Nurture Your Soul

This is the end of the chapter in my new book (the one I am writing now) on nurturing your soul. Spiritual formation requires something of us. It requires discipline. In fact, ongoing practices that help nurture spiritual formation are called disciplines. They are things you do intentionally and repeatedly that … Continue reading

 Helping People Be Who They Are

Conventional church leadership wisdom says, “Build the church.” That means to build the organization by increasing attendance, involvement, income, and influence. The discipleship process got morphed into teaching doctrines and trying to turn attendees into good church members, training newcomers to use their talents and gifts to sustain and expand … Continue reading

My Prayer

Typically, it goes something like this, only with a few more details. Well, good morning! I feel kind of scrambled today. My head is full of thoughts of things that need to be done and thoughts that worry me. I wonder just where those dark thoughts come from and how … Continue reading

Opportunistic Worship

Image by SakuriRainne. Creative Commons. We should become opportunistic worshippers, recognizing God wherever we find him. If we approach life like that, he will surprise us with a touch of the divine in weird and unlikely places. I am a party worshipper. Yes, partying has been equated with binge drinking and … Continue reading

Wide Open Worship

There are two sides to worship, the mystical and spiritual side, that stirs up feelings of awe and reverence and the physical, action-oriented side. Worship is anchored in spirit and truth, but ultimately our worship is revealed in the way we live. That’s what we learned from the Scriptures, and … Continue reading

Soul Care

Image by Franco Folini, Creative Commons I came to realize, if I couldn’t take care of myself, I couldn’t help anyone else. Soul care is perhaps our primary responsibility and renewing our soul is as “holy” as serving a homeless person. Our personal wellbeing and our ability to contribute to the … Continue reading

I Saw God

I have seen him many times and I have discovered that he is full of surprises and is very irreligious. I saw him when I looked out at Lake Michigan yesterday from the bluff in Port Washington, Wisconsin as the sun was illuminating our massive blue inland ocean. I saw … Continue reading


During those transitional years, I had a very difficult time figuring out how to do evangelism. Some of the things I have been taught seemed like they cheapened the message by making evangelism all about information and presentation. It seems like there was very little consideration for the person, my … Continue reading

From Trendy to Local

At one of the churches we attended, the pastoral staff frequently attended conferences. That resulted in a church that flowed on the tides of the latest trends espoused by the mega-churches and their gurus. This church was forever tweaking their mission statement, ministry names, and structures. At the newcomers’ lunches … Continue reading

From Build to Give Away

Almost all of the conferences I went to as a pastor were about building the church, increasing attendance, offerings, and participation in ministries. We got it wrong! This is the overarching principle for all the shifts that I mentioned so far. It strikes at the basic purpose of the church. … Continue reading