Reflections about times of transition and the interactions between church leaders.
Design on the Grid
To make slides more impactful, pay attention to the basic principles of photography.
Groups Can Be Good
In many settings, identifying groups can lead to negative things. But to encourage positive change, it can benefit a person to know how and with whom they identify themselves.
Rightly Ordered Illustrations
To help people stay with you, when you have a variety of content, the order matters in which you give it.
Remember: You’re On A 2-Way Street
One of the most helpful books I’ve read in a while is Bowdle’s Rethink Communication. It’s all specifically about churches and how we communicate. I
You Have Ten Minutes
People’s lives are constantly stimulated and distracted. To keep them with you, you must vary your content style frequently.
Don’t Replace Yourself WIth Slides
If it’s all on your slides, why do they need you? Let visuals be an aid, not a replacement.
Speak to the Middle Space
Speak to the intersection of theology and life. If your theology doesn’t “become flesh” it won’t provide anything useful.
Don’t Send Rabbits Running
People are distracted enough as it is. Don’t contribute to your listeners’ struggle to focus on your message.
Balance your Commentators
As you prepare to speak, how do you go about researching what you will share? It might help to balance out the commentaries with which you’re interacting.
Keep a Sermon Garden Growing
For your sermons to be of consistent in their quality, you need to give them room to grow. Here’s one way to do it.
Help One Person Take One Step
If you want people to put your message into action, help them put it into steps they are capable of taking.
Speak To The Senses
One of the best ways to make a story come to life is to help people explore it through their senses.
Reflections on the Art of Preaching
An introductory post for a new series of short insights on preaching.
Sustainable Spiritual Leadership with Dr. Daniel McGraw
Drawing from his original doctoral research at ACU, combined with his experience as a minister and as a Navy Reserve Chaplain, Daniel McGraw talks about how to lead effectively while continuing to nourish one’s soul.
Advice for Young Ministers: A Conversation
Dr. Mark Adams sits down with Dr. Kevin Burr to share some experiential advice for young ministers…and really, for anyone looking to grow spiritually.
Top 10 Posts of 2020
Looking back at 2020, here were the most viewed posts at Kingdom Upgrowth.
Mark Powell: Discipleship In Community
Mark Powell talks about Discipleship in Community, a book he co-wrote containing a theological vision for the future of churches of Christ.
A Review of Discipleship in Community: A Theological Vision for the Future
My book review of Discipleship in Community: A Theological Vision for the Future by Mark Powell, John Mark Hicks, and Greg McKinzie.
The Two Things You Should Know for Church Leadership
Know these two frameworks, and you’re largely up to date on contemporary thought about healthy church leadership.
A Review of Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World
My book review of Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World by Tara Isabella Burton.
Helping Your Tribe Be Healthy
What does it actually look like for people to get healthier incrementally? How do we help dysfunctional tribes become high-functioning teams? Here are a few ideas.
A God Who Suffers With Us
Certainly, we don’t know what it’s like to be God, but how well can God really understand what it’s like to be us? This is of special significance in times of suffering and difficulty. Can God suffer with us? Does God suffer with us? Alicia Williamson shares insights from her research into this important question about the nature of God.
Helping Members Find Where They Fit
Spiritual gifts or ministry roles? Dr. Matt Carter shares his research about best practices for helping church members connect to life-giving ministry, and the kind of leadership that makes this possible.
Best Practices for Church Finances
In financial matters, ethics matter. Dr. Carl Williamson draws from his original research to provide principles for best practices in church finances.
Advice for Planning a Funeral
All of us, from time to time, end up in the unenviable spot of needing to prepare for a funeral. Here are bits of experiential wisdom and advice from my time in ministry.
Useful Books for Church Leaders
People often ask me for book recommendations about specific situations and questions. Here are some of the questions I encounter most frequently, along with the resources I recommend.
Church and The Infinite Game
Are you trying to play an infinite game with a finite mindset? Just less than a month ago, Simon Sinek released his new book The
Dear Church Leader
Let me begin by saying, “Thank you.” Of all the ways you can expend your energy and talents, that you are using them in service
What Everyone Needs
Leaders need it. Volunteers need it. Insiders and outsiders both need it. How do we best care for the people around us?
Preaching that Transforms with Dr. Rob O’Lynn
Good preaching informs, but great preaching transforms. Dr. Rob O’Lynn shares his research, imagining how preachers can utilize transformative learning theory in how they help their congregations grow spiritually.
1st Anniversary of Kingdom Upgrowth
Our first post on Kingdom Upgrowth went live one year ago today. I wanted to take a moment to say “thank you” to everyone who
Don’t forget this one BIG thing on your mission trip!
Short-Term mission trips have the potential to do a lot of good abroad, but also at home! Here’s something you definitely want to do as you go on your trip.
Helping Women Grow Spiritually with Dr. Anessa Westbrook
Dr. Anessa Westbrook shares her original research about what factors help young women to grow spiritually.
5 Tips for Writing Mission Trip Fundraising Letters
Fundraising is an essential part of mission trips. You cannot go on a mission trip without the means to get there. Since many people raise their funds through writing letters, I am offering some tips for how to write excellent letters that are more likely to get you the response you are desiring.
Learn Spanish Christian Children’s Songs
Here is a collection of Spanish Christian Children’s songs, ideal for learning with your mission trip team if you are going to a Spanish-speaking country.
Short-Term Missions Shopping List
Summer is approaching! More than 1.5 million North Americans will be heading out on Short-Term mission trips. Though everyone has access to standard packing lists,
Responding to Criticism
Everyone deals with criticism. When someone criticizes you, how should you respond? Here are a few suggestions.
Navigating the Cultural Divide
In Decline or Not? I can’t remember the source of the quote, but I heard someone say, “It used to feel like Christianity was the
On Being A Messenger…
Thoughts about the different ways we can be motivated to speak on God’s behalf and how in a vocation of preaching and teaching this develops over time.
Engaging Longer Texts
If you are wanting to teach a larger book of the Bible without overwhelming your listeners, here are three strategies for making larger, complex books more accessible.
Youth in Family Ministry with Luke Dockery
How do we help our children’s faith become their own? Luke Dockery shares about his Youth In Family Ministry model as a deliberate way to
An Interview with Bob Turner
I was thrilled to have a conversation with Bob Turner about books and trends in Christian publications. Bob serves as the Library Director at the Harding
Book Review: What About Kids Ministry? by Bill Emeott
Emeott, Bill. What About Kids Ministry? Practical Answers to Questions About Kids Ministry. Nashville: B&H Books, 2018. One Sentence Summary: A collection of mini-essays by
Stacking Your Skill Sets
4th Place Disappointment In 2016, following an extended period of injuries, setbacks and a lengthy recovery, Kara Goucher attempted her comeback for the U.S. Olympic
A Mentoring Model for Intentional Disciple-Making: with Dr. Jason Bybee
For this Research Spotlight, I had a rich conversation with Dr. Jason Bybee about discipleship. Discipleship is so much more than making converts. Through Scripture and
Make Serving A Joy
Not Employees Volunteers aren’t employees. When you’re leading in a church setting, there isn’t a single person involved who doesn’t have the real option of
Enneagram Ups and Downs
The Enneagram The Enneagram is a personality system which groups people into Nine Types, partially based on their behaviors, but even more so based on
Pastoral Leadership: It’s About The Sheep
The Shepherding Metaphor A good shepherd cares about his sheep. When we talk about leadership, we would do well to stay close to that imagery.
Having Productive Online Conversations: with Matt Dabbs
These days, talking about important subjects online is a lot like walking through a minefield. Matt Dabbs provides tools to help us with online conversations–and