Hal West / Hal West spent 33 years as a pastor with an emphasis on creating effective change and transition in a traditional church setting. He is the President of Compass Coach and Consulting (compasscoachandconsulting.com) whose mission is to assist pastors and churches find the road to success. He has authored 3 books. His latest is The Pickled Priest and the Perishing Parish: Boomer Pastors Bouncing Back (CrossBooks Publishing, 2011)
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A Good Number Two Man:

A very good friend of mine worked for many years for a large public utility. He worked his way up in the executive ranks to become one of the several vice-presidents of the corporation. In addition to his job description responsibilities, which were substantial, he assumed the unofficial role of ...
August 15, 2013   Hal West

The Worship Interloper and the Missional Generation

The oft-used term “worship wars” tells us something very ominous about the state of worship over the last thirty years or so. Most of us are tired of the term and even more weary of the experience it represents to us.  I grew up traditional. I was raised on “Nearer ...
August 06, 2013   Hal West

Beware the Sniper

They are scary sneaky. They are the connoisseurs of camouflage. They specialize in stealth and surprise attack and are superbly trained and highly skilled. They are highly effective in their combat mission of “taking out” high value targets. We call them snipers. I was recently intrigued by the story of ...
July 19, 2013   Hal West

Leadership and Legacy

Do you worry about your leadership legacy? By worry I don’t mean that you sit around wringing your hands about what others will think of your leadership either in the short term or long term. I mean does it concern you to the point that you make decisions and perform ...
July 06, 2013   Hal West

7 Ways Leaders Quench the Spirit

In an earlier blog I wrote about how leaders become weary of putting out fires, (“Smelling Like Smoke, Feeling Like Hamburger”) but there is a fire that we ought to welcome, fuel, and fan when it appears – the fire of the Holy Spirit. In I Thessalonians 5, there is ...
May 09, 2013   Hal West

Signs of Life: Seven Positive Indicators the Church You Are Leading is Still Alive

There is an old dogwood tree in my yard. It has been a beautiful addition in a yard dominated by tall long leaf pines. Unfortunately, I think its dead. I first noticed a problem late last fall when the leaves seemed to die prematurely. As spring approaches I’ll be looking ...
February 26, 2013   Hal West

The Secret Power of Re

Words have power in the force of their meaning and in their effect in communication. When words contain prefixes and suffixes, the power of those words to communicate meaning is re-enforced.  Re is one of those prefixes that have what I consider a secret power in the sense that it ...
February 22, 2013   Hal West

Perfect Form/Imperfect Soul

It is a masterpiece, transcending time and culture and changing techniques and tastes in art. It has an intriguing history and unique contribution to the world of visual arts.  Michelangelo began his work on David when he was only 25 years old. He was given a huge block of marble ...
February 16, 2013   Hal West

Smelling Like Smoke, Feeling Like Hamburger

 I recently built a backyard fire pit. I poured a concrete slab about 12 feet in diameter and put together a fire pit kit I had ordered from a home-improvement store. It turned out really well, and we’ve already enjoyed sitting around a nice, hot fire on a cold January ...
February 05, 2013   Hal West

Are You Too Predictable?

This is the time of the year when predictions make headlines and are featured on talk shows. Prognosticators, psychics, soothsayers, and seers alike announce and discuss what they see coming on various fronts from the Super Bowl to the economy. These modern day stargazers always tell us who will and ...
January 07, 2013   Hal West

Christmas More or Less

Overheard between two pastors at a January Ministers’ meeting: Pastor 1: Happy New Year, brother! How was Christmas at your church? Good? Pastor 2: More or less. Pastor 1: More or less?  Pastor 2: Well, yeah. I mean it was good. I’m just still worn out from everything. I feel ...
December 18, 2012   Hal West

Don’t Become a Pawn Star:

If you haven’t watched any of the History Channel’s Pawn Stars you don’t watch enough television! Maybe I’m being sarcastic, but it’s a pretty interesting show. The show is about a pawn shop in Las Vegas and the characters – the pawn stars - that own it. People come into ...
December 04, 2012   Hal West

Getting People Back to Work: Part 2

The happiest people I know are people engaged in meaningful work of some kind. My dad is a 92-year-old retired lawyer. He’s no longer able to walk. He gets around on wheels – a wheel chair, a power chair, and a golf cart! Everything he does these days is a ...
November 29, 2012   Hal West

Getting People Back to Work: Part 1

The 2012 election came to its climactic end last week, and I’m really missing all those speeches, debates, and those very uplifting political ads, aren’t you? And, man, I’m having withdrawals from not having all those media pundits explaining to me what the candidates were saying and how they were ...
November 16, 2012   Hal West

When It Gets Personal, It Gets Personal

  No matter what the challenges and changes a group of people might be facing, it always has a way of becoming personal. Know this: When it gets personal, it gets personal. Ask any leader who has attempted to lead his people through the various challenges of a shared journey. ...
November 06, 2012   Hal West

Dodging the Dysfunctional Draw

“I never thought we were a dysfunctional family, but maybe we are.” That’s what the lady said to me after she had told me all the things that were happening in her family with her children and grandchildren. She and her husband were hard-core church members – the salt of ...
October 18, 2012   Hal West

The Chain of Commission: A Different Look at Church Structure

Understanding that the New Testament hands us little in the way of church organizational structure, we also recognize an essential need for a structure of some kind that is both efficient and effective in carrying out the mission of the church, which is made amply clear. Perhaps the reason for ...
October 11, 2012   Hal West

Treatment: Third Steps in Healing a Hurting Congregation

My wife, Elliott, was not aware just how critically ill she was. The sedation and trauma had her very confused and quite oblivious to her condition. I, the worrier, was more than a little concerned about the lack of treatment and attention she was receiving from the medical staff, until ...
September 14, 2012   Hal West

Testing: Second Steps in Healing a Hurting Congregation

In my last blog, I wrote about a triage ministry that addresses some first steps in leading a hurting congregation toward healing. I used the example of my wife’s difficult experience with a life-threatening disease. That negative experience was instructive in the importance of learning, loving, and leading in the ...
September 07, 2012   Hal West

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