All posts from “vision, leadership”

A Prayer for Unity After Ministry-Industry Clashes

November 12, 2013 3:59 PM

After the sad Twitter meltdowns (by which I mean "communication breakdowns") surrounding today's Nines leadership conference (from which no one seems to have emerged more Christlike), a prayer. Will you join me? (Comment with an "amen" if you feel...

Four Takeaways from the 2013 Global Leadership Summit

August 20, 2013 4:01 PM

This piece is adapted from Dave’s full review of the Willow Creek Association's Global Leadership Summit at our sister site, BuildingChurchLeaders.com. Be sure to read the full version if you like what’s here. Or if you like Taylor Swift,...

Friday Five Interview: Amy Simpson

May 17, 2013 5:09 AM

For today's entry in the Friday Five interview series, we catch up with Amy Simpson. Amy Simpson is editor of Christianity Today's Gifted for Leadership and author of numerous resources for Christian ministry. Her latest book is Troubled Minds: Mental...

Friday Five Interview: Samuel Rodriquez

April 26, 2013 5:00 AM

For today's entry in the Friday Five interview series, we catch up with Samuel Rodriguez. Samuel is the public face of Hispanic evangelicals, serving as president of The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He currently serves on the board of...

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...

A Southern Baptist by Any Other Name...

March 8, 2012 12:00 AM

Last month the Southern Baptist Convention decided to change its name, sort of. They have proposed using the informal designation of "Great Commission Baptists." It will serve as a kind of nickname for those congregations who deem "Southern Baptists" unhelpful...

Ur Video: Dever Worries "Gospel" Isn't Individual Enough

February 28, 2012 12:00 AM

This interview by Ed Stetzer with Mark Dever caught me by surprise. They're talking about the renewed interest among evangelicals in a "larger gospel" that captures a kingdom theology. Dever sees it as exceedingly dangerous because a focus on doing...

Listening to Tullian Tchividjian at the Jacksonville Pastor's Conference

January 26, 2012 9:40 PM

I'm blogging semi-live live from the Jacksonville Pastor's Conference and it's the first time I've heard Tullian Tchividjian speak. Here's one thing for certain about Tullian: he's passionate and clear about one thing—the gospel. And for Tullian the good news...

Skye Jethani: Recipe for Church-365 (Part 4)

October 17, 2011 12:00 AM

Read parts one, two, and three of "Recipe for Church365". Ingredient Four: Decentralized Service Over the last few years my travels have been taking me more regularly to Portland, Oregon. Portland is weird, and that’s how they like it. But...

Catalyst 2011 Justice and Mercy Part 1

October 7, 2011 11:49 AM

One of the things I appreciate about this conference is the beautiful blend of worship and compassion, evangelism and justice, love for the church and love for a broken world. The Catalyst culture promotes so much talk and action around...

Skye Jethani: Recipe for Church-365 (Part 3)

October 4, 2011 12:00 AM

Read parts one and two of "Recipe for Church365". Ingredient Three: Vocational Discipleship Last month I met with David Kinnaman, president of The Barna Group, to discuss our new books. He wanted to talk about how the themes in my...

Skye Jethani: Recipe for Church-365 (Part 2)

September 26, 2011 12:00 AM

Read part 1 of "Recipe for Church365. Ingredient Two: Cultural Flourishing As I discussed in my first book, The Divine Commodity, when church institutionalism grows out of control, we come to believe that programs rather than people are the vessels...

Skye Jethani: Recipe for Church-365 (Part 1)

September 19, 2011 12:00 AM

A few weeks ago I had lunch with Darren Whitehead from Willow Creek. Darren is a great bloke (I can say that because he’s an Aussie), and we talked candidly about our experiences in the church, in leadership, and the...

Ur Video: Chandler vs. Furtick

August 29, 2011 12:00 AM

Everyone in pastoral ministry has a bias. Some of us prefer deep doctrinal teaching. Others value ministry that is practical and immediately applicable. Others are all about reaching those far from God. And while there is nothing wrong with those...

Has Mission Become Our Idol? (Cont.)

July 20, 2011 12:00 AM

You may be thinking, “But we are called to do things for God. And what’s the alternative--continuing to allow the people in our churches to be self-consumed Christians seeking only their own comfort?” That is a very fair concern. And...

Has Mission Become Our Idol?

July 18, 2011 12:00 AM

“There is a first-rate commitment to a second-rate mission.” That is what Roger, a leader in global church planting, said as he looked at the rock climbers ascending a cliff in the Alps. Many of us called into ministry feel...

Taming the Image

June 24, 2011 12:00 AM

The band is rockin', arms are swayin', and you're about to come on screen in high definition with such stunning visual clarity that even people in the nosebleed seats can see your perfect smile. Is this a rock concert? A...

Ur Video: Mark DeYmaz on "First Love"

June 15, 2011 12:00 AM

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Special Needs Boy Removed From Worship

June 13, 2011 12:00 AM

Many churches focus on providing a compelling worship experience. The desire is to attract people to an excellent production where they can sing, learn, and leave feeling renewed. For decades we've called this approach "seeker-sensitive." But does that sensitivity have...

All Ministry Is Local

May 18, 2011 12:00 AM

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at a gathering for small church pastors and lay leaders in rural eastern Michigan (locals call it “the thumb”). Eleven or so churches were represented; about 45 folks showed up, all members of...

Ur Video: Dallas Willard on Grace

May 13, 2011 12:00 AM

Well, I hadn't planned on posting the second part of Dallas Willard's video from Catalyst. But since you are all getting so animated about part 1, here you go. In this video he discusses spiritual disciplines and the role of...

Ur Video: Dallas Willard on the Gospel

May 11, 2011 12:00 AM

John Ortberg interviews Dallas Willard at Catalyst West about what the church is getting wrong today. In a nutshell, Willard says we're getting the gospel wrong. We'd love to hear your responses to this video....

Chuck Swindoll: We're Creating Spectators Not Worshipers

May 9, 2011 12:00 AM

In part 1 of Skye Jethani's interview with Chuck Swindoll, he spoke about the insecurity that leads some pastors to seek a crowd and to pander to cultural trends. Some of you felt Swindoll was just being old-fashioned and grumpy....

Chuck Swindoll: Insecure Pastors Need a Crowd

May 3, 2011 12:00 AM

The Latest issue of Leadership Journal features an interview with Chuck Swindoll about the challenges and problems he sees in the American church. High on Swindoll's list is the infusion of entertainment values into our worship. Here's an excerpt from...

Ur Video: Gospel and Social Gospel

April 18, 2011 12:00 AM

What is the line between the gospel and the social gospel? And how do we know when we've crossed it? Dr. Peter Cha gives some helpful indicators in this brief video from the Gospel Coalition....

Skye Jethani: The Perpetuity Problem

March 29, 2011 12:00 AM

How do you define success? It goes without saying that those committed to Jesus Christ and his purposes in the world ought to define success differently than other people. After all, Jesus himself refused his culture’s narrow view of success;...

Eleven Trends for 2011

January 24, 2011 12:00 AM

Will Mancini, church “clarity evangelist” and author of Church Unique, is committed to helping churches find their vision for ministry. His work gives him an interesting view of the ministry landscape. Below are his predictions about new and enduring trends...

Ur Video: The Church and the Arts

January 11, 2011 12:00 AM

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Out of Context: Brandon O'Brien

December 21, 2010 12:00 AM

"Over time, the experts have done for church what postcards and PBS specials have done for the Grand Canyon: they've made it difficult for us to appreciate our own experience apart from theirs. We have lost the ability to see...

Ur Video: Children's Ministry TODAY

November 3, 2010 12:00 AM

We cover a lot of topics on Out of Ur, but one area we have neglected is children. Let's be honest, children's ministry isn't the sexiest topic and it doesn't tend to draw the big names to the big conferences....

Lausanne Congress Day 4: Conflict and Reconciliation

October 21, 2010 2:33 PM

In the January 2011 issue of Leadership, we will be featuring an interview with Ken Sande, head of Peacemaker Ministries, which helps Christians and their churches respond to conflict biblically, and assists with reconciliation. This week, Ken Sande is in...

Atheists Split at Annual Conference

October 13, 2010 12:00 AM

Fans of the Beatles celebrated John Lennon’s 70th birthday this week. Lennon was killed by a gunman in 1980 in New York City, and his violent death is often contrasted with the utopian dream Lennon composed in his song Imagine....

Get Ready for Cape Town

October 12, 2010 12:00 AM

Last week Leadership's editor-in-chief, Marshall Shelley, brought you live posts from the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta--one of the most influential and popular ministry conferences for younger church leaders. Next week senior editor Skye Jethani will be attending the Third Lausanne...

Small Churches = Big Impact

August 9, 2010 1:01 AM

Brandon O'Brien, associate editor for Leadership Journal, has written a new book, The Strategically Small Church. In this work, he seeks to demonstrate how small churches are uniquely equipped for success in today's culture. Ed Stetzer interviewed O'Brien about his...

Be Careful What You Worship on July 4

July 1, 2010 12:00 AM

I’ve been a part of numerous churches that celebrated American Independence Day with abandon: 80-foot flags hanging from the ceilings, singing the “Star Spangled Banner” and “I’m Proud to Be an American” and even— most disturbing to me as I...

Book Review: Making Ideas Happen

June 7, 2010 12:00 AM

Years ago I worked for a visionary pastor who saw ‘the city on the hill’ that he believed our church could become and then he proceeded to lead us there. Using his preaching, pastoral care and personal charisma, he got...

Small Churches are the Next Big Thing

May 26, 2010 12:00 AM

In a conversation last week about the virtues of small churches, a pastor friend of mine, Chuck Warnock, quoted a passage from John Zogby’s 2008 book The Way We'll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream...

A Church by Any Other Name ...

April 16, 2010 12:00 AM

Have you noticed that church names are getting increasingly strange? Our friend Dennis Baker has. He's been keeping a list of church names in order to document how far we've come from the days of "First Presbyterian" and "Springfield Baptist."...

Avatar and Becoming Mature in Christ

February 17, 2010 12:00 AM

I have been thinking a lot lately about Colossians 1, where Paul writes: "We proclaim Christ, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this reason I labor, struggling with...

Long Live Organic Church!

January 13, 2010 12:00 AM

The organic church has been a frequent topic of discussion on this blog. And Leadership journal has featured articles and interviews from Alan Hirsch, Neil Cole, and Frank Viola. Like us, Mark Galli has an appreciation for the efforts and...

Andy Stanley: System Failure

January 8, 2010 12:00 AM

What causes people to change? What creates behaviors? It may not be what you think. According to Andy Stanley, many church leaders assume that the right programs, great teaching, or really inspiring events will foster transformation. But they don't. Check...

Ur Video: December Issue of Catalyst Leadership

December 15, 2009 12:00 AM

Catalyst Leadership is a free digital magazine produced by the editors of Leadership Journal and the organizers of the Catalyst Conference. Sign up for your subscription today....

Scrutinizing Church Leadership

November 30, 2009 12:00 AM

Last week I came across one of those news articles that makes you wonder if we’re all just flying upside down. This headline comes from the UK Telegraph: ”Council sets up scrutiny panel - to scrutinize its scrutiny panels” A...

Rob Bell Defines "Evangelical"

September 29, 2009 12:00 AM

While on his "Drops Like Stars" tour, Rob Bell spoke with Michael Paulson from the Boston Globe. (Read the full interview.) The conversation turned to the meaning of the word evangelical. Bell provides an interesting, and likely contestable, definition. The...

Limited Too is Now Justice

July 2, 2009 12:00 AM

by Troy Jackson Recently I needed to repair my car and chose a mechanic across the street from Kenwood Towne Center near Cincinnati. Typically, when a mall is too proud to call itself a mall, the shops are upscale, and...

Putting Programs in Their Place

June 19, 2009 10:45 AM

In some circles, the term "church programs" has become an epithet for all that is wrong with the institutional church. For a generation hungry for authenticity and community, "programs" feel staged, impersonal, and cold. For a generation increasingly skeptical of...

Q&A with Frank Viola

May 13, 2009 12:00 AM

Unlike his previous volumes (Pagan Christianity and Reimagining Church), Frank Viola's new book From Eternity to Here is not about church practices and forms. Instead, it tells the story of God's eternal purposes in redemption from Genesis to Revelation. "I...

Church Lessons from HGTV

April 30, 2009 8:40 AM

I was sick in bed, my poor wife by my side, during a class reunion weekend in South Carolina this past weekend. I usually make sure I get the remote control quickly in hand, so I can steer the programming...

Andy Stanley: Live (and Uncertain) at Catalyst West

April 24, 2009 8:49 AM

Ever faced a leadership decision, and didn't feel you had all the information you needed to decide? For instance, to hire or not to hire? To discipline or extend more grace? Andy Stanley opened the Catalyst West conference with...

Ur Video: Frank Viola on Community

March 25, 2009 12:00 AM

This video comes from Lance Ford, one of our partners over at Shapevine.com. After Frank Viola's opening impression of Dirty Harry, he talks about the nature of Christian community. How important is proximity and frequency to fostering real community? And...

Urban Exile: Whose History?

March 3, 2009 8:43 AM

I've been to a lot of potlucks. Growing up in church and being a pastor has meant many, many casseroles and Jell-O salads. After a recent preaching gig at a suburban church, I was treated to an entirely different...

Live from NPC: Shane Claiborne

February 10, 2009 7:49 PM

Skye and I arrived in San Diego this afternoon for the 2009 National Pastors Convention. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the opening evening of headlining sessions was the variety. The evening started with a short routine by acclaimed comedian...

Three Dramas that Drive Us

January 30, 2009 12:00 AM

by Skye Jethani At any given moment we are each engaged in three dramas, but only one of them ultimately matters. First, there is the drama of the practical. These are the events and measurable conditions that surround us every...

Audio Ur: Paul Metzger on Profits and Prophets

November 5, 2008 1:17 PM

In the Fall issue of Leadership journal, you'll find David Swanson's review of Consuming Jesus: Beyond Race and Class Divisions in a Consumer Church, by Paul Louis Metzger. Metzger, a professor of Christian theology and theology of culture at...

What We Evangelicals Do Well

October 31, 2008 12:00 AM

I'm proud to be an evangelical. I think we do many things well. Some will roll their eyes at those first two statements. Why? Criticizing evangelicalism is fashionable and evangelicals have joined the fashion, sometimes with apocalyptic fervor. I wonder...

Professional Mystery Worshipers

October 15, 2008 11:33 AM

The Friday (Oct 10) edition of the Wall Street Journal contained an article whose title and deck pretty much say it all: "The Mystery Worshipper: To try to keep their flocks, churches are turning to undercover inspectors, who note...

Live from REVEAL: Getting the Weekend Right

October 15, 2008 9:07 AM

by Skye Jethani This morning kicked off with a time of singing led by the worship band from Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas - one of the churches being highlighted at the conference for their strong REVEAL survey results. One...

"Have to" or "Want to" Sermons?

September 3, 2008 8:02 AM

As men and women created in the image of God, believers are designed to become like Christ in ever-increasing measure. Effective, biblical preaching taps into this innate longing by helping people envision what God created us to be in Christ....

Out of Context: Dave Gibbons

July 10, 2008 12:00 AM

"I love the church. It's God's vehicle for transformation. But I don't want the church to become so centralized that it can't reproduce, can't adopt multiple forms. And that works better when you're small, when you're on the verge,...

Audio Ur: Multi-Ethnic Church Staff

June 12, 2008 12:00 AM

How multi-ethnic should your church staff be? Should churches have hiring quotas to ensure diversity? In the spring issue of Leadership, Mark DeYmaz, pastor of Mosaic Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, discusses the importance of being intentional about diversity....

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...

Cartoon: Community Church

June 2, 2008 12:00 AM

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Jesus is Not a CEO

May 20, 2008 12:00 AM

Beware of any literature that starts with these words: "Jesus was the greatest leader of all time." The sentiment behind those words may be true, but the point they make is irrelevant. It doesn't matter if Jesus was the greatest...

Out of Context: Dave Terpstra

May 8, 2008 12:00 AM

"I think our generation is approaching ministry more as an art than a science. Since the Enlightenment, 'doing church' has been seen as a science, and it was seen as linear, organized, with clearcut leadership principles. Our generation doesn't see...

McChurch: I'm Lovin' It

February 1, 2008 12:00 AM

"Church plants," "sister churches," and "satellite congregations" may be a thing of the past. In 2008, the language of missiology is changing, so look for "church franchises" in your town. Eddie Johnson, the lead pastor of Cumberland Church, espouses the...

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...

An Alternative to “Excellence”

January 2, 2008 12:00 AM

Last year I met with a team of leaders from my church. Our task: to rethink and rearticulate the guiding values of our congregation. The work was relatively easy. Upon investigation we determined that most of our core values hadn't...

Lessons from St. Arbucks

August 16, 2007 12:00 AM

Once an article is published in Leadership one never knows the ripple effect it will have. Greg Asimakoupoulos, pastor of Mercer Island Covenant Church, wrote for Leadership about the community-forming power of Starbucks in his neighborhood. He confesses, "We like...

The Measure of a Ministry

July 6, 2007 12:00 AM

This week Americans are celebrating their independence by watching parades, enjoying backyard barbeques, and by not going to church. If your congregation is anything like mine you know that during the summer worship attendance slips noticeably, and the week of...

The Future of the Emerging Church

March 19, 2007 12:00 AM

Conversations about the future of the emerging church can be overheard at conferences, seminaries, chat rooms, or anywhere church leaders congregate. Does the movement have legs? Does it represent a passing trend or a new Reformation? Not long ago we...

What's In a (Church) Name?

December 7, 2006 12:00 AM

Gordon MacDonald told us a while back that the church he serves was considering changing its name. It has finally happened. His account of a 180-year-old congregation's year-long wrestling with its identity is amusing and instructive. Read on. About a...

Out of Context: Ivy Beckwith

November 17, 2006 12:00 AM

"Just look at church websites. How many of them have this picture of a perfect family with a blue sky background. They all look so nice in their polo shirts, and the kids all have straight teeth. It's all just...

Out of Context: Donald Miller

September 28, 2006 12:00 AM

"The church has bought into this idea that if we make Jesus look cool, we win. But we're really trying to make ourselves look cool, not Jesus. We certainly need to repent of that." -Donald Miller, author of Blue Like...

Purpose-Driven Conflict: churches split over the popular ministry model

September 14, 2006 12:00 AM

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article discussing conflicts caused by pastors seeking to implement the popular Purpose-Driven Church model in their congregations. Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament at North Park University in Chicago, and one of our...

Church GPS: Where are we and where should we go?

August 28, 2006 12:00 AM

David Fitch was recently invited by Trinity Evangelical Divinity School to speak on a panel during their new student orientation. Each of the five panel members was to present a response to the question: "Where is the church now and...

Is Church Growth the Highway to Hell?

June 9, 2006 12:00 AM

The summer issue of Leadership, arriving in mailboxes in July, focuses on the impact of consumerism on ministry. Some people have equated the church growth movement with the rise of "consumer Christianity." Others believe the church growth philosophy has brought...

What Would Jesus Preach?: Telling the Truth in Church

February 28, 2006 12:00 AM

If Jesus walked into your church this Sunday and preached, what would he say? That's a question pastor Jim Martin has asked on his blog, A Place for the God-Hungry. Jim is pastor of Crestview Church of Christ in Waco,...

National Pastors Convention: Will Willimon has Control Issues

February 22, 2006 12:00 AM

Leadership's editorial team is posting from sunny San Diego this week. We've gathered with 1700 other church leaders for the National Pastors Convention. At the opening session Methodist bishop Will Willimon spoke (with his charming and colorful Southern humor) about...

Sense & Sensitivity: Why It’s Time to Abandon the Seeker-Sensitive Model

January 6, 2006 12:00 AM

To its credit the seeker movement has made church leaders everywhere more sensitive to the presence of non-Christians in our congregations. But, as the epoch of the seeker-church continues to wane, what enduring lessons will we carry with us into...

Darned Sox: An Exercise in Rebuilding a Team

October 27, 2005 10:53 AM

Marshall Shelley becomes a fan of the newly well-led White Sox. Though I've lived in Chicago more than twenty years, when it came to the White Sox, I was only a casual fan (is that an oxymoron?). Until recently. Yes,...

Erwin McManus at Catalyst: Formulas Don't Work

October 9, 2005 8:19 AM

The following is from Jennifer Oxford, one of our Leadership team in Atlanta for the Catalyst Conference. Erwin McManus took stage and continued to expound upon the very clear message of the entire Catalyst event...that it's not about formulas...the church,...

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