Grey Hair Chronicles

Are You Practicing Hot-Tub Leadership?

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…

Grey Hair Chronicles

Practice Others-Promoting

It was twenty-five years ago but it seems like yesterday. I walked away from the meeting feeling humiliated and ashamed. What began as a casual meeting with my supervisor turned into a moment of embarrassment. Sitting calmly in a restaurant, Tim looked at me and said, “I’ve never met another staff who was so self-promoting.”…

Grey Hair Chronicles

Welcome the Contrarian in Your Midst

I bet you have one in your life — the sometimes annoying contrarian. There’s probably a contrarian sibling, friend, or church member among your relationships. These men and women“poke the bear” — asking us uncomfortable questions, challenging our assumptions, or proposing new solutions. Contrarians think and say things in ways that are “contrary” to the…

Grey Hair Chronicles

I Was So Much Younger Then…

I admit it. His slightly discordant harmonica playing and cigarette-scarred voice is an acquired taste. But, I’m still a fan. Some of Bob Dylan’s songs contain pieces of gold. Here’s one example from My Back Pages. Good and bad, I define these terms Quite clear, no doubt, somehow Ah, but I was so much older…

Grey Hair Chronicles

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…

Grey Hair Chronicles

Confessions of a Vision Junkie

I have a confession to make. I’m a vision junkie. My fascination with vision is probably because I’m an idealist at heart. Before becoming a Christ-follower, my idealism led me to join arms with the 1960s peace movement and its related streams of poverty eradication and racism. Surely we could change the world! When I…

Grey Hair Chronicles

But Don’t I Need To Do More?

My email is stuffed with invitations to an assortment of events. This one caught my attention recently: Understanding Honor and Shame in Outreach. Today’s emphasis in evangelism and discipleship often focuses on the inner life of the person, the place of deep hurts, shame, or broken pasts. While I appreciate the need to understand the…

Grey Hair Chronicles

The WOW of Christmas

I’m a huge fan of Christmas. I love how neighborhoods and shopping malls explode in color. I walk through the shops savoring the decorations and soaking in the holiday music. For me, there’s a silent “wow” about the whole season. I know some downplay the pomp of Christmas. They’re concerned that we’ve bought into the…

Grey Hair Chronicles

The Way of Wisdom

“Can’t you just tell us what to do next, Bill!” It’s tempting to tell people what to do next. I like the feeling of being an expert. My sinful side likes it because there’s an element of control in telling people what to do. Experience, though, has taught me to reign in my advice-giving. I’ve…