Posts Categorized: Church

Hopeful Church

Are we too religious to be spiritual? By N. Graham Standish  I’m a little bit obsessed with the phrase “spiritual but not religious.” I have been ever since I first said it about myself when I was in college: “Nah … I don’t go to church. I’m spiritual but not religious.” I still said this… Read more »

Hopeful Church

The smallest things Can make the biggest difference by N. Graham Standish    “He never follows through,” the church member complained. “What do you mean?” I asked. “He’ll call and say he’s going to drop by the hospital, or check up on us later, or send us something, but he never does. I think that’s… Read more »

Hopeful Church

Don’t Just Inform … Form Are we stuck in informational churches? by N. Graham Standish    “Yes! This is what’s missing in the church. This is what I’ve been seeking.” It was my first year of doctoral studies in spirituality. I was immersed in the spiritual classics course, a three-semester deep dive into the writings of Christian… Read more »

Hopeful Church

Sabotaging with hope by N. Graham Standish   “Tim, will you please stop sabotaging this meeting with hope?!” I couldn’t stifle my guffaw as a clergy client shared his recent finance committee experience. Incredibly, it’s what a committee member yelled at him before walking out of the meeting. Tim has been leading his church through revitalization… Read more »

Barn Boots and Blessings

Lenten ‘one mores’ Hope and love in the dark valley   by Donna Frischknecht Jackson   Even though I walk through the darkest valley … you are with me.  — Psalm 23 It is Lent and I have found myself walking in one of the darkest valleys one can walk — the valley of death…. Read more »

The B-Flat Christian

The Needy and the Greedy What makes us afraid to give freely to the needy?     by Rebecca Lister   My son recently finished the requirements for the Boy Scout’s highest honor, Eagle Scout. As part of his final project, he designed and built a Little Free Pantry and a Little Free Library.  He… Read more »

Hopeful Church

Does our leadership heal . . . or inflict pain? by N. Graham Standish  I recently talked with a frustrated and disappointed pastor who was in tremendous pain over her struggling church. As I listened to her story, I suddenly had an insight: Perhaps everyone who comes to church is in pain. Perhaps everyone who… Read more »

Hopeful Church

Building on a Blessed Community Recognizing the Church’s True Center by Graham Standish Years ago I read a quote by the Quaker mystic, Thomas Kelly, that changed my ministry: “Yet ever within that Society, and ever within the Christian church, has existed the Holy Fellowship, the Blessed Community, an ekklesiola in ekklesia, a little church… Read more »

Hopeful Church

  Church leadership bedrocks Are we leading out of expectations or principles? by N. Graham Standish   I’ve been working with a pastor for a number of years, helping him invigorate a somewhat stagnant church. We’ve talked about a lot in the process, and the results of our conversations are showing signs of breathing new… Read more »

Hopeful Church

Is Our Leadership Stuck on Chapter 5? … or are we stuck writing the same church story? By Graham Standish How are you at writing gripping stories? Are you like me? Do you get author envy when you read great stories? While reading certain authors such as C.S. Lewis,J.R.R. Tolkien and J. K. Rowling I’ve… Read more »