What is Most Important for a Church Guest Services Team?

I was invited to speak at the online First Impressions Conference, a conference designed to help churches think about the experience first time guests have when they visit a church. It is an important topic so I was honored to speak, and speaking at the conference caused me to think once again about what is […]

Fire, Momentum, and Three Questions Leaders Should Ask

When we lived in Nashville, our favorite place to hang out as a family was the outdoor fireplace in our backyard. I loved gathering sticks and picking up firewood with my daughters. We often enjoyed the warmth of the fire on a cool evening and the conversations around the fire were rich. To maximize our […]

Pastors and the Paradox of Being Resented and Revered

We are reading through the book of Acts as a life group. In Acts 14 we see a glaring paradox in the lives of apostles Paul and Barnabas. They were despised by some. “The unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.” And “an attempt was made to mistreat and […]

5 Leadership Reminders from Launching 4 New Congregations

In early 2019 we set plans, as a leadership team, to launch one new Mariners congregation in Orange County each year for the next five years. Orange County is filled with 3.2M people spread out through 34 cities, and we believe Jesus loves each person and each city. We were in early stages of planning […]

4 Types of Itching Ears and What Pastors are Charged to Do

Technology experts have said that humanity is doubling its data creation every 18 months, and clearly one implication is that there is an article online somewhere right now to further validate and affirm anything you already believe or desire to believe. We have seen this tangibly throughout the pandemic – as there are articles citing […]

4 Wins When the Leader Takes an Extended Break

When I became senior pastor of Mariners Church, a four-week study break for the senior pastor was the existing practice of the church. And I am so thankful. I recently returned from my third study break and have learned that taking an extended break each year is fruitful for me, for my team, for the […]

Ministry Leaders—Pay Careful Attention to Your Teaching

I recently challenged the pastors on our team to watch carefully both their lives and their teaching. The challenge is a repeat of the apostle Paul’s challenge to pastor Timothy: Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all. Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere […]

Ministry Leaders—Pay Careful Attention to Your Life

Last week I led a session on the importance of guarding our lives and our teaching with our Mariners Church pastors at our annual pastor retreat. Together we walked through a section of the apostle Paul’s challenge to Timothy (I Timothy 4:11-16). As Paul reminded Timothy of Timothy’s past, the moment when he became a […]

Leading in Babylon or Leading in Israel?

Kaye and I were once at a movie theater, early in our marriage, in Miami. There was a box of popcorn on the row in which we were seated, with more than half the box still filled with buttered popcorn. I viewed the box as trash, as the remnants of a thoughtless moviegoer from the […]