Polarizing Effectiveness

A couple of years ago, Guy Kawasaki, former Apple executive and current venture capitalist, told some of the leaders of Good Shepherd: "It's good to polarize people."Those are scary words to hear.Pastors and church leaders naturally want to comfort people, not...

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A Trip I’m Honored To Take

As you read this, Julie and I are headed to Jacksonville, Florida, for the second annual gathering of pastor of the 100 largest United Methodist Churches in the USA.I posted about last year's event here and here.There are more than 35,000 United Methodist...

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Refined Like Silver

Over the last couple of weeks at Good Shepherd, we've seen what it means to be clay (play-dough, actually!) in the hands of an artist God and what it's like to be a balloon in the hands of a stretching God.We've seen how it is that we are pieces of work.So this...

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Large And Deep

At Good Shepherd, we strive to be not only a large church but a deep church as well.Which means that in addition to reaching out to welcome new people to worship, we also want to grow the people who are already here into more mature, more faithful followers of...

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Wide Open Spaces

We have begun to think about much of the ministry at Good Shepherd in terms of making space.Here's how it works: as a church we make space -- other terms include "design experiences" or "craft environments" -- in which the Holy Spirit can then move in powerful ways....

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The Last Hymnal?

Some time ago, a friend looked me in the eye and said in all seriousness, without a touch of irony, "You know, my granddaughter may never know what a hymnal is."And . . . ?Not to be flip, but my yet-to-be-born grandchildren will never know what a manual typewriter is....

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Stretching Exercises

Julie and I were away this weekend, enjoying a trip that all the pastors at Good Shepherd have received this summer, courtesy of what we call our Staff-Parish Relations Team.But back at the church, we showed this piece as a demonstration of the ways God stretches us...

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Stretching Exercises

Ouch! How is that picture even possible? But that's what stretching does for the human body -- it makes the impossible become possible. Stretching gives us more flexibility and, paradoxically, leaves us stronger in the end. It's much the same way with the ministry we...

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Some Favorite Songs – Christian Genre

Ever since contemporary Christian music (CCM) came of age in the mid-1990s, I've been more than a casual fan. This is for a couple of reasons: 1) I like a lot of it; and 2) I'm always listening for songs that will work in church.So in no particular order, here are...

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Pastoral Reminder

Much of pastoral work is in fact the work of reminding.When I preach, for example, I am (usually) not so much teaching people new truths but instead reminding them of ancient truths that they have perhaps forgotten. Or chosen to disregard.Just as often, preaching is a...

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