Eyes in the back of her head

Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 2.54.07 PMGrowing up my brother, sister and I thought our mother had “eyes in the back of her head.”  What we meant was simply that she so aware of what we did we could not get away with anything.   Our mother had that ability because as her children we had her attention.   She turned her attention away from her needs and desires to focus on our needs.

Recently I was in the audience when a person conducted some business for the whole group.  In terms of the presentation, it was good.  But when she concluded someone near me said, “That wasn’t about our group or our business, that was all about her!”  She was so preoccupied with herself and how people perceived her that she missed what the group needed her to do.  Her leadership in that group failed. Continue reading


Size-Appropriate Structures

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 4.17.06 PMWe all know an ‘intimate dinner’ of three or four couples has a different function and planning level than a party to which you invite seventy or eighty.  We also know that a Morris Mini has a different engine and transmission than does a delivery truck.  In the same manner, we have different equipment to fish for bluegill off the pier than we would if we fished for tuna in the ocean.  Yet sometimes we act in churches as if supporting structures in the church are the same for an eighty-member congregation as for a five thousand-member congregation, just bigger.

One of the pieces of wisdom shared in church growth circles is that if you combine a couple of two hundred-member churches, you will get one two hundred member church—because they know how to be a two hundred-member church!  What that statement tries to highlight is that different sizes of congregations need different structures to support their size.  When internal structures do not match the size of a church two things can happen; either growth is inhibited or internal discomfort and conflict arises. Continue reading

Angry With God?

Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 9.49.33 AMI have had the regular privilege of being a guest on “Life Questions with Pastor Michael” a radio show that a friend of mine, Michael Bannon produces.  It is a show where he talks about spiritual questions ordinary folks might have.  I that find interesting.  I want a faith grounded in real life so I like to try to answer questions real people are asking.  A recent question was from a person who asked if it was permissible for a person to be angry with God.  It was an interesting discussion.

Michael asked, “Do we have the right to be angry with God?”  I was not sure that was the question that helped me get at the root of the issue.  I believe that at times we are all angry with God whether we have the right or not.  Continue reading