A Case for the Small Church

One of my priorities for our Conference is for our pastors and leaders to attend a conference or seminar. I believe the time away is refreshing and needed, providing fresh input and encouragement. Momentum and energy are generated, there’s refreshment from gathering with like-minded Christ-followers beyond the challenge of new ideas. So during these past…

Signs, Signs, Everywhere A Sign

We all notice signs. They direct us. Inform us. One of the places we tend to think signs don’t really matter is in and around our church buildings. After all, we know where everything is, right? The problem is new people don’t know! Lack of signs shows that we don’t expect guests. LET’S TALK… When…

What Matters Most

This year, the theme of our Pacific Conference is “What Matters Most.” Too often we become distracted by so many good things that we can neglect the most important things. Recently I worked together with some other pastors to come up with a short list of WHAT MATTERS MOST for us as a conference of…

Next Year in Jerusalem!

Today a group of twenty-four, led by two of our School of Ministry professors, will depart PDX, destination Israel. They’ll spend just shy of two weeks in the Holy Land where they will join the faithful at the Eastern Wall, walk with the sorrowing on the Via Dolorosa, and celebrate at the Garden Tomb. They’ll…

The Necessity of Noticing

It was the great theologian Yogi Berra who said: “You can observe a lot by just watching.” It’s easy not to notice. We pay attention to what is in front of us, blinded to other people and things around us. We need to be better noticers. In fact, I don’t think we can be effective…

Tend Your Own Gardening

A number of us pastors are at a prayer retreat at Cannon Beach. I love to get away to spend time with God and encourage one another! It’s a joy and privilege to be together in this way. One of our pastors mentioned how we “must stay in our lane” meaning that it is too…

Suffering: The Standard of Leadership

When we became vocational ministers, we envisioned leading people to Jesus; we anticipated families finding healing; we dreamed of lives restores and hearts redeemed. The hard truth is that while that is true, much of the time, for every spiritual high, there is a corresponding low. Life is made up of the tension between joy…

After Easter

He is risen! He is risen, indeed! Did you have a great Easter? Many of you have had increased attendance. You offered extra services, including Good Friday. It’s been wonderful: families were healed, lives were restored, people came to faith. Wow! But, now what? What do you do after Easter? LET’S TALK… What we do…

The Self-Importance Syndrome

Have you ever met someone who just seemed full of themselves? All they talk about is what they’ve accomplished and what is happening to them. They are consumed with their own perspective and personal interests. Everything seems to be about them! Even as I write this, I’m hoping I’m not one of those people! Paul…

4 Team Essentials

by Nancy Austin “Everybody wants to be part of a winning team.” That’s what a beloved college professor used to tell us. His point was this: build a winning team and recruitment will take care of itself; build a winning team and morale will not be a concern; build a winning team and momentum will…

Three Promises to Overcome the Fear of Change

Leaders are supposed to be courageous, right? Someone said, “You can’t follow fear!” Fear has no direction. It lacks vision. Fear paralyzes us. Fear resists. As a leader, we need the courage to lead, in spite of our fears. LET’S TALK One of my favorite writers about the Holy Land is Wayne Stiles (Check out…

Three Things Every Pastor Must Do

Sometimes we make things too complicated.  As pastors, we can get so busy that we forget the things that are really needed. A while back I read a blog by James MacDonald that just made sense to me. It was entitled “Three Things Every Pastor Must Do.” Just three things.