Just 11 days until “Spirit and Truth”

It is just 11 days until we gather at Elmbrook Church for our one-day seminar for pastors and worship leaders called “Spirit and Truth: Preaching and Creativity in Worship Today.” Here are 12 reasons I think this is going to be a very rich time…

Too much excellence?

Have churches gone overboard in their pursuit of “excellence”? Interesting article. What do you think?

The core

Yesterday we posted a piece about spiritual growth as integration. There is one biblical word that gets to this point more than any other. “Heart” (Heb. léb, Gk. kardia) is the biblical authors’ way of referring to the core of our inner being in its fullness including mind, emotion, and will. It is the essence …

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Our Weird Icons

Don’t know exactly what to make of this story in the news, other than it’s sheer weirdness. A gigantic statue of Jesus in Ohio was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Called by local residents, “Touchdown Jesus,” it has long been

Spiritual Growth as Integration

Spiritual development means not just becoming more (growth), and becoming different (transformation), but also becoming better integrated within ourselves in all of our relations. When a body grows, its parts don’t just get larger, they become better connected. Nerves thicken and branch out, blood vessels and capillaries lengthen into every bit of living tissue, bones …

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Leadership and Emotion

To what degree should leaders either show or overtly use emotion as part of their leadership? This very point is being debated widely (and emotionally!) in the media today over President Obama’s personal response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. One side pleads for an emotional front face on the crisis, the …

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Dealing with a Difficult Job

More than 100 of you made comments in the post “Vocation or Vacation.” The comments were revealing, encouraging, and heart-rending. I ask myself, what can a person do who feels trapped in a very difficult job? Easy question to ask, hard to answer. Here are some thoughts that line up with the message on the …

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Worship not forgotten

In our part of the world the Good Friday worship gathering is always one of the most moving experiences of the year. Of course, that is not because of what we do, but because it an authentic engagement with God. The people come with the mindset: bring us together with the crucified Jesus. We know …

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A Prayer to Start the Work Day

Lord, I’m going to work now. It seems like it was just an hour ago I was waking up and getting ready to do my work. One day seems to run into the next. So I pray that today you would show me something new,

What a difference 100 years makes

Last week 1,200 Christian leaders from around the world meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, finished a conference on global mission, 100 years after a gathering of 1,000 leaders in the same city convened and prompted the dramatic modern missions movement. They issued the following call, just released.

Just browsing…

RELEVANT has an article on Butchering the Bible out of Context by Josh Loveless; John Ortberg offers some thoughts on “Today’s Most Devalued Virtue: Why Is a Once-Honored Leadership Trait Now Despised?.” How about being careful about our expectations of technology: 4 Myths About Using Technology in Church. And along those same lines, the New York Times has info on …

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The art and spirit of communication

The word “communication” comes from a Latin root meaning “to share.” This ties in nicely to the biblical ideal of koinonia, fellowship, which is “the shared life.”  The aim of communication within the church or other Christian organization and outside it should be “the shared life.” It is not just about passing on information about …

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Should we always back Israel?

Today there is a brief article at Christianity Today online (“Should we always back Israel?”) referencing some of the differing reactions to the violent clash onboard some boats of a small flotilla bringing aid from Turkey to the Gaza Strip. And then there is the strange case of veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who …

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Innovation and leadership

The word “innovation” means “to make new.” It is a skill of life, and it is a central dynamic of leadership. It does not mean discarding the old, but building the new on what preceded. Apple is arguably the most innovative company in the world today. They keep coming out with products that are stunning …

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