Church

Life and leadership in the church

Fear vs. faith – which will decide our future?

Fear blocks much of what God seeks to do in our churches and lives… When we choose fear, we miss out on God’s blessings. Continue reading »

Categories: Church, Church Leaders, Church Transformation, Faith, Undercover Pastor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Church’s Mission from Romans 10

Romans 10:8-15 “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with … Continue reading »

Categories: Bible, Church, Church and the World, Church Leaders, Reaching Out, Undercover Pastor | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Love the Church (from Charles Spurgeon)

My friend Eric gave me a copy of C. H. Spurgeon’s Faith’s Checkbook, and I’ve been using it as a daily devotion lately.  Today I happened to peek ahead at the July 10th entry and thought this was worth sharing.  (It’s in the public domain so copy away!) You can find more at www.eternallifeministries.org/fcb_toc.htm In … Continue reading »

Categories: Church, Prayer, Undercover Pastor, Worship | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

163440 Bible Content Exams served

The annual Presbyterian Church “Bible Content Exam” happened again today. And as of this evening, my web tool for studying the Bible – mainly for people taking that test, has been used 163440 times! I never would have imagined that 9 years ago. It’s very cool that I get to help so many people learn … Continue reading »

Categories: Bible, Church, Undercover Pastor | 2 Comments

Pain and Pastors

The word pastor comes from our job as shepherds.  Of course, Jesus is the real shepherd, but we pastors try our best to represent him well as we seek to care for his flock.  Jesus taught us that he’s the kind of shepherd who cares if a single sheep goes astray and wanders into danger, … Continue reading »

Categories: Church, Discipleship - learning from Jesus, God's love, Leadership, Pastor to pastor, Undercover Pastor | Leave a comment

The front or the back of the line?

Eleanor and I were headed for a rare cup of coffee without the kids and during the five-minute drive, we encountered two different people who were angry over someone getting into the lane of traffic ahead of them.  Eleanor and I actually let a couple of people in and then found a great parking place!  … Continue reading »

Categories: Church, Church Leaders, Church Transformation, Leadership, Smaller Church Ministry, Undercover Pastor | Leave a comment

Worship space decisions revisited

In response to my earlier post about the difficulty of making space in a smaller church, Becky made this suggestion: Have you thought of starting a new (small) church? I love the idea of small churches being so appealing that they multiply like bunnies. It’s really a reasonable thing to think about too – a … Continue reading »

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Small churches have a unique call

I had a wonderful opportunity to address pastors and elders from small churches at the Presbyterian Church’s biannual General Assembly on Monday.  I really do believe in the ministry of small churches.  By their definition, we are Trinity are now a medium-size church, but we’re still a lot smaller than many of the churches around … Continue reading »

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Decisions, decisions!

The past couple of weeks, I’ve been troubled in my spirit…  Is that good Bible language for spiritually messed up? Our church has experienced a lot of growth lately and we’re having growing pains.  That’s partly because our building is way too small.  It was built in a time when a) churches didn’t have parking … Continue reading »

Categories: Church, Church Transformation, Following Jesus, Smaller Church Ministry, Undercover Pastor | 2 Comments

Stay-at-home parents cause cancer?

A recent study claims that kids in daycare have better immune systems than those with stay-at-home parents, possibly leading to a reduced likelihood of leukemia.  See the New York Times article here. This makes me feel a lot better about the various sicknesses that some of our church kids passed around recently.  You see, as … Continue reading »

Categories: Church, Daddy log - parenting, Undercover Pastor | Leave a comment

The church and the needs of sexual assault survivors

Last week, I attended a “round table” of sexual assault survivors and members of the clergy. The honesty of the six women who had survived sexual assault was extraordinary – and extremely difficult to hear. But the hardest part of what they had to say was the part about how their churches had treated them. … Continue reading »

Categories: Church, Following Jesus, God's love, Justice, Undercover Pastor | Leave a comment

Don’t just do what you’re told!

About a year ago, I was at a ministry conference and someone I had been talking to the day before came up to me and said, “I have a message for you, Steve!” “Uh, OK…” I replied. “The message is that you’re ministry is on hold until you can stop caring what people think.” Now, … Continue reading »

Categories: Church, Discipleship - learning from Jesus, Pastor to pastor, Undercover Pastor | Leave a comment

God in the Mess

Last Sunday, many things went wrong in worship at Trinity. Now we’re not one of those churches were everything is polished and perfect, but even we are not accustomed to the sheer number of small things that went wrong, from people being out sick to sound system glitches to bulletin information being wrong.  And you … Continue reading »

Categories: Church, Discipleship - learning from Jesus, God's love, Undercover Pastor, Worship | 1 Comment

Follow Mii?

OK, I’m not a big Nintendo Wii player, but why are people so disturbed by this image of Jesus? Check out a blog entry about Mission Bay Community Church’s attempt to reach people by using the culture. The blog post by “Ryan” at the Two Small Coins blog does a nice analysis. Our church used … Continue reading »

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Dr. King’s legacy – The work continues

Today is the 40th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior. I think everyone in this country owes him a debt of gratitude for raising the consciousness of a nation that has always prided itself on being the land of the free. Well, it’s not over.  Since I’m a white man, people … Continue reading »

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Getting Real

I’m sitting here in a huge group of Presbyterian Church pastors, and I’m struck by how real these people are! If you’ve heard me preach or have come to my Bible studies, you know that being real is a biggie for me. I think that one of the biggest problems that the Christian Church faces … Continue reading »

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Toddler Syndrome

“Can I have some apple juice?” my son Joshua asked. “Sure,” I responded. “DAD, HE ALREADY ASKED MOM AND SHE SAID NO!” my older son Johnny yelled. Yes, Joshua has discovered the fine art of continuing to ask until you get the answer you want.  Dave Barney, a system software director I worked for for … Continue reading »

Categories: Church, Daddy log - parenting, Leadership, Undercover Pastor | Leave a comment

Satisfy the crowd, crucify Jesus?

 Mark 15:15 says, “Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.” Last spring another pastor said that he had a word for me: “God has your ministry on hold until you can stop worryign about what other people think.”  OUCH!  Do I really … Continue reading »

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Evangelism in 2007

I’m on my way home from the Presbyterian Church’s Evangelism Conference.  It’s clear to me that evangelism has really changed since the days when you could follow a script or hand people a booklet and they would make a decision to be a Christian.  These days it’s all about having relationships with people and about … Continue reading »

Categories: Church, Church Transformation, Undercover Pastor | 2 Comments

Trinity’s Kids Sing the National Anthem!

A dream that was in the making for some time came true this week.  Our kids’ choir sang the national anthem at a Sacramento River Cats game!  They did really well.  Click below to see and hear them: Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Categories: Church, Undercover Pastor | 1 Comment