It’s More Blessed to Receive than to Give

It’s More Blessed to Receive than to Give

Last year, I had the opportunity to hear Ed Wingfield, one-time Executive Director of the former Denver Urban League speak on leadership. “Using our current models of leadership, if we’re not careful, a few heroes will rise economically in our community. But no one...
Debate as Sacrament

Debate as Sacrament

At one church I visited recently, a long-time member confided that the church was going to have to split because the two pastors had differing views on human sexuality and the Bible.   Why can’t our differences live side by side?  They do in the Bible.  ...

Got Renewal?

Renewal is an elusive quality in most congregations. It’s also widely misunderstood. Congregational renewal is not created by more people in pews, more bible studies or more outreach. It’s not a function of working harder or even smarter. It doesn’t come by getting...

When Belief Isn’t Enough

What’s the main reason people leave the church?  It’s not politics.  It’s not traditional worship. It’s not talk of money. It’s not unfriendly or overbearing people. It’s not the appearance or age of the building. It’s not generationally-imbalanced...

Mediocre Grace

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s classic 1937 book, The Cost of Discipleship, describes cheap grace as the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline and communion without confession.  It’s the sort of grace that allowed...

Why Churches are Poor

At a recent clergy retreat I attended, we prayed a prayer that went something like this:  “O Lord, keep us far from the riches of the world.”  Each of us was sincere in our prayers. Later it occurred to me that God is indeed answering that prayer!  Many churches find...