap

Life is full of traps. Traps that steal our time, keep us from doing the things that we need to be doing, and make us wonder where the day went.  In the ministry world we often have the privilege of fairly flexible schedules since we are often out late at night and meeting with members of our congregations all over the place.  It is our responsibility as church leaders to steward our time well, ensuring that the […]

Feb
2
2011

When Zombies Attack

Zombies_NightoftheLivingDead

Recently I was having a conversation with a friend about his church.  He looked at me and said “honestly, we do way too much… we have too many programs going on that keeps us way too spread out.”  I wish this was the first time that I have heard this being expressed, but the truth is that we seem to have an epidemic of “zombie ministries” in our churches. A zombie ministry is a ministry […]

Feb
1
2011

Managing Tension: Syncretism, Contextual Relevance, and Being Faithful to the Word

amish

I have been reading the book Kosher Nation of late.  It is an interesting read talking about how kosher foods are becoming more mainstream.  Towards the end of the first chapter a Rabbi discusses how prevalent kosher foods are becoming now that more mainstream brand names have gone kosher for market share reasons.  Oreo cookies went kosher in the late nineties sparking a celebration amongst the kosher keeping Jewish community.  The Rabbi finishes his discussion […]

Jan
31
2011

18 Second Listening

talk

Reading Ben Stroup’s blog last week I came upon a brilliant video from Tom Peter’s about 18 second listening: As a leader it is easy for us to get so caught up in our dreams, vision, and busyness then steamroll people as they attempt to enter into a conversation with us.  It is incumbent on us who serve in church leadership to discipline ourselves to slow down the gears in our heads enough to listen […]

Jan
25
2011

Wisdom from Billy Graham

Billy Graham

Christianity Today had an interesting interview with Billy Graham last week.  Conducted via email due to his failing health the interview deals with aging, dealing with aging parents, and the state of the church.  What I found to be most interesting was the third question: If you could, would you go back and do anything differently? Yes, of course. I’d spend more time at home with my family, and I’d study more and preach less. […]