Author Archive

5 Things Pastors Shouldn’t Do

By : April 19, 2015

Everybody could probably tell you what a pastor should do. But the list of what a pastor, or parish leader of any kind, shouldn’t do is actually much longer. And it is as important to know what not to do as knowing your to-do list. Here are a few, in no particular order. #1. The pastor […]

5 Leadership Lessons Learned From Easter

By : April 4, 2015

Easter is the great feast day of the Church, giving life to all our hope. There is no end to what else could be said about it, but I have never really heard much said about this: the Easter story teaches us about leadership, and specifically the kind of leaders Christ wants in his Church. […]

3 “Must Do” Things to Add to Your To-Do List

By : March 27, 2015

We’re all looking for the silver bullet, the magic formula, the secret sauce that is going to take our church to the next level in terms of health and growth, discipleship and evangelization. Of course, there is no substitute for hard work and sustained effort, and you need a healthy team of leaders to make […]

5 Signs of Healthy Parish Leadership

By : March 20, 2015

When it comes to building a healthy parish (and a healthy parish will be a growing parish) the Eucharist is the source and the summit of our life together. Beyond that are the habits of discipleship: prayer, giving, ministry, evangelization. These are a given for a church to even be a church. But from a […]

Growth Brings Its Own Problems

By : March 2, 2015

Our parish is healthy and growing, which is great. We love the energy, the excitement, the sense of strong team ties, good morale, successful efforts. But leading through a season of growth brings its own challenges and problems too. #1. Change That Brought Growth Might Not Sustain It In our church we experienced growth in […]

Lent 2015

By : February 22, 2015

The annual observance of Lent brings a two-fold theme of repentance from sin and selfishness, thereby renewing our baptismal commitment, as well as our annual preparation for the celebration of Easter. Traditionally the Church has taught us to turn with renewed discipline and dedication to the spiritual pillars of prayer, penance, and giving. Prayer The […]

Defying Common Wisdom and Standard Practice

By : February 16, 2015

At Nativity we often find ourselves defying common wisdom and standard practice, much to the ongoing astonishment of many colleagues and friends. We don’t do it just to be different, we do it because so much of what goes on in churchworld no longer works. But church-people keep doing it anyway, because, well, that’s what […]

Be a Leader Who Listens (or how I got talked into a message series on sex)

By : February 7, 2015

Last week we began a new message series, which is new for us in several ways because it is a message about sex. And if anything was clear to me about this series, from the time it was first proposed, probably a year ago, until the moment I stepped into the pulpit last weekend, I […]

Five Ways Churches Discourage Guests

By : February 1, 2015

Recently I came across an interesting poll by Thom Rainer (ThomRainer.com) regarding the experience of first time guests at church. More often than not their experience turns them off and sends them away, never to return again. Here are some of the standouts (the order is mine, given my level of irritation with each): 1. […]

Creating the Future

By : January 25, 2015

If you have never read any of Jim Collins’ books, you should take a look sometime and start with Good to Great. Collins writes insightfully and effectively about organizational health and leadership development. One of the things that he reflects on is the climate of uncertainty and overwhelming change brought on by technology, politics, and […]