A View from the Pew: Lighting the Advent Wreath

With the exception of that time one of the deacons set the church lawn on fire while trying to get rid of fire ants, I don’t remember much fire at church during my formative years.

A View from the Pew: Trunk-or-Treat vs. Trick-or-Treat

Last month I explored the concept of fall festivals as church events and how to think about them in the current context. This month, I’d like to spend a little time unpacking a specific form of the fall festival known as “trunk-or-treat.”

A View from the Pew: 5 Questions to Help Plan Your Fall Festival

In the “before times,” when pandemics were far-fetched movie plots, churches looked for ways to gather for fellowship outside of Sunday worship. It was an added bonus if it could involve people outside of the church because then you could call it “outreach.”

A View from the Pew: How Long Should the Sermon Last?

I’m a preacher’s kid with two preacher brothers. I’ve grown up around preachers and spent 10 years of my professional career working in close proximity to preachers at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

A View from the Pew: What Did You Learn at Children’s Church?

What a church does with children says a lot about its focus and its future. I’ve seen a variety of approaches to the faith formation of children. All methods have their strong and weak points, defenders and detractors.

A View from the Pew: Is the Children’s Sermon for or by Children?

I miss children’s sermon. Our church hasn’t had one since March 2020.

A View from the Pew: Resurrecting Churches after the Pandemic

The strains of “He Lives!” still echo in my mind as the joy of my church’s outdoor Easter worship brought home the reality of the Resurrection and the work ahead for our church in a post-pandemic future.

A View from the Pew: Upsetting the Congregation: What to do Next

Last month I laid out six circumstances when it’s okay to upset your congregation. This month, we’ll look at what to do at such a time.

A View from the Pew: Upsetting the Congregation

I grew up in a pastor’s home, so I deeply understand the need to keep the peace in a church. Most of the time, it’s counterproductive for folks to be riled up over this or that.

A View from the Pew: Pancho and the Christmas Play

If you’ve ever performed in a Christmas drama you know the truth of the old show business maxim attributed to W.C. Fields: “Never work with children or animals.”

A View from the Pew: Looking at Your Phone During Church

A question that has surfaced in my mind during these strange times is “When is it okay to look at your phone during church?”

Lockdown Sunday School: How to be Together When You’re Apart

Very little feels normal about church these past six months, but one of the most consistently meaningful weekly meetings we have maintained is the Bible study my wife and I lead for young adults.

A View from the Pew: “Hollywood Squares” Prayer Meeting

I can’t help but think of “Hollywood Squares” every Wednesday night when my wife and I log onto our church’s midweek prayer time and devotion via Zoom.

A View from the Pew: ‘Tis the Season for Missionary Speakers

Missionary speakers at church are as much a Christmas tradition as Christmas trees, Advent wreaths, and Nativity scenes.