Discipleship is Central to the Church

Over the last several months, we’ve been working toward building an understanding of mission: What God is doing and what God is calling us to do. Certain themes have been emerging as we’ve been reading and reflecting on scripture in worship and during committee time. They’ve been showing up in my devotional time and in Continue reading Discipleship is Central to the Church

We Were Featured in the Paper

Joe Orso, of the La Crosse Tribune, featured my blog in his article today. Thank you Joe! I appreciate the questions you asked and the time you took to visit with me about what I hope to do with the blog. Orso’s article is titled Pastor Hopes Blog Connects With All Ages, Community.

In his article, Joe said, “I talked to Continue reading We Were Featured in the Paper

A Discipling Community for all Ages

There’s a billboard on Mormon Coulee Road in La Crosse that has been catching my eye. It advertises Pepsi Cola. The back ground is blue and white letters spell out a compelling tag line. When I first saw it, I read the word “Awesome!” The ‘o’ of that word is the Pepsi logo.

Now that I’ve seen the sign a few times, I’ve realized that Continue reading A Discipling Community for all Ages

Addressing Our Biggest Challenge

Preaching a sermon in which the on-going decline of our congregation is highlighted is not easy to preach. I did so, today, after praying hard about this sermon for several weeks. I preached knowing that reminders of our decline are hard to hear. My hope is to call attention to the biggest challenge we face: that of turning from a thirty four year decline, to growth.

It is important for us to be clear about Continue reading Addressing Our Biggest Challenge

Lent: A Time to Focus on Mission

God always calls the church to do God’s mission.  In the season of Lent, the first Sunday of which is March 1, we’ll focus on the basic building blocks of the mission given the church.  To do this mission, the Church must grow in its understanding of God’s mission in the World.  We must think more about Continue reading Lent: A Time to Focus on Mission

Generosity: Preparing to Turn from Decline to Mission

Recently, we’ve I’ve been talking about the importance of keeping our focus on God’s mission. I’m convinced that as we discover God’s mission, we will have a better understanding of why God calls us to be a strong congregation. The leaders of our congregation and I hope that we will focus our attention on turning away from 34 years of decline. We hope that as a congregation we will dare to be Continue reading Generosity: Preparing to Turn from Decline to Mission

The Healing Power of Faith

Time Magazine, this week focuses on “How Faith Can Heal.” It sits along side other major articles such as “The trouble with talking to Iran” and “25 People to Blame for the Economic Mess We’re in.”

Faith has a healing power to offer the messes we find ourselves in. The articles focus on Continue reading The Healing Power of Faith

Does the Church Matter?

I recently had somebody ask me whether the Church still matters, today. I responded that I definitely think the Church has a role to play. His question was posed more than three weeks ago, and yet it is still with me. It’s been rumbling around in the back of my head and I don’t always like some of the new answers I’ve been thinking about. Some answers are in the “yes” column… Others are in the “no” column.

When does the Church matter? The Church matters when Continue reading Does the Church Matter?

MPS: Missional Positioning System

This week, I’ve been in Florida, attending a national event for senior pastors in the ELCA. It has been an incredible week. The speakers have been inspirational, the worship top-notch, and the opportunities to visit with other pastors about issues we face invaluable.

Some of the best conversations of the week happened during Continue reading MPS: Missional Positioning System

Driftless, Not Aimless

Welcome to a blog I’ve started to collect and share thoughts I’ve been having about living out God’s mission in the Driftless region of Southwest Wisconsin. In this blog, I hope to think about living as God’s active mission partners. (Note that since I wrote this entry, the name of the blog and its focus have changed…)

My first audience for this blog is the people of Continue reading Driftless, Not Aimless

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