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Tag Archives: churches

Reflections on Italy…Feast and Famine

I loved our vacation in Italy. It was my third time and hopefully will not be my last. It’s a kind of magical place with so much beauty, culture and incredible food at your fingertips. It’s a place I want to return to to introduce others to its magic – pedestrian-friendly cobblestone streets, hikes over mountains through vineyards and olive groves high above the sea, stops at ancient villages to rest and sip cappuccino, rolling Tuscan hills dotted with terra cotta villas and cypress trees, where wine costs as much as water, where thousands of years of history can be experienced, where our villa apt. Is family owned for nine hundred years, where fantastic bread and cheese is always a few steps away. And the gelato… But Italy seems to have a double personality. Although rich in history, rich in natural resources, rich in culture it seems sadly lacking in other very important ways.. Read more.

Leading Out of Learned Silence

For years I heard the maxim: “Only the one who has learned to be silent is prepared to speak.” I would also add: “Only the one who has learned to be silent is prepared to lead.” Think about it: Paul, after his conversion, spent three years in a silent retreat in Arabia. Jesus spent thirty years of silence until he opened his mouth and began to teach. John the Baptist spent his adult life in the desert before he brought a word from God. Ezekiel said, “For seven days I sat in silence and was dumbfounded.” Job seven days in silence until he opened opened his mouth in anguish. Habbakkuk and Samuel waited before the Lord before they spoke. How can we learn to lead out of silence in the midst of our noisy world and churches? Slowly practice silence…. before, during, and after our words. This is a life work, and it can. Read more.

10 Trends for 2013

Where we live impacts us. I have been the pastor of a multiracial, international church in New Life in Queens, NY for the more than twenty five and a half years. It is the soil out of which I see the world and the larger church. Thus, I offer the following trends, or concerns, that I believe we need to carry to God in prayer: Evangelicalism will continue to lose young people in their teens, 20’s and 30’s who are genuinely searching for an authentic transformative experience with God. The issue of same-sex marriage and partnerships will increasingly dominate our youth ministries. We will be very slow to equip our youth leaders and ministries with a well-thought, nuanced, theological response. There will continue to be little interest for Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox believers to learn from one another. Marriage discipleship will remain non-existent or superficial in our churches. The high divorce rate, along. Read more.

EHL Conference -Opening Talk on the Leader's Marriage

This is the a segment of the opening talk Geri and I gave at our Pastor’s/Leader’s Marriage Pre-conference yesterday around a biblical theology of Marriage and Leadership. Beginning with our inadequate theology of marriage and leadership, we expound on the truth that as goes the leader’s marriage, so goes the church. It was our most recent attempt to present clearly this radical biblical paradigm that Scripture calls us to lead others out of our marriage. Enjoy. How might such a truth transform our churches and culture?

The Daily Office – Creating a Rhythm with God

A good friend recently encouraged me to post this 3-4 minute introductory video on the Daily Office. I love the Offices. They shape my days, my weeks, my months, my life. They have revolutionized my being with God the last seven and a half years. Take a look: Introducing the Daily Office The Daily Office differs from what we label today as “quiet time or devotions.” These normally take place once a day, in the mornings, with the emphasis on “getting filled up for a day,” or “interceding for the needs around me.” The Daily Office normally takes place at least twice a day, and is not so much a turning to God to get something; it is about being with God, about communion with Him. My aim is to pause for time with God in the morning, midday, evening and for Compline (right before bed). My morning Office normally is longer (45 min-1+hours),. Read more.

A Call to Learn from Leadership Experts AND the Broader Church

I am amazed at how open the church is to learn from some of the best organizations and leaders about how we can more effectively run our churches (e.g. Jack Welch, Steve Jobs, Tony Blair, Jim Collins, Patrick Lenzoni, Disneyworld, etc.). I applaud this. I believe the Leadership Summit (WCA), for example, is a wonderful event and gift to the broader church. What is puzzling, however, is how little attention is given to learn from the Eastern Orthodox churches, Roman Catholics, or the riches of church history prior to the Reformation. We have much to glean from the church fathers, for example, yet I am not sure many church leaders would flock to a conference on their insights for the 21st century church from Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, Terullian, Perpetua, Origin, Athanasius, John Chrystostom and Augustine. We joyfully embrace God coming and speaking to us through a secular business leader. I am not. Read more.