6 Steps to a Growing Church. Yes, Even Here!: Guest Blogger Ben Rigsby

Anybody who’s spent more than a minute with me since last summer has heard me yammer on about the people l met in Archer City, Texas on my leave. One of those folks is the dynamic pastor of First UMC, the Rev. Ben RIgsby.  You don’t often find church planters on the rural frontier but […]

Lay Minister Expels Ghosts, Sees Two Rural Churches Turnaround

“I look around my church and all I see are ghosts.”  It was time for a pastoral change and I was meeting with the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee in my role as the District Superintendent, preparing the church and myself as we looked toward the appointment of a new pastor.  The woman speaking was a longtime […]

How to Make Your Church Inefficient: The Winn Collier interview continues (2 of 3)

In the first part of my interview with Winn Collier, pastor of All Souls Charlottesville and author of Love Big. Be Well.: Letters to a Small-Town Church, we talked about his decision to set his novel in a small town.  We also talked about the use of letters as a way to tell the story […]

The Lure of Small Towns: The Heartlands Interview with Winn Collier – (1 of 3)

Winn Collier’s new book, Love Big. Be Well: Letters to a Small-Town Church, is a generous celebration of the potential of church.  In my review I noted that it is a gentle, human love story between a pastor and his congregation told in the form of letters written to the church over the course of […]

The Greatness of the Small: A Review of Love Big. Be Well.

When Amy Quitman writes a letter to the unknown pastor that the Pastoral Search Committee hopes to call to their Presbyterian church in the small town of Granby, she includes an invitation that would set the hearts of potential candidates like me aflutter: We want theology, but we want the kind that will pierce our […]

Finding God in a Small Town: A Review of Can You See Anything Now?

You could hardly imagine two more different artists than the ones you meet in the opening pages of Katherine James’s debut novel, Can You See Anything Now? [Paraclete, 2017]. There’s Margie, who paints vivid canvases, attributing personal characteristics to still lifes, sketching nudes, and doing a grand scale work featuring ovens that make her daughter […]