Author Archive

Healthy and Unhealthy Churches

By : July 24, 2015

This week we finished up our participation in Parish Catalyst, a four-part gathering of parishes all about parish excellence. Conceived and conducted by our good friends Bill Simon and Claire Henning, this first class of 12 parishes (they called us a cohort) was all about gathering dynamic parishes from various parts of North America, and […]

The “New” Nones

By : July 17, 2015

Who’s in your parish? Increasingly, the answer is “None.” And no, “None” is not a number; it’s a religious identity. As many who work for churches know, in 2012, Pew Research Center released their infamous report about the so-called “Nones On the Rise”. Nones are the fastest growing “denomination” in our religious landscape. The latest […]

4 Biblical Lessons for Today’s Leaders

By : July 10, 2015

The Bible is full of the stories of some of the greatest saints and sinners in history. But based on this assessment, we often assume that these characters are either too good or too bad to teach us any really concrete life lessons. This summer, our parish has been surveying “imperfect” characters from the Bible […]

3 Tips for Hiring Church Staff

By : July 3, 2015

This is typically the time of year when churches experience staff transitions and changes. Here at Nativity we’re not expecting very many changes at all this year, but still I was thinking about it in view of some of our past experiences. Hiring new staff members is one of the most important things I will […]

5 Questions to Ask Why Your Church Isn’t Growing

By : June 27, 2015

Growth is a sign of life. Of course, weeds also grow, so it’s important that your church cultivates healthy growth. Whether your congregation is large or small, affluent or financially challenged, old or new, we all want our churches to be places where the Gospel can grow. As one writer puts it, the vision is […]

Summer Projects

By : June 21, 2015

With school out and Memorial Day already behind us we are well into the summer season. I count about 12 weeks until we begin our fall season with “Kick-Off” weekend. Meanwhile I want to make the most of the time, so that I am in a strong position to meet our busiest season. Here’s my […]


By : June 12, 2015

We were happy to announce this past weekend that registration for our Matter.15 Conference opened. Our Director of Student Ministries, Chris Wesley, recently posted about 4 reasons you won’t want to miss it. We hope your staff will take advantage of the early bird pricing. What is matter? Science will tell you matter has mass […]

Creating a Leadership Culture

By : June 5, 2015

Culture is the complex whole of knowledge, belief, art, ethics, custom, and probably many other elements in which we live and breath and have our being. Every organization has a culture, intentional or otherwise, and that means your church has a culture too. These days successful business leaders are very intentional about their culture. We […]

Summer Mode is not Sleep Mode

By : May 28, 2015

I have a friend who is Pastor of a big Church. He says it “sleeps” 700. This is a sadly common description of many Catholic congregations: asleep. Churches that need waking up have prevailing cultures of detachment and shallow commitment which almost always includes large numbers of people coming late and leaving early for weekend services […]

Copy How, Know Why

By : May 22, 2015

A big factor in our growth at Nativity was getting over our unwillingness to learn and borrow methods from growing, often non-Catholic, churches. But in the process we also had to learn what to look for. We realized that adopting successful methods from other churches required first paying attention to their ministry’s purpose-driven strategy, not […]