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The Pharisee Frog

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    Many years ago the seminary where I attended had invited a guest speaker to preach at one of the chapel services. While I don’t remember anything about his subject I remember something he said in passing: “I have heard a lot of Pharisee frogs in my ministry. Always croaking ‘Yea but!’” For some […]

Seven People You Should Fire Right Now

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  I’ve been pretty lucky in ministry. Over the years I’ve only had to fire a handful of staff and volunteers. It’s the least enjoyable part of my job but also one of the most important. And if you’re a pastor, it’s one of your most important jobs. Allowing a person to continue in a […]

Why I Stopped Preaching Doctrine

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    I was saved as a teenager in the mid-seventies in a small church in a small town in southwest Missouri. Almost immediately I was taught doctrine. Even before I really knew what it was. The English word “doctrine” derives from the old Latin word “doctor” which simply meant “teacher.” Later Latin saw the […]

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The Rule of Seven (Times Seven?) in Missions

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    Experts have studied how many times humans must be exposed to something in order for it to stick. One author says, “The rule of seven is an old marketing adage. It says that a prospect needs to see or hear your marketing message at least seven times before they take action and buy […]

The Benefits and Pitfalls of Full Disclosure

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    To reveal or not to reveal? Should our lives be an open book? Self-disclosure is definitely a risk, but sometimes a risk worth taking. Pastor Mike “bragged” about his short-term memory loss, treating his condition as inconsequential and refused to ask for help. When significant problems arose due to this disability, the church […]

It’s Time for a Game Change!

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    All pastors and church leaders worth their salt say they care about disadvantaged and disenfranchised people. In many cases, however, their actual ministry strategy is designed primarily to increase the number of people attending weekend services. The result is that many of us invest relatively little time and few resources to touch the […]

The Devil’s Three Deadly Ds: A Three-Point Sermon for Defeating Christian Leaders

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    The front cover of Rev. W. S. Harris’ 1904 classic book Sermons by the Devil 1 is decorated with a drawing of a devil-like man gesturing from behind a pulpit. Harris selected the image because he knew that with the exception of our Lord Jesus Christ, earth has known no more effective preacher […]