Church or Cult

I was having a conversation with a brother the other day, and we were talking about Churches and Christians that exhibit some bad traits. Sometimes, we just plain get it wrong. Unfortunately, I am not talking about the truly heretical churches or people, but churches that look pretty normal and Christians that act pretty spiritual. Those who from a distance don’t appear to be that different from us. This is a hard post for me to write, because I don’t want it to be taken out of context, or to be read in a judgmental, critical way. I want each of us to be introspective, about ourselves, and the church we currently attend. I want each of us to take time to discern our own personal status, and that of our church. The point is not to point the finger outward, but self-evaluation. Continue reading “Church or Cult”

Intentions and Disappointments

Leaders are judged based on certain results of their leadership. Most frequently, they are judged based on whether or not their results matched their commitments. Most of the time, I think this is reasonable. I think leaders are also frequently judged based on whether their results matched their intentions. And this I think is unreasonable if the leader did a good job of articulating commitments.

The problem is that when a leader’s results don’t match commitments or intentions, people get disappointed. Continue reading “Intentions and Disappointments”

Planning and Execution

Execution is a strange word. In different contexts, it can mean killing someone, making things happen, or working intentionally. It is this last meaning that I want to elaborate. Execution is working intentionally. To work intentionally, you must:

1) Establish goals.
2) Determine how you INTEND to achieve those goals.
3) Spend your energy and time in ways that honor your intentions.


This sounds really simple, until we realize that we spend most of our time being distracted by administrivia, our own bad habits, and other peoples issues. Working intentionally, is plain and simply:

“bringing sufficient focus to a goal to justify ignoring the normal distractions enough to accomplish the goal.”


Unless you are one of those completely mission-oriented, type A personalities – you probably find this difficult. Moreover, the further the goal is away from your normal responsibilities, the harder it is to break free from the ordinary rhythm of activity to work on it. A wise man I met at my second employer used to say, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions!” While this isn’t necessarily theologically sound – it sure expresses how things often work out. Continue reading “Planning and Execution”