In our work with Elemental Churches, we identify the 4 critical traits all healthy churches have: Integrity, Passion, Servanthood, and Imagination. One of them—Servanthood—is really all about having an outward focus. If I could wave a magic wand over the churches in the U.S., I would make them amp up this one. And one of the marks of an outward-focused church is: radical generosity. Churches that champion servanthood—outward focus—are simply unselfish with money. They’re gene
In highly politically-polarized times, church leaders walk a tricky tightrope. Even the most self-aware leaders who don’t want to promote a politician but feel compelled to call out crucial values have to be careful of hard-edged binary choices devoid of nuance. And no church leader wants to be on the wrong side of history on moral and justice-oriented issues. Imagine the disappointment you would feel if you discovered your great-great-grandfather was a preacher who vociferou
Back when I was pastoring, I held on to a letter for years that would remind me what was really important for me and my church. A woman had written me and said: “We live on busy street. There are a lot of kids who ride by our house on their bikes. I am probably overly protective of my children because I don’t want them to get in with the wrong crowd. Perhaps not a very Christ-like move on my part, but I feel I need to protect them. There is a little girl who rides around here
“Our culture is competent to implement almost anything and imagine almost nothing.” ~Walter Brueggemann. The promise of a new year after a tough year should require that we give ourselves permission to set our imaginations free. Even though constraints and challenges don’t magically disappear after December 31, we should guard our hearts against weariness and move beyond survival-thinking. In his book How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In, Jim Collins rec
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