15 Things Growing Churches Understand (that dying churches do not)

Some great insights. Which one or ones speak to you the loudest? Please share in Comments. For me it’s #4, 13, and 14

Rev. Shane L. Bishop

I like Social Media. I really do. It is a huge wave.  We do well to learn to surf.  Over the course of a day I can keep up with huge numbers of people in the time it would take to complete a single phone call.  I also like the fact that people read my stuff and listen to my sermons while I am doing other things. Facebook Live has been an exponential game changer.  We can reach roughly ten to fifteen times any live audience simply by broadcasting.  I had a blog this year go well over 2.8 million reads.  This is all crazy cool.

There is a lot of stuff about church on Social Media.  A whole lot.  Some of it is really good.  A lot of it is terrible.  So, rather than respond individually to a hundred articles that I think are off base (some not even…

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What’s Going Before You?

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the [...]

Are You Settling Or Moving Forward?

(We have all heard about the "faith of Abraham", right?  Read Hebrews 11:8-10 in case you need a refresher course.  What follows next is an excerpt from today's message.  I realize that it's a bit different, but I'm OK with that.  Looking forward to your comments.  Happy New Year!) I need to make a confession to [...]

Goodbye, Eddie

This week, the week of Christmas, has amplified my own "season of our discomfort" in the journey of life for myself and my wife Debbie.  A sneak peak of what this week would be like came last Monday evening, 18 December, when I received a call that my Mother had fallen, again and was at [...]

9 Ways to Screw Up Your Church (Thoughts from I Corinthians)

Another of Matthew's great insights.  When I read this, I remember those who have told me, "You know, we need to be more like the churches in the New Testament."  Oh, really?  What about Corinth??  And don't get me started on 6 of those 7 churches mentioned in The Revelation... via 9 Ways to Screw [...]

I Just Don’t Feel Like It Today or “It’s The Best I Can Do Right Now.”

For decades now, in my teaching and preaching I advocate that we should go to worship God even if we don't feel like it.  "It is in the times we don't feel like worshiping that we need to worship the most."  Yep, that's what this preacher said.  Well, to be honest, this morning I did [...]

A Valuable Lesson for Pastors in Dealing with Difficult People

I found this most timely for me.  Well, I should know by now that this is how God's Word works.  He hits the nail on the head with the description of 3 distinctly different groups in most established churches:  Pew Warmers, The Controlling Clique, and those who want what Jesus wants.  But this line causes [...]

The Image Of The Season

What is the best and most perfect image for this Season of Christmas?  Let's look at a few of those images. The Christmas Tree.  Now that's what ought to speak into the hearts of people.  Right?  For many, it's all about "The Tree"! The Christmas Lights.  Ah, there's nothing like loading up family and friends [...]

7 Tips for Churches Upping Their Hospitality Game

People aren’t looking for a friendly church–they are looking for connections–connections that lead them to Jesus!

beard with a blog

“Dear fellow churches, if you leave the guest book open right by the front door, there may be someone who feels like they need to sign in – that is, with a working pen.”

My wife and I were looking for a place to have a Christmas recital for her piano students and stumbled into one of the sweetest churches.  In our search we came along some things that made us question whether or not some of these churches were open to the public.  To be fair, I oversee guest services at a large church outside of Kansas City Missouri, which has conditioned me to pick up on such things with eagle-eye sensitivity.

This is not a rant about other churches.  There are churches that are doing the absolute best with what they have.  I’m for them and want them to be successful in sharing the good news, but what…

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It is easy, so very easy, TOO easy, to read our assumptions into the Truths in the Bible.  I know, because I have been guilty of doing it.  The sign you see is one in front of a local church.  I know some of the people, and they love Jesus.  But something about this sign [...]

November 23 Thanksgiving and Giving Thanks

Inspiring words for me, and I hope for you!

My Journey Up The Mountain

Living in the darkness and coming into the light of living once again

Well since I sent out a post a lot has happened so I will do the Reader’s Digest Version. I went in to my first Chemo Treatment on October 31 Halloween. Do not know if that was a good choice of days but oh well.

We had rough weeks that included a couple of visits to the ER on the weekends. We had begun a Pain Management program and the side effect caused problems and pain. As the weeks went along things get better. I felt like I was in a very Dark place fighting to survive. Each time I would hear Praying for you my day brightened as I knew that I had prayer warriors behind me and they were holding me up. Coming into this week I have improved to the point I was out…

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Uniting Methodists: A Catholic Spirit?

Another blog for my United Methodist friends. Very well said and shows the folly of progressive theology…if you are not a United Methodist, you may not get much from it, but if you are, it should open your eyes.

Wall to Wall Faith, Hope, & Love

Earlier this week a group called “Uniting Methodists” convened in Atlanta. The stated purpose? To “be a unifying and clarifying voice in a divided conversation and a polarized culture.” The movement is purported to be a centrist one to allow space for traditionalist, moderate, and progressive United Methodists to continue together under the proverbial bigger tent. But I don’t think there is really anything new here.

For a movement that’s supposed to unify both traditionalists and progressives, they still seem intent on alienating, marginalizing, and negatively labeling those of us who hold to traditional views regarding sex and marriage. For instance, they continue to compare the debate over sexual ethics with past debates over slavery, race, and women in ministry. How is it unifying to continue to compare traditionalists with proponents of slavery, racists, and misogynists?

The Uniting Methodists movement shows few, if any, signs of actually respecting those with…

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