Making Church Matter

The Opportunities Fall Brings

Next to Christmas itself, Fall is absolutely my favorite season of the year. The days get cooler, the nights get longer (which I love) and here in Maryland the foliage delights with its annual colorful display (no where more impressive than right here on our church campus). But for us churchpeople it is also the season of […]

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Evangelization

Making Room

Fall is the perfect time for the Church to welcome back parishioners otherwise occupied during the summer months. It is the time to expect visitors and newcomers to give your church a try. Likewise, it is also one of the most effective times to invite your unchurched friends and family to church (the other two […]

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Evangelization

A New Year of Rebuilding Your Parish

The National Eucharistic Revival being sponsored by the USCCB enters its second phase this summer, styled the “Year of Parish Renewal.”  This can be an important opportunity for parishes looking to finally move on from our collective COVID setback, or reignite energy and enthusiasm in the face of ever creeping malaise and missional drift. A quick look […]

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Leadership | Stewardship

Trading Spaces

It has long been my contention that one of the easiest “wins” a parish can achieve comes in cleaning up public spaces, such as lobbies, nurseries, and the sanctuary. Clutter and dirt are the secret enemies of the church (link), diminishing the experience of your facility for parishioners and discouraging newcomers from engagement. There are […]

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Leadership

Simplify Your Schedule

When I arrived at my parish, the expectation was that the pastor does everything, from unlocking the front doors on Sunday mornings to changing the toilet paper in the men’s room (I’m not sure who took care of the ladies’ room). Furthermore, my presence was absolutely expected and, in fact, demanded absolutely everything that happened […]

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Evangelization

What If My Pastor is the Problem?

I just wrapped up several days at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress spent talking to parish leaders from across the country. On the final day, at the final session, I offered a presentation gleaned from our recent book Seriously, God? Making Sense of Life Not Making Sense. Specifically, my presentation focused on how to make […]

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Communication | Evangelization

Your Church’s New Front Door

It wasn’t so very long ago that your church’s front door was … your front door. It was how newcomers and visitors (and everyone else) came to you. The values held by growing churches were accessibility and hospitality, making sure those joining you could easily get in and feel welcome. About a dozen years ago […]

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Vision

The Church in 2023

After three difficult years unlike any other in churchworld (and the world at large) we are all left wondering what the year ahead will bring. And as a pastor, my number one question is definitely what will the Church look like in 2023. I am no prophet or seer, I’m not always even clear on […]

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Evangelization

Advent as a Season of Hope

I received a surprise phone call from my friend Rick Warren (yes, the Pastor Rick Warren) over the Thanksgiving holiday. Once I got over my shock that Pastor Rick would take time to speak to me, we got talking about declining and stagnating church attendance following the COVID season. He said to me, “Mike, (he’s the only person who […]

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