Amateur's Guide to Coordinating VBS (English & Español)

Amateur's Guide to Coordinating VBS (English & Español)

In 2016, my sister and I decided to take on the responsibility to plan our church's first Vacation Bible School (VBS). We've learned quite a few things along the way and are still learning. Hopefully, these thoughts and tips can be helpful to those of you thinking of planning VBS, no matter how big or small.

En el 2016, yo y mi hermana, tomamos la responsabilidad de hacer una Escuela Bíblica de Verano (EBV) por primera vez. Hemos aprendido varias cosas y espero que estos les ayude a planificar EBV, grande o pequeño.

Work for Those Who Work for You

Work for Those Who Work for You

Leadership is a learned skill. Much of the learning takes place experientially, but books can also provide valuable learning. Since reading Steven B. Sample's The Contrarian's Guide to Leadership, "Work for Those Who Work For You" (Chapter 8)  has become a guiding leadership principle for me. More than 20 years after first encountering Sample’s work, I still have 2 green sticky notes marking pages in that chapter. On one, I wrote ”service” and on the other “access.” They are reminders that help me even today.

What's All This Talk About Replanting?

What's All This Talk About Replanting?

If you pay attention to ministry conversations on the internet, there's a good chance you've heard the term "replanting." In the last couple of years, this idea has really gained traction, and I think with good reason. Today, you can find podcasts, books, and a growing pile of online articles that take up the task of church replanting. What is the difference between church planting and replanting and how might they make the difference in spiritual vitality of a community?

How to Have Better Meetings

How to Have Better Meetings

A few years ago, I counted how many hours I spent in church meetings then wished I hadn’t. Most of those meetings were boring, pointless, and took me away from my life in ways I later resented. Sure, it was nice to see people and get church business done. However, I’m not sure any of those meetings did much to accomplish the work of God’s kingdom.

On the other hand, I know groups who are having life-giving meetings leading to spiritual growth and changed lives. With a few intentional changes, we can make meetings a bright spot on the week instead of a chore.

UBA's Top 10 Articles of 2018

UBA's Top 10 Articles of 2018

2018 has brought a lot of things our way: heavy losses, exciting possibilities, and hard discussions. Likewise, our blog also had a lot of fascinating and pertinent articles for the year. As we prepare for what God has in store for 2019, we'll first pause to remember and celebrate the top 10 articles of 2018.

Rethinking the Nativity

Rethinking the Nativity

I have always been an avid collector of nativities, picking one up as a souvenir for each of my travels near and far. So, I was incredibly surprised to find that the reality of the nativity is hardly depicted in most of my little scenes.

With some insight from Kenneth Bailey's Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, I've learned a lot about Middle Eastern culture and how things would have actually happened in the Christmas story. Here are some of the things I've gleaned.

Lessons From Pearl, the Well-Worn Angel

Lessons From Pearl, the Well-Worn Angel

Almost every Christmas for 30 years of marriage, Dian and I have put up the Angel Tree at Christmas time. At the very top hangs our not-so-traditional beauty, Pearl. The loss of her halo, wings, and lute combined with her droopy, melted face make her an interested choice for such a spot of honor. However, she reminds us of an important lesson as she declares God's glory through the bags under her eyes.

Calling the Callers

Calling the Callers

For most of us who have been called into ministry, that calling wasn't as simple as hearing God's audible voice from heaven as we prayed. More often than not, God uses his people to call and clarify calling for the next generation of leaders. In spite of the barriers that exist, we should be the callers for the future of the church.


That's why we're incredibly excited for Houston Baptist University's opportunity this Feb to better understand what a calling is and the options available to those looking to enter ministry. It's going to be an excellent event for ministers and the next generation both.