My first church was a megachurch of six people. The congregation was small in number, but it felt like a mega task to shepherd them. One of the first questions I asked of the lone deacon was, “What’s the deal with the old bell out front?” “I don’t know, but it’s really important." On our first work day, the lone deacon handed me a paint brush and gave me the honor of painting the bell red. Why red? I don’t know, perhaps it was the only color of paint the church had on hand. Everyone Read more [...]
In the 1970s, one researcher noted, “There are almost as many different definitions of leadership as there are persons who have attempted to define the concept.” According to these definitions, leadership is influence, power, mobilization, motivation, processes, inspiration, among many others. The same could be said of the church: “There are almost as many different ways of leading the church as there are persons who have attempted it.” As a researcher of leadership and one who has Read more [...]
  On Memorial Day, we honor those who have died while serving our country. I believe every Christian should do two things on Memorial Day: Remember and pray. Remember. My grandfather, Samuel Solomon Rainer, Sr., served in World War II. He flew D-Day. Below are his flight plans from June 6, 1944. His plane was called the Hoo Jive. My great uncle was a spy for the OSS. Another great uncle, Charles Spurgeon Keller, Jr., died in battle one week before World War II ended. He was in his late Read more [...]
  “So what can I do right now?” I recently had coffee with a young(er) minister. He asked a great question. What can I do right now? The young minister (he’s around 20) wanted to know how he could lead better. Starting today. He caught me a bit off guard. After all, leadership is learned and refined over time. Pastors spend years growing. He knew that, but he also wanted to know what could be done immediately. I’m not that far removed from being a “young” pastor (at 35, Read more [...]
Commentary is popular right now. Some of the biggest names in news are opinionated commentators, not fact-driven beat reporters. We like to start “conversations” about all sorts of things, which basically means anyone can comment about an issue, regardless of qualifications. Ironically, more data exists now than ever before, yet we still rely heavily on the opinions and comments of others. Obviously, the popularity of commentary is not in itself a bad thing. You are reading this blog, and Read more [...]