If we want to become better leaders we need to have good feedback. And to get that feedback, we need to find and listen to better critics. But getting helpful feedback has one significant challenge. The more a person wants to tell you what they think, the less valuable their feedback is likely to be. This …
While we’re right to be concerned about church-hoppers and church-droppers, people don’t typically go to a church with the plan of leaving soon. Most want to put down roots and stay committed for the long haul. There’s always a core group of faithful people at the heart of every healthy congregation. Our lives and our …
It’s hard to leave a church you used to love – and maybe still do love Many church members find themselves facing the heartbreaking decision of whether-or-not to separate themselves from a church they’ve invested a lot of their lives in. And I’m not talking about church-hoppers, bored believers or shallow saints. I’m referring to …
Anyone can worship Jesus anywhere, at any time. We don’t need a special building, a special day or a special time to do it. We don’t come into the presence of God when we enter a church building and we don’t leave his presence when the service is over. But I still go to church every …
When we’re at our best, the church isn’t just another group on one side of the partisan political conflict that pits people against each other. We’re the ones who should be a shining light of hope that rises above it all.
Six months ago today, our church made our biggest transition in a quarter century.
After being the lead pastor for 25 years, I stepped aside so that Gary Garcia, the youth pastor who has been with me for that entire time, could take my position, with me becoming the teaching pastor.
How is the church doing? How have they accepted the new pastor? How do we work together now that the lines of authority have shifted?
In a word, it’s working great. On every level.
In addition to the essential factor that we all believe this transition was and is God’s plan for me, the church and its new lead pastor, there are six factors key that are contributing to helping this work:
Pastors want bigger churches.
Church members? Not so much.
Sure, a lot of people go to big churches. That’s what makes them big, after all. And the majority of them are strong, healthy churches doing great ministry. But if you ask the average member why they attend, “because it’s big” won’t even crack the top ten.
And non-attenders? Quite frankly, the default is to distrust any church they deem as “too big.”
Is that too simplistic a way of viewing the church? Of course. Every one of us can point to many exceptions to each of those rules. But those exceptions are… exceptional.
It’s only pastors who say “you know what the problem is with that church? It’s not big enough.”
A couple weeks ago, I wrote a blog post, Hey, Boomers! Let’s Step Up And Be The Elders The Church Desperately Needs Right Now, which received a lot of feedback – most of it very encouraging.
But there was some pushback as well. All of the criticism expressed the same viewpoint: today’s youth may need to have elders in their lives, but it’s impossible to find any who are truly willing to be discipled.
So why is there such a difference between my experience and those ones? And what can we do to find teachable youth?
I think it comes down to three primary factors, all of which have more to do with how we, as elders, approach our role than how the youth behave or how they feel.
What’s wrong with today’s younger generations? I hear that question all the time. Especially from my fellow Baby Boomers. The quick answer? Nothing. Nothing is wrong with the current and upcoming generations that hasn’t been wrong with every previous generation. With one possible exception. They don’t have the elders and mentors that almost every previous generation …
The internet is a great place for debate. I love throwing ideas out there, stirring up interest and reading other passionate opinions.
But the anonymity of the internet also has a way of turning mean people loose. And that stifles, sometimes kills, the opportunity for healthy, inspiring conversation. A lot of good people have stopped writing online because they don’t want to wade through the nastiness any more. I don’t blame them.
The worst place for this is usually in the comment section of blogs. Unfortunately, Christian sites – even church leadership sites – are no exception to this. Including CT, which hosts this blog, which is why they have shut down their comment section altogether.
Despite this, I hold out hope. I’ve learned that it is possible to disagree with someone online and not be a jerk about it.
So if you, like me, want to engage in lively discussion, even disagreements online, while keeping the tone civil, try these ten steps as a guide.