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|


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|


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|


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|


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|


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|


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|


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|


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|

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|


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|