Actively Engaged

A decade and change ago, I found myself laboring away on a pair of fronts; leading a growing church seeking to find a new identity and vitality, and the looming challenge of a doctoral dissertation. Something had to live at the intersection of the two, if not for the sake of the ministry, at least for my sanity and need to multi-task.

I found that sweet spot in the oddest of places – The Gallup Organization. Yes, that Gallup. With trips to their office in D.C. and the headquarters in cold and windy Omaha, I began to ingest all the data I could from their research on church engagement. Little did I know that it would profoundly affect my philosophy of ministry and put us ahead of a coming curve in the way congregations measure and strategize for what passes for success.

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As a kid, I paid a lot of attention to the halfway markers that seemed significant to me. I forget when half-birthdays ceased being a bit thing. End of the first semester meant that, with one more of those, a year would end and I would – hopefully – be given a new designation that would make me feel infinitely older and wiser. The All-Star Game was halfway to a pennant and July 4th started the march to Christmas. You get the idea.

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FBC By-Laws

Some weeks when I sit down to pen these lines, I am directed by what I think and feel and write with great generality to all who run across my words. Last week was an example of that, and I thank you all for the gracious response to my tribute to Billy Graham. Words and word pictures cannot do such a legacy justice, but I tried and I thank you for taking time to read over my ponderings.

Other weeks, I used this forum to communicate to you things that are going on within the life of the church. Those take the shape, in their best form, of a letter from home. They are at the very least announcements of significant projects going on within FBC. This is one of those.

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