Author: Mark Ramsey

  Where does imagination enter into our work? How do we learn to see new possibilities in the resources available to our congregation? Who teaches us how to imagine our church life together? What possibilities do they help us to see?   We think these are great questions...

In church life, January--not April--can seem like the cruelest month.  All the routine meetings, tasks, and assignments that everyone deferred in December land back on the calendar with a thud.  And there are budgets to finalize, and often congregational annual meetings, and sometimes new board...

Most of us learned a certain way of doing chores:  we were told to get through with all the “compulsory things” and then we would be “rewarded “ with something fun or meaningful. First the mundane, then the meaningful. I think we’ve imported this approach into ministry. ...

As we conclude the year, we are appreciative of all the comments, ideas, and suggestions you have offered in response to these posts.  We are always eager to hear from you with suggestions of topics to explore.  Just let us know here if you have...

Ah, Advent! Well, certainly in church, you will hear congregational leaders saying, with at least a little exasperation, “Ah, December!”  What a month! Crowded calendars, last minute financial asks, special programs and everything else. It is unlikely that the First Century gospel writers could have imagined one...

Isn’t it ironic that a season set aside for contemplation has become so crowded? During Advent, the world crowds in on us and our churches. At closer look, though, church itself – with very little help from culture – crowds in too. There’s the sign-up for the Christmas...

At a recent cohort gathering (thank you, Denver) a question arose:  “It’s good to dig deeper in church board meetings, but what are the implications for what we do between meetings?” Practically, if monthly board meetings are going to provide enough time for prayer, Bible study,...

As we go about our church board business—building agendas, leading meetings, showing up for worship and programs, recruiting volunteers from a dwindling list, solving budget crises, and on and on—we need to be attuned to a voice crying, Stop!     That voice may sound counterintuitive.  In the...