ARE YOU A PASTOR OR PART OF A MINISTRY TEAM WRESTLING with routine, long-standing church programs that have flatlined and volunteers feeling burnout? Are you struggling to identify the right programs to reach your community that can remove the invisible “member’s only” sign at the church door? Learn and integrate The Stranger to Neighbor ExperienceContinue reading “COULD YOUR CHURCH HAVE THE WRONG TYPE OF CHURCH PROGRAMS?”
Like many, it is my tradition to participate in a Sunrise Service for Easter Sunday Worship. This year, I attended the City Wide Community worship in Charlotte. Several Christ communities gathered together among the towering buildings in Romare Bearden Park to worship in the coolness of this morning’s air. Each presenter shared music, prayer, andContinue reading “Risen Indeed!”
From the story of Esther, a biblical queen to Meghan, the modern princess, how will you seek to love across cultural boundaries?
It’s time to begin the conversation!
I was blessed to serve in Scotland as an interim pastor during a one-month internship. This church welcomed me, the stranger.
When someone tells me about an idea, before I say, How? Say…Wow! Acknowledge their creative moment.
In the aftermath of Charlottesville, If ever a pastor had a reason to bring their congregation into discomfort, it was this morning. If ever there was a moment to follow Christ, it was today.
This is a true “Awaken Our Hearts” story and a vision of intentional discipleship towards making Christ known. Many times I have written about embracing diversity and inclusion, especially in areas of church leadership. The story below highlights how one church through their openness of welcoming someone who was different from them, found a pastor willingContinue reading “This is what Stranger to Neighbor Ministry looks like in the church…..”
Recently an article was published about issues of multi-cultural training at Duke Divinity School. You can read about it here. I commented on several blogs but I wanted to raise my voice in this space to unveil the discourse of diversity and inclusion in a very unlikely place, Duke Divinity School, a seminary training futureContinue reading “My Response to “Divinity, Diversity and Division””
“God use me to open the hearts of your people and the doors of this church. Amen.”
How will you begin to welcome the stranger to share the Gospel and love of Christ?
Church communities are changing their ways. What’s the best way to discover it? Read on…
I love a great quote when I see one. Over the past few weeks I have been preparing to speak to pastors in North Carolina about reaching community. Multicultural ministry remains a buzz word, especially in homogenous churches claiming diversity. But here’s the truth. True diversity begins when twenty percent of your congregation is differentContinue reading “Come, Come, Whoever You Are…the doors are open. May we affirm that truth with our acts of hospitality. And, in our midst, may there always be room for one more. — Rev. Alicia Forde”
The division in our nation is national news. As we gather in the comfort of pews in the coming months, some joyfully breathe a sigh of relief and some fear for what’s ahead. We continue to hear our world in terms of us and them. What is next for our nation? As people of God,Continue reading “What’s Next?”
“Love is in the air In the whisper of the tree Love is in the air In the thunder of the sea And I don’t know if I’m just dreaming Don’t know if I feel safe But it’s something that I must believe in And it’s there when you call out my name” TheContinue reading “In The Air”
Are you serving the changing demographics of your community?
Diversity is one of the most misused words spoken in our churches today. I often hear pastors and church leaders speak of diversity, but diversity is a very broad term. Here’s the question to help you move your church towards understanding the full range of meaning of the word. Is there an intercultural ministry mindsetContinue reading “One Thing Your Congregation Can Teach You About Diversity”
If we seek boundless ministry, we must be willing to step outside our own boundaries and engage in change.
I believe our very nature is to stay where we are, with what we know. Moving outside our comfort zones often becomes the challenge. Recently someone asked me, “How can we really serve our community in new ways? I believe the answer lies in the question, “Are you prepared to serve the changing demographics ofContinue reading “Are you prepared?”
As part of our Christmas events, each year the children of our church participate in La Posadas, a nine day Spanish tradition and celebration of Mary’s nine months of carrying the baby Jesus. The children follow Mary and Joseph door to door, asking for room to stay for the evening. As one of the homesContinue reading “No Room in New Bern”
Join us at Ghostwalk for the Gospel Jazz Event at First Baptist Church – New Bern @ 8:00 tonight. Last night was SPIRIT FILLED! Make plans to experience Jazz and Worship in a whole new way. Tweet
My favorite bible verse is Psalm 90:17 (CEB) “Let the kindness of the Lord our God be over us. Make the work of our hands last. Make the work of our hands last!” The women of Westray have allowed me to sit more closely at the feet of Jesus. Between the study of ancient biblicalContinue reading “The Word, Tea and Butterflies”
Psalm 103 is a beautiful ancient poem, worship at its best and a love story about God and His people. I hope to attach Sunday’s message with this, but for right now, enjoy the words of the psalmist from the exodus generation against the backdrop of these beautiful children. There is a message hereContinue reading “A Love Story”
Visiting the people of Westray has become one of my favorite adventures. Yesterday’s visit was full of signs to help us find our way. In the UK, is it common for properties to have their own names like Skaiil and HaGock Field. It is quite a nice tradition, speaks to the uniqueness of the property,Continue reading “Signs In Our Times”
This question brings us to words like age, gender, and ethnicity. Maybe you would agree with me that those answers are as wrong as snow in the Summer months. What separates us in actuality are barriers placed in our own minds and in our hearts. Matthew 15:21-28 introduces us to a woman who is notContinue reading “What Separates Us?”
In 2012, I stood right on this cliff in Westray, Scotland and prayed with three wonderful friends. Isn’t it a blessing to know that Jesus shows up when we gather together as faithful hearts? No fuss, no requirements, He is there. He doesn’t focus on who we are. Our economic or social status is notContinue reading “Who, What, When, Where & Why”
Yes, that’s me getting ready to hop on the “Shortest Flight In The World”. Authenticated by Guinness World Records. The popular trip from Westray to Papa Westray, Scotland is a 2 minute flight. Hard to believe until I stepped onto the plane, took off and then landed on the next island. There’s even an officialContinue reading “Shortest Flight In The World”
Eve was front and center in our women’s study today. Living in perfection, she denied she lived in a place where the waters were beautiful and calm. From her surroundings to being hand crafted by God, she enjoyed the perfect life. It is hard to imagine living in her perfect environment and enjoying that perfectContinue reading “What’s Your Pleasure?”
Meet part of my new church family. As you would expect, these little ones are full of energy and smiles. What a blessing to work with them over the next few weeks. It reminds of how much I love seeing my church family on Sunday mornings. The opportunity to worship God together blesses me eachContinue reading “Twirling for Christ”