Archive for Discipleship

People-Pleasing Verses Leadership

By : August 6, 2016

I knew an enthusiastic pastor who came to a church that was brimming with potential. He had terrific ideas and couldn’t wait to get going. Fast-forward five years, he’s no longer there and all that potential remains untapped. Ever wonder how your leadership potential gets crushed? It happens easily and more often than you might […]

6 Reasons Your Church Isn’t Growing

By : July 28, 2016

Healthy things grow. That’s just how life works. But looking around, there isn’t always evidence our churches are alive. In nature, growth is simple- it takes a seed, some good soil, sunlight, and water. When it comes to growing churches, it’s really not that much different in essence- the Gospel, planted in a good community, […]

3 Tips on Reaching the Culture of Spiritual Comfort

By : July 14, 2016

What’s more challenging (and annoying) to Christians than outright hostility? Indifference. And that’s exactly the attitude of most of the unchurched people in your community (the hostile one’s are just louder). The truth is, most unchurched people you encounter do not feel morally or even spiritually bankrupt. Actually, they’re spiritually quite “comfortable.” Reaching this group […]

Four Steps Toward More Spiritually Mature Disciples

By : July 7, 2016

When it comes to growing disciples, we’ve been led to think we must choose between quantity or quality. I’m not sure where that line of thinking began, but it needs to stop. God calls our churches to multi-dimensional growth; discipleship is about going both deeper and wider. We aim to make spiritually mature disciples. Mature […]

5 Reasons I Preach in Message Series

By : May 8, 2016

This past week, our “Message Team” met for an all day off-site to finalize our plans for our message series for the upcoming year. The message team consists of 7 people on staff who meet each week to help develop and evaluate my weekend messages. A few times a year we take extra time to […]

Three Ways to Spot the Difference Between the Unchurched and Church-Shoppers

By : April 28, 2016

Over the years we have been able to predict with some accuracy who is likely to show up in our lobby on any given Sunday. We always talk about Timonium Tim, the name we’ve given to the quintessentially unchurched guy and his family in our community. We plan every aspect of our weekend experience around […]

Mercy on Us

By : April 1, 2016

Since Pope Francis has declared 2016 a Jubilee Year of Mercy, I’ll try at least a couple times to write about this theme over the year. Mercy is operative in every healthy and growing church, and this is a good week to bring it up since Pope John Paul II established the tradition of celebrating […]

4 Ways to Make Your Church a Place of Mercy This Year

By : January 14, 2016

Pope Francis has declared an “Extraordinary” Jubilee Year of Mercy, which will run through November 20, 2016. What is that? It is actually a perfect opportunity to make church matter by following God’s call to extend mercy to the lost and broken. Here are four areas we’ve been trying in our parish, and we hope […]

Christmas is Coming

By : November 30, 2015

It never fails to amaze me. It just gets earlier and earlier every year. Christmas is officially on the mind of almost every American. If you haven’t started already, your church is probably already planning to buy your Advent candles, wreaths, and lights for Christmas. But have you and your staff sat down together to […]

52% Have Walked Away, Now What? How About Make Church Matter

By : September 18, 2015

Things are certainly abuzz around the Catholic Church in America these days. With less than a week until Pope Francis’ historic first visit to the United States, some heavy theological debates on the table, and a whirlwind year of intense political change and debate, it’s hard to stay focused on our parish ministry. On the […]