Thoughts on Christmas “merriment”

The joke among my kids is that I'm a grinch, for I'm not much for the Christmas spirit. I'll admit it: they're mostly right - but not because of the meaning of Christmas, but due to what we've made of Christmas. I really struggle with how, as Kathleen Norris writes, "the world force-feeds us merriment…

Ways to Worship

The surprising thing about the New Testament is that it gives very few particulars regarding how the early church worshiped. There are important clues, yes. There are key elements, for sure. But the NT is surprisingly light on liturgy. There simply is no simple formula (though churches I've been a part of my entire life…

What I’ve Learned as a Church Visitor

Since I transitioned from full-time ministry to speaking and sharing on a part-time basis, I've had the opportunity to visit a number of churches. I have been in a church of over a thousand; I've been with congregations numbering in the hundreds; and I've been in a church that had less than twenty. I've been…