humble

Who We Pray We Will Be

Who We Pray We Will Be

In this brief series I have shared how significant the process of creating our staff culture document was for our staff. The document represents who we are when we are at our best. In that sense, it is a hope, it is a prayer we have lifted up to God. “Lord, by your grace, shape us to be this kind of team,” we have offered up to God.

My wife and I were recently doing couples counseling with a couple who had experienced such a series of letdowns in their marriage they were fearful to commit to even the most modest of changes for fear of failure. But, whether it is physical health, or your organization, there is no hope for change without the risk of the offering of prayers and dreams for what you want to become.

Below is our staff’s prayer for who we desire that God would shape us to be. You will see the value stated first, then a brief statement of what we believe that value is, and then ways we can measure that value. We are working on a longer document currently where we want to share stories of ways our staff has watched that value lived out as a team. This is a living document and likely will look different in six months than it does today. We see that as a good thing.

By his grace, we have already begun to see the small works of his transformative power among us. We have worked hard to press this into our lives and work together. I encourage you to take that risk with the team God has placed you on. If you have a staff culture document, I would love it if you would share yours as well.

4 Questions to Ask When You Church Shop

4 Questions to Ask When You Church Shop

After Angel and I were married, we moved to a town new to both of us: Phoenix. Thus began a several month journey of finding a church that would be repeated again in two and a half years when we moved to New Jersey. I have vivid memories of both church shopping experiences: of the sweet little Anglican church in Phoenix where we were the youngest in attendance by at least four decades and mobbed afterwards by kindly congregants who begged us to stay for coffee and cookies; of the 1,000 square foot church on the Jersey shore where we and our friends doubled the size of the congregation and the accompaniment was played by means of a 1980s style boom box which the pastor turned around to push the button at the beginning and end of every song.

It wasn’t long ago that the idea of having more than one church in your lifetime would have been completely foreign. Virtually the entire world died where they were born and rarely left their hometown.[i] In contrast, the average US citizen today is expected to move 11.4 times in his or her lifetime.[ii] Even if you never leave a church for another reason, you will most likely look for a church ten times in your life.

6 Things to Do Before You Leave Your Church

6 Things to Do Before You Leave Your Church

So, you’ve decided to leave your church: you’re moving, or you’ve come to a doctrinal impasse, or there has been conflict that you’ve tried to navigate, but the church has been unwilling to biblically walk through a peacemaking process to bring about reconciliation.

As a pastor, every person who leaves the church hurts. As a pastor of ten years, there have been hundreds that have left the churches I’ve served at and I can only think of a very small handful that I was glad to see go. Every goodbye is painful.

But, as we discussed last week, there are times to say goodbye (although a lot fewer than we are encultured to believe). When you say goodbye, say goodbye well. Sadly, in today’s culture, most of us say goodbye very poorly (usually by not saying goodbye at all, just slipping away). We’re called to say goodbye in a harder, but better, way.