A Fresh Start! Church Whisperer’s New Home

3 03 2015

I am so very excited to announce that Church Whisperer is now the official blog of Christian Unity Ministries, and starting this week, will be hosted on and published from our website at ChristianUnityMinistries.org. We have had all our best website gurus working on the move, and we HOPE we have done all the heavy lifting for you. So…

If you are accustomed to reading this blog through social media links (such as on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn or Google +), you will not notice any change. Just keep clicking on the link to read the blog posts just like you always have.

If you receive these posts via e-mail, we believe we have made that change for you as well. If all goes according to plan, you will continue to receive the e-mail just like before.

If you typically use the Church Whisperer URL (www.churchwhisperer.com) to find this blog, that is being redirected even as I write this, so that should automatically take you to the new site as well.

If you read this blog through a Reader or RSS Feed, we believe we have transferred those as well, but I confess that I am not completely confident in that. If you want to make sure not to miss any future posts, you might want to resubscribe to our ministry feed (christianunityministries.org/feed).

New post comes this week (Thursday). Everyone think happy thoughts! It’s good to be back.

Preparing for a New Chapter

31 12 2014

From Christian Unity Ministries to you and your church, we pray that 2015 brings lots of exciting new ways God will reveal Himself. We pray that He will continue to mobilize the peacemakers in your midst and that relationships in your life will glorify the Prince of Peace more than ever before.2015Church Whisperer will be taking a little time in the coming weeks to prepare for a new chapter as well. It will have a new look, a closer tie to Christian Unity Ministries, and a renewed sense of purpose to continue to pour into churches and church leaders. Thank you for your patience while we allow that new chapter to unfold in God’s timing. May God bless you and your church richly in the coming weeks and months! STAY TUNED!

Peace on Earth

25 12 2014

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” 
Luke 2:14

peaceonearthAt Christian Unity Ministries, we spend all our resources (material, creative, spiritual) pursuing peace in the midst of God’s people. We are actually pretty good at it, if I may say so myself. But make no mistake, real peace is not (and never will be) a product of human achievement. Our best efforts alone will never produce meaningful relationships, i.e., genuine community. Only the Spirit of God can do that. His presence…His peace. It is what separates the church from any other organization or group of people the world has ever known.

So, for us, Christmas is a celebration of the only real peace coming into our world. Peace which surpasses all our understanding. Peace which transcends all our differences. The Spirit of Peace incarnate, the Prince of Peace, born this day in the city of David.

From Christian Unity Ministries…

Merry Christmas!

What I Am Thankful For

27 11 2014

As you count the blessings for which you are thankful over these holidays, don’t forget to thank God for the peacemakers He has placed in your life.  I am!

Are Churches Too Busy at Christmas? Survey says…

17 12 2008

My family’s calendar and my church’s calendar are literally crammed full of Christmas “stuff”.  Just about every night and certainly every weekend brings a new Christmas ministry or event.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

christmas-exhaustionI’m asking because I really don’t know.  These things (at least the ones I’m talking about here) are not the commercial, shop-till-you-drop, Santa Clause and elves things.  They are real ministries and fellowship events and worship services.  Most of them are traditions for my church and for my family… good, God-honoring things that Christmas would not be the same without.  Sunday School parties, ministry team gatherings, Christmas musicals, children singing,  Deacon Christmas gatherings, packing and delivering food boxes to families in need, collecting for foreign missions, etc.  It is all the “stuff” we have developed as ways to honor the Lord during this season.  But wow, it is BUSY stuff.  And I am honestly asking, is it too much?  Is it even possible to do too much ministry?

I will not bore you here with all the standard wisdom about remembering the reason for the season, or the Martha/Mary comparisons about busy versus being, or the standard Christian Santa-bashing, or even a message about the simplicity of the nativity.  Yes, there is truth in all of that, but you and I both know those things already.  I understand and appreciate the difference in priorities between the commercial side of Christmas and the Spiritual side.  I mean to ask a slightly different question here.  I am asking a question about the priorities within the Spiritual side alone.

Is there a line which we as a church family should watch and not cross in terms of busy-ness during this season?  If so, what does it look like?  How do we know if we have crossed it?  I very much welcome your comments!

UPDATE: This post originally included a survey which is now closed.  The survey asked whether you thought churches should (a) get much busier at Christmas, (b) get a little busier, but keep the reason for the season in mind, (c) stay about the same year round, or (d) cut back at Christmas and give families a chance toi pull together.  Those responding were fairly evenly spread across all four answers, but (b) got the most responses, with 29%.

© Blake Coffee

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Let’s get started, shall we?

5 06 2008

It took me several months to finally do this–nobody will ever accuse me of making hasty decisions or radical, quick changes. Even now, I’m not altogether sure where we will head with this blog. But what I feel inclined to do is to sit down with you over a cup of coffee and talk about my favorite topic of discussion: the church.

I’ll start by saying that, the best I can understand God’s plan, it is to use the church to reach out to a lost and broken world and to draw that world back into a relationship with Him. Now, from the outset, I think that’s a crazy plan. It’s not one I would ever have come up with. I mean, the church (that is, all those people who call themselves followers of Christ) is one screwed up, flawed bunch of people. If I were God–and it will perhaps bring you some sense of relief to know that I know that I am not God–I would not be willing to put my reputation into the hands of these people. I would have a great many misgivings about that notion. I suppose this is one of the many things I love about God, even without fully understanding it.

And so, though I do not understand all the reasons why God would choose the church as His ambassadors on earth, I think it is a pretty amazing plan. Moreover, while I see many, many flaws in the church and believe we mess things up on a fairly regular basis, I am still fascinated by it. In fact, I love it. I truly do love God’s people. Can’t explain that. It is what it is.

So, my intent with this blog is to talk about the church, to share some insights and opinions about how we often get as broken as we get, and (I pray) to put some ideas out there about how we might do better. Most of all, I hope to generate discussion among church leaders. So, over time, I hope we can develop some regular readers and “commenters” who will be a part of this conversation.

Please don’t look for a daily post. That is way too much pressure. I’m just not yet disciplined enough to write every day. But I intend to be here two or three times during most weeks, depending on what my family and my mediation practice and my law practice and my church responsibilities will afford. And when I don’t have anything to say, I won’t. And when I stop having anything to say, I’ll stop this blog. And one of you can take over from there.