Author Archive for DJ

Do You Remember Andrew?

You perhaps remember Andrew. You may have prayed for him.  Andrew Brunson is the 50-year old American pastor who was arrested in Turkey on the charge of “membership in an armed terrorist organization.”  His real crime was serving as pastor of a 25-member Presbyterian church in Ankara, Turkey. He and his family had served there […]

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Your Pastor’s Back

It’s right there in front of you. You can recognize it even from a distance. I don’t mean your pastor has returned, I mean we’re looking at him/her from behind. Here’s why: If your church seems to be a target, your pastor is the bullseye. Sometimes it seems like it’s painted on his (or her) […]

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Friday Morning Office

A couple of weeks ago I got a slap up along side of the head about how and why some churches grow. I have a friend who’s on the pastoral staff of a large church not far from us. I mean a large church. About 20,000 people attend every weekend, on eight separate campuses in […]

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Pie Squared*

Surprised may be the word that best describes the folks as they gathered in the worship center and waited for the service to begin. Just in front of the pulpit, where the communion table usually stood, there was a large table. Covered with pies. Apple. Peach. Banana cream. Chocolate. You know, the whole menu. Nothing […]

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Are You Different?

Are you different? After you’ve been to church, I mean. I don’t mean are you strange, I mean, are you changed? Transformed? The purpose of church is not that we might be entertained. Or be pleased. Or gratified (although it may do that, too). The purpose of church is to be absolutely transformational. How am […]

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Sell the Church!

Several years ago I was invited by a small congregation to help them discover why they had stopped growing. The church was about a dozen years old, membership about 60; attendance around 30. They hadn’t had a baptism in three years; most of the incremental growth they had experienced was from members moving to the […]

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Vision Leaks

Virtually everything, over time, tends to run down. Trees sprout, grow, produce fruit, then begin to decay. Projects, begun with enthusiasm, can move to passion, but if not stoked, can gradually lose their fascination. Even a dramatic news story runs a predictable “news cycle.” No matter how scintillating, after a couple of days it moves […]

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Changing the Frame

Late on the evening of July 24, 2002, a team of nine coal miners, working 250 feet underground accidentally broke through into an adjacent abandoned mine shaft. Immediately 75,000,000 gallons of water began pouring into the site where they were working and the miners scrambled up slope in the 4 foot high mine shaft to […]

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The Bell Curve Goes to Church

If you work around educators much – or a host of other disciplines – you are familiar with the term, the Bell Curve. As it applies to the graphic above it might illustrate, for instance, that the brightest group of students in a classroom is on the left, the slowest learners on the right, and […]

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If They Miss

If folks miss something important, they should be missed. I mean, if they miss Sabbath School or prayer meeting for instance, they should know they’re missed. I know a Sabbath School teacher who keeps a little box of cards and pens on the pew beside him, and at the beginning of class he passes it […]

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