Month: February 2009

Confirmation Consternation

Worship Connection posted an interesting article by Shane Raynor this week, Reinventing Confirmation.  As I read it, I experienced a strange ambivalence — agreeing with many of the observations Shane makes while feeling like something was missing.  Some of the insightful points in the article challenge the “one size fits […]

Zombie Congregations

Okay, right off the bat let me say, my intention here is not to offend anyone (which means I am pretty sure I will offend someone…)  What started me thinking about this was a church sign I passed where, I believe, someone made a rather amusing mistake.  The sign read, […]

An Ash Wednesday Reflection

Meant To Be Seen What are the outward and visible signs of our life of faith?  When people look at us, what unmistakable evidence exists that identifies us as members of the body of Christ?  Today, as we begin our Lenten observance, we receive a mark of ash and oil that […]

The Urgency Element

Two major research projects have essentially defined my ministry for the past ten years: congregational vitality and seeker spirituality.  A recent job change offered me (forced) a unique opportunity to pore through a veritable mountain of surveys, interviews, and site visit notes to determine what to keep and what to […]

Christianity for Dummies?

Do you have to be stupid to be a Christian?  I sometimes wrestle with this very question.  It’s reminiscent of the joke poster — “You don’t have to be crazy to work here… but it helps.”  One of the most common reasons Christian spiritual seekers outside the church give for […]

Wipe That Smile Off Your Faith

Humor is a powerful tool for communication and relationship building.  A good sense of humor is an essential element of mental, and even physical, health.  Most people like to laugh, they like being around others who laugh, and they are drawn to those who make them laugh.  Laughter is good […]