Posts Categorized: Small church ministry

Hopeful Church

Is healing at the core of our congregations? by N. Graham Standish As a seminary student I heard a constant refrain from our professors: Jesus came to preach and teach. It was the pretext underlying our whole seminary education as they trained us to preach and teach. It made sense to me. Isn’t that what… Read more »

Hopeful Church

Finding meaning in times of crisis by N. Graham Standish Throughout the coronavirus pandemic I’ve been thinking a lot about Victor Frankl. It’s like he’s the answer to everything pastors especially are struggling with right now. I don’t know if you know who he is, or remember who he was, but he wrote a seminal… Read more »

Barn Boots and Blessings

And the steeple bell rang A rural church’s Holy Week witness in a pandemic by Donna Frischknecht Jackson   Frank, I really don’t think it’s a good idea to gather at the church. Yes, I know this is the holiest of weeks. You are correct. Easter is coming. Yes, I know you miss your church…. Read more »

Hopeful Church

  How do we deal with dissenters? by N. Graham Standish The session was in the midst of a future-changing discussion. Our “Future of Worship” task force had given them their final proposal after spending 15 months discerning how to adapt our worship to a changing world. They had studied different kinds of worship and… Read more »

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 »

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 »

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 »