Category Archives: Church Leadership

Church Unity – Can’t We All Just Get Along?


Last week I read a blog on the subject of church membership in whether it was biblical or not.   The writer did a good job laying out the benefits. I scrolled down to leave my comment when I stumbled across another blogger’s comment.  He was ruthless.

WRITER BASHING. The commenter slammed the blog writer up one side and down another challenging him on his interpretation of the scripture.  It was really sad and it embarrassed me to be a believer and witness another so called Christian assassinate the  character of his brother.

TO COMMENT OR NOT TO COMMENT. I read numerous blogs everyday, and not all do I bother to comment on, but I felt a need to let the author know that I thought he did an excellent job proving the case for membership.

The author’s entire blog post had a single scripture to prove his case  in that membership was biblical.  Yes, the author could have used any number of other scriptures to prove his case.  But did he deserve to be demeaned? NO.

SOUND THE ALARMS – WHERE’S THE CHURCH? In the wake of the shooting sprees in Colorado, Wisconsin, Arizona, Chicago, the alarms are sounding that  the church has lots of work to do – your church, my church, our church, the church down the road – ALL churches who witness Jesus as Lord.  The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few!

Folks, we do NOT have to argue over the petty things. That one scripture did NOT discredit all the other good stuff that was written.

We must be the light to a dark and depressed world.  How futile it is to spend time online showing us how smart you are as you gloat as being the self-appointed scripture watch dog.  Shame on you!  You know my position, “If the shoe fits…”

IS IT ABOUT HIM OR YOU? If the commenter had a heart for the kingdom, he could have comment on the subject at hand and added “I would have used this scripture to prove the point.” His backlash instead displayed his motivation in glorifying himself by demeaning the blog writer.

MY FLESH WANTED TO REACH OUT AND TOUCH. I must admit, I wanted that commenter more than a horse wanted hay.  Had I  been able to comment I would have certainly wrote out of my flesh. In hindsight I am grateful that I was unable to comment lest I had said some things and blown my own witness.

There are just softer ways to address people.  We need to be sensitive.  Let’s concentrate on the things that UNITE us and stop trying to prove to others that we are so much better than they are.

WHAT ABOUT THE DENOMINATION DEBATES?  You know what I mean .. the Methodist are better than the Baptist who are better than the Lutherans who are better than the Catholics who are better than the  Episcopalians and the list goes on. And let’s not forget the denomination of the Non-denomination.

The fact is, “We are all leveled at the foot of the cross.”

Unless we have a Jim Jones thing going on and we see where a person in power is trying to get people to drink poison or a David Koresh where he’s advocating people to be burned alive, or others who are trying to convince us of the date of the end of the world, let’s speak the truth, but in love.

MOST OF US ARE ON THE SAME TEAM. We all have work to do.  Let’s be the light and stop trying to snuff out other kingdom workers’ flame!

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Pastor Outraged over Song “AMEN” Threatens to Boycott!


AUDIO OF DIALOGUE BETWEEN MEEK MILL & REV. JOMO JOHNSON

The Rev. Jomo K. Johnson, a pastor out of Philadelphia is calling for a boycott of one of Philly’s most popular rappers, Meek Mill on his latest hit called, “Amen,” after being offended by what Johnson calls ‘blasphemous’ lyrics.
Mills thanks God for allowing him to indulge with pretty women a.k.a. ‘bitches’, free sex, money, drugs, alcohol and violence all at the same time referring to such ‘spiritual’ terms as “the Holy Ghost, church, praying to God, forgiveness, etc.

MESSAGE CLEAR. Regardless of Mill’s intention, Johnson points out that the message is clear – pray to your god and he will give you the desires of your heart: women, drugs, cars, money, boats, alcohol, etc. all the while rapping using  filthy words including the “F-word, P-word,’ etc.

It’s no wonder why Philly’s Pastor Johnson flew off his handle and wanted to ‘shut Mill down.’

SUBTLE MESSAGE. As I listened to the audio and saw the video I also heard and saw a subtle message in that Mill cares about people, that he shares his fortune and does some type of service to keep people out of jail and since he’s made it to the top, he shows that it’s important to give back.

NO RECONCILING HERE. Johnson and Mill attempted to dialog on a radio station, without success. It went south and it was clear that Mill was enraged with Pastor Johnson accusing him not only judging and singling him out, but being an opportunist in using that platform to make a name for himself.

Clearly, Mill felt justified in his music as it has opened the ‘money’ door for him to provide services to those who are less fortunate as he distributes: coats, tennis shoes, other tangibles to poor neighborhoods. He challenged Rev. Johnson, shouting repetitively “And where were you while I was doing all this?!”


MILL’S RESUME. Mill felt a need to run down his resume on how he is continually on the streets everyday with the people, helping those less fortunate, talking to the young people to help them change their ways and all of this was possible through his music.

YOU WANT SOME MONEY? Mill, during his ranting and raving also told the pastor that had he (Johnson) attempted to talk to him personally rather than on the radio, he might have agreed to come talk to his young people and may have even given his church some money.

YOU NEED JESUS! Johnson attempted (without success) to let Mill know that it was not about the money, but it was about salvation. Mills interrupted him stating that he was not listening nor did he want to hear what he had to say. Again, shouting at Johnson that while he was doing all the hands-on community service, “..where were you?!”

Why am I telling YOU this? Because it is important for US as leaders to know what the young people in church are listening to – to stay abreast to what is being fed to them every day and to know what they are attracted to.

DISPEL THE ILLUSION. In addition, we need all the help we can get raising this generation and as a body, we need to work together in dispelling the illusion that Money is the ‘fix all and is the key to true happiness.” There are a lot of people in graves today to prove that statement is false.

TWO WRONGS – RIGHT? Furthermore, I commend Mill for his outreach efforts. I believe at the core he has a good heart, but he seems convinced that the only way to make money is by way of compromising values and ethics. Two wrongs do not make a right.

I must say that the song has a great beat and potential despite its lyrics. However, the video does promote the fast and reckless lifestyle. It reminds me of the scripture: “There is a way that seems right, but in the end leads to destruction.”

It’s really too bad because Mill has a lot of talent and I do believe that if Mill could have gotten with Kirk Franklin they could have tore it up!

DISCLAIMER: This song (video too) is filled with raunchy and filthy lyrics – repeated uses of the “F-Word, reference to the woman’s anatomy and promotion of drugs for gain. Both the audio and video should be rated  “R” or even “X” just on the “F-word use alone. and both  should be labeled “Parental Discretion.”

Finding Mentors Online – 5 Reasons Download Podcasts


Just about all of the old management and leadership books I’ve read said that the key to your success is ultimately finding yourself a good mentor.  In its simplest terms, a mentor is someone who trains, advises, and shares practical experience with someone else. The mentee gains from a “knowledge transfer.”  But how many of you know mentors don’t just fall from the sky?  You can’t go through Burger King’s ‘Have it your way’ drive through and say, “I’ll have the combo meal – no pickles and a ‘mentor’ please.”

When we think in terms of mentors we think of a single person we can call, meet with to guide and advise us personally.  But the truth is who really has the time? By the time you manage all of your own stuff that you are REQUIRED to manage;  it’s unreasonable to say  with the left over time that you’re going to mentor someone. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are people who devote their lives to mentoring others and have successful mentor/mentee relationships I just wasn’t one of them. Thank God, however, that I did not throw myself a pity party and accept defeat, but began looking for indirect mentoring opportunities.

Here’s what I mean.  I have an extensive library on church management and leadership.  I have come to respect and really appreciate the life experience of many of the authors. They have addressed just about every area of ministry- my topic of interest.  As I stated before, a mentor is one who trains, advises, and shares …  The truth of the matter is we can be mentored through the words in a book or words on an audio and if you are lucky you can be mentored by way of a video. The bottom line is to find a format where you can receive benefits from a ‘knowledge transfer.’

Finding an ‘online’ mentor is easier than you think.  Once you identify someone you respect, many times you will find them referencing how someone else that has spoken into their lives. Some even share names of their favorite blogs and web sites as resource links on their sites.  I start here, compiling a list of their favorites.  Next, I start the visits.  Chances are if the person you started with has a website, a blog and a podcast so do your other potential mentors.  Once you identify that they have a podcast — download a way!

Why look for a mentor this way and download their podcast?  Here are 5 Reasons.

  1. It’s quick, easier than the traditional ways of finding a mentor and its convenient.
  2. You get to hear with your ears their voice and sense the author’s feelings and passion on a particular subject
  3. It’s to the point, because you download just what you want to hear or see.
  4. More exposure and engagement. Many podcasters provide blogs and or forums where you can engage in conversation too.
  5. It’s FREE.  For the most part there is no cost to download a podcast.

Mentor / Mentee Relationship
Knowledge Transfer

My ‘short’  list of  author’s who I consider to be my online mentors in the area of church leadership and management. DISCLAIMER:   I am not connected to them personally so if they were to ever mess up – they mess up.  I don’t believe in throwing the baby out with the bath water.  I benefit from the “knowledge transfer” of such individuals as: Andy Stanley, Matthew Hyatt, Rick Warren, Mark Driscoll, Frances Chan, Myles Munroe along with others.

5 Reasons to Download a Podcast


Years ago I was given a Microsoft ‘Zune’ as a Christmas gift.  This happened to be one of the best gifts I ever received.  A Zune is equivalent to an iPod or a MP3 player which is a device that plays a variety of recordings.  You can subscribe to a company’s Podcast or someone’s personal Podcast and download it onto your device.  You can download just about anything and everything that is of interest to you including, but NOT limited to:  Arts, business, education, entertainment, health, music, news, religion, technology, sports, travel, etc.  My Zune even plays videos.

I represent that segment of society that loves to read and loves to learn new things all the time.  But reading books takes time and for just as many books you purchase that are great, there are just as many not-so-great books. And it’s nothing like feeling like you have wasted time, when there is always a demand on your time.  Well, I am not always in a place where I can pull out a book so while I’m in my car, waiting in line, waiting at the doctor’s office, attending a boring meeting, etc., I pull out my Zune, plug in the earpiece and get my exposure on!

Well what is a Podcast?
I’m not going to bore you with a technical definition, just know this how would you like to be able to turn on some device and listen to or view what you want,

This is a Podcast icon.
This website offers downloads

when you want and how you want?  People who believe they have something of value to say have taken the time to record themselves either by way of just audio or record themselves by video and have put in on the Internet for others to download on their iPods, Zunes or MP3 players. No more use for bulky CDs/DVD’s or tapes in a cassette recorder.  These have been replaced with one device.  All you do is download what you want, take it where you want and listen to where ever you want.

How do I get in and get started?
My recommendation would be for you to buy the device.  Zunes and iPods are rather pricey, but you will come to love it I promise you. If budget is a real concern, start with a simple MP3 player. They are less expensive.  Of course you can go to your local Best Buys, Office Depot, etc. however, try online too www.amazon.com or www.ebay.com .  Hop onto to the site you like and let the downloading begin.

5 Reasons to Download a Podcast

  1. Portability.  You are not confined to having to sit in front of your computer, but can take your device on the go.
  2. Exposure. You’re exposed to experts who will speak into your life concerning things that interest you.
  3. It’s FREE.  For the most part businesses, and personal podcasters provide their content either for free or a nominal fee.
  4. Saves time.  Reading books are great. My shelves are full of them, but you must carve out reading time. Listening to books in an audio format gets the job done in less than half the time.
  5. Can multi-task.  Listen or view at your leisure – anywhere and anytime. Can listen while doing household chores, cleaning your office, washing your car, gardening, exercising, walking, etc.

What Podcasts do you listen to? Since I am very interested in management, leadership especially in the church, I love to listen to Andy Stanley’s “Your Move” podcast or Michael Hyatt’s “This is Your Life” podcast. I’m also brushing up on my Spanish so I have a ‘How to Speak Spanish’ podcast too. I also enjoy listening to Tony Evans, T.D. Jakes, Andrew Wommack.  I have about 40 podcast downloaded on my device. I’ve got a variety podcast downloaded and depending on how I feel is what I end up listening to.

Hope to see you on the download podcast bandwagon.

Reasons You Might Want to Get a ‘SMART’ Phone


Last year my family purchased me my first smart phone.  It was the famous iPhone by Mac.  I just could not justify the mandatory $30 extra a month for a smart phone and fought it all the way.  Well what makes a smart phone so smart? In essence, a smart phone is a small mobile handheld computer.

WEBSITE ACCESS:
A Smart Phone is known for its multiple features such as: browsing the Internet to check emails, viewing YouTube videos, listening to music and looking at movies. You can also check bank balances, move money around, pay bills and invest right from your phone.  Need a weather report? It can give you that too in your area, in another city or even in another country.

PICTURES/VIDEOS/TXT MSSG
You can take quality high resolution pictures, record videos. (Side note: this is why everyone is getting in trouble lately; someone is always clicking and running footage on you. Privacy invasion LOL!) You can send text message which I hated at first. Okay, you could do that with your old not so smart phone too. However, I like the fact that I can ‘text’ what I want and avoid talking to people who still like to yap on.  I also purchased the “Group Text” option. I paid a one-time fee of $2.99.  Now I send ONE text message out to as little as two people to as many as 200 people.  We had to shut down our church because of power outages recently.  I had 115 member’s cell phone numbers in my cell phone directory.  I sent one message to 115 people in just 2 minutes.  How productive is that?  Do you realize how long it would have been to evoke the calling tree system?  This is so useful for notifying and sending out ‘reminders’ to community groups, choir members, family, your management team of scheduled meeting times.

CLOCK/GAMES/VOICE REMINDERS
It’s an alarm clock, a stop watch and even a compass.  The game features are endless.  My daughter just hooked me onto a ‘Pictionary’ game where you have to guess what the other person is drawing. It also has voice memos where you can record yourself, “pick up milk, eggs.”   Can you see why you hardly see people’s faces anymore for them staring down at their phones?  The possibilities are endless.

PRODUCTIVITY/CALENDAR/TO DO LISTS
Programmers are writing sophisticated software that helps people become more productive.  These software applications are either free or their costs are very minimal.  I downloaded a calendar application to help me be more organized.  I set up alarms that will notify me of that day’s appointments as well as that Day’s To Do lists. When I’m done, I check it off.  What a sense of accomplishment!

ON SPOT DOWNLOADS/GPS
Oh did I mention you can download an application on the spot wherever you are.  We were in Hyattsville, got lost because of a detour.  I pulled over and downloaded a GPS guide for $3.99.  It directed us right to the place we needed to be.  I guess by now you can see the value of a Smart Phone.

VARIETY OF SMART PHONES AVAILABLE
Please note that Mac’s iPhone is NOT the only Smart Phone on the market.  Take a look and find one within your budget and join me on the quest to be more productive. I can’t believe I resisted this purchase at first.  Now I am to the point that I don’t know what I would do without my iPhone.

Do you have a Smart Phone?  If so, what are some features you appreciate?
Join me on for my next blog on The value of listening to Podcasts.

7 Steps to Protect You from Credit Card Fraud


This information comes from an attorney’s whose wallet was stolen.  He writes this warning to his employees. Because he was not prepared, the thieves, within the week, ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from the DMV to change his driving record information online, just to start . . . .

Here is some FREE Legal Advice . . .

1. DO NOT SIGN BACK OF YOUR CREDIT CARDS. Instead, put ‘Photo ID Required.’

2. When you are writing checks to pay on your Credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the ‘For’ line. Instead, just put the last four numbers.  The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won’t have access to it.

3. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. NEVER have your SS# printed on your checks. (DUH!) You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have it printed, anyone can get it.

4. COPY THE CONTENTS of your WALLET.  Copy both sides of your license, credit card, etc. If your wallet has been stolen CANCEL your credit cards  immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. This is NOT the time to be running around guessing where to find your information so you can make the numerous calls. Keep the copies in a safe place.

5.  File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).

6.  Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name. Equifax: 1-800-525-6285, Experian 1-888-397-3742,  Trans Union : 1-800-680 7289

7. Call the Social Security fraud alert number. 1-800-269-0271   The attorney stated “I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name.”  The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

BONUS: Keep a copy of your passport on you when you travel abroad. We’ve all heard horror stories about fraud that’s committed on US citizens in stealing passports, names, addresses, Social Security Numbers, credit cards, etc.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Did you find this post useful?  If so, give us a shot out and by all means share it with someone you care about. Pastors and ministry leaders please pass onto your congregation.  Identity theft and fraud is so common place today.

Not Everyone Does ‘Church’ the Same


Go Ahead and Bring it in the Sanctuary!

Come on… tell the truth and shame the devil.  How many times have you gone to church hungry when your stomach started to growl? My stomach sometimes has  its own ‘built in microphone.’  And yes, I have been laughed at.  Those who felt sorry for me often times will go searching in their Bible bags or purses and hand me a much needed mint or a piece of chewing gum. 

On occasion, I have been known to duck out of my own church service and I visit other churches.  One day I visited a church a few miles away from where I lived.  It was a mixed congregation.  The people seemed genuinely happy to be at church.  The atmosphere was casual and so was the dress – mostly jeans and   t-shirts.  In fact, even the pastor wore jeans with a plaid collard shirt.  He appeared to be in his 50’s and taught sitting on a stool with no pulpit really. We were handed a program with that day’s lesson highlighting bullet points he would cover along with lines for us to fill in the blanks.  He taught and the scriptures were displayed upon a screen. 

Take 5. The interesting thing about this church was during the service the

Coffee Break - "Be Back in 5"

 pastor said, “Why don’t we take a five minute break.  Go on out and refresh yourselves, get a cup of coffee or something else to drink; the women have prepared some tarts and other lite refreshments.  I’ll see you back here in five minutes.”  I couldn’t believe it.  I had never heard of such, but I saw some people get up and exit the back doors so I followed suit.  I got me a cup of coffee and one of those delicious tarts.  I ate the tart really fast and attempted to drink the coffee in the five minutes we were given before having to go back in service, but it was so hot.  A man spotted me and said, “You can take the coffee inside the sanctuary.”  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  I mean wasn’t their some 11th commandment that says, “Thou shall not drink coffee in the sanctuary”?  I did as I was told.  On top of everything else there were cup holders right next to where the Bible and hymnals were located How great was this?

The Service.  I enjoyed the service.  It was great, full of life and energy.  We looked a two minute film, saw a five minute skit and just like everyone else, as the pastor spoke I filled in my empty lines with the right answers on the program. 

If I could say there was one thing that my church exceeded in it was in the singing.  We just got it going on in that area.  But the point is – this worked for them — and the truth is it worked for me too for I have been back several times. 

By the way, did I fail to mention that my first visit resulted in their church hand delivering me a dozen freshly baked – still warm chocolate chip cookies? They had one message, “Thank you for visiting us today, feel free to come back and visit us anytime. God Bless You.  Good bye.”  Is it any wonder that I have been back?  I am on their mailing list and am alerted to all their happenings.

What do you think about bringing in drinks like bottle water or coffee into the sanctuary during service?  Would you be tarred and feathered?