Three Questions Every Graduate (and the rest of us) Should Ask

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If I had 60 minutes to solve a problem and my life depended on it, 

I’d spend the first 55 minutes determining the right question to ask.

— ALBERT EINSTEIN —

Dear graduate, Congratulations! After years of hard work (or hardly working for some of you!), you’ve made it!

As great as this moment might be, I bet there is already a question working its way from the back of your mind to the front of your not yet fully developed prefrontal cortex – a question that is beginning to nag at you – and I bet that question is this: NOW WHAT?

How do I know this?  Because it’s the one question you, and every other graduate, will likely ask for the rest of your life!  As one achievement or accomplishment (or sadly, one loss or failure) ends you’re likely to begin the next chapter in life by asking, Now what? Continue reading

REPOST // 3 Ways Christians Can Graduate from Attending Church

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“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.” – James 1:22

It’s that time of year where high school seniors, and eager 20 somethings don their caps and gowns and march down the aisles toward a graduation ceremony that will conclude, in one fashion or another, with these words: “We’ve prepared you well, now get out there and do something!”

This seems appropriate, doesn’t it – that after spending 12 years in high school, and then perhaps another few years in college that those graduating would receive the commission to DO something with what they have learned?

Here’s the thing though, I rarely remember hearing these words from those standing before me in my childhood church.  They were, and many of them still are, good people to be sure, but there was never that turning point in my spiritual development where an older, more mature, Christian stood before me and said…Go! or Do!

It would seem that many of our churches are still full of such people who are stuck in a form of Christianity that leaves people stuck in their seats. Continue reading

Why Being Big on Strategy Can Help Small Churches Feel Small (and Why That’s a Good Thing)

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The last time I flew, I imagine my experience was like most Americans’—on a major carrier.  The plane was one of hundreds pulled up to the gate that day.  Before I ever took my seat there were countless people getting the plane ready for take-off—those working the ticket counter, those working the baggage, those prepping and inspecting the aircraft, and not one of these were responsible for flying the plane.

Many of the leaders I talk to who work with small churches not only lead the church—they do everything else as well.  They operate more like the pilot of a small prop plane, than the captain of an intercontinental jet.

I get that. I work at a small church too.  I only have so many hours in a week, but those working with larger churches are often able to focus their time in more specific areas, whereas those working with smaller congregations often have to multi-task in order to fill the voids left by financial or personnel resources.

Small church leaders are often expected to do things outside of their ability because these things are often assumed to be part of their role.  Continue reading

3 Ways Christians Can Graduate from Attending Church

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“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.” – James 1:22

It’s that time of year where high school seniors, and eager 20 somethings don their caps and gowns and march down the aisles toward a graduation ceremony that will conclude, in one fashion or another, with these words: “We’ve prepared you well, now get out there and do something!”

This seems appropriate, doesn’t it – that after spending 12 years in high school, and then perhaps another few years in college that those graduating would receive the commission to DO something with what they have learned?

Here’s the thing though, I don’t ever remember hearing these words from those standing before me in my childhood church.  They were, and many of them still are, good people to be sure, but there was never that turning point in my spiritual development where an older, more mature, Christian stood before me and said…Go! or Do!

It would seem that many of our churches are still full of such people who are stuck in a form of Christianity that leaves people stuck in their seats. Continue reading

Succeeding as a Small Church // Pepperdine Audio

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I’m so thankful to Pepperdine University Bible Lectures and Mike Cope for the invite to be a small part of this year’s lectures.  If you weren’t able to attend, then you missed out on an incredible gathering of diverse leaders, speakers, and writers unified around a common love for God and others and the place our small tribe can play in the ongoing movement of God’s kingdom.

I spoke to a small group of leaders while there who, like me, want to see good things happen in small church America.

Here is a link to my talk, When Small Churches Make a Big Difference, on iTunes.  You can click HERE to listen.

The 720

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“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” – Dr. Seuss

Like it or not, each of us have only a number of days, but the point of life has never really been about counting how many days we have, but instead, learning how to make each of the days count – however short or long they might be! This is the timeless wisdom of the Psalmist when he said, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Continue reading