Stretching

As leaders, we are on a journey of growth. There are times when forward motion seems easy and effortless. We’re excited about our goals and motivated because they are easily within reach. But there are times when we stagnate. We’re neither excited nor motivated. In fact, our “leadership” seems to be more about procrastinating than…

Gathering Together

Next weekend we gather together for our General Conference in Portland (June 30-July 2). We will be celebrating our 50th anniversary as a Denomination. Wow! We are a relatively young group of churches with a strong historical past. Did you know that our roots go back to the first denomination founded in America? So why…

4 Ways to Support Your Pastor

A few years ago, Forbes Magazine published a ranking of the nine toughest leadership roles. You may be surprised (or not!) to find that Pastor made the list! Why is pastoring so challenging? I think for two reasons. First, we are in a spiritual battle. God’s kingdom and church are in the balance in the…

7 Things Leaders Should Stop Doing (Right now!)

Sometimes, as pastors and leaders, we do things that get us into trouble. They may not be wrong, but they are definitely unwise. A while back I read this blog by Ron Edmonson.  He graciously gave me permission to repost his article about the 7 things every leader should quit doing.  I love this list,…

The Small Church & Millennials

Years ago, most people would wake up on Sunday mornings and get ready for church. Not so in the post-Christian community of today. That doesn’t mean everyone isn’t a believer, but that the culture as a whole has forgotten and abandoned their Christian roots and values. Today people don’t even think of church. Our church…

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…