Doug Lawrence / Writer, Coach, and Friend to Churches.
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3 (there are a lot more) ways to be a prolific time waster

I’ve just taken a two month sabbatical and, hey, I know how to waste time. For example: I love to write until, out of boredom, I feel a need to begin yet another project that I may or may not finish. I love to produce video projects for non-profits and ...
July 04, 2014   Doug Lawrence

5 ways to turn your "church" into a sanctuary

Most churches used to have a place called “The Sanctuary,” (safe place). In newer churches that title is often The Worship Center, The Gathering Place, or even…holy croissants…The Cafe!  Over the past few years I’ve had the fun of “shopping” for “relevance toys” in some fairly big churches. You know, ...
April 28, 2014   Doug Lawrence

6 techniques to avoid BS (broad speculation) in your staff meetings

You don’t have to sit through too many church staff meetings to realize that maybe—just maybe—nothing will get done. Fellowship, bonding, team building, and even Lectio divina have their place in staff gatherings, but there should also be tangible outcomes.  Here are some significant ways to avoid wasting your staff’s ...
April 16, 2014   Doug Lawrence

5 reasons why people show up late to your church

In the old days we used to say that parking was difficult and that’s why folks didn't come to church on time. That may have been naive! There are lots of reasons people choose to be late, and—just maybe—we should know what they are. 1. We are not helping people understand ...
April 02, 2014   Doug Lawrence

3 types of pastors who might want this “dirty little secret”

Review: “Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret,” why serial innovators succeed where others fail,   by Larry Osborne from Zondervan You don't have to be overly observant to realize that churches essentially fall into two camps…those that are growing, and those that are in decline.  In Larry Osborne’s newest book offering, he downloads ...
March 18, 2014   Doug Lawrence

4 reasons why your pastor’s name shouldn’t be your church’s brand

In your life as an Evangelical, you will probably encounter churches that are called “Something or Other United,” and churches that are identified largely with their well-known pastors.  Definition: The “personality pastor” (I’m so sorry to have to use this expression—please forgive me, famous pastors) is usually one who becomes ...
March 14, 2014   Doug Lawrence

3 nasty habits of really nice church people

For the most part, church people certainly qualify for the title, “nice,” but sometimes they do really inappropriate things. I personally have never been guilty of any of these faux pas, but maybe you have.  [Incidentally, there are more than 3 nasty habits, but I have a luncheon to attend.]  ...
February 24, 2014   Doug Lawrence

10 blessings of being old and ugly in the church

I like young people! Their skin looks like it's still in its original blister pack. They can walk up and down stairs without grabbing the railing. They have GREAT teeth!  In the modern church they are particularly revered because they bring the average age down to like…say…50. But, their prime ...
February 05, 2014   Doug Lawrence

5 hard facts about “soft” worship

Soft worship? Yes, you’ve experienced it…heaven knows it’s available in a church near you. It intends to be profound and God-honoring…”authentic”…but it ends up being something else entirely. It's perhaps more like a pillow to rest your head on than one to beat you upside the head and get you off ...
January 20, 2014   Doug Lawrence

4 myths many churches believe to be true

Wouldn’t it be great if everything we believe to be true, were true? Most churches have some beliefs that just can’t be verified by any standard measures. The wonderful gift of disillusionment which I have discussed before, might help us get a little more real. The Myths  1. Build it ...
January 09, 2014   Doug Lawrence

3 exercises your church should do in the new year...or else!

Will you be among the churches that start the New Year wisely? Few are willing to do the work, but few can afford not to! These 3 exercises can change the trajectory of any vitally aware church, but the challenge is to be faithful in the work of accomplishing them. ...
December 26, 2013   Doug Lawrence

3 ways Nelson Mandela was not messianic, but then again

In the midst of thousands of celebrations all over the world for the man, Mandela, it might be important to relate three quick, simple examples he demonstrated that could help us to be more Christlike.  I was surprised so many people chose the death of Nelson Mandela to speak ill ...
December 10, 2013   Doug Lawrence

6 reasons why some “takeover” pastors trash their predecessors

If you hang around a church long enough, you will see several iterations of leadership. Sometimes the transitions between leaders are smooth and generous, but, other times, there is a major and often unpleasant shakeup.  Where the skids have been greased by wise pastors, the transitions can be seamless and ...
December 03, 2013   Doug Lawrence

3 contradictions that say, “you can’t handle the truth”

This famous line from the movie A Few Good Men, is more than just a tricky trivia question. It’s also a sad comment on some church leaders, and unfortunately, an accusation easily proven or disproved. Observations through countless consultations and visits to churches around the country have turned up some ...
November 11, 2013   Doug Lawrence

3 ways to stop being an emotional service station

DON'T BE A FUEL! Everyone in ministry knows what it feels like to be an “emotional service station” and few would be willing to admit that there’s anything wrong with that role, but there are dangers, real dangers.  Here are some ways to avoid a “tapped out” tank and still ...
October 29, 2013   Doug Lawrence

5 ways attractive becomes utilitarian...are you a perp?

Every church wants to be attractional whether they admit it or not. It’s why we mow our lawns, paint our walls, and offer childcare...among other things. Is simply attracting truly attractive? The old Michigan Theater in Detroit was built in 1926. It was a spacious and grand hall with ornamental ...
October 17, 2013   Doug Lawrence

4 ways pushing always comes to shove

Leadership means having to move large groups of inanimate objects (people, institutions) forward. As a leader you’re always a pusher but you have to remember when pushing, somebody’s going to push back!  There are essentially four approaches: The fast approach  Some leaders believe it is incumbent upon them to move ...
October 09, 2013   Doug Lawrence

12 habits of responsible tongue biting

For many of us, it takes a lifetime to learn how to stifle outbursts of over-speak. We talk out of turn and then pay a dear price for having done so. It is a much better practice to count to 10, then count to 20!  For example:  Don’t say it’s ...
September 24, 2013   Doug Lawrence

3 ways your “worst” day could be somebody's best

When good things happen for me, there may be an equal and opposite reaction for someone else. That’s the nature of living life in the real world. Newton’s Third Law of Motion is not just about physics.   You’ve undoubtedly heard the expression “life is trade-offs!” That could mean several things, ...
September 18, 2013   Doug Lawrence

7 reasons we can’t help your church...

Consultant/coaches are not wizards, but they can bring a lot to the conversation. Through forty plus years of ministry both from the inside and sometimes from the outside, I have counseled and consoled scores of pastors.   I have conversed for free and consulted for a fee. I have never felt ...
September 04, 2013   Doug Lawrence

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