3 Ways Missions Can Help Your Parish Grow Deeper and Wider

At this time of the year, we see lots of people in their brown missions shirts at Nativity, many serving here in our city of Baltimore. Others go further afield. Their send-off Mass a few weeks ago offered an impressive sight: nearly 100 missionaries serving in Haiti, Kenya, and West Virginia. Relief work is sometimes […]

Vision: 3 Steps to Making It Stick

Painting a clear and compelling vision is key to any renewal. If you get your vision right, you will empower and equip your advocates, educate your bystanders and disarm your critics. Vision helps you start, maintain and continuously expand the growth of your parish. It helps you overcome supposedly insurmountable obstacles and will get you […]

4 Steps to Use Criticism Well

In any field of leadership, people will second-guess and criticize you. Criticism is just part of leadership and according to Aristotle, the only way to avoid criticism is “say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” So, while you cannot avoid criticism, you can minimize it by leading thoughtfully and even use it to your own benefit. […]

How Welcoming Is Your Church?

Asked why they don’t attend church, the most common response unchurched people give is simply: “Because I don’t feel welcome.” Unfortunately, churches can be very unwelcoming and not even realize it. Sometimes dozens of little details church people don’t even see subtly communicate to the unchurched that they don’t belong. At Nativity, we have worked […]

Being a Growing Church

Around here we like to talk about our “Rally Cry” or what our friend Patrick Lencioni calls “the thing that must be done now.” This time last year it was obviously finishing the new church building (which we did, ahead of schedule, under budget, and with no debt). Next, it was our annual signature event, […]

TBT: Gossip It Can Poison Your Staff and Stunt Church Growth

It doesn’t matter what the circumstance or work environment – gossip is a challenge we all face at one time or another. As a Pastor or staff leader, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is managing and mentoring your staff.  You’ll often be involved in things that will take you out of your comfort […]

5 Things You Can Do To Make Your Church More Attractive to the Unchurched (that cost nothing).

When it comes to some of the great big problems many parishes face these days, sometimes the simplest answers are the most helpful. And often the cheapest. Off the top of my head I can think of dozens of things our parish does that makes us more attractive to the unchurched. And they cost us […]

Liturgical Bullies

We have just completed a two-week Rebuilt Book Tour, which brought us to Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, and Vienna. Among many other observations we made there, here’s one: most all of our hosts seemed more relaxed about liturgy than many of the churchpeople we encounter here in the States. Not in the sense that they abuse […]

3 Things You Do (That You Didn’t Even Know You Do) That Tell Outsiders Your Church is for Insiders

The Church exists to reach the unchurched. But all too often the culture of our parishes belies or even betrays our mission. There are things you do, that you don’t even know you do, that tell outsiders that your church is for insiders, same for us at Nativity. It’s like dandelions in your lawn, however […]

Ministry Weekend

We say as a parish that our goal is… every member a minister (and if Nativity is where you typically go to church, you are a member). And this weekend is a very special weekend for us, as we welcome commitments from members to join us as ministers. A minister is kind of like a […]