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What I Do to Get Myself out of a Leadership Funk

By Dr. Wayne Brouwer My first congregation was very rural, with our home-made church building one of only a dozen whistle-stop structures on the sweeping Alberta prairies. Mail was not delivered, but had to be picked up at the Post Office, housed in the only matchbox-sized general store for miles (five people crowded it; a dozen meant at least three …

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Nine ways to keep the Holidays Holy

Nine Ways To Keep The Holidays Holy A young girl went with her pastor father when he led a Christmas afternoon worship service at a retirement home. His exuberance while telling the story and implications of Jesus’ coming was palpable, and Christmas carols were sung with enthusiasm by a delighted crowd of residents and visiting family members. One nurse, however, …

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Here’s what the local church will look like in 20 years

Here’s what the local church will look like in 20 years Some years ago a convention of fortune tellers gathered in Dublin, Ireland. While the group was meeting in a large plenary session, thieves broke into a number of rooms and displays, stealing crystal balls, tarot cards, and other divination equipment. When the police came to investigate, they asked the …

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My Mom Died Last Week

My Mom Died Last Week My mom’s name was Eva. Her twin sister, who died on their birthday a few years back, was Esther. I try to imagine what my grandparents, Harry and Gertrude, were thinking about when they named their newborn twins for the mother of all humans (Eve) and the great savior of her people (Esther). The girls …

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What You Ought to Know about Becoming a Church Leader

What You Ought to Know about Becoming a Church Leader There was a saying, often repeated in the farming community of my youth, that structured the perceived values of work life simply and decisively: If you can’t farm, you can always teach; if you can’t teach, you can always preach; if you can’t preach, you can always teach preachers! When …

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Four Reasons I Love Church Planting

Four Reasons I Love Church Planting Years after each of them went through the great pain of losing their spouses, a curmudgeonly widower and a feisty widow were coaxed toward marriage by well-meaning friends. The wedding was a simple family ceremony in his house, and required no rehearsal. So when the minister used a new form to lead the couple …

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5 blemished Truths About The Church

5 blemished Truths About The Church While celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, both husband and wife were urged to give testimonies to gathered family and friends. He said the usual thing: “The best two words I ever learned  were, ‘Yes, Dear!’” She was a little more profound.  “One of the things that has made our marriage last so long,” she …

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5 Ways to Care for Your Elders

5 Ways to Care for Your Elders Years ago, the pastor in my childhood church took a call to another congregation. The process began in April, but the pastor did not want to move until June, after his children finished their school year. A search committee to find the next pastor was struck, and the timing was superb. Checking with …

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7 Beautiful Things about Being a Leader in a Small Church

After reading the story in Genesis 15 where God tells Abraham to look up at the night sky, and promises that his future family will outnumber the stars, a teacher gave this assignment: “Tonight I want you to go out to your back yards and try to count the stars; tomorrow we will compare how many we found!” Most of …

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10 Things Every Church Needs from Its Elders

10 Things Every Church Needs from Its Elders Before the now gone Crystal Cathedral was internationally famous, its founding pastor, Robert H. Schuller, wrestled with his board of elders for more rapid change and ministry development. In its early years as Garden Grove Community Church, the elder board did not meet during December, and a third of elders were transitioning …