Doug Lawrence / Writer, Coach, and Friend to Churches.
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5 assets I really admire in a “rookie” preacher

Last week I visited my former 21 year ministry hood, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church—mentioned in Christianity Today as John Ortberg's church—so, as usual, I expected first class preaching and I wasn’t disappointed, but I was a little surprised.    Twenty-eight year old Abby McHugh was the speaker, and quite impressive! ...
February 19, 2015   Doug Lawrence

4 reasons I love it when worship comes together…or not

Look, worship is complicated! We have leaders with tons of experience, some with none. We have scheduling that would stagger the Pentagon! We have countless decisions to make, creatively, spiritually, musically, and technically.   When we look at what is expected of us, it’s like the most remarkable team sport ...
January 30, 2015   Doug Lawrence

3 ways to take stupid out of your worship

If you believe that worship is a verb but often becomes a perfunctory noun, then you might want to read further. We should probably make some adjustments before we lose sight of why we gather.    My last contribution to ChurchCentral.com spoke to the often conspicuous excesses of “modern-ish" worship. ...
January 24, 2015   Doug Lawrence

5 ways to de-professionalize your worship

The primary complaint that I hear from congregants in many churches is that the worship service is too much of a show, and you may believe that to be true yourself. In an effort to have excellence in our worship experiences we may have overstepped. Here are some ways to ...
January 16, 2015   Doug Lawrence

3 reasons why Christmas didn't fix everything

Every pastor loves Christmas. Increased attendance is like crack cocaine for most church leaders—euphoria naturally accompanies all those Bs in the Ps. Taken on the whole, though, there are many things to consider when evaluating a church’s momentary success in festival seasons. Take for example…
January 01, 2015   Doug Lawrence

3 absolutes of dressing for upfront leadership

For the last couple of months I’ve had the honor of serving the “upfront” leadership at the Church of the Resurrection (COR) in Leawood, Kansas, led by Pastor Adam Hamilton What a fabulous group of people!. Here is my parting advice for them.
December 10, 2014   Doug Lawrence

5 ways to help people remember what you say

Any leader knows that it is disheartening to prepare a good talk only to realize that nobody can remember what you said the following week. There are speakers who know how to get retention in their audiences, and our goal is to be one of those people!
December 09, 2014   Doug Lawrence

10 drills for better upfront leadership

Most frequent question? How do I get better at being “on stage” in my leadership? Answer? Practice, practice, practice! Here are some drills to help—if not cure—this common angst!
November 21, 2014   Doug Lawrence

4 cardinal rules of good upfront communication

Talking in front of people is still the number one fear for people according to Psychology Today and it routinely shows up in surveys as being even more frightening than death! What's up with that?
November 10, 2014   Doug Lawrence

5 ways to be truly present with people

Personally? I’ve proved over and over that you can be in the same room with people and be totally detached from them. Most likely, I’m not alone.
October 31, 2014   Doug Lawrence

6 ways to "read" the room

Are we winning at the game of “Follow the Leader?” Are people really with us? This piece is about checking to see if, in fact, anyone is following our skillful cues.
October 24, 2014   Doug Lawrence

4 ways to break out of “default” worship

Everyone who reads this title knows exactly what this discussion is about. We get stuck. We start to do everything the same way every time we do it. We move toward avoidance of the obvious because it’s what we do. We’re human.
October 09, 2014   Doug Lawrence

3 critical mistakes many worship leaders make

Like pastors, worship leaders take lots of “hits;” they just make a lot less money and are often far less well trained to do their job. Oh, and they are frequently expendable. Can we help these people become better leaders? As a life-long worship guy, I get to talk about ...
September 18, 2014   Doug Lawrence

3 things you'd better know, or else!

If you are over 50 you may not need to read this. On the other hand if you're over 50 you absolutely need to read this! Like my Doc said to me when I was 30…”It gets tougher from here!”
August 25, 2014   Doug Lawrence

6 prickly people who put your church on pause

Thom Rainer just wrote an article about the 8 Types of power groups in the church. It is both informative and timely and, ironically, close to the topic I’m sharing.
August 11, 2014   Doug Lawrence

There is nothing hip about Facebook any more... how about your church?

We want your kids! Every church says it, but few accomplish it. What’s the problem. Why can't churches catch up with the changing culture? Why are millennials leaving the church faster than leaders can figure out how to keep them?
July 28, 2014   Doug Lawrence

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

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