Pastor Survival Tip: Wingin’ It!

When consulting pastors, I often sense a need for alternative outlets. It was during my own journey through the valley, when my church involvement was at its lowest ebb, that God taught me something really big about church survival. Here’s how it happened. I recall volunteering at Sandals Church for about a year (by the […]

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Perfect Imperfection

When I had turned into the publisher a final edit of my edited book, I felt a great sense of accomplishment. Weeding out the last inconsistencies was a huge project for a non-analytic like me! When the book arrived, I milked the satisfaction, thumbing through the pages as a once-and-for-all last perusing, when my eyes […]

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Why Criticism is Critical

I recently had a sit down talk with two top tiered leaders (Sandals’ Senior Pastor Matt Brown and Executive Pastor Dan Zimbardi), who spoke boldly and directly about three areas of needed growth in my life. I know some of you are assuredly reacting right now, “No way! We all know you, Gary, and you […]

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The “Useless” Feeling – Part 2

In a first season Lost episode, one-hit-wonder rock star Charlie, while in the initial stage of kicking a heroin habit, mentions feeling useless. When you can hardly make it an hour, or a day without a fix, or if you are constantly reminded of the shameful things you have done, or if you have emotional […]

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The “Useless” Feeling – Part 1

Why do Christians feel useless? Two very interesting ideas pop immediately into my head. First, many believers have never experienced mission success. One day while training a small group on evangelistic engagement, I asked the members what would help them grow in faith-sharing confidence. One guy replied, “Actually reaching someone.” His honesty was poignant and […]

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Blessed are the Blocked

I went through a long stretch of being underemployed, but this year I received an offer to join Sandals Church staff full-time. Before starting the new position, Pastor Matt Brown invited me to meet with other leaders to discuss the church discipleship path. I knew it was an important meeting and set out plenty early […]

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The Parable of the Point

The Bible teacher charges his people to take the gospel to the world. Metaphorically speaking, each person gathered gets handed a spear. The spear is the only weapon they have at their personal disposal to use for the gospel. Yet something’s wrong. The spear has no point. The shaft is plenty balanced and strong, yet […]

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Soul Whisperer Released!

In late February, Wipf and Stock Publishers officially released the book. With this being my first, we have learned that both the publishing and marketing processes take time. Several weeks after the release, the Kindle edition was posted on Amazon, and then weeks after that—the paperback was made available with chapter previews. We also learned […]

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The Gospel Key Live!

Mission can be excitedly unpredictable! During a recent new believers course, God showed up in an unexpected way. Brittany, one of our new believers, knowing we would be discussing outreach, took the initiative to bring her not-yet-believing friend, Jocelyn. In this session, we introduced “the gospel key” (a method I teach on how to speak […]

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