Blog

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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|

Mindful Summer

By Eddie Pipkin July 7, 2017 I write this blog from Butler Beach in northeast Florida.  It’s the height of summer and for many folks in ministry, things slow down a few notches (that is, [...]

July 7th, 2017|

Culture Clash

By Eddie Pipkin June 30, 2017 Travis Kalanick, Uber’s CEO and central personality, was recently forced to step down, shining a harsh spotlight on his abrasive leadership style.  With the ride share company floundering, one [...]

June 30th, 2017|

Community Hangout

By Eddie Pipkin June 23, 2017 When our kids were younger, we were one of those houses that was the neighborhood hangout.  There was always a gaggle of kids splashing in the pool, bouncing happily [...]

June 23rd, 2017|

How to Conversate

By Eddie Pipkin June 16, 2017 In a world with lots of options, one of the things that sets local faith communities apart is the opportunity they provide for the creation of authentic community.  People [...]

June 16th, 2017|

Free Plants…Psych!

By Eddie Pipkin June 10, 2017 I was walking through a neighborhood of shops recently when I came across a local garden center with this sign posted on the entry gate: “Free Plants for Sale.”  [...]

June 10th, 2017|

Subway Celebration

By Eddie Pipkin June 5, 2017 You might have come across the story of the “subway graduation,” Jerich Marco Alcantara’s feel-good tale of a thwarted graduation ceremony which was salvaged by some creative thinking and [...]

June 5th, 2017|

How Elon Sees the World

By Eddie Pipkin May 26, 2017 I have a 20-something friend who is obsessed with all things Elon Musk.  You will have heard of Mr. Musk, entrepreneur, visionary, multi-billionaire shifter of paradigms: builder of cars, [...]

May 26th, 2017|

Roadside Couch

By Eddie Pipkin May 19, 2017 I have lately been obsessed by couches on the side of the road.  It began as a gag: my son is searching for a house to rent with several [...]

May 19th, 2017|

What I Learned on the Bike

By Eddie Pipkin May 10, 2017 This past weekend I went on a long biker ride with some good friends.  It’s a ride we do every year to help raise money for multiple sclerosis research.  [...]

May 10th, 2017|

The Secrets of Jeep Beach

By Eddie Pipkin May 1, 2017 I spent this past Sunday morning on Daytona Beach with 2,300 other Jeep owners.  It’s called Jeep Beach.  The local Jeep owners club hosts it every year, and not [...]

May 1st, 2017|

Free Chicken

By Eddie Pipkin April 25, 2017 Free grilled chicken samples!  Who would walk by tasty, mouth-watering, fresh, and did we mention FREE, fresh-off-the-grill chicken samples?  And yet, people do.  It’s almost as unbelievable a situation [...]

April 25th, 2017|

Easter Hangover

By Eddie Pipkin April 18, 2017 So, hello ministry friends. Easter has again come and gone, and are you finding yourself refreshed, invigorated, renewed, and excited in the aftermath of Christianity’s Superbowl Sunday – or [...]

April 18th, 2017|

The Rise of Robot Coffee

By Eddie Pipkin April 11, 2017 Technology is changing the world in which we live.  This process is happening so fast that it’s hard to keep up.  One of the great debates in ministry circles [...]

April 11th, 2017|

Story Power

By Eddie Pipkin April 1, 2017 Michael Sharp was killed in the Congo last week. Who?, you might understandably be asking, absorbed in the daily barrage of news from Trumpland, reports of bombings and terrorist [...]

April 1st, 2017|

No Left Turns

By Eddie Pipkin March 24, 2017 It turns out that sometimes the most obvious option is not the best option.  Sometimes the decision that seems most straightforward is not the one that produces the best [...]

March 24th, 2017|

Insights From Out Of This World

By Eddie Pipkin March 19, 2017 What can ministry leaders learn from astronauts?  Although we don’t travel in their high adventure orbits (see what I did there?), it turns out there’s a lot we can [...]

March 19th, 2017|

The iiwii Audit

By Eddie Pipkin March 10, 2017 In our coaching and training sessions, it doesn’t take very long for participants to share frustrations in their ministries that seem insurmountable.  Lack of power to effect change, lack [...]

March 10th, 2017|

Noticing the Small Things

By Eddie Pipkin March 4, 2017 It is my habit on Tuesday mornings to attend a breakfast Bible and book study in a small town near my home.  We meet early, 6:00 a.m., and when [...]

March 4th, 2017|

Meaningful Mashups

By Eddie Pipkin February 24, 2017 Every February my son and I head to Gainesville, Florida for the Hoggtowne Medieval Faire ( “step back in time and cheer on jousting knights, wander through the medieval marketplace [...]

February 24th, 2017|

You Talking To Me?

By Eddie Pipkin February 17, 2017 What is your ministry language?  Were you aware that you had one? There are many in ways in which our ministries are plagued by an inability to understand one [...]

February 17th, 2017|

Ten Meter Tower

By Eddie Pipkin February 9, 2017 How do we help people make the leap? How do we help them experience the thrill of trying out a small group, serving at a homeless shelter, joining us [...]

February 10th, 2017|

The Missing Piece

By Phil Maynard February 3, 2017 I have been a fan of Alan Hirsch since early in his work with the missional movement in America.  In his book, The Forgotten Ways, Alan describes the 4 [...]

February 3rd, 2017|

No Pressure

By Eddie Pipkin January 19, 2017 With January came the rush of resolutions: friends and co-workers counting off the things they were newly conquering on the one hand and giving up on the other.  Likewise, [...]

January 19th, 2017|

Survey Says…

By Eddie Pipkin December 30, 2016 One of the twists of the recent presidential election was the shock on behalf of the political prognosticators as to just how far off the polls were.  The predictions [...]

December 30th, 2016|

10 Turkeys

By Eddie Pipkin November 21, 2016 In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday and the delicious main dish with which it is gloriously associated, I thought it would be an appropriate time to share a list [...]

November 21st, 2016|

Crowdsourcing Connections

November 11, 2016 By Eddie Pipkin Much has been written about stewardship issues for local congregations and the value of keeping current with technology in order to sustain giving levels, but these articles tend to [...]

November 11th, 2016|

Manage Like Maddon

By Eddie Pipkin November 2, 2016 And now for one of my occasional blog entries in which I cite an example of the sports world in regards to leadership in ministry (and some readers love [...]

November 2nd, 2016|

Doing Evangelism Well

October 25, 2016 By Eddie Pipkin There is a lot of baggage that comes with the idea of evangelism. The Christian church in America has a long and storied focus on evangelism. And not all [...]

October 25th, 2016|

Connect!

Forward When it comes to the big E word, we all know how to do it wrong, or how to not do it at all. But do we know how to do it right—with the [...]

October 10th, 2016|

How We Create Relationships

  October 3, 2016 By Phil Maynard I have worked with a surprising number of churches recently that have expressed a need to help their members and friends learn how to build relationships. This is, [...]

October 3rd, 2016|

The 4 Keys to Building a Connecting Church

By Phil Maynard September 26,2016 Every church I meet with expresses in some way a desire to reach new people and engage them in becoming growing disciples of Jesus Christ. It is also true, however, [...]

September 26th, 2016|

Starting with Why

By Phil Maynard September 19, 2016 Why? A few weeks ago, I was working with a group of churches and we were having a conversation about the ways in which Jesus could make a real [...]

September 19th, 2016|

Technology Is Not Our Savior

By Eddie Pipkin September 7, 2016 I found this article on Time Magazine’s website, “Screens in Schools are $60 Billion Hoax,” to be not only counter-intuitive, but downright provocative. The premise from author and researcher [...]

September 7th, 2016|

Mandatory Motivation

By Eddie Pipkin August 25, 2016 There have been countless blogs written about motivating ministry teams. Any number of academic experts and high-priced speakers have shared tips and strategies for how to promote a gung-ho [...]

August 25th, 2016|

Happy Birthday, Buechner

By Eddie Pipkin August 1, 2016 Frederick Buechner turned 90 on July 11th. The great writer and Christian theologian has published more than 30 books, and is one of the most-read Christian authors of all [...]

August 1st, 2016|

I Am Excited

By Eddie Pipkin July 25, 2016 Research is constantly being done on the art of motivation (motivating ourselves, motivating our ministry teams, motivating the leadership of our all-too-frequently moribund institutions). How do we get people [...]

July 25th, 2016|

The Academy Award for Scripture Reading Goes to . . .

By Eddie Pipkin July 16, 2016 At the beginning of July, film icon Olivia de Havilland, star of Gone with the Wind and one of the last living links to Hollywood’s golden age, turned 100 [...]

July 16th, 2016|

True to the Game

By Eddie Pipkin July 9, 2016 Okay, straight up, I know some of you ministry partners hate sports metaphors. I know they drive you nuts. So, my apologies—it is quite possible that for you this [...]

July 9th, 2016|

In Times of Crisis

By Eddie Pipkin June 20, 2016 This is an unusual blog. I am writing it from the screened back porch of my home in Orlando (or as I refer to it, my “office”). It is [...]

June 20th, 2016|

Those Ever Elusive Millennials

By Eddie Pipkin June 14, 2016 I was reading the Orlando Business Journal on my laptop the other morning, and I came across this article about “10 Ways to Recruit and Retain Millennial Grads”. Now, [...]

June 14th, 2016|

Our Personal Chaos Quotient

By Eddie Pipkin June 4, 2016 Uncertainty. The anxiety experienced when we don’t feel we have control over a situation is a fundamental part of ministry life. We plan and plan and massage the details, [...]

June 4th, 2016|

Saying “Yes”

By Eddie Pipkin May 26, 2016 One of the most interesting aspects of being part of the EMC3 team while also holding down a day job in local ministry, is spending so much time thinking [...]

May 26th, 2016|

Counting the Wins

By Eddie Pipkin May 7, 2016 If you are like me (and prayers if you are, bless you), you are gloriously driven to strive more. Each success is merely a jumping off point to the [...]

May 7th, 2016|

To What Purpose?

 By Phil Maynard April 14, 2016 Recently, an Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church with which I have worked sent out a memorandum that clarified how local churches should count “community service hours” self-reported [...]

April 14th, 2016|

Refreshing Old Looks

By Eddie Pipkin April 8, 2016 I am not much on fashion or decorating, or for that matter much of anything that requires a sense of style (except, mercifully, occasionally where words are concerned).  My [...]

April 8th, 2016|

Switch It Up

By Eddie Pipkin April 1, 2016 There has been a surprising amount written lately about the value of ‘switching it up.’ In articles on everything from “how to enhance your mental health” to “how to [...]

April 1st, 2016|

Harmony in the Kitchen

By Eddie Pipkin March 2, 2016 When my wife and I moved last year and were purchasing an older house that was going to involve quite a few projects and updates, I got hooked on [...]

March 2nd, 2016|

15 Things

By Eddie Pipkin February 25, 2016 January of every year brings a raft of articles about resolutions, goals, and strategies for improving the year ahead.  The New York Times published an article on their web [...]

February 25th, 2016|

Please Clap

By Eddie Pipkin February 25, 2016 If you have been following the presidential election circus (and it’s kind of impossible to avoid, isn’t it?), then you may have seen an incident with Jeb Bush that [...]

February 25th, 2016|

Happy New Year

By Phil Maynard January 2, 2016 Pushing aside the debris of discarded wrapping paper and pushing away from the table after one more round of delectable Christmas feasting, I find myself pausing to be grateful [...]

January 2nd, 2016|

Star Wars Liturgy

By Eddie Pipkin December 21, 2015 Much has been written about the younger generation’s disaffection for the church.  They report being disconnected from a tired message, stale programs, and language that isn’t relative to their [...]

December 21st, 2015|

‘Tis the Season

December 11, 2015 By Eddie Pipkin Here we are – all of us in the business of ministry – hurtling non-stop through the busy season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, liturgically referenced as Advent, but colloquially [...]

December 11th, 2015|

One Stop Shop

November 18, 2015 By Eddie Pipkin Don’t you love going to Ikea?  They have it all.  You tour the showroom, plop on the furniture, hold things in your hands, see a completed vision for what [...]

November 18th, 2015|

Repurposing the Tried and True

November 12, 2015 By Eddie Pipkin I have a friend named Shari who hates to throw things out.  She is environmentally attuned, composts and conserves, recycles and repurposes.  The folks at her church wait to [...]

November 12th, 2015|

Membership to Discipleship: Defining the Terms

November 6, 2015 By Phil Maynard As we approach the release of my new Membership to Discipleship book in late November, I want to continue to give you some insights into how this book came [...]

November 6th, 2015|

Membership to Discipleship: How a Book Was Born

November 2, 2015 By Phil Maynard I am very excited to share that on November 20th, we are officially launching a new book, called Membership to Discipleship.  This book is the product of many years [...]

November 2nd, 2015|

Let’s Talk

October 27, 2015 By Eddie Pipkin In an expansive essay in a recent New York Times Sunday Review, “Stop Googling and Let’s Talk,” (a preview of her new book, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk [...]

October 27th, 2015|

Accountability Dinner

October 14, 2015 By Eddie Pipkin Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks to play the game of football.  In his 17-year career, he has thrown for more than 70,000 yards, and just a [...]

October 14th, 2015|

Even Iron Man Blows It Sometimes

October 6, 2015 By Eddie Pipkin Click Here to Read Full VentureBeat Article Elon Musk is considered by many to be a genius.  He founded PayPal, SpaceX, SolarCity, and Tesla.  He works tirelessly to harness [...]

October 6th, 2015|

Like Riding a Bike

October 1, 2015 By Eddie Pipkin Destin Sandlin is an aerospace engineer (that is, he is a real rocket scientist who works at the Redstone Arsenal in Alabama).  He is also a YouTube educator, who [...]

October 1st, 2015|

The Details That Can’t Be Seen

September 22, 2015 By Eddie Pipkin I was a big fan of the AMC series Mad Men, which focused on the characters in a Madison Avenue advertising agency during the 1960’s. One of the most [...]

September 22nd, 2015|

A New Way of Seeing

June 21, 2015 By Eddie Pipkin You’ve probably never heard of Alex Kipman.  He’s the engineer behind one of the ‘wow’ developments in tech devices right now, a gizmo that Microsoft is developing called the [...]

June 21st, 2015|

Coach K’s Advice

June 17, 2015 By Eddie Pipkin   On April 6th, Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke Blue Devil’s won the 2015 NCAA basketball championship, the culmination of March Madness.  Coach K, as he is known by all, [...]

June 17th, 2015|

Creating Powerful Worship Experiences: Be Creative

June 12, 2015 By Phil Maynard Like the title says, be creative. Nobody who would actually take the time to read a “Powerful Worship Experiences” blog would disagree with that advice.  That is to say, [...]

June 12th, 2015|

Creating Powerful Worship Experiences – Building Out Your Theme

May 26, 2015 By Phil Maynard Once you have committed to the design philosophy of creating a thematic worship series, the challenge, as espoused in books like The Big Idea, is to tailor all elements [...]

May 26th, 2015|

Creating Powerful Worship Experiences – Setting the Stage

May 19, 2015 By Phil Maynard One of the most powerful aspects of worship design is visual. If you are working within the framework of thematic worship design, this is an excellent way to anchor [...]

May 19th, 2015|

Silent Disco

March 24, 2015 By Eddie Pipkin “Silent Disco” – The Importance of Clarity of Vision Eddie Pipkin I was on a three-day cruise to the Bahamas recently, helping a good friend celebrate his graduation from [...]

March 24th, 2015|

Worship Experience – Destination Clarity

March 17, 2015 By Phil Maynard Creating Powerful Worship Experiences (Part 3 of an 8-part blog series) Clarifying the Destination It is difficult to know if we have successfully arrived at our destination without first [...]

March 17th, 2015|

Creating Powerful Worship Experiences – Part 2

February 6, 2015 By Phil Maynard (Part 2 of an 8-part blog series) If you have identified a team of people passionate about worship at your church, and if you truly want to empower them [...]

February 6th, 2015|

Creating Powerful Worship Experiences

January 30, 2015 By Phil Maynard Part 1 -- Building a Team -- (an 8-part blog series) The classic view (perhaps romantic, somehow spiritually heroic) is of a lone pastor, tucked away in a study by candlelight, [...]

January 30th, 2015|

Storage Unit

January 23, 2015 By Eddie Pipkin Every year, the week before Advent begins, I drive to the church storage unit with the Director of Children’s Ministry for the local congregation that she and I serve, [...]

January 23rd, 2015|

Top 5 Things People Need from the Church to Grow as Disciples

December 30, 2014 By Phil Maynard Encouragement to Take Personal Responsibility for Spiritual Growth (Part 5 of Top 5 Things People Need from the Church to Grow as Disciples) As people move toward maturity they [...]

December 30th, 2014|

Top 5 Things People Need From the Church to Grow as Disciples

December 23, 2014 By Phil Maynard The Challenge to Grow and Take Next Steps (Part 4 in the Top 5 Things People Need From the Church to Grow as Disciples) This may come as a [...]

December 23rd, 2014|

Top 5 Things People Need from the Church to Grow as Disciples

December 16, 2014 By Phil Maynard Leaders Who Model and Reinforce Spiritual Practices (Part 3 of Top 5 Things People Need From a Church to Grow as Disciples) It is often said that where the [...]

December 16th, 2014|

Top 5 Things People Need from the Church to Grow as Disciples

December 9, 2014 By Phil Maynard 2 - Help developing a personal relationship with Jesus Developing a personal relationship with Jesus doesn’t happen by accident. It isn’t transferred by osmosis. We don’t ‘catch’ it by [...]

December 9th, 2014|

Top 5 Things People Need from the Church to Grow as Disciples

December 2, 2014 By Phil Maynard Series…Top 5 Things People Need from the Church to Grow as Disciples 1 – Help Understanding the Bible Research by Willow Creek (as reported in the book Move: What [...]

December 2nd, 2014|

Chvch Rules

November 25, 2014 By Phil Maynard Chvches (pronounced “churches”) isn’t a religious group at all. They’re a Scottish ‘electronic’ band that is currently touring the U.S. behind its 2013 album release, The Bones of What [...]

November 25th, 2014|

Letting It Go

November 4, 2014 By Eddie Pipkin You’d have to be a hermit in the deepest cave in the most remote mountain range not to have heard a kid belting out the Disney movie Frozen’s signature [...]

November 4th, 2014|

Goldilocks and the Three Churches

October 28, 2014 By Eddie Pipkin Too hard, too soft, and just right. Have you heard the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Churches? Goldilocks visited three churches on three consecutive Sundays, and while she [...]

October 28th, 2014|

Switch – Book Review

  September 9, 2014 By Phil Maynard Chip and Dan Heath, in this very excellent book about leading change, provide amazing insights into how to connect with both our rational and emotional processes to accomplish [...]

September 9th, 2014|

Faith Coaching

August 7, 2014 By Phil Maynard If you want to see real results and relationships, become a coach to others and take them on the journey from where they are to where they want to [...]

August 7th, 2014|

Book Review: See, Know & Serve (Part 2)

July 21, 2014 By Phil Maynard Thomas G. Bandy is an internationally recognized church consultant and leadership coach. The author of many books over the years, this may be my favorite due to the very [...]

July 21st, 2014|

3 Ways to Connect People to Jesus (and Your Church)

July 14, 2014 By Phil Maynard I’ve rarely met a church where there wasn’t a desire to introduce more people to Jesus. Yet, the number one issue as I work with churches (new church plants [...]

July 14th, 2014|

Book Review: See, Know & Serve (Part 1)

June 23, 2014 By Phil Maynard Thomas G. Bandy is an internationally recognized church consultant and leadership coach. The author of many books over the years, this may be my favorite due to the very [...]

June 23rd, 2014|

The Inverse Square Law of Relationships

June 10, 2014 By Phil Maynard My first career was in Radiologic Sciences (X-ray technology). One of the basic principles in calculating x-ray intensities (or lighting in photography) is called the inverse square law:   [...]

June 10th, 2014|

Bigger Than Refreshments…

May 30, 2014 By Phil Maynard I recently had a coaching conversation with a church leadership team that has made a serious commitment to extending radical hospitality.  Their planning has finally paid off in that [...]

May 30th, 2014|

Helping Make the Way Clear

March 12, 2014 By Phil Maynard The Psalmist talks about God’s Word as a lamp for our feet and a light upon our path (Psalm 119:105). It’s a great image for making the way clear! [...]

March 12th, 2014|

Leadership Doesn’t Happen in a Vacuum

March 5, 2014 By Phil Maynard Leadership doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There are several factors that will help determine whether the leaders you select will be successful. This means that there are several things [...]

March 5th, 2014|

Selecting Leaders for Ministry

February 26, 2014 By Phil Maynard Selecting Leaders for Ministry It is often said that the key to leadership is getting the right people on the bus and in the right seats on the bus. [...]

February 26th, 2014|

Growing Spiritually Mature Leaders

  February 19, 2014 By Phil Maynard Jesus once warned about building a house on a poor foundation.  Nowhere is this issue more obvious than when we have leaders in place without the foundations to [...]

February 19th, 2014|

Multiplying Congregational Leaders

January 15, 2014 By Phil Maynard Almost every where I go pastors indicate that one of the top two needs in the congregation is more and better leaders. Over the next few weeks I will [...]

January 15th, 2014|

A Powerful Tool for Hospitality – Your Website

December 26, 2013 By Phil Maynard Did you know that as many as 90% of people looking for a place to worship will visit the website of a church before making a decision to attend? [...]

December 26th, 2013|

Thoughts for a Season of Hospitality…

December 19, 2013 By Phil Maynard Consider the following. …It’s a familiar story lived out in many congregations across the United States. Someone is in crisis, a couple has their first child, or a family [...]

December 19th, 2013|

Nothing Beats the Personal Invitation

December 13, 2013 By Phil Maynard Don’t miss the opportunity of the Christmas Season.  This is one of three or four times a year (seasonally) when people are most open to an invitation to church. [...]

December 13th, 2013|

Liberated to Live on Less . . . In Order to Bless Others More (Part 3 of 3)

November 29, 2013 By Phil Maynard As Christ poured himself out for us, so we who follow him must pour ourselves out for others -- by being liberated to live on less . . . [...]

November 29th, 2013|

Liberated to Live on Less . . . In Order to Bless Others More (Part 2 of 3)

November 22, 2013 By Phil Maynard We continue thinking about extravagant generosity by looking at our culture from the vantage point of what Jesus hoped would be our relationship to money and things.  Our culture, [...]

November 22nd, 2013|

Liberated to Live on Less . . . In Order to Bless Others More (Part 1 of 3)

November 12, 2013 By Phil Maynard I know of few pastors who look forward to talking about money . . . and few lay persons who enjoy listening! Oddly, Jesus talked more about our relationship [...]

November 12th, 2013|

Can You Have Traditional Passionate Worship?

November 5, 2013 By Phil Maynard “We are a small church with a traditional worship service, not a passionate worship service,” said a pastor apologetically.  The pastor seemed to assume that a traditional worship service [...]

November 5th, 2013|

Empowering Laity

October 31, 2013 By Phil Maynard Weary Clergy and Idle Laity: What's Wrong With This Picture? One of the impressions I get is that many pastors are weary.  They have been at this ministry thing [...]

October 31st, 2013|

Training Your Congregation to Be Radically Hospitable

  September 29, 2013 By Phil Maynard Have you ever tried to teach a child to tie their shoes? It’s something most of us do so naturally and automatically that breaking down the process into teachable [...]

September 29th, 2013|

When There Isn’t Enough

September 23, 2013 By Phil Maynard There seems recently to be an epidemic of people feeling that there is not enough.  Not enough money.  Not enough time.  Not enough talent.  Not enough power.  Not enough [...]

September 23rd, 2013|

You Know It’s Time for a Funeral When…

September 16, 2013 By Phil Maynard You would think that church people would be good at funerals, but we aren’t.  It seems instead that when it comes to programs and special events it’s, “Once done, [...]

September 16th, 2013|

Don’t Let Your Problems Take Over Your Agenda

September 9, 2013 By Phil Maynard He is a friendly sort and a fine neighbor, but he loves yard care by chemicals. When we first moved in he had quite a nice yard – recently [...]

September 9th, 2013|

What is a Vital Congregation? Fruitful in their Ministry (#4 in a series of 4)

August 20, 2013 A guest post by Jeff Stiggins A missionally vital congregation is a fruitful congregation. Jesus in John 15 makes it clear that fruitfulness is expected. Unfruitful branches are cut off. Fruitful branches are pruned so [...]

August 20th, 2013|

What is a Vital Congregation? Planted in Particular Place (#3 in a series of 4)

August 13, 2013 A guest post by Jeff Stiggins A vital congregation makes present and impactful the incarnational ministry of Jesus in a particular place. Vital congregations are homegrown. They are rooted in and reflect the culture [...]

August 13th, 2013|

What is a Vital Congregation? Committed to Continuing Jesus’ Ministry (#2 in a series of 4)

August 6, 2013 Guest post by Jeff Stiggins It isn’t my church or your church or even our church. The church belongs to Jesus. It’s easy to forget that the church is a franchise. We don’t get to [...]

August 6th, 2013|

What is a Vital Congregation? A Unique Christian Community (#1 in a series of 4)

July 31, 2013 Guest post by Jeff Stiggins There is lots of talk these days in United Methodist circles about increasing the number of vital congregations. Okay, what’s a “vital congregation?” If one ran through the room [...]

July 31st, 2013|

4 Steps to Getting Disciples Engaged in Service

May 5, 2013 By Phil Maynard “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first, must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did [...]

May 5th, 2013|

4 Ways to Help People Feed Themselves Spiritually

April 28, 2013 By Phil Maynard “We are not meant to remain as children…but we are meant to speak the truth in love, and to grow up in every way in Christ, the head.”  (Ephesians [...]

April 28th, 2013|

3 Keys to Building Accountability in Your Discipleship Process

April 21, 2013 By Phil Maynard I come from a Wesleyan tradition so I confess that personal accountability is wired into my being.  Having said that, it is also clear across denominational lines and theological [...]

April 21st, 2013|

5 Ways to Get People into the Word

April 11, 2013 By Phil Maynard 5 Ways to Get People into the Word (the most critical element of spiritual growth) Reflection on scripture is the vanilla ice cream of spiritual growth.  It is the [...]

April 11th, 2013|

5 Shifts for Healthy Churches

February 20, 2013 By Phil Maynard Some version of the statement “you can’t keep doing things the same way you have been and expect to get different results” (notice how tactful I was here!) seems [...]

February 20th, 2013|

Book Summary of “Switch – How to Change Things When Change is Hard”

February 20, 2013 By Phil Maynard Chip and Dan Heath, in this very excellent book about leading change, provide amazing insights into how to connect with both our rational and emotional processes to accomplish change. [...]

February 20th, 2013|

Empowering Others… Why Church Leadership Isn’t Working and How to Fix It! (Part 3 of 3)

February 20, 2013 By Phil Maynard I think one of the most common misunderstandings about leadership in the church is that the primary job of the leader is to lead (defined as be in charge, [...]

February 20th, 2013|

Discovering the Possibilities

January 31, 2013 By Phil Maynard Discovering the Possibilities (MAPS – Ministry Action Potential Study) A study of missional opportunities for the local church The Discovering the Possibilities is a facilitated process designed to assist [...]

January 31st, 2013|

Bearing Fruit… Why Church Leadership Isn’t Working and How to Fix It! (Part 2 of 3)

January 23, 2013 By Phil Maynard Doug Anderson, author and speaker from the Reuben Job Center, shared in a workshop the following: “The test of a congregation’s discipling process is whether their core leaders are [...]

January 23rd, 2013|

Starting at the Wrong Place – Why Church Leadership Isn’t Working and How to Fix It! (Part 1 of 3)

  January 22, 2013 By Phil Maynard It is rare that I work with a church that says it has more than enough leaders to support its ministries and that its leaders are equipped to [...]

January 22nd, 2013|

Crockpot Ministry… Feeding Body & Spirit

December 14, 2012 By Phil Maynard It all started in a discussion during a SHIFTS network meeting with the pastors and key lay persons from five congregations talking about the difference between missional gestures and [...]

December 14th, 2012|

Missional Renaissance, A Leadership Network Book Summary

December 4, 2012 By Phil Maynard Reggie McNeal, currently serving as the Missional Leadership Specialist for the Leadership Network, identifies in this classic work three major shifts that must take place in the Church if [...]

December 4th, 2012|

From Information to Transformation: Coaching for Discipleship

  November 29, 2012 By Phil Maynard Although I have been a life-long United Methodist, one of my most formative experiences in the faith journey was the introduction to accountable discipleship. Drawing on the rich [...]

November 29th, 2012|

“Getting to Know You”

November 8, 2012 By Phil Maynard It would seem to be a ‘no-brainer’. If we’re going to connect with our community, engage our community, and make a difference in our community we have to ‘know’ [...]

November 8th, 2012|

Popcorn Witnessing

August 27, 2012 By Phil Maynard I was sitting in my preferred seat (the nosebleed section) of the annual denominational meeting of my tribe with a lot of other bored people.  Then it happened. The [...]

August 27th, 2012|

Free Book Summary: Bearing Fruit by Lovett Weems and Tom Berlin

August 27, 2012 By Phil Maynard Chapter 1:  A Biblical Mandate for Fruitfulness The authors remind us that the Bible begins and ends with images of fruitfulness and conclude that the church is also intended [...]

August 27th, 2012|

More and Better Leaders: “No Lone Rangers”

 August 1, 2012 By Phil Maynard For some reason ministry leaders seem to think they have to figure it all out on their own.  Maybe it’s the title that does it, maybe its our culture [...]

August 1st, 2012|

Free Book Summary: Right Here, Right Now by Alan Hirsch and Lance Ford

July 24, 2012 By Phil Maynard Right Here Right Now is structured with three major sections: Putting our Hearts into it (missional paradigm) Wrapping our Heads around it (missional analysis) Doing something about it (missional [...]

July 24th, 2012|

5 Keys to ‘More and Better Leaders’ – Skin in the Game

July 17, 2012 By Phil Maynard I was coaching a pastor several weeks ago who shared that he was looking for a way to get a new family at the church more connected. Joe, the [...]

July 17th, 2012|