This has been a week of meetings.  I am not complaining for that is the nature of our work at my church (or any church, for that matter): meeting with one another and with members to help advance God's purpose in their lives and and the lives of the church.  So far this week, I have had:

  1. One Servant Team meeting (the department heads of the church, every Tuesday afternoon) -- 2 hours
  2. One Elders meeting (once a month on the first Tuesday) -- 3.5 hours
  3. One Ministry Team meeting (those involved in pastoral ministry, every Wednesday morning) -- 1.5 hours
  4. One Admin Pastor meeting (even Thursday with two other pastors) -- 2 hours

That is nine hours of business meetings.  Add to that additional planning sessions with my colleague Blaine that required about two hours.

Then i have my purpose counseling meetings.  This week I had five of them, which required about six hours of meetings.  Spread out over the fours days in the office this week (Tuesday through Friday), I spend about half my day in meetings or preparing for meetings.  I am not trying to eliminate any of these meetings.  As my friend Pat Lencioni wrote and said, it's not that we have too many meetings in our lives (I would highly recommend Pat's book, Death by Meeting, as a good read on this subject).  The problem is that we have too many bad and ineffective meetings.  I love to see people come together and get work done as a team and often that comes from having very good meetings.

My objective for any meeting is to:

  1. Keep them as short as possible.
  2. Prevent them from degenerating into squabbles.
  3. Have fun and laugh.
  4. Make sure everyone is clear on what we agreed to do and who will do it.
  5. Look everyone there in the eye to see how they are doing.
  6. Watch, look and listen with skill and discernment.
  7. Schedule any necessary follow up meetings.

For my one-on-one purpose meetings, I want to help people ask the Lord better questions so they can get better answers and to help them see what they are really saying and doing.  Someone once said that it's not that people and organizations can't fix their problems, it's that they cannot see their problems to fix them. Once they see them, they have a better chance of correcting them.

I continue to be a student of how to get things done through people and that means I must skillfully lead or participate in good meetings.  If you have any tips of how you lead a meeting or any observations as a participant in meetings that would be helpful, please pass them along to my readers.

Changing the Way We Do Church 7

This last installment in my series Changing the Way We Do Church 7 has been a long time coming.  That's not because I didn't know what to write.  It's just that I have been up to a lot of other things and one of them is more involvement with my local church, Allegheny Center Alliance Church, on the North Side of Pittsburgh.  As I wrote this series, I realized that I needed to be more closely aligned with a local body so that I was not just theorizing, griping or fantasizing, but actually contributing to the solution in an active way.

The seventh and last step in the Changing process would be to address and meet the needs of women, ethnic minorities, and children around the world.

A number of years ago, I watched a Sixty Minutes segment on the Taliban and they had done to women in Afghanistan and I cried.  I said to the Lord that I would go there if He wanted me to.  Lo and behold, I was invited there after the Taliban were ousted and I saw for myself the suffering that war imposes on women and children.  Over the years, I have seen the same dynamic in Africa and in some parts of Asia.  What's more, I still behold the problem in my own nation.

Jesus was the friend of women, which was a revolutionary concept in Judaism.  He and the disciples had a team of women traveling with them (see Luke 8:1-3).  Jesus allowed women to appropriately touch Him and they were healed; He did not rebuke them for doing so.  Children also had easy access to Jesus, even though the disciples, His ushers, tried to keep the children away.

If Jesus was a magnet for women and children, and Jesus is present in His body, the church, then doesn't it stand to reason that women and children, the neediest groups due to male mismanagement and irresponsibility, should also flock to the Church?  What's more, should not the Church proactively address the needs of these two important groups.

I also mention ethnic groups because the church should always be a place where people who don't look like one another gather.  That's why I don't care for churches that have all or only one group, whether they be all Chinese, Korean, Messianic believers, Africans or African-Americans.  Church should look like heaven is going to look and that is best described in Revelation 7:9:

After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

The Sophia Fund is my simple attempt to personally do something to address this seventh step.  I am raising money and awareness of hungry orphans and widows in Africa.  Too often I have not done anything because I could not do it in a big way.  I have not given $10 because it wasn't $100.  I would not help five orphans because it seemed so small and insignificant.  I am addressing that wrong thinking and I believe churches have that problem, too.  We will pay the electric company whatever they say we owe them, but won't sometimes spend $100 on the poor or widows.  That has to change.

There you have my seven steps to changing the way we do church. Feel free to write me your comments, even if you disagree.  Let me hear from you as to what changes you think need to take place for the Body to be a place of mission and purpose and not just a place of assembly once or twice a week. 

Changing the Way We Do Church 6

It's time to finish up my series on church reform with these last two entries.  You can read the past five entries here to catch up with what I have been saying and, of course, you comments, criticisms and additions are most welcome.

The sixth step in church reformation is

6.  Move from fads, copycat programs, and trite and phony rituals, traditions and doctrines to creative initiatives in the Spirit of (but exceeding the results of) the early church.

I am 58 years old and I have known the Lord for 35 years.  I have seen a lot of movements come and go and have studied many others who came and went before I came and studied.  I have lived through discipleship, seeker-sensitive, charismatic, cells church, signs and wonders, and house church movements. I have seen spiritual "stars" and "celebrities" come and go with their followers willing to follow them off a spiritual cliff.

Today we have missional, emerging, G12, reformed seeker-sensitive and a few more that I am not even aware of.  I have studied the Reformers, the Quakers, the Shakers, the Salvation Army, the Christian Missionary Alliance and the Methodists, They have been launched, matured and taught by sincere men and women whose heart was to create an expression of the body of Christ that was consistent with biblical principles and their interpretations of the same.

The problem I see is that as soon as one of these emphases or movements is started, people flock to read and study them so that they can copy, emulate or assimilate their "best" traits, which are the ones that "work" best.  Others flock to attack the new movements, and the blogosphere is full of people devoted to one philosophy or another. 

My only recommendation is that we keep on seeking, listening and innovating where church growth and evangelism are concerned.  Don't just do something because someone else is doing it and they are having success.  For example, I have seen so many churches with the attitude, "We pray or worship a lot in our church and God is blessing it.  If you prayed or worshiped like we prayed and worshiped, God would bless you and you would grow, too."  Suddenly spiritual prayer becomes a technique and it loses its spirituality.  Then books and conferences on prayer-growth or worship-growth appear and people buy or attend them to learn how prayer or worship can "work" for them, too. People then become part of the prayer-growth-worship movement to the exclusion of everyone or anyone else. 

Then the prayer-growth emphasis becomes a movement and maybe even a denomination, which then regulates how you pray for effective church growth (or even non-growth -- some churches don't want to grow).  Finally, I have heard many churches state that they want a New Testament church.  I understand what they are saying, but I don't want a New Testament church.  I want a church that exceeds those results.  I don't believe that the early church met in homes because we should only meet in homes.  I think they adapted to what they had and they were successful.  Now we must adapt to our culture and do what they did:  prove that we can present a relevant gospel to our generation.

Whatever church emphasis you adopt or follow, please make sure it's a spiritual exercise and not some shortcut that exempts you from seeking the Lord for yourself.  And when you adopt it, don't try to make it an iron-clad, no exceptions philosophy that condemns or criticizes those who don't do it like you do.  If it is Spirit-led, then follow the Spirit and keep your eyes on Him.  If it isn't, well I've seen enough of those in my lifetime and I'm not interested in feeding any more of them with my enthusiasms or loyalty.  And I've had my expectations shattered again and again by men (and women) who had the "word" for the day, only to crash and burn when their initial insights could not stand up to the test of time or human limitations. 

Changing the Way We Do Church 5

I got back from Kenya on Tuesday evening and it's been busy the last few days catching up. Before the week gets away entirely, let's look at the next installment in my series on how we need to change the way we do church.  When I read some of the thoughtful and profound blogs on the modern church, its ills and problems, I feel like my suggestions are simplistic. There are many others with much better ideas than mine, yet these are borne out of 35 years experience in church work, so I hope they are worth something. You can read my past entries on this topic here.

The fifth step to church reformation is:

5. Develop services, Sunday Schools, children’s church, youth meetings and even committee meetings that people want to attend because there is a spirit of excellence and the unexpected.

It's not that the church has too many meetings, but rather that we have too many bad meetings.  I watch as a malaise come over many people in our gatherings, even in business meetings. The facilitation is poor, the leader usually talks too much, people don't contribute for a variety of reasons and the result is boredom, lack of focus and confusion. What's worse, we force our children and youth to go to ineffective meetings because we hope they will "catch" something while they are there, but the only thing you can "catch" in a bad meeting is the flu. There is nothing else passing from person to person that can make a difference. I was in a board of directors meeting the other day and it was just flat out "bad." If I didn't have to be present, I would have run out of the room looking for comfort.

I put the responsibility for poor meetings at the feet of leadership, for they are the ones who call the shots. What we usually lack is any kind of accountability and feedback that can help our meetings improve.  If the youth are sitting in the meeting and they look bored, then they are bored.  And if leadership insists on doing the same thing for the next meeting, the youth will be bored then, too. The same holds true for adult services and meetings.

Everyone who leads a meeting should hold to the same standard that Jesus set, as found in Mark 12:37:  "The large crowd listened to him with delight."  People walked for days to listen for days only to return home for days and they kept on coming, because Jesus had something to say. His "meetings" were filled with controversy, the unexpected, excellent insight delivered in an exciting and dynamic fashion.  Jesus' stories were relevant and He allowed people to ask questions. And He did it all without video, ushers, PowerPoint and audio-visual paraphernalia

So what kind of meetings do you lead? What kind do you attend?  What price are you willing to pay to see the Mark 12:37 dynamic present in your work and meetings? I am not saying it is easy, but this level of excellence must be achieved if the Church is going to move from people who have to attend to people who want to attend. 

Changing the Way We Do Church 4

It's time for the fourth installment of my series on reforming the way we "do" or conduct the business of the modern Church.  If I am understanding it correctly, the business of the Church and its leadership is explained as follows:

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13 The New Living Translation). 

Unfortunately, modern leaders are not being developed by the Church and there is also little ministry development taking place beyond the pastor.  Most Christian leaders are shaped outside the church and then come to the church to worship.  They don't learn leadership or aren't equipped to fulfill their purpose in church, and then go out to society with those values and that knowledge.  Instead, society prepares them and they come to church where they can usually do "anything" they want, as long as it is ushering, choir or nursery and fits in with church tradition or the desires of the pastor or board.

My fourth suggestion for church reformation is (you can read the first three here): 

4.  Help leaders and governing bodies move from attitudes of ownership to attitudes of servant-leadership and stewardship.

When leaders refer to "my" people, "my" staff or "my" church, their vocabulary reveals a dangerous and incorrect attitude that they "own" what is going on.  That attitude creates leaders who often do whatever they want to and with the church because it is "mine."  I knew of a church where the pastor employed a large number of family members who were not particularly gifted or anointed.  He felt he had the right to do so because it was "his" church.  The church, however, is not a social service agency, and the pastor cannot employ the divine right of kings that allows him to bestow gifts and offices on whomever he chooses.

I knew of another church where the pastor's son was an alcoholic and everyone knew it.  Yet the pastor, his father, thrust his son into leadership to the pain and consternation of many.  Why did the pastor do this?  He did it because he felt he owned the church, its money and its ministry positions.

I have found two verses that contain the leadership philosophy that every church leader should have and employ:

As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor (1 Peter 5:2-4 The New Living Translation).

Jesus is the Great Shepherd and Senior Pastor of every church.  He purchased it with His blood and He is the One who owns it and does what He wants.  It is a serious matter when leaders usurp the role that belongs exclusively to the Lord Jesus.  In my opinion, that is exactly what has happened.  Consequently, the people or sheep are not the focus of care, but rather the pastor and his (or her) whims and wishes. 

The Lord wishes to reveal His will for each church through leadership, which means that leaders must see themselves as stewards and not owners.  That also means that leaders must work to advance God's work, not just defend and maintain it.  There are many "well-run" churches with money in the bank, who haven't launched a new ministry or outreach in years.  Are you telling me that Jesus would want them to have money in the bank as their top priority when two billion people in the world have never even heard the gospel, while thousands of unused or underused saints sit in air conditioned buildings every week and listen to messages that do not equip them to do anything productive but "feel good"?

I have an entire section of my website devoted to leadership concepts and development, including a lot about servant-leadership.  I have also written a book, So Many Leaders, So Little Leadership, that is on the market, so I won't go into much more of my thoughts on servant-leadership.  I will say, however, that without this attitude of servant-leadership, we will continue to see leaders starting new churches or taking over existing churches who will simply try to be kinder, gentler authoritarian leaders. In the end, we will have in the future what we have today.  What is needed is a massive and comprehensive overhaul of church leadership thought and philosophy, to which I hope I can make a contribution. 

    Feel free to write a comment to this entry on the site where it is posted. 

Changing the Way We Do Church 3

I have posted two entries in my seven-part series that addresses our need to change the thinking and methods of modern church work.  If you want to read the first two, you can go here.  Rather than gripe about what is happening, I thought I would put out some of my own thoughts about changes we can make that would bring positive change, maybe even reformation to the Lord's body. My third point is this:

3. Help leaders be productive in their purpose as they oversee Holy Spirit chaos created by people pursuing and fulfilling their purpose.

The current crisis, and I believe there is a crisis, is mostly a crisis of leadership.  Either leaders are so hands on that they are stifling those around them or they are so hands off that committees and boards are running the church, and some of them are not spiritually equipped to do so.  I can remember meeting a group of elders, whose church was half the size and half the budget it had been five years earlier.

They sat in our meeting and pointed fingers at each other in blame, while some wanted to know why they had not been informed by the pastor of some things that had happened.  They asked me what they should do and I said, "You should all resign."  Needless to say, they were shocked.  I went on to explain: "You are the board of directors and this all happened on your watch.  It's time to at least be willing to relinquish control."

I asked a business man present what he would recommend if this were a business.  He said, "I would shake up the board while there was still something to shake!"  Sad to say, the elders did not resign and that church no longer exists.  At least the building was bought by another church.

When people pursue their purpose, the leaders lose control in a manner of speaking, and that is a good thing.  If a faithful member's purpose is to go to Africa, the elders and church must help that person get on the field, whether that is part of their vision or not.  As soon as they get one on the field, someone else may step forward and state that they are called to go, too.  That is the "chaos" to which I refer.  The Holy Spirit is not limited to operate in an orderly manner where purpose is concerned.

What's more, leaders need to focus on their own productivity, which must go beyond preaching on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening.  Each leader must know his or her purpose and then they must hold themselves accountable for results.  It is not enough to judge the job that others are doing.  Leaders must produce and be subject to others in their own work.

We will further discuss the attitude that leaders must have if they are to fulfill this third step.  If anything is going to change in the church world, the leaders in that world must learn new ways of thinking and behaving, and that will not be an easy thing to achieve. 

I am attaching an article I wrote for Charisma Magazine a few years ago that addresses the leadership issue, called Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Leader.  It will prepare you for my next post, the fourth in my seven-part series.

    Feel free to write your comments to this entry on the site where it is posted.

Download Sinners in the Hands Charisma

Changing the Way We Do Church 2

I started offering some thoughts last week on what needs to happen for the body of Christ to snap out of the funk it seems to be in.  Yes, we can do Sundays pretty well, but what about the rest of the week. Is the church providing opportunities for people to live and apply their beliefs?  If not providing opportunities, is the church at least equipping the saints for their purpose work?  In my humble and limited estimation, we are not doing either particularly well.  So rather than just gripe, I have always tried to provide options and ideas.  You can read my first post here.

The second recommendation I have for changing the emphasis for local churches is:

2.  Equip people to perform missions (both domestic and foreign), to launch business ventures and to carry out any other activity their purpose dictates and faith allows.

Since we are so focused on Sunday morning, we need people to help carry out that venture.  If you can usher, sing in the choir, do nursery or serve cookies to visitors, you will find opportunities abound for you to be "involved,"  But what if you can't do those things?  First, you will face enormous pressure at times to be involved in one of those Sunday activities.  If you cannot, then there isn't much else to do around church. 

Yet churches should be proactively seeking to equip people for whatever it is that God wants them to do instead of trying to squeeze people into the few limited options available for ministry in most churches.  Here's an example.  I was speaking at a church once and stopped in the middle of my message to ask a question:  How many of you here have ever thought about writing a children's book?  Of the 250 people there, I would say that 20 hands went up!  I was surprised.  I then turned to the pastor and said, "We need to host a seminar here on how to write, illustrate and publish children's books."  To my knowledge, that seminar never took place. 

Churches should host a stream of missions trips to foreign lands or equip people for domestic missions in their own back yard.  We should be creative in equipping people for successful work and ministry by providing a host of cutting-edge programs with follow up to help people take the next steps on their road to purpose. 

For example, I often tell pastors that just because someone's purpose is to be a swimming coach, we don't have to build them a pool.  But if God sends nine swimming coaches to one church, then the leadership has at least to consider building a pool, whether it is part of the pastor's "vision" or not.  If the Holy Spirit saw fit to send that many with that particular gift, He must be up to something and the church should be flexible enough to cooperate. 

When the focus of the church is on the denominational doctrine, the pastor or the leader's vision, the people then become useful only to the extent that they can help advance any of those three.  I would argue that the Church, under the Lordship of Jesus, is about the people and His will for them.  That is why purpose is such an important issue. One's purpose represents orders from headquarters and it is the church's job to make sure those orders are carried out.

When I first started teaching purpose, I thought it was a nice emphasis and didn't realize it was so life-changing and all-encompassing.  Yet the church has been slow to respond.  The issue isn't going away, and I believe there is still plenty of time and incentive for churches to "retool" and get on board the purpose bandwagon.  Business has done so and I am working to see the Church follow as well.  It's an issue worth giving one's time and effort and I want to help bring purpose renewal and revival to the Church in my lifetime and beyond.

    Feel free to write your comments to this entry on the site where it is posted.

Changing the Way We Do Church 1

I have now spent 35 years in church work and will celebrate the 30th anniversary of my ordination this coming January. I heard someone say once that when you get older, you become more reflective and that's certainly true in my life.  I guess you simply have more things to reflect on when you have more life experience and many of those topics for reflection are your own mistakes!

In my workshop The Purpose Craze, I outline seven steps that I believe churches must take if they are to recover from the malaise and "funk" that many are in.  I maintain that we know how to do "church" -- and I can feel some of my blogger friends cringing when I say "do church."  I know we are to "be church" but please permit me to use this phrase to indicate more of a shift in how we think than what we do.  If our thinking changes, our actions will change, so I want to address the need for a mind renewal in the body of Christ the world over. 

At any rate, we know how to do church on Sunday. We have that down pat.  We can lift an offering, sing five songs, take care of the kids, deliver the message and be out in time for the Sunday football kickoff.  We can do that whether or not God "shows up."  But do we really understand how to equip the saints for ministry, as Paul described in Ephesians 4?

So permit me to share those seven steps one step at a time over the next few weeks. The first step is:

1. Raise up an army of purpose-led men and women who have faith to do the impossible, freed from tying to be who they are not and released to be the fullest, best expression of who God created them to be.

There is a lot in this first step, so let's quickly unpack the contents.  Notice that I said purpose-led, not purpose-driven as the title of Rick Warren's phenomenal book indicated. When I think of someone being "driven," I think of someone behind them with a whip or stick driving them on as they both run -- one to escape and one to catch the escapee.  I rather think of purpose as something that leads from the front rather than pushes from the rear.

Too often in church we are content to watch the faith of someone else in action.  It's often easier and less risky to judge the job that person is doing rather than try to do something.  That is why it is critical that you be challenged to find a faith project that is beyond your ability to accomplish and apply your faith to see it come to pass.  Notice also that I said "men and women."  The Church is the only army in the universe that insists on fighting its battles with half its army inactive and one hand tied behind its back.  We need women to be fully engaged in the purpose revolution. 

Then there's the strong pressure in many church settings for you to be who you are not.  We make it a matter of "common sense" and willpower to work in the nursery, be an usher or count money.  And really, we don't offer very many opportunities for work and ministry beyond the basics of ushers, choir, children and hospitality.  If your gifts fit into those areas, you will do well.  If not, there is subtle pressure for you to adapt your gifts to work in those areas.

What's more, churches need to improve their ability to release people and make room for new people.  If you have been sitting in church for 20 years, what are you doing with what you have learned?  Have you become spiritually fat and sassy, sitting in judgment of what is or is not going on, while you are responsible for absolutely nothing?  Are you content as a pastor to have people sit for 20 years or be an usher for 17 years and that be the sum total of their Christian experience?

Millions of people and 30,000 churches went through the Purpose-Driven Life program. Are we the better for it?  Is the church more purposeful?  Has there been a groundswell of creative ministry that has swept the world?  It may be out there, but I haven't seen it.  Yet that is what it will take -- a purpose revolution of the masses -- to change the way we do church.  Until that happens, we will have business as usual and, unfortunately, we will conduct that business for less and less people.

Measuring Spiritual Things

I am in Florida for a conference called The Gathering sponsored by ChurchSmart Resources.  I first got involved with ChurchSmart about 10 years ago when I was given a book that introduced me to the concept of Natural Church Development (NCD) by Christian Schwarz. A group of Mennonite church planters gave me this book and at first I thought, "Yeah right, what do the Mennonites have that I need?"  That arrogance gave way to excitement as I read the book and was captured by its content.

Basically, NCD is a philosophy of church growth that believes there are eight key areas essential to church health and growth, no matter the theology, liturgy or worship style of the church.  NCD not only offers the book outlining the research done on these eight areas, but also a profile that a church can take with 30 of its members that renders an evaluation score for each of the eight areas.  The strategy is to then work only on the minimum factor, the area with the lowest score, for six months to a year, at which time a new profile is taken and a new minimum factor is identified. 

I have conducted about 50 of the profiles over the years and the results are so accurate its scary, which is why so many pastors reject the results.  They refuse to accept that a profile can measure what they believe they know better than the profile, and most refuse to let go of their "pet" areas to work on the church's weakness.  ChurchSmart has now profiled about 30,000 churches in the U.S. and 85% of the churches who have gone through two surveys have grown numerically and spiritually in the eight areas.  Those churches that have not followed through with the results (especially those who have not enlisted the services of a coach to come alongside the church team to address the minimum factor) have not grown much.  It's as simple as that.

Many pastors don't believe that spiritual things can or should be measured, which is one bias against the NCD survey.  I would agree with them that measuring church health is difficult, but just because what we do in churches is almost impossible to measure doesn't mean we should not try to measure it.  If we treat the measurement tool carefully and ask the Lord the right questions, then we can gain God's insight into the state of the church.  We see in the first four chapters of Revelation that Jesus knows the condition of the church and is reay and willing to reveal it to those who are listening. 

I am a profiling junkie, I admit. I am passionate about getting input on who I am, how I am doing and how I can accomplish more.  I am always looking for things God can use to get my attention, so that I can address areas of blindness and deficiency, in the power of the Spirit.  For instance, I took a profile the other day that said that I am not giving like I once did.  That is a correct assessment.  So the other day, I had a chance to give and before the profile I would have passed up the opportunity.  Because I had taken the profile, I was more conscious of an area of deficiency.  If I continue to do that, how can it be a bad thing?

The other reason I like the NCD profile is that it helps the whole church focus its efforts so that everyone is moving in one direction.  Without a measuring tool, peole have opinions as to why a church isn't growing and what it needs to do to get back to health.  Usually that opinion focuses on the person's favorite spiritual gift or practice.  "This church needs to pray more,"  "We need to take care of the poor," "We need a children's pastor," or "This church should do more missions."  The results is a group of fragmented believers who are not focused and who often argue over the way forward.

I have great respect for those who are hesitant to submit spiritual, biblical things to what seems like a secular measuring instrument.  Yet I also know that most churches are not growing as they should and some don't even want to grow.  I would rather do what I can to promote growth and see the church reach the lost and fulfill its mission than sit back and wait.  When that happens, a "strong" leader comes in, gets people united and moving and then ten years down the road we wonder why we have problems with authoritarianism or what to do when that "strong leader" resigns or leaves.

So I head home later today more convinced than ever that we as church folk need to be more accountable for the results that are present or absent in our midst.  I am convinced that the NCD tool is a spiritual tool, among others, that can be used to help build the Church.  If you would like more information about the NCD profile, don't hesitate to write me.  If you only want to do the profile, however, and aren't serious about applying the results, then do us both a favor and don't write.  It will only be a waste of time if you are committed to doing what seems right to you.  Research shows that you are only intuitively correct  about what your church needs 30% of the time, and that is an "F" grade in anyone's school, including God's.

    Feel free to write your comments to this entry on the site where it is posted.