What a Small Clapboard Church Can Teach Us About Success

What a Small Clapboard Church Can Teach Us About Success

It was a typical July morning in Oklahoma, with the sun and clouds playing a game of keep away as thunderstorms threatened the horizon. The small clapboard church sat just off the highway that took most of the town’s residents to their jobs in the sprawling city nearby. Not much had changed since the church found its home on the corner near some railroad tracks. There was a narthex, the wooden panel walls held paintings of Jesus tending to His own, and the painted pews creaked a little. The... Read More
The Purpose of Fear in Authentic Leadership

The Purpose of Fear in Authentic Leadership

Leadership in ministry is not for the faint-hearted. We only need to look around us to witness the ravages of an unrelenting war on character, on relationships, on hearts and minds. Volumes have been written on building strong churches, growing high-capacity volunteer groups, and designing creative ministries that appeal to every age. Leadership books are quick to list tips for being more effective, more charismatic, more relevant, and more dynamic. But there is little offered to help those of... Read More
The Real Power of Our Testimonies

The Real Power of Our Testimonies

“A religion that is small enough for our understanding would not be big enough for our needs.” – Corrie Ten Boom They come with questions. Every Sunday morning, every weeknight at small group, every waking hour on Facebook or Twitter or in our inboxes, the questions are there, wrapped around breaking news reports or the latest research or the story of life forever changed just down the road. “What does God say about what’s happening in our world?” “What am I supposed to believe right now?”... Read More
Give Your Kids MORE This Christmas

Give Your Kids MORE This Christmas

He stands like a guard in the backyard, and there’s no escaping his presence. The inflatable snowman climbs down from the attic the day after Thanksgiving and makes his way to his Christmas home. I remember the day we got him more than a decade ago. “That’s Burl Ives!” I exclaimed as he came to life. Yes, our snowman is no regular Frosty. He’s the snowman from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. He is Burl Ives, complete with goatee and umbrella. He doesn’t look like any of the other decorations,... Read More
Letting Kids Be the Tradition-Makers

Letting Kids Be the Tradition-Makers

He was only four, but my son was very concerned as we carefully placed the nativity under the Christmas tree. “If this is Jesus’ birthday, why doesn’t He get a cake?” I looked at him, my mind racing to come up with some great theological statement about God in flesh not really caring that much for buttercream and sprinkles. But in that moment, the Lord reminded me that Ian’s real question wasn’t about the cake at all—it was about inviting Jesus into the full experience of Christmas. So that... Read More