church

Is the Cure Killing Us? How History can Help us Rethink our COVID Response

Whenever history changes due to a single event, people often call it a Black Swan Event. A Black Swan isn’t merely a historical event. It’s an event that fundamentally shifts both our behaviors and views of reality – think 9-11; or when Europe discovered North America. Now, the reason I’m explaining this is because, the…
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Resources for Pastors – How To Do Church in Light of COVID-19?

As many of you know, Substance is helping 100’s of churches respond to the Corona Crisis. We’ve been flooded with hundreds of questions (from church tech to church legal issues). SO, I created this page as a resource for pastors. Keep in mind, I modify this almost every week! (And things change fast). So, take some…
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Don’t Die after the Resurrection – Easter Recovery Guide for Pastors

Have you ever had a “Holy Hangover?” “What is it?” you ask? Well, it’s a numb euphoria mixed with exhaustion and shepherding stress. For years, as a senior pastor, I used to hate Easter. Part of it was because every year our church would experience record lows in attendance on Easter – partly because 70%…
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Why I Love Skeptical People & You Should Too

At one time in my life, I thought skepticism meant “a lack of faith.” But as I matured, I realized that skepticism is often the evidence of “maturing faith.” As strange as it might sound, doubt is God’s way of making us hungry for deeper revelations.  It’s not something we fear; it’s something we explore. Keep…
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How to Share Tough Truths with Others, and Have them Love It!

Have you ever wondered why some people can say “difficult” things and people receive it, while others simply open their mouths and people freak out? Over the years, I’ve noticed that two different people can share the exact same truth to another person; yet, to the one people respond with anger and rebellion and to…
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3 Tips to Help New Dads through the First 4 Months of Fatherhood…

Very few things are as euphoric as having your own kid. To be honest, I was kind of a “baby hater” until I had kids of my own. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I “punched them” or anything… It’s just that I never thought they were cute… And I never wanted to hold…
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Raise healthy kids AND enjoy the beach: one simple way to revolutionize your marriage!

Being a parent with young kids can be one of the most chaotic seasons of life. And if that’s you right now, don’t give up! It only gets better. To make things even more difficult for my wife and I, we made the decision to plant a church (while having 3 kids under the age…
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12 signs that your church is overly hipster…

I can admit that Substance is a strange church. When close to 70% of your attendees are under 35 years old, it results in a lot of trendiness. Every once in a while, someone will ask me the question: “At what point is your church overly hipster?” (as if we are intentionally advocating for this).…
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The keys to seeing the miraculous unfold in your life: a new approach to prayer

I love the story where the disciples were trying to cast out a demon but weren’t able to. As a result, the disciples were having a squabble with the teachers of the Law. Jesus, just coming off a prayer retreat, walks onto the scene and immediately casts the demon out. A bit confused, the disciples…
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The unlikely key to living a longer, healthier life…

Did you know that frequent church attendance dramatically increases your life-expectancy?  In fact, epidemiologists (doctors who study epidemics) have routinely noticed a strikingly and significant health difference for those who devoutly participate in God-centered social groups. At first, researchers simply reasoned that, church-goers tend to have a higher number of supportive relationships – which has…
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