15 Steps to Becoming a Family-Friendly Church

family-friendly-churchImagine the scene as the Farr family arrives at church. Mr. Farr goes to a men’s Sunday school class on the third floor of the building. Mrs. Farr says, “I’ll meet you in the worship center after Sunday school” and turns down the preschool hallway, where she teaches a class of 3-year-olds. Molly, 14, heads to the second floor for the youth class, and Joseph, the third-grade son, runs in a different direction for his class. And this is a church that promotes itself as being a family-friendly church. Continue reading “15 Steps to Becoming a Family-Friendly Church”

A ‘Two-Minute Offense’ for Your Church

160528stopwatch-in-handAlmost every football team, in every practice, runs through their two-minute offense. You have to know what to do when the game is on the line and time is running out. The heightened sense of urgency demands immediate and intense focus.

For some churches, the clock is running out. You can’t literally see a clock, but you can see the signs pointing toward an end. You feel a growing sense of urgency that something has got to change.

Here’s a “two-minute warning” strategy that lays out the actions and attitudes necessary for you and your church in times of urgency: “But as for you, keep a clear head about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:5) Continue reading “A ‘Two-Minute Offense’ for Your Church”

A New Ministry Opportunity: Who, What, When, Where, How and Why

160511light-bulb-question-marks-chalkboardWho: I am John Parrott, who retired as Director of Missions in the Holston Valley Baptist Association in 2013, having served more than 18 years. Before serving as DOM, I served as a pastor. I have been involved in local-church ministry for 45 years. My wife, Kathie, is retired, having served as an educator for 31 years. We have a son and daughter-in-law and a daughter and son-law. Their families have given us five wonderful grandchildren. Continue reading “A New Ministry Opportunity: Who, What, When, Where, How and Why”

Six Secrets for Becoming a Loving Church

160504heart-chaped-candle-love-handsWeddings are always filled with adventure and drama. You know what I’m talking about. Stress and emotions combine to produce a potentially explosive concoction. Invariably, nerves begin to wear thin.

But then something magical happens. The wedding actually occurs. All the tense moments evaporate in the midst of the celebration. We laugh and cry, hug and kiss. We are family and, despite our imperfections, we deeply love one another. That’s how families ought to act.

It’s how churches ought to act as well. Continue reading “Six Secrets for Becoming a Loving Church”

We Must Comfort the Brokenhearted

iStock_000068253729_MediumThe Christmas season is a paradox. There’s the joy that comes from celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, the excitement of family gatherings and the fun of watching the anticipation of children and grandchildren waiting for the big day of opening presents.

Unfortunately there is the other side of Christmas; the alone side. Hidden behind the smiles and laughter, there are a lot of people struggling with being overwhelmed with life. They are discouraged, desperate and can’t shake the isolation.

They feel alone, and are in good company. Continue reading “We Must Comfort the Brokenhearted”

Are We Pressing Ahead or Falling Behind?

two-way-signLooking across the field at the opponent, it was easy to feel confident. After all, the advance scouts had done their homework, assessed the opposing side’s strengths and weaknesses, and determined this was victory for the taking. Show up, execute the plan, and walk away with the usual rout.

Only problem was, this time it wasn’t the underestimation of the opponent’s ability that led to resounding defeat. It was the underestimation of the dominant “team’s” pride and arrogance. Continue reading “Are We Pressing Ahead or Falling Behind?”