Blog

The Black Swan Has Landed and We Call It COVID-19

By Bill Mowry April 16, 2020

What’s the book I’m reaching for in this pandemic? This isn’t a trick question. It should be the Bible. But . . . there’s another book I’ve found to be relevant. It’s The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. How can a book about swans help us shelter in place? For hundreds of years, we assumed that all swans were white. No one thought that a black swan could exist. Then black swans were discovered in Australia. Our knowledge of the swam family was up-ended…

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Therapy for the Sheltered-in-Place

By Bill Mowry April 8, 2020

I feel like I need some soul-therapy as I shelter-in-place. It’s been over three weeks since I’ve been in a store or a restaurant. It’s been over three weeks since I talked with a non-family member closer than six feet away. It’s been four weeks since I’ve been in a Lowe’s or Home Depot (maybe the hardest separation!). On top of that, I’m bombarded by life-threatening statistics and images through the media. Peggy and I are grateful for God’s protection and provision but sometimes our…

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A Place for Small And Local

By Bill Mowry March 5, 2020

The older I get the smaller I think. I’m not sure if this is because of my declining energy level or whether there’s some maturity taking place. I’m learning to appreciate thinking small and local rather than big and wide. This is a change for me since I’ve always been kind of a “vision guy.” Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t be like Caleb, the Old Testament leader who said “I am this day eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I…

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Why I Don’t Like Organic Ministry

By Bill Mowry March 5, 2020

(but I practice organic ministry) I must be honest. I was bored by the roundtable discussion on disciplemaking… until Jeff spoke. “I should be more intentional about disciplemaking” he said, “but I tend to wing it. I guess I’m more organic in my approach.” Carol immediately jumped in on Jeff’s comment: “I invite friends from the neighborhood over to fold laundry and talk about Jesus and the Bible. This is how I disciple others. It’s pretty organic.” I liked the discussion on flexibility and friendship…

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We all need to be young, poor, and wise.

By Bill Mowry January 21, 2020

When my parents were alive I made it a goal to call them weekly. When I called, they would pass the phone between them to share what was going on in their worlds. Mom brought me up to date on the family while dad described a new project in his workshop or a subject he was studying. Here’s how a couple of phone calls went with my dad.

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Welcome the Black Swan

By Bill Mowry October 28, 2019

With my gray hair comes a lifetime of reading. There’s a lot of books that have captured my attention over the years. One book that’s had a lingering influence is The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. How can a book about a bird be helpful? For hundreds of years, we assumed that all swans were white. No one thought of a black swan. Then black swans were discovered in Australia. Our knowledge of the swam family was up-ended because we had concluded that since…

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I Don’t Read Books About Disciplemaking (Here’s What I Read Instead)

By Bill Mowry September 24, 2019

What?! Someone whose ministry is about disciplemaking doesn’t read books about disciplemaking? Isn’t that a heretical statement? Perhaps it is. Here’s why I say this. I think my taste for disciplemaking books was spoiled by the first book I ever read on disciplemaking, The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman. I still have my worn yellow-cover, underlined 1973 edition. Coleman’s book set the bar for disciplemaking for my generation. Every book since is simply a refinement or expansion of his work on Jesus’ disciplemaking…

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Beware The Person In Brown

By Bill Mowry September 24, 2019

WHO is this person in brown? It’s the UPS delivery person! I love seeing the chocolate-brown UPS truck pull up to my house. The sight of the brown truck triggers an anticipation of a package. However, there can be a downside to this brand’s sameness. Several years ago, my Navigator staff friend Jerry made this observation: “The Navigators is like the UPS guy (when they were all guys!). We can spot them by the brown color of their trucks, their brown shorts, and the little…

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I’ve Changed My Mind About Change

By Bill Mowry September 24, 2019

I’ve always loved change. A student in our former campus ministry once observed, “You know, Bill, we don’t have to do something different each semester. We can repeat ourselves!” Why repeat yourself when you can try something new? As a leader, I’ve extolled change as a natural part of life and leadership. Change has usually been easy because as the leader I typically initiated the change. I assumed that if people didn’t get on board with the change, the problem was with them. After all,…

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Are You Practicing Hot-Tub Leadership?

By Bill Mowry September 24, 2019

Have you heard the story about the hot tub? Mary was part of a male/female leadership team meeting for long-range ministry planning. Their meeting place was a motel conference center. After the evening meal, the men went to relax in the hot tub and invited the women to join them. The women politely declined and the groups went their separate ways. Imagine the women’s surprise the next morning when the men described the decisions made in the hot tub. Turns out that the guys’ casual…

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