Is Your Church a Refuge of Hospitality?

by Grady King –  I have seldom met a church that did not say, “We’re a friendly church!” or “We welcome all people.”  Here’s the truth. Most churches consider themselves more friendly than they really are, and every church has a sophisticated screening system of who is welcome and who is not. I am fortunate […]

When a Resume Gets Shredded Because of Age

By Grady King – As a young preacher I was told, “We like you but we’re looking for someone with more experience.” As a middle aged preacher I was told, “We really need a younger preacher who can connect with our young couples and be here a while.” And after age 60, the lines on […]

Looking in the Mirror

by Grady King –  Others know it. He doesn’t. The way he comes across as a leader is hindering his effectiveness. His blind spots are obvious to others: controlling, defensiveness, over-talking, blaming and failure to take responsibility. In short, he lacks self-awareness and is at risk of being told by his elders, “We have decided […]

Leaders & Failure: Shadows in the Soul

by Grady King –  We don’t fail. We learn. These five words give hope thanks to my missional friend, Pat Keifert. What are you learning as leader from failure? Most church leaders I know fight a sense of failure. No matter the public rhetoric of trusting God, working hard even those good day experiences, often […]

Why Did You Do That?

by Amanda Box –    I saw a news story not too long ago in which a mother left her young children in the car unattended. I confess, all I know about this news story is the two minutes of video that I saw on the news, so that is precious little information. Possibly like […]

A View from the Pew

by Grady King – Since January of this year, I have been blessed and challenged to be in twenty-seven churches with Hope Network. From rural, to urban and suburban ranging in size from 50-1,000. Recently, on a Sunday, I got to sit and not stand.  It’s my way of saying I was not the preacher […]

Every Church Has a Story: Walking on Sacred Ground

by Grady King –   I went to high school with friends who were Creek Indian. Their burial grounds were sacred. They were no mere cemeteries—simply holes in the ground.  These sacred burial sites were a blend of Indian traditions, fused with Christianity and the spirits of the “old ones” were respected in this sacred […]

Holy Moments

by Grady King –   Seventeen men and women. HOPE Network retreat. Our friend and mentor, Lynn Anderson was absent. Not his desire, rather, his health. We miss him. A video call. Vintage Lynn. Someone said, “Lynn, give us a Psalm.” No hesitation, with supplemental required oxygen, in raspy genuineness, we heard ancient words from our […]

Severance and Minister Transitions

by Jon Mullican –  As HOPE Network Ministry Partners travel to churches across the country coaching them in various areas of ministry (leadership, vision work, governance, transition to new preaching minister), we have seen many different approaches to minister transitions.  By their own admission, some churches have transitioned ministers poorly.  Other churches have gained a reputation […]

Word Problems

by Amanda Box –  Traditionally, in math class, the word problems are tougher to solve. I’d say that holds true everywhere, not just in math class. On Sunday mornings this summer I’m co-teaching a class called Difficult Conversations. We are using James 3 as our anchor passage. Last Sunday someone in class asked, “If I […]