Top Five Tuesday — Top Five (Or Seven) Ways You Know Ministry Is Worth It

Sure, a lot of folks will tell you that the hours are long, the pushback is heavy, and the frustration is high.

But how often do you hear that ministry is worth it?  That it is more than worth it?  I’ve had a few glimpses just in the last several weeks.  Five, in fact:

1.When a man stops you on Sunday after church and says, “it’s because of this church that I’ve been sober 90 days.  If it wasn’t for what you all do, I’d never be here” then ministry is worth it. read more

How To Tell A Mountain From A Molehill, Week 1 — The “An Unfair Shake” Sermon Rewind

Yesterday’s message …

  • Launched the How To Tell A Mountain From A Molehill series;
  • Featured a purple ball test involving David Morgan;
  • Drew some inspiration from George Thompson’s book God’s Not Fair Thank God.
  • Reminded people that we don’t sing Amazing Karma;
  • Landed at this bottom line:  God doesn’t give what you say is fair.  He gives what he says is right.


Few things are more important to us than fair play, getting a fair shake, receiving our fair share.  It starts awfully young, doesn’t it?  Those of you who are moms and dads, when you first begin to discipline your children, what is the likely retort?  It’s not fair!  And then, in a family with multiple kids, how does it go?  The slightest possibility that there may be any kind of preferential treatment at all, any advantage to one over the other and what do we hear loudly and clearly?  “That’s not fair!”  read more

“How To Tell A Mountain From A Molehill” Launches — “An Unfair Shake”

Here’s the rundown on the new series, “How To Tell A Mountain From A Molehill”:

  1. It’s a G3 series, which means we invite ALL the people of Good Shepherd to grab our home-made resources, gather with friends, family, or co-workers, and grow together through study and conversation.  We’ve made the teaching videos, the small group lessons, and the invitational tools.

2. It’s a church-wide series, meaning that our Children’s Ministry Team has created Kid-Friendly resources based on the same title, themes, and Scripture lessons.  That means moms and dads in the Worship Center are experiencing the same truths as are boys and girls in the K-Zone.  Hello, after church conversation! read more

How Mission Connects To Discipline

Those of you who know me well know that I am a super-disciplined person.

I complete projects well in advance, I show up to meetings and events early, I live by my routines, and I follow rules.

Yet I am an undisciplined leader.

That’s right.  While focused on a personal level, I can be guilty of fuzziness on the congregational level. read more

Now THAT’S Active Listening

A friend from Good Shepherd was apparently dialed in to Sunday’s message.  She put this photo of her notes up on social media:

This is rewarding on two fronts:  1) it lets you know that the joyful work of preparing, internalizing, and delivering a sermon is really worth it; and 2) more importantly, I am convinced that when people write things down it empowers them to live it out. read more

Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Facts Related To Geography

A collection of interesting geographical facts, some of which I just knew, and others of which I had to research.

  1.  The Cincinnati Airport is in … Kentucky.
  2.  The most northern point in Maine is 300 miles south of London, England.
  3.  Neither Florida nor California have the longest US coastlines.  Alaska does.
  4. The movie Bernie accurately depicts the five different states of Texas … while leaving the panhandle out.

5.  I have lived in North Carolina for 28 years but have never been to a North Carolina beach.  However, after this past weekend, I have cleaned up from the aftermath of a storm that besieged several of them. read more

#ForCLT Finale — The “For The Church” Sermon Rewind

Yesterday’s message …

  • Recognized that the “High Priestly Prayer” of John 17 is NOT a series of commands.  It’s not exhortation.  Instead, it’s a prayer and we get to eavesdrop in on it.
  • Talked about how “truth bridges” are more important these days than old tribal, denominational lines, a fitting subject for the “For Charlotte” series;
  • Concluded with our recently completed Wilmington Hurricane Relief trip;

Landed at this bottom line:  Christian unity comes from collective oddity.


It was probably 15 years ago now, and I was at the local YMCA one day, minding my own business and doing my own little exercise routine.  But while there, I couldn’t help but overhear a woman nearby talking to her friend.  I suppose they fit an exercise or two in between the talking, but the talking was what really interested me.  Because my YMCA “friend” was talking about … her CHURCH.  And I was like, “well, if she’s gonna talk about her church, I might as well listen.”  So I did. read more

What? ANOTHER G3 Brainstorm?

I was very excited to see these booklets around church this week.

What are they?

Host Guides for the How To Tell A Mountain From A Molehill series that runs from October 7-28.

It’s a G3 series where we invite everyone in church to grab the materials, gather friends, co-workers, or family together, and grow deeper in their living relationship with Jesus Christ through study and conversation. read more

The People Of Auxano & The “My Ministry Breakthrough” Podcast

For years, I have told you of the difference our work with Auxano Consulting has made in the leadership and direction of Good Shepherd.

Specifically, Auxano’s focus on clarity led our excavation and adoption of inviting all people into a living relationship with Jesus Christ as our mission.

Recently I recorded a My Ministry Breakthrough podcast with my friends at Auxano. read more

Roger Federer’s RED Racket — And My Old Ones

The tennis world was intrigued last weekend when Roger Federer unveiled a brand new, bright red Wilson tennis racket.

It was surely the most vibrant of all the frames Federer has used through the years.

Maybe he used such a brightly colored racket because of the Laver Cup Tournament / Not A Tournament he was playing in. read more