A Wrong Disciplemaking Assumption and 3 Ways to Overcome it

By Bill Mowry July 17, 2024

It was “deja vu all over again.” I had the same conversation on two successive days with two different pastors on two different continents! Both pastors were making the same assumption and I could predict the outcome of their actions. What was the assumption? They assumed that if you provided the right instruction (on disciplemaking) you would get the appropriate action (people making disciples). Seldom does telling change lives. Transferring information is not a trusty change agent. The reaction from the pastors’ audiences confirmed this. People listened, nodded their heads, and…

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Let’s Go Gray! 5 Ways Seniors Move Ministry Forward

By Bill Mowry July 3, 2024

Covid changed Peggys and my television viewing habits. I’m not sure why or how it happened but we’re now fans of HGTV, the Food Channel, and almost anything British on the Acorn channel. We’re drawn to the British detective shows. One show was a favorite until they featured a murder in an elderly residence home. As the detectives investigated the murder, they encountered all kinds of seniors — the ditzy elderly lady, the know-it-all obnoxious male, and the curious and dazed bystanders grouped in the…

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Six Dance Steps for Teaching and Discipling Adults

By Bill Mowry June 26, 2024

Television runs on the tracks of trends. One current trend is a variation of the ballroom dance. We love to watch minor celebrities, athletes, or politicians learn the intricacies of ballroom dancing. A fundamental rule of ballroom dancing is that someone must lead. Teaching is like ballroom dancing where the teacher leads, and the learner follows along. This works great until we teach adults. Adult learning demands a reversal of these roles. What does this look like? We switch roles when we consider teaching through…

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This is not half time . . . I’m living in the Third Half!

By Bill Mowry March 28, 2024

I slid into the seat opposite my friend Chris. Chris is one of the most provocative friends I have. We’ve known each other for over twenty years. Some years we rarely see each other but when we do, we quickly go to the heart of our lives. We typically end up preaching to one another. Our restaurant booth conversation this morning was about aging. “I’m entering my third half,” he said. Chris was twisting the title of the popular book Half Time by Bob Buford….

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Shamrock Evangelism

By Bill Mowry March 7, 2024

Patrick of Ireland is one of my faith heroes. It’s unfortunate that the Roman Catholic church claims him as one of their own. Patrick belongs to the ages. His ministry to Ireland took place before there was an Eastern Orthodox Church or a Roman Catholic church. Protestants can claim him as one of their own. Patrick’s story began with a kidnapping. His teen years were spent as a slave to an Irish master. During his servitude he came to faith. Patrick’s time in Ireland allowed…

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It’s Not Too Late to Convert 

By Bill Mowry February 15, 2024

I was marked by the cross this past Wednesday. Peggy and I attended a Lenten service and received the sign of the cross in ashes on our foreheads. How did two Baptists end up at a Lenten service? I grew up attending a small rural Presbyterian church. Before I told God to “shove off”  in my teen years, I heard and participated in ceremonies called “Advent” and “Lent.” No one ever explained the meaning of these seasons; they just showed up in the changing color…

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It was 60 years ago today . . .

By Bill Mowry February 8, 2024

It’s Sunday night, February 9, 1964. An entire nation was glued to a Sunday evening television show, and I was no exception. Seventy-three million people watched one show that night — setting a viewing record. It was reported that crime dropped in New York City during this hour. After watching this show, my friend Dennis bought a guitar and grew his hair long. What made this hour so special? The Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show! This former club band from Liverpool, England captured…

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Putting the “W” Back Into Meditation

By Bill Mowry February 1, 2024

Meditation has permeated our culture.  Commercials and advertisements feature people in yoga classes practicing meditation. The New York City School System sets aside time at the beginning of the day for students to practice mindfulness and deep breathing to counter stress. The medical field promotes meditation as a “simple, fast way to reduce stress.” According to the Pew Research Center, 40% of Americans say that they meditate regularly at least once a week. When practiced in these settings, meditation is typically an intentional focus of…

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Four Leadership Rules to Break

By Bill Mowry January 18, 2024

Rule #1. Keep the conversation in the closet. As leaders, we huddle together to discuss needs, challenges, and new initiatives. We do the research, talk a lot, and collectively come to a conclusion. We keep the conversation in the “closet” of our meetings. We’re excited but when we announce it to a congregation or ministry group all we hear is “crickets.” When crickets happen, I quickly conclude that people “aren’t committed.” If I feel exceptionally spiritual, I frame the proposal with “The Lord led us…

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50% is Not What I Expected.

By Bill Mowry January 4, 2024

I’m a consummate goal setter. One of my sabbatical goals in 2021 was to read all of my journals since my last sabbatical in 2010. After reading three years of journals I put them aside. I was discouraged by the number of goals I set that were left undone. In reading these journals I discovered that about every four months I set new goals or revised old ones. I was struck at how few goals were ever accomplished; maybe 50% were left uncompleted. At the…

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