Everyday Disciple

Be One, Make One.

Holding On By Letting Go

Holding On By Letting Go

Sometimes to make the shift we have to let people leave. Holding onto people that do not want to go with you can cause problems. How to let people go well... My eyes scanned through my inbox; one name immediately jumped out causing my heart to sink and my stomach to turn. I didn’t even have to ...
Hold the Line

Hold the Line

When I was a kid, my parents didn’t allow me to watch “R” rated movies. That is, until they decided I would benefit from the story and history captured in Mel Gibson’s The Patriot. The film is set during the revolutionary war. At the end of the movie, Gibson’s character, Benjamin Martin, had ...
Listen Like Jesus Did

Listen Like Jesus Did

One day as I picked my 12 year old daughter up from school, she shared with me something that changed the way I picked her up from that day forward. She told me, “Mom, I love it when Grandpa or Dad pick me up from school.” She didn’t say that she didn’t like when I picked her up but I ...
Walking With The Hurting

Walking With The Hurting

I got a call from a very disgruntled church member, with a long list of grievances towards the church. It saddened me as she shared her hurt, it was a reminder that hurt people hurt people.  After I met with her in person, I learned about a loss she had experienced, an addiction she was ...
Wired With A Need For Celebration

Wired With A Need For Celebration

Celebration is part of who we are.  We are wired with a need for celebration.  It is in us. We all celebrate something: your favorite team wins a big game, a loved one’s birthday, a new job, getting out of debt.  Whatever it is, the common denominator in all of it is that it is something ...
Shifting Culture Starts Small…In Small Group

Shifting Culture Starts Small…In Small Group

Three years ago, my wife and I found ourselves at a crossroads in ministry. We knew the church culture and mindset we found ourselves in was not producing disciples of Jesus. Or at least not the type of disciples that Jesus envisioned. And while we knew that creating a new culture would involve
Aligning Your Team

Aligning Your Team

I don’t know a lot about cars, but I know enough that when my car starts to drift to one side or even pull in a certain direction, I have a problem. So, I decided to take it to a mechanic, and he was happy to confirm, (with money signs in his eyes), that I had an alignment issue. But ...
Relationship Has Always Been the Foundation

Relationship Has Always Been the Foundation

Quick question, have you ever seen something and thought, “Man, whoever designed that is brilliant!” A bicycle bell, a lock, a spray bottle? I mean, check out this picture! Why didn’t I think of that?! Brilliant! Isn’t it interesting that we rarely come to God with that same sense of curiosity ...
Establishing Healthy Church Culture on Staff

Establishing Healthy Church Culture on Staff

I’m a fan of the University of Tennessee Volunteers. Being a fan of the Vols football program has not been easy in the past 15 years. My sons were born into a world where Tennessee football is irrelevant on the national stage (or any stage for that matter). But, my fandom is a lot like ...
Team Unity

Team Unity

I looked over into the opposing team huddle and I saw the all-star running back shove his teammate to the ground. This resulted in an eruption of hollering and fighting amongst teammates. Even though this event was 30 years ago I remember it like yesterday. I can still recall the sense of ...
Relational Truth

Relational Truth

“Your imagination can play tricks on you.” “Your imagination is running a wild.”   These are just a couple of statements that I have heard along the way while I was growing up. These statements and many others try to explain how the imagination can and sometimes does work. Man, do they ...
Creating Places To Play

Creating Places To Play

I am a product of the philosophy of “creating places to play.” I remember the first Monday after I had attended RLM in Post Falls, Idaho. I received a phone call from Jim Putman, the Senior Pastor. I was sitting on my couch watching Monday night football and my phone rang. He asked if I had any
Creating a Culture of Trust and Transparency

Creating a Culture of Trust and Transparency

CultureShiftIn today's complex and ever-changing culture, trust and transparency are getting increasingly difficult to establish. I’ve been on staff at Real Life Ministries for 20 years and my current role is Training and Development Team Lead, AKA Culture Keeper. In different seasons of ...
Ministers of Reconciliation

Ministers of Reconciliation

Being in relationship with others, leads to pain and disharmony at times. We long for unity because our Creator put the desire for it in our hearts. All throughout scripture we see disunity followed by conflict when sin entered the world. But Jesus. He entered the world to end the conflict and ...
The He(art) and (Science) of Disciple Making

The He(art) and (Science) of Disciple Making

Raising The Apprentice Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to ...
Are You Interruptible?

Are You Interruptible?

I sat around the table at a staff meeting struggling to find the right words to say as I navigated updating our team about a challenging situation with one of our members. Ministry is hard work, but it is holy work. Ministry is not simple and walking with people who are hurting is not ...
Shifting Our Priorities

Shifting Our Priorities

I recently read an article online by Thom Rainer on “Why Churches are Less Evangelistic Than Years Ago.” You can find the full article here. He conducted a poll in 2015 asking for the top reasons churches do not see evangelism happening in their church or in their community. For those of you ...
Living an Intentional Life

Living an Intentional Life

I grew up playing basketball. I ate, drank, slept, and breathed the game of basketball. It was a passion and almost an obsession for me as I went through middle school and high school with a goal of playing college basketball. That was a big goal for a kid who topped out at 5’10” and 145 ...
Shifts Hurt

Shifts Hurt

Most shifts in our lives create stress, opposition or hiccups along the way. Shifting our ministries into a disciple making culture is no different and won’t happen without some measure of adversity. If a church has been operational for more than a year, it has already developed sacred rhythms ...
Holding Fast & Building Healthy Culture

Holding Fast & Building Healthy Culture

“It’s not what we do but who we are”. This phrase has become a common cry by many of us in the Relational Discipleship Network. Wow! The last 14 months challenged this statement in my life. In the midst of the COVID crisis, political tension or racial issues I found myself spiritually looking ...
How Do You Build Authentic Relationships?

How Do You Build Authentic Relationships?

What does it mean to be truly authentic, build authentic relationships, and have a genuine relationship with God? Living an authentic life—striving to align one’s actions with one’s core values and beliefs, with the hope of discovering and then acting in sync with one’s “true self”—has recently