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We often use gimmicks to bring people into our ministry. (Bring a Friend Day, High Attendance Day, etc.) Those gimmicks are not sustainable and can actually become a hindrance to connection (people, especially youth can sense ulterior motives). Wanting to draw others in is a noble goal, but the only sustainable way to do it is to CRAFT a contagious culture. Here’s how:  CelebrationA community repeats what is celebrates. Give attention...

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Cookies and Resolutions


Posted By on Jan 1, 2019 in Uncategorized |

I had resolved to eat less sugar in 2019. After welcoming the New Year in with friends, our contribution to the party held one last cookie. (Read the last three words again, but one word at a time, with the appropriate gravity of ONE. LAST. COOKIE.) It was a special occasion. I couldn’t throw it away. Forty-five minutes into my 2019 resolution, I was already off the wagon. Here are some that (I hope) will last longer. fall in...

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CLEAR your week in 2019


Posted By on Dec 30, 2018 in Uncategorized |

Growing up, I had a dog that enjoyed bursting through an open door and running free. Because it was often my brother or me that let her sneak out, it was our responsibility to run her down and bring her home. My dog, a master at fakes, jukes, and misdirection, made it a frustrating endeavor that could stretch out over hour. Chasing her left us tired and angry.              Early in my ministry, my week could also sneak away, leaving...

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Enjoy the Honeymoon


Posted By on May 3, 2018 in Uncategorized |

I have been through 5 job transitions in my vocational life. Each transition was unique, because they took place at different churches. The one similarity among them, however, was a “honeymoon”. The honeymoon referred to here is that period of time when the hiring church or organization gives the new staffer extra time, grace, and space to learn the culture of their new setting. The honeymoon period is fleeting, but it offers a unique...

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Silo or Segment?


Posted By on Oct 8, 2017 in Uncategorized |

A sincere staff member once accused me of existing only my ministry “silo”.  Because of who he was, and his commitment to our ministry, I could not dismiss his observation. But I was still angry. After my anger subsided, I began to understand he had a point. I came to understand several difficult conclusions about the youth ministry.  We did OUR events and rarely invited other staff members to speak into them or attend them.  We...

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The Prayer I No Longer Pray


Posted By on Jun 2, 2017 in Uncategorized |

My youngest child is leaving soon for a mission trip with her youth group.  In my morning walking/praying routine I was thinking about her upcoming experience.  I prayed for a lot of things during my walk, but the one thing I did not pray for might be surprising the reader— What didn’t I pray for? Her Safety As a former youth pastor, I have led trips and participated in local mission for decades.  In those years I tried to anticipate...

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