When you speak to a camera instead of a room full of people

… Preach the Word.  Nothing has changed there.

… Talk about the crisis. It is on everyone’s minds. Some I saw avoided the very cause of all this. Probably in any text one point or at least an application could be directed to this present crisis, at least a little.

… Give hope and encouragement to trust the sovereignty of our Father and Savior.   We don’t have to explain exactly how that works for the first time.  🙂

… Do not be as long as usual if your service normally goes over an hour. This might go against the intuition that says people don’t have that much to do sitting at home.  But there are more distractions there, and more freedom to move around!

… Explain the cross.   Every sermon should,  and hopefully some  unchurched people are watching the service and thinking about all this.

… If you heard Dr. Debbie Birx from the president’s task force call on millennials to help and support their parents and grandparents, and other seniors, you probably will repeat that challenge. It seems like such a good idea to include them in such a call.

… Talk about the pain some people are having, and going through. Identify with those who are most afraid.

… Smile at appropriate times.  Be as personal and warm as on a normal Sunday. Or more so!

… Is there any point saying that that there are only  eight or 15 in the room, causing a distraction probably for every listener? Instead just talk to the groups in their living rooms.  You are having a personal meeting as well as a sermon.

… Look directly at the camera most of the time.  Why not?   And a few times, especially at the closing appeal,  have the camera come in very close as you express your hopes for our lives. Because of the passage you have exposed and the Lord we love.

… Use familiar worship songs they can sing easily in their homes. This is not a day to teach new songs when people are scattered all over the area. It’s hard enough for some families to sing in their homes!  Skip the light songs that are just feelings-oriented.

… Pray a well planned pastoral prayer that includes our nation and our leaders in the world. And those who are sick.   (This might even get you into the habit of a pastoral prayer most weeks rather than the spontaneous lighter prayers while strumming a guitar. 🙂

… Be careful about recording multiple sermons ahead, as some are doing.    Developments every week will call for your comments or Scripture references.


Church Security – What do we say the next Sunday?

The headlines scream often of tragedy whether it’s shooting, hurricane, or murders. What do we do at church? Pastors Knute Larson, Jim Brown and Jeff Bogue filmed this special edition of #Pastorpedia talking about how a pastor should respond to a recent tragedy that made the headlines. Visit https://cenational.org/pastorpedia to see previous editions of #pastorpedia. Continue reading “Church Security – What do we say the next Sunday?”

Conflict in General

It’s a fact of life that wherever two or three are gathered together, there will be conflict. Below are some general principles about conflict that have worked well in the congregations I’ve served.

First, recognize that it will happen. Genesis 3:14-19 reveals that since the fall we have had conflict in marriages and within the earth itself. It groans, and so do we.

In football, the linebacker isn’t surprised when someone breaks through the line; and when an opponent does, he tackles him. That’s why he’s called a “line-backer.” In a sense, that’s the job of pastors. We’re called shepherds because there are wolves, and the sheep need protection and guidance. Continue reading “Conflict in General”

Conflict with the Church

We continue our thoughts on conflict in the church. We’ve talked about conflict with staff, or the main board, and now we approach the issue of conflict with individuals in the pews.

First of all, it happens. Of course it does. Perhaps these thoughts will help. Expect it. But do not make it bigger than it is, or think your church is unique. Wherever there is a group of more than one, there will be some disagreement.

Make little of little disagreements. It does not matter if a few did not like a song the church sang or a sermon thought you gave. Relax. Don’t dwell on the negatives and feel blue. Let it be. Continue reading “Conflict with the Church”

What Are The Non-Negotiables


  1.    Our view of Scripture and primary doctrine.

(not tertiary and minor areas)

  1. Our values

    Grace                    Worship                          Community                    Mission                            Integrity


  God’s Love            Glorify God                           Love                             Purpose

                                                                                  Great Command            Great Commission


  1. Our unity and mood; love, kindness and respect (I Cor. 13; Eph. 3, 4)


  1. The priesthood of believers; the leadership of love.
  1. Financial and ethical integrity
  1. Hard work!
  1. Cannot settle for status quo

The Traditions That Must Be Broken



1.   At the worship part of the preliminaries part of the worship service is the preliminaries.

2.   That visitation is the most important thing a pastor does.

3.   That a church stands for truth at the expense of love.

4.   That people should be at the church as much as possible.

5.   That the priesthood of believers means serving at the church building or in services.

6,   The pastor is the main doer.

7.   Making changes as a very slow process previously now needs to have easier expedition.

8.   The worth and regularity of meetings – especially

     Committee meeting just to discuss without action.

    District or area meetings that do not benefit the local church.

   Congregational meetings or electives that keep changing the  “congregation” so that no relationships are built.

9. The dependence on volunteers – where the average active volunteer gave eight hours, he now gives two.

10. The pastor as the answer man or authority figure – the need for relationships and trust but warm love.

11. The attention-span issue.


Truths to be Respected


  • Change is a necessary part of life and growth.
  •  People hate changes and surprises.
  • The pastor must be the catalyst and manager of change.
  • A good leader influences people to come along.
  • Love means we lead carefully.
  • The local church is the Lord’s, then the people’s.

It is amazing how little we can change in a year, and how much in five years

Church Security Primer


+  Pray for safety and protection, not in front of the crowd to scare them, but on staff and with leadership.

+  Know who the “Point Person” is on staff, and the volunteer “Ministry Manager.”  This is the head usher in some churches, but it seems best to have someone majoring on just plain security.  Usually behind the scenes.  Certainly it is the staff leader for the members of the church staff. Continue reading “Church Security Primer”