Church Challenges

“Firsts” for a 65 year old man

Sunday Afternoon June 7, 2020 I attended my first public protest. It was Black Lives Matter and was held in the community where I live, The Market Commons.

Just before leaving to go over a friend shared in a phone call a word from his pastor in small town Georgia. “The white Christian needs to wake up and go to African Americans and Listen, Learn and Love”

So, that became my first protest poster, “LISTEN, LEARN AND LOVE.” I have kept it to use in my next opportunity.

I know protests can vary a great deal but here was my experience.

The protest was peaceful and was a range of skin colors. I was welcomed, offered bottles of water, and was greeted with, “Bless you for coming.”

I sensed that my presence made a difference.

Most of the crowd were young adults –the age of my own childern and they were respectful and open to this old man with gray hair and beard (Who needed a haircut because of the CV19 virus restrictions). The crowd was diverse including some visible LBGTQ rainbow draped folks. But all seemed ot be very open to the speakers and musicans.

Photo from a time long ago when I had received a hair cut

There were several speakers and singers who were young, very articulte and while passionate, they were very balanced. Several were clear they did not support destructive looting or damage and wanted to respect the rule of law even if they felt that some in law enforcement did not respect them.

They focused on the laws and how those laws are implemented. There were specific cases cited of needed changes.

The biggest surprise to me was how clearly Biblical truth and the preaching of a Gospel of Love, Forgiveness and Reconciliation was held up as THE only hope to change a life on the heart level. There was a strong world view on EVERY person being made in the image of God as the basis for a just society. Jesus was presented as a peace maker provided by God. Anything seperating humanity from loving God and each other is sin and brings death.

I was not able to stay until the end of the protest because of a family commitment and being out in humid hot afternoon sun. But I was praying with gratitude for a younger generation that is stepping up.

I will close with one story from a lady helping to lead the protests in our area. This is my paraphrase based on my memory. She said, “My grandmother is 73 and she marched in civil rights protests in the 60s. She has been a constant encourager for me to not hide in silence but to stand up and speak out. And when I organized my first march and protest she insisted on being there. My grandmother’s generation made real strides in improving things for my generation but the journey is not over. The need for change still exists.”

Audio, Church Challenges, discipleship, Healthy Leaders

How To Respond to Problems In A Church – sermon by Roy King

DrRoyKing_6I am sure the churches you are part of never face conflicts, divisions, or confusion. Well, the ones I have been a part of sure have some of these challenges.

I believe Jesus is not surprised when the church he is building encounters and creates problems. I also believe the Spirit placed some hope for how to move through these problems.

Here is a sermon where I attempt to look at First Corinthians as a guide given by Paul, the church planter, to a church now four years old and struggling with painful divisions and struggles.

There is HOPE. But like going to a doctor when we are in pain the path of healing requires getting beyond the symptoms to the root cause and then addressing this source.



Church Challenges, Consulting

There is a Problem with the American Church…

“The church began as a fellowship of men and women centered on Jesus Christ.

It went to Greece and became a philosophy.

It went to Rome and became an institution.

It went to Europe and became a culture.

It came to America and became an enterprise.”

Richard Halverson, US Senate Chaplain now deceased.

Could God be using the challenges we are facing in American society today to bring the church back to a Jesus centered fellowship?

Church Challenges, Leadership, Questions Coaches Hear

Sorting Out A Mess!

It has been my honor to walk alongside leaders of churches and ministry organizations for over 30 years.

Sometime the places where these leaders are living is growing quickly and are full of messes like having your granddaughters come through your home like a storm.

Sometimes the place is struggling with plateau or decline and the messes are more like a neighbor’s dog who makes all of their potty dumps right where you walk.

I wanted to write a short book to assist leaders in gaining a clear perspective on how to approach and deal with the messes!


Visit Amazon by Clicking Here for the paperback or e-book.

Church Challenges, Leadership

How do you respond when people ask questions you do not want to visit?

Healthy leaders understand that when people show up filled with questions, even if the questions are delivered with some anger, they need to receive them.

If there is an attacking manner in the approach of the person it provides a character development teaching moment.

It will help the leader to respond properly to begin by giving thanks that a person feel strongly about something.  One of my pastoral mentors, Ron Barker, has often said, “It is easier to tame the demoniac than to raise the dead!”

Strong emotion may not always be justified but it does indicate passion and life and perhaps even a deep desire for the organization to be effective.

Let your first response be to listen by asking a non-defensive question to make sure you are clear on the concern or issue.

Case Studies, Church Challenges, Leadership, Questions Coaches Hear

Is This Church Plant Going to Make It?


New Zealand All Blacks Fan!

The church planter looked down breaking eye contact, I think, to slightly shield revealing the pain in his heart. He and his wife have put themselves passionately, prayerfully and consistently into birthing a church.
And not just any church but a family of diverse ethnicities. And not just mulit-ethnic but reflecting a broad spectrum of socioeconomic levels of the urban transitional community where the people live. I picture a cross. This church is at the center of being a reconciling gathering horizontally (diverse peoples) but also vertically (economic levels).

Most churches I work with, even in very diverse communities, are more like a small circle than this cross effort. A small circle where economically and racially everyone looks pretty much alike. What this leader and his wife have been attempting is much more like ministry often pictured outside their passport country where one is required to learn language, cultures and especially values and expectations very different from their own. And these same elements are also very diverse right in the community. Just go stand in the grocery store and watch people struggling to understand and navigate when one can hear five different languages competing.

So why is the church plant at such a fragile place right now? The planter feels it is probably a combination of his failure to motivate and call out a commitment from the core that have gathered around the vision, and a lack of commitment by the core. Most of them, an ethnically diverse group, have enjoyed studying biblical themes of reconciliation and unity. They have enjoyed learning to appreciate the diversity God had brought together. They liked the idea of a church demonstrating the radical love of God. BUT (don’t you hate it when there is a ‘but’ in the paragraph), they have failed to step up to pay the price of actually becoming an incarnational witness in the community. The price is too high, competing with other legitimate values of — for example, finishing a graduate degree, getting a job, concern for the quality of schools for their children, resulting in a lack of margins because life is just too full. They are tackling a work often attempted by full time cross cultural workers with a less than part time offering. After all most middle class North American church volunteer leaders can do what is expected in ten hours or less a week (and that includes 3 or more hours just receiving services the paid staff shoulder).
The vision and calling for this urban work simply exact a higher price.

So what will happen? Well you pray… a lot… and keep doing what you can do and what you can challenge others to join you in doing and see what happens. You trust God is bearing fruit in individual hearts whether the picture of a church that is in the heart of the leader and his wife ever blossoms into reality. You seek to simply obey God, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and leave the results to God.

What do you think? What is God’s perspective?

Church Challenges, Leadership, Questions Coaches Hear, Resources


Care and supervision of a team of staff is critical to the health of the organization. One of the best pieces of advice I could give is work on gathering and refining GOOD QUESTIONS. Write them on your legal pad before you go to the meeting. Also discuss some questions that will be revisited at least monthly and ask them to come prepared to share openly assuring them a safe place of grace!

Bobb Biehl has an excellent brief e-mail that has given me creative ideas for coaching and supervision many times. Go to to sign up.

Questions to ask each month:

1) How would you describe your time with pre-Christians this past month?
2) Can you share an experience of helping a new Christian get established?
3) How did you invest in helping a person develop as a leader?
4) How have you invested in your personal and/or professional growth?

Coaching Questions from Bobb BiehlI have used often (note: these are slightly edited to fit my style).

1) What DECISIONS do you need from me?
2) What am I doing that is making your job more DIFFICULT?
3) What do you need to remove a hindrance or be EMPOWERED to move forward?
4) How can I PRAY for you and your family?
5) What problems are keeping you from investing the time you need in your PRIORITIES?
6) Is there anyone that works in this organization that you tend to see in terms of “US” and “THEM”? What needs to occur to get you on the same team?