Blog

Is There A Difference In Being Spiritual and Religious?

In recent decades pollsters in a number of countries have discerned a clear trend: the word “spiritual” is far more appealing than the word “religion.” For much of our history, the words spiritual and religious meant roughly the same thing. In his book “Spiritual But Not Religious: Understanding Unchurched America” Robert Fuller observes this is no longer true: “The word... Continue Reading

How To Respond To “Everyone’s Saying…….”

If you have served on church staff or in positions of church leadership for any length of time you have heard statements such as: “Everyone’s saying…….” “Everybody thinks…….” “A lot of people are……..” “I’ve had many people tell me……..” “People wish you would……..” “I’ve heard people say……..” “Everyone wants to know……” “Nobody believes that…….” “A ton of people want………” “No... Continue Reading

How Intentional Are You in Building a Healthy Church Staff Culture?

In his book, The Emotionally Healthy Leader, Pete Scazzaro provides a helpful assessment for senior level church staff to get a sense of how intentional they are in building a healthy church staff culture. Below is an adapted version of the assessment with suggested action steps. Next to each statement, write down the number that best describes your response. Use... Continue Reading

Transform Church Culture Through A Keystone Habit

In architecture, a “keystone” is the centermost stone in an arch that supports all of the other stones, yet carries the least amount of weight. In Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, he introduces the idea of a keystone habit, a habit that helps hold other good habits in place. We all have habits in our lives, but certain... Continue Reading

Don’t Mistake Church Climate for Church Culture

Frequently, a pastor or minister experiences frustration, resistance or lack of acceptance of their change initiatives. Often this results from a failure to recognize the difference between church climate and church culture. Both climate and culture reflect environmental conditions but the climate of the church, like the weather, is dynamic, inconsistent and can change quickly. Church culture, on the other hand, is steadfast,... Continue Reading

Ten Steps for Building Church Cultural Values

There is no silver bullet for building a church culture, but culture savvy church leaders recognize culture shaping requires an intentional process. Church culture is complex, but in its simplest form consists of a set of underlying cultural values. Viewing church culture building through the lens of cultural values can be a helpful approach. What might the intentional building of... Continue Reading

10 Buckets For Powerful Staff Performance Conversations

Gallup studies on employee engagement show that regular performance conversations dramatically improves employee productivity, moral, job satisfaction and tenure. Therefore, designing regular and effective performance conversations is an important responsibility of effective staff supervision. Consider questions in these 10 conversation buckets to improve the effectiveness of your regular one-on-one performance conversations. Starter Questions for Performance Conversations #1. Cultivate the Soul:... Continue Reading

What Does Go Deeper Really Mean?

Deep calls to deep at the thunder of your silence; all your waves and your billows have gone over me. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. –Psalm 42:7-8 Depth. It is the essence of the spiritual journey…..to go deeper into God’s love... Continue Reading

Church Culture as Community, Cause and Corporation

Over twenty years ago Jim Dethmer wrote an article that I continue to see play out in churches today. He described the church as having three primary dimensions: Community, Cause and Corporation. Each dimension is found in Scripture and represents how a body of believers is to function. Often the identity and culture of a church can be defined by the emphasis... Continue Reading

The Supervisor as Shepherd Leader

“The greatest enemy of intimacy with God is service for God”- Dallas Willard “As ministers, the activity of our lives (“doing” for Jesus) inevitably begins to eclipse the contemplative dimension of our lives (“being” with Jesus) and soon we are engaged in more activity for God than our being with God can sustain.” – Pete Scazzero  “Let the Lord, the... Continue Reading

Clarifying Communication Using a Common Language

Every profession has its own language. Lawyers, electricians, plumbers and auto-mechanics all have terminology unique to their profession. They use these common terms to create mutual understanding and shape behavior. A common language is especially critical with doctors, firemen, policemen and the military who are in life and death situations where even the slightest misunderstanding can have tragic implications. A... Continue Reading

17 Books To Help Develop Intimacy With God

Many ministers I know wrestle with the difficulty of trying to live a life of transformation and intimacy with God they read about in their Bibles. Most of us long for a deeper inner spiritual life yet regularly experience Dallas Willard’s observation “the greatest enemy of intimacy with God, is service for God.” Ministry by definition is depleting. Without constant... Continue Reading