Let's Connect:
Search
Thursday
May252017

Hey! You're Sittin' in my Pew!

“Hey, You’re Sittin’ in my Pew!” That could be the caption for the cartoon, but it’s also the theme for the Spring, 2017 Facility Ministry Newsletter. Church seating can be an emotional subject, but I think we can have rational discussions on the subject.

Thank you to those who have already requested to be included in the newsletter email. If you’d like to be added to the newsletter list, please click here and write “newsletter” in the subject and message. You’re email address will never be sold or dispersed to outside sources.

Wednesday
Jan042017

Fall Newsletter: Facility Stewardship Today

We do not grieve like those who have no hope… I read those words from 1 Thessalonians 4:13 at the graveside of my mother’s recent funeral. Our grief is different because her faith alone in Christ alone gives us assurance of her salvation and presence with Christ… And being reunited with my dad who preceded her to glory ten years ago. So my grief is mixed with peace.

However, I’m also behind in many tasks—like the posting of the Fall, 2016 newsletter about Facility Stewardship. This edition is about Contractor Bridges as we build bridges with those who are building our buildings.

Thank you to those who have already requested to be included in the newsletter email. If you’d like to be added to the newsletter list, please click here and write “newsletter” in the subject and message. You’re email address will never be sold or dispersed to outside sources.

Saturday
Jun042016

Spring Newsletter: Facility Stewardship Today

The dirt has been flying as NorthBridge Church is Under Construction. That is the theme for the spring edition of the Facility Stewardship Today newsletter.

Thank you to those who have already requested to be included in the newsletter email. If you’d like to be added to the newsletter list, please click here and write “newsletter” in the subject and message. You’re email address will never be sold or distributed to outside sources.

Thursday
Nov122015

Fall Newsletter: Facility Stewardship Today

Let’s get started on our project with a Ground Breaking. That is the theme for the fall edition of the Facility Stewardship Today newsletter.

Thank you to those who have already requested to be included in the newsletter email. If you’d like to be added to the newsletter list, please click here and write “newsletter” in the subject and message. You’re email address will never be sold or dispersed to outside sources.

Thursday
Jun182015

Spring Newsletter: Facility Stewardship Today

Yes, it’s June, but technically it is still spring. Therefore, there is still time for the spring edition of the Facility Stewardship Today newsletter. The theme for this issue is, “Church Building Team Members” and includes information from the recent Worship Facilities Conference where I taught.

Thank you to those who have already requested to be included in the newsletter email. If you’d like to be added to the newsletter list, please click here and write “newsletter” in the subject and message. You’re email address will never be sold or dispersed to outside sources.

Tuesday
May262015

5 Reasons to Add a Dragon to Your Building Team

The recipe for a successful building project starts with the right people on your building team—that includes outside consultants you may hire, but also the church committee(s) that will represent your church with those consultants.

In a recent article I wrote for Worship Facilities, I explain why you may want to include a dragon on your building team. That subject—and others—will be part of my workshop titled: “Creating Your Building Team then Selecting a Delivery Method.” I hope you can join me at WFX—Reach, on May 28 in Naperville, IL!

Thursday
Mar052015

Why I WANT to Gain Weight

I want the numbers on the scale to go higher. . . MUCH higher!

Wait a minute. . . not while I’m standing on it. . . those numbers go up easily enough when weighing myself.

Rather, I want to gain weight with my donations to Christian Resources International Mission. Recently, I received a year end giving receipt and it recorded my total giving as: “42 lbs.” This was a new kind of receipt for me, but quickly reorients my thinking. And it makes me want to gain weight with my donations to them.

Christian Resources International will take the extra Christian literature that is just gathering dust and put it in the hands of people who have very little of God’s Word. The 42 pound donation I sent came from items at the building of Zion Bible Church, where I served as interim pastor. There were all kinds of Bibles, books, study materials, and Christion literature that had been stored away in the past. Those items were left in storage because they had become worn, slightly damaged, or were the leftovers from a small group or Sunday School study—and people hesitate to throw away those kinds of things.

So, in addition to wanting to gain weight with my own donations, I’m spreading the word about ministries like Christian Resources International, Edwin L. Hodges Ministries, and Christian Salvage Mission. In our American churches, those Bibles and Christian books are no longer in use—but we don’t want to throw them away, so they sit on shelves. However, there are places around the world that don’t mind the folded pages or even bent covers. They are okay with only one copy for a class, or even one for an entire church. Friends, they are waiting for us to sort through our church storage rooms and send those materials to ministries like CRI.

In addition to putting Christian materials to work, culling our church storage rooms can also reclaim space for other ministry uses. Almost every church I work with describes needing more storage space—and I understand that it is an important need. However, square footage in our churches costs too much to build, and then maintain, to store dust gathering Bibles and books.

But don’t just throw them away! Yes, it takes more effort, but let’s sort through those storage rooms and shelves and put those Bibles and Christian materials in the hands of people who are waiting for them. This year, I want to gain weight—with my materials donations. . . and I hope you will join me in that desire.

Tuesday
Dec162014

Fall Newsletter: Facility Stewardship Today

Yes, it’s December, but technically it is still fall. Therefore, there is still time for the autumn edition of the Facility Stewardship Today newsletter. The theme for this issue is, “Church Mergers” and describes the experience of Zion Bible Church merging with NorthBridge Church. . . And that also explains why I’m posting this in later fall.

Thank you to those who have already requested to be included in the newsletter email. If you’d like to be added to the newsletter list, please click here and write “newsletter” in the subject and message. You’re email address will never be sold or dispersed to outside sources.

Friday
Oct312014

Merge Ahead: Forward Thinking for a Declining Church

What was I going to do?! The true challenge gripped me during prayer time at our church on a pleasant afternoon in May, 2013. Within a year, our church would no longer have a building, and our future was uncertain. I was convinced that God wanted me to lead this church to their next chapter, but I did not know where that would be, nor how we would get there. “Okay God,” I prayed. “In obedience I had accepted this call as an interim pastor to lead them to their new home. So we need you to lead our steps!” . . .

That is the opening paragraph of an article I wrote for Leadership Journal, which chronicles our Great Adventure at Zion Bible Church.

I encourage you to link to the full article here. While there, navigate around the new format by Leadership Journal. They’ve been serving pastors since 1980 and again they lead the way with online ministry tools.

For this blog entry, I’ll jump to the conclusion:

. . . Now, reflecting back, I’m very thankful for that prayer of confusion a year ago May. I didn’t know what to do. But in the end, it was a Great Adventure into the glorious unknown. On our coffee table sits the lamp that I lit during that final service, symbolic of our Great Adventure. The lamp became a gift from the church with a card that included these words: “Thank you for stepping in when you did and slowing us down and taking a deep breath, so we could watch God open and close doors to the greatest adventure for our church.” I wouldn’t have missed this ride for anything. And now, as part of the NorthBridge Church family, I’m looking forward to the Next Great Adventure.

Friday
Aug292014

Facilities and Kingdom Thinking

Buildings are not ministry. People are ministry. Buildings are a tool for ministering to people. While I often deal with facility issues, my real passion is for the people and ministry impact that those facilities can enhance.

This point was highlighted during our recent Building Retirement Service at Zion Bible Church. During that final service, we played a portion of the video showing the construction of the church building from the 1930’s. You can view it here. It is an actual video, not just a collection of still photographs. Yes, it’s black and white and there is no sound (there is a musical background), but it is a fascinating documentation of the building progress. Those were forward thinking people who had the wisdom to document the process without any of the technology or social media formats that characterize today.

While it is interesting to see the progress of the building, please note that this video is really about people. Despite the teeth of the depression years, many faithful workers gave of themselves and contributed to the construction. They gave their best as demonstrated by numerous clips of men working while wearing ties and dress clothes. We smile at that practice today, but it should also make us pause to ponder the daily life dynamics that prompted such “work clothes.” I understand that often workers showed up during their lunch breaks or right after work. Many were unemployed but did not stop productive labor as they contributed to the church what they could. And please note how often people are smiling. Now maybe that’s because the cameraman told them to smile, but there seems to be more depth to the expressions of joyful service. They were not simply building a building, but they were contributing to Kingdom work.

The video about the building of the building is not really about the building, it is about the people. Although it was difficult to leave that facility after the Building Retirement Service, everyone realized it’s about people and not buildings.