Finding Oneself on the Other Side of a Pandemic

More than any other time, I am hearing people say phrases like “I need to find myself again,” or “I feel like I don’t know who I am anymore.” Some are changing zip codes, switching careers, ending marriages and relationships in a pursuit to “find themselves” and where they fit in this world. Perhaps one […]

5 Thoughts from Gathering in the Middle of a Pandemic

The church I serve gathered again last weekend for large gatherings – outside with chairs set up in a physically distanced format. It has been a progression for us. In June we began gathering in homes. In July we launched smaller gatherings in neighborhoods throughout Orange County. In August we started using our largest campus […]

Church is Essential. Your Form of Church is Not. 

Church is absolutely essential for the follower of Jesus. When Christ called us into relationship with Himself, He also called us into community with others. A Christian not committed to Church is an oxymoron and a confounding contradiction. Christians are commanded to “not neglect gathering together as some are in the habit of doing but […]

6 Surprises About Church Gathering Again

Our church was not the first in our county (and definitely not in the country) to start holding worship gatherings again, and I am thankful for those who began worship gatherings before us as we were able to learn some lessons from them. But as we have begun outdoor gatherings, I am getting emails and […]

How an Ice-Age Context Impacts One’s Approach to Leading

When the pandemic began, Andy Crouch, Kurt Keilhacker, and Dave Blanchard insightfully gave leaders categories for how they were viewing the pandemic — as a blizzard, winter, or the beginning of a little Ice-Age. The imagery is helpful. You hunker down and wait it out in a blizzard, expecting things to return to normal pretty […]

The Psalm that Has Challenged Me the Most in this Season

Early in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Justin Taylor blogged about Psalm 131 and linked to Christian counselor David Powlison’s article in the Journal of Biblical Counseling. I was already scheduled to teach Psalm 131 so I devoured the article by Powlison and threw myself into the Psalm – which has been so good […]

The Importance of Living and Leading with Two Emotions Simultaneously

How are you doing today? You could get two different answers depending on when you ask me. I can look at a difficult situation and, in some moments, aggressively quote Scripture at the situation – “If God is for me, who can be against me?” Bring it on. And then in other moments, I can […]

Covid-19 and a Pastor’s Concern for Our Mental Health

As a pastor I am deeply concerned for the rising struggle with mental health in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. I recently sat down with two clinical psychologists, two Christians in the church I serve, Dr. John Townsend and Dr. Buddy Mendez, and they shared with me that “whatever level of stress, anxiety, or […]

How Are You Thinking About Re-opening Church?

One of the most common questions ministry leaders are asking one another in this crazy season is around “re-opening church gatherings.” While none of us can really answer with any certainty “when” we can re-open church gatherings, we can think about “how” we will re-open church gatherings. As leaders, we cannot know when things “will […]