All posts from “Mistakes”

Stupid Church Tricks: Dead Easter Bunny

May 2, 2012 12:00 AM

To promote its Easter services last month, The Rock Community Church in South Carolina sent out postcards with a photograph of a dead rabbit. It read "Bunnies Stay Dead. Jesus Didn't." (Profound theological commentary, I know.) Residents offended by the...

Should Churches Tell Singles to Use Contraceptives?

April 27, 2012 12:00 AM

Earlier this month evangelical leaders from every sector of the culture gathered in Washington DC for the Q conference. One of the panels focused on the staggering number of abortions among single women within the church. Panelists discussed the problem...

Stupid Church Tricks: Fake Kidnapping

March 29, 2012 12:00 AM

Are you trying to develop a more hospitable, seeker-friendly atmosphere in your church? Here's the first step: Don't kidnap people at gunpoint. A church in Pennsylvania is under investigation for taking a lesson about persecution too far. Glad Tidings Assembly...

Should Churches Hire Family Members?

March 20, 2012 12:00 AM

The post mortem on the Crystal Cathedral continues. The iconic southern California megachurch pastored by Robert H. Schuller once represented the innovative and market-savvy dexterity of American Christianity. Schuller started his church at a drive-in movie theater, allowing visitors to...

"Deadly Viper" Put to Death

December 4, 2009 12:00 AM

Last month a significant controversy arose around the book Deadly Viper Character Assassins: A Kung Fu Survival Guide for Life and Leadership by Mike Foster and Jud Wilhite. The accusation made by numerous Christian leaders in the Asian-American community was...

Malcolm Gladwell: What's More Dangerous than Incompetence?

October 8, 2009 1:26 PM

Malcolm Gladwell told the story of the battle of Chancellorsville, VA, in which General “Fighting Joe” Hooker maneuvers his Union Army to encircle the Confederate Army on three sides, and then delivers a speech to his troops: “God Almighty Himself...

Out of Context: Eugene Peterson

January 28, 2009 2:47 PM

From "Having Ears, Do You Not Hear?" in the current issue of Leadership. "As a pastor, I'm not a theology policeman...But if we are part of a community where the Scriptures are honored, I don't think we have to worry...

Ted Haggard: Back in the Pulpit

November 12, 2008 1:31 PM

It has been two years since Ted Haggard resigned as the senior pastor of New Life Church in Colorado and the president of the National Association of Evangelicals. The scandal reverberated through the media just before the pivotal 2006 elections,...

Live From Catalyst: McKnight on Bad Bible Reading

October 8, 2008 4:01 PM

by Skye Jethani Day 1 at Catalyst in Atlanta is dominated by the Labs. These smaller breakout sessions give conference attendees a more intimate setting to hear from authors, thinkers, and leaders in a more interactive environment. My first stop...

Out of Ur Repents?

June 25, 2008 12:00 AM

In October 2007, Out of Ur posted what has now become a much read and much quoted commentary that we titled "Willow Creek Repents?" It was based on comments that Bill Hybels and Greg Hawkins, Willow Creek's executive pastor, presented...

Bill Hybels Responds to REVEAL

June 6, 2008 10:02 AM

In a video released on June 5, Bill Hybels discusses the "unfortunate" reporting that has revolved around Willow Creek's REVEAL survey. The video refers to a recent Christianity Today article and Out of Ur posts as examples of "misinformation." You...

Live from Shift: Mark Yaconelli Podcast

April 10, 2008 7:16 AM

Yesterday morning we recapped Mark Yaconelli's talk from the first day of Shift 2008. Thanks to those of you who have left comments on this post, along with the reviews of the sessions with Brian McLaren and Shane Claiborne....

Rejoicing in Rebuke

March 25, 2008 12:00 AM

For the past couple of weeks, Ur-banites have been wrestling with questions about church membership. Below, Ken Sande, president of Peacemaker Ministries, takes one of the big questions head on: how does a church discipline its members? On January 18,...

The Audacity of Rev. Jeremiah Wright

March 17, 2008 12:00 AM

For months presidential hopeful Barack Obama has been trying to dispel rumors that he is a Muslim. The good news for the Illinois Senator is that virtually everyone in the country now knows he's a Christian. The bad news for...

REVEAL Revisited

January 14, 2008 12:00 AM

The research conducted by Willow Creek and published last year in the book REVEAL: Where are you? has generated a great deal of conversation on this blog. Some have heralded the findings as conclusive evidence that Willow's popular philosophy...

Willow Creek Repents? (Part 2)

October 26, 2007 4:40 PM

Last week's post about Willow Creek sparked a lot of conversation. It all flowed from comments made by the church's leaders following a three year self-evaluation of Willow Creek's ministry effectiveness. Your comments caught the attention of Greg Hawkins, Willow's...

Willow Creek Repents?

October 18, 2007 12:00 AM

Few would disagree that Willow Creek Community Church has been one of the most influential churches in America over the last thirty years. Willow, through its association, has promoted a vision of church that is big, programmatic, and comprehensive. This...

Signs of a Restorable Spirit

November 8, 2006 9:10 AM

In the wake of serious moral failure, church leaders are quickly asked about "restoration." What does a person have to do to be deemed worthy of reinstatement as a church leader? In many ways, the question is premature, like asking...

The Haggard Truth

November 5, 2006 9:24 AM

What are Christian leaders to make of the spectacularly painful experience of watching Ted Haggard this past week? The president of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of giga-church New Life Community in Colorado Springs, Colorado, gradually admitted to...

The Danger of Practical Preaching Part 2: Allowing scripture to civilize our thinking

September 7, 2006 12:00 AM

Lee Eclov thinks people need more than helpful applications in a sermon. Rather than being told what to do in three easy step, Eclov argues that good preaching should teach people how to think differently. In the first part of...

The Danger of Practical Preaching: Why people need more than the bottom line

September 5, 2006 12:00 AM

Many of the largest and "most successful" churches have built their ministries on the value of practicality. As a result, Christians today have come to expect spiritual formation by numbers: 5 love languages, 7 steps to healing, 40 days of...

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