Are the Dones Really Christian?

Are the millions who no longer attend church just a bunch of faith imposters? That’s the assertion of some denominational officials who seek to minimize the exodus of the religious Dones. Research shows that American congregations have lost over 30 million adults who are the Dones–those who have left the organized church, but not their faith. […]

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Read–and hear–the new Holy Soup

You may now consume a steaming bowl of Holy Soup in a new way. The Holy Soup podcast is coming. You’ll hear me and special guests talk about juicy subjects in a whole new audio dimension. Listen to the podcast on your computer or mobile device. Starting tomorrow, look for the podcast at http://www.holysoup.com, or through […]

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When Preaching the Word…Isn’t

Pastor Duane unloaded. “I don’t need to revolutionize the sermon time. I don’t need to entertain. I just preach the Word. Period. People need to sit and listen to the unadulterated Word of God proclaimed from my pulpit.” That was Pastor Duane’s reaction to an announcement about a new book that suggests some ways to make sermon times more effective. Allow me […]

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Will the Easter People Go Back to Church?

Easter Sunday brings special joy in many ways. It’s wonderful to see so many gather in worship to rejoice in the resurrection of our Lord and remember his redeeming sacrifice for us. Most churches see a boost in attendance on Easter, which brings a special joy to church leaders and members. For many congregations, it’s the […]

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Church Mission: Self-Preservation or Something Else?

I asked the pastor and congregation members, “What’s your church’s mission?” The answers were all over the landscape: To carry on our tradition in the community. To make people feel good and want to come back. To show God’s love through acts of kindness. To keep our old building open and maintained. It’s the same […]

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The End of Sermon Time as We Know It

The typical Sunday morning lecture time wasn’t working as well as it might. So, Pastor Rick Bundschuh set out to try some different approaches to engage his congregation, ignite their faith, and extend his messages well beyond the Sunday morning hour. Rick knew he’d be bucking centuries of methodological tradition–and challenging the self-identity of many  preachers […]

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Uprising in the Pews

Part of what is crippling the American church may actually lead to its renewal. Over the past few generations, the people–the church–have formed an entrenched mindset. It’s this: the work of the church–ministry–is something the people pay the professionals to do. The laity’s role is to simply watch the paid staff work, or perhaps to make a financial […]

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Church Property: Boon or Bane?

Bricks and mortar are killing some churches–and opening opportunities for others. Grand old edifices that once stood as prominent, physical religious symbols in their communities may now overwhelm their congregations’ ability to sustain themselves financially. In the documentary When God Left the Building, a church leader says, “Within a quarter of a mile here there are five huge […]

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6 Must-Have Goodies for the Modern Church

At the start of another year I’m reflecting on the ever-emerging trends in vital equipment for the modern church. As I travel extensively around the country and world, I’ve noticed a number of popular items that were not commonplace in churches a decade ago. So, maybe it’s time to come out with a new catalog […]

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Terror Tension: Guns in Church

As terror attacks continue abroad and closer to home, are Christian churches seen as a vulnerable “soft targets?” In addition to all the other challenges facing the Western church, now physical safety has risen as a growing concern. Has gathering for worship or other church activities become a palpable safety concern for the public? Will […]

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