7 Ways Your Church Can be Revived

7 Ways Your Church Can be Revived

It was like a scene from a movie. As a director of new church development, I went to a church that had closed several months before. A couple of colleagues and I were there to assess the building and its potential for launching a new congregation. None of us were...
Getting Your Heart’s Desire

Getting Your Heart’s Desire

In his book, Why I Am Still Surprised by the Power of the Spirit, Jack Deere describes a poignant moment during a service of healing. An articulate woman who was chronically depressed came forward and asked for prayer. She said, “I finally figured out the true nature...
The Choice Every Church Must Make to See a Turnaround

The Choice Every Church Must Make to See a Turnaround

Suddenly, the room went quiet.   After a long debate about the church’s future, a well-respected lay leader leaned forward with tears in her eyes and declared, “We have to do everything we can to keep our doors open!” As heads nodded around the table, I knew we...
The Doorway to Compassion

The Doorway to Compassion

For nearly two years, I’ve been praying the Wesley Covenant Prayer on my knees each day. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, did not write the prayer, but he adopted it for covenant renewal services often held around the new year. He saw it as a potent way to...
Who Needs to Hear Your Prayers?

Who Needs to Hear Your Prayers?

In What’s So Amazing About Grace?, Philip Yancey tells the story of Peter Greave. Greave contracted leprosy while stationed in India. “He returned to England, half-blind and partially paralyzed, to live on a compound run by a group of Anglican sisters. Unable to work...
Breathe

Breathe

We had never met. She was a friendly, outwardly cheerful person who waited on me in a store this week. Over the course of our brief conversation, I soon discovered things were not as they appeared. To make conversation, I commented on an intricate tattoo around her...
The Only Known Antidote to Shame

The Only Known Antidote to Shame

One day, for no apparent reason, a piece of Scripture set up camp in the back of my head. It would waltz into my morning devotions to say “hi” but wasn’t satisfied with such an obvious setting. It chose to show up at night, during a meeting at work, or in a...
Conversations in the Dark

Conversations in the Dark

I avoided it for years. Early in ministry, I began to take two-or-three-day retreats for prayer, journaling, and recalibrating my relationship with God. In the constant blur of local church ministry, they became a spiritual oasis that refreshed my soul. At the time,...
That Thing That Holds You Back

That Thing That Holds You Back

What do you have trouble believing? Maybe you’ve heard people say, “I’m not an exercise person.” “I’m simply not good with money.” “I’ve never been creative.” “God knows, I’m not a leader.” “You know, I don’t really matter that much.” Most of us are all too familiar...