Church Offering Talk

A lot of people land on this blog by searching for “church offering talk.”  If that’s you, then I want to direct you to this resource from Giving Rocket.  Hands down, it’s one of the most practical things you can do in your church.  You’ll learn how to get intentional with the time of giving in your service, and learn how to write “a giving talk.”


When Dreams Lead to Inaction

Turn your dreams into plans
Dreams should push us forward, but sometimes, the magnitude of our dreams leave us still and unable to act.  Perhaps its the size of the dream that incapacitates us, or perhaps is the comfort of the familiar.


But God-given dreams should propel us to action.  After all, dreams that are not acted upon will become regrets given enough time.

Is there a dream embedded in your heart that has been glossed over by life?  Maybe you’ve always wanted to live in the city, start that business, learn another language, take a mission trip, write that book or take that trip?  Don’t let the cost of the experience or the scope of the dream lead you to inaction.  Jump in.
Here are some practical things you can do to get started.

1.  Break it down into chunks. Most dreams are really a sequence of steps.  Focusing on the end, without looking at the steps it will take to get there will be overwhelming.  Break your dream down into smaller chunks.

2.  Start learning. Learning is a key to implementing something.  What can you learn about the country, industry, language, etc?  Get a book, take a course or do something related to your dream.

3.  Tell someone.  Accountability in the context of authentic friendships is a powerful thing.  It’s time to tell someone about your dream.  It doesn’t matter if they think you’re crazy or if they push you forward…the point is that your dream is out there.

God-given dreams get stronger over time….they don’t go away.  They might be buried underneath layers of life and put on hold, but if that dream is still there, don’t let it become a regret.



When Small is Better

Do you run a small business?  Do you pastor a small church?  Do you run a small non-profit? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you will probably answer yes to one of the next ones:
  • Do you feel like you can’t compete with the major players?
  • Do you feel like you’re constantly waiting on the big break?
  • Do you wonder if you’re making a big difference, or any difference at all?
  1. You can make decisions quicker. When you’re small, you don’t have to go through sixteen steps in order to make an important decision.  You, and maybe a small team of advisors, get to make the decision.  Sure, you might get it wrong, but you also might get it right.  When you’re highly responsive and directly responsible for decision making, you can position your organization for success.
  2. You can reach people directly. You don’t need a marketing department, because you ARE the marketing department.  You don’t need to check with legal, because you ARE legal.  While this may scare you, there are major benefits to this reality.  You get to speak right to your customer, without going through layers of red tape.  You get to help those you’re trying to help directly.
  3. You can be more creative. A pastor of a mega-church once told me, “I’m somewhat jealous of you small guys.  You know how to innovate and create better than we do because you don’t have all the resources.”  You might think you’d be more creative with more money or more staff, but it’s just as likely that those resources would turn you into a passionless machine.
  4. You can change  faster. Turning a battleship requires multiple people and a fair amount of ocean in front of you.  Changing directions with a one-man canoe is a little easier, and you can turn on a dime.  If you need to shift the focus or head in a different direction, you can do that quicker than your mega competition.  Of course, there’s the risk that you’ll over-correct all the time and never make headway, but if you’re a good leader, you will know when the change is important.
Being small is not the stepping stone to being big, and not everything that starts out small makes it big.  Business, churches and organizations of all different sizes are needed to make a difference in this world.  Relish your place in the design.  Don’t whine and complain that you’re not bigger.  Being small is a strength, one that you might not always have.
For what it’s worth, I love helping small businesses reach more customers and non-profits make a bigger difference.  Read more about my consulting process and contact me if you’d like to chat.

Nascar Prayer

I don’t usually post youtube videos, but here’s a prayer before a NASCAR event.  The pastor might be channeling Ricky Bobby.



Guilt by Association

A few weeks ago, I listened to an amazing sermon by Andy Stanley called “The Separation of Church and Hate.”

Neither Jesus nor Paul were concerned with guilt by association.  Jesus wasn’t afraid to eat dinner with a tax collector.  He wasn’t afraid to be seen with the woman at the well.

When Jesus was nicknamed “the friend of sinners” by the religious leaders of the day, that title wasn’t a compliment.  It was meant to attack his character based on his associations.  They tried to bring Jesus down by lumping him in with other down and out people of the day.  But Jesus didn’t shrink back from that.  In fact, he leaned in.
Jesus didn’t show disdain for sinners.  Actually, He seemed to show the most personal disdain for the hyper-religious of the day.  The critical, judgmental leaders hell bent to point out the sins of others.
I confess that I’ve been too concerned with appearances, fearful of associating publicly with some people because of what people would say.  I was wrong to do that.  Now I’m on the other end of this, and this hits much closer to home.  I suppose experience remains a great teacher.