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NEW: Nurturing a contemplative stance for navigating challenging times

We often hear the word "contemplative," but what does it mean? »

NEW: Spiritual Practices for People in Ministry

Making Space for a Continuing Conversation with the Living God »

NEW: Yes, Jesus Told Us to Pray in Secret. But He Also Prayed with His Friends.

Interceding in community is vital to the Christian life. »


The Compassion and Empathy of Jesus

Jesus models the kind of compassion and empathy that can be learned. »

AWARD WINNER - To be a Neighbour Must Include Listening

To ‘neighbour’ the people God has put in our lives who come from very different backgrounds than we do, or who believe very different things than we do, requires using a variety of listening skills. »

Listening Past the Noise

How to deal with some of the "inner noise" that impedes listening »

Letting Go of Agendas so We Can Listen to God and to Others

How our own agendas impede listening to God and to the people we love, and how to let them go »

Spiritual Practice: Growing in Loving Conversation

Have you ever wondered how to improve as a conversationalist? Here are some suggestions. »

spiritual practices

Listening for God: The Joy of Spiritual Practices

Spiritual practices help us pray and engage with the Bible in many diverse ways. They help us walk through our daily lives with an awareness of Jesus at our side, and they help us become more like Jesus. Spiritual practices shape our desires so we grow in embracing God’s priorities. »

Hospitality, the Bible, and Jesus

The Bible has a lot to say about hospitality, some of it unexpected »

A Seven-Day Experiment with Wholeness

What helps you experience the wholeness God wants to give you? Here's an invitation to experiment with finding paths that work for you. »

Seven Days Toward Simplicity

Ideas for experimenting with simplicity in seven areas of everyday life »

Character and Practices that Nurture Creation Care

How Bible study, Sabbath keeping and fasting lay a foundation for caring for creation »

Small Habits, Big Benefits

Everyday practices help us draw near to God in the routine places of daily life… »

Christians and Food Waste: Slowing Down and Savoring God’s Gifts

Why can reducing food waste be viewed as a Christian spiritual practice? Why does it matter? »

Learning Not to Walk

An article that dates from right after my first knee surgery when I began a long journey that I'm still on - learning to be thankful in the midst of pain, sorrow and sadness »

I’m Excited About Spiritual Disciplines

In this postmodern, post-Christendom world, we’re seeing a flowering of interest in Christian spiritual disciplines, particularly among younger followers of Christ… »

Spiritual Disciplines for People in Ministry

Why it’s so important to nurture spiritual disciplines that are unconnected to “church work”… »

Nurturing Communal Spiritual Practices Online

Using the example of fasting, the internet can be seen as a strategic place to provide information, encouragement and stories as congregations engage in spiritual disciplines »

Unusual Sabbaticals: Reflection, Relationships and Listening to God

A good sabbatical will involve stopping long enough to look around and see God in a way that the busy life of ministry does not permit. »


The Sabbath for Introverts

Understand and embrace your need to rest. »

A Day Without a ‘Do’ List

Busy, exhausted, empty... Our frantic activity and continual acquisition of possessions do not fill the hollow spaces in our inner beings. We need the sabbath now more than ever... »

The Gift of Rest

“I’d like to observe the sabbath in our family,” the young woman said. “I’ve been reading books about it, talking with my husband and kids, and we’re going to start soon”... »

Sabbath-Keeping—It's OK to Start Small

The young woman smiled. “You mean we can start small? We don’t have to do it perfectly from the beginning?” We were talking about the sabbath... »

The Gift of the Sabbath

Sabbath keeping is God’s gift. But, as with any gift, it must be received, opened and used... »

Stopping: The Gift of the Sabbath

More and more people of all ages are finding joy and fruitfulness in observing a sabbath... »

A Day Off From God Stuff?

Some pastors observe sabbath well. Their day away from work is markedly different from the other six, and there is something special and holy about what they do—and don’t do—on that day. For others, the sabbath feels like another work day... »

Gifts of Freedom: The Sabbath and Fasting

Almost every year for ten years I stayed for a few days at a Benedictine monastery for women. During an early visit, one of the sisters told me how special Sundays are at the monastery... »


Freedom Isn't Free

Fasting makes space for prayer and reflection. It helps us listen to God’s voice. »

Fasting: An Invitation to Spiritual Freedom

People who fast talk about the sense of freedom fasting gives them. »

Fasting and Freedom

A short article about how fasting can give us freedom followed by "How do design a fast" »

Fasting Today

Anyone can fast. In the past two years I’ve interviewed dozens of people who fast, and I’ve heard an amazing diversity of stories. In our time, followers of Jesus fast from food in a variety of ways, just as people of faith have done for centuries.. »

spiritual growth

Local Ministry: A Cord of Three Strands

In a culture becoming increasingly secular, three ministry components must be woven together in new ways: local mission, pastoral care and spiritual practices »

Following Jesus Each Day

We don’t follow Jesus so he can help us live the life we want to live. No, we follow him so we can live the life he wants us to live. »

Witnesses and Evangelists

I believe only some Christians have gifts in evangelism, but all Christians are called to be witnesses. »

Faith at Midlife

In midlife we start to look back as well as ahead, wondering if we have lived the first half of our life wisely and pondering what we want to do in the second half. »

Life Without Maggie

a story from 1996 about the death of one of my closest friends »

resilience for ministry

Type and Burnout

Research indicates that introverts burn out more than extraverts because they do not have and use as many coping strategies. »

Is Burnout Inevitable?

About two years ago I interviewed several dozen people...Every single Christian I interviewed had at least one burnout story for me [but] I was quite surprised to hear about the absence of burnout among volunteers in synagogues, and that observation sent me down a long path of thought and analysis. »

Beating Burnout by Building Teams

For Beth and Steve, teaching Sunday School became a place where they could serve God together and grow in friendship with another couple and the singles who were on the team...Burnout was the furthest thing from their experience. »

congregational communication

Toward a Theology of the Internet: Place, Relationship and Sin

In order to understand the power of the internet and its role in our daily lives, I look at theologies of place, relationship and sin »

Communication, Spirituality and the Future

New communication technologies create challenges and opportunities for the Christian community. »

Sermons in a Visual Culture

Think about the significance of art as a way to raise questions, stimulate reflection, and elicit emotions. »

A Stream Flowing Through the City

The only sermon I remember from my childhood involved a dramatic action. The minister ... took off the watch he was wearing and ... threw it into the congregation. »

Our New Front Door

How congregational Web sites communicate church values… »

Visual Communication for Congregations

Movies, television, machines that print color pictures, and computers—all powered by electricity—have shaped the way we communicate... »

Communicating Congregational Values

How websites "speak" beyond the words they use... »

Giving Communication the Attention It Deserves

Most of the biggest technological changes of the past two decades involved communication... »

A New Place

Communication has always mattered to Christians. But what are the implications for the church of all the new technologies? »

Websites that Work: Questions and Answers with Lynne Baab

Churches need websites if they want to be welcoming to potential visitors... »

Electronic Communication and Congregations

In this world of so many diverse ways of communicating, a congregation that wants to get news out has to rely on a variety of means to do that. »

Nurturing Faith Online

Email, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs are now used by congregations to supplement the website and to point people toward it. »


Developing a Missional Approach: Being Sent into the World as Jesus was Sent

What does the word "missional" mean? What does it look like in practice? How can we learn to be like Jesus in the world? »