declining church

A Different Animal

Sunday I met with a session to begin the process of closing a church.  It reminded me of this, the first chapter of a book I’m working on.  This is just a draft, so comments are welcome …. “That’s why the presbytery sent you, right?  To close us?” Ruth whispers…

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Last Tuesday night, Dwayne and I wanted a pizza.  We have “pizza” on speed dial and called to order a pepperoni pie.  There was no answer.  I called again, and the ringing went on and on and on.  Why?  Why wouldn’t the pizzeria pick up?  We thought, maybe they’re very…

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Determining “Quality of Life”

Lizzie at the foot of Dwayne’s desk … looking good after the morning at the groomer. Our Bichon Frise turned fifteen years old in November.  That’s 105 years old in “dog years.”  Actually it’s about the average lifespan for her breed.  She is suffering from cataracts, severe arthritis, a heart…

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Default Living

In the nineties I served a church that defined itself a great deal by what it was NOT.  It was NOT, after all, like the church down the street which had defined itself as “bible based,” “contemporary,” “evangelical,” and “growing.”  I’ve seen this a lot in congregations since then, too….

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What about a Biker Missionary?

Throwback Thursday a day late.  This is an article I wrote in September 2009 and was published in the October issue of “Connections,” the newsletter of New Covenant Presbytery.   I share it here, because this story will be featured in the fourth chapter of the book I’m currently working on, “Twenty-eight…

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Zero Moment of Truth for the Church

I’ve been enjoying the benefits of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).  Most recently I’ve been taking courses in a specialization in Digital Marketing through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  The course is focused on the influence of the technology specifically the connectivity of the internet in our pockets (or…

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Monmouth Presbytery — Keep It 100 or Weak Tea?

Using the illustration of Larry Wilmore again, I gave a variation of this talk to the Presbytery of Monmouth at the February 24th meeting: Larry Wilmore began his late night comedy program by introducing the concept of “Keeping it 100.”  Keeping it Real, Keeping it Authentic, Keeping it Honest.  He…

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