Blog

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Schlepping to Glory

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Pavlo from Pixabay Following last week’s “Staple Girl” blog, I continued to think a lot about the nature of ministry.  I argued in that blog that our work [...]

April 3rd, 2024|

Staple Girl

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay I’m writing this blog during Holy Week, so there is a very good chance that many of you won’t even be reading it until the [...]

March 28th, 2024|

Places to Play

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Aritha from Pixabay Jonathan Haidt has a new book coming out at the end of the month called “The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is [...]

March 21st, 2024|

Magnificent Ministry Milieus

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Alana Jordan from Pixabay The NFL Players Association does a highly detailed survey each year in which they have each member evaluate the working conditions at the various [...]

March 13th, 2024|

Icing on the Cake

by Eddie Pipkin Image by SplitShire from Pixabay I was at a wedding with chosen family this past weekend in Atlanta, and what a joyous time it was.  The venue was beautiful, as [...]

March 7th, 2024|

Peanut Butter Cup Ministry

by Eddie Pipkin Image by pixel1 from Pixabay I was making myself a quick snack-lunch the other day, a banana with peanut butter, when I thought, “You know, sometimes two great tastes really [...]

February 28th, 2024|

Hype Man

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Julien Tromeur from Pixabay I was at the Friday night NASCAR truck race at Daytona International Speedway last weekend – always an evening of high-speed thrills and great [...]

February 20th, 2024|

Love and Death

by Eddie Pipkin Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay This year marked one of the rare occasions on which Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday aligned.  The two “holidays” have antithetical purposes – one to [...]

February 14th, 2024|

Introvert Economy

by Eddie Pipkin Image by ambermb from Pixabay The pandemic interlude had a dramatic impact on ministry.  Looking back on that era, we can see ways that things that felt like they were [...]

January 29th, 2024|

Trending Now

by Eddie Pipkin Image by BeccaH from Pixabay You may or may not have seen a recent article from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership identifying ministry trends for 2024.  You will already [...]

January 24th, 2024|

Who’s Got It Better Than Us?

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay Jim Harbaugh, coach of the national champion Michigan Wolverines football team, is famous for, among other things, motivating his players with an old family [...]

January 17th, 2024|

Polyrhythm Part 2

by Eddie Pipkin Image by majolala from Pixabay Last week I wrote about the collision of different schedules and lifestyle logistics when people in the same household are visiting together over the holidays.  [...]

January 9th, 2024|

Polyrhythm

by Eddie Pipkin Image by 955169 from Pixabay During the holiday season, we travelled a lot, and we hosted a lot.  That means that sometimes we had guests sharing our home (no less [...]

January 3rd, 2024|

Optimal Gifting

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Bob Dmyt from Pixabay It’s that time of year when we are either eager to give gifts or compelled to give gifts or, most likely, experiencing both compulsion [...]

December 21st, 2023|

Homegrown Christmas

by Eddie Pipkin Image by M W from Pixabay We’ve been sampling the wide range of local Christmas events that our metro area has to offer, from formal orchestral performances to school holiday [...]

December 12th, 2023|

Bah Postbug

by Eddie Pipkin Image by mcmurryjulie from Pixabay I was catching up on the sports news from the weekend – don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I loooove sports – and in reading [...]

December 4th, 2023|

Losing Your Mojo

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Keith Johnston from Pixabay My wife and I attended our last home football game of the year last week.  It’s been a fun inaugural year in the Big [...]

November 30th, 2023|

Scalped

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Alexa from Pixabay Do you ever get worked over a mistake someone else made – just to realize upon reflection that it’s your own darn fault?  Apologies to [...]

November 13th, 2023|

Complications

by Eddie Pipkin Image by 愚木混株 Cdd20 from Pixabay We like to keep things running smoothly.  We like to keep things drama free.  We like a day characterized by the smiley-faced emoji, not [...]

November 9th, 2023|

Underpromise and Overdeliver

By Eddie Pipkin Image by Guy from Pixabay I got to attend my first Formula One race last weekend in Texas.  Aside from all the fast cars and great music (it being Austin, [...]

October 25th, 2023|

Mattering Matters

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay There are lots of things that local churches do well.  There are plenty of things that local churches don’t do well at [...]

October 17th, 2023|

Seemingly Ranch

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Dee from Pixabay Even if you don’t watch pro football, and even if you don’t follow pop music, you may have been unable to avoid one of the [...]

October 5th, 2023|

Perspective Shift

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Luisella Planeta LOVE PEACE 💛💙 from Pixabay I was assembling a new bike last week, and even though I am not a handy person, things were going pretty [...]

September 27th, 2023|

Give Where It Matters

by Eddie Pipkin I was on at a complex of hiking and mountain biking trails a couple of weeks ago, and down by the informational kiosk at the start of the route, I was delighted [...]

September 20th, 2023|

Believe in Your Team

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Артур Закиров from Pixabay I was at my young friend, Chance’s, amazing wedding in Colorado last weekend.  It was visually outstanding, held on a farm in a valley [...]

September 13th, 2023|

Promote Thyself (Seriously)

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay My wife and I have a household trophy that we use to celebrate small but meaningful moments that might otherwise pass without mention. It's [...]

September 6th, 2023|

Olive Garden Theology

by Eddie Pipkin Image by congerdesign from Pixabay When reading an article this week that contemplated which kinds of institutions do the best job of bringing rich Americans and poor Americans together in [...]

August 31st, 2023|

Training Camp

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Pexels from Pixabay Football season is right around the corner, and I can’t wait.  I love football, pro and college (go Knights!), and I will spend waaaaay too [...]

August 21st, 2023|

New Look New Life

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay I was cleaning up the good ol’ Honda CRV last week, when, lo and behold, I discovered a feature that I had never used [...]

August 16th, 2023|

Build Those Skills

by Eddie Pipkin (Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay) Last week, at the conclusion of my “Misaligned Metrics” blog, I teased you with a reference to Excellence in Ministry Coaching’s new Leadership Skill [...]

August 10th, 2023|

Misaligned Metrics

by Eddie Pipkin Image by FlitsArt from Pixabay Reading author and reporter Ann Helen Peterson’s Culture Study newsletter on Substack last week, my ears perked up when she got on a rant about [...]

August 3rd, 2023|

Line of Deference

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Peter Dargatz from Pixabay I was out for a sunrise run on the beach last week, when I found myself approaching another runner coming in my direction.  It [...]

July 28th, 2023|

The Barbenheimer Effect

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, or you don’t do the ‘socials,’ or you don’t go to movies, you may have missed [...]

July 19th, 2023|

Hold on to Your Potato

By Eddie Pipkin Image by Dmitry Abramov from Pixabay I love reading about quirky phrases, so I was delighted when I came across this one sometime in the past few months -- I [...]

July 12th, 2023|

Benched

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Marisa Sias from Pixabay I’ve been following the Major League Baseball number one performance by the Tampa Bay Rays this season (always the underdogs, those underfunded and underloved [...]

June 27th, 2023|

At the Airport

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay Flying around to unfamiliar cities in the past couple of weeks made me acutely aware of the amenities and atmosphere of airports.  Here is [...]

June 21st, 2023|

Satisficed!

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Are you a “satisficer” or an “optimizer”?  If you don’t know the difference, this is the blog for you.  And you should know the [...]

June 6th, 2023|

Summer Purge

by Eddie Pipkin Cleaning: Image by svklimkin from Pixabay It’s pretty common for publications to run an article or two about spring cleaning as the weather warms up.  And just as individual homeowners [...]

May 30th, 2023|

On Fleek Cellies

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay Everybody loves a celebration.  Or as Gen Z (aka, the tech-savvy ‘Zoomers’) sometimes calls them, cellies.  I was reading an article this week about the [...]

May 25th, 2023|

Waffle House Rules

by Eddie Pipkin Photo by Pipkin I was taking my wife to the airport for an early morning flight, and since it was Saturday, even though it wasn't yet daylight, we decided to [...]

May 17th, 2023|

Milestones

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Thomas Breher from Pixabay Well, I turned 60 yesterday.  Hopefully, I survived the day. I finished the blog beforehand, so that even if I didn’t make it through [...]

May 7th, 2023|

Too Many Bears

by Eddie Pipkin Image by David Mark from Pixabay I was at a wedding in Tennessee last weekend, in the Great Smoky Mountains to be precise, and if you’ve been blessed to visit [...]

May 2nd, 2023|

RUD Rules

By Eddie Pipkin Image by Christian Bodhi from Pixabay I’m nerdy enough to have been among the excited online onlookersfor last week’s long-anticipated Starship launch.  Starship is the largest craft ever lifted from [...]

April 27th, 2023|

How to Break the Spell

by Eddie Pipkin I was at the awesome new St. Pete Pier last week.  It is a testament to innovative public space planning.  It’s been enthusiastically embraced by the locals and lauded in national travel [...]

April 19th, 2023|

What’s Your Reason?

by Eddie Pipkin Image by mastrminda from Pixabay I was checking off email a couple of weeks ago, and I clicked on an “IKEA Family” message, because I signed up a while back [...]

April 13th, 2023|

March Mindfulness

By Eddie Pipkin Image by Schorsch from Pixabay We can’t close out March without me composing a riff on the basketball paradise that is March Madness.  It’s been an amazing tournament this year, [...]

March 28th, 2023|

Inadvisable Outcomes

By Eddie Pipkin Image by Carlos Lincoln from Pixabay I was reading last week about the inventor, Thomas Midgley, Jr.  His name was unfamiliar to me, but his inventions.  He was responsible for [...]

March 22nd, 2023|

Slingshot Drivers

By Eddie Pipkin Image by Günther Mayrwöger from Pixabay We were on a road trip this past weekend, and I was treated yet again to an interstate phenomenon that seems to me to [...]

March 14th, 2023|

Dial M For Ministry

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Stefan Kuhn from Pixabay Everything old is new again, and all formerly popular things eventually come back into fashion.  It’s true for high-waisted jeans; it’s true for mullets [...]

March 8th, 2023|

One Stop Funeral Shop

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Yerson Retamal from Pixabay My mother-in-law passed away in early December, and my wife and her brother found themselves in that scenario in which we all inevitably find [...]

February 28th, 2023|

Fun Enough?

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Aritha from Pixabay I was struck by the headline in a recent news scroll on my phone. “Am I fun enough?”  Before I clicked it, I thought maybe [...]

February 22nd, 2023|

Rules to Live By

By Eddie Pipkin Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay Among the many heart-wrenching narratives from the recent catastrophic earthquake that impacted Turkey and Syria, none was more tragic than the realization that one of [...]

February 15th, 2023|

My New BFF

By Eddie Pipkin Image by Cheryl Holt from Pixabay I went with my wife on a cruise a few weeks ago.  It was one of those small ships, no more than 240 people [...]

February 8th, 2023|

Projection of Enthusiasm

By Eddie Pipkin I was at a race event at Daytona International Speedway last weekend, and I happened to have a pass that allowed me infield access.  Looking up from ground level from some distance [...]

February 2nd, 2023|

Compendium of Complaints

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay Now is about the time when those New Year’s resolutions start wearing off, so if you have any complainers in your circle who swore [...]

January 17th, 2023|

Chatbot or Not

by Eddie Pipkin Image by Monika Grafik from Pixabay Did I even write this paragraph?  If you’re into tech developments, and you’ve been reading the recent articles about ChatGPT, you will already know [...]

January 11th, 2023|

Freshly Minted Mantra

By Eddie Pipkin Image by Pexels from Pixabay Last week I wrote about resolutions, but I left an important one out – which, of course, means that I left last week’s blog entry, [...]

January 4th, 2023|

I Resolve

By Eddie Pipkin Let’s make some resolutions, kids!  It’s that time of year, and as people of ritual and calendar-based customs, it’s a fine exercise in thoughtful visioning to get on the 2023 resolutions bandwagon.  [...]

December 29th, 2022|

The Nice List

by Eddie Pipkin Last Sunday, a week before Christmas, I had the privilege to worship in a little 150-year-old church and hear the cantata performed by a 10-voice choir that brought a warm glow of [...]

December 21st, 2022|

Stocking Stuffers

By Eddie Pipkin Just in time for the final flurries of the holiday gift-giving season, I’m here with a few ideas for stocking stuffers. You know, not the big, boldly boxed and beribboned packages that [...]

December 14th, 2022|

Not So Simple

By Eddie Pipkin A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about the value of keeping things simple.  “If you’re feeling stressed when the calendar is full, pare things down and be a minimalist,” I wrote.  [...]

December 7th, 2022|

Mandatory Thanksgiving

By Eddie Pipkin Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!  It is Turkey Day.  The Official Start of the Holiday Season.  Family Day.  Parade and Football Day.  The National Day of Gratitude (“a day of Thanksgiving [...]

November 17th, 2022|

Misfit Power

By Eddie Pipkin Here are two different ways to define the word misfit: 1) a person whose behavior or attitude sets them apart from others in an uncomfortably conspicuous way; or 2) a deviation or [...]

November 16th, 2022|

Backtalk

by Eddie Pipkin I was on a shopping excursion recently and found myself inadvertently trapped in the Ninth Circle of the-Place-That-Is-Not-Heaven.  I needed a bag of filter material for my pool pump, and the only [...]

November 5th, 2022|

Where the People Are

By Eddie Pipkin Last week I wrote about putting people where they will thrive in ministry.  This week I’m writing about putting the ministries where the people are!  Our traditional model is to provide ministry [...]

October 27th, 2022|

Rightplanted

By Eddie Pipkin I’m not much of a gardener.  I love growing things—love my yard—love green things in general.  But I’m not disciplined enough to grow a formal garden.  Our yard has a lightly loved, [...]

October 25th, 2022|

Hedonic Treadmill

By Eddie Pipkin One of the researchers I linked you to last week touched on the topic of hedonic adaptation (also known as the hedonic treadmill), a concept that's been around in psychology for a [...]

October 18th, 2022|

Hit the Showers

By Eddie Pipkin Finding yourself stuck on how to solve a thorny problem?  Dipping into the well for your next imaginative endeavor and finding it bone dry?  Checking the old brainbox for a new idea [...]

October 11th, 2022|

Disaster Styles

By Eddie Pipkin Well, Ian came and went, and while we have a profound sadness for our Florida brothers and sisters who took a direct hit on the southwest coast, here in Orlando the damage [...]

October 4th, 2022|

Mistakes Made and Unmade

By Eddie Pipkin As I sit here in my Central Florida home, gazing out the window at my yard full of gorgeous live oaks, awaiting the imminent arrival of hurricane Ian, there’s nothing to do [...]

September 28th, 2022|

Know Your Vibe

By Eddie Pipkin I have some friends who get together to do an annual excursion to haunted-house-themed attractions.  If you live in Central Florida, this is a big deal.  People travel from across the country [...]

September 20th, 2022|

Long Live the Queen

By Eddie Pipkin On the passing of Queen Elizabeth, the news was filled with special coverage which reviewed her extraordinary life and 70-year reign.  What stood out was the astonishing historical and cultural change that [...]

September 14th, 2022|

The Sociable Church

By Eddie Pipkin Everybody needs friends.  They are essential to our health and happiness.  We’ve written about this topic on more than one occasion, because it’s one of those topics that pops back into the [...]

September 7th, 2022|

Accountability Counts (Part 2)

By Eddie Pipkin Football season begins in earnest this weekend, and if you’ve read any of my blogs for any length of time, you’ll know that I love sports in general and football in particular, [...]

August 31st, 2022|

Accountability Counts

By Eddie Pipkin I wrote last week about my latest Colorado adventure and how, despite the distinct possibility of failure, my excursion team and I made it to the top of our designated peak.  The [...]

August 24th, 2022|

Prepare to Fail

by Eddie Pipkin I’m in Colorado this week, and some buddies and I are going to attempt to check off one of my bucket list items: hiking to the top of a 14,000 foot peak.  [...]

August 16th, 2022|

Adios Choco Taco

By Eddie Pipkin I haven’t seen an ice cream truck in the neighborhood in a long time, but whenever I hear that inimitable high-pitched, tinny tune (usually ‘Turkey in the Straw”), I can’t help but [...]

August 1st, 2022|

The Multiplying Dimension

By Eddie Pipkin My mom loves the Cracker Barrel.  She can’t get enough of those biscuits and gravy and that sweet, iced tea.  She’s partial to the pinto beans and collards lunch combo.  It’s far [...]

July 27th, 2022|

The Maturing Dimension

By Eddie Pipkin The kids and I bought my wife a very cool raised bed gardening platform for Mother’s Day.  It was something she had talked about wanting for a while, a space out on [...]

July 19th, 2022|

The Gathering Dimension

By Eddie Pipkin If you’re looking for the secret sauce that makes local congregations effective, the mortar that binds the ministry foundation of vital and purposeful institutions of faith, it’s relationships.  Even when churches lose [...]

July 12th, 2022|

The Discipling Dimension

By Eddie Pipkin Christians identify themselves as followers of Christ.  The term by which we are identified is disciple.  It was used to describe those first literal followers – those who walked from town to [...]

July 7th, 2022|

The Worship Dimension

By Eddie Pipkin Worship is the distinctive expression of our faith.  You can have a philosophy of life, a set of principles to guide your decision making, or a list of rules to govern your [...]

June 30th, 2022|

Discernment

By Eddie Pipkin Discernment, as defined in its normal, non-church-related context, is about a display of judgment or taste.  Take fashion, for instance.  I have no fashion sense.  No one has ever accused me of [...]

June 23rd, 2022|

7 Practical Dimensions

By Eddie Pipkin I had a bizarre power outage in the house last week: one section of wall outlets went kaput without throwing any breakers.  I couldn’t figure it out, and I was on the [...]

June 15th, 2022|

The Price of Hospitality

by Eddie Pipkin We have had a very full house for the past four weeks.  Different sets of visitors have been congregating with us for days at a time on either end of that period, [...]

June 6th, 2022|

Obstinacy

by Eddie Pipkin I am itchy, and it’s my own dang fault.  I am currently suffering from a wicked case of poison ivy.  I was doing a good deed last Saturday, helping some older folks [...]

June 1st, 2022|

You Know?

by Eddie Pipkin Sometimes, you think something is obvious, but it turns out it’s only obvious to you.  In day-to-day life, misplaced assumptions can be a minor stumbling block or a major source of humor [...]

May 25th, 2022|

Micah 6:8 Church

by Eddie Pipkin Last week I wrote about using the iconic biblical passage from Micah 6:8 as a guide for best management practices for leaders.  This week we’ll expand on that idea by using the [...]

May 17th, 2022|

Micah 6:8 Management

by Eddie Pipkin Having written last week about the never-ending variety of leadership styles and management theories, I want to share a specific one this week.  I was leading a discussion with my Tuesday morning [...]

May 6th, 2022|

Go Your Own Way

by Eddie Pipkin If you want to manage better, lead better, coach better, there are no shortage of programs, gurus, “next big things,” or magic formulas for success.  Take your pick of best sellers, TED [...]

May 3rd, 2022|

Put a Rock In It

By Eddie Pipkin Recently I was gifted a revelation about a home maintenance problem that had hounded me for months.  This minor glitch had been a headache small enough that I kept not putting in [...]

April 20th, 2022|

Grammy Gold

by Eddie Pipkin Last week I wrote about the Oscars, so this week it’s only fair that I give a shout-out to the recently-aired Grammys.  For my wife and me, the Grammy Awards is our [...]

April 13th, 2022|

Slap Protocol

By Eddie Pipkin Unless you have been in a cave on your yearly no-technology retreat to Borneo, you know that Will Smith slapped Chris Rock during the live Oscars telecast a couple of weeks ago.  [...]

April 5th, 2022|

Grow and Bulb: Guest EMC3 Blog

Guest Blog by Rev. Dr. Candace Adams One of my favorite gifts to receive is a flowering plant. This year for Christmas, I received an amaryllis bulb. Typically, the bulb produces a green stalk and [...]

March 21st, 2022|

The Serenity Foci

By Eddie Pipkin Following up on my blog theme from last week, it clicked for me how the call to keep our focus on the right thing at the right time is perhaps most clearly [...]

March 14th, 2022|

Dangerous Distractions

By Eddie Pipkin I was at a local botanical garden last weekend with my wife.  It was a gorgeous day, and I was obsessed in the moment with my attempt to capture a perfect photo.  [...]

March 10th, 2022|

Tailgate Time

By Eddie Pipkin I have a yearly tradition with some pals in which every February we head up to Daytona for the Friday night truck race. The NASCAR superspeedway action is a blast, and we [...]

February 24th, 2022|

In Good Time

By Eddie Pipkin Right about this time of year, it’s fun to take stock of all those New Year’s resolutions that everybody made and how they are all working out.  The gyms are looking less [...]

February 9th, 2022|

Best of Both Worlds

By Eddie Pipkin Last week I wrote about avoiding the pitfalls of fast-fashion thinking when it comes to ministry.  Even as we grow, change, evolve, and adapt, we can’t be constantly lurching to the next [...]

February 2nd, 2022|

Grow-Change-Remember

By Eddie Pipkin I love to discover places that manage to find the elusive balance between celebrating old traditions and embracing new growth and ideas.  Last weekend, my wife and I stumbled on just such [...]

January 26th, 2022|

The Whole Hog

By Eddie Pipkin I love ritual and tradition (which kind of makes sense for this line of work, doesn’t it?)  So, every year, I eat the same thing on New Year’s Day.  Like the southern [...]

January 12th, 2022|

No Bahs No Humbugs

By Eddie Pipkin You might have picked up on my great affection for Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.  It is one of my favorite stories of any season, not just Christmas.  It’s perfect in structure, effective [...]

December 29th, 2021|

Merry Christmas!

By Eddie Pipkin Christmas is here, a full and frantic season for all you merry elves of ministry.  So, let us just take a moment to wish you a blessed and happy time with family [...]

December 22nd, 2021|

Van Gogh, Dickens, and Basketball

By Eddie Pipkin Since I’m always keenly attuned, whenever I attend any public event, to the dynamics of venues, programming, and hospitality, the past 10 days has been a gift that kept giving.  I was [...]

December 16th, 2021|

Cheerleaders

By Eddie Pipkin Last weekend I ran a half marathon.  It was the second one I had done, and it felt like I was woefully unprepared.  My training schedule had been disrupted by some unplanned [...]

December 8th, 2021|

How to Start The Wave

By Eddie Pipkin There was a lot of great football on last weekend, and if you watched any of it while you were digesting all that turkey, at some point you noted a spontaneous, ubiquitous [...]

December 1st, 2021|

Thanks-selfies

By Eddie Pipkin Here we are, arrived at the cusp of the Day of Giving Thanks.  And you’ll be expressing gratitude in all manner of ways for all manner of benefactions.  Gratitude, as I like [...]

November 18th, 2021|

When in Hallmark Land

By Eddie Pipkin I was stranded trying to get home this week when my Jeep gave up the ghost in Georgia, where I’d been helping family for a few days.  I was already a day [...]

November 16th, 2021|

Everybody Needs Some LaMelo

by Eddie Pipkin Every organization needs a LaMelo.  If you don’t know what a LaMelo is, read on, dear friend.  But believe me when I say that your life will be richer, your organization freshly [...]

November 10th, 2021|

Church as Extended Family

By Eddie Pipkin Last week, I experienced two different insights into how the church might (or might not) respond to cultural shifts by functioning as an extended family for people who need new ways to [...]

November 3rd, 2021|

No Virtual Hayrides

By Eddie Pipkin No such thing as a virtual hayride!  I love hayrides -- one of my jobs over the years with the local church at which I was a member was making the hayride [...]

October 26th, 2021|

Lead Like Powell

By Eddie Pipkin As a lifelong news junkie and history nerd, I paused this week to consider the life and times of Colin Powell, trailblazer and witness to many of the headline events of my [...]

October 20th, 2021|

Delightfully Unexpected

By Eddie Pipkin On my run last Saturday morning, just as the sun was coming up and just as I rounded the corner from my street to the next, there at the end of a [...]

October 11th, 2021|

Pumpkin Theology

By Eddie Pipkin It’s pumpkin patch season for lots of churches!  Ah, those acres of orange glory, picked over by delirious kids (who insist on only the plumpest pumpkins) and their perfect-photo-seeking parents (who keep [...]

October 6th, 2021|

Mixed Messages

By Eddie Pipkin I got a kick out of this sight on the side of the road in my neighborhood.  I mean, what exactly is going on here?  Is somebody throwing away a perfectly good [...]

September 28th, 2021|

Pub Group Is Dead

(Long Live Pub Group) By Eddie Pipkin Ah, let us pause to memorialize those innovative church ideas that did not survive the pandemic.  For instance, pub group.  Pub groups, for churches seeking to be relevant, [...]

September 22nd, 2021|

Curb Your Jumpthusiasm

By Eddie Pipkin A couple of months ago, I received a humbling lesson in not jumping to conclusions.  I was reading the sports page and encountered the article announcing that the Cleveland Indians, after years [...]

September 15th, 2021|

The Essentials

By Eddie Pipkin When I was backpacking this summer, I took along a newbie, my nephew who just graduated from high school.  This nephew had never done any backpacking before – in fact, he had [...]

September 8th, 2021|

More Provisional, Less Divisional

By Eddie Pipkin Change happens.  It’s one of the few certainties in life and ministry.  Often change desperately needs to happen.  We become stuck in a rut, and the only way forward to renewal is [...]

August 31st, 2021|

Ministry Gentrification

By Eddie Pipkin In my recent beachside travels, I was staying in a rental house with friends.  Thisneighborhood had been around for decades.  It began as a collection of modest cottages – a beach getaway [...]

August 25th, 2021|

Pothole Postulations

By Eddie Pipkin I am hanging out in the Florida Panhandle this week, and I’m doing my daily runs on unfamiliar roads, which I really enjoy.  In fact, these roads are clay/sand roads, shaded by [...]

August 18th, 2021|

The Twisties (Part 2)

By Eddie Pipkin I received an email in response to last week’s blog, “The Twisties,” which expressed disappointment in my take on the topic.  The writer understood my interest in promoting mental health ministries for [...]

August 11th, 2021|

The Twisties

By Eddie Pipkin Last week I wrote about Simone Biles, her impact on attitudes toward mental health, and the intersection of mental health awareness and ministry.  This week we’ll explore that further.  It’s a big [...]

August 4th, 2021|

No Perfect Trips

By Eddie Pipkin It had been a few years since I had participated in a legitimate multi-day backpacking trip, so I had to dig deeply in my mental files (and on my garage shelves) to [...]

July 20th, 2021|

Disconnected Delight

By Eddie Pipkin I just wrapped up a backpacking trip in Colorado, and you’ll probably be treated to no less than three blog ideas generated by that little adventure.  It’s spectacular – I recommend it [...]

July 14th, 2021|

Whimsy Rules

By Eddie Pipkin My stepdad loves a good sunrise at the beach, and he was in town for the 4th, so over we drove to start the day before anybody else had thought about rising.  [...]

July 7th, 2021|

Hurrah for Has-Beens

By Eddie Pipkin It’s Tour de France season, and if you’ve never watched a stage of the world’s most eminent bike race, I highly encourage you to check it out.  It is beautiful pageantry and [...]

June 30th, 2021|

Sensible Swag

By Eddie Pipkin I helped out for a morning at VBS this week – and a shout-out to my pals at College Park UMC for a well-run, fully-throttled, highly enthusiastic railway adventure.  I was just [...]

June 23rd, 2021|

Auscultation for the Soul

By Eddie Pipkin There’s listening, and then there’s listening.  Last week I wrote about the value of listening to voices different from the ones we usually hear, including the need to make time for deep [...]

June 16th, 2021|

Down the Rabbit Hole

By Eddie Pipkin This, my friends, is the Nissan GT-R Nismo – more accurately, the Nissan GT-R35 Nismo Lego kit.  And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, welcome to the subject of [...]

June 9th, 2021|

Lost in Translation

By Eddie Pipkin My two great-nephews are in town for a visit, and in my official capacity as “fun uncle” (and now fun great-uncle), I decided to take them to a water park.  I haven’t [...]

June 2nd, 2021|

Here We Go

By Eddie Pipkin Phil and I travel in different circles: I work out of a converted yard tool storage room, a writing recluse, tucked away in my cave of creativity; he travels the country meeting [...]

May 25th, 2021|

Laissez Faire Leadership

By Eddie Pipkin I was having lunch with a colleague last week, and I asked him how he would describe the leadership style of his new boss.  He looked thoughtful for a moment, then he [...]

May 18th, 2021|

The Thing That Needs Doing

By Eddie Pipkin My wife and I have the joy of living on a small lake.  It’s just large enough for a short paddle, and the lake’s edge attracts interesting birds, sometimes an otter or [...]

May 12th, 2021|

Sandcastle Theology

By Eddie Pipkin I took this photo a few weeks ago at Clearwater Beach.  I’m really into sandcastles.  I’ve built hundreds (some even with my kids when they were younger).  The one in the picture [...]

May 3rd, 2021|

Lessons from an Unlikely Loo

By Eddie Pipkin My wife got her Mother’s Day gift a couple of weeks early when her long-dreamed home modification became a reality.  We now have a half-bath on the lower level of the house [...]

April 28th, 2021|

Post Pandemic Party Plans

By Eddie Pipkin As more and more friends and family are vaccinated, and the world desperately lurches towards normal, my calendar is filling up with catch-up dates: gatherings to catch up with folks we haven’t [...]

April 21st, 2021|

In Plain Sight

By Eddie Pipkin Time for the Pipkin hacienda to get a new roof.  I did all my due diligence, got my estimates (ouch!), and chose a local roofing company we felt really good about.  We [...]

April 14th, 2021|

Customer SERVICE

By Eddie Pipkin I headed over to the charming berg of Dunedin, Florida for a post-Easter getaway with a couple of friends earlier this week, and I had talked these guys into bringing some bikes, [...]

April 7th, 2021|

Wipeout

By Eddie Pipkin I was hanging out with some Middle Schoolers last weekend at their (safely socially distanced) Sunday night youth gathering when the time came for them to break out into small groups.  I’ve [...]

March 31st, 2021|

Kindness as Strategy

By Eddie Pipkin Kindness is not the first thing that comes to mind when we consider the pathway to corporate success.  Cutthroat competition and a “succeed or die” mentality produce cultures known less for empathy [...]

March 22nd, 2021|

Fight the Cram!

By Eddie Pipkin Overspilling trash cans, overpacked suitcases, overloaded trailers, and overtaxed wifi networks!  Seems like everywhere I look in the past couple of weeks, people are trying to cram too much of whatever into [...]

March 18th, 2021|

Spring and Spiritual Growth

Guest Blog by Rev. Dr. Candace Adams Spring is just around the corner.  It is a season marked by new life and growth.  After the dark days of winter, springtime is a welcome relief.  As [...]

March 15th, 2021|

Get Out

By Eddie Pipkin Tunnel vision, rabbit holes, wearing blinders, and being unable to see the forest for the trees.  These are all ministry problems: we get so locked on a ministry perspective that we lose [...]

March 7th, 2021|

Spring Cleaning

By Eddie Pipkin It’s time for spring cleaning!  At least where I live – you may have another few weeks to plan your spring cleaning projects before the weather catches up with your pent-up enthusiasm.  [...]

March 3rd, 2021|

For the Birds

By Eddie Pipkin Who knew that a filmmaker’s lessons from working with eight Australian magpies could be so useful for insights into leading ministry?  When I was reading about director Glendyn Ivin’s work on the [...]

February 24th, 2021|

Stoke That Fire

By Eddie Pipkin I was out in Colorado a couple of weeks ago, and it was cold (duh!).  It was perfect weather for sitting by the fire pit, and for the better part of the [...]

February 16th, 2021|

Super Team Secrets

By Eddie Pipkin I love inspirational sports stories and the lessons they offer us for leadership and perseverance.  And if sports metaphors aren’t your thing, you can start rolling your eyes now, but it is [...]

February 11th, 2021|

Lenten Sacrifices for Leaders

By Eddie Pipkin I warned you in my Christmas parody poem that it would be Easter in no time at all, and here we are less than two weeks away from Ash Wednesday and the [...]

February 3rd, 2021|

These Tangled Webs We Weave

By Eddie Pipkin This is the last in our January series, and the fourth in a series of blogs on how to avoid self-sabotage in our ministries.  This week I wanted to revisit a topic [...]

January 28th, 2021|

Thanks, Obviously

By Eddie Pipkin This is the third week in our series about not sabotaging ourselves as we strive for excellence in ministry in 2021.  Every January, for my wife and I, as documents arrive in [...]

January 21st, 2021|

Flippantly Glib

By Eddie Pipkin Part 2 of our January series on avoiding ministry self-sabotage presents a true story in which a leader whiffed when given an opportunity to engage an interested volunteer.  All of the topics [...]

January 12th, 2021|

Anti-Sabotage

By Eddie Pipkin Resolution season is in full swing.  I know this because the neighbor lady has renewed her back-patio sunrise workout routine, accompanied by an enthusiastically amplified, dance party playlist.  God bless her in [...]

January 4th, 2021|

Squad Goals

By Eddie Pipkin It’s resolution time, like it or not!  (Some of you love it, and some of you hate it, and for Methodists it’s a tradition anchored in John Wesley’s glorious Covenant Renewal Service [...]

December 28th, 2020|

The Night Before

By Eddie Pipkin Last Christmas season, way back in December of 2019 when life was whimsical and visions of ministry sugar plums danced in our unsuspecting heads, I wrote a paraphrase of Clement Clarke Moore’s [...]

December 23rd, 2020|

Pukka Peace

By Eddie Pipkin Christmas is a time for stories.  At the Pipkin household we’ve been firing up a cup of hot cocoa and working our way through some of our favorite movies and T.V. specials.  [...]

December 11th, 2020|

The Gift of Absence

By Eddie Pipkin I have written a lot in this space about the gift of presence: the simple power of being physically present for one another.  But occasionally – and this may be one of [...]

December 7th, 2020|

Holiday Combo

By Eddie Pipkin I spent Thanksgiving in Miami with our friend Chiny, and I was reminded once again that she is the “queen of hospitality,” a model for all of us who would welcome guests [...]

December 2nd, 2020|

Tip o’ the Capotain

By Eddie Pipkin We here at Excellence in Ministry Coaching wish you a blessed and happy Thanksgiving, no matter how you are celebrating in modified fashion in this strange and awkward year.  We are grateful [...]

November 23rd, 2020|

Caroling to the Rescue

By Eddie Pipkin We write a lot about new ideas, new technology, and new approaches to leadership and ministry.  We love to talk about shaking up the old ways and flipping old habits topsy-turvy, but [...]

November 19th, 2020|

Happy Thanksboosting!

By Eddie Pipkin Hold on to your pilgrim hats, but Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I always like to write a blog about celebrating gratitude (and I know you’re thankful to hear it).  [...]

November 11th, 2020|

Mall Nostalgia

By Eddie Pipkin We love what we know, and the familiar brings comfort.  Nostalgia is a powerful force – embedded in memory and tinged with a sense of “the way things were meant to be” [...]

November 4th, 2020|

Underdogs

By Eddie Pipkin If you’re like my friend, Gregg, you might be so caught up in the nonstop news that you missed the fact that there was a World Series this past week.  I love [...]

October 28th, 2020|

Spiritual Wellness: Gearing Up for the Journey

Guest Blog by Rev. Dr. Candace Adams The act of embarking on a journey is often marked with anticipation and excitement.  There is something about an adventure that naturally stirs us out of our complacency.  [...]

October 26th, 2020|

Talk to Me

By Eddie Pipkin I came across an article on the Medium website last week that I thought got to the heart of getting to know people.  Its author has discovered “the one perfect question” to [...]

October 20th, 2020|

Cubbyhole Theology

By Eddie Pipkin Here in Florida we take a good bit of ribbing when fall rolls around.  We get tons of texts from our more northern pals featuring hillsides of vivid leaf color.  I like [...]

October 13th, 2020|

Masks as Metaphor

By Eddie Pipkin Masks have been in the news a lot.  Wearing them or not wearing them – which early in the pandemic seemed like a straightforward, simple option to maximize protection from the virus [...]

October 7th, 2020|

Wedding Lessons

By Eddie Pipkin My son got married last weekend.  It was a beautiful day, an event they will remember for a lifetime.  But it wasn’t the day they envisioned when they were in the midst [...]

October 2nd, 2020|

Zoom Master

By Eddie Pipkin Last week we took a look at the different strategies involved in successfully leading virtual gatherings (and how the skill set for leading virtually can be different than the skill set for [...]

September 22nd, 2020|

Remote Control

By Eddie Pipkin As we have shifted from in-person to virtual interactions in the last six months, we have had to make all manner of style adjustments, and we have stumbled into all sorts of [...]

September 15th, 2020|

Custom Disciples — Coaches & Mentors

By Eddie Pipkin Over the past three weeks I’ve broken down and expanded some of the concepts around the flexibility of discipleship initiatives for local churches that Phil and I highlight in our new Disciple [...]

September 10th, 2020|

Customizable Discipleship Part 2

By Eddie Pipkin We began a discussion in last week’s blog about setting up a discipleship initiative using the principles established in the recently published book that Dr. Phil Maynard and I co-authored, Disciple Like [...]

August 26th, 2020|

Customizable Discipleship Now

By Eddie Pipkin We’ve written a lot (a very lot) about accountable discipleship.  If we are the Chick-fil-A of ministry development and strategy, then discipleship resources are our Original Chicken Sandwich with a side of [...]

August 18th, 2020|

The Sine Qua Non of Ingenuity

By Eddie Pipkin It’s an adage so ancient that nobody really knows who first uttered it.  In Latin, it’s “Mater atrium necessitas” (“The mother of invention is necessity”).  Plato wrote, “Our need will be the [...]

August 13th, 2020|

Beat the Dog Days

By Eddie Pipkin This isn’t the first time I’ve written about the “dog days of summer.”  Metaphorically speaking, they are the hottest, most humid, most energy-sucking and lethargy-producing days of the year (and an actual [...]

August 5th, 2020|

Spiritual Wellness Journey: Guest EMC3 Blog

By Rev. Dr. Candace Adams Most people know that they should have an annual physical. Typically, a physical includes an exam and blood work. These two components provide a medical doctor with critical information regarding [...]

August 5th, 2020|

Stuck Stuck Stuck

Principle Centered Ministry — Guiding Principles for Challenging Times By Eddie Pipkin Well, here we are!  July’s almost done; fall is right around the corner.  Did you make it on that vacation you’d been planning?  [...]

July 22nd, 2020|

The One Question

Principle Centered Ministry — Guiding Principles for Challenging Times By Eddie Pipkin Phil and I were having some socially distanced coffee and catching up last week, when I was reminded of a statistical anomaly that [...]

July 16th, 2020|

What About Bob?

Principle Centered Ministry — Guiding Principles for Challenging Times By Eddie Pipkin I was out for a run, midday Monday, headphones in my ears streaming the latest grim news, my thoughts on the no-end-in-sight frustration [...]

July 8th, 2020|

Riding the Waves

Principle Centered Ministry — Guiding Principles for Challenging Times By Eddie Pipkin I’m at the beach with the family this week, and one of my favorite things to do there is boogie board with the [...]

July 2nd, 2020|

Give Young People the Floor

By Eddie Pipkin Welcome back to the blog after a brief summertime hiatus.  Hope you are finding some rest, relaxation, and revival, but the apocalyptic news keeps rolling in, and the normal routine of the [...]

June 25th, 2020|

How Will We Respond?

Principle Centered Ministry -- Guiding Principles for Challenging Times By Eddie Pipkin and Phil Maynard With demonstrations happening in more than 140 American cities over the past week, coronavirus has been pushed off the front [...]

June 3rd, 2020|

Discipleship Dilemma

Principle Centered Ministry -- Guiding Principles for Challenging Times By Phil Maynard and Eddie Pipkin The “new normal” of the pandemic has changed things a lot, but it has not changed the central mission of [...]

May 27th, 2020|

Adaptive Worship

Principle Centered Ministry -- Guiding Principles for Challenging Times By Phil Maynard and Eddie Pipkin We were intrigued by the series of stories that appeared at the end of March and beginning of April that [...]

May 20th, 2020|

Friends Matter Now

Principle-Centered Ministry -- Guiding Principles for Challenging Times By Phil Maynard and Eddie Pipkin There have been plenty of headlines in the past couple of weeks about “getting back to normal” – and let’s face [...]

May 13th, 2020|

To Meme Or Not To Meme

By Eddie Pipkin To meme or not to meme: that is the question! Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous repostings or take arms against a sea of [...]

April 29th, 2020|

Make a Sign

By Eddie Pipkin The past few weeks we have been focusing heavily on “virtual” ideas and strategies for ministry.  But now, in the immortal words sung by Olivia Newton John way back in 1981, “let’s [...]

April 22nd, 2020|

Data Mining as Discipleship

By Eddie Pipkin I hope you’re getting that traditional post-Easter rest, and I also hope you’re not!  Sorry for the head fake, but these are unusual times.  On the one hand, please, all ministry leaders [...]

April 14th, 2020|

Beyond Virtual Walls

By Eddie Pipkin As we continue to find a way forward in this unprecedented crisis, it’s been inspiring to see local churches find creative ways to stay connected to their congregations and keep members of [...]

April 8th, 2020|

No Crisis Wasted

By Eddie Pipkin Rahm Emmanuel, former Obama presidency chief of staff and Chicago mayor from 2011 to 2019, was perhaps most famous for this quote: “You never let a serious crisis go to waste.  It’s [...]

April 3rd, 2020|

Apocalypse Adaptations

By Eddie Pipkin Greetings, brave new pioneers in the age of creative adaptation.  You are responding with creativity to the perplexing paradox of this pandemic, to wit: Right when circumstances banish us from physical proximity [...]

March 25th, 2020|

What Now?

By Eddie Pipkin Three weeks ago, on February 27th, I wrote a speculative blog about the potential effects of a COVID-19 outbreak.  That seems like a lifetime ago.  What I wrote then felt a little [...]

March 18th, 2020|

Nuclear Decay

By Eddie Pipkin Last week I wrote about reconceiving men’s ministry, based on societal shifts in the concept of “manhood” and what it means to be a man/husband/father.  On the heels of that rumination, a [...]

March 11th, 2020|

Man, Oh Man

By Eddie Pipkin I recently had coffee with the talented and thoughtful worship leader at the local church my wife and I have been attending.  What I had seen of his public persona I liked [...]

March 4th, 2020|

Coronavirus Chaos

By Eddie Pipkin As the coronavirus outbreak (now known by the more precise name given to this unique strain, COVID-19) slips past the emergency efforts to control its transmission, it is becoming more and more [...]

February 27th, 2020|

Proactive vs. Reactive

By Eddie Pipkin I was in a Cracker Barrel off I-75 in Georgia earlier this week, making a pit stop, when I encountered an unusual appeal to find salvation and assure my entry to Heaven.  [...]

February 19th, 2020|

Generosity as Stability

By Eddie Pipkin As we conclude our series on discipleship made relevant for modern culture, I saved for the finale what I think of as one of our most hopeful and practical assertions.  For people [...]

February 12th, 2020|

Openness as Adventure

By Eddie Pipkin As we arrive at the penultimate week of our blog series on revelatory discipleship strategies, we consider the fear faced by people who are interested in the concept of spirituality but frightened [...]

January 30th, 2020|

Obedience as Freedom

By Eddie Pipkin As we continue our series exploring the pursuit of discipleship and its awesome practical results for people seeking a meaningful and well-ordered life, this week we’ll consider the topic of obedience.  If [...]

January 28th, 2020|

Worship as Lifestyle

By Eddie Pipkin This is part-the-third of our five-part 2020 kickoff in the blogosphere in which we are looking at the elements of discipleship as they fulfill the needs of those seeking purpose and power [...]

January 22nd, 2020|

Service as Purpose

By Eddie Pipkin In part two of our five-part blog series kick-off to 2020, we’ll continue to look at the ways in which the development of Discipleship skills are the path to a full life [...]

January 13th, 2020|

Hospitality as Relationships

By Eddie Pipkin I previewed a new series last week in which we would consider the elements of discipleship and how, when fully realized, they fulfill the basic needs in the modern search for meaning.  [...]

January 9th, 2020|

New Year’s Wishes

By Eddie Pipkin and Phil Maynard It’s been a great year at Excellence in Ministry Coaching.  Phil has traveled the country working with leadership and congregations to revitalize and grow their ministries, hearing your stories, [...]

December 31st, 2019|

The Day After

By Eddie Pipkin Merry post-Christmas from the gang at EMC3!  We hope your holidays have been glorious, blessed with the joy of work well done, and we trust that you’re enjoying a well-earned rest.  I’ve [...]

December 24th, 2019|

Have Yourself an Authentic Little Christmas

By Eddie Pipkin When checking out a recently published article about how families decide whether to choose an artificial Christmas tree or a live version, I was fascinated to read about the evolving nature of [...]

December 16th, 2019|

More New Metrics

By Eddie Pipkin I made the mistake last week of stepping on the bathroom scale.  I am a big believer in not cramping the festive spirit of the Christmas season with such foolishness as scientific [...]

December 10th, 2019|

Gratitude and Generosity

By Eddie Pipkin On the heels of Thanksgiving, my inbox included a gift of an article which detailed the science behind the link between gratitude and giving.  There is increasing research that corroborates – and [...]

December 4th, 2019|

Happy Thanks-Griping

By Eddie Pipkin Traditionally, we embrace this season of family, friends, and glorious food by counting our blessings.  We gather together in celebration of one another and the good things in life.  We are thoughtful [...]

November 28th, 2019|

The New Metrics

By Eddie Pipkin In our recent “no fences” blog series, in which we explored the many ways we can make ministry more accessible to more people, I boldly stated a premise that we needed a [...]

November 20th, 2019|

Even Fewer Fences

By Eddie Pipkin In my blogs in the previous two weeks, we have been exploring the ways in which our formulaic ministry thinking can corral us (and those we work with) in unhealthy ways.  We [...]

November 13th, 2019|

No Fences

By Eddie Pipkin In last week’s blog entry, “Don’t Fence Me In,” I pointed out the ways in which we constrict individualized spiritual growth with our fixed structures of programs and events.  While structure is [...]

November 6th, 2019|

Don’t Fence Me In

By Eddie Pipkin Did you ever have one of those forms to fill out where they ask you to write an answer in that sequence of boxes, one letter per box, but your answer is [...]

October 30th, 2019|

Up Close and Personal

By Eddie Pipkin A local non-profit theater group emailed me with an opportunity to join one of their executives, a director, and some performers for dinner at a local restaurant.  It was a way to [...]

October 23rd, 2019|

Fashionable Leadership Advice

By Eddie Pipkin Confession time: I have zero sense of fashion.  Well, maybe zero is too favorable a score – maybe it would be a negative number would be more honest.  I basically have one [...]

October 16th, 2019|

Learn Something New (Now)

By Eddie Pipkin Last week, I wrote about creativity sparked by looking at things from a new perspective.  My wife -- who is excellent in her IT management role but would not describe herself as [...]

October 3rd, 2019|

So Long, Comfort Zone

By Eddie Pipkin Some years back, I co-founded a pre-youth group for 4th and 5th graders.  That age group gets a little lost between the normal children’s ministry offerings for little kids and the youth [...]

October 2nd, 2019|

Dare to Doodle

By Eddie Pipkin I’m a doodler.  In a former life, I drew quite a bit.  I actually made a few bucks drawing political cartoons back in the day.  I honed this skill in, of all [...]

September 25th, 2019|

Busted

By Eddie Pipkin My wife and I went out to breakfast before church last weekend, and we stopped in at one of our favorite diners, a bustling, homey spot. We had just settled in with [...]

September 18th, 2019|

Everybody’s Got a Storm

By Eddie Pipkin You savvy readers have long ago figured out that Excellence in Ministry Coaching is based out of central Florida (specifically, the east coast side), so we've been in Hurricane Dorian lockdown, counting [...]

September 5th, 2019|

Welcome . . . Really!

By Eddie Pipkin This week we feature another entry from Dr. Phil Maynard’s observations from the road!  A few weeks ago, Phil (our intrepid leader) was on a break in the mountains of Western North [...]

August 28th, 2019|

Say My Name

By Eddie Pipkin Phil Maynard, our esteemed leader here at Excellence in Ministry Coaching, was recently conducting a workshop at Virginia Beach and had the good fortune to be hosted at The Cavalier, a luxury [...]

August 21st, 2019|

Making Friends (Part 2)

By Eddie Pipkin Last week I wrote about the need for friendships – now more than ever – and how the local church can be a great way to help people bond in deep relationships.  [...]

August 14th, 2019|

Making Friends

By Eddie Pipkin As we plan fall campus events and outreach efforts, mission projects, and seasonal music productions, let’s not forget one of the core things needed by people who are hurting and seeking connection [...]

August 7th, 2019|

The Future of Work

By Eddie Pipkin The BBC has a great website called Worklife 101 that they describe as “a global round-up of the people, ideas, and things at the forefront of the new world of work.”  It [...]

July 31st, 2019|

That Ol’ Summer Slump

By Eddie Pipkin After attending a recent mid-summer worship service, I was asked by the pastor-in-charge if I thought the energy in the room felt a little low.  He had been challenged by the obviously [...]

July 24th, 2019|

Moon Shot

By Eddie Pipkin As we mark the 50th anniversary of humanity’s first steps on the moon, it is a great time to reflect on the power of an unambiguous vision.  Although the U.S. space program [...]

July 17th, 2019|

Oops!

By Eddie Pipkin It was shortly after my blog from last week landed in my own inbox when I noticed that – in a blog in which I repeatedly mentioned the importance of always having [...]

July 10th, 2019|

As American As Flamin’ Hot Cheetos

By Eddie Pipkin Richard Montañez’s rise from janitor to respected global food company executive is American as it gets.  He took an idea, backed by hard work and belief, and turned it into an inspirational [...]

July 2nd, 2019|

Unexpected Insight

By Eddie Pipkin Last week, I was is in the small, remote Colorado mountain town of Ouray.  As I wandered the hilly streets one morning just after dawn, I came across a grassy hillside with [...]

June 26th, 2019|

Waiting

By Eddie Pipkin Earlier this week, I had to make an unexpected trip to the doctor’s office.  They had been kind enough to squeeze me in for a same-day appointment, but it ended up being [...]

June 19th, 2019|

In My Humble Opinion

By Eddie Pipkin We are a bunch of know-it-alls.  If we’ve been around a long time, we have it all figured out by virtue of years of hard-won experience.  If, on the other hand, we [...]

June 12th, 2019|

Ambivert Power!

By Eddie Pipkin Church ministry is dominated by extroverts.  Glad-handers, dramatic speakers, hip youth leaders, charismatic worship directors, and electrifying teachers who hold rooms spellbound are all superstars in their respective local congregations.  In an [...]

June 5th, 2019|

Hole in the Fence

By Eddie Pipkin Recently I was at a new-to-me commuter rail station.  The train platform backs up to a major strip mall with a Walmart and dozens of shops and restaurants that have been there [...]

May 29th, 2019|

Breaking Breakfast

By Eddie Pipkin Author Amanda Mull recently wrote about the unique approach of Americans to the first meal of the day, the one we know as breakfast. No culture on the planet has as restricted [...]

May 22nd, 2019|

RHE Wisdom

By Eddie Pipkin I was saddened – as were many in the ministry community – by the tragic, unexpected death of Rachel Held Evans at just 37-years-old. Evans, a leading progressive voice of her generation, [...]

May 15th, 2019|

Breakfast with Norma

By Eddie Pipkin Whenever I travel, wherever I go, I’m always on the lookout for ministry inspiration.  I am most inspired by the ministry principles that are demonstrated in what we would think of as [...]

May 9th, 2019|

Dad Humor

By Eddie Pipkin Even a super-serious organization like the Transportation Security Administration knows the power of a quirky social media presence to help “customers” forge a connection to their work.  You know the TSA folks: [...]

April 24th, 2019|

Guest Blog: Road to Joy (Forgiveness)

By Tom Acey (An occasional guest blog exploring the discovery of the true joy in our lives for which we are intended) This blog is part of my series entitled The Road to Joy, in [...]

April 22nd, 2019|

Legacy Ministry

By Eddie Pipkin Does what we build last?  Watching the news from Paris this week was a reminder that even the sturdiest and most meaningful structures are impermanent.  We spend countless hours crafting programs, planning [...]

April 17th, 2019|

What’s in Your Pantry?

By Eddie Pipkin Be prepared.  Everybody knows the infamous Scout motto, but sometimes we miss its full meaning.  We embrace the micro-planning part: plan, plan, plan down to the tiniest detail to make sure our [...]

April 12th, 2019|

Front Porch Therapy

By Eddie Pipkin I love reading the Houzz website for the latest in home decorating trends and landscaping.  Anybody reading this who knows me will find this revelation hysterical, because I know absolutely nothing about [...]

March 27th, 2019|

Obviously

By Eddie Pipkin Food has been helping me formulate ideas this week. Raw peanuts spaghetti squash, and oyster po'boys have been the pathway to enlightenment.  And I could drop some hints or set up a [...]

March 20th, 2019|

Guest Blog: Road to Joy (A New Outlook)

By Tom Acey (Guest Blogger -- an occasional, supplemental blog on living a life of joy) This blog is the sixth in my series entitled “The Road to Joy,” in which I have examined the nature of true joy, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit; in the series we have been looking closely at the steps we required to experience this true joy in our lives. These steps were outlined in the book The Applause of Heaven by Max Lucado, and they provide the perfect framework for what I call “awakening the joy within.”  Each of these blogs delves into one of these seven steps.

March 19th, 2019|

Boredom, Frustration, and Grudges = Eureka!

By Eddie Pipkin Everybody tries their best to create a workplace atmosphere that resists boredom, frustration, and tension with ministry partners.  But increasingly, those who study creativity and the processes that promote it are reaching [...]

March 14th, 2019|

Take It Outside

By Eddie Pipkin Spring has arrived . . . at least here in Florida.  We had mid-80s and sunshine last week.  On the other hand, my son is in Boston, and they were under another [...]

March 5th, 2019|

Optimistic Creativity

By Eddie Pipkin A recent special edition of Time Magazine was called “The Art of Optimism.”  In an era of conflict, depressing news, and despair, the magazine’s reporters and editors and interviewed countless artists about [...]

February 28th, 2019|

Why Performance Reviews Must Die

By Eddie Pipkin Performance reviews!  Everybody loves feedback from the boss (right?).  And everybody loves a little constructive criticism (right?).  There is no shortage of articles about the need for ministry institutions like the local [...]

February 14th, 2019|

The View from the Vestibule

By Eddie Pipkin - When I head home to Georgia, I usually spend Sunday morning at the little country church where I got married 32 years ago.  Like most of us who worship anywhere on a regular basis, even if only occasionally, I have a familiar place where I sit: third row from the back, left side pew, on the aisle in this case.

February 7th, 2019|

The Connector

By Eddie Pipkin - When we talk about the importance of hospitality for local churches, we can easily get caught up in the discussion of welcome systems and welcome centers and welcome training and welcome gifts.

January 30th, 2019|

How Not To Be Stupid

By Eddie Pipkin - I love reading and writing about ideas, especially about processes (how things function and how we make decisions).  Ministry work is exactly the same as other types of work, while simultaneously being utterly different.  Sometimes business psychology transfers seamlessly, and sometimes it is upended by the special circumstances of the ministry environment, which has (or should have) inherently different priorities.

January 23rd, 2019|

Guest Blog: Road to Joy (Part 3)

By Tom Acey (Guest Blogger -- an occasional, supplemental blog on living a life of joy) - This blog is the fourth in my series entitled “The Road to Joy,” in which I have examined the nature of true joy, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit; and I have begun looking at the steps we need to take to experience this true joy in our lives.

January 21st, 2019|

Good Thinking

By Eddie Pipkin - Former Navy SEAL Commander Jocko Willink had a habit of responding to his subordinates’ reports of unexpected crises with a word that irritated them until they got used to it: “Good,” he would say whenever they reported a missed supply drop, a busted piece of equipment, or an unfortunate weather forecast.

January 16th, 2019|

New Year Giving

By Eddie Pipkin - Because we like to donate to a variety of charitable causes, my wife and I received a slew of emails during the last couple of weeks of 2018.  Non-profit groups are well aware of the volume of end-of-year giving (with some studies suggesting that charitable organizations receive as much as one-third of their donations in December and some 12% in the last three days of the year).

January 10th, 2019|

The 12 Days of Ministry

By Eddie Pipkin - Joy of the season to you all!  And here's hoping you are taking a few days off, lounging about, bloated with baked goodies, enjoying friends and family (and not fishing too many newly gifted drones out of too many trees).  And I definitely hope you are not working.

December 20th, 2018|

Charlie Brown Ministry

By Eddie Pipkin - This blog is about Charlie Brown ministry.  Charlie Brown ministry is when you take something that has been overlooked, ignored, discarded, rejected or otherwise not appreciated and instead make it the focus of your attention, thereby giving it beauty in the process.

December 20th, 2018|

First Steps on the Road to Joy (Part 2)

By Tom Acey (Guest Blogger -- an occasional, supplemental blog on living a life of joy) - This guest blog is the third in my series entitled, “The Road to Joy,” in which I have examined the nature of true joy, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit; we’ve been looking at the practical steps we need to take to experience this true joy in our lives.

December 12th, 2018|

Simply Christmas

By Eddie Pipkin - Advent and Christmas are upon us – one of those “Superbowl seasons” in the life of the local congregation.  We are caught up in a flurry of events and activities which mirrors the societal chaos of the holidays.  On the one hand, there is a natural hunger for reconnection to the church this time of year, a perfect platform for inviting people in and giving them opportunities to engage. 

December 5th, 2018|

The Personal Touch

By Eddie Pipkin - I confess.  My family still mails out old-school Christmas cards with a goofy pictures and a handwritten note on the back.  I know; we run the risk of being labelled Luddites.

November 29th, 2018|

In Gratitude

By Eddie Pipkin - A friend of mine who owns a small business told me a story about an employee and ingratitude.  He’d hired the guy so he could learn a trade, and the guy was doing pretty good work for the company.  One afternoon this guy decided to fix an issue with one of the company trucks, and his employer thanked him for his initiative, to which this fellow replied, “You can just add the invoice amount for the repair to my regular paycheck.”

November 20th, 2018|

‘One Thing’ Thinking

By Eddie Pipkin - Ministry leaders juggling a thousand priorities at once (especially in the next six weeks) should take hope in the power of focusing on “the one big thing.”

November 14th, 2018|

Bonsai Thinking

By Eddie Pipkin - Recently touring Longwood Gardens outside Philadelphia, I was perusing the bonsai exhibit, enchanted by this diminutive crape myrtle in the picture.  I knew that the art and technique of bonsai was based on patience and a meticulous attention to detail. 

November 7th, 2018|

First Steps on the Road to Joy

By Tom Acey (Guest Blogger -- an occasional, supplemental blog on living a life of joy) - Previously we learned that Joy is a state of being and that joy is NOT synonymous with happiness. Being joyful is the foremost manifestation of the power of Christ’s love working within our lives. We also discussed the “steps” outlined by Pastor Max Lucado in his book, The Applause of Heaven.

October 31st, 2018|

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

By Eddie Pipkin - I was in an artsy resort town in the hills, stopping off for lunch at this little café on the side of the road when I saw this “Park in a Circle” sign.  The parking area was out back, a small gravel lot with a narrow alley access, and the owners had decided the circle parking option was the best way to get people in and out without blocking anybody.

October 24th, 2018|

Stuck with a Dog

By Eddie Pipkin - I have a dilemma: I got stuck with a dog.  He’s a nice dog, a Corgi (just like the queen’s dogs), full of personality and smart, but willful.  He belongs to my son and his fiancée – wonderful young people who moved to Boston for graduate school, and they love this dog, but the available housing options in their new location didn’t allow for them to include their adorable doggy friend;

October 17th, 2018|

Why Life Is Great at the Super 8

By Eddie Pipkin - On my recent multi-week road trip, I stayed at a wide variety of places, some decidedly more upscale than others.  I spent time in a little cabin/lodge, nicely appointed motel “suites,” on a luxury air mattress, crashing on a couple of couches, and I even had my first Airbnb experience (a historic room in a former TB hospital in Saranac Lake, New York). 

October 10th, 2018|

Stand Out

By Eddie Pipkin - On a recent visit to Toronto’s harbor front, I saw two manifestations of interactive public art – one mobile, one permanent – that got me to thinking about the ways that churches can create communal public spaces. 

October 3rd, 2018|

Event Evaluation

By Eddie Pipkin - We have entered the season in which fall festivals, autumn carnivals, pumpkin patches, and trunk-or-treats are popular, so it’s a good time to reflect on what makes an event engage the community in meaningful ways.

September 25th, 2018|

Challenge Accepted

By Eddie Pipkin - How to build a non-traditional, accountable group of young believers whose journey towards deepening discipleship is not based predominately on Sunday morning worship attendance?  Time for you to help me figure that out. 

September 18th, 2018|

The Road to Joy

By Tom Acey (Guest Blogger) - As Christians, we are expected to reflect joy in our daily lives, including our personal relationships. But what is joy exactly?  Webster’s dictionary defines joy as “The passion or emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good.”

September 17th, 2018|

What That Looks Like Now

By Eddie Pipkin - I have a friend who likes to tease me about my go-to poke-you-with-a-stick question in any brainstorming conversation: “Yeah, but what does that LOOK like?”  Ideas are fine, but they fizzle out on the brainstorming board if they can’t be given flesh and bone structure. Concepts must move to the stage of practical details.  Vision requires form and function.

September 6th, 2018|

Time Out

By Eddie Pipkin - Here we are at the end of a busy summer (well, here I am at the end of a busy summer – maybe you had a slow-paced, recharge kind of a summer instead of a summer full of logistical adventures and family transitions – if so, you are probably gearing up right now for a frenetically-paced fall).  Either way, the Labor Day weekend is a good time to take stock at how we’re doing at the discipline of the slowdown. 

August 29th, 2018|

If Sermons Were Like TED Talks

By Eddie Pipkin I was recently leading a small group spiritual study and referenced a TED Talk, at which point I realized that none of the folks at the table with me had any idea [...]

August 22nd, 2018|

Missing In Action

By Eddie Pipkin Is it easier to revive old friendships or to make totally new friends?  (Struggling retailers would ask a different version of this question: Is it easier to reconnect with former customers or [...]

August 16th, 2018|

The Turnaround

By Eddie Pipkin To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of the death of the church have been greatly exaggerated.  For those of us who work regularly with struggling congregations and church revitalization, there is a [...]

August 7th, 2018|

Faux Busy

By Eddie Pipkin My adult son is back home for a few short weeks before he heads off to the Northeast for a couple of years for graduate school.  He has been kind enough to [...]

July 31st, 2018|

Forging Ministry Together

By Eddie Pipkin I had a great time recently hanging out for the weekend with my young friend, Harry.  He lives in Miami, with access to a 5-acre ranchette on the edge of the Everglades [...]

July 23rd, 2018|

Talk Less, Listen More

By Eddie Pipkin I’ve had some great opportunities this summer to catch up with people I haven’t seen in a very long time, including long lost relatives from Texas and some old ministry friends.  We’ve [...]

July 17th, 2018|

When People Complain

By Eddie Pipkin I was on a summer road trip during the 4th of July week.  We had to stop for dinner somewhere in South Carolina, and someone suggested Bojangles (yum, spicy chicken ‘n biscuit).  [...]

July 10th, 2018|

How Not to Be Bored

By Eddie Pipkin Here we’ve arrived at one of the prominent holiday getaway weeks of the summer, and I hope you are getting some downtime with family and friends – I know how hard it [...]

July 2nd, 2018|

Holy Grammar

By Eddie Pipkin I was reading the weekly email from Christianity Today editor Mark Galli, and he linked an article at Mockingbird from Andrew Taylor-Troutman called, “Comma, Grace.”  I’m a diction, punctuation, and grammar geek [...]

June 25th, 2018|

Ministry Belly Flops

By Eddie Pipkin Recently, a revitalizing commercial district near my house tried out a temporary road diet.  If you don’t know what that is, and you’re too busy to follow the explanatory link, it’s a [...]

June 20th, 2018|

Fun with Horoscopes

By Eddie Pipkin I’m one of the 14 people left who read the local paper every morning while I drink my coffee.  Granted, I read it on my phone, so there’s that tip of the [...]

June 13th, 2018|

Sidewalk Maintenance

By Eddie Pipkin I love looking at things closely, analyzing the details.  (It’s a practice that feels faithful to last week’s blog about creative curiosity like Leonardo da Vinci lived out.)  But practiced a little [...]

June 6th, 2018|

Lessons from Leonardo

By Eddie Pipkin I have been reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Leonardo da Vinci, and I highly recommend it.  (It is on Bill Gates’ touted summer reading list, so I feel like I’m in good [...]

May 30th, 2018|

The Joy of Inventing Useless Things

By Eddie Pipkin Performance anxiety is real.  And it cripples ministry large and small.  From preachers who stick to rote formulas for sermons to leadership teams that are unwilling to explore new ideas, ministries regularly [...]

May 23rd, 2018|

Land of the Lonely

By Eddie Pipkin Loneliness is in the news again.  In a world in which we are constantly connected in ways previous generations could never have imagined, people still report feeling lonely.  As church leaders argue [...]

May 16th, 2018|

Stop Sabotaging Yourself

By Eddie Pipkin I was attending a local church service last weekend, a lovely worship service offered by a great congregation that is currently sponsoring the kinds of ministry typical of neighborhood congregations this time [...]

May 9th, 2018|

Creativity Rules

By Eddie Pipkin Do you think of yourself as creative?  If you are involved in ministry, there is some aspect of your day-to-day work that involves creativity.  Maybe you are a worship leader or communications [...]

May 2nd, 2018|

Gettin’ Hitched

By Eddie Pipkin A pastoral friend recently made a trip to provide some pre-marital counseling to a couple whose wedding service he is officiating a few months from now.  I did not really know what [...]

April 20th, 2018|

Arts for All

By Eddie Pipkin When I was in New York a couple of weeks ago, I happened to end up at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the home of the Episcopal Diocese of New [...]

April 18th, 2018|

Who Counts?

By Eddie Pipkin I recently had a friend who offered to help out with an aspect of worship leadership at his local church.  It was a church he had been a part of for many [...]

April 11th, 2018|

Metrics That Matter

By Eddie Pipkin Maybe you have time scheduled for a nap after the glorious chaos of Holy Week.  Hopefully, you are getting some time to recharge, rest up, and revel in the exciting ministry you [...]

April 2nd, 2018|

Ask a Bartender

By Eddie Pipkin I have a good friend, a ministry friend, who has a dream of opening what he calls “ChurchBar.”  In his vision it would be an operational bar during regular business hours and [...]

March 22nd, 2018|

Wear It Out

By Eddie Pipkin I said goodbye this week to my old friend, my 2002 Honda Odyssey minivan.  It had served me and my family well, veteran of hundreds of road trips, including a few full-on, [...]

March 13th, 2018|

Wilhelm Scream Strategy

By Eddie Pipkin Last week I was introduced to the “Wilhelm scream.”  I consider myself a pretty well-informed cultural geek, especially as concerns all things Star Wars, but this sound effect which has been a [...]

March 7th, 2018|

Saving Lives

By Eddie Pipkin Following the shootings in Parkland, Florida, I found myself struggling to understand the ways in which local congregations can meaningfully respond to such tragedies.  Certainly, churches have continued to fill their historic [...]

February 26th, 2018|

Restaurant Blues

By Eddie Pipkin This week, a couple of restaurant tales to emphasize ministry mistakes to be avoided.. First, my friend Jeff’s attempt to meet me at a local burger bar.  My friend (Jeff, as noted) [...]

February 20th, 2018|

Magical Feedback

By Eddie Pipkin I recently read an interesting article about feedback.  It focused on the secrets to long term organizational success and how to build a culture that consistently achieves this elusive goal.  Even with [...]

February 12th, 2018|

Inreach, Outreach, and Events

By Eddie Pipkin Churches plan community events on a regular basis.  That is, they plan events that they refer to as “community events.”  In reality, many of these events—if not most of them—are actually congregationally-focused [...]

February 5th, 2018|

The Hazards of Churchspeak

By Eddie Pipkin I had an experience at breakfast on Saturday morning that reminded me of the way ministry leaders routinely make references to topics to which non-church-goers and new-ministry-participants may be oblivious.  When we [...]

January 29th, 2018|

Right-sized Staff

By Eddie Pipkin Churches everywhere—all denominations, all geographic locations, all cultural contexts—are composed of a combination of paid staff and volunteer leaders.  One of the great questions that each individual congregation must answer for itself [...]

January 23rd, 2018|

The Backup

By Eddie Pipkin A week ago, football fans were treated to an instant classic: a showdown for the national collegiate championship between the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide.  I watched the game with keen [...]

January 15th, 2018|

The Exodus 18 Leadership Initiative

By Eddie Pipkin It’s a new year and a new day here at Excellence in Ministry Coaching.  We’re launching a new interactive on-line training curriculum called the Exodus 18 Leadership Initiative. It takes the best [...]

January 8th, 2018|

Rested and Resolved

By Eddie Pipkin Happy New Year, everybody!  Here’s hoping you had a great couple of weeks, catching up with family and friends, celebrating joyfully, and maybe even enjoying a couple of days of downtime.  As [...]

January 2nd, 2018|

2017 Year in Review

By Eddie Pipkin December 22, 2017 This blog, which will close out my entries for the tumultuous year that was 2017, will be the 46th blog I have shared with you in the past 12 [...]

December 22nd, 2017|

My Ministry Christmas Wish List

By Eddie Pipkin December 18th, 2017 I thought I would share my Christmas wish list this year (since it’s not too late to get my Christmas wishes delivered if you choose “express” delivery NOW—hahaha).  Just [...]

December 18th, 2017|

All is Calm – Yeah, Right!

By Eddie Pipkin December 8, 2017 Having written last week about the value of strategic stress within an organization, I realized how ironic it was to be writing such an article at exactly the moment [...]

December 8th, 2017|

The Right Kind of Stress Encourages Innovation

By Eddie Pipkin December 4, 2017 This week I am sharing some great links from the non-ministry world on insights to strategic creativity and innovation.  One of the things I really enjoy doing with this [...]

December 4th, 2017|

Millennials and Mentors

By Eddie Pipkin November 21, 2017 A couple of weeks ago, long-distance runner Shalane Flanagan won the New York City Marathon, the first American woman to do so in 40 years (with an impressive time [...]

November 24th, 2017|

Gratitude as Leadership Strategy

By Eddie Pipkin November 17, 2017 Happy Thanksgiving!  I begin this blog by expressing my thanks to all of you who read regularly.  It is a privilege to write for you every week, and we [...]

November 17th, 2017|

Stewardship Done Better, Part 2

By Eddie Pipkin November 10, 2017 Continuing our discussion of stewardship season from last week, it wouldn’t hurt us to take some valuable lessons from secular nonprofits.  There are thousands of community organizations out there [...]

November 10th, 2017|

Stewardship Done Better

By Eddie Pipkin November 3, 2017 It’s that time of year when many churches are undertaking their annual stewardship campaigns.  Although helping congregants build a lifestyle of biblical generosity is one of the core elements [...]

November 3rd, 2017|

What Rocket? Missing the Seemingly Obvious

By Eddie Pipkin October 27, 2017 Do you ever feel like God is doing amazing things in your local ministry, but you just can’t seem to get anybody to pay attention?  Sure, the few people [...]

October 31st, 2017|

Finding Our Niche

By Eddie Pipkin October 20, 2017 Bigger is not always better.  I am a fan of the so-called second tier attractions here in Orlando where I work and live.  We are famous for our theme [...]

October 20th, 2017|

The Church and Mental Health

By Eddie Pipkin October 16, 2017 My teenage nephews visited me last week during their fall break, and it was a great opportunity to quiz them (as I routinely do all young folk) on the [...]

October 16th, 2017|

Passive Aggressive Customer Service

By Eddie Pipkin October 9, 2017 Have you had an experience of passive-aggressive customer service?  Everybody understands the concept of good customer service.  Most everybody in ministry agrees that it’s crass to think of congregants [...]

October 9th, 2017|

Churches as the Next Town Square

By Eddie Pipkin October 2, 2017 What if churches were more than clubhouses for select memberships?  What if churches were community gathering spots where people converged to learn, grow, help one another and hang out [...]

October 2nd, 2017|

If They Don’t Get It, It’s Our Fault

By Eddie Pipkin September 22, 2017 I love conversations with 20-somethings.  They can be inspiring, eye-opening, hopeful, and—on occasion—a stinging reminder of how we as ministry leaders have blown it.  Take, for instance, the fundamental [...]

September 22nd, 2017|

Nuns, Chainsaws, and Disaster Response

By Eddie Pipkin September 18, 2017 So, here I am again, writing about churches and disaster response, only this time from a city in which, a week after Irma blew through, there are still some [...]

September 18th, 2017|

Harvey as Reality and Metaphor

By Eddie Pipkin September 1, 2017 As the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey unfolded last week, it was inspiring, as always, to watch the ways in which local congregations responded to the needs of the community.  [...]

September 1st, 2017|

Party in the Moment, Port in a Storm

By Eddie Pipkin August 26, 2017 Last week I was lucky enough to stay with friends in North Georgia to catch the total eclipse.  It was, as advertised, a once-in-a-lifetime spectacular.  Beyond the personal experience [...]

August 26th, 2017|

The Click That Satisfies

By Eddie Pipkin August 18, 2017 A fancy web page is only as useful as its functionality.  This is not news to you. It’s certainly not news to the billionaire geeks who founded revolutionary platforms [...]

August 20th, 2017|

Loneliness and the Church

By Eddie Pipkin August 11, 2017 I have spent this week home alone.  Other family members have been travelling, and I have had the house to myself, which as a certified introvert, I really enjoy [...]

August 11th, 2017|

Comfort, Discomfort, and Millenials

By Eddie Pipkin August 4, 2017 This week at my regular Tuesday morning Bible study, we discussed the balance between “comfort” and “discomfort” for people who have chosen to be a part of local congregations, [...]

August 4th, 2017|

Not Just Going with the Flow

By Eddie Pipkin July 28, 2017 Downspouts and drains have been on my mind a lot lately.  I had a longstanding issue with water runoff at my house that I decided to tackle earlier this [...]

July 28th, 2017|

Do You Belong?

By Eddie Pipkin July 21, 2017 On my visit to Oslo, Norway, I was walking across a pedestrian bridge into one of the city’s bright new architecturally exciting neighborhoods, when I noticed a phrase painted [...]

July 22nd, 2017|

Downtime is Holy Time

By Eddie Pipkin July 14, 2017 I write this week’s blog as I’m preparing to depart for somewhere else.  A different physical location for sure (one with fjords and Viking ships—and I don’t mean a [...]

July 14th, 2017|