Simplicity Rules!

The older I get the more I value simplicity. Maybe its because my attention span is shorter and my patience runs thinner. This leads to a confession. I’m embarrassed to admit that over the years, I’ve devised a lot of complicated ministry strategies, solutions, and programs that yielded little or no returns. Complexity seldom pays…

Culture Building Memo #10: When is a church like a garden center?

My wife and I love “yardening.” Our property has limited direct sun so we have difficulty growing a vegatable garden but we can grow flowers and shrubs. This makes us avid yardeners. Did you know that gardening, and yardening, is American’s #1 hobby? In Columbus, Ohio these enthusiasts crowd garden centers and nurseries around May…

Culture Building Memo #9: Farm the farm that’s given to you

“We just can’t compete!”was the lament of Steve and Jack. They pastor a mid-size church that sits in the shadow of two prominent mega-churches with nationally known pastors. “How can we compete with a circus at Halloween or a Madrigal Dinner at Christmas? We can’t sponsor those kinds of activities!” This complaint fueled some quality…

Culture Building Memo #8: It’s all about relationships

When Bill Clinton ran for President in 1992, he posted a simple sign over the doorway to his political “war room” (his campaign headquarters). He knew he couldn’t defeat the incumbent President, George Bush, on his foreign policy plans but he believed that Bush was vulnerable on the economy. What did the sign say? Every…

Culture Building Memo #7: Don’t lose the principles for the particulars

Pastors James and Chad eagerly started building a Great Commission culture in their church last summer. We moved forward with real progress but soon a “bump” interrupted our plan. James was becoming a dad in December and would take a leave of absence for six weeks. Chad would lead the church in his absence ….

Culture Building Memo #6: It starts with mission

I love the book The Master Plan of Evangelism. It’s the classic work on disciplemaking. Imagine my surprise when one day I seriously looked at the title. It’s not “The Master Plan of Disciplemaking” (though Coleman did eventually publish a book with this title). The book is about Jesus’ plan for evangelism. What was His…

Culture Building Memo #5: Model before you plan

My wife Peggy spent twenty years in corporate America working with two Fortune 500 companies. Large corporations love strategic plans and strategies for change. About every four years you could count on a new strategic plan led by another highly paid consultant or CEO. After experiencing several of these corporate strategic plans, Peggy could predict…