Author: Mark Ramsey

What is the church for? Increasingly, this question is coming into focus as an essential question to ask – and answer – for congregations, their pastors, and their church boards.  Most faith communities have long assumed they know what they exist for.  Sadly, the year 2020...

Before writing our piece this week, we called a colleague who is a gifted pastor of a mid-sized healthy congregation.  “So, what are you thinking about in the midst of this fall’s stewardship emphasis in your church?” The pastor’s succinct response:  “Ugh.” Among pastors and church leaders,...

In a conversation recorded in early 2020, Ministry Collaborative staff Mark Ramsey, Adam Mixon, Jennifer Maxell, and Adam Borneman discuss how the long-term trend of declining attendance offers an opportunity for churches to engage faithfully in holistic, fuller, Spirit-led living....

Half-hearted ministry is killing us. Every bit as much as half-hearted living leads us into dead ends, half-hearted ministry is leaving congregations adrift and clergy and other church staff looking for, as more than one pastor has said to me lately, “a ticket out.” This half-heartedness...

For some, it is the loss of salad bars.  As the Wall Street Journal reported last week: A casualty of the pandemic, the days of the salad bar are gone for the foreseeable future. …[T]o devotees, the banishment of buffet bars signifies the closing of a cherished...

Once you reach your 60s (or so we hear . . .), the annual physical at the doctor’s office may include a memory test. Spell “world” backward.  Sure. Subtract 7 from 100 until you get less than 50.  Got it. What day of the week is it?  Uh...

As the multiple challenges of 2020 lengthen and deepen, and the pressures on pastors and  church boards proliferate, it is helpful to hold onto some Biblical and theological truths and then follow those truths wherever they lead.  Here’s one such truth, supported by creation accounts...