Posts Categorized: Spiritual formation

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 »

The Church for Today

Are you ready for hybrid online/in-person worship? The next phase your church needs to consider  by Richard Hong  Sunday morning has become a stressful time for so many pastors who never imagined that their job would involve being an AV tech. “Hallelujah!” is the cry when the internet connection stays up and Zoom properly connects to… 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

Spiritual experiences in church A ‘no’ or a ‘yes’?   by N. Graham Standish For years, when leading retreats and seminars on spiritually transforming congregations, I’ve often asked a revealing question: How would we react to someone who told us on a Sunday morning, “Hey, I want to share an amazing experience I had the… 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 »

The B-Flat Christian

Manna — The Biblical Symbol of ‘Enough’ How do we trust God will provide?   by Rebecca Crow Lister Does enough exist?  Is there ever enough time, money, sleep, love, faith, justice, energy or peace for us? Why does it feel like we are always lacking in these and other areas of our lives? Unknown painter (German),… 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 »

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 »