A Prayer From the Psalms

Last summer (2017), I participated in a community prayer for Brody, a 6 year-old from Centre Grove. I decided to draft a prayer completely from the Psalms. I trust this prayer be will helpful for all who experience trials! Psalm 27.7-97 Lord, listen to my voice when I cry out—have mercy on me and answer … Read more

“Wild Goose Chase”

On summer vacation, I read Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson. Batterson is one of my favorite writers and I love this book! The title for the book comes from the name Celtic Christians have for the Holy Spirit, the Wild Goose. It denotes adventure. Batterson makes clear, “nothing is more unnerving or disorienting than … Read more

My Stroke

I suffered a stroke on September 19 around 10:00 p.m. It happened very quickly. I was pretty calm, but I didn’t know what was going to happen. At the time, I was frustrated I wasn’t able to tell my family, including my kids who had gotten out of bed, that I loved them, possibly for … Read more

P.R.A.Y. God’s Word!

I have a prayer idiosyncrasy, which I’ve written about before, where I pray laps around the church sanctuary. I often use the acronym, P.R.A.Y., to guide my prayer at the church. P.R.A.Y. stands for Praise, Repent, Ask, and Yield. Several months ago, I felt led to ramp up my praying. So, I prayed more laps. … Read more

Shaping a Discipleship Culture

I recently had the honor of leading a workshop at the 3D Discipleship event held in Williamsport, PA. The event was sponsored by Growing Effective Churches of the Susquehanna Conference of the UMC. Here are some of my notes from the workshop. Centre Grove’s Story I shared a little about what God has been doing … Read more

Sabbatical Reflections

My last post shared hopes and plans for our summer sabbatical. We are grateful to God, and to our congregations, for the gift of this time! Sabbaticals are often called “renewal leaves.” And, this time was certainly important for our renewal both as pastors and as followers of Jesus! During our sabbatical, our main goal … Read more

Sabbatical Growth Plan

As I shared recently, Joleen and I are both taking a short-term sabbatical (one month, plus two weeks of vacation). We’re seeking physical and spiritual renewal and growth in ministry leadership. Physical & Spiritual Renewal Spiritual health is vitally important. Lance Witt, in his book, Replenish (see my post), argues, “We have neglected the fact … Read more

10 Years of One-Point Preaching

Ten years ago, I made a big change in my preaching approach, switching from multiple-point preaching to one-point preaching. I did so in June 2006 after reading the first couple chapters in Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley and Lane Jones. It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years. In 2007, I wrote my … Read more

The Role of Tribal Leaders in the Church

In 2012, Centre Grove UMC’s church council read Winning on Purpose: How To Organize Congregations to Succeed in Their Mission by John Edmund Kaiser. At the time, we were transitioning from a traditional United Methodist multi-committee structure to an alternative single-committee structure. In the book, Kaiser shares Paul Borden’s somewhat humorous metaphor of the board, … Read more

Short-Term Sabbatical

United Methodist pastors are encouraged to take sabbaticals on a regular basis. Our conference allows for one-month sabbaticals once every four years (longer sabbaticals are available, a little less frequently). This will be our first sabbatical since beginning ministry in the UMC in 1998. The appropriate committees from both Centre Grove UMC and West Side … Read more