Notes from the leadership journey!

“The Externally Focused Church”

I just read The Externally Focused Church by Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson (2004). It’s a good book about the church in action through service. Rusaw and Swanson suggest, “Externally focused churches are internally strong, but they are oriented externally” (17). They are “convinced that good deeds and good news can’t and shouldn’t be separated”…

Ethan Joined Our Family Six Years Ago!

Today is one of our favorite days of the year—Ethan’s “gotcha day”! Six years ago today, Joleen and I were in Korea and Ethan became part of our family, a day after meeting him for the first time in his foster home. In some ways, it’s hard to believe it has been six years already.…

Prayers for the Church: Fruit

We bear fruit when we stay connected to Jesus! Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit” (John 15.5a, CEB). We can’t produce fruit on our own. We produce fruit by staying connected to God. Jesus said, “you…

2014 Bishop’s Retreat

We just returned from the 2014 Bishop’s Retreat for Our Clergy Family, which was held in Lancaster, PA. The retreat is for pastors and their families from our conference. Tracy Radosevic, this year’s presenter, is a storyteller, and she was excellent. Tracy spoke often about, and from the perspective of, the Network of Biblical Storytellers.…

Prayers for the Church: Movement

Last Sunday, I began a sermon series called Cultivating a Movement. It’s a series designed to help us put ourselves in a place where God can move in and through us. The series will last several weeks. It won’t be an exhaustive list, and it’s certainly not intended to be a formula, because I don’t…

Cultivating a Movement: Surrender!

As I wrote previously, I just started a sermon series at Centre Grove on Cultivating a Movement. The series began with a focus on surrender. The word “surrender” has mostly negative connotations—on the battlefield, in the political arena, on the sports field, and in life, in general. But in the spiritual life, surrender is essential.…