An Insiders Guide to Christmas Eve at the Cow Palace

This year is our 12th at the Maryland State Fair for Christmas Eve. Twelve years ago we decided to make the break, close our church building down entirely and move the whole operation up the road. The move has transformed Christmas Eve: what was a dysfunctional nightmare which no one enjoyed, has become a not-to-be-missed […]

Mission Weekend

This Advent our message series is focusing on giving and growing in generosity. And in this season and this series we will focus on both. This weekend will bring our annual Missions Weekend, highlighting our partners in Haiti and Kenya, while also supporting our partners in Nigeria. We’re offering the opportunity to sponsor a child […]

It’s a Delightful Time of the Year

With the celebration of Thanksgiving we officially enter the holiday season. I know among churchpeople it’s a liturgical outrage to breathe a word of Christmas until Advent has been given its due. In fact, I know parishes where they won’t even start decorating for Christmas until the afternoon of December 24th. They’re purist and we […]

Giving to God…First

Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. Matthew 25:16-17 Look at that first word. “Immediately.” The first two servants immediately do something with the master’s money that benefits the master. They invest the money, doubling it. Knowing that […]

5 Things to Consider About Getting Guests Back

Studies suggest that a first time guest in your church often makes up their mind if they’re ever coming back again in the first ten minutes. So, that means before they’ve heard your music, listened to your message, or met your ministry team they might very well have given you a failing grade. Here are […]

You Can’t “Event” Your Way to Church Health or Growth

All you have to do is drive around the community and take a look at what many churches are advertising on their front lawns. Even easier, check out their web sites. This time of year you’ll find pumpkin patches, crop mazes, haunted houses, “trunk or treat” events, and hay rides. And soon we’ll be treated […]

5 Things Leaders Do

Great leaders, and those of us aspiring to be, all do certain things that are worth reflecting on when it comes to leading a parish. Here are 5, in no particular order. They Simplify the Complex Great leaders stick with a problem or idea long enough, and engage it deeply enough, to clear away the […]

Goals for the Fall

This time every year is always the same. Fall is a sprint from Labor Day to Christmas. And Christmas starts in earnest the day after Halloween. Here are some of the things we’re working on currently and the goals we have for this busy season. Fill the Church Perhaps you’ve noticed, we have a new […]

5 Steps to a Healthy Work Environment at Your Parish

A healthy work environment should be a high priority for parish pastors and leaders. As a leader, you want to ensure you’re creating the best possible space for your team to work well and effectively, and sometimes it’s hard to know why that isn’t happening. Here are 5 things you can do to help ensure […]

Rebuilt | 2018

This week, registration opened on our brand new website for our brand new conference, Rebuilt | 2018, check it out at For a number of years a few of years ago, we hosted an annual gathering each fall for our staff and lay leaders, including the Parish Council. The purpose of this mini retreat […]