10 Ways to Reach the Unchurched for Christmas #ourCOG

#ourCOG 10 Ways to Reach the Unchurched for Christmas

The biggest mistake many churches make each Christmas is to hold a quiet Christmas Eve or Christmas Day service for members and leave it at that. That makes Christmas the biggest missed opportunity of the year. Unchurched people want to celebrate Christmas. Here are ten ways your church can help them.

1. Hold multiple services

Not everyone can make it to your one service. Last year, we did five services over two days, December 23 and 24. Yes, those are long work days for staff and volunteers, but you can reap a harvest all year long from that investment.

2. Theme the event around the community, not around your church

For a few years now, we’ve called our Christmas Eve Services “Christmas Eve in Barrie” or “Christmas Eve in Orillia” (the cities in which we serve). Why? My t Continue reading 10 Ways to Reach the Unchurched for Christmas #ourCOG

PerryStone Is December 2012 2015 The End Of The Age 4 #ourCOG

#ourCOG PerryStone Is December 2012 2015 The End Of The Age 4

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Continue reading PerryStone Is December 2012 2015 The End Of The Age 4 #ourCOG

Wally World Woes… revisited #ourCOG

#ourCOG Wally World Woes… revisited

Tonight I was chatting with an old friend and she was telling me about the trouble that she had in Wal-mart tonight. I told her I completely understood and began telling her about one of my worst days at Wally World. I told her I had blogged about it several years ago. She could not find it, so I looked up for her. After reading it again, I just had to repost this one. It’s a classic. 

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Do You Have A Spiritual Stench? #ourCOG

#ourCOG Do You Have A Spiritual Stench?


N.T. Wright once said, “Moral reformation which leaves the heart untouched is about as useful as tying bunches of grapes on to a briar-bush.” I  totally agree with his assertion.

Adding more good things to your life in the effort to become holier than the next guy without heart transformation can only lead to more darkness. God is interested in our relationship with Him as the source of our light.

Often, someone trying to prove to God and others how good they are, end up becoming obnoxiously zealous with a spiritual stink.  You can never walk your way into a deeper relationship with God by moral reformation that is self-generated.

Moral reformation is birthed out of a surrendere Continue reading Do You Have A Spiritual Stench? #ourCOG

Staying Connected #ourCOG

#ourCOG Staying Connected

Something unusual happened today. I found myself sitting at my desk, and decided to take an email break from what I was doing. Normally, I get emails from my dad in Michigan all the time. Most recent was the photos he took at the Chelsea, MI Tax Day Tea Party. But today, I found a Facebook friend request from him. Not that friend requests are an uncommon event for me, I’ve been a Facebook subscriber for over a year. I get them constantly. It was funny to see that my dad had found the Facebook site at all. He is still l Continue reading Staying Connected #ourCOG

A New Normal #ourCOG

#ourCOG A New Normal

Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. I was brought up in church all of my life. Truth be told, church was my life. I’ve lived the majority of life with a “drug” problem. My mom and dad “drug” me to church EVERYTIME the doors were open. As a matter of fact, I have a “stained glass” backdrop of virtually all of my greatest childhood memories. The irony of it is, all of my childhood memories happened IN the church. Youth events, singing, puppet ministry, Great services, healings, fundraisers, and outreaches were all IN the church. Sunday AM, Sunday PM, Wednesday, Revivals, Practices, Plays, Discipleship, Training, Meetings & anything else imaginable happened IN the church. Heck, I held hands with a girl for the 1st time IN church. I LOVED church! I lived for it, because it (being at church all the time) is all I ever known. Today, I’m still a church-goer! When I hea Continue reading A New Normal #ourCOG

The Ugly Grudge Bucket #ourCOG

#ourCOG The Ugly Grudge Bucket


There is just something ugly about a Christ follower carrying grudges. Carrying around that proverbial bucket filled with ugly is a laborious task to keep doing. In fact, not only is it laborious,but also it grieves the heart of God. We are supposed to be people of forgiveness.

Grudges lead to nowhere good! Grudges damage everything. Grudges will hurt you from the inside out and will produce a wedge between you and your fellowship with God. Letting go of grudges and moving beyond them is the only godly option.

Letting go of grudges can prove to be difficult. Let’s face it, when you have been hurt, it is hard to let go. Fear often plays a role in us not letting go because we don’t want to ever be hurt again. Therefore Continue reading The Ugly Grudge Bucket #ourCOG

Radically Normal: An Interview with Josh Kelley #ourCOG

#ourCOG Radically Normal: An Interview with Josh Kelley

Josh Kelley and I have a lot in common. We both live in Washington state, we both have a background in the same denomination, we’re both pastors. One area we differ is that he’s a published author with Harvest House Publishers, and I’m not.

If I didn’t know how much we had in common before starting Radically Normal, I would’ve figured it out pretty quick. The characters and experiences he describes gave me a profound sense of deja vu. My background is awash with hyper-spiritual, holier-than-thou types (many of which have since shipwrecked).

In Radically Normal, Kelley uses these stories as a jumping off point to remind us that many super Christians aren’t, and that the most profound thing we can do is live a radically normal life of simple obedience.

I talked to him about his book today:

Continue reading Radically Normal: An Interview with Josh Kelley #ourCOG

5 Weaknesses Christian Bookstores Reveal in the Church #ourCOG

#ourCOG 5 Weaknesses Christian Bookstores Reveal in the Church

openI have nothing against Christian bookstores. I spent more than fifteen years supporting my family in Christian retail while toiling in ministry.

For me, Christian bookstores are simply a magnifying mirror revealing some of the American church’s blemishes.

The problem

We’re talking about pure capitalism here. Bookstores have a limited amount of money to sink into inventory, so they need that inventory to turn over regularly. When you walk into a Christian bookstore, you’re looking at supply and demand at work. What you see is that people want.

Here are five weaknesses in the church that a visit to a Christian bookst Continue reading 5 Weaknesses Christian Bookstores Reveal in the Church #ourCOG