Archive for December, 2008



Are You Ready to Quit Church?

Last week I picked up a copy of “Quitting Church. Why the Faithful are Fleeing and What to do about it.” This is the latest book from Julia Duin who is the Religion Editor for The Washington Times. I had high hopes for the book since it promised to help church leaders to answer the tough question: how to stop people from leaving our churches. Sadly, Julia never fully answered that question. The majority of the book focused on the well-researched statistics the author gathered about church exodus in America (most mainline denominational churches–nothing new here) and a few anecdotal examples from Ms. Duin’s own friends and associates . But even in recounting her struggles with the local churches she’s attended over the years as well as her friends’ issues, Julia fails to give the reader answers. The one constant in “Quitting Church” is the author’s inability to find a…

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An A Group Christmas

Yesterday we had The A Group annual Christmas Event. I call it an event because it’s way more than just a party. First we closed shop by noon Friday and the entire team then made its way to our Brentwood Costco for lunch. [ Before you call me cheap, read on.] As we dined on the exquisite chicken bake and pepperoni pizza everyone drew a name in secret. Then I performed one of my favorite Christmas tradition: pulling out a bunch of $100 bills and giving one to each of our team members. The rules are simple: Buy a total of $100 worth of gifts for your secret Santa during the next hour, take it home, wrap the gift(s) and come back that evening for our dinner party. Since no one knows who you’re buying for, it’s always fun looking at what people are buying and trying to guess whom…

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The Business of Friendship

During the thanksgiving holidays it dawned on me that I’ve known my childhood friend Wagner for almost 30 years. That’s a long time and yet, I remember our first meeting like it was yesterday at a youth camp in Jaboticabal, Brazil. But as I take inventory, I realize that I have been blessed with several life-long friends. The older I get, the more valuable people become to me. When you put people before position, profit or personal gain, it changes everything. As trite as it might sound, that’s what Jesus has asked us to do. This mindset allows me to have life-long friendships with people whom I just met. Really. Think about it. As I write this, I’m in Orlando, Florida with several Pastors and Church Leaders. Some of these men are my friends. We happen to be business associates as well, but first and foremost, we are friends. I’m…

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