• Towards a Healthy Church – Job Descriptions

    In last week’s post, I provided some insights on why having a team description is helpful. Although many churches and organizations do not use this idea, knowing how a person (and position) fits into the overall dynamic of a team can be helpful. Many mid-sized and larger churches are using more of these ideas as more and more are becoming concerned with the overall interpersonal dynamics that are involved. However, the primary reason Team Descriptions are not prevalent is that many churches do not have job descriptions.* And people are more concerned about what they are doing (or are to do) than they are about fitting in with others, at…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – Team Descriptions

    “I didn’t know that was something I was supposed to do!” “If I had known that, I would have never signed up for this!” Have you ever heard (or thought) these phrases? They are quite common. Why? Because of a lack of clear communication (see last week’s post here). Many leaders (and far more managers) are capable of communicating a general idea of what must be done, but do not focus on how the task fits the greater cause – and that is a problem. In fact, even that last sentence is a part of the problem because too many people focus on tasks instead of responsibilities! Generally, managers are…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – Communication

    Last week, I shared a particular challenge within many churches is the lack of participation by the congregation and the lack of allowing for participation by the leadership. These two issues represent two sides of the same coin and often boil to a lack of expectations – either that someone wants help or that someone can get the job done. But one reason that jobs do not get done is a lack of communication. This issue can impact many areas of a church – large or small. Insufficient, or ineffective, communication can prevent people from knowing what opportunities are available for service, what the responsibilities are in service, why the…

  • Towards A Healthy Church, A Major Reason Involvement Is a Challenge

    Over the past four weeks, I have shared my testimony of moving from being apart from the church to being a part of a church to now being a leader in multiple aspects of The Church. These testimonial posts allowed me to personally review how God has worked over time in my life, and to share with others the need to both be invested in by others and to invest in others. However, before we leave this part of the series, I want to move from the personal to the practical. That is, I want to provide a few specific helps to help you, or help you help others, to…

  • Towards a Healthy Church, A Personal Testimony, Part 4

    This post is the fourth and final post of my testimony related to becoming increasingly involved in the life of a church and in ministry overall. I allude to the three previous posts in this post. If you wish to read them for context, you can find them in the following links. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Although every person who follows Jesus is called to serve Him in some way, I realize not everyone is called to pastor a church, teach in a seminary, or lead a mission organization. In fact, a true understanding of the body of Christ ensures that such a calling is not possible. Otherwise,…

  • Towards a Healthy Church, A Personal Testimony, Part 3

    The blog this year has focused on the idea of what makes a church healthy. As I said early in this series, I am not attempting to re-write what has been offered by experts such as Dever, Rainer, and others, I am simply adding my perspective which can then be infused into the overall conservation. As part of adding my perspective, I am sharing my personal testimony as it relates to becoming involved in a/the church. Overall, the idea is more than becoming involved; the idea is about discipling others. However, getting people involved in ministry does allow for discipleship opportunities as I have shared over each of the past…

  • Image from the O Captain, My Captain scene from Dead Poets Society

    Towards a Healthy Church – A Personal Testimony, Part 2

    As we move to the second “level” of involvement, I want to continue to share my testimony. My purpose is to share that these levels are not just theoretical, but personal. Additionally, while some will think that my path must have been straightforward, it was anything but so, as this week’s post will reveal. If you have followed my blog on this site (6 months) or in general (at fotonni.blogspot.com for the last several years), you will know that I am a pastor, an educator at a Christian college and seminary, and I lead an organization with a primary purpose of equipping pastors in underprivileged areas of the world to…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – A Personal Testimony, Part 1

    It is interesting to me that I would be creating a blog series on the idea of a healthy church. As a pastor, I certainly desire to pastor a church that is healthy (or, at least, more healthy than not). As a Christian educator, I teach others various concepts and methods towards a goal of having a healthy ministry and church. But as a person, those ideals seemed very distant thirty years ago. And thus, over the month of April, I will share a bit of my journey through the levels of which I have written in the three previous posts of this series. First, it is important to note…

  • Short Reviews – A Review of My Recent Reading List (2019 – 1st Quarter)

    On the right side of this blog, I provide my current reading list. While I often read other books simultaneously, my goal each quarter is to read one book from each of the “steps” that help me fulfill my strategy which is comprised of the acrostic LEARN.* I thought it might be helpful to share a few insights from my reading. Please note, this is not a formal review, but I will state if I recommend the read. My goal here is to simply provide a few key insights from each book. *Someday I will do an update on that series on this new site, but you can find my…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – Increasing the Level of Involvement, Part 2

    In last week’s post, I provided a few specific thoughts on helping people to move from beyond the church to being involved in some way (attending counts!) and from marginally involved to somewhat involved. This week, I will touch on the levels of those who are already involved and/or may be leaders within the church. Although discipleship has many levels, the difference between the groups discussed last week and the groups discussed this week is somewhat the difference between the idea of assimilation and what most* would consider discipleship. *I use the word most because the model that Jesus used was to bring people along at whatever level and have…