This category contains 44 posts

Shredding Clutter, Living with Purpose

Priorities help you rifle into the heart of the evilness called clutter. Busyness is the noise of life. And trust me that noise can be deafening. There’s a phrase that I’ve learned in a Bible study: Look for where God is at work and join Him. Maybe you know it, too. Some manage to raise … Continue reading

Towards a Disciple-making Movement

It is possible for churches to grasp the vision of movements and not bring systemic changes to keep it going. This is a call for taking an objective look in the stained glass windows of our churches. What is really going on? And how reproducible is it in the real world? Denominational loyalists are in … Continue reading

Closing the Back Door: Five Keys

In a consultation with a church as they were developing their evangelism strategy, it dawned on me that if their church had been in a community that had not grown numerically, they easily could have closed their doors. Many American communities have grown incredibly in the past decade. If churches in those communities lost two … Continue reading

Lead from the Front

Maj. James Howard called St. Louis home and became a Flying Tiger ace in China. He went on to become a P-51B fighter pilot in World War II. During one mission, he was separated from his squadron, but found the lead B-17 Flying Fortress bomber group. Each bomber had 30 men on board and there … Continue reading

Mattering: Is Your Approach Relevant?

Does what you do matter to others? Are you relevant? While I was attending a Purpose Driven Church workshop in 2005, I heard Rick Warren tell attendees to place greeters at their church doors that represented the kind of person that they wanted their church to attract. If that’s 90 year-old men, then that’s okay. … Continue reading

But can you make disciples?

It was an honor to meet recently with a young pastor from southwestern Missouri. He wanted to know how he could get his church to become active witnesses for Christ. He had a pen and paper and was ready to write down a training program or book he could use. However, my advice was to … Continue reading

The Resources are in the Harvest

What would a map of those you’ve led to faith in Jesus look like? A believer in Texas shared this hand drawn “map” of those he had shared Christ with and who had passed it along. Those he witnessed to were in red and the second “generation” was in blue and so on. This all … Continue reading

Teaching the Lesson or Making Disciples?

My Sunday School teacher called early on a Saturday morning. “Mark, my store was broken into and completely vandalized. It’ll take days to repair. If you don’t teach tomorrow, then we won’t have Sunday School. How ‘bout it?” I agreed, but only out of pity. Prior to that moment, I had only taught a third … Continue reading

Basics for a New Believer

Quick, name everything you learned in the first couple of months after accepting Jesus as Lord! For me, it was all about the information, the facts; Bible knowledge. For others, it’s learning how to “behave” and drop bad habits. Still others just want to have a better moral compass. Where’s the personal relationship? My wife … Continue reading

Tina and the Cross Tattoo

When the cashier handed me change at a convenience store, the Holy Spirit made sure that I saw the tattoo on her hand. It was a small cross. “Is that a cross?” I asked. “Yes,” she said. “I’ve had it on my hand since I was 14 years old.” “Does that mean that you are … Continue reading